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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,122

Journal Archives

Fifty Great Things Biden Has Accomplished in less than half a year in office

For anyone claiming President Biden is clueless or senile, show them this.

Fifty Great Things Biden Has Accomplished in less than half a year in office: Saturday's GNR
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Saturday July 10, 2021 · 7:00 AM EDT

It has been 170 days since Biden took office — less than half a year into a 4 year presidency.
What has Biden accomplished in that time? A lot.
Here are fifty of my favorites of his accomplishments:

1. Biden gave us a reason to hope

The Case for Biden Optimism

Biden is a genius at separating politics from the culture wars. He’s been a genius at sidestepping the Trump circus, including the hullabaloo it arouses on the left. We have endured an age of affective polarization, when we didn’t disagree more, we just hated each other more. Under Biden, the emotional temperature will go down.

Biden has the right agenda, the redistribution of dignity. A politician can tell the people who have been left behind that he hears them, and that’s words. But Biden wants to present them with a $1,400 check they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, increase the child tax credit to $3,000 and create infrastructure jobs. That’s material proof that somebody in Washington understands what you are going through and is doing something real.

Will he be able to pass this sort of sweeping legislation? I have far from given up hope. Everyday, I read that Republicans will never go for these spending plans, and I always want to ask the writer: Have you noticed that Republicans have already voted for roughly $3 trillion in new spending over the last 10 months? Do not underestimate how divided and confused their party is right now. Do not underestimate how much Republicans trust Biden personally.

I was shocked by how moved I was by the Biden inaugural. We’ve been through an emotional hailstorm over four years. Suddenly the sky has cleared. It’s possible America may emerge from this trauma more transformed than we can imagine.

2. Biden protected people from foreclosure and eviction in this awful time

Extend foreclosure and eviction moratoriums

Biden directed key agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to extend the current pause on federal evictions and foreclosures

Biden extends eviction ban amid fears of 'horrific crisis'

The Biden administration unveiled a raft of measures to prevent people who lost income during the pandemic from losing their homes on Thursday, including by extending nationwide eviction and foreclosure bans until July 31.

The White House and other federal agencies sprang into action amid growing concerns that state and local governments were not prepared to protect renters if the federal eviction ban expired next Wednesday. More than six million renter households are behind on rent, according to a recent survey by the Census Bureau.

lots more...

Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jul 11, 2021, 07:10 AM (9 replies)

At the Trump Insurrection Convention (CPAC), GOP Rep Says to Prepare to Sacrifice Your Lives

At the Trump Insurrection Convention (CPAC), GOP Rep Says to Prepare to Sacrifice Your Lives
News Corpse
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Saturday July 10, 2021 · 3:33 PM EDT

If anyone thought that the deadly insurrection that took place on January 6th in Washington, D.C., was a transitory affair that concluded when the rioters were driven from the Capitol, think again. That was just the opening salvo in a battle that is still ongoing. And it is a battle that Donald Trump and his Republican confederates intend to exploit for as long as possible, causing as much harm as they can. Never mind how delusional they have become about all of it.

As evidence of the Trumpian right's determination to wage another civil war, witness the remarks by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-QAnon) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, on Friday. His speech was a call to arms to the CPACers, aimed at whipping up their already seething hostility and hatred for fellow Americans (i.e. Democrats and liberals) that he, and most other CPAC speakers, viciously and falsely malign as Marxists and communists (which they couldn't define if their lives depended on it). Brooks ranted that...

"Our choice is simple. We can surrender and submit, or we can fight back as our ancestors have done. Think for a moment about our ancestors who fought at Valley Forge. They didn't fight the British, they fought for survival. Twelve thousand Continental soldiers arrived. Five, six months later two thousand had died.

"Think about what they went through. Burying your brothers, your fathers, your sons. Ten to fifteen a day, every day for six months. That's the kind of sacrifice that we have to think about. And I ask you: are you willing to fight for America? Are you willing to fight for America? Well, the choice is simple. This is how you fight for America. This is what America needs you to do."


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jul 10, 2021, 05:28 PM (88 replies)

U.S. Navy Detonates 40,000-Pound Bomb off Florida Coast


A few weeks old, but first I've heard of this.

