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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Southwestern PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Washington, DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 43,630

About Me

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

Journal Archives

After months of trolling Trump, Merriam-Webster has no words about covfefe

When President Trump posted a misspelled “unpresidented” tweet, Merriam-Webster tweeted a definition of “huh.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump said it was a great “honer” to win a February 2016 debate. So Merriam-Webster defined that word as “one that hones.”

When Trump called Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) a “leightweight chocker,” the dictionary mocked him by trying to define the two misspelled words. For “leightweight,” Merriam-Webster said, “We have no. idea.” For “chocker,” — well, how do you define “nope”?

Merriam-Webster has gained online fame for trolling Trump (as a candidate and as president). Its use of wit and humor has earned it nearly half a million followers — up from about 180,000 when its social-media strategy was confined to a “Word of the Day” tweet in the morning and a quiz in the afternoon. Now, Trump-trolling tweets immediately go viral, including the most recent one in response to the president's confusing midnight tweet: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”

Whoever was handling Merriam-Webster's Twitter account apparently woke up in the wee hours of Wednesday and checked Twitter. This time, though, the dictionary didn't jab at Trump. No correction of the confusing word. No definition of “huh” or “nope.”

Its response was, essentially, no response.


more at link:


The GOP's Stealth War Against Voters

Will an anti-voter-fraud program designed by one of Trump's advisers deny tens of thousands their right to vote in November?

The Crosscheck program is a response to the imaginary menace of mass voter fraud.

When Donald Trump claimed, "the election's going to be rigged," he wasn't entirely wrong. But the threat was not, as Trump warned, from Americans committing the crime of "voting many, many times." What's far more likely to undermine democracy in November is the culmination of a decade-long Republican effort to disenfranchise voters under the guise of battling voter fraud. The latest tool: Election officials in more than two dozen states have compiled lists of citizens whom they allege could be registered in more than one state – thus potentially able to cast multiple ballots – and eligible to be purged from the voter rolls.

The data is processed through a system called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which is being promoted by a powerful Republican operative, and its lists of potential duplicate voters are kept confidential. But Rolling Stone obtained a portion of the list and the names of 1 million targeted voters. According to our analysis, the Crosscheck list disproportionately threatens solid Democratic constituencies: young, black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters – with some of the biggest possible purges underway in Ohio and North Carolina, two crucial swing states with tight Senate races.

Like all weapons of vote suppression, Crosscheck is a response to the imaginary menace of mass voter fraud. In the mid-2000s, after the Florida-recount debacle, the Bush administration launched a five-year investigation into the allegedly rampant crime but found scant evidence of wrongdoing. Still, the GOP has perpetuated the myth in every national election since. Recently, North Carolina Board of Elections chief Kim Strach testified to her legislature that 35,750 voters are "registered in North Carolina and another state and voted in both in the 2012 general election." [Editor’s note: This quote was taken from the power point that accompanied Strach’s testimony. In a subsequent letter, she informed us that during her presentation she "stressed that we were not suggesting that 35,750 voters had committed any type of fraud. My testimony was that the data we received from the Crosscheck Program showed that in the 2012 general election, there were 35,750 people who voted in North Carolina whose first and last names and dates of birth matched persons who voted in the same election in another state.”] Yet despite hiring an ex-FBI agent to lead the hunt, the state has charged exactly zero double voters from the Crosscheck list. Nevertheless, tens of thousands face the loss of their ability to vote – all for the sake of preventing a crime that rarely happens. So far, Crosscheck has tagged an astonishing 7.2 million suspects, yet we found no more than four perpetrators who have been charged with double voting or deliberate double registration.

On its surface, Crosscheck seems quite reasonable. Twenty-eight participating states share their voter lists and, in the name of dispassionate, race-blind Big Data, seek to ensure the rolls are up to date. To make sure the system finds suspect voters, Crosscheck supposedly matches first, middle and last name, plus birth date, and provides the last four digits of a Social Security number for additional verification.

In reality, however, there have been signs that the program doesn't operate as advertised. Some states have dropped out of Crosscheck, citing problems with its methodology, as Oregon's secretary of state recently explained: "We left [Crosscheck] because the data we received was unreliable."


It's from last year but it's new to me so I wanted to share. Our party is doing something about this but we need to do more. https://www.democrats.org/issues/voting-rights

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Most Inspiring Speech (Motivation)

As opposed to "I got mine because I'm the greatest winner of all, screw everyone else you sad snowflakes" . -Trump (probably in his mind)

Black Voters Arent Turning Out For The Post-Obama Democratic Party

The special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is the first major test of the Democratic resistance to President Trump. In one sense, the results of the first round in April were promising for the party. Thanks to an impressive Democratic turnout, Jon Ossoff, the Democrat who advanced to this month’s runoff, almost cracked 50 percent of the vote in a district that’s nearly 10 percentage points more Republican than the nation as a whole.1

The result, moreover, was a reversal of some turnout trends we saw in 2016, when President Trump outperformed the polls on the back of higher turnout in Republican-leaning areas. And if the runoff election on June 20 features a similar electorate, the race will be too close to call.

