HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » babylonsister » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 163,963

Journal Archives

City shuts down preschool's farm stand

So sucks. Solely because they need rules, and they must be followed? How about all these benefits to everyone involved?

City shuts down preschool's farm stand
'It’s more than just selling 50 cent peppers. It’s connecting families and kids and food and the environment.'
Mary Jo DiLonardo
September 18, 2019, 8:26 a.m.

At Little Ones Learning Center in Forest Park, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, the young students do typical preschool things. They work on spelling and draw interesting creations, but they also get to play and learn in an amazing garden.

The garden originally started as an outdoor learning environment for kids who needed to get out in nature for a little bit.

"It was a place for children who were having hard days," Little Ones Executive Director Wande Okunoren-Meadows tells MNN. "I know I go stir crazy if I'm sitting indoors for a long period of time. 'You're having a hard time inside? Let's go outside, play in the dirt and find some worms.'"

Eventually parents got involved and the garden truly bloomed. Now kids grow squash, beans, radishes, bell peppers, watermelons and all sorts of greens, while also learning how to compost. Then on the first and third Wednesday of the month, they set up a produce stand where they sell their homegrown fruits and vegetables to parents and people in the community. Farmers from the West Georgia Co-Op also bring produce to help supplement what's offered at the small stand.


But in early August, the city shut down the farm stand, saying the residential area wasn't zoned for selling produce.

"Anywhere you live, you’ve got to have rules and regulations," Forest Park City Manager Angela Redding told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Otherwise, you would just have whatever."

School administrators were surprised when they were asked to close up shop.

"It's like shutting down a kid's lemonade stand," Okunoren-Meadows says. "Nobody does this. It just shouldn't happen."


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 02:05 PM (19 replies)

Democrats, don't be afraid to go big in 2020


Democrats, don’t be afraid to go big in 2020
By Katrina vanden Heuvel
September 17


Democrats can no longer take their “blue wall” in the upper Midwest for granted; that much is clear. But winning back the states that Trump turned red should not come at the expense of the party’s efforts to expand the electoral map, compete for new voters and build a more diverse coalition nationally. If it does, Democrats are likely to regret it even if they pull off a victory in the presidential race.

Narrowing the playing field to a few swing states could severely undermine Democrats’ efforts to win back the Senate. The potential success of the next president’s domestic agenda depends on control of the upper chamber, where Republicans currently hold 53 seats. With legitimate pickup opportunities in Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia (where two seats are up for grabs), Democrats need to energize voters in places that are widely considered less winnable and therefore less important to the outcome of the presidential race than the Rust Belt. Fiercely competing for those states’ electoral votes could help generate the enthusiasm Democrats need to swing the Senate and advance progressive goals.

The consequences could be similarly massive further down the ballot. That includes not only House elections, in which Democrats have a chance to expand the majority they won in 2018 but also state and local races that, despite their importance, analysis of the electoral map tends to ignore.

After losing nearly 1,000 state legislative seats during the Obama era — a result, in part, of a myopic focus on electoral college math — Democrats flipped more than 300 seats and gained control of six legislative chambers in the 2018 midterms. The party now has a chance to build on those gains, with Arizona and North Carolina among the states where majorities are within reach. These legislative elections will affect millions of working families. They will also have major implications for the redistricting process, which will influence the partisan makeup of Congress for the next decade and beyond. Accordingly, it will be essential for Democrats to build a robust presence in many states regardless of how they ultimately vote in the presidential race, especially since Trump has been so explicitly hostile to this fast-growing group of voters.

Recognizing the stakes, some progressive leaders are beginning to caution against a strategy that would artificially shrink the electoral map. “Democrats, let’s do better and go big,” former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams wrote last week in a memo to party leaders, citing her own near-victory in 2018 to argue that “any decision less than full investment in Georgia would amount to strategic malpractice.” Abrams also called on Democrats to “compete in the changing landscape of the Sun Belt,” where the party has a chance to cement its advantage with the Latino voters comprising a rising share of the electorate. One more point is becoming increasingly important as Trump’s presidency deteriorates week after week: Progressives should not “go small” at a time when Trump’s solidifying unpopularity gives them a historic time to win — and govern.

Nobody, of course, is suggesting that Democrats should not fight hard to win back the states they lost in 2016. But “going big,” as Abrams puts it, actually improves Democrats’ chances of defeating Trump by creating more possible paths to victory. It also reflects a fundamental understanding that the party’s future depends on its ability to reach new voters and build progressive power in places where it does not currently exist. To win in the long run, Democrats need to compete everywhere today.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 12:42 PM (9 replies)

GOP blocks probe of Mike Pence's trip to Ireland after VP spent $600,000 on limousine rides...


GOP blocks probe of Mike Pence’s trip to Ireland after VP spent $600,000 on limousine rides so he could stay at Trump’s resort
Written by Sophia Tesfaye / Salon September 18, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Ireland — or more precisely his curious stay at one of President Trump’s hotels — has prompted multiple congressional probes. But the Democrat-led oversight investigations have already drawn complaints and pushback from Trump’s loudest Republican defenders on Capitol Hill, including the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee.