U.S. Navy Detonates 40,000-Pound Bomb off Florida Coast
Common Dreams
Jun. 24, 2021 11:35AM EST
The U.S. Navy uses live explosives in the Atlantic Ocean.
By Brett Wilkins

Marine mammal experts this week expressed deep concern over the potentially devastating effects of the U.S. Navy's recent detonation of 40,000 pounds of explosives off the Atlantic coast of Florida on sea life, while progressive observers blasted what they called the government's misplaced spending priorities.

The Navy set off the massive blast — which registered as a magnitude 3.9 earthquake on shore — on June 18 about 100 miles off Palm Coast as the first in a series of full ship shock trials on the USS Gerald R. Ford, a $12.8 billion nuclear-powered aircraft carrier commissioned in 2017.

"The U.S. Navy conducts shock trials of new ship designs using live explosives to confirm that our warships can continue to meet demanding mission requirements under harsh conditions they might encounter in battle," the Navy explained in a press release.

The statement claimed the explosion occurred "within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area."

The region is home to various marine mammal species including bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, and North Atlantic right whales. While whales are not typically seen off the northern Florida coast in June, marine experts nevertheless expressed alarm over potential harm to mammals and other sea life.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jul 10, 2021, 10:17 AM (6 replies)

Fully vaccinated people don't need Covid boosters, U.S. health agencies say

OK, who do we believe? I wonder if boosters are solely a money-making opportunity.

Fully vaccinated people don't need Covid boosters, U.S. health agencies say
NBC Universal
Jamie Knodel
July 8, 2021, 8:55 PM

People who are fully vaccinated do not need Covid-19 boosters, health and drug officials said Thursday.

"We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed," the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement.

The agencies said those who are vaccinated are protected from variants, including the surging delta variant. But they urged Americans 12 and older who have not yet been vaccinated to get their shots.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 9, 2021, 08:09 AM (30 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Tucker Carlson's NSA spying story gets dumber and dumber

Tucker Carlson's NSA spying story gets dumber and dumber
No there there
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


Nothing about this caper makes sense, which is fitting since Carlson is congenital liar.
He refuses to provide any evidence that the emails were leaked, or name the so-called “journalists” who received the communications directly from the NSA. He claims to know which journalists have his emails (one of them called him to discuss it!), but he won’t come forward with that information. And neither will the journalists themselves. Carlson suggests reporters across the Beltway were given his emails directly from the NSA, yet as this controversy spreads, every single one of those reporters is remaining silent for no apparent reason.

What are the odds?

Meanwhile, Carlson plays the martyrdom card to the hilt, portraying himself as a crusading journalist: “I think more ominously they are using information they gather to put leverage, to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It’s happening to me right now, and I think it’s shocking. I don’t think we should put up with it in a free country.”

People who criticize the Biden administration are being threatened. Except none of them are. Carlson works for a network that frantically condemns every sentence President Joe Biden utters, which means the administration must be monitoring hundreds of Fox employees, right? But for some reason, the only person on the Fox News payroll being spied on is Tucker?

And if Biden had declared war on conservative journalists, why isn’t Fox News championing Carlson’s claims? To date, the network has been extraordinarily quiet regarding the dopey saga, choosing largely to ignore it. “Fox is right to tread carefully because its biggest star is a huge liar and has historically proven particularly dishonest in describing his own supposed persecution,” noted Media Matters.

Here’s the Keystone Kops chronology of events. In the spring, the Fox host turned to intermediaries to open lines of communication with the Kremlin regarding an interview request, which is a very strange thing to do. I guarantee you when Wallace and Kelly scored their Putin Q&A’s they didn’t do it by emailing shady figures in Putin’s orbit. We can assume they did it by following traditional channels of communication via the State Department. Not surprisingly, Carlson likely ended up communicating with foreign agents close to Putin whom the NSA was monitoring. They probably knew they were being monitored, but never told Carlson his communications were being incidentally collected.

As for the dastardly leak? There’s still no proof it happened, other than Carlson’s untrustworthy word. He could easily provide evidence but he won’t. And specifically, he won’t provide proof that the emails were leaked to journalists directly by the NSA. That’s key because it’s possible Carlson’s email pals — Putin’s cronies — decided to share the contents of the emails with others inside the Beltway.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 9, 2021, 07:45 AM (7 replies)

Congressional Dems' Ex-Staffers Are Lobbying Against Biden's Tax Hikes on Corporations and the Rich

Congressional Democrats’ Ex-Staffers Are Lobbying Against Biden’s Tax Hikes on Corporations and the Rich
By Alana Abramson
July 8, 2021 11:01 AM EDT

Inside Congress, Democratic lawmakers are working to make sure President Joe Biden’s proposed tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans are codified into law.

