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Hometown: NY
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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 165,051

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The Queen's gift...

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 07:57 PM (15 replies)


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 07:55 PM (2 replies)

Donald Trump Is Sending Park Rangers to the Border to Help Enforce His Immigration Policies

Donald Trump Is Sending Park Rangers to the Border to Help Enforce His Immigration Policies
Yogi Bear must be thrilled.
Jessica Kutz

This story was originally published by High Country News and is shared here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

In southern Nevada, where the Mojave meets the Great Basin Desert, two US Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers are responsible for patrolling the entire Desert National Wildlife Refuge complex. Their job comes with a diverse set of responsibilities: enforcing hunting and fishing regulations, stopping park vandalism and rescuing stranded visitors, among other things. At 1.6 million acres, this is the largest wildlife refuge in the country outside of Alaska, home to over 500 plant species and the desert bighorn sheep, Nevada’s state animal. So why are these two officers being sent hundreds of miles away from the refuge on rotating missions to the US-Mexico Border?

Their deployment is part of a pilot program launched in May of 2018 under then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, described as a “surge operation” meant to help with border security. “President Trump and I are 100% committed to keeping our border communities and the American people safe and secure,” Zinke said at the time. Twenty-two law enforcement officers were sent to federally managed public lands along the border, including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas.
“President Trump and I are 100% committed to keeping our border communities and the American people safe and secure.”

So far, the department has been tight-lipped about the program’s details, including the cost of deployments, the work being done and any future plans. At the beginning of this year, High Country News filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out more about its effectiveness. Interior’s move appeared to be part of a pattern of similar deployments of National Guard and military personnel, whose recent efforts to reinforce the US-Mexico border with concertina wire at the US-Mexico border have been much criticized. And while officers have been detailed to the border for specific field missions under previous administrations, there has never been an open-ended rotation of Interior Department personnel, according to public-lands advocates. With national parks already seriously understaffed, the question arises: How does drafting park law enforcement officers to assist with immigration enforcement affect resource and visitor management at home parks and public lands?

The program continues to grow, but oversight is lacking. On May 15, it was reported by the Hill that 47 Interior Department officers were currently assigned to the border—more than twice the previous number. This leaves public-lands advocates worried about the effects of their absence on the lands these employees are actually charged with protecting. “The Park Service visitation has gone up significantly over the last decade, but the number of law enforcement rangers is down,” said Jeff Ruch, Pacific Field Office director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit that helps employees hold the federal government accountable. Nor is it clear what need these officers are responding to, unless it‘s simply to fill “rhetorical or political gaps,” Ruch said. “We don’t know, because the information isn’t out there, except in a cursory fashion.”


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 05:41 PM (5 replies)

Buttigieg Showcases Plan to Revamp Supreme Court


Buttigieg Showcases Plan to Revamp Supreme Court
June 3, 2019 at 8:13 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

“As Democrats agonize over a spate of state laws restricting abortion rights and even a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, one 2020 presidential candidate is putting an ambitious, long-shot plan to reform the Supreme Court front-and-center of his campaign,” NBC News reports.

“Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has talked about his plan to overhaul the high court since his first days as a candidate. In short, it calls for expanding the number of justices from nine to 15, with five affiliated with Democrats, five affiliated with Republicans, and five apolitical justices chosen by the first 10.”

“Supreme Court experts, though, have raised concerns about whether the proposal is constitutional, as well as whether it could backfire by reinforcing the perception that there are Republican and Democratic justices.”

ME: "...by reinforcing the perception that there are Republican and Democratic justices.” who's kidding who? Of course there are.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 08:53 AM (5 replies)

Buckingham Palace: it is truly gut wrenching

to see the likes of this admin (Bolton, Sanders, etc.) and this "family" there supposedly representing us when the majority of us would prefer just about anyone else be there.

Hurts my heart and all I can wonder about is what bone-headed unpresidential thing is in store, because you know it's coming.