Democrats in both the House of Representatives and Senate have sent official letters of inquiry to the vice president’s office seeking specific information on the costs of Pence’s recent stay at Trump International Golf Club in Doonbeg, Ireland. They have imposed a Sept. 19 deadline for the administration and the Trump Organization to turn over relevant documents. Democrats have raised concerns that Pence’s stay at Trump’s resort could have violated the emoluments clause in the Constitution. They’ve asked for details like the cost of the stay, Secret Service protection, and comparable rates for hotels nearby as well as across the country in Dublin, where Pence held meetings with Irish officials and business leaders.

The vice president’s decision to stay at Trump’s resort can hardly be defended as one of convenience, as Pence previously suggested. Doonbeg is in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, nearly a four-hour drive from most of Pence’s scheduled meetings in Dublin. According to an analysis by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Pence’s stay cost taxpayers $599,454.36 in limousine service alone.


Republicans in Congress are clearly running interference for the Trump administration on all fronts, in a fashion that goes well beyond Beltway mantras about “politics as usual.” Congress is supposed to perform critical oversight of the executive branch. Democrats haven’t directed the public into the streets over this stunning abdication of constitutional duty, which shows how ill-equipped our system is to handle outright corruption — and also how bewildered the majority party has become by this unprecedented president.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 10:59 AM (9 replies)

Open Letter: Dear President Obama, I miss you.


Open Letter: Dear President Obama, I miss you.

Dear President Obama,

I’m not the nostalgic type, it just isn’t in my nature. It’s ridiculous to think of 2008-2016 as “the good ol’ days.” That kind of wistfulness is reserved for my parents’ generation. But I truly miss having you as the leader of our country. I miss who we were when you were President.

I miss having an eloquent president who draws on his actual knowledge, answering questions thoughtfully and rationally. Now we have a village idiot, stringing together superfluous long words to mimic intelligence.

I miss having a president who so clearly loves and is devoted to his family. Now we have a serial adulterer whose three oldest offspring are poster children for nepotistic white privilege.

I miss having a president who spoke to all of us. Instead we have a man who intentionally appeals only to wealthy white men who benefit from his tax cuts, and red-hat-wearing rednecks who’ve lost the ability to feel shame for their fully exposed bigotry.

I miss having a president who respected women and fought for our rights, and the rights of our daughters. Now we have an almost cartoonesque villain who uses our bodies as bargaining chips for Evangelical hypocrites who would be only too happy to see witch trials return.

I watched as Trump mocked you, criticized you, damned you, and led the birther movement against you. But since he became president, without fail, every single day, with every act he takes or word he speaks, he proves that you are an infinitely better man and leader than he is or could ever wish to be. But I don’t find any comfort in watching him fail so spectacularly at a job for which he spent so many years criticizing you. I find no joy in his shredding the reputation of this country, and I wonder if we will ever fully recover.

As much as it pains me to admit, the right-wing trolls are right about one thing: no, I never got over the fact that Trump was elected. And I never will. After almost three years, I still struggle to believe that a man who brought out the best in America was replaced by a man who has brought out the worst in us. But with each passing day, with each hateful comment I hear and read, I’m forced to accept there are millions of gullible Americans who either vote based on racism, bigotry, and stupidity, or are willfully blind enough to be just as complicit. The hatred, ambivalence, and disdain is frightening.

The way the GOP has acted, or more likely has not acted, over the past three years has given me a brief window into what you must have dealt with behind closed doors for 8 years. They were already insufferable in the years you were in office, but their stubbornness and cowardice gives new meaning to “new low” on a daily basis. I have nothing but contempt for these “pretend patriots” and how they conduct themselves under Trump’s administration. Even after the countless disgraces Trump has inflicted on the country, I’m still consumed with fury when they stand by idly or even defend him. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said, “If Obama had done that, the GOP would have burned DC to the ground,” through gritted teeth.

So yes, I miss you and Michelle. I miss living in the country you led and who you made us. I thank God for your tweets and Facebook posts. They are missives of comfort when we need them the most: reminders of who we once were and can still become. Again.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 10:43 AM (4 replies)

Trump Has Added More Lobbyists To His Cabinet In 3 Years Than Barack Obama Did In 2 Terms


Posted on Tue, Sep 17th, 2019 by Sean Colarossi
Trump Has Added More Lobbyists To His Cabinet In 3 Years Than Barack Obama Did In 2 Terms

Anybody who even casually tuned into the 2016 campaign knows that one of Donald Trump’s favorite campaign slogans was, “Drain the Swamp.”

But over the course of the past three years of this administration, the corruption and special interest influence that so many Americans loathe has only grown worse.

According to The Associated Press, Trump has put more ex-lobbyists in his Cabinet over the course of the past three years than either Barack Obama or George W. Bush did in their two terms in the White House.

More from the report:

In less than three years, President Donald Trump has named more former lobbyists to Cabinet-level posts than his most recent predecessors did in eight, putting a substantial amount of oversight in the hands of people with ties to the industries they’re regulating.

