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

Washington Co Attny Pete Orput, (who decides Daunte Wright charges) has a huge conflict of interest

He is legal counsel to the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association


Manchin's filibuster defense contradicts the Senate legacy he claims to protect

The senator from West Virginia says he sees himself as a defender of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd. If we review Byrd's legacy, however, it's clear Manchin is not doing that.


Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the Democrats' pivotal 50th vote in the Senate — the key to passing bills with a simple majority. (With the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.) He is also pivotal for changing the filibuster rule. His vote is pursued as decisive for President Joe Biden's infrastructure proposals and for passing S. 1, the For the People Act, to protect the right to vote and repair the corrupting campaign finance system.

So his party is forced to take notice when Manchin declares, as he did in a Washington Post opinion piece last week, "There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster." Manchin also challenges the use of reconciliation as not good for the future of the country, and he seeks a bipartisan solution to the democracy reforms in S. 1.

Yet Manchin's positions here go against a legacy he has long insisted he is committed to protecting. When Manchin, then the governor of West Virginia, was first elected to the Senate in 2010, he took the seat of a historic figure, the late Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, longest-serving senator in U.S. history, who was known for his mastery of the Senate and its rules. Manchin, in fact, has emphasized that he sees himself as "a person that's going to defend the legacy of Robert C. Byrd."

If we review Byrd's legacy, however, it is that clear Manchin is not doing that. Byrd did not believe he was weakening the filibuster rule when he engineered successful revisions to it. He did not believe the reconciliation process was bad for the country when he played a key role in creating it. He fought hard for his campaign finance reform bill — and never believed that Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his Republican colleagues were interested in reaching a bipartisan solution.


Union Loss May Bring New Phase of Campaign Against Amazon

After an election defeat in Alabama, many in labor are shifting strategies, wary of the challenges and expense of winning votes site by site.


The lopsided vote against a union at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., was a major disappointment to organized labor, which regards the fight with Amazon as central to labor’s survival. Yet the defeat doesn’t mark the end of the campaign against Amazon so much as a shift in strategy. In interviews, labor leaders said they would step up their informal efforts to highlight and resist the company’s business and labor practices rather than seek elections at individual job sites, as in Bessemer. The approach includes everything from walkouts and protests to public relations campaigns that draw attention to Amazon’s leverage over its customers and competitors. “We’re focused on building a new type of labor movement where we don’t rely on the election process to raise standards,” said Jesse Case, secretary-treasurer of a Teamsters local in Iowa that is seeking to rally the state’s Amazon drivers and warehouse workers to pressure the company.

The strategy reflects a paradox of the labor movement: While the Gallup Poll has found that roughly two-thirds of Americans approve of unions — up from half in 2009, a low point — it has rarely been more difficult to unionize a large company. One reason is that labor law gives employers sizable advantages. The law typically forces workers to win elections at individual work sites of a company like Amazon, which would mean hundreds of separate campaigns. It allows employers to campaign aggressively against unions and does little to punish employers that threaten or retaliate against workers who try to organize. Lawyers representing management say that union membership has declined — from about one-third of private-sector workers in the 1950s to just over 6 percent today — because employers have gotten better at addressing workers’ needs. “Employees have access to the company in order to express any concerns they might have,” said Michael J. Lotito of the firm Littler Mendelson.

But labor leaders say wealthy, powerful companies have grown much bolder in pressing the advantages that labor law affords them. Before Amazon, few companies better epitomized this posture than Walmart, which union leaders targeted in the 1990s and 2000s, convinced that the retail giant was driving down wages and benefits across the retail industry. Walmart, in turn, took sometimes drastic steps to keep unions at bay. In 2000, after a small group of meat cutters at a Texas store decided to unionize, the company eliminated the position across other stores. Five years later, when workers at a Walmart in Quebec were seeking to join the United Food and Commercial Workers union, the company shut the store. Walmart said the store was not performing well financially.

