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Member since: Tue Oct 14, 2003, 04:09 AM
Number of posts: 8,589

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This Is What the First Hours of a Near-Total Ban on Abortion Look Like

This Is What the First Hours of a Near-Total Ban on Abortion Look Like

The Texas law SB 8 will force abortion clinics in the state to turn away about 80 percent of all patients.
By Amy LittlefieldTODAY 11:56 AM

Like many abortion activists in Texas, Amanda Beatriz Williams stayed up most of the night on Tuesday and awoke to a terrifying silence.

Her organization, the Lilith Fund, helps people pay for abortions in Texas. On a typical shift, they hear from between 30 and 50 people. On Wednesday, as a near-total ban forced clinics across the state to stop providing most abortions, the fund heard from fewer than 10.

“This is a huge drop in the number of people that we normally hear from and that just tells us that those people are out there, pregnant against their will,” Williams said. “It is absolutely devastating.” As she speaks, Williams breaks down into sobs.

The law, Senate Bill 8, bans abortion after embryonic cardiac activity can be detected, which usually happens between five and seven weeks after a woman’s last period, before many women know they’re pregnant, and before an embryo has developed anything resembling a heart. Experts have estimated that the ban will force Texas clinics to turn away about 80 percent of all patients. It deputizes any private citizen to enforce the law by filing suit against anyone who “aids and abets” in a banned abortion, a definition so sprawling, opponents warn, it could apply to a patient’s friend or spouse, the Uber driver who takes them to the clinic, or a donor who writes a check to an abortion fund. Those who sue have an incentive; they can win at least $10,000 per abortion and even if they lose, the person they sued will still have to pay their own legal fees. Clinics and grassroots activists like Williams had hoped for a last-minute reprieve from the Supreme Court after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit canceled a lower-court hearing on a challenge to the ban. But the Supreme Court failed to act and then, late Wednesday night, denied an emergency request to block the ban.


Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Sep 2, 2021, 01:46 PM (4 replies)

A Trip Inside Omega Mart at Las Vegas, Nevada

A Trip Inside Omega Mart at Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas has always had a reputation for pushing and breaking boundaries, for stretching the possibilities of what you can legally experience in America. If that can be done in Las Vegas with gambling and other forms of entertainment, why not an immersive art experience? That is the challenge that Meow Wolf, an arts collective based in Santa Fe, rose to when they opened Omega Mart at Area 15 in Las Vegas in February 2021. Neek, Sar and I couldn’t wait to discover what it was all about!

Posted by robertpaulsen | Sat Aug 7, 2021, 07:05 PM (1 replies)

Remember what happened 20 years ago today? We shouldn't forget.

Transcript: Bin Laden determined to strike in US

The following is a transcript of the August 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing entitled Bin Laden determined to strike in US. Parts of the original document were not made public by the White House for security reasons.

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a -- -- service.


Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.


Bush knew what was coming down 20 years ago today and, much like Trump with COVID-19, sat on his ass and let hell rain down on the country he was supposed to be protecting.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Aug 6, 2021, 02:39 PM (38 replies)

Fallout for Trump's political targeting: Top DOJ appointee to resign, AG Garland announces probe

Source: Salon

The Justice Department's top national security official, John Demers, is reportedly resigning amid the torrent of revelations surrounding the agency's forceful seizure of phone data from House Democrats during the Trump administration. Demers, a Trump appointee, was the longest-serving official at the Department of Justice from the previous administration.

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the Trump Justice Department undertook an extensive investigation in 2017 and 2018 into at least a dozen members of the House Intelligence Committee, subpoenaing their computer and phone records from Apple and Microsoft, both of whom were put under a gag order, which prevented the companies from speaking out. According to CNN, the agency demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses specifically from Apple.

The probes apparently sought to root out the source of confidential information leaks regarding potential communications between Trump officials and Russia in advance of the 2016 general election. Some have speculated that the probe aimed to snuff out lawmakers who may have fed information to the press regarding Trump-Russia collusion.

The slow trickle of truth surrounding the probe has sparked outrage amongst Democratic lawmakers.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fallout-for-trump-s-political-targeting-top-doj-appointee-to-resign-ag-garland-announces-probe/ar-AAL2bSf?ocid=entnewsntp
Posted by robertpaulsen | Mon Jun 14, 2021, 02:55 PM (18 replies)

The Paradoxical Politics of the GameStop Pump

The Paradoxical Politics of the GameStop Pump

r/WallStreetBets and the double-edged sword of a self-aware Internet.

By Ryan Broderick

We are now barreling into our third week of financial meme hell. Video game retailer GameStop’s stock rose over 1,000 percent after it was championed by the r/WallStreetBets subreddit. The stock fell 30 percent on Monday, however, leading many to believe a crash may be imminent.

What started as a half-serious Reddit campaign to rally around GameStop has ballooned into something much larger. Is this Occupy Wall Street 2? Or is this a second Gamergate? Are the Redditors that are leading the movement right now populist heroes? Or is this, as Elizabeth Warren has suggested, just a psychotic Internet casino that is tearing the fabric of society apart?

What can’t be denied is that a Reddit community was able to harness its scale to bend the market to its will. That’s a genie you can’t put back in the bottle.

r/WallStreetBets is a 7 million-strong subreddit for stock traders. It was created in 2012 by a banking technology consultant named Jaime Rogozinski. Its users—who commonly refer to themselves as “retarded degenerates”—bond over edgy memes, insane bets, idiotic financial trolling, and sharing what they call “loss porn”—screenshots of their tremendous losses. To get a sense of where the community’s values lie, Martin Shkreli—the former hedge fund manager who became a target for public hatred when, as CEO of a pharmaceutical company, he jacked up the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, and was later convicted of fraud—was a frequent contributor. In a 2017 thread, a user asked the subreddit why they loved Shkreli so much.


Posted by robertpaulsen | Tue Feb 2, 2021, 06:49 PM (1 replies)

Has the FBI designated the Proud Boys as a domestic terror organization yet?

I think that official designation is well overdue.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Wed Jan 6, 2021, 06:30 PM (0 replies)

Zingers I would love Biden to fling at Dump

"His travel restrictions on China allowed 40,000 exceptions, including thousands direct from Wuhan. 40,000 people from an infected country is not a travel ban - it's a superspreader event!"

"The first broken promise of his campaign was built on a lie. We know it was a lie because five years later, Mexico still hasn't paid for it!"

Any others you want to hear tonight? The Rude Pundit came up with some good ones.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Tue Sep 29, 2020, 07:03 PM (13 replies)

Trump PANICKING, Accused of Laundering $170 Million

Trump PANICKING, Accused of Laundering $170 Million

David Pakman Show

--Donald Trump in a panic as the bombshell NYT taxes story joins the money laundering story, painting a grim picture of the financial situation for Trump, his business, and his campaign

Posted by robertpaulsen | Tue Sep 29, 2020, 06:34 PM (1 replies)

For a closing speech debate knockout, how about using Reagan's words to destroy Trump?

It was almost 40 years ago, October 28, 1980, that Reagan used the closing speech in a debate to frame a litany of complaints within the "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" context to draw contrast with President Carter. I think you could make the exact same argument and the impact is much worse against Trump, because he's a much worse president than Carter. Or Bush. Or Nixon. Maybe even Buchanan.

Here is a letter I sent to the Biden campaign with my recommendation:

Dear Team Biden,

We all see the polls tightening down to 4-10 percent undecided among registered and likely voters in swing states and across the nation. How best to guide them over to our side? I believe the best way is through the appeal of historical analogy as presented in this speech Joe Biden should give in the closing speech at one of the debates:

In October of 1980, Ronald Reagan stood before the nation and asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was; do you feel that our security is as safe, that we're as strong as we were four years ago?"

Today ... I don't even have to ask. You know we're worse off than we were four years ago! Four years ago, you didn't have to stand in line to get in a store, searching for items frequently out of stock or at inflated prices, then be notified when you're about to pay that there's a national coin shortage. Four years ago, we didn't have unemployment exceeding the Great Recession or a GDP drop that was the worst in modern American history. Four years ago, we didn't have other countries preventing Americans from traveling to visit them because our leadership failed to keep them safe from the worst pandemic in over 100 years. It didn't have to be this bad.

I'm offering you a better way. A way to build back better and give state, local and tribal governments the necessary aid to get COVID-19 under control; to safely restart the economy with millions of good paying jobs that prioritize American manufacturing and clean energy. That means corporate America paying their fair share so that small businesses can thrive and carry the economy forward. That means treating American workers and working families fairly and that women are treated as equals. Key to all this is advancing racial equity - working to close the racial wealth gap, enact police reform and criminal justice reform to undo the systemic racism that has plagued our quest to form a more perfect union. We can do this! If you want it - I ask for your vote.

Please disseminate this speech to the appropriate people so that once Vice President Biden delivers it, the millions of Americans still sitting on the fence might realize electing Biden is the only way to change how bad things are right now. I am an enthusiastic supporter, have donated and will vote for Joe Biden, but I am not seeking any recognition or compensation for this speech - feel free to take any snippet or the entirety of it. Whatever you feel can help Biden win - do it!

Robert Paulsen

Now I edited my list of just how bad things have become in the last four years to fit a closing debate speech. I think there's potentially a list long enough to talk about for hours. Feel free to list in the comments whatever you think is wrong now that wasn't four years ago. Just off the top of my head:

Four years ago...we didn't lock children in cages.

In any normal time, that would be enough to necessitate a one-term presidency.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Mon Sep 28, 2020, 07:44 PM (3 replies)

Is social distancing summer fun possible? We tried Downtown Disney and Knott's Marketplace!

It’s the middle of summer. The scorching heat of the southern California sun is driving us crazy. Our normal knee-jerk reaction would be to get out and have fun. But with social distancing measures still necessary in the middle of a pandemic, is fun still possible? Neek, Sar and I set out for Downtown Disney, determined to find out!

Posted by robertpaulsen | Tue Sep 1, 2020, 03:15 PM (5 replies)
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