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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 5,403

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Rachel : Cory Booker fresh out of WH Senators' meeting is on tonight.

RE Trump admin, she's said before to watch what they do and don't bother with what they say. Said it again tonight and then said, "What they say is "not worth the paper it's printed on."

Edited to add: Booker also said he was underwhelmed RE WH senators' mtg. talking about how dysfunctional state dept is. More about all the unfilled positions and how badly they are needed. Not anything to make you feel reassured but...they need to keep calling attention to it.

These images carry dire warning about climate change, but still hope; millenials are getting it

These Images Carry a Dire Warning About Climate Change

Polar photographer Paul Nicklen is capturing some of Earth's most remote places before they disappear.

By John Light | April 21, 2017

(Link has video)


They couldn’t linger. “All of a sudden a blizzard came up, a massive storm — 80 knots of wind — so we had to go and hide,” Nicklen recalls. For protection, the best choice was to sail behind Nordaustlandet, a large, ice-covered island in the Svalbard archipelago. “And the temperature, even though we’re 600 miles from the North Pole, was 62 degrees Fahrenheit. And you’ve got all the waterfalls pouring off the Nordaustlandet ice cap.”

Nicklen snapped a photo — and, on this balmy day in the Arctic, captured a potent picture of climate change: A wall of ice in a steel-colored sea, with water pouring from the top of it.

“You go from the dead bears to this, and then look at the science — you come to understand that if we wait for the streets of New York or Miami to be flooded from rising sea levels, then we’ll be 200 years too late,” he says.


They’ll be the first place where species — and entire ecosystems — disappear, and Nicklen may be one of the last humans to witness them before they go. He is known for braving extremes to document inaccessible and inhospitable environments, and disseminating his photos far and wide. His two most common venues are the pages — digital and print — of National Geographic, and an Instagram account with 3.1 million followers. A TED talk he gave in 2011 showcasing his work has been viewed nearly 2 million times. His gallery will add one more venue.

Link to Ted talk:


Nicklen grew up in an Inuit community on Canada’s Baffin Island. He loved the Arctic environment, and initially decided to become a wildlife biologist for the Canadian government. Repeatedly, however, Nicklen saw the data he collected have little impact on policy makers who controlled the future of the ecosystems he worked in. “To come out with data sets, and to be completely ineffective, was such a slap in the face,” he remembers. He turned instead to photography. “That took another seven years, of being a starving photographer, just out there trying,” he says. His hard work paid off: For more than a decade and a half now, Nicklen’s pictures of our changing Arctic ecosystems have reached a global audience.


But it’s not yet time to despair. Nicklen is starting to see signs of a shift. “Ten years ago I’d say the word ‘climate change’ in a lecture and people would kind of roll their eyes,” Nicklen says. People are starting to listen — but not fast enough. “The problem with humans is we sort of deny, deny, deny, panic,” he continues. “And right now we’re in the denial phase.”

Millennials are the exception. They’re already panicking — and that gives Nicklen hope. “Now, if I get any opposition, I’ll have 200 millennials rise to the occasion and take on the opposer. They get it, they’re smart, they’re not in denial. They’re willing to be inconvenienced. To see true change, we have to be uncomfortable.“



German opinion editor on Ivanka representing US: She is his voice, but somehow she has a nicer face.


Best quote from the article:

"We have family clan experiences in autocracies,” Seibel told Politico. “Ivanka Trump isn’t elected, she is a daughter. She didn’t say anything in the elections when he was saying nasty things about women and migrants. She is his voice, but somehow she has a nicer face.


On Tuesday, Ivanka was in Berlin to represent the United States in a panel at the W20 Summit, an international convention dedicated to the “economic empowerment of women.” The moderator of Ivanka’s W20 panel pulled no punches, asking her right away to clarify her White House role.

“Whom are you representing?” the moderator continued, as the audience burst out in laughter. “Your father as the president of the United States, the American people, or your business?”

Ivanka replied by saying “certainly not the latter.”

“I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well as it is quite new to me,” she continued. “As an entrepreneur and an individual prior to this in the private sector, I cared very much about empowering women in the workplace. And the opportunity to have an elevated platform, to be able to sit here on this stage — and thank you chancellor for your very gracious invitation — I am humbled to be here with so many formidable leaders, to engage in dialogue, to learn, to bring the advice, the knowledge back to the United States, back to both my father, and the president, and hopefully that will bring about incremental positive change, and that is my goal.”

LOts of snips


There's no such thing as a blue or red state. Looking past stereotypes critical to electoral success

"Many progressives trade in stereotypes about Kansas with childlike pride, writes Sarah Smarsh in Wichita, KS. But to use geography to separate the righteous from the scourge is dangerously simplistic."

The Guardian

This is a long but excellent article with some very important points for electoral success. It's so good that I was hard pressed to decide what to excerpt. I chose something from near the end, but the whole thing is well worth reading and has important observations.

