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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Charlotte, NC
Member since: Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 13,679

Journal Archives

Biden hires all-female senior communications team- Jennifer Psaki WH Press Secretary

WILMINGTON, Del. — Jennifer Psaki, a veteran Democratic spokeswoman, will be Joe Biden’s White House press secretary, one of seven women who will fill the upper ranks of his administration’s communications staff. It is the first time that all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message will be female.

Biden’s press team will be led by Kate Bedingfield, a veteran Biden aide who served as his campaign communications director and will hold the same title in his White House.

“Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House,” Biden said in a statement.

“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better,” he added.


Biden fell while playing with his dog and twisted his ankle


From pool: “On Saturday Nov. 28, President-elect Biden slipped while playing with his dog Major, and twisted his ankle. Out of an abundance of caution, he will be examined this afternoon by an orthopedist.”

States where Republicans gained seats in the State House


States where Republican gained seats in the State House:
Arkansas (+3)
California (+1)
Florida (+5)
Idaho (+2)
Illinois (+1)
Indiana (+4)
Iowa (+6)
Kansas (+3)
Kentucky (+14)
Maine (+7)
Minnesota (+5)
Montana (+9)
Nevada (+3)
New Hampshire (+46)
New Mexico (+1)

North Carolina (+4)
North Dakota (+1)
Ohio (+3)
Oklahoma (+5)
Oregon (+2)
Rhode Island (+1)
South Carolina (+3)
South Dakota (+3)
Vermont (+3)
West Virginia (+18)
Wyoming (+2)

Overall, 137 state house gains and 11 state senate gains with a few more being decided...

Republicans have veto proof majorities in:
North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia

At the same time Democrats lost their veto proof majority in the state house in Vermont and Nevada

Seeing this made me sick. And what the hell New Hampshire? 46 Republicans gained seats there.

Omg, this video by MeidasTouch on the truth of the DiaperDon hashtag



DOL Tips Rule Nears Release in Latest Eleventh-Hour Deregulation

The restaurant industry’s years-long push for eased regulations on paying tipped workers for time spent on side work that doesn’t generate gratuities is closer to reality just as the Trump administration is about to exit.

The U.S. Labor Department has submitted a long-anticipated final rule to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in a notice appearing on the agency’s website Thursday. This is typically the final major step before the rule can be released to the public.

If finalized as proposed, the regulation would allow employers to pay tipped employees the lower minimum wage of $2.13 per hour regardless of the amount of time they spent on non-tipped duties, such as rolling silverware or cleaning their work stations. This would withdraw the department’s previous interpretation that workers, such as servers and bartenders, must be paid the full federal hourly minimum of $7.25 when spending at least 20% of their workweek on tasks that don’t yield gratuities from customers, rather than the base pay of $2.13 for tipped occupations.

Completing this rule before President Donald Trump leaves office Jan. 20 would represent a victory for the hospitality industry and management attorneys by shielding them from an increasingly common form of litigation in which workers allege they’re owed back pay for hours working on non-tipped duties when they didn’t earn at least $7.25


Rabbi Yosef Goldman on recent Supreme Court decision


In Jewish law, religious freedom in a global pandemic is the freedom from any other relevant obligation if a life would be risked in its fulfillment. In fact, protecting the lives of the living becomes the obligation. What the Supreme Court is protecting is not religious freedom.

The source for this principle is Leviticus 18:5: וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֤ם אֶת־חֻקֹּתַי֙ וְאֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַ֔י אֲשֶׁ֨ר יַעֲשֶׂ֥ה אֹתָ֛ם הָאָדָ֖ם וָחַ֣י בָּהֶ֑ם אֲנִ֖י ה׳׃
‏You shall keep My laws and My rules, by the pursuit of which man shall live:

The rabbinic interpretation of the verse, found in the Talmud is “that you shall live by them,” and not die by them.

The Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Yoma 85b) states that one must even desecrate the holy Sabbath if it means that one will be able to sanctify many more as a result. sefaria.org/Yoma_85b.3 3/5

For a good introduction to this concept of when the law is superceded to preserve life—referred to as Pikuach Nefesh, laws for when a life is at risk—see this introductory article from @jewlearn myjewishlearning.com/article/saving…

Trump's planning on pardoning Michael Flynn

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

The big picture: Flynn's pardon would be the culmination of a four-year political and legal saga that began with the FBI's investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the 2016 election


Clever ad from Raphael Warnock


I told you the smear ads were coming, but Georgians will see Sen.
’s ads for what they are.

