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sandensea

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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 12:36 PM
Number of posts: 7,984

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New NC elections board named, allowing 9th District investigation to proceed

Source: WRAL

After more than a month without a State Board of Elections, Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday named five people to the reconstituted board.

Cooper named Democrats Stella Anderson of Boone, Jeff Carmon III of Durham and Bob Cordle of Charlotte and Republicans David C. Black of Concord and Ken Raymond of Winston-Salem to the five-member board.

"North Carolinians deserve fair and honest elections, and I am confident this board will work to protect our electoral process," Cooper said in a statement.

A previous nine-member elections board was dissolved by court order in late December after a panel of state judges ruled lawmakers had overstepped their authority in the way they set it up and in making other changes to the state's elections administration system in 2016.

Read more: https://www.wral.com/new-nc-elections-board-named-allowing-9th-district-investigation-to-proceed/18160396/





Partners in crime: Mark Harris (right) and his professional ballot stuffer, McCrae Dowless.

The race, which put Harris ahead by 905 votes (0.3%), has not been certified by the NC State Board of Elections.

This is the last outstanding House race from 2018.

Ann Coulter says she made a mistake on Trump: 'I'm a very stupid girl'

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter lashed out at President Donald Trump Friday night over his signing of a bill that would temporarily open the government that did not include any money for his border wall.

Coulter slammed Trump for the concession, telling "Real Time" host Bill Maher *that the president had broken* "the promise he made every day for 18 months."

"Now you're finding out he's a lying con man," Maher said. "What was your first clue?"

Over laughs and shouts from the audience, Coulter replied "Okay, I'm a very stupid girl, fine."

Coulter continued to rail against Trump's proposed border wall as a whole, saying it was only good for "employers" and the elite rich, offering the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch as examples.

Coulter continued: "It's great for the rich... bad for people who work."

At: https://www.businessinsider.com/ann-coulter-slams-trump-on-bill-maher-over-government-shutdown-bill-2019-1



Ann Coulter on Bill Baher's Real Time last night. For once, we agree.

Michel Legrand, Oscar-winning composer of 'Windmills of Your Mind,' dies at 86

Source: Washington Post

Michel Legrand, a French composer with more than 200 screen credits, notably the jazzy movie operas “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Young Girls of Rochefort,” and whose tunefully romantic music for “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Summer of ’42” and “Yentl” brought him Oscars, died Jan. 26 at 86.

After a run of hit-making jazz albums, including collaborations with trumpeter Miles Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane, Mr. Legrand drew international attention in 1964 with “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.”

Mr. Legrand was lured to Hollywood for the Steve McQueen-Faye Dunaway heist film “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968) and found an Oscar gold mine with lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Their song “The Windmills of Your Mind,” with a hypnotic melody spinning like its subject, earned the composer his first Academy Award (his score was also nominated) and later became a Top 40 hit by Dusty Springfield.

Mr. Legrand returned to the Academy Awards stage for his score of “Summer of ’42” (1971).

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/michel-legrand-oscar-winning-composer-of-windmills-of-your-mind-dies-at-86/2019/01/26/14182e42-216b-11e9-9145-3f74070bbdb9_story.html





Michel Legrand, 1932-2019.

Tony Mendez, the 'Argo' spy who rescued Americans in Iran, dies at 78

Source: NPR

Tony Mendez became a legend inside the CIA with his daring 1980 rescue of six American diplomats who were given shelter by the Canadian Embassy in Tehran after the U.S. Embassy had been stormed by Iranian revolutionaries.

But the "Canadian Caper" remained classified for nearly two decades, and Mendez didn't receive full acclaim until the Oscar-winning movie Argo, came out in 2012, with Ben Affleck portraying him.

Mendez, who was 78 and had Parkinson's disease, died Saturday at an assisted living facility in Frederick, Md., outside Washington, according to the International Spy Museum, where Mendez was a founding board member.

"He was a legendary intelligence officer," said the museum's Executive Director Chris Costa.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/01/19/686942870/tony-mendez-the-argo-spy-who-rescued-americans-in-iran-dies-at-78





President Jimmy Carter thanks CIA exfiltrator Tony Mendez for his rescue of six Americans from Tehran in 1980.

Known at the time as the "Canadian Caper" for the Canadian Embassy's collaboration in their rescue, Mendez's key role remained classified for two decades.