Outside Congress, some of the most powerful lawmakers’ former staff members are working to make sure they aren’t.

Former staffers to nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers in Congress—including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—are now working as lobbyists for some of the most prominent groups opposing Democrats’ proposed tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans, according to an analysis of federal disclosure documents.

This is how Washington works. After stints on Capitol Hill, congressional staffers on both sides of the aisle frequently leverage their contacts and experience into lucrative lobbying jobs. But the dynamic underscores the uphill battle Democrats face in tackling one of the party’s core policy proposals—altering a tax code that benefits the rich—even as they control the White House and Congress and the tax hikes remain popular with their constituents, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll from April.


One Republican lobbyist familiar with these strategies, requesting anonymity to speak candidly, said Democrats unified control of government has presented these former staffers with a lucrative opportunity, even if it requires them to buck their party’s policies. “Being a recent former Democratic staffer at any level is a really valuable commodity right now,” says the lobbyist. “If you want to see any piece of these tax hikes go down, you’re only aiming at Democrats. How do you get at those marginal Democrats? You need people with ties to those guys.”


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 8, 2021, 04:26 PM (1 replies)

This School Uses Electric Shocks on Students. Now a Court Says That's Totally Fine.

This School Uses Electric Shocks on Students. Now a Court Says That’s Totally Fine.
The FDA banned the use of the graduated electrical decelerator last year, but on Wednesday a court vacated that ruling.
Blake Montgomery, Reporter/Editor
Updated Jul. 08, 2021 4:39AM ET / Published Jul. 07, 2021 11:56PM ET

A federal court of appeals ruled Tuesday that the only school in the country that administers electric shocks to students can continue doing so.

The court ruled that the Food and Drug Administration cannot block the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, from using a device called the graduated electronic decelerator as a “treatment of last resort.” The school serves those with severe disabilities, including many with non-verbal autism who have been ejected from other group homes over harm to themselves and others.


A similar court case over the graduated electronic decelerator gave rise to a FDA rule banning its use entirely last year. A horrifying video from the center of a resident, Andre McCollins, emerged during a lawsuit. The footage showed McCollins tied to a restraint board and shocked 31 times over the course of seven hours for not removing his jacket when instructed to. He screams “Stop! Stop!” and “That hurts!” in the video and was hospitalized for a month afterward.

A former student at the school, Rico Torres, told NBC earlier this year that Rotenberg teachers wired electrodes to his skin for 24 hours a day for a decade. Torres attended the school from ages 8 to 18, spending the vast majority of his time with a 12-volt battery strapped to his back. Currently, the device is only approved for those over 18.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 8, 2021, 09:49 AM (27 replies)

Capitol Rioter Thought He Recruited a 'Patriot' to his Secret Militia-It was an Undercover FBI Agent

Capitol Rioter Thought He Recruited a ‘Patriot’ to his Secret Militia – It was an Undercover FBI Agent
By News and Guts

A man who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th had plans to continue “the revolution” by breaking his fellow rioters out of prison. He built up a supply of weapons – including an AK-47 and 50 Molotov cocktails – and formed a Bible study group that was really a front for a militia.

But Fi Duong, a 27-year-old Northern Virginia man, wasn’t the only person in his inner circle practicing deception. On the day of the riot, Duong inadvertently befriended an undercover police officer. He bragged that he was “an operator” and explained that he was wearing all-black so that he would be mistaken for a member of antifa.

The undercover cover cop stayed in touch with Duong, and weeks later, he introduced him to an undercover FBI agent. Duong provided that agent with extensive details on his movements during the riot. He didn’t realize he was helping the government build a case against him.

Duong appeared in court last week and was charged with illegally entering the Capitol, obstructing the vote count, and disorderly conduct.

According to Talking Points Memo, “the revelation that prosecutors are employing information from undercover law enforcement sources … marks a new chapter in the ongoing investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection, six months after a pro-Trump mob attacked Congress.”

