German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in landmark vote   
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's parliament backed the legalization of same-sex marriage on Friday in a historic vote hailed by gay activists and leftist parties but criticized by some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc and by the Catholic Church.

          Dem state officials refusing to cooperate with Trump voter fraud probe   
          Germany approves ‘same-sex marriage’ and sets fines for Facebook, etc. to crack down on ‘hate speech’   
COGwriter In a move that, sadly, was not unexpected, Germany ‘legalize same-sex marriage’: 30 June 2017 A clear majority of German MPs have voted to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote. The reform grants couples now limited to civil unions full marital rights, and allows them to […]
          German parliament backs same-sex marriage   
Members of the Bundestag in Berlin voted 393 for legalising “marriage for everybody” and 226 against, with four abstentions.
          Labour in turmoil after 50 MPs defy whip in single market vote   
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said the vote had been “unnecessary” and that he was “very disappointed” with Chuka Umunna.
          (بدون عنوان)   


          Hans von Spakovsky on The Larry O'Connor Show    
Listen as Larry spoke with Hans Von Spakovsky regarding Virginia’s refusal to cooperate with President Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission.
          Louisiana Sec. of State reviewing voter data request from Trump administration   

A presidential commission purporting to investigate voter fraud sent letters this week to all secretaries of state asking for a detailed list of voter information. As Gambit reported yesterday, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office received the letter June 28, and the office's staff and attorneys were beginning to review the letter and its demands.…
          Health care reform: First, do no harm   

Louisiana’s Republican U.S. Sens. John Neely Kennedy and Bill Cassidy soon must decide how they want to be remembered by future generations: as partisan hacks who put their party ahead of their constituents, or as courageous independents who sought to end America’s bitter political divide.

That’s what’s at stake when the two men vote on the GOP’s latest health care reform bill.…
          Ray Appleton - 06.30.17 - A third of enrollees of the "Obamaphone" program may not be qualified   
San Francisco will pay $190K to an undocumented immigrant over sanctuary law violations. A list of esteem law professors suggest term limits for Supreme Court judges. A federal judge has blocked California's high-capacity magazine ban. California Senator Josh Newman supporters filed a lawsuit to stop the GOP recall effort over his vote on the gas tax. A new government audit finds more than a third of enrollees of the "Obamaphone" program may not be qualified among other fraudulent findings.
          Make section fill page   
Hello Bhavika,

Such feature is still not supported. A request for this feature has been submitted in our feedback portal - check out this post. I can suggest you to vote for it as the features are selected for development based on the demand from our community.

In the meantime, you can use the custom image imitating the vertical lines in BackgroundImage property of the Detail section or PageSetting.BackgroundImage property of the Report.

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          Trump commission asking for state voter information, Louisiana still reviewing   

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s office received a letter June 28 from President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asking for voter names, addresses, party affiliation, dates of birth, the last four digits of social security numbers, and voter history since 2006. The letter from commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach was sent to all 50 states to identify policies that “enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal election processes.” The information will be made publicly available.

Meg Casper Sunstrom, Press Secretary for Louisiana's Secretary of State, told Gambit June 29 that the office had not yet reviewed the letter with staff and attorneys.

          Mississippi Official Tells President Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission to ‘Go Jump in the Gulf of Mexico’   
"They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico"
          El PSOE ve posible votar contra las metas de déficit y techo de gasto de 2018   
El secretario de Organización del PSOE, José Luis Ábalos, ha mencionado que ve posible que el partido vote en contra de los objetivos de déficit y deuda pública que acompañarán el techo de gasto de 2018 porque "hay detalles que no presagian nada positivo". Leer
          Blair Bryant resigns as director of Powerhouse;   
Article – BusinessDesk June 30 (BusinessDesk) – Blair Bryant has resigned from the board of Powerhouse Ventures and as a result the ASX-listed, Christchurch-based technology incubator has cancelled a special meeting of shareholders it had called on July 21 in Sydney to vote him …Blair Bryant resigns as director of Powerhouse; ouster meeting cancelled By […]
          Re: Landrieu discusses Affordable Care Act, Trump, presidential ambitions in POLITICO podcast   
I certainly hope this p.o.s. racist runs against President Trump in 2020, he will get his @$$ handed to him, just like his lard @$$ sister got her big @$$ handed to her by Louisiana voters in 2014. These Landrieus are pure trash.
Posted by Brett Duhon
          Georgia-Pacific Perry (Fla.) union members vote to accept new contract agreement   
Members from the United Steel Workers Union have voted to accept a new contract from Foley Cellulose. The contract agreement comes after a year-long dispute between the union and Georgia Pacific.

Members from the United Steel Workers Union have voted to accept a new contract from Foley Cellulose. The contract agreement comes after a year-long dispute between the union and Georgia Pacific.

          Tories accuse left-wing students of ‘voting twice’ in general election   
Preview Senior Tories are accusing left-wing youngsters of breaking the law during the general election, with claims they cast their vote twice.
Read Full Article at
          Forget everything else - Brexit is now the only show in town   
Forget everything else - Brexit is now the only show in town
- The reality is that Ms Sturgeon miscalculated the impact of last year's Brexit vote. Because the Remain vote in Scotland was 62 per cent, she assumed ...

          June 30, 2017 - Immigration / Travel Ban Confusion / Voter Privacy   
In this segment, Pat covers several topics: > The undocumented immigrant who successfully sued S.F. because it went against its own Sanctuary City policy. > Pat talks with Correspondent Steve Kastenbaum about how major airports are prepared for confusion now that the new version of Trump's Travel Ban is in effect. > Kastenbaum is also reporting on: President Trump's Election Integrity Commission is asking each state to turn over data from it's voter rolls. Privacy concerns?
          The Chris Mannix Show - Tanner Ainge Joins the Show   
Mannix talks to the Utah Congressman candidate and son of Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge, Tanner Ainge about trying to recruit Gordon Hayward away from his father, his candidacy for Congress in Utah, why he wants to be a Congressman and if Sports would ever impact a person’s vote.
          Germany approves bill to fine social media up to €50mn over online hate speech, fake news   
Preview The German parliament has voted to fine social media networks up to €50 million ($56 million) if they fail to remove hateful content or fake news. The networks will be given 24 hours to block or delete any inappropriate content.
Read Full Article at
          No more Mr. Nice Guy? Jeremy Corbyn sacks 3 frontbench rebels over single market vote   
Preview Three Labour frontbenchers have been sacked for defying their leader Jeremy Corbyn’s call to abstain from voting on an amendment for the UK to stay in the single market after Brexit.
Read Full Article at
          House passes ‘Kate’s Law’ and ‘No Sanctuary for Criminals Act’ targeting illegal immigration    
Preview Two immigration bills have passed the House, mostly along party lines. Two dozen Democrats voted with the GOP on “Kate’s Law” to impose tougher sentences on illegal re-entry into the US, while another vote on “sanctuary cities” was even more partisan.
Read Full Article at
          Obituary for Sylvia “Saucy” Mureddu   
Obituary for Sylvia “Saucy” Mureddu
Sylvia “Cadesky” Stoun Mureddu, 96, died, May 25, 2017, at home surrounded by her family. She was the devoted wife of the late Michael L. Mureddu of Newport and the late Meyer J. Stoun.  Sylvia was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada on July 27, 1920.  She was the daughter of the late Samuel and
          This South Jersey Beach Was Just Voted as the Garden State's Favorite Once Again   
We are in full beach mode here, South Jersey! Many will be spending time on this specific Jersey Shore beach, which just got voted the favorite beach in the state for the fourth year in a row!
          Dunagan, Dr. Deason   
Dr. Deason Dunagan, 71, of Huntsville, passed away Friday. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, a gifted plastic surgeon, and an...
          State officials refuse to turn over voters' sensitive data to Donald Trump's election panel   
The information includes partial Social Security numbers, and voter histories going back to 2006
          VanGinhoven, Jack   
Jack VanGinhoven – an 86 year-old native of Babylon, New York, longtime resident of Wilmer, Alabama, and a devoted family man, passed away on...
          Germany votes to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption   

Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against marriage equality, but allowed vote after having dinner with a lesbian couple

The post Germany votes to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption appeared first on Metro Weekly.

          NEWS: Nunavut capital passes strategic plan, looks to fix road to Apex   
Iqaluit councillors unanimously passed the final draft of their first strategic plan in nearly half a decade, during a city council meeting June 27, concluding more than a year of debate and planning for the over-arching strategy that will help direct long-term goals for the city. But with an absent mayor Madeleine Redfern—as well as councillors Terry Dobbin and Simon Nattaq—the landmark plan was marked only by a round-the-table call for votes by the city’s deputy mayor, Romeyn Stevenson, with
          GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) | Re: QOTD: However much United States voters   
However much United States voters may agree that there is waste in government and that the government as a whole spends beyond its means, it is difficult to find broad support for a movement toward a minimal state.

(A) However much United States voters may agree that- Correct - Parallelism is correct in this sentence
(B) Despite the agreement among United States voters to the fact= Missing "that" causing parallelism error
(C) Although United States voters agree = Missing "that"

          What GOP holdouts want before unblocking the health care reform bill   
Among them: Sen. Rob Portman of Cincinnati. Some of the holdouts may be easier to persuade than others. A few announced their opposition to his draft bill only after he delayed a planned vote. But others are more dug in.
          Must disagree. I hate Facebook & Zuckerdouche, but Trump is an unhinged child. Z can speak in complete sentences. (…   

from my Twitter. follow me on Twitter.

posted: June 25, 2017 at 07:46AM

          #HellerVoteNo #HellAlwaysVoteNoAgainstRepublicanInterests! They did the same against Obama & Dems for 8 years. Se…   

from my Twitter. follow me on Twitter.

posted: June 25, 2017 at 12:27AM

          "The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." - Mitch Albom   
"The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." - Mitch Albom
          Poll date announced for Ipswich   
VOTERS will decide who will replace embattled former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale on August 19.
          Week In Politics: Senators Work On Health Care Bill While Trump Tweets   
This week Republican senators postponed a vote on their health care bill but continued to make changes. Also, President Trump received bipartisan criticism for a crude tweet.
          Study provides lead into how acupuncture can help relieve pain   
NEW YORK, June 30 Devotees swear by acupuncture to treat a variety of health conditions, and now new US research appears to suggest a reason why the ancient Chinese treatment can be effective in easing pain.Although the use of acupuncture
          No Shelter From the Woj Bombs   

On Wednesday, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out some cataclysmic NBA news.

This was a blockbuster move—the Los Angeles Clippers’ stellar point guard signing up to play with recent MVP runner-up James Harden—a transaction huge enough that it may affect which team loses to the Golden State Warriors in next year’s conference finals.

If you read the replies to Wojnarowski’s tweet, though, one of the biggest NBA trades in years seems secondary—overshadowed by the man who broke the story.

In the parlance of NBA Twitter, Wojnarowski dropped a “Woj bomb,” hence the deployment of mushroom cloud GIFs.

In his 10 years at Yahoo—the company gave Wojnarowski his own website, the Vertical, in 2016—the NBA reporter built a reputation as the basketball world’s Eye of Providence, a mysterious, all-seeing entity who breaks news with terrifying speed and accuracy.

Judging by the reaction to his tweets, one might get the sense that he is actually the one setting these deals into motion—that teams make moves because Wojnarowski reports them rather than the other way around. It’s all part of the mythos of Woj, a cult of personality devoted to a man who doesn’t seem to have much of a discernible personality beyond “reporter who is always on Twitter.”

On Saturday, Wojnarowski will be joining ESPN, a move that coincides with (and in certain exceedingly nerdy circles perhaps overshadows) the start of the NBA’s free agency period. For years, his identity has been wrapped up in the fact that he doesn’t work for the Worldwide Leader in Sports. He’s been known to pick at ESPN in his columns, sometimes referring to them as an unnamed “cable sports company.” His defection to the world’s most powerful sports media company at once feels surprising and inevitable. It’s a marriage of questionable harmony but undoubtable impact, the equivalent of hiring a T. rex to hem your pants.

In his tenure at Yahoo, Wojnarowski has been a one-man wrecking crew, often out-scooping the world’s sports media hydra on the strength of his connections and unparalleled ability to type with his thumbs. Earlier this week, in his last days at the Vertical, he broke the news that Jeff Van Gundy—who works for ESPN—will be coaching USA Basketball’s World Cup qualifying team.

Wojnarowski’s unique ability to delight his fans and bedevil his rivals has been most evident during the NBA draft, when he managed to report, via Twitter, the upcoming selections well before they’re announced on ESPN’s live broadcast. The fact that one guy could ruin the drama and pageantry of a manicured television event infuriated ESPN execs and undoubtedly contributed to the company’s decision to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

In tandem with Wojnarowski’s hiring, ESPN laid off a number of talented NBA reporters, many of whom covered individual teams and contributed postgame recaps and analysis. They also terminated Marc Stein, who has long been Wojnarowski’s biggest competitor. Stein is a prodigious reporter in his own right, and many within the company have expressed dismay at his departure. Given that it seems like the network is shifting toward breaking news and scoops, there’s only one logical explanation for laying off Stein: ESPN’s suits feel it’s important to have Wojnarowski be the unquestioned leader of their NBA scoop machine. If you’re looking for an explanation for why that might be, you should ask someone who has better sources than I do.

ESPN, which pays $1.4 billion annually for the rights to televise NBA games, wants to claim total ownership of almost every NBA storyline. The network’s coverage of the NFL provides an instructive example. In 2013, Deadspin did a nice play-by-play of a story the network created out of thin air and subsequently covered to death. It began on SportsCenter, when one of ESPN's NFL pundits said, “I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.” ESPN got Kaepernick’s response to the statement, and that response was then covered at length on the network’s myriad shouting-head programs. The pundit who made the comment eventually became a featured guest across its various platforms, and the issue was debated for days until a natural endpoint was reached. (It somehow became about Tim Tebow.)

ESPN has been built to trim every last edible bit from a story, and with basketball’s greatest rumormonger and scoop-getter at its disposal, there’s no telling what the Worldwide Leader will now be capable of. My best guess is it will look a lot like what Gustavus Swift did to cows back in the 19th century.

Swift owned and operated one of the largest slaughterhouses in Chicago, but selling salted pork scraps wasn’t enough for him. In the late 1800s, the market demanded fresh beef, which meant cattle were shipped live to Eastern population centers where they would be butchered and sold after transit. Swift had a nose for inefficiency, and he got a great whiff of it with each and every steer-filled boxcar that passed through Chicago on its way east. If his company could somehow slaughter and butcher the beef in Chicago, he’d be able to expand his operation while more efficiently meeting demand.

To facilitate this, Swift hired an engineer to design a refrigerated train car that could ship dressed meat over long distances without sacrificing freshness. The Swift-owned cars were loaded with ice in Wisconsin, packed with beef at Swift’s Chicago slaughterhouse, and then sent east and sold for maximum profit. The supply process was so efficient and direct, a side of beef in the freezer of a New York wholesaler would hang off the same hook as the cow from which it was cut back in Chicago weeks prior.

It is perhaps a bit on the nose that the process Swift pioneered is known as “vertical integration.” The man ESPN lured from the Vertical will provide the grist for a never-ending mill of debate shows, news programs, and interview segments. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the NBA receives as much attention on Twitter during summer free agency as it does during the regular season. ESPN is counting on its ability to grab that attention by harnessing the multikiloton power of the Woj bomb.

Consider, though, that the two biggest NBA stories of the past five years—LeBron James’ return to Cleveland and Kevin Durant’s move to Golden State—got broken via personal essays published in Sports Illustrated and the Players’ Tribune respectively, not via reporters on Twitter. If a player is savvy enough, he can circumvent the scoop machine and take ownership of his own breaking news, Adrian Wojnarowski be damned.

If history is any indicator, the establishment won’t give up the means of production without a fight. In the words of Karl Marx, “Tune into First Take for more reaction.”

          Ekstra halv million LAG-støttekroner klar   
LAG Thy-Mors meldte ud for et stykke tid siden, at årets kvote for støtte fra Land-LAG´en var opbrugt. Men nu viser der sig, at der pludseligt er penge til overs.
          What To Do About Obamacare   
Republican voters mostly aren't against it for reasons other than the fact that it was championed by the black Muslim guy from Kenya. They don't like the as-yet-unenforced mandate, and they don't like it for all of the reasons that few people actually like our health care system - at best it's needlessly a pain in the ass, at worst, well, you know the worst. A lot of them are pissed off because they think the blahs got the secret welfare ACA (Medicaid) while they got Obamacare (the exchanges), even though a big reason (not the only one!) a lot of them didn't get Medicaid was they yelled and screamed for their states to "reject Obamacare" and, thanks to Roberts, what they could reject was the Medicaid expansion.

