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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Number of posts: 36,194

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STEPHEN KING: The desk (Zen Pencils)


This lawmakers bio touted a business degree. It was actually a Sizzler training certificate.

Source: WaPo

The information that was posted on the Iowa Senate Republican’s website used to suggest that Mark Chelgren, a state lawmaker, held a business degree.

But that wasn’t exactly the case, according to NBC News and other media outlets, which this week reported that Chelgren instead held a certificate for a training program for the chain restaurant Sizzler.

Still, Chelgren — a Republican who represents the Iowa Senate’s 41st District in the southeastern part of the state — told the Associated Press that he didn’t mean to mislead people.

“I know they’ve changed that, because apparently a degree and a certificate are different,” Chelgren told AP. “And I’m okay with their change, but there was never any intent at all to mislead anyone.”


“This was a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, kind of like Hamburger University at McDonald’s,” Ed Failor Jr., chief of staff for the Iowa Senate majority leader, told NBC News. “He got a certificate.”


“I had to take their school and their classes and they gave me their degree — as they termed it — and I have used that terminology,” he told the newspaper. “I was told, ‘Well, it is probably better terminology to say ‘certificate,’ ” so regardless of however they want to do it, that is the semantics (NBC News is) arguing.”

Chelgren made headlines this month as the author of Senate File 288, proposed legislation that seeks to “require partisan balance” of faculty members who work at higher-ed institutions that are governed by the Iowa Board of Regents, according to its text.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/03/02/this-lawmakers-bio-touted-a-business-degree-it-was-actually-a-sizzler-training-certificate/?utm_term=.9782390978f9&tid=sm_tw&tid=sm_tw&tid=sm_tw

Kushner and Flynn Met With Russian Envoy in December, White House Says

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — Michael T. Flynn, then Donald J. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, had a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador in December to “establish a line of communication” between the new administration and the Russian government, the White House said on Thursday.

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. But among Mr. Trump’s inner circle, it is Mr. Flynn who appears to have been the main interlocutor with the Russian envoy — the two were in contact during the campaign and the transition, Mr. Kislyak and current and former American officials have said.

But the extent and frequency of their contacts remains unclear, and the disclosure of the meeting at Trump Tower adds to the emerging picture of how the relationship between Mr. Trump’s incoming team and Moscow was evolving to include some of the president-elect’s most trusted advisers.

The White House has repeatedly sought to play down any connections with Mr. Kislyak. Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged this week that he had met twice with him during the campaign, despite previous denials.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/us/politics/kushner-flynn-sessions-russia.html

Rachel Dolezal Changes Her Name To Nkechi Amare Diallo

Source: TPM

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Former Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who resigned amid criticism that she was passing herself off as black, has changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo.

Court documents show a judge granted her request on Oct. 7, 2016. Her new name has origins in Africa.

The former Dolezal has acknowledged that she is "Caucasian biologically" but says she identifies as black.

Her race became a national topic of conversation in 2015 after a local news reporter questioned her on camera about her background.



Senate Democrats RE: Trump/Russia connection (video tweet)


Trumps team nixed ethics course for White House staff

Source: Politico

President Donald Trump’s team rejected a course for senior White House staff, cabinet nominees and other political appointees that would have provided training on leadership, ethics and management, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

The documents suggest the program could have better prepared officials for working within existing laws and executive orders, and provided guidance on how to navigate Senate confirmation for nominees and political appointees, how to deal with congressional and media scrutiny, and how to work with Congress and collaborate with agencies — some of the same issues that have become major stumbling blocks in the early days of the administration.


The changes included the transition team’s desire to control all the speakers and content, according to the notice. It is unclear if the administration put in place its own program or offered any rigorous training to appointees and nominees across the government.


Several political appointees at agencies said they received very little training, and the time between the election and Inauguration Day was hectic. There has also been little contact between the political appointees at agencies and the longtime civil servants because of a lack of trust, several of these people said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-ethics-white-house-235586?cmpid=sf

Gee, that is surprising!