But the Georgia 6 April primary was a continuation of some 2016 turnout trends too — trends that should worry Democrats. In 2016, turnout among whites was up across the country, and in highly educated areas like the 6th District in the suburbs of Atlanta. This redounded to Democrats’ advantage. At the same time, black turnout was down precipitously, from 66 percent in 2012 to 59 percent in 2016. This black-white turnout gap continued in the first round of Georgia’s special election, where the Democrats got impressive turnout levels from all races and ethnicities — except African-Americans.

Lower black turnout in 2016 might be explained as a reversion to the mean after that group’s historic turnout for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. It’s possible that Clinton could never inspire black turnout the way the first African-American president could. But even if this shift is more of a return to the old status quo, Democrats will still have to grapple with these turnout levels going forward, and there are powerful lessons we can learn from the party’s failure to raise or maintain previous black turnout levels in 2016. Painting Trump as a bigot did not motivate more African-Americans to vote, in 2016 or in the Georgia 6th. Hope and shared identity seem to be much more effective turnout motivators than fear.

Elections are decided by two chief factors: Who turns out and which candidate they vote for. It’s been pointed out that turnout alone did not decide the 2016 election — and that the key factor in Trump’s success with groups like the white working class was not that he got way more of them to the polls than Mitt Romney did, but simply that he won a much higher share of their votes.


Latinos are not as Dem-leaning as African-Americans. We have our work cut out for us on inspiring turnout. It's not just the voter suppression. It's not just the threat of Trump destroying our country. It's the challenge of inspiring people to take the time and effort to vote for our candidates.

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that the opinion piece was written by a GOP operative with a very different agenda. Take what you want with a grain of salt, but we still need to make sure that our people want to vote, and are not denied the right to vote. Our party has work to do to fight voter suppression tactics and to inspire our people to vote for our candidates.

Cleveland Police Department Fires Officer in Tamir Rice Shooting

Source: The Atlantic

The Cleveland Police Department announced Tuesday it had fired Officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014.

The decision comes more than a year after the city of Cleveland said it would pay Rice’s family $6 million to settle a civil lawsuit. As my colleague David Graham wrote at the time, the size of the settlement, which came months after a Cleveland grand jury declined to indict Loehman, was unusually large. Here’s more:

The size of the settlement may reflect in part the circumstances of Rice’s death. Video of an unarmed black boy being gunned down by police just seconds after they arrived on the scene sparked national horror. (Rice had been holding an Airsoft gun.) As more information about Rice’s killing emerged, it added fuel to the outrage. The officers on the scene, Loehmann and Frank Garmback, hadn’t delivered first aid, a role left to an FBI officer who happened to be nearby. Rice’s sister was kept from running to her wounded brother. Damaging revelations about Loehmann’s prior police career added to the fury. He had resigned from another Northeast Ohio department after a bad performance review, and had been rejected by other area departments, information the Cleveland department apparently did not turn up.

This is a developing story and we’ll update it as we learn more.

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/05/tamir-rice-officer-fired/528522/

Texas Lawmaker Threatens to Shoot Colleague After Reporting Protesters to ICE

A Texas state representative, referring to protesters at the State Capitol on Monday, said he reported “several illegal immigrants” to federal immigration authorities and then threatened to shoot a fellow lawmaker who objected.

The chaotic scene erupted around 11 a.m. on the last day of a particularly bitter legislative session in Austin, when demonstrators in the gallery of the House Chamber began chanting in opposition to a new law that bans so-called sanctuary cities. On the House floor, Representative Matt Rinaldi, a Republican, then turned to several Democratic lawmakers and told them he had reported the people to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

One of the Democrats, Representative César J. Blanco, said that Mr. Rinaldi told him and others, “We are going to have them deported,” and then used an obscenity.

“We were in shock,” Mr. Blanco said. “He assumed that because they were brown, in the gallery and protesting that they were here illegally.” The exchange led to a confrontation among lawmakers, with some pushing and pointing at one another. Some legislators had to be restrained. Mr. Rinaldi got into a face-to-face argument with Representative Poncho Nevárez, a Democrat, and threatened to shoot him.

“I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self-defense,” Mr. Rinaldi, who represents part of Dallas County in North Texas, wrote in a Facebook post.

Other lawmakers said Mr. Rinaldi was more pointed in the threat to Mr. Nevárez, who represents Eagle Pass, a city on the Texas-Mexico border. “There was a threat made from Rinaldi to put a bullet in one of my colleagues’ heads,” Representative Justin Rodriguez, a Democrat, said at a news conference, according to The Texas Observer.


Oh yes, brown people must be immigrants and must be undocumented. Because it's not about race... Every problem has a second amendment solution...to a psychopath.

