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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,463

Journal Archives

Rachel on this now: Chemical Plant Near Houston Warns It's About To Explode

See this thread:
Rachel on it now.
Talking about TX (non-existant) regulations and how this is a set up for disasters.

They won't say what chemicals are in the plant; No public access to this info is required in TX.
Matt Dempsey from Houston Chroicle covering the story on Rachel now.
Experts saying it could be huge.
Government saying it won't be that big.
Just two miles down road there is another chemical plant. They are also on high potential for harm list.
Worst case scenario listed with EPA is that if they rupture there would be an environmental concern and this was with perfect meteorological conditions, which we are far from right now.

What does it say when people are glad the generals are defying POTUS? Mattis has been defiant lately

and the general (pardon the pun) view seems to be that it's a good thing, at least among progressives. I'm sure the righties feel differently, and Pence probably loved the transgender ban.

I have very mixed feelings. At what point does it become a military coup?
Seems like a slippery slope, and yet I like what Mattis is doing, and he seems far more sane than POTUS. The Constitution was not written for such times.

What do you all think?

I hope he hid the football.

Sweetest look on this man's face as he looks at baby he's rescuing from Harvey.


Can't get the photo to embed. If someone else can, please post in a reply. It will make you feel good to see the care and love in his face as he looks at the baby he is rescuing.

Edited to add: see post #6 for photo, thanks to Warren DeMontague.


Moments of Hope and Inspiration Rise Above the Chaos of Harvey

Considering the scale of the destruction Hurricane Harvey has brought to Texas, individual stories of the people affected could easily be overlooked.

There have been desperate pleas for help, selfless displays of courage and moments of humanity amid unfathomable disaster.

At times heartbreaking, at times inspiring, these are some of the moments that stand out.

More than any hurricane before it, Harvey struck at a time when almost anyone can document their own experiences through social media.

The world has been able to see some of the dramatic rescues and acts of altruism that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Lots of inspiring short videos worth watching.


"Harvey The Hurricane Hawk" Hunkers Down With Cabbie During Storm

“He just kind of hopped on in and doesn’t want to leave. I’m not sure what to make of it,” the driver said.

A hawk became an unlikely sidekick to a Texas cab driver after seeking refuge inside the man’s vehicle and apparently refusing to leave.Houston driver William Bruso said he was stocking up on supplies on Friday ahead of Hurricane Harvey when he returned to find the bird sitting on his passenger seat.

“He looks like he’s scared. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” Bruso narrates in one of 10 YouTube videos documenting the bird’s surprise visit. “He just kind of hopped on in and doesn’t want to leave. I’m not sure what to make of it.”

Bruso said he tried to shoo the hawk away, to no avail. Videos later showed the animal perched on the door of his parked car, still refusing to fly away. Bruso eventually took the bird inside and gave it chicken hearts to snack on.

Harvey stayed in Bruso’s home overnight, but a worker with the Texas Wildlife Rehab Coalition was seen scooping the bird up on Saturday and taking it to a shelter for professional care.

“He’s been free to go, any time now, but they’re going to take him,” Bruso said as a woman with TWRC retrieved Harvey. “He may need to be rehabilitated so everyone knows he’s in good hands.”

A TWRC spokeswoman confirmed to HuffPost in an email on Sunday that the bird is “safe with a licensed rehabilitator.” She also shared a video of the hawk in a cage.

“He has an injury that is preventing him from flying, so would not have survived the storm if he was not picked up,” an unidentified woman is heard saying in the video.


Animals are good judges of people. He recognized a safe and compassionate human, which is probably why he wouldn't leave.

Malcolm Nance up next on Rachel...lots on Steele dossier today.

Nance talking about how Steele would have verified the info he got. Saying Steele was way ahead of everyone else on Russia and so was David Corn.

US Voting Machine Supplier Leaks 1.8 Million Chicago Voter Records; FBI notified

These stories always say, "No results affected." Why does this not give me confidence? How do you prove a negative?

A leading US supplier of voting machines confirmed on Thursday that it exposed the personal information of more than 1.8 million Illinois residents.

State authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were alerted this week to a major data leak exposing the names, addresses, dates of birth, partial Social Security numbers, and party affiliations of over a million Chicago residents. Some driver’s license and state ID numbers were also exposed.

Jon Hendren, who works for the cyber resilience firm UpGuard, discovered the breach on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) device that was not secured by a password. The voter data was then downloaded by cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery who determined Election Systems & Software (ES&S) controlled the data. ES&S provides voting machines and services in at least 42 states.