“Everywhere they tried, they were defeated,’’ Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said of the unions. “Walmart would send teams to swamp the stores to work against a union. They are good at it.” As with Walmart, labor leaders believed it was critical to establish a foothold at Amazon, which influences pay and working conditions for millions of workers thanks to the competitive pressure it puts on rivals in industries like groceries and fashion. But the labor movement’s failure to make inroads at Walmart despite investing millions of dollars has loomed over its thinking on Amazon. “They felt so burned by trying to organize Walmart and getting basically nowhere,” said Ruth Milkman, a sociologist of labor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Amanda Gorman authors first book of poetry to debut at No. 1 on USA Today's bestseller list


Poet Amanda Gorman added another first to her list of accomplishments this week: Her book, "The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country," became the first book of poetry to debut at No. 1 on USA Today's Best-Selling Books list.

The big picture: The title was also the first book of poetry to claim the No. 1 spot since the list's inception in 1993, per USA Today.

What she's saying: "I am so humbled and honored by this exciting news," the 23-year-old national youth poet laureate said in a statement. "It makes me speechless to see poetry have such a ripple effect, and I’m excited to see more poets stand beside me on the best-seller list.”

The big picture: Gorman, who stole the show during President Biden's inauguration, also announced this week that she will be the "first poet ever on the cover" of Vogue Magazine, appearing on two different editions of the May issue.


Biden's southern border czar Roberta Jacobson to step down at the end of April


Joe Manchin: Any Voting Rights Legislation Has To Make Trump Supporters Happy


Congress shouldn’t pass voting rights legislation unless it helps Donald Trump supporters trust that their votes will be counted, according to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “Our ultimate goal should be to restore bipartisan faith in our voting process by assuring all Americans that their votes will be counted, secured and protected,” Manchin wrote Wednesday in a Washington Post op-ed about his opposition to killing the Senate filibuster.

But Manchin didn’t mention that many Republicans have lost faith in the voting process largely because Trump lost in the 2020 presidential election and then lied about it relentlessly. The lies fuelled a mob that ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, interrupting lawmakers as Congress certified the final result. Manchin’s top concern about Democrats’ For the People Act ― which he has said he supports ― seems to be that passing it without Republican backing would overly upset these volatile Trump supporters. He said so even more directly in a brief interview last month in the Senate basement. “The only thing I would caution anybody and everybody about is that we had an insurrection on January 6, because of voting, right? And lack of trust in voting?” Manchin told HuffPost then. “We should not, at all, attempt to do anything that would create more distrust and division.”

Manchin’s argument is essentially the same thing Republicans in Georgia and elsewhere have said in an effort to justify new restrictions on ballot access: that they have to make changes to restore confidence in elections, even if the lack of confidence results from fake fraud claims. It’s the definition of pandering. It’s indulging a mass delusion. Most people tell pollsters they think elections are fair. Overall trust in elections has gone up and down over the years, but it’s been much lower among Republicans since Trump’s loss, likely because Trump has falsely claimed the election was stolen. Democratic confidence in election results similarly declined after 2016, but most still said that election had been fair.

Democrats control the Senate, but with only 50 seats, they need 10 Republicans to break a filibuster. Most Senate Democrats want to change the rules so they can pass bills with a simple majority ― especially the For the People Act, which would expand ballot access and block many of the new voting restrictions that Republican state legislatures are putting in place. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) can’t change the rules without all 50 Democrats on board. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are holding out, saying their party’s policy goals aren’t worth enacting without some Republican support.



Manchin is essentially saying that the people who stormed the Capitol had legitimate grievances about voting, and Congress has to honor those when passing voting rights legislation

Alveda King and Ainsley Earhardt agree that voter ID laws are the continuation of MLK's legacy,

because "we want to be identified as citizens of the United States of America who helped to build a grand nation." Ainsley adds, "your daddy and your uncle fought too hard for that."