Pre/Post State of the Union feels thread... there is goodness in the world.

More: http://imgur.com/gallery/lJBxs

Insane Betsy DeVos Press Release Celebrates Jim Crow Education System as Pioneer of "School Choice"

Source: Slate

Donald Trump met Monday at the White House with the leaders of a number of historically black colleges and universities. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos commemorated the meeting with one of the more bonkersstatements you will ever see a 21st century politician make, somehow twisting an attempt to bring up her pet issue of school choice into praise for the segregated higher education system of the Jim Crow South:

Inbox: @BetsyDeVosED statement on today's meeting with HBCU leaders pic.twitter.com/J7SvKFjlcB
— adam harris (@AdamHSays) February 28, 2017

First of all, it sounds like a seventh grader wrote this, which is perhaps what happens when you put someone who has never really had a real job in charge of the Department of Education. Second, this official 2017 federal government press release celebrates legal segregation (!!!) on the grounds that the Jim Crow education system gave black students "more options," as if there was a robust competition between HBCUs and white universities for their patronage. (When black Mississippian James Meredith chose the "option" of enrolling at the University of Mississippi in 1962, a massive white mob formed on the campus; two people were shot to death and hundreds injured in the ensuing battle/riot, during which federal marshals came under heavy gunfire, requiring the ultimate intervention of 20,000 U.S. soldiers and thousands more National Guardsmen.)


Here is the press release:

W.B. Yeats Classic Poem When You Are Old Gets Adapted Into a Beautiful Short Film

W.B. Yeats’ 1891 poem “When You Are Old” is widely considered a commentary on his unrequited lifelong passion for actress, Irish Republican and suffragette Maud Gonne.

Yeats first met Gonne in 1889 (a meeting which Yeats was later to describe in his memoirs as the day ‘the troubling of my life began’) and he remained in love with her for much of his life, proposing marriage at least four times. Gonne became his muse, and he drew on his tortured love for her, albeit unnamed, as the inspiration for many of his works, including most notably the poem, “When You Are Old.”

Freely based on a sonnet by Pierre de Ronsard, which first appeared in Le Second Livre Des Sonnets Pour Hélène in 1578, “When You Are Old” enjoins the object of an unreturned love to reflect–in years to come–on a love rejected, to remember one who ‘loved your moments of glad grace’, and who ‘loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face.’

Although Yeats’s poetry is often very dense and rich in allusion to mythology, the occult and history, in “When You Are Old” the pain and bittersweet nature of a spurned love is all too apparent.


Video shows Tucson police shoving 86-year-old woman to pavement

Source: WaPo

The body camera footage of a recent protest against President Trump’s immigration policies in Tucson shows an 86-year-old woman, weighing less than 100 pounds and standing about 4 feet, 5 inches tall, approaching police officers and pointing at them as she shouted indiscernible words.

Then, a police officer appears to push her arm, causing her to fall backward and hit her head on the pavement. As a 65-year-old woman beside her reaches down to help the woman up, an officer pepper-sprays her in the face, temporarily blinding her and causing her to turn away in pain.


“I saw the police being way more aggressive than I’ve ever seen them be,” she said. She has been participating in peaceful rallies and protests in Tucson since she moved there in 1987, she said, and has never had any problems with local law enforcement.


LUPE wrote on a GoFundMe page that at least a dozen people, including two children, a retired teacher, a nurse, and two legal observers were “inhumanely pepper sprayed.” The group wrote that cries of “help me” could be heard as one of the leaders of Tucson Black Lives Matter was pepper-sprayed, pushed to the ground, pulled by her hair, and then dragged to the sidewalk and later into the patrol van where she was arrested.

Read more (although, you may want to stay away from the comments): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/27/video-shows-tucson-police-shoving-86-year-old-woman-to-pavement/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.676cbf08f464

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