The Cabinet choices are another sign that Trump’s populist pledge to “drain the swamp” is a catchy campaign slogan but not a serious attempt to change the way Washington works. Instead of staring down “the unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests” as Trump recently declared, the influence industry has flourished during his administration.

The amount spent in 2019 on lobbying the U.S. government is on pace to match or exceed last year’s total of $3.4 billion, the most since 2010, according to the political money website Open Secrets. Trump also has pulled in hefty contributions from industries with business before his administration, and his hotel near the White House has been a magnet for lobbyists and foreign interests since he was elected.

Trump had no intention of draining the swamp

As Trump continues to flagrantly use his office for self-enrichment, it’s clear his campaign promise to rid Washington of corruption and special interest influence was just one of the many lies he told his supporters to get elected.

The majority of the country that voted against this president in 2016 recognized early on that Trump is and always has been a lying con artist – whether in his personal life or business career.

It remains to be seen whether Trump’s supporters, who spent months chanting “drain the swamp!” at MAGA rallies, will recognize what a fraud he is.

I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 10:22 AM (3 replies)

Robert Reich: Reasons for Optimism


Reasons for Optimism
Robert Reich
September 17, 2019
The arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern.


Even now, it’s not as bleak as it sometimes seems. In 2018 a record number of women, people of color, and LGBTQ representatives were elected to Congress, including the first Muslim women.

Eighteen states raised their minimum wages.

Even in traditionally conservative states, surprising things are happening. In Tennessee, a Republican legislature has enacted free community college and raised taxes for infrastructure. Nevada has expanded voting rights and gun controls. New Mexico has increased spending by 11 percent and raised its minimum wage by 60 percent.

Teachers have gone on strike in Virginia, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina — and won. The public sided with the teachers.

In several states, after decades of tough-on-crime policies, conservative groups have joined with liberals to reform criminal justice systems. Early childhood education and alternative energy promotion have also expanded nationwide, largely on a bipartisan basis.

In 2018, South Carolina passed a law giving pregnant workers and new mothers more protections in the workplace. The law emerged from an unlikely coalition – supporters of abortion rights and religious groups that oppose them. A similar alliance in Kentucky enacted laws requiring that employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and new mothers.

The arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, we eventually rally and move forward.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 09:18 AM (15 replies)

Pete Buttigieg Endorsed by 58 Mayors


Pete Buttigieg Endorsed by 58 Mayors
September 18, 2019 at 8:15 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Fifty-eight U.S. mayors announced their endorsements of Pete Buttigieg in a USA Today op-ed, giving the South Bend, Indiana mayor a boost of institutional support for his presidential campaign.

Politico: “Although the mayors are largely white, Buttigieg picked up some key endorsements from mayors of color, a constituency of voters with whom Buttigieg has struggled to make headway, notably including in the key-primary state of South Carolina.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 18, 2019, 09:10 AM (7 replies)

"We love our Hispanics" said dt.

WHY are there Latinos for trump?

How about all those Hispanics in cages, asswipe?
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Sep 17, 2019, 08:43 PM (1 replies)

NY judge resigns after allegedly posting 'Make America Great Again' message with noose: officials


NY judge resigns after allegedly posting 'Make America Great Again' message with noose: officials
By Justine Coleman - 09/17/19 12:14 PM EDT

A New York judge has resigned from the bench after he was charged over a social media post that allegedly "conveyed racial and/or political bias," state officials said.

Kyle R. Canning, who was a part-time judge in Altona, N.Y., was charged over a Facebook post that allegedly showed a photo of a noose, along with the statement: "IF WE WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN WE WILL HAVE TO MAKE EVIL PEOPLE FEAR PUNISHMENT AGAIN,” the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct said in a statement Tuesday. The language used in the post echoed President Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

The commission said that Canning was charged with sharing an image that "conveyed racial and/or political bias."

“The noose is an incendiary image with repugnant racial connotations,” Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said in the statement. “It is the very antithesis of law and justice. For a judge to use the image of the noose in making a political point undermines the integrity of the judiciary and public confidence in the courts.”

Canning took office in 2018, and his term was supposed to last until the end of 2021, officials said. He agreed to never "seek or accept judicial office" in the future, they added.

The commission said Canning was served with a formal complaint in May and resigned from his position on June 27.

“They have presented me with several different options in resolving what they claim to be a serious offense," he said in a resignation letter, according to The Washing Post. "I feel as though, due to my current financial situation and obligations to my family, I am being coerced into resigning.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Sep 17, 2019, 12:25 PM (8 replies)

GOP Rep. Paul Cook to retire


GOP Rep. Paul Cook to retire
By Chris Mills Rodrigo - 09/17/19 11:47 AM EDT

Republican Rep. Paul Cook (Calif.) will retire from Congress at the end of this term and run for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Cook's is the latest in a series of Republican retirements -- 16 at this point -- ahead of the 2020 election.

President Trump won California's 8th Congressional District, which Cook has represented for four terms, by more than 15 points in 2016.

Cook won his last election there against another Republican with 60 percent of the vote.

This is a developing report
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Sep 17, 2019, 12:22 PM (1 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Next »