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 07:33 AM (34 replies)

Raptors fans gave Barack Obama a standing ovation and 'MVP' chant at Game 2

Raptors fans gave Barack Obama a standing ovation and 'MVP' chant at Game 2
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
By: Andrew Joseph | June 2, 2019 9:23 pm

Former President Barack Obama was in attendance for Sunday’s NBA Finals Game 2 in Toronto between the Raptors and the Golden State Warriors. He rolled up to Scotiabank Arena in a snazzy leather jacket and eventually took his seat alongside NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wasn’t in attendance, the Toronto fans were more than ecstatic to see the 44th U.S. president.

Late in the second quarter, the in-arena presentation welcomed Obama and featured him on the videoboard. The fans responded with a raucous standing ovation and added an “MVP” chant.

This was the scene in Toronto...


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jun 2, 2019, 10:43 PM (12 replies)

Buttigieg gets emotional when responding to 2nd-grader on how to keep school safe


Buttigieg gets emotional when responding to 2nd-grader on how to keep school safe
By Chris Mills Rodrigo - 06/02/19 07:16 PM EDT

White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) got emotional on Sunday when answering a question from a second grader about how to keep schools safe.

"It's not normal, it's not ok, and we owe it to you, we owe it to anyone who's in school, and for that matter their teachers, to make sure that safety is there," the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said at a campaign stop.

"One of the voices that's in my head when someone like you asks a question like that," he continued, seemingly choking up. "We cannot let you down. Those of us in elected office owe it to you, whatever it takes, even if it means losing an election every now and then."

There have been 13 school shootings so far in 2019, according to Education Week.

Buttigieg's campaign platform calls for universal background checks for gun purchases, a ban military-style assault weapons and programs to address gun violence.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jun 2, 2019, 07:42 PM (12 replies)

Adam Schiff Says Trump's Behavior Will Determine Impeachment


Posted on Sun, Jun 2nd, 2019 by Jason Easley
Adam Schiff Says Trump’s Behavior Will Determine Impeachment
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said the House isn’t there yet on impeachment, but if Trump keeps stonewalling investigations, they may impeach even if it fails in the Senate.

Rep. Schiff said on ABC’s This Week, “I think we’re going to do what’s right for the country, and at this point, the Speaker has not reached the conclusion, and I haven’t either, that it’s best for the country to put us through an impeachment proceeding that we know is destined for failure in the Senate. Now, that calculus may change if the president continues to stonewall, if the president continues to demonstrate his unfitness for office, there may be little additional cost to going through that process. It is, in a way, even if unsuccessful in the Senate, the ultimate form of censure in the House, but we’re not there yet, and if it is a close call, close calls go against putting the country through that.”

Schiff raised two important points about impeachment

Impeachment is destined to fail in the Senate. Mitch McConnell is going to do the bare constitutional minimum if the Housse impeaches Trump. There won’t be a big long Senate trial. McConnell has stated that it is his goal to squash the impeachment charges as quickly as possible, so the idea that impeachment will provide a big trial and a spotlight on Trump’s crimes isn’t going to happen.

Secondly, the House may impeach anyway, if Trump continues on the path of his current behavior. The House may have no choice, but to impeach Trump. This path would be best for House Democrats and the country. Trump will make the impeachment decision for Democrats through his own conduct and decisions.

Impeachment is not a winning issue for anyone, and it good to see Democrats putting the country ahead of their own interests, unlike the White House, and doing the work of the American people.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jun 2, 2019, 10:51 AM (16 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Two Days After Mueller's Statement, the Path Is Clearer Than Ever


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Two Days After Mueller's Statement, the Path Is Clearer Than Ever

There's one thing that the Democratic Party doesn't get. It's something that individual Democrats understand quite well and they reap the rewards from it. And it goes like this: People want to follow fighters. You can add to that: The fight needs to be absolutely clear. That can be policy based, as in Medicare for All or, if you're a fucking lying prickscab, "Mexico will pay for the wall." But it can also be tactical.

See, Democrats can have all the hearings they want. They can have all the subpoena fights the judicial system can handle. A dozen committees and subcommittees can have witnesses and experts testify about the criminality of the Trump administration. But no one is gonna give a single shit about those things except all the assholes who are constantly checking Twitter to see who "destroyed" who in a 3-minute video. (Note: Yeah, I'm one of those assholes, and it has made me seek the comfort of vicodin and vodka, a V&V cocktail that can straight murder you if you're not careful.)

