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Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
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Journal Archives

everything Rump touches dies


Washington came in with a 2 nil lead after winning both games in Houston

got back to Rumpville


and will now lose the World Series, more than likely

Joe Biden: The 2019 "60 Minutes" interview - CBS News (video plus transcript)

Joe Biden defends his son Hunter's Ukraine dealings, answers for his gaffes in 60 Minutes interview

The former vice president also calls on President Trump to release his tax returns, and explains why his children won't have White House offices


Joe Biden spent eight years as vice president under Barack Obama and 36 years in the U.S. Senate. He has been leading the Democratic field for the 2020 presidential nomination, but the race is tightening. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have energized the young, progressive wing of the party and argue that Biden's policy proposals don't go far enough.

But his most powerful and vocal opponent is the president of the United States, who is facing an impeachment inquiry over whether he pressured the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Biden and his son, Hunter. We talked with Joe Biden at his home in Delaware earlier this week where we covered a wide variety of topics, including why Democrats should be excited about voting for a candidate who is about to turn 77 years old.

Norah O'Donnell: The Democratic party has had Jack Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. This is your third run for president. Why Joe Biden?

Joe Biden: Well, because I think, as I said we need somebody who, on day one, knows exactly what to do. Can command the world stage. No one wonders whether I know a great deal about these issues and foreign policy and domestic policy. They're things I've done.

Norah O'Donnell: And that might be one of the criticisms too, that you're offering essentially four more years of a Obama-like administration.

Joe Biden: Well, let me tell you something, I-- I love the fact that, all of a sudden, the Democratic party doesn't think Obama was that great a president. I-- I find that fascinating.

Norah O'Donnell: Some have asked, why hasn't President Obama endorsed you? You guys served together for eight years.

Joe Biden: Because I have to own-- I wanna earn this on my own.

Norah O'Donnell: Did he offer to endorse you?

Joe Biden: No, we didn't even get there. I asked him not to. He said, "Okay." I think it's better-- I think he thinks it's better for me. I have no doubt when I'm the nominee he'll be out on the campaign trail for me.

Today marks 99 days until the Iowa caucuses, the first Democratic contest. Despite his strength in the polls, Joe Biden tends not to draw a lot of young people to his campaign events, a problem some of his competitors don't have.

Norah O'Donnell: Your opponents, because they're promising so much change, they seem to be igniting the Democratic base that turns out in the primary, younger voters.

Joe Biden: The fact of the matter is that if you take a look at who votes in these primaries, overwhelmingly, people over the age of 50 who vote in these primaries. I want more young people engaged. I want them voting. But the idea that this is the way in which it's gonna change is-- by just making the most far-reaching assertions you can make. I mean, let's talk about Medicare For All. Do you think there's been any truth in advertising on that It's gonna raise taxes on middle class people, not just wealthy people.

Norah O'Donnell: You're talking--

Joe Biden: So--

Norah O'Donnell: --about Elizabeth Warren?

Joe Biden: Well, I'm not only talking about-- even Bernie acknowledges you gotta raise taxes.


video and full transcript at the link above

months before any scandal, a centrist Pac w/ Dems was backing a Rethug against Katie Hill

Democrat-backed Centrist PAC Is Supporting a Republican Against a Vulnerable Swing-District Incumbent

July 19 2019, 5:33 p.m


THE POLITICAL ACTION committee affiliated with a bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill is spending money to back a Republican challenge to Rep. Katie Hill of California, a freshman Democrat who has been an independent and at times progressive voice in the House, despite serving in a district previously held by the GOP. Hill is what’s known as a “front-liner” in Democratic caucus politics, because she’ll face a difficult challenge to hold on to her seat in California’s 25th District. Mike Garcia, an Iraq War veteran, launched his campaign in April, and the With Honor PAC jumped in to support him that same month. House Democratic leadership crafts its entire political and legislative strategy around protecting front-liners like Hill, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently chastised the caucus for criticizing vulnerable front-liners, suggesting they hit her instead.

That makes the support for a Republican challenger from the For Country Caucus, which includes at least 10 Democrats, fairly remarkable, particularly as House incumbents have launched a full-blown counterrevolution against the so-called Squad and the organization that backs them, Justice Democrats, accusing them of undermining the party by targeting incumbents.