Hospitals hate the idea of repeal. Insurance companies mostly don't like it. For people with employer insurance, people who got Medicaid, and people who can kinda sorta afford the individual plans, it's mostly better (and since the mandate isn't even enforced, it's basically better for anyone who chooses to buy it).

Ultimately any "Republican healthcare plan" is basically Obamacare, but shittier. Even my glibertarian college facebook friend who HATES OBAMACARE earnestly described what the health care system should be, and it really was Obamacare without the mandate, to the letter.

The sociopaths in Congress wants to take away Medicaid, make it less affordable and with fewer benefits (at worst, completely fake insurance, at best something slightly better than that). Remove revenue from insurance companies and hospitals, including forcing them to eat more emergency room bills. Oh, and people don't get needed care and go bankrupt and die.

The leading liberal think tank has decided to make another stab at bipartisan fixes to Obamacare because I guess whatever was in the water that made Obama think elected Republicans were interested in such a thing is still in the water in DC. I'm not sure why "here's a really complicated plan that people won't like much more than the status quo and has no chance of passing" is better than "here's a really simply-sounding (nothing is simple, of course, but the bureaucracies should handle the bureaucracy, not us) idea that would be popular and better and universal and has no chance of passing right now" but centrists gotta centrist I guess.

          Everyone With A Name Match Will Be A Vote Fraudster   
Kobach knows this game with databases. You program them to make soft matches - similar names, party affiliation - and then accuse everyone of having a match of having voted twice. Of course this almost never ever ever ever happens and certainly doesn't happen enough to swing elections, but gotta lock up potential Dem voters any way you can.

A letter from Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of a White House commission looking into voter fraud and other irregularities, is drawing fire from some state election officials. The letter, sent Wednesday to all 50 states, requests that all publicly available voter roll data be sent to the White House by July 14, five days before the panel's first meeting.

Voter suppression has been his career for years. What a calling. He should be in jail.
Well my local DA just copped a guilty plea.

He ran courting the young progressive vote, people who assumed the younger black guy had to be better than the older white woman who seemed to like nothing more than trying to get capital convictions. He didn't promise to be a perfect progressive DA, but he did promise to be better in ways that mattered, promises he mostly didn't keep.

And then there was the corruption.
          Analysis: "Bad" foreign firms drive U.S. manufacturing jobs revival   

By Lesley Wroughton and Howard Schneider

SPARTANBURG/CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Years before Donald Trump began promising to bring back good manufacturing jobs by getting tough with U.S. trade partners, such jobs have already been on the rise, largely thanks to foreign companies now cast as villains in Trump's narrative.

Reuters analysis of federal jobs data shows that out of 656,000 new manufacturing jobs created between 2010 and 2014, two thirds can be attributed to foreign direct investment.

More recent jobs numbers are not yet available, but over $700 billion in foreign capital has poured in over the last two years bringing total foreign investment to $3.7 trillion at the end of 2016, a world record. (Graphic:

Now foreign companies that have spent billions of dollars on U.S. factories and local leaders who host them worry that global supply networks that back those investments will fray if Trump makes good on his pledge to roll back trade liberalization.

The U.S. president has threatened to tear up North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico and slap higher tariffs on nations that run trade surpluses with the United States, such as Germany or China. The administration is also discussing tighter immigration rules and more security screening of investment.

The tough message helped sway swing northeastern and Midwestern Rust Belt states Trump's way in the 2016 election, but puts him at odds with companies and local leaders in the south, which has driven the recent growth in manufacturing jobs.

The southern states have voted for Trump, but have also spent decades wooing foreign companies with flexible labor laws, financial incentives and investment in ports, roads and other infrastructure.


The courtship has spawned new auto plants from Kentucky to Georgia, and a new Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama.

Few places highlight the gap between Trump's rhetoric and local aspirations better than Spartanburg in South Carolina.

German carmaker BMW has invested here $8 billion in a 1.2 million square foot (11.15 hectares) assembly plant, which has become the largest single exporter of cars by value from the United States.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, a Republican and Trump supporter, credits the German automaker for putting his state on the global investment map.

"The presence of this company changed everything in the trajectory of our state," McMaster said on Monday at an event unveiling BMW's newest X3 sports utility vehicle.

Its Chief Executive Harald Krueger said the carmaker would invest additional $600 million in Spartanburg over the next four years, adding 1,000 jobs to the 9,000-strong workforce, and spend further $200 million on employee training and education.

But the poster child of South Carolina's success also doubles as a whipping boy. In January, BMW's plans to build a plant in Mexico drew Trump's ire and last month the U.S. president was quoted as saying Germany was "very bad" on trade and selling too many cars in the United States.

And even as the company highlights its contribution to the U.S. economy and the benefits of free trade, it is hedging its bets by preparing for a possible protectionist backlash.

Outside of the spotlight, BMW is retooling factories in South Africa and China to build volume models like the X3 SUV, reducing its dependence on Spartanburg.

“We have a big footprint here, and we are flexible enough," Oliver Zipse, BMW's board member responsible for manufacturing, told Reuters. "We will build the X3 not only in Spartanburg, we will split it into South Africa and then to China, so we will have some flexibility to produce cars somewhere else,” he said.

“If something happens at the political level - which we don’t know yet - we are able to have a flexible response.”

The Trump administration has said it welcomes foreign investment and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who spoke at an opening of a new Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> plant in South Carolina, said such projects showed that "America is becoming an even stronger destination for global businesses looking to grow.”

The southern U.S. states owe much of their success to coastal port authorities and cities that have invested heavily to make their channels and docks fit for shipments to and from China and Mexico.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who has often clashed with Trump, said protectionism would undermine those accomplishments and hurt American workers.


"Negotiate a trade agreement with Europe, modernize NAFTA, don't tear it up," Graham told Reuters at the BMW factory. "We're going in the wrong direction. We need more trade agreements, not less."

Graham noted how low-cost competition from China and Mexico destroyed South Carolina's once thriving textile industry and how the state reinvented itself as a manufacturing hub, bringing the likes of BMW or French tire maker Michelin .

The now humming port city of Charleston has a similar story to tell. When a major navy base shut down in the 1990s wiping out 20,000 jobs, local officials worked to bring foreign manufacturers, which now employ around 10,000 in the three counties around the city and more is set to come.

Mercedes-Benz, part of Daimler AG , is adding 1,300 jobs so it can make its Sprinter van here rather than merely assemble it with imported parts, which also means more business for local suppliers.

Up the road, Volvo Car Group, part of Chinese conglomerate Geely, is due to open its first North American plant next year with a target workforce of 2,000.

Local development officials expect more jobs and investment to come, but worry that some steps discussed by the Trump administration could have a chilling effect.

Claire Gibbons, director of global marketing at the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, said the proposed new tariffs, tougher immigration rules and stricter reviews of foreign investment projects would amount to a "doomsday scenario" for the region.

"This is an education opportunity for us all, for the people making the decisions that don't understand the ramifications."

(1 euro = $1.1350)

(Additional reporting by Edward Taylor in Munich. Editing by David Chance and Tomasz Janowski)

          Love Island Season 3 all episodes online free   

Watch love island season 3 all episodes online free. Solitary hopefuls looking for love complete duties, few off and get voted out week by week. Packed packed with drama. Love island series 3
          PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government   
Capitol Building – Statewide Survey

A majority of Californians disapprove of President Trump’s order banning travel to the US by people from six majority Muslim countries. And most support providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

All Adults [PDF]
Likely Voters [PDF]

Time Trends:
All Adults [PDF]
Likely Voters [PDF]

This research was supported with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, the California Endowment, and the PPIC Donor Circle.

The post PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government appeared first on PPIC.

          Ryan Zimmerman Still Leads All-Star Vote   
It's a slim plurality, but Ryan Zimmerman's electric first half has him right where he deserves to be, come the All-Star break.
          Teamsters: Twin River Casino Cuts Health Care, Workers Authorize Strike   

International Brotherhood Of Teamsters. (PRNewsFoto/International Brotherhood of Teamsters)LINCOLN, R.I., June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamster valets at Twin River Casino and Entertainment Center have voted unanimously to authorize a strike. Despite years of growing revenue, Twin River is demanding deep cuts in the health care benefits of 42 employees who work...

          Millennial’s Car Rental Issues & Alternatives   

We can drive a car at 16, vote at 18, drink at 21, but until recently, we couldn’t rent a car until 25. Fortunately for the 25-and-under crowd, those rules have changed … slightly. Most car-rental agencies now rent to anyone 21-and-older, but there’s a catch, or rather a surcharge. They hit us with a […]

The post Millennial’s Car Rental Issues & Alternatives appeared first on

Dara Bubamara je još jednom pokazala da brine o drugaricama. Za Gogu Sekulić i Jovanu Tipšin veže je prijateljstvo dugo više od 20 godina, a koliko je pevačica upućena u njihove živote, a i u novčanike, videli smo na promociji njenog albuma.
          House panel votes to end war authorization   
Blindsiding leaders in both parties, a House committee on Thursday approved a repeal of the war authorization that the US military relies on to fight the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and around the globe.

          Ranked Choice Voting Remains the Law of the Land in Maine   

A bill to repeal Maine’s first-in-the-nation adoption of ranked choice voting for all state races died in the state’s legislature on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017. This means that ranked choice voting, which voters adopted via a ballot question in November of 2016, will remain the law of the land  as the state’s 2018 elections for state and federal offices approach. Maine voters passed ranked choice voting by a margin of 52% to 48% in November with nearly 400,000 voters approving, making the referendum victory the second largest in the history of Maine. 

In May, the Maine Supreme Court issued a non-binding advisory opinion that the law passed by voters did not comply with the state’s constitution when applied to some state offices. The opinion is merely advice to the state senate; it is not binding on any court, and the Maine Supreme Court may come out differently after a lawsuit with all of its associated briefings. The opinion also only applied to state general elections. Ranked choice voting is without question constitutional for state primaries and all federal elections. Members of the Maine legislature tried to use the ruling by the Supreme Court as an excuse to repeal ranked choice voting in its entirety and overturn the will of voters, but those efforts failed this week.

“Supporters of election reform across Maine will remain vigilant over the coming weeks, months, and years to defend Maine’s voter-approved Ranked Choice Voting law,” said Kyle Bailey, campaign manager for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting. Dick Woodbury, chair of the Committee, added that “It’s time to move forward with implementation.”

The failed repeal effort is a win for voters in Maine, who spoke loud and clear on Election Day in November to adopt ranked choice voting as a means to strengthen their democracy. Those same voters had their voices heard in the months leading up to the legislature’s repeal effort, and their tireless efforts to preserve a stronger voice and greater choice in Maine elections paid off. With Maine’s 2018 elections on the horizon, FairVote looks forward to being a resource as the state moves forward with implementation and prepares voters for a new, better way to vote.


          Reform Roundup: June 30th, 2017   

Catch up on the week’s electoral reform news with our round up of folks across the country writing and talking about FairVote reform vision. This week, Congressman Don Beyer introduced the Fair Representation Act (FRA), H.R. 3057.

  • Congressman Don Beyer wrote for The Washington Post about needing to change how we elect the House of Representatives. “Applied nationally, we would have more moderate Democrats from districts leaning Republican, and vice versa, creating a type of politician — now nearly extinct — known as a ‘bridge builder.’ Many members would share constituents with members of the other major party, creating incentives to work together on legislation affecting the district.”

  • Anita Earls wrote for The Nation about how the Fair Representation Act would put an end to gerrymandering and improve representation for communities of color. “There is a way forward. If we want to stop gerrymandering, and move beyond constant litigation over how lines are drawn, we must rethink the way we do districting itself. That’s why the Fair Representation Act creates such an exciting path forward. In states like Texas, for example, where black and Latino populations live close together, those communities are often pitted against each other for the one majority-minority seat. A multi-winner district, and a genuine multi-racial slate, would decrease tension between racial minorities, while increasing their voice.”

  • FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie and Board Chair Krist Novoselic spoke to Pedro Echevarria of the Washington Journal C-SPAN about FairVote’s 25th Anniversary year and the introduction of the Fair Representation Act. “With multi-member districts, you don’t need to receive 50% of the vote, which is what you do when you’re just electing one person like president. You can lower that share to whatever is proportionate to the number of seats, so if you have 5 seats it will take about a 5th of the vote. And by doing that, it opens up every single corner of every single state to meaningful engagement and participation and representation. One party would not sweep all of the seats anywhere.” 

  • The American Prospect reported on the Fair Representation Act and its potential to end Congressional Dysfunction. "The bill would not only institute nonpartisan redistricting commissions and a new voting system designed to create a proportionally representational Congress, but also aims to dramatically reduce the number of safe seats for each party and eliminate the unopposed re-election of representatives. In 2014, 31 congressional representatives were re-elected unopposed."

  • Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and David De la Fuente of ThirdWay wrote in U.S. News & World Report about why voters need the Fair Representation Act. “If policymakers don’t offer solutions to fix our electoral system and restore faith that our representative democracy is working the way it should, voters will continue to react with anger and deliver wave elections where they “throw the bums out” every other year. As we’ve seen over the past few election cycles, these reactive waves make it even harder to govern, further contributing to the cycle of frustration that led to them in the first place.”

  • The Alexandria News reports on the introduction of the Fair Representation Act, introduced by Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia’s 8th district. “The Fair Representation Act is the most comprehensive approach to improving congressional elections in American history,” said Rob Richie, the executive director of FairVote. “It creates an impartial, national standard that gets at the core of FairVote’s mission: Giving voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.”



          The Fair Representation Act has been introduced to Congress   

I’m sponsoring the Fair Representation Act because Congress is broken. It is hyper-partisan. It is far too polarized. The FRA creates a structure where members of Congress are incentivized to work together. This is the right thing to do to give voters the strong voice that they deserve in our elections.

--Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08)

On June 26, 2017, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced H.R. 3057: The Fair Representation Act. He was joined by co-sponsors Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Ro Khanna (D-CA). This is a historic moment. The Fair Representation Act is the most comprehensive approach to reforming congressional elections in United States history. It would truly realize the vision of the House of Representatives as “The People’s House.”

The Fair Representation Act

FairVote has called for expanding the use of multi-winner ranked choice voting in United States elections since its founding 25 years ago. Ranked choice voting can replace the broken, zero-sum, winner-take-all system - in which the biggest group of voters in a district are the only ones earning representation - with fair representation for all. In this era of fierce partisan divisions, nowhere needs this change more than the House of Representatives.

RCV-ballot-09.pngUnder the Fair Representation Act, every state would use ranked choice voting to elect its Representatives. Voters would be free to rank their choices without fear of “spoilers.” Instead of only one candidate winning with the most votes, several candidates would win based on how many votes they earn. For example, in a state like Oklahoma or Connecticut that elects 5 winners, 17% of voters can elect 1 of the 5 winners; 34% of voters can elect 2 of the 5 winners; and so on. A majority of voters can always elect a majority of seats, and everyone earns their fair share.

States that elect up to 5 winners will not need any districts at all. Larger states will use districts, but the districts will elect 3, 4, or 5 winners each. That means that a state like Massachusetts that elects 9 Representatives will divide into equal thirds, with each of the three districts electing 3 winners with ranked choice voting. To adopt a district map, these states will form independent redistricting commissions composed of ordinary state citizens (not politicians or lobbyists) who will operate transparently and hold hearings around the state to find the district map that makes the most sense for their state.

The use of ranked choice voting in multi-winner elections will transform the House of Representatives. The current system only allows the biggest group of voters in each district to win representation, all other voices are silenced. As a result, there are millions of voters who prefer Democrats stuck in safe Republican districts and millions of voters who prefer Republicans stuck in safe Democratic districts, women and people of color are under-represented, and everyone has too few choices. The Fair Representation Act can elevate those voices, giving them more power to elect candidates they support and who will go to Congress to work for them.

A Historic Moment

Under the Constitution, Congress has the responsibility to act when our federal elections are not working. It has acted on that responsibility many times in the past, passing laws changing how we elect Congress in 1842 (requiring single-winner districts), 1872 (equal populations per representative), 1901 (requiring that districts be “compact”), 1929 (repealing the requirement to use districts), and 1967 (re-imposing the requirement to use districts). It has been 50 years since Congress has acted in this arena, even as the current system fails to deliver on the promise of a representative House.