GOP Congressman Jason Smith tells Democrat 'Go back to Puerto Rico' on House floor

Source: Grit Post

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Missouri) has been identified as the Republican Congressman who told Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-California) to ‘go back to Puerto Rico’ during a debate on the House floor.

According to The Hill, Jason Smith shouted at Cardenas in the midst of a chaotic procedural debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

While the Missouri Republican tried to suggest that he was referring to House Democrats’ recent trip to Puerto Rico and that the comment was directed at all Democratic members of the House, Cardenas, a Hispanic man who was born and raised in Los Angeles, disagreed.

“Since I was a little boy I’ve heard that blurted at me many times,” Cardenas told The Hill. “But it’s sad that anything even remotely close to that would be said to me on the floor of the House.”

Read more: https://gritpost.com/congressman-jason-smith-puerto-rico/





Missouri Republican Jason Smith: Channeling Steve King.

Electronic voting machines at heart of Congo election crisis raise alarm in Argentina

Argentine politics have been rattled since revelations yesterday that the electronic voting machines behind the ongoing post-electoral crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were the same ordered in 2016 by Argentine President Mauricio Macri in a failed attempt to impose their use nationwide.

The D.R. Congo, a central African nation of 85 million, was plunged into its most serious political crisis in two decades when on January 11 the main opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, denounced large-scale tabulation fraud in presidential elections held on December 30.

Initial results gave Félix Tshisekedi, an ally of outgoing President Joseph Kabila, a 3.8% margin of victory over Fayulu (38.6% to 34.8%).

Data leaked from the Congo's own National Electoral Commission, however, showed Fayulu winning 59% of the vote - a figure roughly consistent with the Congolese Catholic Church's estimate of 62.8%.

Argentine connection

The electronic voting machines used in these elections were made by the South Korean firm Miru Systems Co. - the same firm contracted by Macri's then-Modernization Minister, Andrés Ibarra, in July 2016 to provide up to 130,000 such units.

Ibarra was forced to cancel their purchase after testimony demonstrating gaping security flaws persuaded Argentina's Congress to nix the electronic vote bill in November 2016.

The units used in the recent Congolese election were not only identical to those Ibarra had purchased; but their demo material, U.S.-based election integrity watchdog The Sentry reported, was in Spanish and featured the names of Argentine candidates.

The data alteration, cybersecurity specialists note, would have occurred in the data transmission phase from the electronic terminals to the tabulation center in the capital, Kinshasa.

This is the very phase which Macri is now seeking to automate through the use of SmartMatic software - whose use in Venezuela from 2004 to 2017 has been linked to reports of tabulation irregularities.

"That the machines used in the Congo were designed for Argentina is beyond doubt," Beatriz Busaniche, head of the local political rights NGO Fundación Vía Libre noted. "In the Congolese elections everything we said would happen, happened."

It's who counts the votes

Macri, whose reelection chances have faded amid the deepest economic crisis since 2002, is nevertheless pressing on with plans to impose electronic voting and tabulations in as many provinces as possible - particularly those governed by allies who could circumvent federal law barring their use.

The nation's largest district, Buenos Aires Province (home to 3/8 of Argentina's 44 million people), is already seeking its implementation. The neighboring city of Buenos Aires, a Macri stronghold, has used electronic voting since the 2015 mayoral election - which Macri's candidate narrowly won.

The servers controlling the Buenos Aires mayoral vote were reportedly hacked from New Jersey and Texas.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F169078-las-maquinas-de-ibarra-haciendo-de-las-suyas



Argentine President Mauricio Macri, his former Modernization Minister, Andrés Ibarra, and the contested winner of the recent Congolese election, Félix Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi's 3.8% margin of victory contrasts sharply with a 40%+ loss shown by leaked Congolese electoral commission data.

The electronic ballots, voting machines, and tabulation units behind the discrepancy had been originally ordered by Macri and designed for use in Argentina.

Samuel L. Jackson endorses calling Trump a 'motherf-ker'

With “great vengeance and furious anger,” Pulp Fiction actor Samuel L. Jackson endorsed newly minted Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s remark that she was going to Washington to impeach the “motherf–ker.”

“@RashidaTlaib I just wanna wholeheartedly endorse your use of & clarity of purpose when declaring your Motherf—ing goal last week,” Jackson posted on his Twitter page late Sunday.

“Calling that Muthaf–kah a Motherf–ker is not an issue, calling that Muthaf—ah President is !!!#motherf—eristoogoodtowasteonthatcankersore.”


At: https://nypost.com/2019/01/07/samuel-l-jackson-endorses-calling-trump-a-motherf-ker/



Hollywood great Samuel L. Jackson: Now it's official.

Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank, abruptly resigns

Source: New York Times

The World Bank said on Monday that its president, Jim Yong Kim, would step down from his post in February to join a private infrastructure investment firm, an unexpected departure that comes nearly three years before the end of his term.

The abrupt resignation, effective Feb. 1, could prompt a clash between the Trump administration and other governments over the future of the international body.

The United States traditionally selects the president of the World Bank, which is made up of more than 100 countries, but Mr. Trump has taken a skeptical view about the importance of multilateral institutions.

The World Bank’s priorities — like combating climate change and engaging in foreign aid — also tend to be at odds with those of the Trump administration. Last month, the bank announced it would invest $200 billion toward fighting climate change over a five-year period.

The bank lent $64 billion to developing countries last year, a figure that included China.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/us/politics/jim-kim-world-bank-president.html





Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim during his 2012 appointment by President Obama.

His proactive views on climate change and third world development projects put him at odds with Trump, who is now likely to name a Bob Zoellick-style Nazi in his place.

Argentines stage nationwide protest against new round of Macri tariff hikes

Protesters in Argentina crowded intersections around metro Buenos Aires and cities across the country Friday night to protest the latest round of utility and transport rate hikes decreed by President Mauricio Macri.

The right-wing Macri administration had announced on December 27 that authorized rates would jump on services across the board - with more hikes due later in 2019.

In Buenos Aires these will reach 33% on tollways, 35% on gas, 38% on public transport, and 55% on electricity - in a country going through its sharpest recession since the 2001-02 collapse, and with almost 50% inflation this year (the highest since 1991).

Construction fell 15.9% in November from a year ago, and manufacturing by 13.3% - the sharpest drop in the world.

Tapping in

Rates since late 2015, when Macri took office, are now up 332% for tollways; 500% for public transport; 515% for water; 2136% for electricity; and 3008% for gas.

The hikes have also drawn accusations of self-dealing against Macri, whose family are significant shareholders in Argentina's 2nd-largest electric company and its largest tollway operator.

"People need to know the motives behind this," City Legislator Leandro Santoro, a Macri opponent and academic, said.

"First, there's the IMF's demands that utility and transport subsidies end."

"Second, they want utility firms to earn even more profits than they've been doing already. This is why rates have been dollarized, while our salaries remain in (devalued) pesos."

"And third, there's inflation itself."


Overall prices have risen nearly 170% since late 2015. Real wages have meanwhile dropped by around 18%.

Macri had run largely on beating inflation - already running at 25% annually under his center-left predecessor, Cristina Kirchner.

"It's the easiest thing," he boasted during the 2015 campaign. "Inflation is a sign of government incompetence, and with us it won't be an issue."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fsociedad%2Fruidazo-nacional--protestas-en-todo-el-pais-contra-los-tarifazos-del-gobierno_a5c2ff316e734eb6317267f1e



Argentines protest new utility and transport rate hikes averaging around 50% - bringing total rate hikes to up to 3000% since Macri took office.

Seen here are protesters in the Buenos Aires intersection of Callao and Santa Fe Avenues - in the heart of the city's upscale Recoleta district.

Recoleta voters gave Macri 79% of their vote in 2015, and 66% in the 2017 midterms.

Watchdog group urges probe of Ivanka Trump tax break role

Source: Boston

An ethics watchdog group asked the Justice Department on Friday to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka violated federal conflict-of-interest law by promoting an Opportunity Zone tax break program from which she could potentially benefit.

The complaint from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington follows an Associated Press investigation last month.

The AP found that Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House advisers, could benefit from the Opportunity Zones program they pushed that offers tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden communities.

AP reported Kushner owns a $25 million to $50 million non-management stake in Cadre, a real estate investment firm which has announced plans to invest in several cities under the Opportunity Zones program.

Separately, the couple has interests in at least 13 properties held by Kushner’s family firm that may qualify for the tax breaks because they are in Opportunity Zones in New Jersey, New York and Maryland.

Read more: https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2019/01/04/watchdog-group-urges-probe-of-ivanka-trump-tax-break-role





First Daughter Ivanka Trump: wheeling and self-dealing.
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