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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,434

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German opinion editor on Ivanka representing US: She is his voice, but somehow she has a nicer face.


Best quote from the article:

"We have family clan experiences in autocracies,” Seibel told Politico. “Ivanka Trump isn’t elected, she is a daughter. She didn’t say anything in the elections when he was saying nasty things about women and migrants. She is his voice, but somehow she has a nicer face.


On Tuesday, Ivanka was in Berlin to represent the United States in a panel at the W20 Summit, an international convention dedicated to the “economic empowerment of women.” The moderator of Ivanka’s W20 panel pulled no punches, asking her right away to clarify her White House role.

“Whom are you representing?” the moderator continued, as the audience burst out in laughter. “Your father as the president of the United States, the American people, or your business?”

Ivanka replied by saying “certainly not the latter.”

“I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well as it is quite new to me,” she continued. “As an entrepreneur and an individual prior to this in the private sector, I cared very much about empowering women in the workplace. And the opportunity to have an elevated platform, to be able to sit here on this stage — and thank you chancellor for your very gracious invitation — I am humbled to be here with so many formidable leaders, to engage in dialogue, to learn, to bring the advice, the knowledge back to the United States, back to both my father, and the president, and hopefully that will bring about incremental positive change, and that is my goal.”

LOts of snips


There's no such thing as a blue or red state. Looking past stereotypes critical to electoral success

"Many progressives trade in stereotypes about Kansas with childlike pride, writes Sarah Smarsh in Wichita, KS. But to use geography to separate the righteous from the scourge is dangerously simplistic."

The Guardian

This is a long but excellent article with some very important points for electoral success. It's so good that I was hard pressed to decide what to excerpt. I chose something from near the end, but the whole thing is well worth reading and has important observations.

(Lots of snip)

The test for a relatively young nation being forced to grow up is whether it can recognize simultaneous truths.

Thompson shows the way for Democrats in areas they’ve long failed at the polls by being a walking integration of categories: a gun-rights defender who goes hunting, a liberal activist, a commonsense graduate of the school of hard knocks, a fighter who doesn’t mince words with wonky policy talk but shows up as an ally for his local Jewish community, people of color, the LGBT community.

At a recent Wichita rally supporting transgender rights, a couple of hecklers wearing masks used a blow horn to try to drown out event speakers. When Thompson went to the microphone, one of the disrupters tried to talk over him.

“I told him to shut the pie hole three feet above his ass – over the speaker system,” Thompson recalled and cracked up. “My director of communications asked me later, ‘Please don’t ever say that again.’”

But Thompson’s vernacular would have gained the admiration of my straight-talking family, who rarely engage in activism because it often speaks a language they didn’t get to learn.

At this perilous moment in America, the only victory to be had is not on the red and blue map but above it, not with clever strategies but through human connection.

Thompson’s progressive, populist momentum in “deep red” Kansas – where he respected people enough to knock on their doors and look them in the eye – is proof of that. His showing at the polls echoed bipartisan resistance seen in recent months at town hall meetings and marches in seemingly unlikely places and suggested a playbook for Democrats aiming to reclaim districts vacated by Montana, South Carolina and Pennsylvania Republicans in special elections yet to come.

America is one place. Every state shares in her sins, and every state shares in her progress.



My 10 year old neighbor just told me her favorite sign from the Portland science march Saturday:

My 10 year old neighbor went to the march in Portland Saturday with her scientist parents. She just told me this was her favorite sign:

"Fun with science: Let's 3-D print a new president! "

Obamas Barrage of Complete Sentences Seen as Brutal Attack on Trump (Borowitz)

Satire from the Borowitz Report
Obama’s Barrage of Complete Sentences Seen as Brutal Attack on Trump
By Andy Borowitz 01:39 P.M.

CHICAGO (The Borowitz Report)—In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, former President Barack Obama unloaded a relentless barrage of complete sentences in what was widely seen as a brutal attack on his successor, Donald Trump.

Appearing at his first public event since leaving office, Obama fired off a punishing fusillade of grammatically correct sentences, the likes of which the American people have not heard from the White House since he departed.

“He totally restricted his speech to complete sentences,” Tracy Klugian, a student at the event, said. “It was the most vicious takedown of Trump I’d ever seen.”

“About five or six sentences in, I noticed that all of his sentences had both nouns and verbs in them,” Carol Foyler, another student, said. “I couldn’t believe he was going after Trump like that.”

Obama’s blistering deployment of complete sentences clearly got under the skin of their intended target, who, moments after the event, responded with an angry tweet: “Obama bad (or sick) guy. Failing. Sad!”

Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com.

More http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/obamas-barrage-of-complete-sentences-seen-as-brutal-attack-on-trump?mbid=nl_042417%20Borowitz%20Newsletter%20(1)&CNDID=49083371&spMailingID=10882513&spUserID=MTgzMjI2MTM1NTc2S0&spJobID=1141906009&spReportId=MTE0MTkwNjAwOQS2

Bill Nye Slams CNN for Putting Climate Science Denier on Earth Day Panel; Tells him, "cut that out"

Great panel discussion here. Bill Nye confronts climate change denier who met with Trump and reportedly is being considered for science advisor; destroys his arguments.

Bill Nye will gladly talk to the media about climate change, but he has no time for climate change skeptics.

The celebrity scientist slammed CNN’s “New Day” on Saturday for putting together an Earth Day panel that included William Happer ― a physicist who thinks carbon pollution is a myth and once said carbon dioxide was being demonized like Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

When asked about Happer’s skepticism, Nye answered by providing Happer with a few facts about the rising rates of atmospheric CO2 ― but not before scolding the hosts for doing a “disservice” to their viewers.

“I will say, as much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic, and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said, referring to the widespread consensus among scientists that climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.


In the past, Happer has argued that global warming and an increase in carbon dioxide is “good for mankind.” The climate change skeptic met with President Donald Trump in January, sparking rumors that he was being considered for the role of science adviser.

During Saturday’s panel, Nye offered Happer a bit of advice.

“Sir, with some respect,” Nye said. “I encourage you to cut this out so that we can all move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology.”


Nebraska Farmer Politely Schools Fox News Host On Dangers Of Keystone XL Pipeline

This is great; he calmly and convincingly counters every one of Sandra Smith's talking points. Video in link; worth watching for his demeanor and the intelligence of his replies:

Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup urged the Trump administration on Friday to abandon plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline and focus instead on boosting renewable energy.

In a four-minute interview on Fox News, Tanderup ― who heads a group of about 90 Nebraska landowners trying to block the pipeline ― politely countered each of host Sandra Smith’s talking points as she repeatedly suggested his personal stake was the only real reason he opposed the project.

“Our premium goal would be to leave the tar sands in the ground and move more rapidly to renewable fuels,” said Tanderup, who owns a modest 160-acre farm passed down from his wife Helen’s grandfather.

Four days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump revived the Keystone XL project with an executive action inviting the Calgary-based pipeline builder TransCanada to reapply for permits to build. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline after seven years of deliberation, on the grounds that the environmental risks remained too great. If completed, the pipeline would carry tar sands ― a noxious mix of sand, clay, and viscous oil, considered one of the dirtiest and poorest-quality fuels ― from Canada to Texas to be refined for export.

“After we learned how destructive the chemicals and the tar sands are, we have come to realize that this type of fossil fuel should not be happening,” Tanderup said Friday, after Smith asked whether he would still oppose the pipeline if the route didn’t go through his property. “It doesn’t matter where it’s at ― we need to look for other sources of renewable energy. We would fight it wherever it was.”

Smith suggested the pipeline would be more secure than transporting tar sands by rail. Indeed, the Fraser Institute, a conservative think tank in Canada, found that moving oil and gas via a pipeline is 4.5 times safer than doing it by rail.

But the existing Keystone pipeline already leaked 16,800 gallons of oil on Yankton, South Dakota, last year, Tanderup noted. (Keystone XL, as the name suggests, would be an extension of the existing Keystone pipeline, providing a shortcut to Texas refineries.)


A Bernie Sanders Campaign Adviser Was a Russian. Now He's Speaking Out. (Intercept)

A high-level adviser and operative for the 2016 Sanders campaign was Vitali Shkliarov, a Soviet-born citizen of Belarus. Shkliarov, who had previously worked on the 2012 Obama re-election campaign and for several other successful Democratic Party campaigns, has also become increasingly in demand as a political adviser and campaign manager in Russia, working for liberal candidates in opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

Possessing a unique background and vantage point, Shkliarov, now that the 2016 election is over, has many interesting observations to express on the state of American politics, the Democratic Party, U.S.-Russian relations, and the impact of rising anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S.


Shkliarov’s anti-Putin bona fides, and his now-entrenched status in both the Russian and American community of liberal and leftist political consultants, makes him a unique voice on a wide range of issues of current prominence, particularly the state of US-Russia relations and the impact of anti-Russian discourse in the U.S. Last week in Rio de Janeiro, I spoke with him about his experiences with the Sanders campaign, his views on Trump’s victory, the dangers posed by rising tensions between Moscow and Washington, and what it’s like now to be a Russian who works in U.S. politics.

