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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: 170,217

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Florida Crock: Say 'Resiliency.' Don't Say 'Climate Change.'

Florida Crock: Say ‘Resiliency.’ Don’t Say ‘Climate Change.’
by Pierre Tristam | January 30, 2023 - 6:46am

— from Flagler Live

Florida is crazy about resiliency. The word is everywhere, because hurricanes, rising seas, erosion, disappearing beaches and downtowns flooding on sunny days are everywhere. The elected need to look like they’re doing something about it. So here comes resiliency. It’s got toughness, machismo, lilt. The syllables surf off the tongue with just enough self-importance for a word coined in mid-17th century England that our right honorable Gov. DeSantis thinks it’ll power Florida through the catastrophes of the 21st. He’s plastering the word everywhere like wonder whitewash.

Except that resiliency in Florida is a crock. The state is throwing millions, soon to be billions, at the consequences of global warming. It’s not doing a damn thing about its part in causing global warming. Until then, the state is as good as complicit in its coastal communities’ destruction–maliciously so, because this isn’t mere negligence. It’s active, vindictive denialism. The language of climate change–like so much else in this administration–is censored from all DeSantis playbooks.


Ironically, the word has often been used to describe the resiliency of ecosystems, of the Amazon forest, of oceans, or the ozone layer in the face of human destruction. Give nature a chance, help it along just a bit (as we somehow managed to do with the ozone layer), go easier on greenhouse emissions, and it’ll reward you tenfold. That’s natural resiliency.

Florida hijacked the word, branding it on precisely the human factors that exploit and damage nature and exacerbate warming: concrete, overdevelopment, rebuilding fatter and meaner along the shore and in flood plains, and of course contempt for anything that might help nature along. In Florida, you not only don’t say gay. You don’t say climate change.


What are we doing in Florida? We’re policing the speech of teachers and professors. We’re banning books. We’re sanitizing history. We’re obsessing about drag queens. We have a governor more intent on turning the clock back to 1950 Florida than he is concerned about how close the ocean will be to our homes by 2050.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 11:58 PM (0 replies)

Don Jr. railed against 'political elite' who never worked in low wage jobs like he did


Don Jr. railed against 'political elite' who never worked in low wage jobs like he did
Walter Einenkel
Daily Kos Staff
Monday January 30, 2023 · 4:53 PM EST
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Donald Trump Jr. is still a thing. He uncomfortably sells Trump steaks and stuff. He also has a podcast or something resembling a digital interview show called Triggered. The title is a reference to how he triggers people. It is also the name of his sad attempt at being noticed by his narcissistic father. In a video uploaded two days before publishing this piece, and then pulled down while in the middle of writing this piece, Junior held an interview with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

From what was available to watch online, the video is a wide-ranging interview where Junior does most of the fast talking. McCarthy does a lot of vacuously agreeing with whatever points Junior has to make about how great his dad was as president. It isn’t worth watching for the most part, even if you are feeling particularly masochistic. But after long stretches of Junior telling McCarthy how dad Trump is really a “compassionate” guy who hides it so well no one in the world would ever think otherwise, Junior gives Kevin a chance to say something about Kevin.

McCarthy decides to quickly interject with information about his working- and middle-class upbringing. McCarthy brags about illegally flipping cars for profit, not having “the education” (which I guess is supposed to mean he didn’t go to an Ivy League school), winning a $5,000 lottery and buying single stock that did well when he was 20. Then Junior decides it’s time to launch into his own personal mythology that he worked hard-scrabble jobs and learned all about work ethics too.

It’s like watching the Mad Hatter Tea Party scene embodied in one man rambling for 35 seconds.

He begins by connecting with McCarthy on how this rough-scrabble upbringing is unique in the privileged world of politics: “And I feel like that's also something that's missing in so much of Congress where people are just—they've just been—they've never actually had that hustle.” You might be wondering how Trump Jr., a man who grew up in an unbelievably wealthy family and whose career seems to be entirely based on his father’s wealth and businesses, knows anything about “that hustle.” Gentleman Junior would like you to know that he gets it: “Now we get it. I understand where I come from in my background. I get it.”

See? He gets it. “But like my father made sure I worked minimum wage jobs and the like.” Excuse me? “And I could drive a caterpillar and like, you know, I also worked for tips, which is something I think that's really important that it s understand that aspect of things.” Are you getting any of this stolen working class valor? ”But, you know, in D.C., I feel like so much of that is lacking and no one's ever had to make payroll. No one's, you know, signed the front of a check as opposed to back.”

Someone’s mixing up fake working class versus capitalist class metaphors!

The rich frequently like to try and explain away their privilege by pretending that doing a job you don’t have to think about or use for money in your 20s is the same as growing up working for a living. The rich like Trump and his family like to pretend that being attacked by the media as a wildly corrupt organized crime family is the same as being a war veteran.

Junior’s intense working days seem to come from a period he spent in Aspen, Colorado, right after graduating University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. “To be fairly candid, I used to drink a lot and party pretty hard, and it wasn’t something that I was particularly good at.” He became a bartender. It seems that his hardcore bartending days came to an end after a few months, because according to accounts he ended up being arrested in New Orleans for public drunkenness during Mardi Gras and then he entered into the family business.

So, he maybe worked for tips?

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 09:16 PM (6 replies)

Florida Seeks to Allow Concealed Guns Without Permits


Florida Seeks to Allow Concealed Guns Without Permits
January 30, 2023 at 3:22 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner (R) unveiled a bill removing the state’s requirements for a permit and training to carry concealed guns, an idea endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The legislation would eliminate the need to get a license to carry a concealed weapon as well as the required weapons training that goes with it.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 05:00 PM (7 replies)

Grand Jury Presentation Reportedly Underway in Trump Hush Money Case


Grand Jury Presentation Reportedly Underway in Trump Hush Money Case
Asta Hemenway
Politics Reporting Fellow
Published Jan. 30, 2023 2:51PM ET

Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office were reportedly set to begin presenting evidence to a grand jury Monday in the case of hush money payments Donald Trump allegedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. The New York Times observed former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, a witness in the case, heading into the building where the grand jury is seated Monday. Witness testimony is expected to start soon, the Times reported, meaning District Attorney Alvin Bragg is likely close to deciding whether or not Trump will face criminal charges. Prosecutors are reportedly seeking to interview the Enquirer’s former editor Dylan Howard, and former employees of Trump’s company. Bragg recently revamped the hush-money case after abandoning a grand jury presentation last year.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 04:50 PM (1 replies)

How much more respected is America around the world under Joe Biden?

Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jan 29, 2023, 05:09 PM (19 replies)

Charles McGonigal's arrest should make Jared very nervous


Charles McGonigal's arrest should make Jared very nervous
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Saturday January 28, 2023 · 1:30 PM EST
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So far, news of the bombshell arrest of Charles McGonigal, the former FBI special agent, has focused on his central role in events leading up to the 2016 election. That connection is stunning, to be sure.

But there is another issue raised by McGonigal's arrest that hasn't drawn nearly as much attention. At least it has not yet, but it may prove even more pivotal to bringing down the Trump crime syndicate. And that's McGonigal's curious association with the desperate attempts by Jared Kushner, and his father, Charles, to rescue an upside-down investment in 666 (now 660) 5th Avenue.

A little background. Kushner Properties bought the iconic Midtown property for a record $1.8 billion in 2007, just before the 2008 crash. About $1.3 billion purchase was financed, and the property was almost instantaneously hemmoraging big money. Some estimates valued the building at well less than half of the purchase price.

Remarkably, after years of failed efforts (including overtures to a Chinese company), the Kushners finally were able to sell a 99 year lease on the building to a company called Brookfield Asset Management in August 2018, with funding supplied by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. The $1.2-billion lease payment for all 99 years was paid up front, allowing the Kushners to get the finance monkeys off their backs. Phew!

Crucially, after McGonigal retired from the FBI in September 2018, he was hired as senior vice president for security by none other than Brookfield... the company that saved the Kushners' asses.

Below is a link to a fascinating timeline of the Kushner/666 5th Avenue saga. It is an absolute must read. It long predates McGonigal's arrest, as it's nearly two years old.

But what you'll find is instructive and critically important, I think. Blackmail, unauthorized diplomacy, and more.

Now, a direct connection to none other than Charles McGonigal. Coincidence? It's just too crazy to be coincidence.

Stay tuned.

Timeline on Jared Kushner, Qatar, 666 Fifth Avenue, and White House Policy
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jan 29, 2023, 10:16 AM (48 replies)

Dear Opponents of Ron DeSantis Everywhere: Get Your Shit Together

Dear Opponents of Ron DeSantis Everywhere: Get Your Shit Together
by Hamilton Nolan | January 27, 2023 - 8:02am


People in Florida of all political persuasions often talk of Ron DeSantis as if he is a formidable juggernaut that Democrats can’t hope to restrain. This is false. He is a half-smart, washed up Ivy League baseball player whose defining characteristic is not cleverness or likeability, but overweening ambition. He has a goofy squeaky voice and palpable absence of warmth that will not translate well to the national stage. He is just as immoral as his rivals, but he lacks the polished presentation of Ted Cruz and the magnetic insanity of Donald Trump. Though, as a rule, I do not make electoral predictions, it would not be surprising to see him crash and burn when faced with a presidential campaign that depends, above all, on charisma. It is easy to imagine him as the latest in a long line of media-hyped red state governors whose self-importance crashed and sunk against the rocks of a competitive primary.

Nor is he some sort of king whose hold on Florida should be taken for granted. Florida is, in essence, a 50/50 state that should be extremely competitive in every election. So why did DeSantis win reelection last year by 20 points? Because Democratic turnout in the state plummeted by 20 points compared to the 2018 election, while Republican turnout increased. In 2018, Democrats ran Andrew Gillum, a progressive, younger candidate of color for governor, and almost won; in 2022, they ran a tepid old former Republican, and got whipped. When you don’t give people anything exciting to vote for, they don’t turn out to vote.

Like partisan redistricting, gerrymandering, and showy acts of racist voter suppression, DeSantis’s new salvo against teachers unions is an effort to turn a narrow, temporary advantage into a permanent one. Disenfranchise some Democrats, demoralize the rest, and demolish the few institutions that can sustain their statewide power. This is the DeSantis plan, and he isn’t shy about it. He doesn’t need to be. His base revels in it, and his opposition is weak, scared, and seemingly without a plan.

In Florida, all of the most important macro-issues of American politics are screaming out as we speak. The proud fascism that DeSantis embodies must be met with radicalism. Clinton-esque Democratic attempts to triangulate their way out of the problem are doomed to fail, and will only serve to drive home the untrue impression that Florida is a red state. You can’t equivocate with DeSantis. He puts Black people in jail at gunpoint for voting; he bans books and outlaws Black history teaching with a bluntness that would make George Orwell blush; he demonizes trans kids, perfectly happy to drive a few young people to suicide if it helps him solidify his own position. This guy is not some sophisticated mastermind — he’s an asshole. He is the embodiment of the worst 30% of Floridians, the ones who make the state a national punchline. And those who roll over for him, like the dozens of college presidents who publicly kowtow to his backwards “vision,” are cowards who will find themselves on the wrong side of history when the uncensored textbooks eventually get written.

That is one thing Florida proves: The absolute need for the Democrats to stop being weak and afraid of their own convictions. The second thing it proves is the absolute centrality of organized labor as a path out of the political quandary that afflicts America. Inequality has killed public faith in institutions, and modern media has entrenched national partisanship to a degree that some perceive as hopeless. Unions can roll back inequality. Unions can bring people of different political persuasions together in common cause in the workplace. Unions can show people an actual functioning democracy. Unions can lead regular people to political activism based on principles they learn by fighting for fair treatment for themselves. Unions can be strong enough to serve as a wall that stops the predations of opportunistic, hateful politicians like Ron DeSantis.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 27, 2023, 04:53 PM (17 replies)

Rep. Jerry Nadler Adds Adam Schiff To The House Judiciary Committee


Posted on Fri, Jan 27th, 2023 by Jason Easley
Rep. Jerry Nadler Adds Adam Schiff To The House Judiciary Committee

Rep. Nadler said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:

I am very pleased that most of our outstanding members from last Congress are returning to the Judiciary Committee. Due to their hard work, Democrats passed 110 Judiciary Committee bills through the House and 53 of our bills were signed into law. Under Democratic leadership of the Committee, we enshrined marriage equality in federal law; we enacted the first significant gun safety legislation in a generation; we ensured that survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment are free to tell their stories and to seek justice in the federal courts; we reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act; we codified lynching as a crime in federal law; we addressed the spate of hate crimes against Asian Americans and others in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; and we enacted measures to strengthen the antitrust system.

Additionally, I am pleased to welcome Reps. Schiff and Ivey to the House Judiciary Committee. Each have a unique set of experiences and skills that will be major assets to the committee as we fight to protect the rights, freedoms and privacies of the American people. I look forward to working alongside this talented and dedicated group of members again this Congress.

Rep. Schiff launched his 2024 US Senate campaign on Thursday for the expected to be open seat in California.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy only has the ability to block Democratic choices for the House Intelligence Committee. McCarthy can’t do anything about Schiff serving on the Judiciary Committee.

It would take a majority vote of the full House to remove Democratic Reps. Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar from their committee assignments, and members of the Republican caucus have already said that they would vote no if such a resolution was brought to the floor.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 27, 2023, 04:24 PM (8 replies)

It Shouldn't Just Be Elaine Chao


It Shouldn’t Just Be Elaine Chao
When it comes Trump’s overtly racist attacks, the only person willing to speak up in the GOP is the person being bullied.
Inae Oh
Senior News and Engagement EditorBio | Follow

In a rare public statement, Elaine Chao, the former transportation secretary and wife of Mitch McConnell, hit back at Donald Trump’s anti-Asian attacks on Wednesday, claiming that the overtly racist insult “Coco Chow” revealed more about her one-time boss than it did about Asian Americans.

“When I was young, some people deliberately misspelled or mispronounced my name. Asian Americans have worked hard to change that experience for the next generation,” Chao told Politico. “He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.”

It was a measured response; its power relying on the fact that someone had bothered to speak up at all.

Yet did it have to be her? Reading Chao’s new statement, what struck me was the absence of Republican lawmakers defending her in the accompanying piece. Aside from two Republicans, Alyssa Farah, the former White House communications director under Trump who has since quit MAGA, and Scott Jennings, a GOP strategist and former aide to Chao’s husband, neither of whom are sitting lawmakers with real skin in the game, the piece didn’t include a single Republican lawmaker willing to speak up.


Of course, the GOP’s collective shrug at all this isn’t new. That’s turned into a near-obsession for me, and like Trump, I’ll just keep throwing out words at the wall until someone says something. Here are two: monstrous asshole.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 27, 2023, 12:52 PM (11 replies)

Hakeem Jeffries just laid out Democrats' pitch to retake the House in 2024. It's killer


Hakeem Jeffries just laid out Democrats' pitch to retake the House in 2024. It's killer
Kerry Eleveld
Daily Kos Staff
Thursday January 26, 2023 · 3:55 PM EST
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When House Democrats' newly elected Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York sat down with Pod Save America this week to discuss his party’s approach to being in the minority, one thing became pointedly clear: House Republicans are already laying the groundwork for a Democratic takeover in 2024.

House Republicans—replete with juvenile, self-consumed bomb-throwers—are just wholly unequipped to lead the country in any “reasonable” fashion that can benefit the American people. But Jeffries’ reflections on trying to govern alongside a party full of nihilists was perhaps more telling about campaigning in 2024 than legislating in 2023. First and foremost, Republicans are extreme. They’re also a threat to America as we know it. Locating just five sane and sober House Republicans is the key to averting disaster, but even that’s a tall order. Finally, Democrats are committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare—programs that Americans have paid into and deserve.

Here’s a brief overview of themes Jeffries hit that are also sure to show up on the campaign trail next year:

1. Social Security and Medicare are non-negotiable for Democrats

Jeffries: “The first issue that's going to be in front of us is to make sure we don't default on our nation's debt for the first time in American history. ... There are Republicans that want to essentially hijack that debt ceiling issue in order to extract painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare—we're going to draw a line in the sand. Social Security's not negotiable. Medicare's not negotiable. And we are not going to negotiate with hostage takers.”

2. Every single Democrat wants to avert a global economic meltdown; all they need is five reasonable Republicans to join them

Jeffries: “I think the most important thing should be done is Kevin McCarthy should just bring a straight, clean debt ceiling bill to the floor of the House of Representatives, confident that every single member of the House Democratic caucus vote would support it. But we would need five, six—a handful—of reasonable Republicans to do what has been consistently been done for approximately 100 years on the debt ceiling issue.”

3. Americans have earned Social Security and Medicare

Jeffries: “I think the most important thing is that the American people have earned Social Security and Medicare, paid into it their entire lives, worked to get to a point where they can retire with grace and dignity, and there's just no circumstance where we should be even having a discussion, particularly as it relates to the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”

4. McCarthy's a lying liar and a squish, which might be the nation’s only hope

Jeffries (responding to McCarthy’s pledge to hold the debt ceiling hostage in exchange for making budget cuts): “Kevin McCarthy says a lot of things and then does something else. So the reality is, on this issue perhaps, the business community has consistently weighed in and suggested that a default on our debt would be catastrophic, highly problematic, unprecedented, and could collapse the economy, send it into a tail spin, a deep recession if not worse—not just the U.S. economy but across the world.

My suggestion is, he's not going to necessarily do the right thing as it relates to preserving Social Security and Medicare. But there are other reasons why people come to a conclusion and, in this instance, the business community can prevail upon my friends on the other side of the aisle.”

5. Republicans are extremists

Jeffries: “We've been very clear on a variety of issues: We believe in a woman's freedom to make her own reproductive health care decisions. They're extreme on abortion care—they want to criminalize abortion, impose a nationwide ban.

We believe in Social Security and Medicare—they're extreme on it. They want to blow it up

We believe in democracy—apparently many of them don't. They coddle insurrectionists, perpetrate the Big Lie.

The reality is, in my view what best captures the moment that we're in is a level of extremism that the vast majority of the American people are not comfortable with. And our job moving forward is to continue to contrast that with who we are as Democrats—people who are committed actually to making a difference in the lives of everyday Americans on issue after issue after issue.”

6. Again, all it would take is a handful of reasonable Republicans

Jeffries: “At the end of the day, the reality is we can either figure out a way on issues like the debt ceiling, on government spending, avoiding a shutdown, the farm bill, reauthorizing the FAA—these are things that we have to do this term. And we've got to find a way to find a reasonable group of Republicans interested in governing, not burning down the house, so that we an advance the ball for the American people.”

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 27, 2023, 09:41 AM (32 replies)
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