Justice Democrats, which became a prominent actor in Democratic politics after helping elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, has so far not endorsed a single challenger to a front-line Democrat, even as a new centrist caucus backs a Republican against Hill. The caucus is co-chaired by California Democrat Jimmy Panetta, who was first elected in 2016 and is the son of longtime Democratic operative and former Rep. Leon Panetta. The caucus also includes Democratic Reps. Seth Moulton, Mass., Chrissy Houlahan, Pa., Gil Cisneros, Calif., Jason Crow, Colo., Jared Golden, Maine, Conor Lamb, Pa., Elaine Luria, Va., Max Rose, N.Y., and Mikie Sherrill of N.J.
None of the caucus members responded to a request for comment.

In 2018 primaries, Crow, Luria, and Cisneros faced progressive primary opponents and won with the weight of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee behind them. They are now linked up with a PAC working in direct opposition to the interests of the DCCC.


This PAC was started with help from Jeff Bezos (10 million dollars), Howard Schultz, etc etc

they ran an attack advert against Lauren Baer, a Democratic candidate for Florida’s 18th Congressional District and supported the Republican, Mast as well


Why Artists Have Been Enchanted by Witchcraft for Centuries


Illumination depicting the two witches on a broomstick and a stick, in Martin Le Franc's Le Champion des dames ("Ladies' Champion" ), 1451.

The history of witchcraft in Western art is a tale with a dramatic plot twist. Throughout the 1400s, witches began appearing in European illustrations and woodcuts as demonic creatures with deviant sexual habits: Broomsticks were stand-ins for phalluses, and nude women rode backwards on goats. Throughout the next 400 years, around 80,000 Europeans—80 percent of them women—were killed for alleged witchcraft. Their “crimes” ranged from causing male impotence to damaging property and worshipping Satan. In the 1800s, occult spirituality was suddenly back in vogue. Women began reclaiming sorcery for themselves, in both their lives and their art.

Fast forward to 2019: Witches are alive and well, from Bucharest to Los Angeles. They’re casting spells, making enchanting artwork, and cursing world leaders. It’s certainly an improvement from the days of witch burnings, but gender inequality is still evident in contemporary spiritual and aesthetic practices. Ideally, women would have enough power and influence to make magical activity redundant. By tracing the history of witchcraft in art, we reveal just how far we’ve come—and how far we still have to go.

Early-modern wicked witches of the West

The first known Western artwork depicting witches on broomsticks appears in an illustrated manuscript of a poem, “Le Champion des Dames” (1451), by French writer Martin Le Franc. To the left of Le Franc’s calligraphic text fly two women in long dresses—one pumpkin-hued, the other the color of a carnation. Light cloths cover their hair, and they look up towards the sky. They’re labeled as “Waldensians,” hailing from an ascetic Christian sect. French lore derided the group as heretical, imagining that its women flew through the sky on twig brooms.

“Some of the most powerful images of the diabolical nature of witchcraft produced in the fifteenth century depicted witches as part of a group, and were shaped by contemporary notions of heresy and apostasy,” wrote Charles Zika in The Appearance of Witchcraft (2007). Heretics, of course, were more frightening in large numbers, as they created a more significant threat to the status quo. If one witch was scary, a flying coven was downright terrifying.


Arrrf, Gabbard is now only 2 polls away from making the November debate (also a 6th debate update)

So is Beto

looks like we might have 11 one one stage atm (9 for sure)


Sixth debate (December 12, 2019)

The sixth debate will be held in December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA at UCLA.


A memo released by the DNC on October 25 indicated that the qualification period for the December debate. To qualify in terms of polling, candidates must reach 4 percent or more in four polls approved by the DNC. Alternatively, reaching 6 percent or more in two DNC-approved polls conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina will also be accepted as meeting the polling threshold. To qualify in terms of donors, candidates must receive donations from 200,000 unique donors with 800 unique donors in 20 different states, territories or the District of Columbia.