Of particular interest is Shkliarov’s analysis of – and his warnings about – the dangers posed from escalating U.S.-Russia tensions (on Tuesday night, the U.S. scrambled jets in response to Russian warplanes flying 100 miles off the coast of Alaska for the first time since Trump became President).

Especially noteworthy are Shkliarov’s concerns about how intensifying anti-Russian sentiment in U.S. discourse is alienating Russian liberals from the U.S. and uniting them behind their own government – as happens in most countries when people, even those who loathe their own government, perceive that their nation is being demonized and targeted by a foreign power.


The transcript of our discussion, edited for length and clarity is below, along with several video clips:

Lots more:

GA Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Voting In Fierce Runoff Election; NAACP Suing State

Georgia Is Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Taking Part In Fierce Runoff Election
This is just typical, said the Georgia NAACP chief, who is suing the state.
By Sam Levine

Five civil rights and civic engagement groups have filed suit against Georgia and its secretary of state for attempting to block registered voters from participating in a closely watched runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

On Thursday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a complaint in the federal district court in Atlanta, arguing that the state is violating the National Voter Registration Act. That law sets 30 days before a federal election as the earliest permissible deadline for voter registration.

Georgia complied with the provision for the special congressional election held this past Tuesday. But because no candidate won 50 percent of the vote, there will be a second election on June 20 ― a runoff between the top two finishers, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

Georgia election officials contend that the June runoff is simply a continuation of the special election this week, so they don’t have to allow newly registered voters to participate. The registration deadline for Tuesday’s election was March 20, and officials say anybody who registers after that day is not eligible to vote in the June runoff.

Ezra Rosenberg, co-director of the voting rights project at the Lawyers’ Committee, argues that under the federal law, Georgia can’t set the registration deadline for the June 20 runoff any earlier than 30 days before that election ― that is, May 22.

“The case is actually a very, very simple case,” Rosenberg told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “Federal law specifically defines elections as including runoff elections.”

The National Voter Registration Act, passed in 1993, defines the word “election” based on the Federal Election Campaign Act. That 1971 statute defines an election as “a general, special, primary, or runoff election.”


David Axelrod "Axe files" extensive interview with Adam Schiff. Brilliant and perceptive, as usual.

They cover a lot of ground on many topics. Schiff is impressive, as always. We are so fortunate to have him. He had prior experience as a prosecutor working with the FBI on a case of an FBI agent who turned Russian spy.

They start talking about Trump/Russia and the investigation about the 49 minute point and covers a lot of ground on this as well.

He says he has a lot of confidence in Mike Conaway, the new head of House Intel, which is reassuring, and feels that the House investigation has been reset and can proceed now. Talks about the possibility of Russia inserting fake docs into dumps of real docs, and why it is so critical to bring the public along on what's going on. Discusses Nunes; his own meeting with the president about getting the docs he needed.


April 20.

Heartwarming story: Blind & deaf puppy learning how to bring comfort to others as therapy dog

Being deaf and blind won't hold this pup back from becoming a therapy dog

The first few dog trainers seemed too confident about being able to work with Erin Baxter's newly adopted dog, Ruby, who has been deaf and blind since birth.

It made Baxter nervous that these trainers didn't seem to recognize the obvious challenges, that they didn't seem to think training a dog who is missing two of her primary senses would be difficult at all.

Trainer Rick Carde's hesitation, by contrast, was reassuring. Carde told Baxter he'd worked with dogs who are blind or deaf, but never ones who are both. He said he wasn't sure what he'd be able to teach her, or how.

It just hadn't been done a lot. There aren't a lot of deaf and blind dogs who've lived and have gotten into homes so committed to helping them thrive. But he said he'd like to try, which was what Baxter wanted to hear.

"This is my first time doing this, so it's all new to me, too. We are learning together," Baxter told TODAY. "I believe things are put in our paths for a reason and you can choose to follow the signs or ignore them."


After working together for some time, Carde asked Baxter if she was serious about training Ruby to do therapy work. She said yes.

"She comforts just about anybody that has the weight of her body on them," said Baxter.

Ruby's warm, friendly, loving disposition is perfect. Carde began developing a whole new set of training methods to help Ruby learn her therapy dog skills, like being able to ignore distractions.

Carde and Baxter imagine Ruby providing great comfort to, say, veterans with PTSD, and kids who've lost their vision.

"She can do it, you can do it," Carde said.

There is much more to this heartwarming story:
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