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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 142,512

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Texas' election chief denies mistakes over noncitizen list

Source: Associated Press

Updated 5:12 pm CST, Tuesday, February 5, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' election chief denies his office made mistakes over a list of 95,000 voters whose U.S. citizenship was called into question but included thousands of wrongly flagged names.

Secretary of State David Whitley is expected to publicly address the backlash surrounding Texas' efforts to find noncitizens on voter rolls for the first time during his confirmation hearing this week.

On Tuesday, Whitley attended the State of the State address of his former boss, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Asked by a reporter if his office made any mistakes, Whitley said no but declined further comment.

Texas officials say they matched registered voters against records of noncitizens with state IDs. But county officials say that list included scores of voters who legally cast ballots after becoming citizens.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Texas-election-chief-denies-mistakes-over-13592095.php


Incendiary claims by the Texas secretary of state that 95,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in Texas are already being quietly walked back by Texas state officials, who made headlines with what appear to be poorly documented charges. Already, some counties have been informed that some, perhaps thousands, of registered voters deemed ineligible to vote were wrongly flagged as potential noncitizens. The state also faces at least one lawsuit from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), charging state officials with voter intimidation.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley (R) initially claimed to have found 95,000 possible noncitizens registered to vote statewide, some 58,000 of whom have cast a ballot at some point since 1996. State officials issued an advisory last week that advises local election officials to verify the names that fall in their jurisdictions.

. . .

“It’s a lot of what appears to be baseless claims and stoking the voter fraud fears,” Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of the progressive group Common Cause Texas told WhoWhatWhy. “There is no evidence of anything despite the tweets we saw from our president.”

President Donald Trump was quick to publicize the story on Twitter and use it as a strategy to promote stronger voter ID laws.

. . .


Officials: Student posts racial slur after basketball loss

Source: Associated Press

Updated 5:48 pm CST, Tuesday, February 5, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — School officials say a Maryland high school student used a racist slur in a social media message after his school's basketball team lost to a team comprised mostly of black players.

The Capitol Gazette reports a letter sent to parents of students at Broadneck High School informed them of the Snapchat message which features a photo of a student and a caption that officials say was aimed at Annapolis High School players.

Broadneck Principal Jim Todd called the post "deplorable." Todd promised the school would discipline the student, but privacy laws prevent public disclosure of the punishment.

The Caucus of African American Leaders says it will urge the local school board to pass a policy requiring all high school students to take a course on diversity and inclusion before they graduate.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/education/article/Officials-Student-posts-racial-slur-after-13592237.php

(Short article, no more at link.)

OJ Simpson warns his 'buddy' Donald Trump about impeachment -- and Roger Stone

05 FEB 2019 AT 20:11 ET

Former NFL running back and convicted felon O.J. Simpson warned his “buddy” Donald Trump about impeachment on Tuesday.

TMZ caught up with the Heisman Trophy winner, who infamously stood trial for the murder of his ex-wife.

“What do you think about your buddy’s State of the Union tonight?” TMZ asked.

“Donald is a buddy, he’s a fun guy, but I don’t know the president,” Simpson replied. “I knew Donald — he was a fun guy — I don’t know the president.”


'Colombia's power brokers also behind mass killings of social leaders'

by Adriaan Alsema February 4, 2019

Elites that have traditionally maneuvered between Colombia’s legal and illegal economies are behind many of the killings of the country’s social leaders, according to a leading judicial expert.

Camilo Bonilla of the Colombian Commission of Jurists led a group of 11 organizations that analyzed the staggering increase in homicides and came to the conclusion that masterminding many of the killings are “individuals and families belonging to certain sectors of political and economic power who have historically passed between legality and illegality and who feel their privileged position threatened, and therefore turn to armed groups to maintain that position,” he told newspaper El Espectador.

According to Bonilla, the 2016 peace deal between the FARC and the State threaten the interests of families and clans that have long been obtaining power through both legal and illegal means.

. . .

