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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 56,238

Journal Archives

BREAKING: Lawrence O'Donnell pulls back on Deutsche Bank-Russia story


Worth noting that no news outlet, including NBC, ran with this story.

Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Arrives In New York After Sailing The Atlantic

Source: NPR

After a two-week journey sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has arrived in New York. She tweeted Wednesday morning that she had anchored off Coney Island. After clearing customs and immigration, she is expected to come ashore in Manhattan in the afternoon.

Thunberg is in the U.S. for the United Nations Climate Action Summit and says she sailed to avoid the greenhouse gas emissions that come with flying on a commercial jet.

Thunberg says she first learned about climate change when she was 8 years old and became very concerned about the future of humanity. At age 11, she says she was depressed and stopped talking and eating.


Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/28/754818342/teen-climate-activist-greta-thunberg-arrives-in-new-york-after-sailing-the-atlan

Trump's Lawyer demands retraction on Trump-Russia-Deutsche Bank allegation


Boris Johnson Is Planning A Series Of Extreme Measures In The Coming Weeks To Force Through Brexit

Source: BuzzFeed News

Boris Johnson’s surprise move to ask the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the Brexit deadline on Oct. 31 is just the opening salvo of a meticulously constructed Downing Street strategy to eat up time and head off attempts by rebel MPs to block a no-deal exit, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

The prorogation of Parliament was described as “profoundly undemocratic” by former chancellor Philip Hammond and a “constitutional outrage” by Commons speaker John Bercow on Wednesday. That rebel anger is certain to rise if Number 10 implements a series of extreme measures to force through Brexit on Halloween, as the prime minister has repeatedly promised.

BuzzFeed News has learned that in the last few days, Johnson’s senior team — led by his chief of staff Dominic Cummings and director of legislative affairs Nikki da Costa — has explored a number of increasingly controversial proposals it could deploy depending on the success of rebel attempts to thwart Brexit. The ideas under consideration include the following:
-- Attempting to disrupt a Commons debate on Northern Ireland power-sharing due on Sept. 9, a day which could be used by rebels to attempt to delay Brexit. It is described by Johnson allies as a “time bomb” set for them in the final weeks of Theresa May’s premiership.
-- Determining whether Johnson would be breaking the law by ignoring any successful rebel legislation or refusing to resign in the event he lost a vote of no confidence.
-- Using a variety of mechanisms, including a potential budget, to create new Commons debates and further reduce time for rebels to act.
-- Using the prorogation of Parliament to “kill the bill” by rebel MPs and force them to table it again after the Queen’s Speech on Oct. 14.
-- Creating new bank holidays to prevent the House of Commons from being recalled during the prorogation period.
-- Filibustering any bill by rebel MPs attempting to force Johnson to delay Brexit when it reaches the House of Lords.
-- Ennobling new pro-Brexit peers as a last resort to kill any such bill in the Lords.
-- Exploring what the consequences would be if Johnson advised the Queen not to give royal assent to any legislation passed by Parliament delaying Brexit.

The measures were devised by the prime minister’s senior aides who have spent the summer in their Downing Street bunker war-gaming how to respond to potential parliamentary manoeuvres by MPs determined to block no deal. The rebels, by contrast, spent the August holidays debating whether they would back Ken Clarke as a potential caretaker prime minister in an unlikely government of national unity.

Read more: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/boris-johnson-brexit-extreme-measures

Kansas City Considers Doing Away with Transit Fares Citywide

Next City

It costs only $3 a day to “RideKC” buses to and from work. A monthly pass good for riding anywhere in Kansas City, Mo., and its neighboring communities in Missouri and Kansas costs $50. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but residents of the city’s poorer East Side say that’s a large enough sum to affect their ability to apply for and hold jobs if they don’t own a car.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority buses are seldom packed. Even at rush hour, many are less than full, and some buses run almost completely empty in the middle of the day. But in downtown, thousands of residents and visitors each month gladly hop on and off the Kansas City Streetcar Authority’s Main Street streetcar line. Cost to ride the streetcar: zero.

Put these facts together and it seems like it might be a good idea if public transit everywhere in Kansas City became free to use.

According to an article in The Pitch, the city’s alt-weekly, both City Hall and the KCATA think so. And both are working on a way to implement fare-free transit citywide. Should they succeed, it would make Kansas City the first sizable city in the U.S. to make all public transit free.

A basic model for free mass transit already exists in the city. The costs of operating the streetcar are covered entirely by sales and property taxes levied in a special taxing district that extends for about a half-mile on either side of its route. A similar mechanism covering a much larger district will finance a planned southward extension of the streetcar to the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Paying for the streetcar this way, it turned out, was more cost-effective than collecting fares from riders.

Italian parties agree to new coalition without far-right Salvini

Source: Axios

Italy's center-left Democratic Party (PD) and populist Five Star Movement said Wednesday they have agreed to form a coalition government, staving off new elections that appeared likely after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earlier this month, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party and perhaps the most popular politician in Italy, withdrew his support on Aug. 8 from the unlikely coalition he had formed with Five Star after the 2018 election. Salvini hoped fresh elections might allow him to become prime minister. Instead, his gamble has expelled his party out of power. Conte has agreed to stay on as prime minister of the new coalition, per BBC.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/italian-parties-agree-new-government-without-far-right-salvini-194092bc-9e8e-41cb-82fe-c70b8ff43b6d.html

So Italy goes from populist-right to populist-left.

Trump won't release peace plan before Israel's election

Source: Axios

President Trump has decided not to publish his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, or parts of it, before Israel's Sep. 17 elections, White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt said in a tweet.

Why it matters: Trump has spoken twice about this issue in the last 2 weeks, and he had raised the possibility the plan would be at least partially released before the elections. That could have had a big influence on the outcome of the elections and on the formation of the next governing coalition. The president and his Middle East “peace team," headed by Jared Kushner, had several discussions on this issue before deciding to wait, a White House official tells me.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/trump-middle-east-peace-plan-israeli-elections-4d6d2772-559b-4b5b-b18f-a83ac67ee897.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=organic

Per my DNC contacts...

If the debate field remains 10 or less, there will be one debate on Thursday, September 12. If there are more than 10, the field will be divided, and a second debate will be held on Friday, September 13.

Data Reveals Fox News Ad Inventory Plummeted During The Summer

Source: Digital News Daily

It may be coincidental with calls for an ad boycott surrounding prime-time star Tucker Carlson's statements that white supremacy is a "hoax," but Fox's ad inventory plummeted this summer, according to an analysis published by Wall Street equities firm UBS this week.

“Ad loads (i.e., commercial minutes per hour of programming) are still increasing for the majority of networks in our coverage,” UBS analyst Hodulik writes in the report sent to investors this week, noting, “Fox is the outlier as ad loads have fallen 8% [third quarter to date] at Fox News.”

Hodulik did not comment on the reason for Fox News “lower ad loads,” but said they have “offset some of the improved viewership performance” during the quarter for the cable news network.

Read more: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/339883/data-reveals-fox-news-ad-inventory-plummeted-durin.html?edition=115105

BREAKING: Stacey Abrams will NOT run for GA-SEN


prospects being mentioned:

Jason Carter
Dekalb County CEO Michael Thurmond

Also, some current candidates for Perdue's seat may switch.
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