What people can get their heads around is a single, simple concept: impeachment. It crystallizes all that other shit into a concept that is analogous to "fight." As in, "Holy Christ, Democrats are finally gonna stop being such punk-ass bitches and actually fight this dumb orange motherfucker who is wrecking the joint. About fuckin' time."


See, Democrats don't have to go after Trump for conspiring. They can go after his refusal to acknowledge that Russia did what our own investigations say it did. They can go after his refusal to get behind the efforts to protect the vote. They can go after his disturbing faith in Vladimir Putin. In other words, they can go after Trump for dereliction of duty, for violating his oath of office, and for being such an egomaniacal prick that the legitimacy of his election is more important than the legitimacy of our entire democratic system.

Impeachment would tie together so many threads for Americans. And, goddamnit, Mueller should testify before a House committee because we're not a reading people in the USA. Hell, just having Mueller repeat shit like a live podcast of his report would probably do more to turn the tide against Trump than all the printed words they can muster. (And he could answer whether or not he wanted the FBI post that Trump says he wanted.)

And Democrats better do this shit soon because Trump is listening to some nutzoid ratfuckers on this. Not only did he say in his mad rant yesterday that a court wouldn't "allow" impeachment (the Supreme Court has nothing to do with it until the trial in the Senate after impeachment, where the Chief Justice presides), he said to reporters, "Someday, you ought to read a thing called Article 2. Read Article 2, which gives the President powers that you wouldn’t believe. But I don’t even have to rely on Article 2."

Yeah, you can try to stop him now with impeachment or you can wait until he comes up with a pretext to shitcan the Congress while Republicans totally agree they should give him all the power.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jun 1, 2019, 08:31 PM (20 replies)

They Know That America Isn't Great


They Know That America Isn’t Great
The Trump administration wants to rig the Census with a racist citizenship question because they know that where the country is weakest, and yet they portray themselves as fit to judge who is and who isn’t American
By Jamil Smith

The president may be a fool, but that doesn’t make him an ineffective racist. That would presuppose that it takes great talent to be good at hating people and furthering that hatred through policy. Donald Trump is quite adept at finding America’s weaknesses, a trait he shares with the Russians who helped him win the election. Both his White House and the Kremlin know just where to look first: America’s persistent racism. It is always easier to find holes in the boat and to punch new ones, than to devise methods for plugging them and keeping everything afloat.

One such weakness is the Census, which this administration has sought to weaponize as an undocumented immigrant address book for ICE and, as a consequence, a way to erode Hispanic and Latinx influence at the ballot box. We knew that the Trump administration’s proposed citizenship question for the 2020 Census was racist. But the ACLU revealed Thursday new proof that the question, which the group is now challenging before the Supreme Court, was explicitly crafted with the purpose of helping white people become more politically powerful.

Most everything Republicans do is to protect their power these days, and virtually all of them are white, so this isn’t a difficult calculus. Intent isn’t required for a racist act, but there still was plenty here. Thomas Hofeller — the late Republican strategist with a special talent for shaping racially discriminatory districts in places like North Carolina — “played a significant role in orchestrating the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census” before his death last summer and intended to shape the citizenship question “in order to create a structural electoral advantage for, in his own words, ‘Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.’” Hofeller also added that it “would clearly be a disadvantage for the Democrats” and successfully predicted that implementing the question would “provoke a high degree of resistance from Democrats and the major minority groups in the nation.”


Whoever is planning to replace this president has to not just plan for the considerable triage ahead. They have to fully understand that the America they want to lead into the future has a lot of structural weaknesses that are due purely to the consistent refusal of its powerbrokers to rid it of the identity-based inequities that have provided white men unearned advantages since day one of the republic.

Democrats, no matter how much they wish to sell the halcyon days of the Obama years or wish away the trauma of the present, cannot ignore the horror of that reality. Trump is showing it to them unvarnished. He is exposing every hole in the boat and punching out new ones every day. Any true patriot would understand that the kind of racism like what we see at work in the Census citizenship question is not what makes America great. It is sabotage.

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jun 1, 2019, 08:22 PM (1 replies)
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