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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 163,978

Journal Archives

Dahlia Lithwick: The Most Important Question Facing Americans Today

The Most Important Question Facing Americans Today
Who counts?
By Dahlia Lithwick
Sept 15, 201911:00 AM

Far too often, voting rights are a dormant topic up until the week before a general election, when we suddenly start to worry about shuttered polling places, long lines, and glitchy voting machines. But the unglamorous issue of voting is more important than any one candidate or any one issue. Because no matter who our next president is, and what they do or don’t plan to accomplish, if your vote doesn’t count, nothing else really does, either.

Public confidence in the power of “one person, one vote” is at an all-time low. Unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud have helped undermine core trust in the very cornerstones of constitutional democracy: the proposition that every vote matters. The long-term project of voter suppression has been undertaken not simply to ensure that certain communities are devalued and bricked out of the democratic process, but also to foment the belief that the entire system is pointless and corrupt. At some level, the nihilism is the point: In an NPR–Marist University poll conducted just before the 2018 midterms, 47 percent of the respondents indicated that they lacked faith that all votes cast would be counted fairly. Nearly 5 in 10 nonwhite voters reported that they believed it unlikely that all votes would be counted. Forty percent of voters felt that U.S. elections are no longer fair. The lack of confidence is hardly misplaced, as the gap between the popular vote and the Electoral College widens and as the results of close elections are repeatedly thrown into doubt.

But if you still believe that democracy matters—as I want to—then we must be focused on the right to vote, right now, and on into the indefinite future. To be sure, voting alone can’t fix what ails this country, but we can’t fix anything without a meaningful, immutable, and equal right to vote. And defending the future of free and fair elections requires not just pointing out the jurisdictions that are getting it wrong—by suppressing student voting or implementing illegal voter purges—but also shining a light on jurisdictions that are getting it right, with mail-in ballots or independent redistricting committees. It requires not just being outraged by the fact that the Senate has shown no interest in investigating foreign election interference, but also examining what the consequences might be in elections to come. Whether or not you are counted in 2020 will affect whether or not you actually count thereafter.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:04 PM (0 replies)

Kellyanne Conway Claims That It Is Unconstitutional To Impeach Trump


Posted on Sun, Sep 15th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Kellyanne Conway Claims That It Is Unconstitutional To Impeach Trump

Kellyanne Conway made up an imaginary US Constitution where it is unconstitutional to impeach Donald Trump.

Video @ link~

Conway said, “They need to read the Constitution in the Democratic Party. Americans, the Congress, they work for you, and they’re wasting your money and your time trying to impeach a president where there are no high crimes and misdemeanors. They thought the Mueller report would be the end-all. They even had Bob Mueller come and talk about the Mueller report and it was a disaster, so they work for you…Tell them to stop the nonsense of harassing and embarrassing this president and the people around him when you have no constitutional or legal basis to do so.”

Democrats understand and believe in the Constitution. The problem is that Donald Trump doesn’t know what is in the Constitution, and believes that he has unlimited powers to do whatever he wants.

Impeachment is not unconstitutional. In fact, the reason why the investigation is taking so long is that vast numbers of crimes and impeachable offenses that the House Judiciary Committee must look into. The problem for Trump isn’t impeachment itself. Mitch McConnell will never allow Trump to be convicted and removed from office.

The political death sentence for Trump surrounding impeachment involves public hearings, and what they will find ahead of the 2020 election. Corruption is what will bring Donald Trump down.

Democrats have the Constitution on their side, as impeachment exists to check presidents like Donald Trump.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 12:14 PM (26 replies)

Volunteer Helicopter Pilot Finds 40 People Alive in Destroyed Bahama Village


Volunteer Helicopter Pilot Finds 40 People Alive in Destroyed Bahama Village
Barbie Latza Nadeau
Published 09.15.19 9:17AM ET

An American volunteer helicopter pilot from Florida was shocked to find 40 people climbing from underneath debris in the destroyed village of Fox Town on Little Abaco Island after a journalist suggested there might be survivors. Pilot Justin Johnson had flown Florida journalist Vic Micolucci over the island on a mission for for MEDIC Corps. when the reporter asked if it was possible that anyone could be alive in the isolated village, according to NBC News. The pilot said he initially shrugged off the idea but returned the next day to check it out. When he landed, he said 40 people started crawling out from under the debris. Johnson and his wife returned to the village with tents and other supplies. Most of those rescued were Haitian refugees who MEDIC Corps. says “are afraid of being deported so it is sometimes difficult to provide evacuation to these communities and they aren’t the first to show themselves.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 10:03 AM (5 replies)

Graham: US should consider strike on Iranian oil refineries after attack on Saudi Arabia

Graham: US should consider strike on Iranian oil refineries after attack on Saudi Arabia
By Tal Axelrod - 09/14/19 01:57 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a prominent foreign policy hawk, said the U.S. should consider striking Iranian oil refineries in response to new attacks on Saudi oil refineries by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

“It is now time for the U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment,” Graham tweeted.

“Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries, which will break the regime’s back,” he added.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:42 AM (22 replies)

ICE Is Building A 'State-Of-The-Art' 'Urban Warfare' Training Facility...

ICE Is Building A 'State-Of-The-Art' 'Urban Warfare' Training Facility That Will Include 'Hyper-Realistic' Simulations Of Homes In Chicago And Arizona
By Chantal Da Silva On 9/11/19 at 10:58 AM EDT

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is looking to build a "state-of-the-art" "urban warfare" training facility that will include "hyper-realistic" simulations of homes, hotels and commercial buildings in Chicago and Arizona.

In an acquisition form for the procurement of "hyper-realistic training devices" for a new training facility for its expanding Special Response Team (SRT) program, ICE outlined the details of plans for its new training center in a document published on the U.S. Federal Business Opportunities website.

While ICE sought to redact the location of the new training facility in the document, it was not successful in doing so.

After copying and pasting the document's contents into a separate document, Newsweek was able to establish that the facility will be built at the Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs' (OFTP) Tactical Operations Complex (TOC) at Fort Benning, Georgia.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:08 AM (5 replies)

Joy Reid Responds To Trump's Attacks By Listing All The Impeachable Offenses He Has Committed


Posted on Sat, Sep 14th, 2019 by Sean Colarossi
Joy Reid Responds To Trump’s Attacks By Listing All The Impeachable Offenses He Has Committed

Donald Trump kicked off his morning by attacking award-winning MSNBC host Joy Reid, and she responded on her program by listing the impeachable offenses he has committed since taking office.

From the obstruction of justice evidence in Robert Mueller’s report to Trump using the presidency to enrich himself and his family, Reid said there is no shortage of impeachable offenses for Democrats to choose from if they move forward on a formal impeachment inquiry.

“Democrats who already favor impeachment have a grab bag of potentially impeachment offenses to choose from,” Reid said. “Time is running out, and the drumbeat of impeachment in Nancy Pelosi’s divided caucus is getting louder.”


Reid said:

Democrats who already favor impeachment have a grab bag of potentially impeachment offenses to choose from. There’s the obstruction of justice that was laid out clearly in the Mueller report, trump’s pattern of self-enrichment using the office of the presidency, his status as the unindicted co-conspirator in the hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, which are part of the reason his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen sits in prison to this day. The Trump administration defying congressional subpoenas, his dangling of pardons, and his racist language, like those that experts have said help incite white nationalist violence, and also the “Go back” comments he tweeted at four freshman Democrats who are all U.S. Citizens, remarks listed by Texas congressman Al green, an impeachment supporter, as grounds for impeaching Trump. We are now 415 days away from the 2020 election, meaning there are now 415 days left for Democrats to act on impeachment, rather than relying on the possibility that Trump will be removed from office by losing the election. Time is running out, and the drumbeat of impeachment in Nancy Pelosi’s divided caucus is getting louder.

Trump definitely watches MSNBC


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 07:56 AM (8 replies)

Trump Is Seriously, Frighteningly Unstable


Trump Is Seriously, Frighteningly Unstable
September 15, 2019 at 7:14 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Robert Reich: “I think we have to face the truth that no one seems to want to admit. This is no longer a case of excessive narcissism or grandiosity. We’re not simply dealing with an unusually large ego.”

“The president of the United States is seriously, frighteningly, dangerously unstable. And he’s getting worse by the day.”

“Such a person in the Oval Office can do serious damage.”

“What to do? We can vote him out of office in 14 months’ time. But he could end the world in seven and a half seconds.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 15, 2019, 07:43 AM (30 replies)

Civil Rights Groups Challenge Trump's "Racially Discriminatory Scheme" to Skew Redistricting


Civil Rights Groups Challenge Trump’s “Racially Discriminatory Scheme” to Skew Redistricting
A new lawsuit attacks a plan to harness citizenship data and take power away from Democrats and Latinos.
Ari Berman

In July, the Trump administration abandoned its push to add a controversial question about US citizenship to the 2020 census after the Supreme Court blocked the move. Instead, President Donald Trump issued an executive order instructing the Census Bureau to collect citizenship data using administrative records. He said in a White House Rose Garden ceremony that the information could prove useful since “some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter-eligible population,” potentially excluding non-citizens, non-voters, and the young from counting toward political representation.

On Friday, civil rights groups filed the first lawsuit challenging the executive order, claiming it was “motivated by a racially discriminatory scheme to reduce Latino political representation and increase the overrepresentation of non-Latino Whites, thereby advantaging White voters at Latino voters’ expense.”