The Economist: Elizabeth Warren wants to remake American capitalism

As it stands, the Democratic front-runner’s programme has too little time for markets or business


Elizabeth warren is remarkable. Born into a struggling family in Oklahoma, she worked her way up to become a star law professor at Harvard. As a single mother in the 1970s, she broke with convention by pursuing a full-time career. In an era of rule-by-tweet, she is an unashamed policy wonk who is now a front-runner to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020. Polls suggest that, in a head-to-head contest, more Americans would vote for her than for Donald Trump. But as remarkable as Ms Warren’s story is the sheer scope of her ambition to remake American capitalism. She has an admirably detailed plan to transform a system she believes is corrupt and fails ordinary people (see article). Plenty of her ideas are good. She is right to try to limit giant firms’ efforts to influence politics and gobble up rivals. But at its heart, her plan reveals a systematic reliance on regulation and protectionism. As it stands, it is not the answer to America’s problems.

Ms Warren is responding to an enduring set of worries. America has higher inequality than any other big rich country. While jobs are plentiful, wage growth is strangely subdued. In two-thirds of industries big firms have become bigger, allowing them to crank out abnormally high profits and share less of the pie with workers. For Ms Warren this is personal. Her parents endured the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression in the 1930s and later her father’s career collapsed because of illness. As a scholar, she specialised in examining how bankruptcy punishes those who fall on hard times. The idea that animates her thinking is of a precarious middle class, preyed on by big business and betrayed by politicians feasting on the corporate dollar in Washington, dc. Some Republican and Wall Street critics claim that Ms Warren is a socialist. She is not. She does not support the public ownership of firms or political control of the flow of credit. Instead she favours regulations that force the private sector to pass her test of what it is to be fair.

The scope of these regulations is jaw-dropping. Banks would be broken up, split between commercial and investment banking. Tech giants such as Facebook would be dismembered and turned into utilities. In energy there would be a ban on shale fracking (which, for oil markets, would be a bit like shutting down Saudi Arabia), a phase-out of nuclear power, and targets for renewables. Private health insurance would be mostly banned and replaced by a state-run system. Private-equity barons would no longer be shielded by limited liability: instead they would have to honour the debts of the firms in which they invest.

This sectoral re-regulation would complement sweeping, economy-wide measures—a 15% social-security levy on those earning over $250,000, a 2% annual wealth tax on those with assets over $50m, a 3% tax for those worth over $1bn and a 7% extra levy on corporate profits. Meanwhile the state would loosen owners’ control of companies. All big firms would have to apply for a licence from the federal government, which could be revoked if they repeatedly failed to consider the interests of employees, customers and communities. Workers would elect two-fifths of board seats. Ms Warren is no xenophobe, but she is a protectionist. New requirements for trade deals would make them less likely. Her government would “actively manage” the value of the dollar.


NYT: The Student Vote Is Surging. So Are Efforts to Suppress It.

The share of college students casting ballots doubled from 2014 to 2018, a potential boon to Democrats. But in Texas and elsewhere, Republicans are erecting roadblocks to the polls.


AUSTIN, Texas — At Austin Community College, civics is an unwritten part of the curriculum — so much so that for years the school has tapped its own funds to set up temporary early-voting sites on nine of its 11 campuses. No more, however. This spring, the Texas Legislature outlawed polling places that did not stay open for the entire 12-day early-voting period. When the state’s elections take place in three weeks, those nine sites — which logged many of the nearly 14,000 ballots that full-time students cast last year — will be shuttered. So will six campus polling places at colleges in Fort Worth, two in Brownsville, on the Mexico border, and other polling places at schools statewide.

“It was a beautiful thing, a lot of people out there in those long lines,” said Grant Loveless, a 20-year-old majoring in psychology and political science who voted last November at a campus in central Austin. “It would hurt a lot of students if you take those polling places away.” The story at Austin Community College is but one example of a political drama playing out nationwide: After decades of treating elections as an afterthought, college students have begun voting in force.

Their turnout in the 2018 midterms — 40.3 percent of 10 million students tracked by Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education — was more than double the rate in the 2014 midterms, easily exceeding an already robust increase in national turnout. Energized by issues like climate change and the Trump presidency, students have suddenly emerged as a potentially crucial voting bloc in the 2020 general election. And almost as suddenly, Republican politicians around the country are throwing up roadblocks between students and voting booths.