The judicial expert compared today’s violence targeting social leaders is similar to what happened in Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s when paramilitary groups, supported by ranchers, businessmen and Colombia’s so-called “narco-elite” all but exterminated the leftist Patriotic Union party.


Venezuela Coup Attempt Part of US Plan to Remake Latin America

Posted on January 31, 2019 by Yves Smith

The Wall Street Journal has just published an important, disheartening story, U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America. The Trump Administration has apparently decided to embark on a large-scale interventionist campaign to reverse supposed undue influence of Russia, China, and Iran in Latin America. Venezuela and Cuba are the first targets, and Nicaragua is next on the list. John Bolton, in too obvious a nod to Bush’s “axis of evil” has called them the “troika of tyranny”.

One would think the fact that our “remake the world in our image” plans worked out so well in the Middle East might curb US adventurism. And it isn’t just that we made a mess of Iraq, failed to break Iran, and failed to install new regimes in Afghanistan and Syria. The New American Century types are deep in denial that this geopolitical tussle not only cost the US greatly in terms of treasure, but it also wound up considerably enhancing Russia’s standing.

Consider another bad outcome from US war-making in the Middle East: the rise of the radical right in Europe. American nation-breaking had produced a flood of refugees trying to enter Europe. In a misguided show of humanitarianism, European countries welcomed the over one million migrants that arrived in 2015, with the upsurge due mainly to the civil war in Syria. Angela Merkel in particular backed the idea of taking in the refugees, in part because German has a lower-than-replacement birth rate, and Syrian has a high level of public education. However, the EU members had patchy and generally poor programs for helping the migrants assimilate and find jobs. The result was what one hard core left wing political scientist who has spent a considerable amount of time in Germany calls “Merkelization”: a rise of nativist right wing parties like AfD in response to large-scale, poorly-managed migrant inflows.

Consider how this tendency might play into US nation-breaking near our borer. Many readers have pointed out that the “caravans” from Central America are heavily populated with people from countries like Honduras that our tender ministrations have made much worse. My colleague was warning of Merkelization of the US even before the US launched its coup attempt, that it is one thing to have an immigration process that is generous towards asylum-seekers, and quite another to have open borders when political and economic conditions in countries to the South are unlikely to get better.


An American 'crypto-anarchist' fled the country. He was just killed in Mexico's 'murder capital.'

Source: Washington Post

Isaac Stanley-Becker 8 hrs ago

Bathed in the sunlight of Mexico’s dry season, his dreadlocks tumbling down his back, a man who went by the name “John Galton,” an apparent nod to the hero of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged," observed almost two years ago, “There’s pockets of freedom all over the world if you’re willing to live in freedom.”

Galton paid a high price for that freedom. He was gunned down Friday by a band of men who stormed his home in Acapulco, where he and his girlfriend had found safe haven from drug charges in the United States, as they explained in a March 2017 video interview with the conspiracy site Press for Truth.

Joining a community of like-minded expatriates, Galton had sought to build a life as a self-made man. He advocated drug liberalization and taught classes on cryptocurrencies. He was set to be featured in a documentary called “Stateless.”

He envisioned himself as a prophet of American entrepreneurship — but freed from the constraints of the American nation-state.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/an-american-crypto-anarchist-fled-the-country-he-was-just-killed-in-mexicos-murder-capital/ar-BBT9z5e?li=BBnb7Kz

Magnetic north just changed. Here's what that means.

National Geographic:

Magnetic north just changed. Here's what that means.
Maya Wei-Haas 10 hrs ago

Magnetic north has never sat still. In the last hundred years or so, the direction in which our compasses steadfastly point has lumbered ever northward, driven by Earth's churning liquid outer core some 1,800 miles beneath the surface. Yet in recent years, scientists noticed something unusual: Magnetic north's routine plod has shifted into high gear, sending it galloping across the Northern Hemisphere—and no one can entirely explain why.

The changes have been so large that scientists began working on an emergency update for the World Magnetic Model, the mathematical system that lays the foundations for navigation, from cell phones and ships to commercial airlines. But then the U.S. government shut down, placing the model's official release on hold, as Nature News first reported earlier this year.