For decades, state legislative and Congressional districts have been drawn based on total population. If districts were instead based only on citizens or eligible voters, that could lead to a major shift in power from Democratic to Republican areas, as many Democrats represent areas with concentrations of non-citizens and non-voters, including children. If those people are not counted in legislative apportionment, that would benefit Republicans, who tend to represent whiter, more homogenous areas with fewer non-citizens and young people.

Over the past decade, Republicans have sought to make such a change. The late Republican gerrymandering expert Thomas Hofeller, who also led the behind-the-scenes efforts to add the citizenship question, wrote in a 2015 study that drawing districts based on eligible voters instead of the total population would “would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”

The lawsuit, filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, cited Hofeller’s study as evidence of the “discriminatory motivation” behind Trump’s executive order. They also allege that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, “exceeded his statutory authority over the conduct of the decennial census” by agreeing to Trump’s order, since Congress, not the president, has constitutional oversight of the census. The lawsuit was filed before the same Maryland federal court where a judge struck down the citizenship question in April.

The Census Bureau disclosed this week that no states have so far requested citizenship data, but that it nonetheless would make the information available in 2021, when states begin drawing new legislative lines following the 2020 census. Who will count for purposes of political representation is expected to be a major fight throughout the next redistricting cycle.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Sep 14, 2019, 07:20 PM (1 replies)

3 horrifying extreme weather scenarios the US doesn't talk about enough

3 horrifying extreme weather scenarios the US doesn’t talk about enough
Scientists say these nightmare weather events could happen at any time.
By Eliza Barclay@elizabarclayeliza.barclay@vox.com Updated Sep 13, 2019, 2:38pm EDT

Phoenix, one of the hottest and fastest-warming cities in the US, could be hit by “a [Hurricane] Katrina of extreme heat” with temperatures peaking in the 120s and lingering for two weeks. In a heat wave like this, the power grid would succumb to brownouts and blackouts and many elderly would die in their homes. (Complete story here.)

Southern California could see a wildfire that burns a total of 1.5 million acres. Smoke from the blazes could carry at least 100 miles west into Los Angeles and 100 miles south to San Diego, leading to hazardous air quality throughout the region and thousands of hospitalizations. Well over 100,000 structures would likely be destroyed and hundreds could die the flames. “The damage would likely be massive, potentially dwarfing what we have seen recently,” David Sapsis, a scientist with Cal Fire who reviewed the simulated fire, told me. (Complete story here.)

Tampa Bay is one of the areas in the US most at risk when hurricanes arrive because of its location, growing population, and the geography of the bay. If a Category 5 hurricane makes a direct hit on the bay, parts of Pinellas County — which is home to St. Petersburg — will temporarily become an island. People who choose to remain — or can’t evacuate — might be trapped. (Complete story here.)

For the Vox series, the Big Ones, we asked scientists about worst-case extreme weather scenarios for three vulnerable regions of the United States. Each of these events we described in these stories would be an outlier, a rare, extreme event, the far end of bad. But climate change is, broadly, rendering these kinds of events more severe, and in some cases more frequent, in many parts of the country.

And even if one of these events were to happen, even at a lesser degree of severity, it would still be extraordinarily costly, both in terms of human lives and other losses. The kind of event you’d wish you’d prepared for better, if you were a citizen, or a government official.

It’s clear these regions — Tampa Bay, Southern California, and Phoenix, along with countless others with similar vulnerabilities — are not doing enough to reduce the impact of these kinds of events, at this level of severity or at a milder but still damaging level. They’re still building in the path of tempests, still replacing heat-mitigating trees and soil with concrete. Government agencies are leaving millions of dead trees in the forest, ready to burn at the first spark.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Sep 14, 2019, 01:42 PM (8 replies)

Drug companies back effort to remove judge from federal lawsuit


Drug companies back effort to remove judge from federal lawsuit
By Rachel Frazin - 09/14/19 11:38 AM EDT

Lawyers for drug companies and pharmacies have expressed support for removing a federal judge who has been overseeing lawsuits against the companies over their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

In court documents filed Saturday, the companies questioned whether U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland was impartial because he has encouraged both sides to settle.

"Taken as a whole and viewed objectively, the record clearly demonstrates that recusal is necessary," the lawyers wrote.


Polster "has been held in the highest regard for decades on the Federal bench as a judge with great integrity, intelligence, and impartiality," attorneys Paul Hanly Jr., Paul Farrell Jr. and Joe Rice said in the statement.

"This is simply a desperate move on the eve of trial by opioid companies that created, fueled and sustained the crisis following rulings by the court concluding that there is sufficient evidence to find that these companies created a public nuisance and conspired together to avoid regulation and sanctions," the lawyers added. "It’s past time that they stop trying to avoid accountability and face judgment."

This week, Purdue Pharma, a prominent opioid manufacturer, also reached a multibillion-dollar tentative settlement with state and local governments over its alleged role in the opioid epidemic.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Sep 14, 2019, 01:27 PM (0 replies)
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