Representative Beyer has shown tremendous leadership in holding Congress to its constitutional responsibilities. The attention it attracted from the public demonstrates the hunger that voters have for a more empowering system. FairVote livestreamed Rep. Beyer’s press conference, which was viewed over 44,000 times and ultimately reached over 554,000 people.;overflow:hiddenno0truetrue

The day after the bill’s introduction, Rep. Beyer published an opinion piece in the Washington Post explaining why he introduced the Act. It begins “Democracy is in crisis. Even as the country is deeply divided along class and ideological lines, it seems to be unified in its frustration with our current brand of politics.” Other voices have also weighed in on the need for the Fair Representation Act, including:

As more media coverage happens in the coming days and weeks, we'll add it to the list on our website.

You Can Help the Fair Representation Act Gain Momentum

Now that the vehicle for transforming elections to the U.S. House of Representatives is a bill in Congress, you can help to move the conversation forward. Contact your Representative today to ask them to support the Fair Representation Act. You can find your Representative here, and email them a letter supporting the Fair Representation Act. A sample letter is provided here. You also could consider calling your Member, which increases their likelihood of responding. Better still would be to form a group to have a meeting with your Member and their district office staff. 

Finally, we want to keep adding names to our petition in support of the Act. We currently have over 1500 signatures. Please consider sharing the petition online and drawing people’s attention to our new video and our public resources, at

          U.N. to Reduce Peacekeepers in Darfur Region of Sudan   
The Security Council voted to withdraw more than a third of the nearly 19,000 peacekeepers in the volatile region.
          iPhone turns 10   

A man uses his iPhone during a preview event at the new Apple Store Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, US.

Apple Inc.’s iPhone turned 10 yesterday, evoking memories of a rocky start for the device that ended up doing most to start the smartphone revolution and stirring interest in where  it will go from here. Apple has sold more than one billion iPhones since June 29, 2007, but the first iPhone, which launched without an App Store and was restricted to the Inc network, was limited compared to today’s version. After sluggish initial sales, Apple slashed the price to spur holiday sales that year. “The business model for year one of the iPhone was a disaster,” Tony Fadell, one of the Apple developers of the device, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. “We pivoted and figured it out in year two.” The very concept of the iPhone came as a surprise to some of Apple’s suppliers a decade ago, even though Apple, led by CEO Steve Jobs, had already expanded beyond computers with the iPod. “We still have the voicemail from Steve Jobs when he called the CEO and founder here,” said David Bairstow at Skyhook, the company that supplied location technology to early iPhones. “He thought he was being pranked by someone in the office and it took him two days to call Steve Jobs back.” The iPhone...
          BoE's Haldane says need to look seriously at rate hike - BBC   

Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said on Thursday that the central bank needed to "look seriously" at raising interest rates to keep a lid on inflation which has pushed past the BoE's target and is set to rise further. Last week, Haldane surprised financial markets by saying he was likely to vote for higher borrowing costs this year, adding to speculation about the first BoE rate hike in a decade. "We need to look seriously at the possibility of raising interest rates to keep the lid on those cost of living increases," Haldane told the BBC during a visit to Wales. "For now we are happy with where the rates are, we need to be vigilant for what happens next." British inflation is at its highest level in nearly four years at 2.9 per cent, tightening the squeeze on consumers who now face the added worry of political uncertainty after this month's inconclusive election. The pay of workers has begun to lag behind inflation again after a decade of mostly falling spending power, something BoE Governor Mark Carney has said needs to improve before he would consider a rate hike. Carney also wants to see the impact of the Brexit process on Britain's economy in the coming...
          Economist on "CNN producer: "American voters are stupid as sh*t.""   

CNN = Candidly Negative Nastiness.

          Economist on "CNN producer: "American voters are stupid as sh*t.""   

Finally they are telling the truth?

          Voters 'sick of politics', Turnbull says after days of infighting   

Australians have no time for "wreckers", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says, in a thinly veiled attack on his predecessor Tony Abbott after a week of infighting and division within the Liberal Party.

          Accusations PNG electoral rolls in 'utter chaos'   

A former prime minister and young voters in Papua New Guinea cry foul after thousands of them were taken off the electoral roll as the country goes to the polls, claims dismissed by the Government.

          Skeptics, Get Ready: Does This New Study Prove That Acupuncture Really Works?   
Acupuncture is an ancient practice with many devotees, but to-date there's been thin scientific evidence for why it works. A new study claims to have found a mechanism to explain the pain relief many say it delivers.
          Port Moresby takes second run at poll plagued by scandal   

Voters in Port Moresby are going to the polls for a second time today, after the first attempt earlier in the week was aborted by electoral officials.

          Increasing number of states reject request for personal information on voters from Trump commission   
          German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in landmark vote   
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's parliament backed the legalization of same-sex marriage on Friday in a historic vote hailed by gay activists and leftist parties but criticized by some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc and by the Catholic Church.

          Useful Ajit Pai's lawyer nominated for top US telco watchdog role   

Brendan Carr will be a reliable vote against net neutrality as an FCC commissioner

President Donald Trump has nominated Brendan Carr, the FCC's general counsel, to fill the last remaining Republican commissioner slot at America's telco watchdog.…

          Pa. Senate reveals budget spending bill, but no revenue plan in sight   
Lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf appear to have come to an agreement on a $32 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts at midnight Friday. That doesn’t mean the budget is done. A revenue package to balance it still isn’t ready, and there are significant disagreements standing in the way of passing it. Still, politicians on both sides of the aisle lauded the spending plan, which passed a late-night Senate appropriations committee meeting with three dissenting votes. The House and Senate…

          Corbyn: “Next Election, Students Will Vote Three Times Each For Labour”   

LONDON - England - With revelations that Corbyn Labour supporting students voted twice in the election, there are no regrets at Labour HQ.

The post Corbyn: “Next Election, Students Will Vote Three Times Each For Labour” appeared first on Daily Squib.

          LURAY W. BRANTHAM   

Jan. 8, 1931-June 28, 2017

Luray Watkins Brantham, 86, Rosewood community, Goldsboro, joined her loving husband of 55 years in heaven while surrounded by her family June 28, 2017.

Luray was born Jan. 8, 1931, to Ressie and Lucille Watkins.

She lived her life in the Rosewood community, where she was first and foremost a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Luray was a former extension homemaker, former part-owner of Rosewood Florist and a member of Westwood United Methodist Church.

A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, with pastor Terry Hobbs officiating.

The family will greet friends in Westwood United Methodist Church fellowship hall following the service and other times at her home.

Luray is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Gail and Johnny Kearney, and her sons and daughters-in-law, Landis Jr. and Debbie Brantham, Alan and Kim Brantham and Tim and Tracy Brantham all of Rosewood.

She has 10 devoted grandchildren, John Kearney, Jennifer Collins and husband, Jason, Clint Brantham and wife, April, Kristy Holmes and husband, Reid, Stephanie Brantham, Melanie Short and husband, Robbie, Kayce Brantham and fiancé, Jon DeAntonio, Hayden Brantham, Hannah Brantham and Harley Brantham, and eight great-grandchildren.

She is also survived by one sister, Anne Wyman; one brother, Wayne Watkins and wife, Coneva; and a loving pet "Boots."

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Landis C. Brantham; a son, Mark Brantham; a brother, J.R. Watkins; and a brother-in-law, Bob Wyman.

Flowers are welcome or memorials may be made to Westwood United Methodist Church, 130 Short St., Goldsboro, N.C., 27530.

The family would like to thank the third floor staff of Wayne Memorial Hospital and Kitty Askins staff for their loving care.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


          CAROLYNN M. JACKSON   

April 8, 1992-June 22, 2017

Carolynn Marieo "Rie Rie" Jackson, 25, 707 E. James St., Mount Olive, passed away peacefully Thursday evening at UNC Chapel Hill Hospitals.

Rie Rie was born Wednesday, April 8, 1992, to the late Dennis Jackson and Carol Carlton Simmons in Wayne County.

Her life and love for God and mankind will be celebrated Saturday at 11 a.m. at Goldsboro Raleigh District Assembly.

Precious memories are forever held dear by her mother and devoted caretaker, minister Carol Carlton Simmons; her siblings, Stevie Simmons, Delreese Simmons, Asrid Simmons, Delmardo Simmons of Mount Olive, Denell Simmons, Cerrithia Solice, Shareeka Perry of Goldsboro, Lisa Ellis of Maryland, Terry Hill of Warsaw and Saderio Simmons-Mitchell of Knightdale; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.

Visitation Friday from 2 to 7 p.m., with the family present to receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m., at Haskins Funeral Home. At other times, the family will receive friends at the residence, where it will assemble in preparation for the funeral procession.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Haskins Funeral Home,


          TS267: Studio Nightmares, Tongqi, Ex-Mormons   
This week Bryan discusses the disappointments he felt from some of Oprah's favorite things, while Erin shares some horrors she discovered walking around the studio lot. Also women in china who are called Tongqi are unaware they are married to closeted gay men, and a sub-Reddit devoted to gay ex-mormons has become a place to highlight one mans family struggles.
          Michigan will not have an anti-abortion license plate, thanks to Gov. Snyder   
Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have created a state-issued “Choose Life” fundraising license plate, with proceeds going to the Choose Life Fund.

Snyder said in a statement that he was concerned that “The ‘Choose Life’ license plate is a political message that has the potential to bitterly divide millions of Michiganders." In his view, it is "not appropriate for a state-issued license plate.”

House Republicans approved the bill in May on a near party-line vote, according to the Free Press. Reps. Robert Kosowski of Westland and Brian Elder of Bay City were the only Democrats who supported the legislation.…
          TS261: Face Shaming, Media Blame, Steve Bannon, Guest Ira Madison III   
This week Bryan attends a boot camp class and once again gets face shamed while Erin accidentally finds a dead dog in a bush. The media is starting to point blame as to what voters caused the election outcome and naturally, its women. Plus we have a new Chief Strategist in Steve Bannon, a crazed racist, minsogynst, human dumpster fire, and Guest Ira Madison III is here to discuss the election aftermath, pop culture, and binge watching The Apprentice. Keep it Nasty!
          TS258: Patti Smith, Brian Babin, Log Cabin Republicans   
This week Bryan saw the original nasty woman Patti Smith over the weekend with a bunch of heterosensuals and lived to tell the tale, while Erin has a surprising conversation with a local silhouette artist. Also, Texas Representative Brian Babin believes women should be told when they are being nasty. Nasty women vote hunny! And the Log Cabin Republicans have sashayed away from Trump and have decided to not endorse him for president.   
          Comment on PLP Acknowledges Paula Cox’s Resignation by vida S   
Mrs Cox if your running as an independent,you must be doing it out of spite,because you know you are taking votes from the PLP,there is no room for independents in the house,its party one way or the other,the OBA is laughing at you,its funny how we forget.
          TS243: Donut Parties, Medical Studies, Periods, Republican Bribery   
This week Erin tells us how she was scammed by a donut party while Bryan shares his love of naming everything "jer-majesty." Also Medical research studies are not allowing women to participate because their periods and their emotions will taint the data. Also Republicans are getting bribed to vote against gun laws with such a low amount of money they couldn’t even buy an iced coffee, but remember..their prayers are with us.
          What Jon Stewart Means To Me   
August 2006, I wrapped up my life in India and moved to the United States for a PhD in Marketing.

I left the country I really knew and moved to a strange new land, with its strange new customs, and strange people, and strange grocery aisles! I had a tough time fitting in!

Okay, no I didn't.

The thing is, I moved when I was 26 years old, as opposed to most other Indian grad students who move here right out of college, having not seen any of the "real world". Thanks to blogs and internet forums and American TV shows and second hand stories from close friends who moved there four years before, I more or less knew what to expect from America. To me, almost everything ranging from grocery aisles to the way the people talked and behaved to the local "customs" seemed familiar.

The one thing that wasn't as familiar was the news cycle. I have always been a huge news junkie, especially interested in politics. Although I followed the basics of American politics even when I lived in India, I did not really "know" the scene too well. Sure, I had followed the 2004 primaries, seen Howard Dean's howl, slept through John Kerry's speeches, and more or less knew why Florida or Ohio are so much more crucial in the Presidential race than Tennessee or Indiana.

And I knew America's comedy scene well enough, having been a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, and of course, George Carlin.

And yes, I was vaguely aware of this funny guy called Jon Stewart who combined politics and comedy. When I was in India, CNN used to air a half hour compilation of the best bits of his show once a week. Not quite the "Daily" show but whenever I came across it on TV, I watched it and chuckled. To me, it seemed like a funny enough show with a political context.

And then in August 2006, I moved to America. I fit in quite easily in most ways, ranging from food to socializing to academics to day to day chores. One aspect where I felt lost was the politics. I realized that I knew about American politics only peripherally. So I started reading more blogs, watching the big three cable news channels, reading newspapers, etc.

The first time I watched The Daily Show was due to jet lag a couple of days after I arrived. I had slept through most of the afternoon and evening and in the wee hours of the night, I found myself as alert as a watchdog. While my roommates slept, I plonked myself in front of the TV and started flipping channels. And I came across the slightly familiar face of Jon Stewart. It was 1 or 2 AM so obviously, it was the repeat telecast.

As I watched, I found myself drawn in instantly, maybe because of the Indian connection. The segment was about how Republican senate candidate George Allen had referred to an Indian-American staffer of his opponent Jim Webb as "macaca". What I loved about that segment was that it combined facts, opinion, and humor perfectly without taking cheap shots at anyone. I made a mental note to watch the show again the next night.

And I loved the show again. And then I watched it again. And I kept watching every night. It taught me about aspects of the US "midterm" elections that I had never really fully understood sitting in India. It contextualized the red-v-blue battle in terms more nuanced and pithy than I had ever read on any blog. And of course, it made me laugh, especially with the hilariously quirky George W Bush impression.

I still remember that hilarious song about the midterms

"So just remember this November that your vote will count,
A very very very very very small amount!"

Jon Stewart helped me seamlessly blend into the American political discourse the way thousands of hours of reading blogs and news sites never had. He has that uncanny ability to zero in on the most consequential news items of the day and in 22 short minutes....14 if you omit the interview...present a perfect blend of analysis and irony.

Within a few days, the 11 PM time slot on my daily calendar....or at least Monday-Thursday calendar was earmarked for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He chuckled, he made faces, he did impressions, but above all, he managed to be that guy inside us all who is just utterly baffled with the absurdity and sometimes cruelty of the world around us, but tries to cope with it using humor.

Jon Stewart helped me through American political milestones from the 2006 midterms to the 2014 midterms, not ignoring other events worldwide. One of his and his show's greatest qualities has been the ability to strike the right balance in expressing resentment about something. Many comedians have gotten in trouble for crossing the "line" of tastefulness. Which is why many comedians steer clear of troublesome topics.

But Jon has somehow always been able to address tricky and even tragic topics with the right balance of sensitivity and respectful humor. And occasionally, just straight talk. His post 9/11 speech is the stuff of legend, so I won't talk about it here.

But as a former Bombayite now living in the US, my most memorable and personally relevant example of this uncanny knack of addressing tragedies tastefully is the segment he and John Oliver did after the 2008 Bombay attacks

It was just so perfect!

Watching Jon Stewart has been a part of my life from the very first week I moved to this country 9 years ago. He's been an integral part of my life.

I have attended two of his show's tapings in person and was blown away by how nice he was even off-camera. I went to DC with 250,000 other people for the Rally to Restore Sanity that he and Stephen Colbert organized.

And now he's announced that he's leaving The Daily Show. Given what a permanent fixture he's been in my life in this country, this is a BIG change. But I understand why he needs to do what he needs to do. Rosewater has shown that he's capable of much more and who can fault him for wanting to spread his wings?

I'll miss you Jon, and 11 PM Monday to Thursday just won't be the same after you leave.

          TS233:Reality TV,Prom,Target,Guest Joel Stein   
Remember when reality TV was so budge? RIP ANTM. Well this week Erin and Bryan when fist to cuffs over this ssue: in Shasta County two ladies were voted prom king and queen and not so shockingly some people were pissed. And the GOP fever dream continued in Alabama where they're now trying to restrict transgender people from using the "wrong" fitting room in Target. Also guest and journalist Joel Stein is here with some stories about Martha Stewart!
          Comment on PLP Acknowledges Paula Cox’s Resignation by Cromwell   
Why does a former Premier and Minister of the Bermuda government feel she needs to work with Constituency 14 voters earn their trust and confidence when she held the highest offices in the country!!!Her comment as a former PLP Premier and resignation from the PLP appears as a repudiation of the past and former PLP governments.It sounds to me as she is saying don't vote for the PLP but vote for me.
          Comment on PLP Acknowledges Paula Cox’s Resignation by Point boy   
It tells me she knows right from wrong! The Government of the day are truly moving forward despite lies and half truths. An OBA vote is a responsible vote. We have seen the tides change before!OBA all day! Everyday
          Translating a Raj Thackeray Speech   
I don't agree with Raj Thackeray's stance against immigrants from UP and Bihar. I can sort of, kind of, see where he is coming from, but I don't agree with the conclusion. And I find his forcible and occasionally violent methods to have his way (especially against powerless shopkeepers and job applicants) abhorrent.