Court documents reveal that Duong invited the undercover FBI agent to meetings with his secret militia, which members of the Three Percenters had already joined.
Several members of the Three Percenters have been charged with planning the January 6 riot.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 8, 2021, 06:06 AM (16 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Why Critical Race Theory? Because What the Hell Else Do Republicans Have to Run on

The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Why Critical Race Theory? Because What the Hell Else Do Republicans Have to Run on

One technique I use when teaching my students the historical background of a text is to get them to imagine what it was like in that time period and how it might have affected the writers. Imagine, say, the smell of Elizabethan London and tell me that the shit-laden streets around the Globe Theatre didn't have an impact on Shakespeare. Or maybe just facts of existence, like the idea that around the corner, at any moment, the fucking plague could just shut everything down and take out half the people you know. How does that not take up permanent residence in your brain and be a part of everything? How does it not impact every aspect of life, from the laws that are created to the interactions between people in everyday life? Of course, it does. And to deny that would be sheer ignorance.

One of the things that critical race theory asks us to do is to make those connections with the history of this nation. It honestly seems like a rational way of looking at the past: Slavery existed. Jim Crow laws existed. The economy of the nation was based on those realities. Those are indisputable parts of the American past. They indisputably maintained a huge difference in power between Blacks and whites. How could they not have affected every single person every single day? How could they not have had an effect on the culture, the laws, the society, and why wouldn't some of those effects of racism, many of them embedded in the law, have persisted to this day in things like the carceral state and ongoing poverty? And if you agree with that, then you would have to agree that when teaching the history of this country in an honest way, you'd have to acknowledge those racist realities. In fact, the only way to avoid discussing any of this is to willfully obfuscate or outright lie about history because telling the actual history of this country might mean having to acknowledge that we are living in a janky house built on one fucked-up foundation.

So the right has decided on a two-prong approach to demonizing anyone who might dare to say that bad shit that happened in the past still has relevance and reverberations today.

One of those prongs is obvious: Just fuckin' lie. Just fuckin' lie as openly and carelessly as you can and rely on the laziness and stupidity of those you're lying to. For instance, here's very white Kayleigh McEnany, who was Donald Trump's most grotesque press secretary, lying about slavery and the founders: "We know most of our forefathers, all of our main Founding Fathers were against slavery, recognized the evils of it." We know for sure that 41 of 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves at the time. Of the "main Founding Fathers," only John Adams gets off scot-free. Franklin later became an abolitionist and freed his slaves. But Washington, Jefferson, and Madison all were slaveowners. (Alexander Hamilton is up for debate.) So, yeah, we can argue about the range of their attitudes towards slavery and abolition, but it's hard to say someone is "against slavery" when they own slaves.

The lying prong goes hand-in-hand with the other prong, which is more of a meta-approach that can be best summarized as "Teaching critical race theory to schoolkids is a problem because it's a problem." This is the new version of "Communists are hiding under your bed" in that nothing needs to be proven so nothing can be disproven. You don't have to understand a single thing about critical race theory. You don't have to offer an example of critical race theory being taught to third-graders. It just is happening and it's making your white child hate themselves.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 7, 2021, 08:35 PM (2 replies)

Trump Golf Club Fined $400K for Overserving Customer Who Was Involved in Deadly Car Accident


Posted on Wed, Jul 7th, 2021 by Todd Neikirk
Trump Golf Club Fined $400K for Overserving Customer Who Was Involved in Deadly Car Accident

Since he’s been out of office, Donald Trump has been facing a number of different legal battles. The state of Georgia is looking into his attempts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results. The state of New York is conducting a deep dive into the Trump Organization.

Another of Trump’s businesses, his golf course in Colts Neck, New Jersey settled a case this week. The club has been fined $400,000 for overserving a customer who was later involved in a deadly car accident.

Andrew Halder began his day at the club back in August of 2015. He got in a car accident upon leaving about 4 miles from the course. His father, Gary Halder was killed in the wreck.

Halder had been drinking while on the course. And the Trump club has been charged with dispensing drinks other than beer from carts. The club was also charged with serving the golfer after it was clear that he was intoxicated.

The Washington Post reports, “The state had originally sought to revoke the Colts Neck club’s liquor license, a penalty that would have also revoked liquor licenses at Trump’s two other New Jersey clubs. Golf industry experts said that would have removed a major source of the clubs’ revenue.”

David Fahrenthold continues, “Instead, the Colts Neck club will pay the $400,000 penalty, which is equivalent to 6.5 percent of its total revenue in 2020, according to Trump’s presidential disclosure filings. It will also lose its right to sell alcohol from carts on the course, settlement papers said.”

Trump will now move on to fighting his cases in New York and Georgia.

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 7, 2021, 04:19 PM (6 replies)
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