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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,333

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Trump responds to Obama's eulogy: I did much more for minorities than he did


Trump responds to Obama’s eulogy: I did much more for minorities than he did
Published 22 mins ago
on July 31, 2020
By Sky Palma

In the wake of former President Barack Obama’s widely-revered eulogy at the funeral for the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, President Trump was asked by a reporter this Friday about his thoughts on Obama’s record when it comes to minorities.

“Well, he did a bad job for minorities,” Trump said. “I did much more for minorities than he did.”

Trump went on to say that he did a much better job than Obama “by far” for “African Americans, for Asian Americans, for women, for any group you look at — far better than Obama did.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 03:16 PM (14 replies)

CDC director says he was not involved in decision to change coronavirus data reporting

So who made this decision? Inquiring minds...


1 hour ago - Politics & Policy
CDC director says he was not involved in decision to change coronavirus data reporting
Orion Rummler

CDC Director Robert Redfield testified Friday that he was not involved in the Trump administration's decision to bypass his agency and instead have hospitals send coronavirus data to the Health and Human Services Department.

Why it matters: According to the COVID Tracking Project, data on coronavirus hospitalizations has been "unstable since July 15" — five days after the change.

The HHS "public data hub created under the new system is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors," which could create and complicate public health issues as cases and deaths surge nationwide, NPR reports.

An HHS spokesperson told NPR that the agency has worked quickly to fix errors and the agency is "pleased with the progress we have made during this transition and the actionable data it is providing," although some states and hospitals have had "difficulty."

What they're saying: Redfield told the House's select coronavirus committee that he did not remember the exact date that he was informed about the change — and that the CDC was not "directly involved in the final decision."

"But what I can say, is that CDC then and now continues to have access to all data, does all data analytics, so there's no restriction of any of the data and that data we continue to forward-face the American public," he testified.

Redfield said that he had not discussed the change with Vice President Pence or HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 12:13 PM (2 replies)

What It Felt Like To Have A President Again

What It Felt Like To Have A President Again
July 31, 2020 / John Pavlovitz

I almost forgot what that felt like.

To have a human being, the most powerful human being on the planet, stand before the nation and display their humanity when we so needed to see it.

To be in the middle of a swirling maelstrom of unanswered questions and unthinkable of pain, and have a president assure the people that all was not lost and that disaster was not a foregone conclusion.

Until fairly recently, we’d gotten used to presidents rising to these terrible occasions; men who despite their flaws and failings and political affiliations, were capable of becoming better versions of themselves in order to be a symbolic anchor for all the people in the swirling storms of shared tragedy.

At the funeral for Rep John Lewis, Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, reminded us what true leaders are supposed to do.

They are supposed to step into moments of great shaking and steady us, not willingly contribute to the shaking.

They are supposed to approach our collective wounds with a salve of decency, not press the jagged salt of malice into those painful places.

They are supposed to enter in times of national grieving and alleviate the despair, not intentionally compound it

They are supposed to take the glaring spotlight pointed at them and direct it to someone else, to something else; to our better angels and higher callings, to our many commonalities and to the nation we could be if we lean into them.

They are supposed to show us that the world is bigger than one person.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 10:20 AM (0 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Barack Obama Reminds Us That We Are a Nation

The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Barack Obama Reminds Us That We Are a Nation

There is a tone that Barack Obama has whenever he's talking about something where you know he's thinking, "This is so damn obvious that I can't believe I have to say it out loud." It's a mixture of incredulity that people (generally Republicans and Fox "news" viewers) could be so fuckin' stupid and disappointment that he has to say something that's been said a million times before. But it's also got an air of optimism behind it, that maybe it needs to be said over and over and this is just the burden we all bear. Yeah, that's it. That's the tone, and, goddamn, I've missed it.

Former President Obama's eulogy at the funeral of Rep. John Lewis, one of the titans of the civil rights movement, was blissfully political. It was refreshingly confrontational. And it was in the spirit of Lewis's entire life, as Obama well-knew. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Lewis had asked Obama to bring the fire to his funeral, especially since it was held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King had been pastor until his murder in 1968. What a better place and what a better time for Obama the fighter to finally, fully re-emerge. We missed you, man, and, holy shit, we need you.

The moment that had the tone was when he tied the current political and social reality to the past we try to believe we're better than. "Bull Connor may be gone," Obama said. "But today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans. George Wallace may be gone. But we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators."

If there is one thing that Obama must recognize now is how easy it is to take away the promise of progress, to move backwards on the very things that you believe must move forward. Obama has had to watch for the last three-and-a-half years as Donald Trump and the GOP savages dismantled everything that had been accomplished over the Obama's two terms: deal, agreements, policies, the fucking pandemic response team. What remains - the Affordable Care Act - has powerfully changed millions of lives for the better, and it is the white whale that conservative pricks want to harpoon for no reason other than it gives people hope that government can be a genuine force for good. That must be undermined because if Americans believe that, then they are going to want their government to do more than protect the assets and property of the very wealthy.

On the same day that Trump frighteningly suggested that the presidential election be delayed because of deranged lies about nonexistent mass voter fraud, Obama was passionately advocating for making elections more free and more fair. "We may no longer have to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar in order to cast a ballot. But even as we sit here, there are those in power are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting — by closing polling locations, and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws, and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision," and here his voice rose in genuinely righteous indignation, "even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that is going to be dependent on mailed-in ballots so people don’t get sick." Right there was where that tone was at its clearest. It was as if he was rhetorically asking, "Isn't it clear that you have to be evil to do this shit? This is about keeping people healthy and alive and engaged in our democracy. If you don't want that, you don't believe in this country."

And, of course, the evil motherfuckers don't.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 09:21 AM (2 replies)

State Democrats mount big comeback in 2020

State Democrats mount big comeback in 2020
Democratic state party groups in traditional and emerging swing states are seeing a huge cash influx from donors looking to beat Trump.
07/30/2020 07:51 PM EDT

Once ignored, underfunded and often written off, Democratic state party organizations are harvesting record-setting cash heading into the 2020 election, reasserting their roles inside the Democratic infrastructure after suffering for years in competition with super PACs and campaigns.

Across 15 possible battleground states, nearly every Democratic state party group is hitting higher quarterly fundraising totals or holding more cash on hand in their federal accounts than they did at this point during the 2016 presidential campaign, and a majority of them did both, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission filings and in interviews with party officials. Many of these state parties — responsible for field operations and coordinating a ticket-wide campaign — are seeing three, four or five times the amount of cash they did before.

Those surges are happening in traditional swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida as well as emerging targets for Democrats like Texas and Arizona. The Arizona Democratic Party raised $4.6 million in the second quarter, a more than 300 percent increase over its haul at this point in 2016, while Texas is sitting on five times more cash than it had at this point in 2016. North Carolina banked more than doubled its 2016 totals, from $2.5 million to just under $6 million, and racked up its strong online fundraising numbers in June since late 2018. Wisconsin, a stand out among the states, brought in a record-breaking $10 million last quarter.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:50 AM (0 replies)

Trump Has Made GOP Complicit In White Supremacism


Trump Has Made GOP Complicit In White Supremacism
July 31, 2020 at 7:29 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Michael Gerson: “In Trump’s approach to politics, all is flexible, all is negotiable, except the driving instinct of us vs. them. And it is not just a coincidence that the us is overwhelmingly White. Trump’s most consistent, defining goal has been the preservation of white supremacy against growing diversity. As we now see fully, he holds out the promise of a suburban, segregated promised land.”

“Those who dismiss this criticism as ‘playing the race card’ must ignore Trump’s constant employment of the racism card. Those who dismiss these concerns as ‘identity politics’ must somehow overlook the White identity politics that drives his public appeal. Trump’s approach is apostasy from the American ideal. It is the kind of thing that can lead to the breaking of nations.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:45 AM (5 replies)

Trump Is the Election Crisis He's Warning About


Trump Is the Election Crisis He’s Warning About
July 31, 2020 at 7:43 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Susan Glasser: “So, sorry, we cannot just ignore it when the President threatens to cancel an election. This is the kind of statement that should haunt your dreams. It is wannabe-dictator talk. It is dangerous even if it is not attached to any actions. And those who think that some actions will not follow have not been paying attention.”

“My alarm stems from having covered Russia when Vladimir Putin was dismantling the fragile, flawed democratic institutions that the country had established after the fall of the Soviet Union. It stems from reading history. It stems from having watched the past four years in America, where, day by day, the unthinkable has happened and been justified, rationalized, and explained away.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:42 AM (4 replies)

This was written by an American ex-pat living in Italy

Posted by a friend on FB...

This was written by an American ex-pat living in Italy 🇮🇹 🇮🇹 🇮🇹
"Many people are asking how we are able to have concerts and other public events in Italy, in Summer 2020. We took drastic measures; this is not a full list but here is what I can remember:

-We were in quarantine Posteour homes for about 10 weeks. This was enforced by the federal government countrywide, even though some regions had very few cases of COVID.

-During the lockdown, only one person per family was allowed out at a time.

-When that one person went out, they had to carry with them an “autodichiarazione”. It was a form that needed to be filled out every time you went out, dated and signed. You had to explain who you are, where you live and where you reside, where you were going and why you were going out. The only reasons permitted were food shopping, medical necessity, or if you were an essential worker.

-You were not permitted to leave your town borders except under extreme circumstances that had to be documented.

-You could be stopped by the police at any time and required to show the autodichiarazione (and other documents). Matt was stopped twice, in our town of around 8000 people.

-If you didn’t meet the criteria, or were caught outside your town borders, there were fines up to €3000 and potential jail time.

-Masks were required in all spaces, indoors and out, during the lockdown. When you went in to a store, you had to use hand sanitizer, then put on gloves afterward. (It took a long time to master putting fruit and veg into a thin plastic bag while wearing thin plastic gloves!)

-People gathering outdoors in groups, even just two people chatting in the square and at a 2-meter distance, were broken up by carbinieri immediately. Socializing was not permitted more than a passing hello.

-There was also a curfew, basically sunrise to sunset.

-People with dogs were permitted to walk them, but only within 200 meters of their home.

-It's worth noting that in this lockdown time, we were reading articles by doctors in China (where they experienced their surge of Covid several weeks earlier) who were saying that Italy wasn’t being nearly strict enough.

-During the lockdown, the government released daily figures telling us, by region (and town) how many were diagnosed with COVID, how many hospitalized, how many died, how many recovered. It was all very transparent and new figures were released every day. Tests were free, of course - the entire medical system here is not-for-profit.

-All these restrictions were for the general, "not-infected" population. If someone was diagnosed positive for Covid, a whole new and much more strict set of rules were imposed, including complete isolation quarantine, special handling of trash, delivery of food and other necessities, and other regulated details. Local businesses that previously didn’t deliver went out of their way to provide contact-less (and usually free) delivery to the town and surrounding areas, to help people stay home. For example, we had tomato seedlings and gelato delivered to us. (The gelato was a gift from a friend - thanks, you-know-who-you-are!)

-There were significant government programs to help people manage. Rent/mortgage suspensions, suspension of electric and utility bills, grants for businesses, grants for food shopping.

-After about 10 weeks, they relaxed the rules somewhat, based on the fact that we flattened the infamous “curve” to the point that hospitals were not overwhelmed.

-For a week or two after that, we were allowed to travel within our region (analogous to states in the USA), but absolutely not to cross “state" borders.

-After the initial reopening, when numbers didn’t skyrocket, they allowed us to travel freely within the country.

-In the meantime, rules have been relaxed a bit. For example, masks are no longer required outdoors unless safe distances can not be maintained. But many people wear them outdoors anyway. Masks are required in all indoor spaces and everyone adheres to it. I have not seen a single meltdown or tantrum over it. Everybody just does it and gets on with their business.

An analogy that occurred to me is this: “Reopening" is like running a marathon. No one can run a marathon without preparing. Trying to run one without preparing would be disastrous. Italy (and other countries who followed the advice of health professionals and other scientists) went through a financially and psychologically devastating period of time, in order to get to the “new normal” that we are experiencing now.

Integral to the relative success of Italy’s pandemic response (and that of some other European countries who have done well) is a nationwide public health care system. No one is reluctant to go to the doctor if they’re not feeling well for fear of incurring a huge bank-breaking bill.

When Italy started the lockdown, it didn’t really have a model to show how long it would last or what an end would look like. That was very intimidating for us because we didn't know when we might be able to leave our homes... 10 weeks? 10 months?

But if you are in the US reading this, you do have a model....Italy's. These measures were tremendously expensive and frustrating, but they saved lives and they worked. They sound extreme, because they are; but a pandemic is extreme, and requires a proportional response."
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 30, 2020, 04:30 PM (22 replies)

Republicans openly challenge Trump's tweet on delaying election

Republicans openly challenge Trump's tweet on delaying election
By Clare Foran and Manu Raju, CNN
Updated 12:40 PM ET, Thu July 30, 2020

Washington (CNN)A number of congressional Republicans openly rejected President Donald Trump's suggestion Thursday that November's presidential election should be delayed, a move that the President would have no authority to make given that the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting.
It was the latest example of the President making incendiary comments on Twitter -- and putting Republicans in an awkward spot to deal with the fallout.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Trump ally, told CNN when asked about the President's call to delay the election: "I don't think that's a particularly good idea."

Majority Whip Sen. John Thune, a member of Republican leadership, told CNN that there will be an election in November despite the President's tweet.

"I think that's probably a statement that gets some press attention, but I doubt it gets any serious traction," Thune said. "I think we've had elections every November since about 1788, and I expect that will be the case again this year," he said.

"No, we're not going to delay the election," Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said in an interview on Fox Business. "We're going to have the election completed and voting completed by Election Day."

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted, "Reminder: Election dates are set by Congress. And I will oppose any attempts to delay the #2020Election."


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 30, 2020, 01:13 PM (8 replies)

Obama to eulogize John Lewis as former presidents attend civil rights icon's funeral

Obama to eulogize John Lewis as former presidents attend civil rights icon's funeral
By Caroline Kelly and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Updated 7:26 PM ET, Wed July 29, 2020

(CNN)Former President Barack Obama will give the eulogy at US Rep. John Lewis' funeral on Thursday and former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will attend the service, according to sources familiar with the former presidents' plans.

The sources added that Clinton and Bush will also participate in the funeral, which will be held Thursday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The service marks the last day of a six-day memorial ceremony honoring Lewis.

The news of the three former commanders in chief each having a role in the service comes the same day President Donald Trump avoided a final opportunity to pay an in-person tribute to the late civil rights icon at Joint Base Andrews.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 29, 2020, 07:40 PM (2 replies)
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