Now, the wait for a new north is over. The World Magnetic Model update was officially released on Monday, and magnetic north can again be precisely located for people around the world.

Questions still likely abound: Why is magnetic north changing so fast? What were the impacts of the update's delay? Was there really a geologic reason Google maps sent me off course? We've got you covered.


White House Memo: Trump Once Said Power Was About Instilling Fear. In That Case, He Should Be Worrie

New York Times:

White House Memo: Trump Once Said Power Was About Instilling Fear. In That Case, He Should Be Worried.

WASHINGTON — Richard M. Nixon once said, “People react to fear, not love; they don’t teach that in Sunday school, but it’s true.”

No president since has deployed fear quite like Donald J. Trump. Whether it is the prospect of a crime wave at the border with Mexico or nuclear war with North Korea, President Trump has persuaded his supporters that there is plenty to fear beyond fear itself.

In an interview as a presidential candidate in 2016 with the author Bob Woodward, Mr. Trump said, “Real power is — I don’t even want to use the word — fear.”

As president, he initially tried to intimidate some of the nation’s strongest allies, including Canada, Mexico, Britain, France and Germany, in trade talks. He demanded political loyalty from Republicans in Congress and drove several who bucked him from office, notably Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake. But as his presidency enters its third year, a less convenient truth is emerging: Few outside the Republican Party are afraid of him, and they may be less intimidated after the disastrous government shutdown.


Scientists find unexpected ice age remnant in African desert

Duration: 00:44


Very short, but unexpected video at link.

Venezuela: Capitalist Success, Not Socialist Failure

by Michael K. Smith / January 29th, 2019

A “democratic” U.S. government legally elected by a minority of the vote is now calling for democracy in Venezuela by attempting to overthrow its government, which was recently elected by a more than two-thirds vote after a highly-fragmented political opposition abstained from participation (on U.S. instructions) because it lacked popular support and felt that it was unlikely to win. The point man for the regime change operation is Elliott Abrams, whose biography tells us everything we need to know to evaluate the alleged democratic intentions of the Trump administration.

A fire-breathing fanatic for imperial Israel who championed the invasion and destruction of Iraq, Abrams was formerly Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights for the Reagan administration, and famously called U.S./Salvadorean death-squad operations that produced tens of thousands of mutilated civilian corpses (1979-1994) a “fabulous achievement.” He also claimed that the Nicaraguan contras, famous for torture, rape, and murder in a campaign to overthrow the socialist government of Nicaragua, would one day be fondly remembered as “folk heroes.” Today he is a member of the board of directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, which was created to be a continuation of CIA skullduggery by other means, and currently finances Washington’s destabilization efforts not only in Venezuela, but also in Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Cuba. Convicted of lying to Congress about Iran-Contra, Abrams called his prosecutors “filthy bastards,” dismissed the proceedings as “Kafkaesque,” and denounced the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee as “pious clowns.” After hearing Abrams’ testimony, then Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton expressed a common reaction: “I want to puke.”

So much for Washington seeking democracy, as though we didn’t already know. For the plain fact is that there is more democracy in Venezuela now, where members of the vast poor majority can be routinely found in animated political discussion of the events that shape their lives, than there has ever been in the United States, where the poor are deliberately excluded from representation or even consideration, and have therefore long since dismissed politics as a sensible concern.

But if not democracy, what then is the U.S.’s motivation in Venezuela? Well, Venezuela has large gold and nickel reserves, along with the largest oil supply in the world. Gaining control of such resources is an attractive prospect for any U.S. president, but especially for one under siege from multiple investigations and constant media questioning of his legitimacy. Making America great again by plundering Venezuela oil supplies would be an imperial achievement that the entire U.S. political class would admire. Witness Nancy Pelosi reaching across the aisle to tweet support for the coup right off the bat, to wit: “America stands by the people of #Venezuela as they rise up against authoritarian rule and demand respect for human rights and democracy.” Who says Trump and the Democrats can’t get along?

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