However, as a Marathi person, I find the gap between what he says in Marathi and what is reported in the national media to be suspiciously wide. There are two problems. First, they wrongly translate a lot of what he says. Second, they seem to pick and choose the most provocative bits that can be spun into an attention-grabbing soundbite. I have written about the dangers of this phenomenon before.

Today Raj Thackeray led a rally to Azad Maidan (without permission from the police top brass) as a protest against the August 11 incident. He gave a speech there. Again, I marveled at the difference between what he was saying and what the national media was reporting he was saying.

So I had an idea. I have translated PuLa Deshpande's work before. Surely I can translate a speech. So here it is, the speech in Marathi, and then, what I think is an objective, unbiased, and direct translation in English. This is not an endorsement of what he said. Just a translation for illustrative purposes. I agree with some parts, and disagree with some. I'll leave you to judge it for yourself.

Note - I am translating it in a bit of a hurry. So please forgive any typos or inadvertent grammatical errors.

When it's an institution from Maharashtra, be it a police department, a media company, or anything else.... even just a person from Maharashtra....we should demonstrate the strength to ensure that no one ever looks askance at them again with the intention of harming them.

For the last two days, this has been going on... police officials come to me and ask, how will you take the rally from Girgaum chaupatty? I told them we'll walk.

(crowd laughs)

Then they're like, you can't go from here, you can't go from there...all these efforts at putting obstacles in our way have been spearheaded by Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik. I found out the other day..... in fact a few police officials told me this...that they'll try to stop our cars, and try other things to stop us. I called the Chief Minister right away, and asked him, what is this? What happens or doesn't happen (at the rally) is something we can deal with later. But can't we express our protest in a democratic way with a rally?

Why stop us at every point? I assured them at our rally will be a peaceful one, and they still refused us permission for it? And they had no problems giving permission for that Raza Academy rally? But here we are, with a rally to protest what happened the other day right here, and they refuse us permission?

Then there's (Home Minister) R.R. Patil who says - we won't spare anyone who threatens the law and order of the city. Really? So what happened that day? Was his tail between his legs?

(crowd laughs)

The other day he calls up (MNS MLA from Mumbai) Bala Nandgaonkar and says, "What could I do? What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to take a big stick and stand there?"

(crowd laughs)

There is this one boundary line that cannot be crossed. I have never crossed that line, and will never cross that line. Never raise your hands against the police.

(crowd applauds and cheers)

If you demoralize the police to such an extent, then where will the common man go with his problems? Where will he go? If this keeps happening, tomorrow even the police will say "we don't want to get involved here, do whatever you want".

Is this how a state is run? And this Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik. The cops caught the guilty people. And what does he say to the DCP who arrested the guilty people? He says, "You bastard, let them go!" He tells him to let the criminals go!

Our policewomen sisters were tormented here... they were pulled aside and beaten up and molested......all these guys, our Marathi police constables, were getting beaten up... and they weren't getting any orders?

Oh, and these (police head honchos) knew everything from the beginning. They knew that there were trains full of these goons coming for the rally. And they had choppers, and rods and everything else... tell me, are there ever any rocks lying around here (in Azad Maidan)? Where did the rocks come from?

These people had advance warning of all these facts, and they still ignored them. And they refuse permission for my peaceful rally? The other day, when some police officials came to meet me, I told them. I told them that the 11th August rally at least had targets. That mob knew that it was supposed to target the police and the media.

Who do we want to target (in this rally)? I have already declared our targets. Arup Patnaik, resign! R.R. Patil, resign! I declared this in the beginning itself.

We have not come here to destroy cars or set something on fire. We don't even wish to do all that. Even if we were to, whose cars would we destroy and whose property would we set on fire? Our own? Those belonging to our citizens from Mumbai and Maharashtra? This rally isn't for such purposes.

But how else are we supposed to express our anger? They won't let us express our anger at whatever happened. And they say, please respect democracy. This is democracy?

Go and look at the track record of Raza Academy and its rallies. A few years ago, this same Raza Academy had a rally in Bhiwandi. This bhadva (translates to 'pimp' but pimp doesn't have the same punch :)) Abu Asim Azmi went to that rally. He gave a speech there, that too an inflammatory speech. And they're sending me notices - "don't make inflammatory speeches". That Abu Azmi went there, made an inflammatory speech in Bhiwandi. You know what happened next?

The mob killed two police constables by bashing their heads in with big rocks. Then they cut off their private parts and threw their corpses into burning buses..... the government had no problems with that. And they refuse me permission for a rally?

Whoever came here (on 11t August) had no connection with Maharashtra. They all came from outside Maharashtra.

(crowd applauds and cheers)

After everything that went down here that day, this passport was found, a Bangladeshi passport...

(shows a Bangladeshi passport to the crowd)

This was found right here. Single entry passport (I assume he meant visa). Needed only to come into India. No intentions of going back, so it was thrown away here...

(throws it away)

There are countless such people coming into Maharashtra... they are all setting up their bases in Maharashtra. Tell me something....they say 'coincidence'....what coincidence?

In 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished, where was its retaliation felt instantly? In Mumbai! There was no violence anywhere else in the country (GS: this isn't true...there were riots in many other cities)...only in Mumbai! And when this incident happened during the rally on 11th August, its reaction happened in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. So something happens in Uttar Pradesh, there's a reaction in Mumbai, and something happens in Mumbai, there's a reaction in Uttar Pradesh. Doesn't India have any other states???

The reason is, all these people are coming here from there. All these Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who have infiltrated and set up bases in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Jharkhand, they're all coming here by the trainfuls. And the bases that they are setting up here in Mumbai, those are going to create trouble for us in the future.

Otherwise tell me, this Abu Azmi is elected from two different constituencies in Maharashtra. Two different constituencies? Should any politician from Maharashtra get elected from two different constituencies? He gets elected from two constituencies because all the people in those two constituencies have all come from outside, and they vote for him.

That day, it finally came to the police (couldn't understand the word he said here despite re-playing it many times, at 12:20)...then they had to do it. While doing that, the guy who died, Abu Azmi announced 1.5 lakh rupees for him. So why not for our policemen?

(crowd applauds and cheers)

Even the state government hasn't announced anything yet. No announcements from the state government that they are going to provide compensation for those who were hurt or troubled in those events. Nothing. Nope, just get beaten up.

Why didn't R.R. Patil speak up then? He threatens us.... anyway, what's the point in threatening us? It's almost time for us (and him...a pun) to leave now.

(crowd laughs)

They don't think about anything that has already happened or what may happen. They don't do anything useful. Just get the cops beaten up. Anyone will come, drag our cops away, and beat them up?

The other day when they had that rally in Uttar Pradesh, rioted, destroyed property and all. The ones who did that were also all from outside - Pakistani Muslims and Bangladeshi Muslims. They all poured out into the streets. And what did they do? They defaced a statue of Gautam Buddha. Everyone saw it. Everyone saw pictures, saw it on TV.

Where is Mayawati? Where is that Ramdas Athavale? Where is R.S. Gavai? Where is Prakash Ambedkar? Why are they all silent? All they're obsessed with, as if possessed by a ghost, is Indu Mills Indu Mills Indu Mills Indu Mills. Don't they have anything else to do? What do they want to build in Indu Mills - a bungalow?

Why aren't they talking now? But no one will talk about these things now. They're not ready to utter a word. It's been so many days since the (11th August) incident. But there has been no statement about it from Ramdas Athavale. No statements from R.S. Gavai or Prakash Ambedkar or Mayawati, or anyone else. Nothing. Cat's got everyone's tongues.

This Mumbai Police Comissioner.....he has a "favorite" (that's the word he used) officer Dhoble. The other day, he takes a hockey stick and goes to that...what was that..juice center bar... juice center something...where did he go?

(crowd prompts)

Yes, Amar Juice Center. Is that a place to take a hockey stick to? Take your wife, your kids, I can understand, but a hockey stick? He takes a hockey stick there and beats up innocent people with that hockey stick? And what's his defense? He found drugs there....then why didn't he shut it down?

And this idiot...Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik....what's his explanation? He says Dhoble was on his way to play hockey and stopped over at the juice center. Tomorrow, if someone has gone for his honeymoon. So will he just turn up there naked?

(crowd laughs and cheers)

So Patnaik will go out of his way to protect Dhoble! Because Dhoble is his "favorite". And here (in Azad Maidan) when cops were waiting for orders to tackle the mob.....if not firing, at least give us orders for a lathi charge.... at that time Patnaik had nothing to say. And when our police officers were catching the guilty culprits, Patnaik abuses the officers, calling them "bastards"? He is demoralizing cops to such an extent?

This won't be allowed to happen in Maharashtra anymore. I only want to say one thing to R.R. Patil and Arup Patnaik. Even if you have a little bit of shame left...even a minuscule amount of shame left.... then resign. If you have even the slightest bit of shame left.

For the last two days, some newspapers have been saying - "Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is now moving towards Hindutva". Whoever raises his hands against a cop, whatever his religion, he should be bashed up wherever he is.

When my own party's MLA was bashed up....Harshavaradhan he here?  When Harshavardhan was bashed up.... I gave the orders for him to be bashed up... would he have been bashed up otherwise? When I gave a speech at that time, I said the same thing. Harshavaradhan, no matter what happens, you DO NOT raise your hands against a policeman. Never raise your hands against a cop.

This has nothing to do with religion. All the constables who were here, all my policewomen sisters...the female cops... I consider them all my Marathi brothers and Marathi sisters. I have come out on the streets here for them.

The rally that day (11th August) was organized by Muslims and today I have organized a protest rally against it.... so immediately they're jumping to the conclusion that I am "moving towards Hindutva"? I only understand...this Raj Thackeray only understands one religion...and that is Maharashtra religion. I don't understand any religion except that one. No one dare cross this Maharashtra religion. No one dare think of harming it.

And today's rally is only to boost the morale of the police and to provide wholehearted support to the police.  Along with them, we have people from the media here. Media vans were attacked, burnt, photographers were beaten up.... this rally is to express support for all of them too.

I thank you all for the tremendous response to this rally. If ever such events reoccur, we must stand together in strength like this.

When you're going back...all of you, when you're going back...keep in mind and make absolutely sure that you don't indulge in any sort of untoward activities. Go back in an orderly and peaceful manner to wherever you came from.

I hope that in the future whenever I call upon you, you will return with the same enthusiasm. And now I take your leave.

Jai Hind! Jai Maharashtra!


          A Husband Made a Lego Dress Out of 12,000 Pieces, and the Result Is NUTS   

If you think you've seen the biggest Lego fan ever, think again. A very talented husband and devotee of Legos made a dress and purse out of a whopping 12,000 pieces.

The mastermind behind the two creations is Brian D'Agostine, also knows as Dag's Bricks in the Lego community. He created the "Little Black Dress" for Bricks Cascade, a yearly Lego convention and exposition. At this event, adult fans of Legos (AFoL) came together to show their own creations as well as build fun, unique Lego objects. For D'Agostine, it meant using 12,000 pieces to make an epic two-part dress.

As D'Agostine strolled around the event with his wife, they were constantly asked if it was actually Legos - and if it was comfortable (the verdict is that it's "relatively" comfortable). Their most popular fans were teen girls, older women, and a few men who were extremely courteous. "Many of the guys were reasonable enough to ask first before snapping photos or feeling the dress," D'Agostine said. To top it all, D'Agostine made a Lego bow tie, belt, and glasses to match.

For now, the two don't have any plans to show off the dress nationally. It might appear in a local shop and Lego store, but no other requests have been made. Check out the photos of the dress and bow tie ensemble - they'll astound you.

          Hari Tatya by P. L. "PuLa" Deshpande   
It's been a couple of years since I translated anything by PuLa. While considering different options about what to translate next, Hari Tatya stood out as a particular appealing candidate. He is so universally identifiable. Hari Tatya - the eccentric but genial family friend with one foot firmly in the distant past that all kids have encountered growing up. Your Hari Tatya might not have been interested in history. Maybe he was into politics, or science, or even astrology. But that does not take away from the HariTatyaness of all Hari Tatyas.
Usual caveats apply - I cannot even pretend to be a good enough translator to keep most of PuLa's magic intact. But even a fraction of the essence of the character sketch should make it readable. And I have changed or omitted some references to make the essay accessible. And used contemporary phrases and expressions.

A couple of days ago, I heard someone use the phrase "irrefutable proof", and I was suddenly reminded of Hari Tatya. I had heard him say "I have irrefutable proof of this!!" hundreds of times during the course of my childhood in Mumbai. So had everyone else who knew him. So much so, that my grandma's nickname for Hari Tatya was "Mr. Irrefutable Proof". 

There was nothing surprising about his penchant for that phrase, because he is always making claims that can't be justified without irrefutable proof. The guy refuses to inhabit the present. And describes the past as if he can see it unfolding in front of his eyes. He's been like that for as long as I can remember. Obviously, I can't remember the first time I saw him. But I am sure he remembers it vividly.

"Purushottam! Come on, son! How can you not remember? It was a Saturday. Late in the afternoon. How can you not remember?"

That's how he's sure to chide me for forgetting the details of my birth.

The remarkable thing about Hari Tatya was how informally he addressed everyone, be they younger or older than him. He is the only person I ever knew who spoke to my generally feared and respected grandpa like an old chum. Of course, we knew him as grandpa's friend. But he was obviously several years younger. Because he generally treated grandpa with respect and veneration. In his own way. He never used the respectful pronoun as is the norm when speaking to elders in India. But whenever grandpa entered the room,  Hari Tatya would sit up straight. Maybe because grandpa gave him some pocket money to tide him over every month. And often provided him with seed funding for his latest entrepreneurial venture.   

No one in the family can remember exactly when this creature named Hari Tatya became a part of our extended household. My grandfather was a very generous man, and a friend to anyone who tried to be his friend. So it was difficult to predict exactly how many people he'd bring home any given evening to have dinner with the family. Of course, in those days of the big joint family, the occasional dinner guest or two didn't really bother those minding the kitchen. In those days, rice, dal, and flour for a meal were measured not by cupfuls, but by fistfuls. The dinner table was populated by not just immediate family, but also uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and cousins once, twice, several times removed. There was also the occasional son or daughter of a family friend studying in the city, in addition to ABC's brother-in-law and XYZ's neighbor's son-in-law. So at pretty much any meal, there were always a few unexpected guests present. I don't recall many evenings when our joint family of 12 had less than 25 plates laid out for dinner.

My grandma seemed to me like Annapoorna (the goddess of nourishment) reincarnated. Her hands were blessed with some magical touch that imparted rich flavor even on a glass of water she served. So you can imagine how tasty and welcoming any dinner table she laid out was. Hari Tatya joined our family by turning up at one such dinner table. After that, he kept turning up. He was there with us at joyous occasions. He was with us at sad moments. 

But all those years, even as I grew up and looked different every year, Hari Tatya always looked the same. A simple cotton shirt, modest dhoti, and a rarely-washed Gandhi cap. We kids referred to his style of wearing the cap as "Compass Fashion". If his nose pointed east, then the two ends of his cap seemed to align with the North-South axis, like a compass needle.   

I never had any idea what Hari Tatya did for a living. I only knew that grandpa kept helping him start some "promising new business" every few months. Grandpa had always had a dream of owning and running his own business. But his stable and respected position in society, the steady income his job brought him, and the large family depending on that income, made taking any big risks all but impossible. So he lived his entrepreneurial dream vicariously through Hari Tatya by funding Hari Tatya's ambitious albeit modestly scaled business ideas. 

I remember one monsoon season when grandpa gave Hari Tatya money to start a business selling umbrellas. For the next couple of years, everyone in the family got a new umbrella for free in the first week of June. But I doubt Hari Tatya's umbrella business was profitable any longer than an umbrella mushroom's lifespan. It seemed like grandpa was more devoted to making the umbrella business succeed. I remember he would come home from work in the evening every day and hand Hari Tatya a sheet of paper,

"Here are orders for some umbrellas. Be sure to deliver them to these addresses right away."

Then we kids would accompany Hari Tatya, brand new umbrellas stacked on our heads, making deliveries to customers that grandpa has managed to canvas during his day job. We kids usually didn't move a muscle for anyone else. We'd disappear if anyone else tried to give us a chore. But for Hari Tatya, we didn't mind looking ridiculous walking the streets with those umbrellas on our heads. We loved his company so much, we'd have walked on coals with umbrellas on our heads if he had asked us to.