(Lots of snip)

The test for a relatively young nation being forced to grow up is whether it can recognize simultaneous truths.

Thompson shows the way for Democrats in areas they’ve long failed at the polls by being a walking integration of categories: a gun-rights defender who goes hunting, a liberal activist, a commonsense graduate of the school of hard knocks, a fighter who doesn’t mince words with wonky policy talk but shows up as an ally for his local Jewish community, people of color, the LGBT community.

At a recent Wichita rally supporting transgender rights, a couple of hecklers wearing masks used a blow horn to try to drown out event speakers. When Thompson went to the microphone, one of the disrupters tried to talk over him.

“I told him to shut the pie hole three feet above his ass – over the speaker system,” Thompson recalled and cracked up. “My director of communications asked me later, ‘Please don’t ever say that again.’”

But Thompson’s vernacular would have gained the admiration of my straight-talking family, who rarely engage in activism because it often speaks a language they didn’t get to learn.

At this perilous moment in America, the only victory to be had is not on the red and blue map but above it, not with clever strategies but through human connection.

Thompson’s progressive, populist momentum in “deep red” Kansas – where he respected people enough to knock on their doors and look them in the eye – is proof of that. His showing at the polls echoed bipartisan resistance seen in recent months at town hall meetings and marches in seemingly unlikely places and suggested a playbook for Democrats aiming to reclaim districts vacated by Montana, South Carolina and Pennsylvania Republicans in special elections yet to come.

America is one place. Every state shares in her sins, and every state shares in her progress.



My 10 year old neighbor just told me her favorite sign from the Portland science march Saturday:

My 10 year old neighbor went to the march in Portland Saturday with her scientist parents. She just told me this was her favorite sign:

"Fun with science: Let's 3-D print a new president! "

Obamas Barrage of Complete Sentences Seen as Brutal Attack on Trump (Borowitz)

Satire from the Borowitz Report
Obama’s Barrage of Complete Sentences Seen as Brutal Attack on Trump
By Andy Borowitz 01:39 P.M.

CHICAGO (The Borowitz Report)—In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, former President Barack Obama unloaded a relentless barrage of complete sentences in what was widely seen as a brutal attack on his successor, Donald Trump.

Appearing at his first public event since leaving office, Obama fired off a punishing fusillade of grammatically correct sentences, the likes of which the American people have not heard from the White House since he departed.

“He totally restricted his speech to complete sentences,” Tracy Klugian, a student at the event, said. “It was the most vicious takedown of Trump I’d ever seen.”

“About five or six sentences in, I noticed that all of his sentences had both nouns and verbs in them,” Carol Foyler, another student, said. “I couldn’t believe he was going after Trump like that.”

Obama’s blistering deployment of complete sentences clearly got under the skin of their intended target, who, moments after the event, responded with an angry tweet: “Obama bad (or sick) guy. Failing. Sad!”

Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com.

More http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/obamas-barrage-of-complete-sentences-seen-as-brutal-attack-on-trump?mbid=nl_042417%20Borowitz%20Newsletter%20(1)&CNDID=49083371&spMailingID=10882513&spUserID=MTgzMjI2MTM1NTc2S0&spJobID=1141906009&spReportId=MTE0MTkwNjAwOQS2

Bill Nye Slams CNN for Putting Climate Science Denier on Earth Day Panel; Tells him, "cut that out"

Great panel discussion here. Bill Nye confronts climate change denier who met with Trump and reportedly is being considered for science advisor; destroys his arguments.

Bill Nye will gladly talk to the media about climate change, but he has no time for climate change skeptics.

The celebrity scientist slammed CNN’s “New Day” on Saturday for putting together an Earth Day panel that included William Happer ― a physicist who thinks carbon pollution is a myth and once said carbon dioxide was being demonized like Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

When asked about Happer’s skepticism, Nye answered by providing Happer with a few facts about the rising rates of atmospheric CO2 ― but not before scolding the hosts for doing a “disservice” to their viewers.

“I will say, as much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic, and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said, referring to the widespread consensus among scientists that climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.


In the past, Happer has argued that global warming and an increase in carbon dioxide is “good for mankind.” The climate change skeptic met with President Donald Trump in January, sparking rumors that he was being considered for the role of science adviser.

During Saturday’s panel, Nye offered Happer a bit of advice.

“Sir, with some respect,” Nye said. “I encourage you to cut this out so that we can all move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology.”


Nebraska Farmer Politely Schools Fox News Host On Dangers Of Keystone XL Pipeline

This is great; he calmly and convincingly counters every one of Sandra Smith's talking points. Video in link; worth watching for his demeanor and the intelligence of his replies:

Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup urged the Trump administration on Friday to abandon plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline and focus instead on boosting renewable energy.

In a four-minute interview on Fox News, Tanderup ― who heads a group of about 90 Nebraska landowners trying to block the pipeline ― politely countered each of host Sandra Smith’s talking points as she repeatedly suggested his personal stake was the only real reason he opposed the project.

“Our premium goal would be to leave the tar sands in the ground and move more rapidly to renewable fuels,” said Tanderup, who owns a modest 160-acre farm passed down from his wife Helen’s grandfather.

Four days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump revived the Keystone XL project with an executive action inviting the Calgary-based pipeline builder TransCanada to reapply for permits to build. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline after seven years of deliberation, on the grounds that the environmental risks remained too great. If completed, the pipeline would carry tar sands ― a noxious mix of sand, clay, and viscous oil, considered one of the dirtiest and poorest-quality fuels ― from Canada to Texas to be refined for export.

“After we learned how destructive the chemicals and the tar sands are, we have come to realize that this type of fossil fuel should not be happening,” Tanderup said Friday, after Smith asked whether he would still oppose the pipeline if the route didn’t go through his property. “It doesn’t matter where it’s at ― we need to look for other sources of renewable energy. We would fight it wherever it was.”

Smith suggested the pipeline would be more secure than transporting tar sands by rail. Indeed, the Fraser Institute, a conservative think tank in Canada, found that moving oil and gas via a pipeline is 4.5 times safer than doing it by rail.

But the existing Keystone pipeline already leaked 16,800 gallons of oil on Yankton, South Dakota, last year, Tanderup noted. (Keystone XL, as the name suggests, would be an extension of the existing Keystone pipeline, providing a shortcut to Texas refineries.)


A Bernie Sanders Campaign Adviser Was a Russian. Now He's Speaking Out. (Intercept)

A high-level adviser and operative for the 2016 Sanders campaign was Vitali Shkliarov, a Soviet-born citizen of Belarus. Shkliarov, who had previously worked on the 2012 Obama re-election campaign and for several other successful Democratic Party campaigns, has also become increasingly in demand as a political adviser and campaign manager in Russia, working for liberal candidates in opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

Possessing a unique background and vantage point, Shkliarov, now that the 2016 election is over, has many interesting observations to express on the state of American politics, the Democratic Party, U.S.-Russian relations, and the impact of rising anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S.


Shkliarov’s anti-Putin bona fides, and his now-entrenched status in both the Russian and American community of liberal and leftist political consultants, makes him a unique voice on a wide range of issues of current prominence, particularly the state of US-Russia relations and the impact of anti-Russian discourse in the U.S. Last week in Rio de Janeiro, I spoke with him about his experiences with the Sanders campaign, his views on Trump’s victory, the dangers posed by rising tensions between Moscow and Washington, and what it’s like now to be a Russian who works in U.S. politics.

Of particular interest is Shkliarov’s analysis of – and his warnings about – the dangers posed from escalating U.S.-Russia tensions (on Tuesday night, the U.S. scrambled jets in response to Russian warplanes flying 100 miles off the coast of Alaska for the first time since Trump became President).

Especially noteworthy are Shkliarov’s concerns about how intensifying anti-Russian sentiment in U.S. discourse is alienating Russian liberals from the U.S. and uniting them behind their own government – as happens in most countries when people, even those who loathe their own government, perceive that their nation is being demonized and targeted by a foreign power.


The transcript of our discussion, edited for length and clarity is below, along with several video clips:

Lots more:

GA Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Voting In Fierce Runoff Election; NAACP Suing State

Georgia Is Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Taking Part In Fierce Runoff Election
This is just typical, said the Georgia NAACP chief, who is suing the state.
By Sam Levine

Five civil rights and civic engagement groups have filed suit against Georgia and its secretary of state for attempting to block registered voters from participating in a closely watched runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

On Thursday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a complaint in the federal district court in Atlanta, arguing that the state is violating the National Voter Registration Act. That law sets 30 days before a federal election as the earliest permissible deadline for voter registration.

Georgia complied with the provision for the special congressional election held this past Tuesday. But because no candidate won 50 percent of the vote, there will be a second election on June 20 ― a runoff between the top two finishers, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

Georgia election officials contend that the June runoff is simply a continuation of the special election this week, so they don’t have to allow newly registered voters to participate. The registration deadline for Tuesday’s election was March 20, and officials say anybody who registers after that day is not eligible to vote in the June runoff.

Ezra Rosenberg, co-director of the voting rights project at the Lawyers’ Committee, argues that under the federal law, Georgia can’t set the registration deadline for the June 20 runoff any earlier than 30 days before that election ― that is, May 22.

“The case is actually a very, very simple case,” Rosenberg told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “Federal law specifically defines elections as including runoff elections.”

The National Voter Registration Act, passed in 1993, defines the word “election” based on the Federal Election Campaign Act. That 1971 statute defines an election as “a general, special, primary, or runoff election.”

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