Not coincidentally, the barriers are rising fastest in political battlegrounds and places like Texas where one-party control is eroding. Students lean strongly Democratic: In a March poll by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, 45 percent of college students ages 18-24 identified as Democrats, compared to 29 percent who called themselves independents and 24 percent Republicans. Some states have wrestled with voting eligibility for out-of-state students in the past. And the politicians enacting the roadblocks often say they are raising barriers to election fraud, not ballots. “The threat to election integrity in Texas is real, and the need to provide additional safeguards is increasing,” the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, said last year in announcing one of his office’s periodic crackdowns on illegal voting. But evidence of widespread fraud is nonexistent, and the restrictions fit an increasingly unabashed pattern of Republican politicians’ efforts to discourage voters likely to oppose them.

“Efforts to deprive any American of a convenient way to vote will have a chilling effect on voting,” Nancy Thomas, the director of the Tufts institute, said. “And efforts to chill college students’ voting are despicable — and very frustrating.”


Foreign Policy (the magazine): White Supremacists Want a Dirty Bomb

And the Trump administration is letting them get dangerously close to acquiring one.


On Dec. 9, 2008, police raided the home of the millionaire James Cummings in Belfast, Maine. Cummings was an abusive husband, and he had been shot in the head by his wife, but that wasn’t what still disturbs investigators to this day. At Cummings’s home, police obtained radiological material and literature on constructing a dirty bomb. Cummings had collected the radioactive isotope thorium-232 and depleted uranium, the latter of which he bought online, along with the materials necessary to build a conventional explosive. Angered by the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, Cummings had compiled the materials he deemed necessary to build a dirty bomb just 42 days before the inauguration.

At the scene, investigators found literature on how to create different types of radiological dispersal devices (RDDs), colloquially referred to as dirty bombs, using the radioactive isotopes cesium-137, cobalt-60, and strontium-90 and an application for the U.S. Nationalist Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization. Cummings had ties to white nationalist groups, he revered Adolf Hitler, and, according to workers who spent time in his home, he was a collector of Nazi memorabilia.

More than a decade later, on Aug. 3, 2019, a gunman posted an anti-immigrant, white nationalist manifesto on a far right forum, walked into a Walmart on the East side of El Paso, Texas and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 22 people.. There is no longer any question of whether the country is facing the rise of domestic white supremacist terrorists. The question is how far they will go. While the United States has been focused on the trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials abroad, experts at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) have argued that the threat of dangerous radiological materials being used in America’s own backyard is “just as serious.”

With a wide variety of civilian uses, including in the medical, industrial, and research fields, radiological materials rated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Category 1 threats—such as cesium-137, cobalt-60, and strontium-90—are left relatively unguarded. These materials could be used to contaminate a major U.S. city with devastating consequences.


I was asked to make this an OP

New California C+ (same rating as HarrisX) poll Warren 28, Sanders 24, Biden 19, Pete 9, Harris 8

Harris Loses Ground in California to Front-Runners Warren and Sanders


Less than five months before Californians vote in the 2020 presidential primary, a new Change Research poll for KQED shows U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris losing ground to the front-runners, Sens. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and Vermont's Bernie Sanders. The poll, taken after last week's Democratic candidate debate, finds Warren is the top choice of 28% of primary voters, followed by Sanders at 24% and former Vice President Joe Biden at 19%.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is fourth with 9% followed by Harris at 8%. The October survey puts Harris 20 percentage points behind Sen. Warren, compared with a 14 percentage point gap in our September poll.

Billionaire Tom Steyer, the other Californian in the race, barely registers in the poll with just 1%. Steyer has his work cut out for him, to say the least. Twenty-five percent of California Democratic primary voters have never heard of him, while another 31% have neither a favorable nor unfavorable impression of him.

By gender, Warren is the top choice of female voters with 31% support, followed by Sanders with 23% and Biden at 21%. Buttigieg and Harris are the choice of 8% and 7% of women respectively. Among men, Sanders edges out Warren 25% to 23% with Biden third at 16%, followed by Buttigieg at 10% and Harris with 9%.

Sen. Sanders is the favorite of Latino voters with 28% support, followed by Warren and Biden (22% each), Harris (7%) and Buttigieg (6%). The only Latino candidate, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, is the choice of just 1% of Latino voters in California.

Among African Americans, Biden is the favorite with 30%, followed by Sanders (20%), Harris (16%) and Warren (13%).

Brand new Iowa State University Iowa poll: Warren 28, Pete 20, Sanders 18, Biden 12, Klobuchar 4


margin of error of ±5.0% at the 95% confidence level
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