Hari Tatya told us absorbing stories and taught us fascinating poems and shlokas as we accompanied him. That too at the top of his voice while walking on the street without any regard to passers by. I remember an anecdote from one of our umbrella sorties. We were all walking with those umbrellas stacked on our heads. Hari Tatya told us to put the umbrellas down, and join him on a stone bench on a street square, and regaled us with the story of Sant Ramdas.

He had a truly unique narrative style. As a result of that narrative style, for many years, we kids were under the impression that Hari Tatya, Sant Ramdas, Moropant, Sant Tukaram, Vaman Pandit, Shivaji Maharaj etc. all once lived together in the same neighborhood. Because no matter how far back in the past the event he was narrating had occurred, he effortlessly injected himself into the proceedings. The way he recounted those stories convinced us that he had seen it all unfold in front of his eyes.

"Kids, I tell you, this Ramdas, even as a kid, was quite the character! He would run away and hide somewhere. We'd keep searching, keep seeking, but couldn't find him! His mother would ask us - have you seen my little Narayan anywhere? We'd say, sorry ma'am, we have no idea. Poor woman, she'd keep looking for him all over the village."

"Once she asked the village chief - have you seen my Narayan anywhere? The village chief had the habit of pouncing on any opportunity to be arrogant. He said - Narayan? Which Narayan? There are hundreds of Narayans in this village! Mother said - Please help me, sir. My Narayan. Narayan Thosar. Have you seen him?"

"Poor lady. There were tears in her eyes. And with good reason. Tell me Purushottam, if you go missing some day. And your mother is looking for you everywhere. Won't she tear up? Tell me, Purushottam! Won't she??"

Hari Tatya would narrate this story with so much pathos, that all our eyes would moisten up as well. Then we'd start walking again to make sure the umbrellas were delivered on time. But as our hands held the umbrellas on our heads, our shirt sleeves would be busy wiping our tearful eyes as Hari Tatya continued with Sant Ramdas a.k.a Narayan Thosar's story.

"Narayan's mother was terrified! Fair good-looking little boy. I tell you guys, this Narayan looked so beautiful as a child. Positively radiant.  Plus he'd just had his threading ceremony, and wore a pearl earring. She was aghast - did those Muslim invaders kidnap him to convert him to Islam??? Oh my god!!!"

"And kids, I tell you....those damned Muslim invaders in those days....they weren't decent like Muslims we know today. No! They were just so damn #$%%*&^$#......"

And he'd unleash a barrage of expletives that any other adult would've deemed inappropriate for our supposedly innocent young ears. Maybe it's because of these expletives he let loose so readily, but to our pre-pubescent minds, Hari Tatya seemed like the epitome of valor and courage. 

"So then, hours ticked by. And soon it was afternoon. Still no sign of Narayan! Mother ran home and spread her arms in front of Lord Ram's idol. Ah, how beautiful that idol was, kids, believe me! So divine...."

And Hari Tatya folded his hands to pay respects to that imaginary idol of Lord Ram floating in the air in front of him. We all were still carrying umbrellas. But still, we did our best to twist our arms and pay our respects to the imaginary idol too.

"She said - Goddess Sita, please find me my Narayan, and I will give you an offering of my best clothes and a coconut! Mother said that, and opened the closet to take out her best clothes to offer to the goddess. And lo! Narayan was sitting in the closet!"

"Mother wailed in delight - NAAARAAYANAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!"

And Hari Tatya yelled so loudly, that everyone around us on the street stopped whatever they were doing and started staring at us.

"Mother took Narayan in her arms and said - My son, I have been looking for you all over the village. What are you doing here? .... Do you know Purushottam, what Narayan's response was?"

I shook my head.

"Yeah, well, it's difficult for you to know. How would you know? An innocent little child like you can't even imagine what the future Sant Ramdas said. Narayan said...get this, kids.... Narayan said - Mother, I was pondering the fate of the world"

"That's what he said - I was pondering the fate of the world."

Hari Tatya finished the story. He blew his nose. Then he wiped his eyes with his shirt sleeves. All us little umbrella carriers, or chhatrapatis, had no idea what to do next. Hari Tatya regained control of his demeanor and said,

"Just think Purushottam.... he was about your age. And what did he say? I was pondering the fate of the world! Unbelievable! Simply divine! Tell me Purushottam, do you have such a boy in your class? A boy who will hide in the closet? And say - I was pondering the fate of the world?? Is there? Tell me!"

I meekly shook my head.

"Yeah! So that was Ramdas! Saintly right from his childhood. I have irrefutable proof of this. He went on to become Ramdas Swami.... Sant Ramdas. But just because he was a Sant, don't think he was a softie. You should've seen him flex his muscles. The way his biceps sprang up, almost jumping out of his skin, I tell you! All he had to do was bend his arm ever so slightly, and his bicep would spring up. If you struck his bicep with an iron bar, the iron bar would bend! But Sant Ramdas would barely notice the blow. Barely...."

Hari Tatya kept staring into nothingness for a couple of minutes as if he had just seen Sant Ramdas in the flesh. He smiled a little and gradually shook his head in admiration. 

Then suddenly, as if waking up from a dream, he shook his shoulders. And in a voice completely devoid of the narration-specific baritone,  he said,

"Umm....Purushottam....tell me...Nerulkar...Nerulkar is the guy who lives around the corner from the grocery store, right? How many umbrellas has he ordered? Three, right? Let me check..."

Hari Tatya fished out the sheet from his pocket, verified the order, and led our umbrella-bearing procession to the Nerulkar residence. 

No one in that procession had yet truly returned to the present, to the real world. One kid was visualizing the full scale and strength of Sant Ramdas' legendary biceps. Another was wondering how a well-built 10 year could fit inside a 17th century closet in a poor Brahmin family's house. Yet another was promising himself that when he grew up, he'd work out so intensely that an iron bar would bend when struck on his biceps. With all these anachronistic thoughts in our minds, dreamy expressions on our faces, and umbrellas on our heads, we were helping Hari Tatya run his business.

It goes without saying that the umbrella business didn't last long. None of Hari Tatya's businesses did. The reason was obvious to me. Hari Tatya aspired to run those businesses. But his passion and dedication towards running them was nothing compared to the passion and dedication grandpa had for those businesses. But grandpa's passion and dedication was moot, since he couldn't practically quit his job. And Hari Tatya, who was supposed to run the business, usually inhabited a completely different reality.

Later, grandpa gave Hari Tatya money to start a business selling agarbattis (incense sticks). So Hari Tatya started walking around with a big bag of agarbattis hanging from his neck. Grandpa and Hari Tatya would discuss the sales of the day every evening. Often, it'd turn out that Hari Tatya had taken 1 rupee from a customer for an agarbatti pack worth 75 paise, and returned 50 paise instead of 25 paise. And on most days, the bag hanging from his neck was as full in the evening as it had been in the morning. 

But still, after all these discussions, on his way out, Hari Tatya would open the door and happily yell at us kids,

"Jai Jai Raghuveer Samartha!" 

That's a line from the Dasbodh - Sant Ramdas' treatise on spiritual and practical matters. It is particularly known among Marathi people for its guidance on practical matters, a ready reckoner for success, if you will. Hari Tatya was a man who kept quoting that practical treatise at every possible opportunity, but remained utterly and truly impractical. He never reached an appointment on time, never left an appointment on time.

Grandpa and Hari Tatya clearly loved each other, cared for each other. But they also spent several nights arguing with each other. Random corners of various rooms in our house were stacked with unsold inventory from Hari Tatya's failed ventures - from umbrellas to agarbattis to books to backpacks. Once in a while, when we eavesdropped on the arguments, what Hari Tatya said was oddly but somehow appropriately unrelated to the business at hand and more relevant to arcane Maratha history,

"Dude, I have irrefutable proof of this! Come with me to Maval right now! I can literally see where that horse Krishna's hooves landed!" 

And truly, Hari Tatya could probably see where those hooves has landed centuries ago. I often wonder if Hari Tatya's default existence was in the distant past, in the golden age of the Maratha empire. The odd occasion when he acknowledged the 20th century was probably like a dream to him.

"So there we all were. Standing in the royal court with Shivaji Maharaj on the throne. And they brought in the daughter-in-law of Kalyan's vanquished governor. Oh wow! She was absolutely gorgeous! A true beauty if I ever saw one! And as the victorious king, Shivaji Maharaj had the right to have his way with her. She was his for the taking. She was so damn beautiful, I tell you guys! And her flawless milky white complexion! She was at least 6 times as fair as this girl Yami everyone thinks is so fair. And I'm not making this up, boys. I have irrefutable proof of this!"

When I was a kid, our neighbor Yami Gokhale was the benchmark of fair complexion. She had the whitest skin we ever saw. The Gokhales were the only Konknastha Brahmin family in our neighborhood, and Konknastha Brahmins are reputed to have fair/white skins. The rest of us were mainly Deshpande-Kulkarni types with wheatish-to-dark skins. Hari Tatya himself was as dark as the iron pillar in Delhi. So when he said "6 times as fair as this girl Yami", we had genuine trouble imagining how fair the daughter-in-law of Kalyan's vanquished governor must have been. But Hari Tatya had no trouble embellishing his story.

"We were all standing there, staring, admiring her beauty. Maharaj himself was stunned by her beauty..... tell me kids.... Maharaj who???"

We had all memorized the answer to this question thanks to several prior lessons from Hari Tatya,


We kids yelled out the official complete title for Shivaji as if we were orderlies in the Maratha court of the 1600s. When we said this correctly, Hari Tatya regally looked at us with an expression of pride and humility, as if he were Shivaji himself!

"Well done, boys! So anyway....where was I?"

"6 times as fair as Yami" one of us piped up.

"Okay, you idiot. Who was 6 times as fair as Yami?"

"The wife of Kalyan's vanquished governor."

"WIFE????????" Hari Tatya screeched.

We all took a step back.

"You idiot! Where did his wife come from? There in Kalyan, the vanquished governor is splayed out dying, yelling YA ALLAH! YA ALLAH!"

And Hari Tatya laid down on the ground with his limbs flailing in the air, invoking the Koranic almighty.

"He is dying! His wife is next to him, crying! The one they brought to Shivaji Maharaj's court was his beautiful daughter-in-law!" 

"6 times as fair as..."

"YES!" Hari Tatya thundered, "Will you stop obsessing over Yami, for crying out loud?"

The boy looked away and Hari Tatya continued,

"So we were all staring at this exquisite beauty that was the daughter-in-law of Kalyan's vanquished governor. And Maharaj was looking at her too. Oh, and how handsome Maharaj himself looked, I tell you, boys! Eyes like an eagle. Sharp straight nose. Thick flowing beard. Rich well-defined sideburns....."

Whenever Hari Tatya narrated a story about Shivaji Maharaj, this effusive description of his appearance was bound to turn up sooner rather than later. As soon as Hari Tatya mentioned the sideburns, we'd complete the remaining description -

"...the regal crown on his head, the divine Bhavani sword at his waist, a pearl necklace hanging against his chest, a tilak on his forehead....."

When we completed this description, Hari Tatya looked at us all with an expression of genuine bliss and satisfaction.

"Well done, boys!" Hari Tatya nodded and continued, "So Maharaj said to the beauty - betaa, pardaa nikaalo, darney ki koi baat nahin (Child, take off your veil. There is no need to be afraid.)"

All of us had heard the story of the daughter-in-law of Kalyan's vanquished governor dozens of times. But every time, this particular line was delivered in Hindi for some reason.

"So that beauty raised her veil. Maharaj looked at her. And said - Wow! Goddess Bhavani has made you extremely beautiful!"

Because of Hari Tatya's numerous renditions of this story, all us kids grew up assuming that the job of making someone beautiful had been assigned to Goddess Bhavani. In fact, we were so convinced of it, that for many years afterwards, whenever I saw a beautiful woman, I'd think to myself - Goddess Bhavani has done a good job on her!

"Maharaj then said - If my mother had been as good looking as you, then maybe I too would have been good looking! Hearing this, I swear you Purushottam, that lady was so touched, tears started flowing from her eyes. Then Maharaj gave her a sari as a gift, and respectfully sent her back to Kalyan, untouched and unmolested. That's how wise and decent our Maharaj was!"

Just as Hari Tatya finished narrating the story, grandpa showed up. Suddenly, Hari Tatya's demeanor changed, and he earnestly said,

"Listen Purushottam, tomorrow morning, we must leave really early to sell those agarbattis, understand? Later on, the streets get so crowded, that it's difficult to move about!"

Of course, all us kids understood the sudden change in Hari Tatya. In fact, we had an unspoken arrangement with him, in which, if we saw grandpa approaching, we would quietly tell Hari Tatya about it.

This arrangement worked great when we were kids. But kids don't always stay kids. They grow up.

We grew up too. Lost our wide-eyes innocence, and developed a healthy sense of cynicism and sarcasm. We went from revering Hari Tatya to poking fun at Hari Tatya. Once we started making fun of the guy, we realized that grandma had been doing it for ages. If he occasionally turned up late for dinner, grandma would say,

"Oh, you still haven't had dinner, Hari Tatya?? When you didn't show up at the usual time, I thought Shivaji Maharaj insisted you stay over at his palace for dinner!"

Hari Tatya would say nothing.

"Or maybe at Peshwa Bajirao's table tonight.... in a silver plate!"

I don't think the ridicule mattered to Hari Tatya. In fact, I am sure that in his mind, he really had dined with Shivaji Maharaj thousands of times. Once he entered the idyllic world of the past, he completely immersed himself in it. 

Once, our entire family went to Pune for a function. Hari Tatya came with us. For him, Pune, steeped in Maratha history, was Valhalla. Not only did he come with us, but he took all us kids for several walks around the city all week, and all but recounted the history associated with every tiny rock we encountered.

When Hari Tatya took us to the bare spartan innards of the historic Peshwa palace Shanivaarvaada, he told us the story of Peshwa Narayanrao's murder. And of course, he ran around the place yelling,


Be it the reign of Shivaji or the reign of Peshwas, this man was always there. 'How was Hari Tatya present at every historic event related to the Maratha empire in the 17th, 18th, and 19th century?' - was a question we never asked ourselves when we were children. And when we grew up, although we poked a little fun at him, we never asked him that uncomfortable question to force him to confront the fact that his fantasy world was just that - a fantasy.

Hari Tatya led us through the streets of Pune, reliving several processions full of elephants and horses. His eyes had apparently seen the first ever public Ganpati, in Kasba. He didn't just know the details of everything that went on at Lal Mahal; he could even identify the window from which Shaistekhan was hanging when he lost his fingers to Shivaji's sword. 

"And the bugger went to the Mughal emperor Delhi and greeted him with his chopped up fingers!" Hari Tatya told us with ill-concealed glee, "The emperor said to Shaistekhan - Sir Uncle, where are your fingers? Khan said to the emperor - that bastard Shivaji, that rat of the hills, he cut them off! Imagine that! This no-good Shaistekhan called Maharaj a bastard! That damn #$%%@#$$#@@@..."

Hari Tatya, in the presence of us kids, fired at Shaistekhan a colorful expletive of such unbridled hostility, that if the Khan had heard it, he would've presented his hands to Hari Tatya and said, "if you want, cut off my remaining fingers, but please, stop with the profanity!"   

Hari Tatya often turned up when least expected. Similarly, he often disappeared when least expected. On Chaturthi (a holy night for Marathis), if Hari Tatya didn't show up for dinner, even grandma would wonder,

"Where the heck is Hari Tatya? Has he gone to Panipat to wage another ill-advised war?"

Hari Tatya was sorely missed on every holy occasion that he didn't show up, solely for his flair at leading aarti (public prayer). He knew hundreds of of aartis. He seemed to know by heart the aarti for every god and goddess in the Hindu pantheon. When a shirtless Hari Tatya, with tilak on his forehead would start the aarti of the Dashaavtaars in his booming voice, everyone's hands instinctively came together in devotion. And when I say his voice boomed, I mean it! Even the person holding the pooja plate would put it down, probably worried about it vibrating because of the voice.


When that "AAAAA" started, all us kids would have bets on who could keep going the longest without stopping for breath.


By the time he was halfway through the 10 avatars, Hari Tatya's own delirious avatar was worth marveling over. We kids would get caught up in the fervor too. Whenever Hari Tatya became engrossed in the aarti, his right eye developed an odd squint. On such occasions, we kids would turn our back on the holy idols and stare at the divine Hari Tatya instead.


At this line, he'd spin on the spot a couple of times. We kids would spin too.


I can still picture the imaginary dip he would take in the imaginary holy river at this line.

Towards the end of the aarti, his voice got even louder at the DEVAAAA.... and of course, all us kids would join in. That was the only moment in the whole year when we had a license to scream as loudly as we wanted. That's what made Hari Tatya so special to us kids - in his company, we could be what we wished we could be all the time.

