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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 73,556

Journal Archives

Ads, some nasty, play key role in Georgia Senate race with Jewish challenger

Ads, some nasty, play key role in Georgia Senate race with Jewish challenger
As Republican Senator David Perdue faces off against Democratic candidate Jon Ossof, little remains taboo, including extending the contender’s nose

11 October 2020, 8:20 pm

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) — On TV and online, a seemingly endless stream of ads accuse Republican Sen. David Perdue of being “corrupt” and “out for himself.” The senator is not pulling any counterpunches, casting his Democratic rival as “too radical” and backing a “socialist agenda.”

With in-person campaigning dampened by the coronavirus, advertising has taken on even greater importance in Perdue’s race against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Polls show a neck-and-neck contest, and the candidates, as well as outside groups, are spending huge sums on prime time TV spots that often run back-to-back.

The advertising arms race highlights Georgia’s newfound position as a top political battleground, with two Republican-held Senate seats on the ballot and a close race projected between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden.

Ads in the race between Perdue, 70, and Ossoff, 33, have at times been downright nasty, and even anti-Semitic. ..............(more)


Ohio's quarter-mile early-voting lines? That's what voter suppression looks like

Ohio's quarter-mile early-voting lines? That's what voter suppression looks like
David Litt

The long lines are happening not by accident but design. Voters must stand up to defend our system of government
Thu 15 Oct 2020 08.32 EDT

(Guardian UK) In-person early voting in started Ohio this week, and in the state’s largest cities, it was a total mess. In Columbus, the line stretched for a quarter of a mile. In Cuyahoga county, the hours-long wait began before polls even opened.

All of this was entirely predictable. Earlier this year, the Ohio official in charge of elections, secretary of state Frank LaRose, limited the number of in-person early voting sites to just one per county. Vinton county, a GOP stronghold in the state’s south-east that’s home to just 13,500 Ohioans, has approximately 97 times more polling places per voter than Franklin county, the deep-blue home to more than 1.3 million.

LaRose’s decree makes voting easier for his fellow Republicans and far more difficult for Democrats. But the needlessly long lines popping up throughout Ohio’s cities are not merely the result of election mismanagement or an ad hoc act of voter suppression. Instead, they reflect a view of democracy that prioritizes the imaginary preferences of land over the very real preferences of people, and in so doing, undermines the principle of “one person, one vote”.

To understand exactly why LaRose’s actions are so insidious, and so antithetical to modern democracy, it’s important to understand exactly the history of one person, one vote – a concept that sounds timeless, but in fact is younger than George Clooney. At the turn of the 20th century, as Americans began migrating from the countryside to cities, rural politicians came up with ways to retain power without having to retain population. The simplest way to do this was to avoid redrawing legislative district boundaries every year. The population of cities boomed – but the number of representatives allocated to them did not. ..........(more)


Most Michiganders unsympathetic to Trump catching COVID-19, poll says

(Detroit Free Press) A new Free Press poll shows that three out of five Michiganders surveyed are unsympathetic to President Donald Trump contracting coronavirus, believing he brought it on himself.

That includes more than a quarter of Trump's own supporters in Michigan.

"When you look at the reaction on his COVID illness ... it's a striking result," said Bernie Porn, pollster for EPIC-MRA of Lansing, which conducted the survey for the Free Press and its outstate partners between last Thursday and this Monday. "It just shows he's going to have a difficult time getting people to like him better."

The overall poll shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading Trump, 48%-39%, in Michigan with three weeks to go in the race, 4% supporting a third party candidate and 9% undecided. And though respondents selected from a list of top issues concerning them, the top two selected were reopening schools and the economy, which was picked by 23% of those surveyed, and responding to the public health crisis posed by the virus, picked by 21%. ...........(more)


Experts dismiss "garbage fire" Hunter Biden expos in NY Post: "Seems like a complete fabrication"

(Salon) The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post published a series of stories on Tuesday surrounding alleged emails between Hunter Biden and officials connected with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which the outlet obtained from a source who met multiple times over the last year with an individual whom the U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned as an active agent of Russia.

The Post, which published the unverified emails on Wednesday, reported that the information came from Rudy Giuliani. The former LifeLock spokesperson attempted to distance himself from Andrii Derkach last month after the Treasury Department accused the Ukrainian lawmaker of being a Russian agent and running a "covert influence campaign" directed at the 2020 U.S. presidential election since late 2019.

Giuliani met with Derkach in late 2019. He interviewed the Ukrainian parliamentarian, in his role as President Donald Trump's personal attorney, on a trip aimed at digging up dirt on Joe Biden. The former vice president was then viewed as the Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination; he is now the party's official nominee.


One of the multiple stories on the subject published Wednesday by The Post included a photo of what the shop owner claimed was a repair ticket. That invoice — which The Post printed without blurring contact information that a search by Salon subsequently linked to Hunter Biden — was dated April 19, 2019.

If Hunter Biden had indeed dropped off the computer, it would have been in the same month in which he stepped down from his position on Burisma's board of directors and his father announced his candidacy for president. It would have also been the same month in which some outlets in the U.S. press began publishing Giuliani's allegations of corruption. .......(snip)


Can America be saved from Donald Trump's black hole of lies?