Gizmodo spoke briefly with Chicago officials regarding the matter on Saturday. The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday after ES&S posted about the leak on its website. A spokesman for US Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois also confirmed on Saturday that the senator had been made aware of the situation.

ES&S was notified this week by the FBI and began its own “full investigation” with UpGuard’s assistance, “to perform thorough forensic analyses of the AWS server,” the company said in a statement, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.

ES&S said the AWS server did not include “any ballot information or vote totals and were not in any way connected to Chicago’s voting or tabulation systems.” The company stressed that the leak had “no impact on the results of any election.”

An ES&S electronic poll book—a kind of device used to check in voters on Election Day—was toyed with by hackers at the Defcon security conference this year in Las Vegas. As Gizmodo exclusively reported, the hackers discovered loaded on the device the personal records of 654,517 people who voted in Shelby County, Tennessee, including names, addresses, birthdates, and political party. The poll book was purchased on eBay. (ES&S did not respond to requests for comment for this story.)

As reported by Gizmodo in June, UpGuard previously discovered a massive, unsecured database leaking the personal information of nearly 200 million US registered voters online. That leak was tied to Deep Root Analytics, a conservative data firm contracted by the Republican National Committee during the 2016 election.

Update, 3:52pm: Chicago Election Board Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said in statement: “We are deeply troubled to learn of this incident, and very relieved to have it contained quickly. We have been in steady contact with ES&S to order and review the steps that must be taken, including the investigation of ES&S’s AWS server. We will continue reviewing our contract, policies, and practices with ES&S. We are taking steps to make certain this can never happen again.”

Update, 4:05pm: UpGuard CEO Mike Baukes told Gizmodo: “ES&S was able to secure the data promptly and issue a public statement with the details of the exposure, aiding the UpGuard Cyber Risk Team in our mission of ensuring that exposed information is secured. By working with enterprises like ES&S to swiftly close such exposures, UpGuard will continue to raise awareness about the issues of cyber risk affecting the digital landscape today.”

This story is developing and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.


48 hours in Charlottesville: Photo timeline with some stunning photos

Here are just a few. There are many more.








Trump Election Commissioners Resisting Efforts to Protect Elections From Hacking (Mother Jones)

The intelligence community fears that Russia’s meddling in US elections did not end in November 2016, and that when the Kremlin tries to intervene again, state and local voting systems will be a prime target. “They will be back,” former FBI Director James Comey warned in June. Many election systems would prove an easy target. Last month, hackers at the annual DEF Con conference demonstrated this vulnerability when they easily breached multiple voting machines. A 16-year-old hacked a machine in 45 minutes.

In response to this threat, the Department of Homeland Security has taken a major step to protect elections by prioritizing the cybersecurity of state and local voting systems. Yet several members of President Donald Trump’s controversial election commission oppose DHS’s move, and two of them have dismissed the threat entirely as a ploy for the federal government to intrude on states’ rights. Their opposition is a signal that the commission, tasked with finding vulnerabilities in the country’s election system, is not likely to take cybersecurity seriously.


Christy McCormick, a Republican commission member, said in a statement the next day that Russian interference was a hoax used by the federal government to gain access to state-run election systems. “This declassified report was not about the November elections; it was about politics,” said McCormick, who is also a member of the bipartisan Election Assistance Commission, which helps states administer elections. “Connecting the allegations in the report to the election administration process and asserting that it rose to the level of interference in our elections is a gross and incorrect characterization.”

Rather than accept the findings of the intelligence agencies, McCormick turned to John McAfee, the eccentric founder of the McAfee antivirus software company, as an expert on the question of Russian interference. McAfee, who ran unsuccessfully for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, has spent the last year on a crusade to exonerate Russia from the intelligence community’s assessment that it hacked the Democratic National Committee. McAfee has found an audience in Russian state-run media outlets, conspiratorial radio host Alex Jones, and pro-Trump right-wing blogs such as Gateway Pundit. “McAfee believes that the report is deceptive propaganda perpetrated on the American public, and I agree,” McCormick said.

The following week, Hans von Spakovsky, a commission member who has long warned about illegal voting and led efforts to make it harder to vote, published an approving blog post on McCormick’s objections to the critical infrastructure designation. Von Spakovsky has his own theories about why DHS decided to designate voting systems as critical infrastructure. When DHS first began to consider the designation last summer, following the first reports of breaches of state election systems by the Russians, von Spakovsky posited that the Obama administration was using the threat of hacks in order to gain entry into state and local election systems and help its preferred candidates win.

More, all worth reading:

Bill Moyers up next on Lawrence on CHarlottesville and Russia investigation

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