Today, after remembering Hari Tatya after all these years, I can't help but get a little choked up. Dozens of people of all ages, appearances, and backgrounds came to visit grandpa when I was growing up. I can remember some of them well, can't even picture the faces of many others. But no one was as memorable as Hari Tatya.

When Hari Tatya walked into the compound of our house, he'd first stop and talk to us kids playing in the yard, and only then go greet the adults. He was popular not only among the kids in my family, but also other kids in the neighborhood, who had no compunctions in calling out his name when they saw him,

"Hariii Taatyaaaaaa!"

Hari Tatya would acknowledge the kid who had called out his name and do his best to entertain. He'd pretend to jump up and down like a monkey, make funny faces, march around like a drummer boy until everyone was laughing. He'd stop whatever he was doing to entertain kids.

Sometimes he'd do this when he was walking with grandpa, engaged in some serious discussion about their latest business venture. Grandpa would discover that he was talking to fresh air, and Hari Tatya had stopped several steps back to make faces at some kid. On such occasions, grandpa scolded him in public, asked him to behave like a grown-up.

But grandpa did love Hari Tatya a lot, like a brother. I never fully understood why the bond between them was so strong, because you couldn't find two men more unlike each other. But the bond was strong. If grandma made some special dessert, grandpa would always remind her to set some aside for Hari Tatya. Not that grandma needed any reminders. She cared about him too. Often she'd tell other women in the kitchen to make sure there's enough food set aside for "that old crow Hari Tatya" in case he dropped by.

Hari Tatya resembled a crow in many ways. When he moved his gaze, he moved not just his eyes, but even his neck, like a crow does. His eyes had a slight squint, like crow's eyes. But his squinted gaze had seen a lot of things that others with a normal gaze missed. He had seen Shivaji's coronation, the third battle of Panipat, the Buradi Ghat skirmish...

"Even if we die, we'll keep fighting on!" Hari Tatya, down on the ground in our front yard with  limbs flailing, hollered Dattaji Shinde's dying words.

Even today when I read Dattaji's tragic death, I see him as Hari Tatya in my front yard. Over the years Hari Tatya got me intimately acquainted with Shivaji, Tanaji, Tukaram, and everyone of any importance in Maratha history.

I never really liked history lessons at school, nor did I fully understand them. School history was infested with dates that had to be memorized. Hari Tatya's history wasn't tangled in the cobwebs of distant dates; it was as alive as he was. And he brought it to life for me.

As a child when I made my first trip to Pune, I was surprised not to see Shivaji or Sambhaji Maharaj there. When the train passed through the Sahyadris, I hoped to catch the glimpse of the Marathi army crossing the hills in full battle gear. Hari Tatya's refusal to think of history in past tense had rubbed of on me. His tendency to inject himself into any event and narrate in first person made it seem like all those events had occurred just before Hari Tatya came to our house.

People often personify History when they say things like "History will remember", "History will note", "History tell us", and so on. Today I realize that the "I" in Hari Tatya's stories was never meant to be Hari Tatya himself, but that personification of History.

"All us soldiers on Sinhagad were terrified by the enemy's swollen ranks, and started running away from battle, when Suryaji stood in our way. WAIT, he shouted at us, I HAVE CUT OFF THE ROPES THAT WE USED TO CLIMB UP. Well, what could we do? There was no way to run. So we turned around and joined the battle again. A sword through an enemy's throat, a spear through another's stomach, we kept going!"

"Tanaji had already been martyred. Shelarmama was wounded, but still fighting. I tell you, Purushottam, I have never seen a man bleed as much as Shelarmama did that night. His clothes were completely red. But oh, when he finally landed a blow on that Udaybhaan.... that was all it tok. Udaybhaan was flat on his back. Soon the tide turned, and we had won. We lit up the signal torches. Shivaji Maharaj saw our signal and reached Sinhagad in an hour."

"When he learned that Tanaji had died, Maharaj started bawling like a baby! Like a baby, I tell you! He said in a broken voice - "I got my gad (fort) back, but I lost my sinha (lion)". Oh, the plaintive voice when he said it, I swear to you Purushottam, I couldn't bear to hear it. I had never and have never since heard Maharaj sound like that. And I have irrefutable proof of this. Not making it up. Even the stones on Sinhagad melted at the intensity of Maharaj's sorrow. That's how Maharaj was. Which Maharaj?"

"GoBrahminPratipalak........" we'd break into our well-rehearsed chant.

As time went by, my childhood too became history. Most of the elders in the family passed away. The house also aged. Maintaining the yard became too much of a hassle, so it was tiled. The little flower garden was gone, as were grandpa, grandma, and dad. I lost touch with most other members of the family as well. There was no way to always keep in touch with Hari Tatya.

Once in a while, the clock turns back, and in the broken glasses of the old house's windows, I see countless reflections from my childhood. Occasionally the scent of an agarbatti, or the first drop of rain on a new umbrella makes me think of Hari Tatya. And his voice starts echoing in my head.

That man, no relation of mine, gave me more than most of my close relatives ever did. He'd take us kids high in the open skies of fantasy on his wings of history. Bring to life everyone from history. He made sure that the roots of the tiny saplings that were our childhoods were buried deep in a glorious past. Hari Tatya never gave us snacks or candy that money could buy, but instilled in us a sense of pride for our heritage that no treasure in the world can.

He strengthened our tiny wrists with the character of the past. I never realized it then, but can see the true value of his efforts now. Those wrists don't always turn the way they are supposed to. But Hari Tatya instilled in us the confidence that if need be, they can turn the course of history.

Now Hari Tatya himself is part of history. Old age made him a shadow of his former self. It was much later, during his last and eventually fatal bout of illness, that I learned Hari Tatya had a grown-up son. He worked in some trading firm in East Africa.

In those final days, when I went to meet him, I couldn't bear to look at what old age had done to him. He was almost fully blind. As he laid there looking weak, his shriveled body didn't even cover half the bed. I sat next to him.

"Hari Tatya, it's me Purushottam."

"Oh Purushotam! Great!" he smiled in the direction of my voice, "As you can see, I am now Surdas! So how have you been? You're in Delhi these days, right?"


"Ah, never got to see Delhi."

"Why don't you come with me?"

"There's no use now. I may be able to visit Delhi, but won't be able to see it, which is the whole point. No, I'll just admire it in my mind."

Hari Tatya felt silent. I felt tempted to gather all my childhood friends, including the 1/6th fair Yami Gokhale, and holler,


Maybe it would have brought life back to his eyes, put some meat on his bones, and maybe he'd have said,

"I tell you, Purushottam! We were all standing there dumbfounded in the court at Delhi. And Sadashivrao Bhau was chipping away at the golden throne! With his bare hands! Pieces of gold flying all around, as the rest of us watched, unable to move!"

Come to think of it, Hari Tatya didn't need to see Delhi for all this. Whatever he had seen of history, he hadn't seen with the eyes he lost to old age. I spent several hours with him and left, aware that this might be the last time I get to meet him.

A few days later, Hari Tatya's obituary appeared in the newspaper with the cliched salutations and praises - affectionate, kind, loved by all, etc etc. As I read the obituary, I realized it didn't even come close to capturing the essence of the man. It was the first and last printed record my old childhood friend, who usually lived in the distant past, having any contact with the present. All it did was offer "irrefutable proof" that a man called Hari Tatya had existed in our times.

          On Ad Hominem and Relative Morality   
A few hours back, @riffraaf whom I follow on twitter and have great regard for, and I had a disagreement over the aftermath of the Rosen-Romney episode. We exchanged a couple of emails. She wrote this post.

This is my response

Very well put. I agree mostly.

Here's where I am coming from: Rosen made a stupid comment. Faux outrage about how Ann Romney is such a victim ensued. (never mind our FLOTUS is bashed in ugly ways every day but that's probably the partisan in me talking, you might say).

Oh, Michelle is definitely bashed in the ugliest ways. It is bizarre to me that someone can make combating obesity into some evil plot!

Some of the people I follow on the right started labeling it as #waronmoms. This was a completely cynical response to left's #waronwomen. Now they wanted to beat the left at their own game. I get it.

Yup, they're just being cynical. But being helped by the left propagating articles like the rude pundit's.

But there was more to #waronwomen (though I personally loathe to use this slogan): Most women I know who are not into partisanship in general (because they're too busy raising kids and handling jobs unlike me :) ) got really riled up with a series of events that hurt women's rights: starting from planned parenthood defunding by Komen to birth control access issues to Sandra fluke (and Rush Limbaugh harassing Fluke for 3 entire days calling her a slut, prostitute, how she should put her porn videos online so he can watch it and so on) to ultra sound bills to new arizona laws infringing rights further.

Agree. That's how my wife (Indian-born American-raised) wife is. She is not as much into politics. She does follow it more than others. She is, like me, a fiscal conservative. But for her, this #waronwomen trumps anything else. Anything related to planned parenthood (which she loves) and birth control gets her riled up. So even if Obama raises taxes by gazillion percent (she hates tax raises even on rich folks), the social aspect of it against women's rights will always make her vote democrat.

So it irritates me to no end that suddenly Risen is somehow equivalent of Limbaugh and all the incivilities shown against women in the last year are equivalent to one insensitive remark made by a Rosen who was a nobody until now (even w/ her hillary support in 2008 and apparently having contributed to Obama campaign in 2008).

I don't think Rosen is equivalent of the much much viler and nastier and just plain-worse-human-being Limbaugh. I am not drawing the equivalence, so I am not going to defend the equivalence.

However, on its own, what Rosen said is definitely insensitive and stupid. And undoubtedly ad hominem. That's all that matters to me, as someone who doesn't count himself on the left or the right when it comes to identifying with movements. By saying what she did, Rosen attacked who Ann Romney, not what Ann or Mitt Romney were saying, making it a classic ad hominem attack.

It's politically damaging I agree. But it's a huge fake outrage and no where near what's really happening to women all over the country (whether w/ healthcare, minimum wages, equal pay, infringing on woman's body, unemployment and so on that affect women in REAL ways).

So I know Obama was doing what any Dem politician would do, but I'm still turned off by this whole latest, what I call Faux outrage.

Granted that some of those outraging are just fake-outraging. Just taking the chance to score points against their political opponents. Granted that many of those outraging on the right have possibly said much worse and more misogynist stuff against women.

But what Rosen said was still stupid and insensitive. And IMO, the Obama campaign by denouncing what Rosen said, is doing not just the politically expedient thing, but the right thing. And elements of the left by digging in and writing posts/articles undermining the worth of Ann Romney's life, are doing the WRONG thing, be it politically or morally.
          TS214: Uber,C-sections,CNN,Carol   
Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? Bryan's Uber driver has! He's also pretty grossed out with CNN's disgusting anti-Muslim coverage as well as with the few gay Democratic congresspeople who voted for a bill that require refugees to have stricter, unrealistic background checks. And Erin looks at the overuse of C-sections by doctors. Who did you like better in Carol - Cate Blanchett or Rosie O'Hara?
          WATCH: Kellyanne Conway reacts to Trump's 'Morning Joe' tweets   
The counselor to President Trump tells "GMA" she endorses his ability to connect to voters on social media, and claims the media are more focused on the president's tweets than policy.
          Angela Merkel says 'it should be between a man and a woman' after she votes against same-sex marriage   
          BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! Wows Nashville Audiences During Show's TPAC Run   

Nashville audiences have long been noted for their generosity in rewarding performances with a standing ovation - to the point that they have become rather commonplace - but never before have we witnessed a "standing O" at the end of a particularly raucous, thoroughly inspiring and resolutely entertaining musical number. That is, we had never seen it happen until opening night at the conclusion of the rousing and rollicking "A Musical" that comes midway through Act One of Something Rotten!, the uproarious Broadway hit that made its Music City debut at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall on Tuesday evening.

The astounding phenomenon was not a knee-jerk reaction to someone standing up first or any sense of the obligatory. Rather, you could feel the energy moving throughout the house as the number was performed so brilliantly onstage and, if you were paying attention, you could feel it building to the point that audience members simply had to leap to their feet to show their appreciation of a peculiarly American art form, in general, and Something Rotten!, in particular. If you were there, the sense of joie de vivre was palpable from the very first notes of the song and as it was delivered by the remarkable ensemble onstage, the sustained "standing O" only seemed apropos to the moment.

Thoroughly delightful and eminently entertaining, "A Musical" features affectionate nods to some 20 or more legendary musicals, gleefully recalling signature musical motifs from particular songs or lyrics interpolated for maximum impact. If it doesn't make you love musicals at least a little bit more than you did when you walked into the theater, nothing will.

How many times have you experienced something like that? The exhilaration that comes from seeing top-flight actors performing at the very top of their game, the quintessential moment that is the essence of that to which every musical theater creative team aspires. Co-composer - and Nashville's own - Wayne Kirkpatrick, eager to see how his hometown audiences would respond to his first foray into the rarefied world of the Broadway musical, must have been floating on air as the general hubbub of opening night reached its zenith (and remained there) throughout the remainder of the two and a half hours of mirthful merriment and musical effervescence that continued to reverberate throughout the building, sending audiences home on a cloud of pure joy. You really should have been there - it was a night for the history books of musical theater in a city known far and wide for its music.

To put it succinctly: Something Rotten! is a great big hit, the kind of theatrical achievement of showbiz legend and a joyous cavalcade of musical theatre tropes that are rendered herein as if they were something new and unique. Somehow, the highly original show - with Tony Award-nominated music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and his brother Karey Kirkpatrick, and book by John O'Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick and conceived by the Kirkpatrick brothers - manages to bridge the gap between audience members who thrive on such creativity and artistic achievement and those who tend to disdainfully look down their collective nose at such lighter than air, buoyant entertainment.

A witty and whimsical takeoff on Shakespeare - he's portrayed as a rock star of the Renaissance era and as the bane of the existence of the two Bottom brothers, Nigel and Nick, who are the show's primary protagonists - and the struggle of his contemporaries to compete with his prolific and popular works for the theater, Something Rotten! is rather unique in these days of movies turned into musicals and revivals of classic works by the legendary composers and lyricists of Broadway's golden era. And while it calls upon its forebears to provide musical context and literary references, it's a wholly new story that engages its audiences from the very beginning ("Welcome to the Renaissance") all the way through to the show's finale, set appropriately enough in the New World where the idea of a show in which an actor stops speaking long enough to break into song (which, of course, advances the plot and aids in character development - and there's something called a dance break) is sure to take hold.

Along the way, there's enough spectacle and theatrical wizardry - thanks in large part to the production's exquisite aesthetic design which includes vibrant and colorful scenery by Scott Pask, gorgeous, eye-popping costumes by Gregg Barnes, evocative lighting by Jeff Croiter and all the ancillary accoutrement supplied by more of Broadway's very best - to keep the most ardent of musical theater lovers on the edge of their seats. Plus, the ample irreverence and tongue-in-cheek approach to the material ensures that even the freshest of neophytes will discover much to love about Something Rotten!

Directed with his expected aplomb and obvious love for what he's doing by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw (his resume includes The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone, Monty Python's Spamalot), who also supplies the tremendous choreography that makes Something Rotten! more exhilarating than one could possibly hope for, the production that was nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2015 is a love letter to the escapism and sense of wonder that is so much a part of musical theater. If you go to see it, and you certainly should (make no mistake about that), you'll find yourself caught up in the pageantry and pomp of the show to the point that your love of musicals will deepen, your appreciation for the art form heightened by the antics of Nicholaw's superb cast.

With the memorable score, crafted by the brothers Kirkpatrick, and the sharply written book by O'Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick - which is replete with enough doubles entendre and witty rejoinders to keep your brain whirling throughout - Something Rotten! is sure to one day be considered a musical theater classic on its own astonishing merits, its obvious appreciation of all the remarkable shows that have come before it only underscoring the creative team's love for the very genre it playfully and artfully sends up with its structure.

Led by Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti as Nick and Nigel Bottom, the siblings who find themselves out of the spotlight since the meteoric rise of Shakespeare's (played with sex appeal and bombast by Adam Pascal) star, Nicholaw's talented ensemble bring the show to life with enough energy to power a major metropolitan city! As the two Bottoms struggle to create their own masterpiece (Richard II, plans for which are scrapped when "The Bard" writes his own script about that British monarch after he's already produced Richard III - "Who goes backwards?" Nick implores), we watch their company of actors chew the scenery and act up a veritable storm to bring a new show to life during Elizabethan times. All manner of zany hilarity ensues in the process and McClure and Grisetti keep the action moving along at a fair pace with their commitment to their characters.

