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Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Black high school security guard fired after telling student not to call him the n-word

When a disruptive student called him the n-word multiple times, Wisconsin high school security assistant Marlon Anderson repeated the epithet while condemning its use. For that, Anderson said, he lost his job.

Days after the exchange between the security guard and the student, both of whom are black, the Madison School District told Anderson he was being dismissed. Officials pointed to a zero-tolerance policy on employee use of racial slurs, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The firing sparked outrage inside West High School and far outside it. As students staged a walkout to protest the decision, former U.S. education secretary Arne Duncan blasted it as “more evidence our country still can’t handle issues of race and racism.” Amid the backlash came a conversation about the effectiveness of a district policy that forbids the use of offensive language, no matter the context.

Anderson, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said many students have used the n-word against him in his 11 years with the district, and he has always explained its history and meaning. He’s determined to get his job back.


Fighting continues on Turkey-Syria border despite U.S.-led cease-fire

Source: NBC News

CEYLANPINAR, Turkey — Gunfire, grenades and mortars could be heard in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain on Friday despite a cease-fire drawn up by the United States and agreed Thursday night.

The agreement announced by Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara requires Turkey to suspend its military operations in northeast Syria for five days to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone.

NBC News staff could both see and hear mortars, grenades, machine-gun and rifle fire in Ras al-Ain — although it remains unclear who was responsible.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — allies of the U.S. during the fight against ISIS — claimed on Friday that Turkish forces were not slowing down their assault.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fighting-continues-turkey-syria-border-despite-u-s-led-cease-n1068516

No, Trump, you're not getting a Peace Prize.

Soccer club fires coach for calling Greta Thunberg a 'whore' and the 'right age to take a pounding'

“This whore! A 16-year-old can take a pounding, she’s at the right age!” Tommaso Casalini, a former assistant Coach of Grosseto’s Giovanissimi A team, wrote in a post earlier this week. Grosseto immediately removed Casalini as a coach saying in a statement that the trainer was fired for “not acting in line with the club, who focus on moral values ​​even more than technical values​," according to Football-Italia. 
After Thunberg's riveting speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit last month, the teen has had to face criticism from conservative leaders and religious figures. On September 25, she took on her haters, accusing them of distracting people from the environmental crisis plaguing the world today.

 "The haters are as active as ever — going after me, my looks, my clothes, my behavior, and my differences. They come up with every thinkable lie and conspiracy theory," she wrote in a string of tweets. "It seems they will cross every possible line to avert the focus since they are so desperate not to talk about the climate and ecological crisis. Being different is not an illness and the current, best available science is not opinions — it's facts."

She added: "I honestly don't understand why adults would choose to spend their time mocking and threatening teenagers and children for promoting science when they could do something good instead."


Krugman: Here Comes the Trump Slump

Now the U.S. economy is going through another partial slump. Once again, manufacturing is contracting. Agriculture is also taking a severe hit, as is shipping. Overall output and employment are still growing, but around a fifth of the economy is effectively in recession.

But unlike previous presidents, who were just unlucky to preside over slumps, Trump has done this to himself, largely by choosing to wage a trade war he insisted would be “good, and easy to win.”

The link between the trade war and agriculture’s woes is obvious: America’s farmers are deeply dependent on export markets, China in particular. So they’re hurting badly, despite a huge financial bailoutthat is already more than twice as big as the Obama administration’s auto bailout. (Part of the problem may be that the bailout money is flowing disproportionately to the biggest, richest farms.)
The Trumpist trade warriors, it turns out, missed two key points. First, many U.S. manufacturers depend heavily on imported parts and other inputs; the trade war is disrupting their supply chains. Second, Trump’s trade policy isn’t just protectionist, it’s erratic, creating vast uncertainty for businesses both here and abroad. And businesses are responding to that uncertainty by putting plans for investment and job creation on hold.


Rachel Maddow is on NBC's Today right now!

It's interesting that even Saudi Arabia sees oil as a bad thing. Rachel says that the founding energy minister of Saudi Arabia said he wishes they discovered water instead of oil, and the founder of OPEC said he thinks of oil as "the excrement of the devil."

She notes that in countries with oil and gas-dominated economies, governance "sucks." It tends to dry up the rest of the economy, Russia being a prime example. Russia has no economy outside of its oil and gas insdustry, its all they've got, which Rachel notes resulted in Russia using oil as a weapon.

Oil really is a cancer.

Republicans can't defend the indefensible

McCarthy, though he struggles with spoken English, stumbled onto inadvertent honesty: Trump might have done wrong, but McCarthy thinks the transgression isn’t impeachment-worthy. Fair enough. But Trump’s violation of the law is as clear as if he shot somebody on Fifth Avenue. Trump’s partisans are free to choose their president over the law, but make no mistake: This is the choice they face.

“It shall be unlawful for —

(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make —

(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election . . .

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) . . . of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.”

— 52 U.S. Code 30121

“There’s a lot of talk about [Joe] Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. . . . I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General [William] Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out.”

— President Trump, soliciting a
“thing of value” for his reelection from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky 
on July 25

But we’re not hearing Republicans defend Trump’s illegal behavior — because there is no defense.

McCarthy simply pretended it didn’t happen. “Let’s be very clear: The president did not ask to investigate Joe Biden,” he told reporters. (Which part of “look into it,” “get to the bottom of it” and “figure it out” did McCarthy not understand?)


Russia's Fingerprints Are All Over Trump's Ukraine Whistleblower Scandal

Elements of the bombshell whistleblower report outlining various aims pursued by the Trump administration with respect to Ukraine keep connecting back to Russia. 

Several of the reported objectives of President Trump, his administration officials, and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani would benefit the Kremlin, and not the United States or its national security. Namely, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was urged to make a deal with Putin, pressured “to play ball” with respect to providing or manufacturing compromising materials about Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, and essentially tasked with concocting “the evidence” to disprove the well-established fact that the Democratic National Committee server was hacked by Russian intelligence agents in 2016.

The unconscionable demand for Ukraine to make “a deal” with an invader— which has annexed and occupied its territory and continues to fuel an armed conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives—would mean a surrender of Ukraine’s national interests for the benefit of the Kremlin. It would also lead to the lifting of sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. Casting doubt on Russia’s involvement in the hack of the DNC server would potentially lead to the lifting sanctions against Russia for its election-meddling and other malign activities.


Trump says the whistleblower complaint isn't accurate. The White House keeps showing how it is.

This is an unsubtle and obvious effort to encourage his supporters to adopt this new line of argument. It’s secondhand! It’s inaccurate! How can this be used to criticize Trump?

The answer is simple. Although much of what the complaint includes is indeed secondhand or based on news reporting, those are hardly disqualifying. The news reports are mostly citations of Trump’s mentions of the situation with Ukraine or references to Trump-friendly articles at the Hill. And those secondhand assertions in the complaint (read them here https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/read-the-whistleblower-complaint-regarding-president-trump-s-communications-with-ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky/4b9e0ca5-3824-467f-b1a3-77f2d4ee16aa/) that can currently be verified have been verified — by White House comments or in the rough transcript (read it here https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/25/rough-transcript-trumps-call-with-ukraines-president-annotated/) of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
What has garnered more attention over the past 24 hours is another assertion made in the complaint.

“White House officials told me that they were ‘directed’ by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials,” the whistleblower writes. “Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.”

On Friday morning, the White House provided a statement to CNN: That move did happen, at the request of National Security Council lawyers.


The Whistleblower Could Teach Mueller Some Things About Writing

The complaint accusing President Donald Trump of misconduct should be held up as an example of how to write well.

Writing a good letter whose purpose is to publicly charge the leader of the free world with democracy-destroying misconduct ―  with brevity and clarity ― is a monumental task.

WB got all of that on the first page. Taken together, the first three paragraphs provide the reader the who, what, where, when and why, the foundation of good writing taught from the get-go in elementary school classrooms across the country.

WB could have used a huge block of text to explain how Giuliani and Barr aided in election interference ― an accusation of this magnitude requires a lot of evidence, after all. But this isn’t the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, with all its dense, legal lingo. WB wanted Burr and Schiff to comprehend the stakes immediately, so WB broke the accusations down into easy-to-read bullet points. 


4 Pinocchios for Trump's claims about Hunter Biden's China dealings

The president says Hunter Biden “walked out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund” and earned “millions” of dollars from the deal. There is no evidence to support those claims.
The supposed size of the China fund — $1.5 billion — comes courtesy of “Secret Empires,” a 2018 book by conservative author Peter Schweizer, who earlier had targeted Hillary Clinton in the book “Clinton Cash.” The Fact Checker spent a lot of time in the 2016 campaign chasing down dubious claims touted by Schweizer, such as about the Uranium One deal.

Affiliates of the advisory firm had said they planned to raise $1.5 billion, but it appears the fundraising fell far short of that.

“To date, Mr. Biden has not received any return or compensation on account of this investment or his position on the board of directors,” Mesires told The Fact Checker after Trump’s remarks with Zelensky. “The characterization of Mr. Biden as owning a $1.5 billion private equity firm funded by the Chinese, or suggesting that Mr. Biden has earned millions of dollars from the firm is a gross misrepresentation of Mr. Biden’s role with BHR.”

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