Gay son of Indian immigrant likely to be Ireland's next leader

(CNN)He was 22 when he entered Irish politics. At 27, he was elected to parliament. At 36, he publicly came out as gay. And now, at 38, Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian immigrant father and an Irish mother, appears on course to become Ireland's next prime minister.

The young Dubliner, currently serving as Ireland's Minister for Social Protection, announced his campaign to succeed Taoiseach Enda Kenny, prime minister since 2011 and leader of the ruling Fine Gael party since 2002, shortly after Kenny announced he would be stepping down earlier this month.

Varadkar's only opponent is Housing Minister Simon Coveney, who hails from a family of Fine Gael stalwarts. While Coveney appeals to the party's more conservative membership outside of the capital city, many see Varadkar as a fresh face for urban voters while still appealing to the party's rural base.

Varadkar has managed to shore up the support of many of his fellow Fine Gael parliamentary members, whose say counts for 65% of the final vote; the party members and local politicians make up the other 35%. A decision is expected by June 2.


Angela Merkel Drinking Beer After Shading Trump Is The Most German Thing Ever

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent Friday and Saturday at the G7 in Italy, battling President Trump on issues of climate change, trade, and refugees.

Then she came home and told everyone on Sunday that Germany could basically no longer fully rely on Trump's America and post-Brexit UK.

Then she had a beer.


Like a boss!

I like a leader who can drink a real beer, and full liter of it!

A Chinese company is offering free training for US coal miners to become wind farmers

If you want to truly understand what’s happening in the energy industry, the best thing to do is to travel deep into the heart of American coal country, to Carbon County, Wyoming (yes, that’s a real place).

The state produces most coal in the US, and Carbon County has long been known (and was named) for its extensive coal deposits. But the state’s mines have been shuttering over the past few years, causing hundreds of people to lose their jobs in 2016 alone. Now, these coal miners are finding hope, offered from an unlikely place: a Chinese wind-turbine maker wants to retrain these American workers to become wind-farm technicians. It’s the perfect metaphor for the massive shift happening in the global energy markets.

The news comes from an energy conference in Wyoming, where the American arm of Goldwind, a Chinese wind-turbine manufacturer, announced the free training program. More than a century ago, Carbon County was home to the first coal mine in Wyoming. Soon, it will be the site of a new wind farm with hundreds of Goldwind-supplied turbines.

Goldwind sees the ex-miners as a font of the sort of technical knowledge—mechanical and electrical engineering, on par—with the experience of working in difficult conditions required to run and maintain a wind farm. Adapting coal-mining skills to wind farming seemed a natural fit. “If we can tap into that market and also help out folks that might be experiencing some challenges in the workforce today, I think that it can be a win-win situation,” David Halligan, chief executive of Goldwind Americas, told the New York Times.

The loss of coal jobs, in Wyoming and across the country, can be attributed partly to increasing mechanization and partly to the falling demand for coal. Despite Trump’s promise to bring back coal jobs, the department of labor reports that in the first quarter of 2017, there were 8% fewer coal jobs (more than 6,000 positions) compared to the same period the year before.

As the US’s largest coal supplier, Wyoming has to date resisted the rise of renewable energy—despite having some of the highest annual wind speeds and lowest population densities in the country, making it ideal for wind-farming. In fact, Wyoming is the only state in the US that levies taxes on wind-energy generation, a policy that’s scared away wind-farm developers, despite the billions of federal subsidy dollars available for them. But opportunities like the Goldwind project—while unlikely to absorb all coal miners who have lost their jobs—may change the narrative in Wyoming, so that it looks more like the one the world’s bought into.


Maybe Trump will have coal miners build the wall and have Mexico pay for it right after his super secret plan to defeat ISIS. Send natural gas back where it came from. Build a wall to keep out fracking.

Retraining for other skilled trade jobs is the way to do it. Coal jobs are never coming back.

Why this photo of political spouses and partners is making waves

(CNN)What's the first thing you noticed about this picture of political spouses and partners, other than Melania Trump's continued mastery of the color black?

It's probably the man in the back row, standing out against the nine women pictured. That's Gauthier Destenay, the First Gentleman of Luxembourg and the husband of the world's only acting openly gay prime minister.

Destenay and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel wed in 2015, right after Luxembourg legalized gay marriage. When Bettel won the Prime Ministership in 2013, he was already in a civil partnership with Destenay and their sexualities were not a secret.

To be clear, Bettel isn't the only gay prime minister ever, just the only one in office right now. Former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurõardóttir were both public about their sexualities.

Can you name the rest of the people in this photograph? We'll help you out:

First row: First Lady of France Brigitte Macron, First Lady of Turkey Emine Gulbaran Erdogan, First Lady of the US Melania Trump, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg's partner Ingrid Schulerud, Partner of Bulgaria's President Desislava Radeva, partner of Belgium's Prime Minister Amelie Derbaudrenghien

Second row: First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, partner of Slovenia's Prime Minister Mojca Stropnik, and First Lady of Iceland Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir.


I was expecting more men in this photo. There are a lot of female leaders in Europe.
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