Pascal powers his way through the show to leave an indelible mark as The Bard, exuding a sexy sensuality that explains why he's so idolized by his adoring fans. The guy sure knows how to wear a codpiece! His performance of "Will Power," in which he's backed up by four hot boy dancers, serves as the perfect introduction to Shakespeare and his astounding way with words.

While McClure, Grisetti and Pascal definitely have the larger, showier roles in Something Rotten!, they are surrounded by estimable talent in every scene, including the scene-stealing Blake Hammond as Thomas Nostradamus, the soothsaying nephew of the Nostradamus, who foretells of the creation of musical theater; the fey and funny Scott Cote as Brother Jeremiah, as a light-in-the-loafers Puritan zealot; the stereotype-defying (or should that be "-defining"?) Jeff Brooks as Shylock; the outlandish Joel Newsome as Lord Clapham, the brother's initial patron; and the showstopping Nick Rashad Burroughs as the minstrel who welcomes us to the Renaissance in the show's opening number.

Maggie Lakis is wonderful as Nick Bottom's loyal and devoted wife, Bea, a proto-feminist centuries ahead of her time, and Autumn Hurlburt is ideal as the object of Nigel's ardor, Portia, the daughter of the closeted Puritan who's trying to shut down every theater in town.

Giving ample support throughout are the remaining members of Nicholaw's all-dancing, all-singing ensemble who portray the various and sundry Renaissance regulars who populate the imaginative world in which the Bottoms and Shakespeare vie for prominence. They sing! They dance! They act! - all while being tremendously, heart-stoppingly watchable. Thanks, Something Rotten! for giving us a chorus of gorgeous girls and handsome boys to keep our attention focused where it needs to be.

Brian P. Kennedy conducts the 15-member orchestra with confidence and a sense of theatrical bravado required - nay, demanded - by such onstage antics, which includes some of Nashville's most talented players in the pit.

Something Rotten! Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell. Music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw. Musical direction by Brian P. Kennedy. Production stage managed by Jeff Norman. Scenic design by Scott Pask. Costume design by Gregg Barnes. Lighting design by Jeff Croiter. Sound design by Peter Hylenski. Hair Design by Josh Marquette. Makeup design by Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. Presented by HCA TriStar Broadway at TPAC Series at Andrew Jackson Hall at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville. Through Sunday, July 2. Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (with one 15-minute intermission). For details, go to

photos by Jeremy Daniel

          THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Tour to Welcome New Leads This July   

Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group announced today that Eva Tavares and Kristie Dale Sanders will join the cast of the spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera currently on tour in North America.

With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM, one of the most successful musicals of all-time, is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour.

Beginning July 18, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Kristie Dale Sanders will play the role of 'Madame Giry.' On July 26, Eva Tavares will take over the role of 'Christine Daaé' at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Alberta.

They join current cast members Derrick Davis as 'The Phantom,' Jordan Craig as 'Raoul,' Trista Moldovan as 'Carlotta Giudicelli,' David Benoit as 'Monsieur Firmin,' Edward Staudenmayer as 'Monsieur André,' Phumzile Sojola as 'Ubaldo Piangi' and Emily Ramirez as 'Meg Giry.'

Eva Tavares hails from Vancouver, BC and trained at the UBC Opera Program and the Banff/Citadel Theatre Professional Training Program. Credits include the world premiere of Sousatzka, West Side Story and A Little Night Music. Her choreography has been seen most recently in Die Fledermaus (Vancouver Opera).

Kristie Dale Sanders has been seen on Broadway in Cabaret, Evita, Next Fall, Urinetown and The Phantom of the Opera. Off-Broadway: Dream of the Burning Boy; Johnny Guitar; A Class Act; Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh. She can also be seen on "All My Children" and "The Wire."

The current company continues performances at the INB Performing Arts Center now through July 9, 2017 with Katie Travis as 'Christine Daaé' and Anne Kanengeiser as 'Madame Giry,' then onwards to Vancouver, British Columbia at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre July 12-23, 2017.

The Ensemble includes Adam Bashian, Steve Czarnecki, Daniella Dalli, Kaitlyn Davis, Dan Debenport, Sarah DeBiase, Mark Emerson, Jordan Ensign, Jim Hogan, Robert Anthony Jones, Edward Juvier, Ted Keener, Jay Lusteck, Adryan Moorefield, Sarah Mossman, Constantine Pappas, Adam Rogers, Travis Taylor, Carmen Vass, Jessica Wagner, Victor Wallace and Marguerite Willbanks. The Corps de Ballet includes McKenna Birmingham, Julie Eicher, Daniela Filippone, Abigail Mentzer, Lily Rose Peck, Ally Taylor Sacks, Tara Sweeney and Micki Weiner.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said, "Having received great critical acclaim in the U.K. and North America, I am really pleased that Laurence Connor's new production of PHANTOM will continue to tour the U.S. playing in tandem with the Broadway production which soon celebrates 30 years."

Cameron Mackintosh said, "With PHANTOM still the reigning champion as the longest-running production on Broadway after 29 phenomenal years, with no end in sight, I'm delighted that this spectacular new production of PHANTOM has been as well-received in the U.S. as the brilliant original and has already been seen by over 2.5 million people across North America since it opened in November 2013. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Björnson's amazing costumes, the new PHANTOM is thrilling audiences and critics alike all over again. With the production continuing to be such a success, we are delighted to welcome our exciting new stars to keep the music of the night soaring for many years to come."

Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is presented by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group, and NETworks Presentations. Directed by Laurence Connor (who co-directed the new production of Les Misérables that just finished a hugely successful two and a half year revival on Broadway and will start a North American tour in the fall of 2017, directed the award-winning new production of Miss Saigon coming to Broadway in 2017 and national tour in 2018, and also directed the stage version of the movie School of Rock now playing at Broadway's Winter Garden and in London's West End at the New London Theatre), with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter, and musical supervision by John Rigby. The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh. The Phantom of the Opera: music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe); book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber; orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

Cameron Mackintosh's brilliant original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera continues performances at Her Majesty's Theatre in London and in its recording-breaking run at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and many other cities around the world.

          Trump commission on voting fraud asks states for voter data   
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- President Donald Trump&apos;s commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections has asked states for a list of the names, party affiliations, addresses and voting histories of all voters, if state law allows it to be public....
          Move to block Nicole’s candidacy   

Legal moves have been initiated against the Congress of the People (COP) giving the party until today to halt the candidacy of Nicole Dyer-Griffith in the party’s July 9 leadership election.

If not, court proceedings will commence to secure this, according to a pre-action protocol letter from attorney Alvin Ramroop to COP↔Leader Dr Anirudh Mahabir and COP↔general secretary Clyde Weatherhead. It was sent on Tuesday. Responses were sought from them by yesterday but a requested extension shifted that deadline to today.

Griffith -Dyer is contesting the poll along with Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan and Sharon Gopaul- McNichol.

However, attorney Ramroop, representing COP member Kirt Francis , a former executive officer, wrote the party regarding alleged unlawful ratification of new members and ineligibility of new members to vote at/ to contest leadership election.

The letter claimed COP’s ratification of Dyer-Griffith’s membership in COP↔was null and void since it didn’t meet party constitutional rules. It called for the party to bar Dyer- Griffith from contesting or voting in the election and to have systems in place for a national executive to be elected.

Mahabir said, “I’m not commenting on any letter or whether we received it..... we have no reason to postpone the election at this time,”

McNichol, who said she’d heard of the legal moves , but was not part of it , said she resigned as COP deputy leader and from the COP’s interim “lead team” on February 13 following concerns on “many matters including unorthodox” procedures.

However ,support for Dyer-Griffith has come from Opposition↔Senator Rodger Samuel who said, Her candidacy brings freshness to the party’s helm and she has the propensity to draw youths.,”

COP’s founder, Winston Dookeran, said Dyer- Griffith contacted him on Tuesday asking to speak with her and he confirmed he would be speaking with her .

On Monday, Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan indicated she had support from Dookeran. He’d endorsed her in the 2014 leadership poll.

Dookeran,who’s working overseas, told the T&T Guardian on Wednesday, “Carolyn did speak to me about her candidacy and I told her that I was happy there is a contest and that she has offered herself to stay in the politics. “

“Yesterday (Tuesday), Nicole e-mailed me a request to talk, and I will be more than pleased to do so. Other than that, I have been very much out of T&T, and do hope that the COP may again initiate a healthy, not fake, political narrative that touches the young persons of our country. Although, I am now far off, my hope is that a ‘team effort’ will emerge in our politics.”

Former leader Prakash Ramadhar said he didn’t think former leaders “should get involved in elections save in extreme circumstances , so if I have personal views, I’m not sharing them. But I won’t allow the party to fall,”

“Many clamoured for leadership for years, but weren’t willing to do the work and criticised without assisting. I saw it fit for those clamouring to take leadership to see what improvements they may or can bring until the next election.”

“ I learned we must always bring together all who are interested in improving citizens’ lives. That includes people you may not wish to befriend, but if we have a common goal, I’m willing to work with anyone on ideals COP espouses. In politics, you have the good, the bad and the ugly and you have to be able to work with as many to achieve power to make the necessary changes.”

          TS86:Pakistan Gay Porn, Miss USA Miss Utah Miss Informed, with special guest Karen Kilgariff   
Erin and Bryan open a fresh can of "Butt Whip" on Pakistan's homsexual hypocracy, everything Miss USA and beauty pagaents, Putin's new Super Bowl ring, and Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference's plan on winning young voters with hilarious abortion jokes. With special comedy crush, Karen Kilgariff.  Do you like my body?  See TSPOD live on our summer tour! Buy tickets here Subscribe and Rate on iTunes @gibblertron & @bryansafi #tspod Official Max Fun Page Facebook page RSS Feed
          TS53:Election 2012, What Turns Women On, Anti-Gay Newspaper Ad, Channing Tatum   
We hope you voted...for Erin and Bryan to do a new podcast this week Because guess what? You won! Bryan and Erin talk voting women's sexual fantasies vs. men's, a $15,000 homophobic print ad, and the Boy Meets World reunion! In the words of not Taylor Swift, we are ALWAYS getting back together! Like, always. Subscribe and Rate on iTunes @gibblertron & @bryansafi #tspod Official Max Fun Page Facebook page RSS Feed
          Can Trump Succeed Where Reagan Failed?   
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

People with family members who were killed by undocumented immigrants meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 29, 2017.

On Thursday, the House passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which proposes to withhold federal funding from localities that refuse to cooperate with Trump administration immigration measures aimed at criminal noncitizens and other undocumented people. The bill would also allow individuals and close family members of individuals who are victims of felonies committed by undocumented immigrants who have been released from local or state custody against the advice of federal authorities to file suit against states.

The day before, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, called on Congress to work on bipartisan immigration and criminal justice law reforms, adding that cities could use more federal assistance to fight terrorism and crime, and provide mental illness, substance abuse, and reentry programs.

Landrieu said in a letter to House members that local leaders do not want their law enforcement officers involved in federal immigration detention activities, nor do they want to be put in legal jeopardy for possible violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. (A related bill known as Kate’s Law would establish new mandatory minimum prison terms for deported criminals who return to the United States.)

The sanctuary cities battle, like so many of Trump’s hastily conceived and poorly executed policies, appears headed for another showdown, either when the bills arrive in the Senate, or, in the unlikely event that the upper chamber drums up the 60 votes needed to approve them, almost certainly in the courts.

While the Trumpian turmoil is new, past presidents’ attempts to compel localities to comply with federal policies have met with mixed success. A new report, “Reagan vs. Cities: The 20th Century Battle Over South African Apartheid & Lessons for the Trump Era,” from Jobs to Move America and the Center for Media and Democracy, details the 40th president’s efforts to stamp out the U.S. anti-apartheid movement by several means, including denying federal funds to cities and states that took actions against companies that did business in South Africa.

The report explores the mixed outcomes for two cities that sought to stand their ground against this federal overreach. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the backing of the Justice Department, threatened New York City with the loss of transportation dollars unless the city revoked a local ordinance preventing city officials from contracting with businesses that operated in South Africa or used materials from the country. Although Mayor Ed Koch complained all the way up to President Ronald Reagan, the feisty New Yorker finally backed down, declined to take the matter to the courts, and finally reworked the measure to satisfy federal officials and preserve the city’s federal funding.

Two years later, Baltimore, which had crafted a local ordinance requiring city pension funds to divest $1.1 billion from entities that did business with South Africa, also came under fire. The trustees of the pensions funds and the funds’ beneficiaries (who feared significant financial losses in the short timeframe the funds had to comply with the divestment ordinance) joined forces to take the city to court.

The State Department and the National Security Council submitted briefs supporting the trustees and beneficiaries. But Baltimore ultimately prevailed in the state courts, and the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. By 1991, nearly 100 cities in 28 states had taken a variety of actions against companies doing business in South Africa.

Although an early attempt by Trump to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities was roundly criticized as unconstitutional (the president aimed to usurp powers granted to Congress) and ultimately blocked by a federal judge, Republicans in Congress have stepped up to take their turn at the issue. Federal courts likely will have the final word on whether the federal government can compel states to assist in immigration enforcement activities or whether such provisions infringe on state powers.

Congress can indeed attach conditions to funding, especially if the funding is related to a specific purpose like law enforcement. Since the Supreme Court has indicated its willingness to consider wider immigration questions like those posed by the administration’s travel ban, it is unlikely that the high court would decline to weigh in, as it did in the Baltimore pension funds question.

Like the anti-apartheid activists, sanctuary cities supporters may find that public response to the crisis may compel different responses from Washington. Grassroots efforts to protect undocumented people have sprouted up all over the country; nearly 650 of the country’s more than 3,000 counties have placed limitations on local law enforcement assistance to federal immigration detention efforts.

But the support for such measures is far from solid in the country at large. Lawmakers in more than 30 states have introduced bills to curb cities’ abilities to weigh in on immigration enforcement. A new Gallup poll shows that Americans’ interests in decreasing the numbers of immigrants admitted to the country have not shifted dramatically.

The “Reagan vs. Cities” report also notes that in addition to cutting off federal funds and other measures, Trump’s tactics include “a public relations strategy aimed at vilifying opponents.” The court of public opinion, however, isn’t always malleable. Reagan may have been the “great communicator,” but he was mostly unable to compel cities and states to abandon divestment and other economic strategies aimed at crippling South African apartheid. Trump, if anything, is more of a great alienator than communicator, who will ultimately run up against the numerical impossibility of deporting millions of undocumented people.

          Voting Fights in the States   
AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, at podium, celebrates Oregon's first year of an automatic voter registration program with a news conference, where she said that in the November election, over 97,000 ballots were cast by new voters registered by the so-called motor voter program. Hazelnuts contained in the bags in the foreground represent the 270,000 Oregonians who were registered to vote by the program. 

The national battle over voting rights and “voter fraud” will play out in Washington over the next months in relation to the Kobach-Pence commission and the resistance to it. But in the meantime, issues have been joined this spring in state legislative sessions around the country. And the resulting scorecard may surprise you.

Back in November, when the dust settled after the election, the numbers on partisan control of legislatures seemed stark and frightening for advocates of voting rights and election reform. Republicans controlled both chambers in 31 states, and had the full “trifecta,” including the governor, in 24. In sharp contrast, Democrats controlled both houses in only 13 states, and had trifectas in a mere six. Looking at these numbers, at the post-Shelby decision absence of Voting Rights Act preclearance protections, and at the radically changed posture of the Justice Department, many feared an onslaught of voter-suppression legislation that would create an even more diminished electorate for the elections of 2018.

Well, it’s now the end of June, and while some legislatures are still in session, the great majority have finished their business for the year. Several states have indeed passed bad bills. But, overall, the results are significantly better, both in staving off voter-suppression efforts and in expanding voting rights and voting access, than one might have expected as the sessions began.

First, A Few Real Successes

Perhaps the most remarkable outcome this year is in Illinois, which has a Democratic legislature and a conservative Republican governor, Bruce Rauner. Last year, the legislature passed an automatic voter registration (AVR) bill with bipartisan support, but Rauner vetoed it. 

Under automatic voter registration, people who go to the DMV, and potentially other agencies as well, are automatically put on the voter roll, unless they opt out. In Oregon, which was the first adopter, AVR has added several hundred thousand voters to the rolls.

In Illinois, an AVR bill was reintroduced this year and, remarkably, passed both chambers with unanimous votes. While Rauner has 60 days to sign the bill, all indications are that he will, joining Illinois with eight other states and the District of Columbia where AVR is being implemented, and showing that maybe, at least in Illinois, encouraging people to register and vote doesn’t seem like a partisan trick.