Trump's legacy may be an increasingly authoritarian Republican Party

I hope that President Trump’s outrageous attempt to overturn the results of an election that he lost by 74 electoral college votes and more than 6 million popular votes will be the last gasp of a pathetic presidency in its dying days. But I fear that it might represent only a middle chapter in the Republican Party’s transformation, as a Swedish research institute has warned, into an authoritarian party similar to the Fidesz party in Hungary, the Law and Justice party in Poland, the Justice and Development Party in Turkey and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India.

The impetus for the GOP’s growing aversion to democracy is clear: It has lost the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections. That is a streak of futility unmatched in U.S. history. To maintain power — and avert the Venezuela-style apocalypse that many conservatives fear will result from Democratic dominance — the GOP must rely on institutions such as the electoral college and the Senate that give outsize weight to red states. That, in turn, has allowed Republicans to fill the federal courts with judges who will perpetuate their policy preferences for decades to come.

The problem is being exacerbated by the tendency of the U.S. population to cluster in a handful of large states that are either already blue (California, New York) or moving that way (Georgia, North Carolina). “By 2040,” as my colleague Philip Bump noted, “the 15 most populous states will be home to 67 percent of the U.S. population and represented by 30 percent of the Senate.”

The Republican Party could respond — and still may — by retooling its message to appeal to a more diverse electorate. But so far the GOP has instead moved in a more populist direction that leaves it increasingly incapable of governing (the past two Republican presidencies ended in economic meltdowns) or appealing to most voters outside its core constituency of Whites without college degrees. Even before Trump came along, Republicans had shown their willingness to use any means necessary to exercise power. Look at the bare-knuckle efforts in the 2000 election — from the “Brooks Brothers Riot” to a blatantly political Supreme Court decision — to stop the Florida recount and avert a possible Al Gore victory. Or look at the refusal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky) to give a vote to President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016 on the grounds that it was an election year, while rushing through the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee just days before the 2020 election.


GOP leaders’ embrace of Trump’s refusal to concede fits pattern of rising authoritarianism, data shows

“The Republican Party in the U.S. has retreated from upholding democratic norms in recent years,” said Anna Lührmann, a political scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and a former member of the German parliament. “Its rhetoric is closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.”

Lührmann is deputy director of the university’s V-Dem Institute, which compiled the data. For the project, researchers recruited more than 600 political scientists around the world to make annual assessments of political parties’ adherence to a number of key small-D democratic values.

The Democratic Party, by contrast, hasn’t changed much. This is a prime example of what political scientists call asymmetric polarization — a growing partisan gap driven almost entirely by the actions of the Republican Party.

While V-Dem’s data only runs through 2018, that asymmetry has only become more apparent in the aftermath of this election, Lührmann said: “It is disturbing that most leading Republicans are still not objecting to President Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud and attempts to declare himself the winner.”


Tony Blinken's story of his stepfather is a remarkable piece of history


The following is a true story. It's an American story. Maybe the most American story.

Stick around to the end.


In the spring of 1945, in a Nazi slave labor camp 50 miles from Dachau, convict No. B-1713 heard powerful explosions pierce the night air.

The guards said the "enemy" was advancing and herded the prisoners together to be marched back to Dachau.

They marched for most of three days. At dawn, on the third day, a squadron of Allied fighter planes, coming upon what they thought was a column of Nazi troops, swooped low to strafe them.

As the SS-troops hit the dirt and began firing their machine guns, one of the prisoners shouted "run for it!" A group of them ran towards the forest for the trees. The explosions caught most of them, but six, including convict No. B-1713, made made it into the forest alive.

He hid in the hayloft of an abandoned Bavarian barn. Days passed. And then one afternoon he peaked through a crack in the wooded slats and saw a huge tank leading an armored convoy heading toward him.

He looked for the swastika on its side. Instead, he saw a five-pointed white star. He ran from the barn, charging toward the tank, screaming and waving his arms.

From the tank's hatch emerged CPL Bill Ellington, of the all-Black 761st, son of a slave.

B-1713, who had lost his family and survived four years in the camps, fell to his knees before Ellington and repeated the few English words he knew: God Bless America! God Bless America!


Ellington lifted him into the hatch--and into freedom.

Convict No. B-173 was named Samuel Pisar. He became an American citizen, a successful lawyer.

His stepson, Tony Blinken (
), will become America's next Secretary of State.

God Bless America! God Bless America!


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