Roe Deers - Voodoo Gym EP

Released April 9, 2021

Turbo Recordings

Turbo Recordings is thrilled to add Lithuania’s Roe Deers to our ever-growing yet mercilessly exclusive stable of young dance talent. While we have yet to meet Deers in real life, our thorough scouring of his hard drive has made us feel that he’s a perfect addition to the Turbo family. He’s put out releases on our friends’ labels, including Omnidisc, Duro, and Nein, all of which is a roundabout way of us letting you know we have so many friends. He’s also hot off a remix on legendary Turbo A&R man Thomas Von Party’s excellent new Party Central label. In addition, Deers is a regular DJ at Opium Club in Vilnius, one of our favorite venues in the world despite its scandalous name. In 1881, the British Medical Association denounced opium eaters as “immoral and perfidious foozlers who are not up to dick by any reasonable estimation,” and we would probably have to agree with that, given the available science.

No one would deny the Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge was the sound of the 90s, and we feel that title track “Voodoo Gym" is poised to have a similar impact over the coming decade. It takes megalith-sized balls to invoke the occult, and this tribal-infused bomb backs up those balls and then some. “Bottom Monster” conjures all the raw sexual menace of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or even Frankenstein, while “Jackpot in Space” jacks and teases for what feels like and is several minutes before erupting in a geyser of sweat and quarters. Finally, Star Wars creator Joseph Campbell once said that, “Shakespeare said that art is a mirror,” and closer “Moody Express,” which Deers describes as “passive-aggressive, sneaky, and sleazy,” may help some of you come to terms with the kind of person you’ve become.

Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal pays off engagement ring for random man at jewellery store


Buying an engagement ring for a future spouse can be stressful enough. But Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal made it a lot easier for one man. During a segment on NBA on TNT, in which O'Neal serves as an analyst, he spoke about how he paid off the price of an engagement ring for a man who was shopping at a jewellery store after a video of the moment went viral.

"This happened yesterday," O'Neal said on the broadcast. "So I was in Zales, looking for some loop earrings and I seen the guy come in and he was just so shy and he was saying, 'Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?' So I said, 'My man, how much is the ring?' I'm not going to say the amount, but it's not much for me."

In the video, O'Neal is seen apparently squaring away the bill with the associate before he goes to shake the hand of the man who was buying the ring and then patting him on the back.

"I didn't mean for that to get out because I don't do it for that," O'Neal continued. "The guy just came in, he was a young kid, hard-working guy and was saying, 'Hey I can come back in the next month, and the next month' like layaway, he puts the money down. So I said, 'Tell your girlfriend I got it. I'll take care of it.' At first, he didn't want to take it and said 'I can't do that' so I said 'Don't worry about it, I do it all the time.' I'm just trying to make people smile, that's all."


Iran says initial nuclear talks with world powers 'constructive'

Iran and the world powers still party to a 2015 nuclear deal will meet again in Vienna on Friday as attempts to return the United States to the landmark accord intensify.


Video Transcript

- A "constructive and welcome step" was how the US described the first day of indirect talks with Iran. Officials from five world powers-- Russia, China, Germany, France, and Britain-- met with Iran at Austria's Grand Vienna Hotel. European officials have been shuttling between there and the Imperial Hotel across the road where US officials are saying. They're attempting to bring the US back to the 2015 nuclear deal they'd signed with Iran.

NED PRICE: We do see this as a constructive and certainly welcome step. And in the end, we hope that we are able to leave Vienna, return to the United States-- our negotiating team I should say-- with a better understanding, of a roadmap for how we get to that end state-- mutual compliance. - Donald Trump described the 2015 agreement as "the worst deal in history" and pulled out in 2018. Trump had then reimposed UN sanctions, with additional US sanctions on Tehran.

In February, Biden rescinded UN sanctions, but he hasn't gone as far as lifting US sanctions, saying they'll only happen once Iran is compliant with the 2015 nuclear deal. Since then, Iran has been violating the terms of the deal and was reported to have reached 12 times the levels permitted of enriched uranium stockpile. But Iran now also agrees the negotiations are on the right path.


INTERPRETER: We find this position realistic and promising. It could be the start of correcting the bad process that has taken diplomacy to a dead end. We welcome these comments. - Not long after Tuesday's Vienna meeting had concluded, there were reports that an Iranian ship was damaged by a mine in the Red Sea. State media says the vessel was supporting Iranian commanders sent to escort commercial ships.

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