The victory was also the work of a broad and determined coalition of voting-rights and election-reform advocacy groups, under the rubric of Just Democracy. Brian Gladstein, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois and one of the leaders of the coalition said:

This bill will bring over one million eligible voters into the electoral process in Illinois. During a time of heightened partisanship in Springfield and across the nation, we have demonstrated that breaking down barriers to the ballot box can be achieved and supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

AVR still has a good chance to pass in other states. In Rhode Island, an AVR bill passed the House unanimously and a positive vote in the Senate is expected shortly. Governor Gina Raimondo has said she will sign it if it comes to her desk. In Massachusetts, where the legislative session goes on all year, an AVR bill with 102 legislative sponsors has been heard in committee (23 speakers in favor and none against), and could be before the full legislature in the fall.

In some other states, AVR made headway but was eventually blocked. These include Maine, New Mexico, and Nevada. In Nevada’s case, the bill passed both houses, but was vetoed by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval. A ballot initiative on AVR now goes to the voters, who will have the chance to approve it in the November 2018 general election.

In addition to automatic voter registration, other real gains were made. Utah expanded opportunities for early voting and absentee voting. New Jersey improved its processes for military voters and Indiana improved its registration process at the motor vehicle department.

Another issue where progress was made, though halting and slow, is restoration of the right to vote for citizens with felony convictions. Forty-nine bills were introduced in 16 states to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people who have served their sentences. A real victory occurred in Wyoming, which enacted a bill providing that people who completed their sentence after January 1, 2010, do not need to submit an application for restoration of voting rights and will automatically be issued a certificate of restoration.

In Florida, where 1.7 million citizens can’t vote due to the state’s lifetime ban on voting by people with felony convictions (1.5 million have fully completed their sentences), the broad and bipartisan Florida Rights Restoration Coalition has made major strides. The Florida Supreme Court has approved language for a proposed ballot initiative to restore voting rights to ex-felons; now the job is collecting 700,000 signatures on the petition in order to be on the ballot in November 2018.

In Minnesota, the Restore the Vote Coalition got a bill to more effectively restore voting rights through one house of the legislature. And in Nebraska, the state’s conservative unicameral legislature passed a bill to restore voting rights to citizens upon release from incarceration by a 27-13 margin, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Pete Ricketts. (Nebraska voting-rights advocates also derailed a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voter ID.)

Now for the Bad News

To be clear, and clear-eyed, the move to make voting more difficult and restricted continues, and several states enacted laws designed to limit the vote in one way or another. The forces bent on restricting the vote have won significant victories over the last several years, though many of the laws have been successfully challenged in court. In fact, of the worst voter-restriction bills that passed this year, a majority were actually efforts to re-pass laws struck down in court, altered in order to make them more judicially acceptable.

·      Iowa enacted a law, championed by Secretary of State Paul Pate, which includes restrictions on voter-registration drives; hindrances to Election Day, early, and absentee voting; strict voter-ID requirements; and—most troublesome—the right to purge voter rolls of “non-citizen” names without any clarity on who and how such decisions to purge are made. This could lead to significant numbers of eligible voters being disenfranchised.

·      New Hampshire passed a bill restricting registration for students and low-income voters by requiring proof of residency for those who register 30 days before the election, with investigation and criminal penalties for failure to comply. (A component to eliminate same-day registration was dropped from the bill.)

·      In Arkansas, a voter-ID law, modified after courts struck down an earlier, similar law, was passed and signed. The law reinstates the requirement that a voter must provide one of a narrow choice of IDs at the polls. In addition, the legislature put a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID on the 2018 ballot.

·      In North Dakota, the only state that doesn’t require voter registration at all, the governor signed strict voter-ID requirements into law. The bill was softened somewhat, particularly in regard to the Native American community, to avoid the fate of the 2016 version of the law, which was struck down in court.

Why Less Carnage?

No one wants to be naïvely optimistic, or to underestimate how much damage has already been done in states by determined efforts at voter suppression. Racially charged and politically motivated efforts continue at every level to find ways to discourage people from registering and voting. In the wake of Shelby, these efforts have multiplied and will continue to do so.

But, overall, the results in the 2017 legislative sessions were not nearly as bad as seemed likely last November. There was not a deluge of major voter-suppression legislation. Some bad bills were passed, a number were weakened as they made their way through the legislative process, and a significant number were sidetracked along the way. Two main reasons for this seem clear.

First, the courts, both state and federal, have played a significant role in preventing extreme assaults on voting. Prodded by strong litigation efforts from voting-rights organizations, in state after state, courts have found voter-suppression efforts unconstitutional, blocking their implementation. In addition to the direct effects of the cases, their cumulative impact has been to caution and restrain advocates of restrictive legislation from overreaching.

Second, it is deeply encouraging to see the growing power, sophistication, and rapid response capabilities of the movement for an inclusive democracy. In state after state, coalitions were activated, or created, to fight back against the efforts to stifle, shrink, and bleach the vote. 

And the advocates didn’t just play defense. Despite the potentially unfavorable partisan makeup in so many states, the affirmative action for expanding the right and ability to vote continues to make headway—winning in some states, gathering momentum for future victories in others. 

And there is one other cause for optimism worth noting. I recently attended a conference of 200 legislators and election officials from around the country, co-convened by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Democracy Fund. The focus of the event was election technology and administration. There was strong and bipartisan support for improving election machinery, combating the challenges of cybersecurity, and fighting for adequate funding to run elections in the best way possible. This is one of the reasons that online registration and automatic voter registration are making real progress; they are technical improvements as well as access expansions. The election officials take their responsibilities seriously, and if legislators, state and national, would take their cues, bipartisan progress just might become more possible.

Thanks to Cecily Hines for research and perspective for this column.

          Do we need an election fraud panel?   
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday forming a commission on voter fraud and elections, an action many Democrats say is aimed at justifying his unfounded voter fraud claims.  (“Millions cast illegal ballots, giving Hillary Clinton her huge popular … Continue reading
          History Of Computers   
Does the history of computers, those wonderful, information rich tools that bring the world to our fingers and sometimes aggravation to our lives have any interest to us? It probably ought to because the computer has been voted one of the most influential inventions of the last one hundred years, although this writer's choice is the air conditioner which has sucked everybody back in our cool houses and away from relationships that were born on front porches during long summer evening walks.

          Healthcare Activists Rally as Senate GOP Delays Vote   
McConnell’s June 27th announcement to delay the vote came just as healthcare advocates kicked off their three day long People’s Filibuster in an effort to put pressure on the Senators who were considering voting for a bill that would cut $772 billion from Medicaid and $408 billion from insurance subsidies in order to give a tax break to the top 1 percent of American earners and major corporations.
          Supreme Court to Hear Case Regarding Constitutionality of Partisan Gerrymandering   
The term “gerrymandering” refers to the redrawing of legislative districts in order to achieve a balance of voters that will elect a specific kind of candidate.
          Silence is Golden, And then the states voted 34-0...   
Silence is Golden,

And then the states voted 34-0 to pass BB's new and ridiculous discipline and investigation rules.
Power corrupts. Some people.
          Halfway through a year of Philly hoops   
This series is about those who have devoted themselves to hoops, playing or coaching it, observing it, analyzing it, organizing it, washing themselves in it.
          Beyond Inauthentic Opposition   
The really critical thing,” the great American radical historian Howard Zinn once sagely wrote, “isn't who's sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in—in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories. Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating—those are the things that determine what happens." However you vote (and I honestly don’t know that my head could ever make my right hand mark a ballot for a Democrat again), the act takes two minutes once every two or four years. What do you do with the rest of your political life? More
          How Brexit, Immigration and Housing Became Political Flashpoints   
Britain is experiencing profound political changes, going by the outcome of the general election, but new trends are shadowy, developing below the surface. It may be that Labour’s relative success – achieved amid confident predictions by pundits of annihilating defeat – stemmed from a last-minute change of direction by voters, or simply because pollsters vastly More
          Germany Legalize Same-Sex Marriage, Angela Merkel Says Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman   

Germany Parliament has said "Ja" to same-sex marriage in a snap vote. The bill passed 393 to 226, with the German vice-chancellor, Angela Merkel voting against the bill, however, more than 70 conservative bloc members of Merkel vote in favour of the bill.


   Volker Beck of the Green party, who is also an open gay person celebrated the new bill on his lasy day in parliament.

Explaining while she voted No on the bill, Angela Merkel said that she understood marriage to be an institution between a man and a woman, however, she said she believes the new bill will help promote "more social peace."

Merkel also said that she has come to the conclusion that same-sex couple should be able to adopt children, which is something the new bill legalizes.

Volker Beck of the Green party, who also had been a strong voice in approving same-sex marriage called the vote "a success for democracy."

80% of Germans are in support of allowing homosexuals couples to marry and adopt children.


          Trump names Marylander with little elections experience to controversial elections panel   

The Trump administration has appointed a Marylander to a controversial panel probing alleged voter fraud in last year's presidential election even though the veteran state official has little-to-no experience in elections.

Deputy Secretary of State Luis E. Borunda, a former Baltimore County school...

          McDaniel College's Budapest campus caught up in Hungarian political fight   

McDaniel College has become entangled in an international dispute between billionaire philanthropist George Soros and the Hungarian prime minister that threatens McDaniel's 22-year-old satellite campus in Budapest.

The problem? The Hungarian parliament changed its higher education law in a vote...

          German parliament backs same-sex marriage   
Members of the Bundestag in Berlin voted 393 for legalising “marriage for everybody” and 226 against, with four abstentions.
          Labour in turmoil after 50 MPs defy whip in single market vote   
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said the vote had been “unnecessary” and that he was “very disappointed” with Chuka Umunna.
          Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel U-turn - Salt Lake Tribune   
Berlin • German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a move widely supported across the country that brings Germany in line with many of its Western peers. Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure, but paved the way for its passage by allowing members of her conservative party to vote according to their conscience. Lawmakers voted 393-226 to legalize “marriage for everybody,” with four abstentions. Underlining the delicate political tightrope that Merkel walked, the “n...
          German Lawmakers Approve Same-Sex Marriage - NPR News   
The legislation was backed by 393 lawmakers, while 226 voted against and four abstained. Same-sex couples in Germany were previously permitted to form civil unions but they were not allowed to marry.
          Débat: Le Bundestag adopte le "mariage pour tous"   
Grâce aux voix des sociaux-démocrates et de l’opposition, le Bundestag a adopté ce vendredi le mariage homosexuel. Pour le vote, la chancelière Angela Merkel avait levé la discipline de vote pour les députés de son parti. D’autres étapes pourront suivre, comme ceux dont il est question en France.
          Trump commission on voting fraud asks states for voter data   
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- President Donald Trump&apos;s commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections has asked states for a list of the names, party affiliations, addresses and voting histories of all voters, if state law allows it to be public....
          Dems To Challenge McLean Co Clerk   
Democrats plan to mount a challenge next year to Republican McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael. Nikita Richards has announced she is running as a progressive. Richards said Michael was not pro-active in heading off long voter waiting lines in the 2016 election cycle.
          MLB All-Star vote: Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt has on-field numbers; not the votes   
Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt ranks near the top of the National League in plenty of categories and he's catching up in All-Star Game voting.

          CNN Producer: Voters "Stupid as Sh*t" – American Pravda: CNN Part 3 - Video   
Project Veritas Update - Project Veritas' newest video from the American Pravda: CNN series exposes Jimmy Carr, the Associate Producer for CNN's New Day attacking President Donald Trump and admitting that CNN has a left-leaning bias.
CNN Producer: Voters "Stupid as Sh*t" – American Pravda: CNN Part 3 - Video

           States refuse Trump commission request for U.S. voter data    
By Chris KenningCHICAGO, June 30 (Reuters) - A growing number of U.S. states refused on Friday to give voters' names, addresses and sensitive personal...
           Numerous US states balk at Trump request for voter data    
Several states have rejected a White House request for sensitive personal data on all registered voters, scoffing at President Donald Trump's election fraud...
           Trump commission on voting fraud asks states for voter data    
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - President Donald Trump's commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections has asked states for a list of the...
           Minneapolis council approves $15 an hour minimum wage    
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis City Council voted overwhelmingly on Friday to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years,...
           Argentina steps up borrowing, spending ahead of mid-term vote    
By Hugh BronsteinBUENOS AIRES, June 30 (Reuters) - Argentina has increased its dollar-denominated Bonar 2024 sovereign bond issuance to $4 billion, the...
          Increasing number of states reject request for personal information on voters from Trump commission   

          The power of the personal: what Ireland can teach politicians   
The power of the personal: what Ireland can teach politicians
- But two years ago, Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote. And these days, as one of my relatives observed, ...

          Comment on Giving the finger by Millennial voter   
Bynd, can you tell me what meaningful legislation Donald Trump has signed into law?
          May narrowly wins confidence vote   
May narrowly wins confidence vote
-  it will be practically and legally “extremely difficult” to find ways to maintain an open border with Northern Ireland after Brexit.

          May Survives Key Parliament Vote After Abortion Concession   
May Survives Key Parliament Vote After Abortion Concession
- Her Brexit-dominated agenda for the next two years won the backing of the ... There are stricter limitations on abortion rights in Northern Ireland, unlike the rest ... of Britain remaining in the European Union's single market after Brexit.

          Labour are as pro-Brexit as the Tories": what do Sinn Fein's MPs really want from Westminster?   
Labour are as pro-Brexit as the Tories": what do Sinn Fein's MPs really want from Westminster?
- In the meantime, however, its priority is a Brexit deal that gives Northern Ireland – where 56 per cent of voters backed remain – designated status ...

           Sessions hopes Russia probe ends 'sooner rather than later'    
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a vote of confidence Friday to former FBI director Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an...
           German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in landmark vote    
By Paul Carrel and Andrea ShalalBERLIN, June 30 (Reuters) - Germany's parliament backed the legalisation of same-sex marriage on Friday in a historic vote ...
           Germany's vote to OK gay marriage likely to benefit Merkel    
BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has dominated German politics for over a decade thanks to a combination of flexibility, tactical savvy and luck - and...
          Trump Urges GOP To Repeal Obama Law Now, Replace Later   

President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law by “immediately” repealing it and replacing it later, a formula that GOP leaders dismissed months ago as politically unwise. Trump’s early-morning tweet embraced a sequential approach favored by only a handful of conservatives eager to take quick action on one of the party’s foremost priorities — repealing Obamacare, something Republicans have long promised to do. But his suggestion threatened to sharpen divisions between conservatives and moderates, who are leery of stripping coverage from millions of constituents without something to substitute for it. “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Trump tweeted. Supporters of that idea include Sens. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rand Paul, R-Ky. House and Senate leaders long ago abandoned initial thoughts of first erasing Obama’s law, and then replacing it. Such a step-by-step approach would leave Republicans vulnerable to Democratic accusations that they were simply tossing people off coverage without helping them obtain medical care. It could also roil insurance markets by prompting insurers to flee or boost premiums because of worries over whether, when and how Congress would replace the statute. And the idea would leave unresolved the quandary stumping lawmakers today — how to replace Obama’s system of online insurance markets, tax subsidies and an expanded Medicaid with something that will get enough Republican votes to pass Congress. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on Trump’s tweet. Underscoring the fissures within the GOP, conservative group leaders welcomed Trump’s suggestion but said it didn’t go far enough because it could open the door to a subsequent bipartisan compromise to replace Obama’s law. They accused McConnell of not wanting to go far enough and protecting GOP moderates who want to keep parts of the statute, such as insurance coverage requirements. “It’s distressing to see so many Republicans who’ve lied about their commitment to repeal. Mitch McConnell wants to amend Obamacare,” Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said in a conference call. Mimicking a southern accent, the New Jersey-born Cuccinelli said, “Root and branch, root and branch,” repeating an expression McConnell once used about how thoroughly he wanted to repeal the Obama law. On Thursday, Senate Republicans were considering breaking a stalemate over what their replacement bill should do by preserving a tax boost Obama’s law imposed on high earners. Keeping that tax increase in place was a bid to woo party moderates and rescue their sputtering push to repeal his health care overhaul. The break from dogma by a party that has long reviled tax boosts — and most things achieved by Obama — underscores McConnell’s feverish effort to rescue the Senate legislation from the brink of possible defeat. The money from the tax boost would instead be used to bolster proposed health care subsidies for lower-income people. The change, proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would give a more populist flavor to the bill. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that as the legislation now is written, it would boost out-of-pocket costs for many poor consumers and produce 22 million uninsured people while cutting around $700 billion in taxes over a […]

The post Trump Urges GOP To Repeal Obama Law Now, Replace Later appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

          Sessions Hopes Russia Probe Ends ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’   

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a vote of confidence Friday to former FBI director Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, but he also said he hoped the investigation could “move forward and come to an end sooner rather than later.” The attorney general’s comments during a “Fox & