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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,737

Journal Archives

A Texas Republican's vile rant shows 'great replacement' is becoming GOP dogma

It is becoming a trend: More and more Republicans have been signing on to “great replacement theory.” Because this worldview posits various versions of a nefarious liberal scheme to replace native-born Americans with non-White outsiders, it’s often analyzed through a racial prism.

But also embedded in this GOP “great replacement” talk is a particular theory about democracy and self-rule. It’s a wretched vision, one that suggests a broader truth about the GOP’s ongoing abandonment of democratic values, and it deserves serious scrutiny on its own.

A particularly vile “great replacement” rant that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) unleashed on Fox News opens a window on all of this.

“The revolution has begun,” Patrick told host Laura Ingraham. Speaking about the president, Patrick added: “A silent revolution by the Democrat Party and Joe Biden to take over the country.”


Voters' groups challenge Republicans on redistricting as high-stakes map-drawing kicks off

TALLAHASSEE – Florida lawmakers take their first steps Monday toward redrawing political boundaries in the nation’s biggest presidential swing state, but voters’ groups are already testing the Republican-led Legislature.

A coalition led by organizers of the Fair Districts amendments in the state constitution is calling on lawmakers to use current, court-approved congressional and state Senate districts as the baseline for whatever changes are made during the redrawing of new maps.

Otherwise, they fear lines will be unlawfully set that favor ruling Republicans.

The demand is prompted by Senate Redistricting Chair Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, saying that lawmakers will “start with a blank slate.” Ellen Freidin, CEO of Fair Districts Now, said that view is misguided.


Death of Hillsborough GOP member from COVID-19 causes financial problems for party

The local Republican Party told federal election regulators it can no longer access its campaign finance software

The Hillsborough County Republican Party alerted federal election regulators Tuesday that it may file its monthly campaign finance reports late because a key member of the organization died Saturday from COVID-19.

Prior to his death, Gregg Prentice developed and maintained software that electronically tracked donations to the Hillsborough County GOP and supplied data for the organization’s monthly finance reports. None of the other officers knew how to operate Prentice’s software, the party told the the Federal Elections Commission.

“We will be struggling to get all of this entered in the proper format by our deadline on September20, but we will try to do so with our best effort,” the party wrote.

A call and text message to county party chairman Jim Waurishuk were not returned.



Something just hit Jupiter

While we Earthlings were fretting about the California recall, the Universe had other stuff to do.

On Monday, September 13, at about 6:39 P.M. Eastern, Harald Paleske of Germany and José Luis Pereira of Brazil both caught on video a pretty significant object impacting the surface of Jupiter. From the size of the impact, a rough guess is an asteroid or comet a few hundred feet wide. That’s no slouch; a hit by something that size on Earth would leave a crater about a mile wide.

A still frame from Paleske captures this nicely:

Paleske doesn’t seem to have posted his video yet, but Pereira has. Here too you can see Io’s shadow and the impact at about the same latitude. Zoinks!


Durham Is Said to Seek Indictment of Lawyer at Firm With Democratic Ties

Source: New York Times

The lawyer, Michael Sussmann, is accused of lying to the F.B.I. in a 2016 meeting about Trump and Russia. He denies wrongdoing.

WASHINGTON — John H. Durham, the special counsel appointed by the Trump administration to scrutinize the Russia investigation, has told the Justice Department that he will ask a grand jury to indict a prominent cybersecurity lawyer on a charge of making a false statement to the F.B.I., people familiar with the matter said.

Any indictment of the lawyer — Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, and who represented the Democratic National Committee on issues related to Russia’s 2016 hacking of its servers — is likely to attract significant political attention.

Donald J. Trump and his supporters have long accused Democrats and Perkins Coie — whose political law group, a division separate from Mr. Sussmann’s, represented the party and the Hillary Clinton campaign — of seeking to stoke unfair suspicions about Mr. Trump’s purported ties to Russia.

The case against Mr. Sussmann centers on the question of who his client was when he conveyed certain suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia to the F.B.I. in September 2016. Among other things, investigators have examined whether Mr. Sussmann was secretly working for the Clinton campaign — which he denies.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/us/politics/durham-michael-sussmann-trump-russia.html

The Godmother of the Digital Image

The mathematician Ingrid Daubechies’ pioneering work in signal processing helped make our electronic world possible — and beat a path for women in the field.

In the summer of 2010, while preparing for a long research trip to Madagascar, the mathematician Ingrid Daubechies bought a 50-inch flat-screen TV for her husband, so he could invite friends over to watch Premier League soccer games. After setting it up, the couple turned on a match, and while Daubechies’ husband, the mathematician and electrical engineer Robert Calderbank, became transfixed by the action, she got distracted. “Oh, wow!” she said. “They use wavelets!”

Wavelets are versatile mathematical tools that can be thought of as a zoom lens, making it possible to spotlight the information that matters most in an image. The telltale signs of wavelets that Daubechies spotted were on the field, pixelating at larger scales, producing a fuzzy patchwork of green. “Look here,” she exclaimed. “You can see artifacts in the grass.”

“Yes, yes,” Calderbank replied. “Who cares about the grass?” He just wanted to watch the game.

A professor at Duke University, in Durham, N.C., Daubechies’ métier is figuring out optimal ways to represent and analyze images and information. The great mathematical discovery of her early career, made in 1987 when she was 33, was the “Daubechies wavelet.” Her work, together with further wavelet developments, was instrumental to the invention of image-compression algorithms, like the JPEG2000, that pervade the digital age. “Mathematical caricature” is how Daubechies sometimes describes the way digital images strive to capture our reality with exaggerated simplifications, reducing what we see in the world to its essential features through pixel proxies and other mathematical manipulations. Wavelets can enable computers to provide greater resolution — functioning, in a sense, as human eyes naturally do, seeing more detail at the focal point and leaving the rest of the view comparatively blurry. (Daubechies, it might be worth noting, has a lazy right eye, and her left eye isn’t great, either.)


Senate Republicans vow to again sabotage government rather than play any role in governing

The nation is now used to seeing political standoffs whenever the time again comes to raise the now-infamous "debt ceiling." The nation is also generally aware of the dynamic that plays out each time the United States needs to raise the artificially set debt cap in order to keep paying the bills that Congress itself ordered the nation to pay: During times of Republican governance, Republicans hand out tax cuts to whoever the steady rotation of lobbyists in their offices tell them to, draining federal coffers. During times of Democratic governance, Republicans scream loudly about the money being spent on Actual Things, proclaim themselves outraged at federal deficits, and vow that they will absolutely not be a part of this fine mess that their yesterday selves got us into.

I'm not sure there's been any past Republican effort as lazily nihilistic as the one that's currently forming, however. The seemingly unanimous take of Senate Republicans, as guided by (of course) Sen. Mitch McConnell, is that the debt ceiling of course needs to be raised as rote responsibility of government—and that Republicans will absolutely block attempts all attempts to do so so that Democrats have to do it without them.

It's not a "we must reduce the debt" stance. It's not an attempt to play chicken with the nation's credit rating or an attempt to shut down government this time around. The Republican position this time is that while this paperwork may be a necessary part of government, it's better for Republicans to not do that governing so they're just ... not going to.

On Tuesday, Sen. McConnell turtled to reporters that Senate Republicans were "united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling." Party cranks had previously promised to filibuster any legislation raising the ceiling, thus cutting off both the notion that the ceiling could be raised with Republican votes and the ability of Senate Democrats to even bring such a bill for a vote.


Larry Elder Claims Widespread Evidence of Him Losing

SACRAMENTO, California (The Borowitz Report)—After the polls closed in California’s recall election, the G.O.P. candidate Larry Elder claimed that there was “widespread evidence” of him losing to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Detailing his accusations, Elder alleged a “vast conspiracy” involving millions of Californians, designed to deny him a victory.

“I had people stationed at polling places across the state and they came back with truly shocking reports of people voting for Newsom,” he said. “Now, lo and behold, Newsom is being declared the winner. Coincidence? I don’t think so.”

Seeking a remedy for what he called “one of the most blatant cases of someone losing in California history,” Elder has retained the legal services of the former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The two men are scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday in Santa Monica, at Shutters on the Beach Total Landscaping.

Though Elder is playing his cards close to the vest, one remedy reportedly under discussion is a campaign to recall all ten million of the state’s Democratic voters.


Trump Calls Allies to Demand Gen. Mark Milley Be 'Arrested' for 'Treason'

The former president hit the phones, and then went on his former press secretary’s Newsmax show to make the case himself.

In the afternoon hours on Tuesday, following reports that then-President Donald Trump’s top military adviser had formulated secret plans in case the commander in chief went “rogue” after the Jan. 6 riot, the ex-president picked up the phone and rang up several close associates and TV-prone political allies. According to two people familiar with the matter, the twice-impeached former president was sounding testy and had a simple request:

He wanted his prominent supporters to go on television and in public this week to declare that Gen. Mark Milley should be “arrested” for “treason.”

They followed his orders as various MAGA-faithful pundits and Trumpy candidates—including Ohio U.S Senate candidate Josh Mandel, Trump-aligned TPUSA frontman Charlie Kirk, and several former Trump officials—dutifully echoed the “treason” charge on social media.

And by Tuesday evening, the twice-impeached former U.S. president was on a Newsmax show co-hosted by his former White House using the T-word.

“I've had so many calls today saying that's treason,” Trump told Newsmax hosts Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith. Later in the evening, the former president released a written statement through his office, calling him “‘Dumbass’ General Mark Milley,” adding that if the reporting is accurate, “I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President’s back and telling China that he would be giving them notification ‘of an attack.’”


Police Officer's Wife Still Dreads Getting Phone Call That Her Husband Has Been Vaccinated

NEW YORK—Admitting that she experiences a small jolt of terror even after all these months, wife of NYPD officer Mark Cady, told reporters Tuesday that she still dreads someday getting a phone call that her husband has been vaccinated.

“Obviously, Mark has promised me that he’ll take every precaution to prevent against something like this when he’s out there, but still, whenever the phone rings I can’t help but brace myself to hear a Walgreens recording informing me that his first inoculation has been implemented and he will receive a reminder in two weeks about his second shot,” said Melissa Cady, wiping tears from her eyes at the very thought of seeing her beloved husband lying there experiencing chills, nausea, and other vaccine side effects.

“I know I’m being a little silly—in the grand scheme of things, there are so few officers that are inoculated against Covid that I know it’s probably not going to happen—but still, there’s always the possibility that some suspicious, untested vaccine will make its way into his bloodstream. Jesus, if that day ever comes, I just don’t know how I could possibly explain it to our four children.”

At press time, Cady had sunk to the floor in despair after receiving word that in the course of investigating a robbery, her husband’s face had been completely covered by an N95 mask.

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