Can America be saved from Donald Trump's black hole of lies?
Media critic Eric Alterman warns that Trump's lies are a black hole which has sucked in the country and news media

OCTOBER 15, 2020 12:00PM

(Salon) Donald Trump has publicly lied at least 20,000 times since taking office, according to the Washington Post. He does this in part because he has shown himself to be mentally unwell, if not a sociopath. But he also lies because he is a fascist authoritarian. For such leaders, lies are a way of assaulting reality and truth as a means of achieving unlimited power. These explanations are not discrete. They overlap with one another.

In a season of massive death, Donald Trump and his regime's lies about the coronavirus are a public health emergency – one which has killed at least 216,000 people in the United States.

Donald Trump and his regime's lies have also severely damaged America's prestige, alliances and global power. The country's enemies have also been emboldened by the Trump regime's lies and overall lack of consistency in foreign policy and principles.

Most important, Trump and his regime's policy of lying (in conjunction with wanton cruelty and other evil) has undermined American democracy. A common understanding of reality is the foundation of a health democracy. The Trump regime's lies and those of its agents are rotting that foundation.


Why has the White House press corps been so accommodating and enabling of Trump's lies? He also uses them as props for his fascist performances. Why do the members of the White House press corps not just walk about of the briefings or stand up and turn their backs to him?

They do not know how to do their job any other way. Their job is defined as getting whatever information is available at the White House. So even if it's lies, even if it's daily humiliation, the press corps has to go back the next day. Those reporters need to be on good terms with the people who are giving out the information — even if they're not giving out real or otherwise substantive information. It would be nice if the job of the White House press corps was to actually go out and find news, but that's not what they're there for. They're there as conduits for the White House. .............(more)


The Great American Oil & Gas Massacre: Bankruptcies Hit New Milestone as Bigger Companies Let Go

The Great American Oil & Gas Massacre: Bankruptcies Hit New Milestone as Bigger Companies Let Go
by Wolf Richter • Oct 14, 2020 •

The American Oil Boom Was Where Money Went to Die.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

The amount of secured and unsecured debts, such as loans and bonds, listed in bankruptcy filings in the third quarter by US oil and gas companies, at $34 billion, pushed the total oil-and-gas bankruptcy debt for 2020 to $89 billion, according to data compiled by law firm Haynes and Boone. And this nine-month total already surpassed the full-year total of oil-bust year 2016.

These are predominately exploration and production companies (E&P) and oilfield services companies (OFS) but also include some “midstream” companies (they gather, transport, process, and store oil and natural gas).

In mid-2014, the price of crude-oil benchmark WTI, which had been over $100 a barrel, started plunging. The companies involved in fracking couldn’t even generate positive cash flows at $100 a barrel. And as prices plunged, all heck broke loose. Creditors and equity investors, after drinking the Kool-Aid for years, suddenly got scared, and new money dried up to service the old money. A slew of bankruptcies ensued among the smaller players, reaching a high in 2016. And people thought that was it, the oil bust was over, and new money started pouring back into the sector.

But then came Phase 2 of the Great American Oil-and-Gas Bust in late-2018, with the price of WTI in the futures market eventually collapsing briefly to minus $37 a barrel in April 2020. In recent weeks, WTI has been hovering around $40 a barrel, at which the US oil industry is still burning millions of barrels of cash per day, so to speak:

The total number of oil-and-gas bankruptcies so far this year, at 88 filings, remains a lot lower than the 141 filings in 2016. Back then, scores of small companies were shaken out. Now the bigger ones with multi-billion-dollar debts are letting go as the crisis is working up the ladder. ............(more)


New Stevie Wonder "Can't Put it in the Hands of Fate" protest-inspired music


Have you no decency Sen. Graham?

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) followed up a question about marriage equality to SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett with a question about the legality of polygamy during hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. Graham appeared to be drawing connections between the two.

Asked Graham: “So we talk a lot about laws legalizing same-sex marriage [the Obergefell case]. If anybody tried to change that precedent one of the things you would look at is a reliance interest that people have formed around that piece of legislation?” .......(more)


Downtown Manhattan's Different Sectors Feel Each Other's Pain

(Commercial Observer) Lower Manhattan’s resurgence following 9/11 revolved around the idea of turning office-focused neighborhoods, such as the Financial District, into 24-hour, live-work-play centers. As the slowdowns and shutdowns of the COVID-19 era seem likely to last deep into 2021, many analysts and real estate figures see a significant and sustained drop in demand threatening the ecosystem of restaurants, retail and residential developments that has attracted so much energy and so many residents.

The shift threatens the mixed-use development strategy that has proven so successful over the past two decades.

“At the end of the day, it’s all connected,” James Famularo, president of Meridian Retail Leasing, said. “There are three categories — tourists, commercial office workers and residential — that make New York City as diverse as it is. With two components missing, it’s not really the same city anymore.”

The numbers from the retail and restaurant sectors are bleak. Nearly 90 percent of New York restaurants couldn’t pay their full August rent, and national retail chains are abandoning the city in droves. Add that to the decline in tourism, which employs nearly as many New Yorkers as manufacturing, according to the Center for an Urban Future, and it’s clear the slowdown has always had the potential to wallop a Lower Manhattan reliant on that 24-7 ecosystem. .................(more)


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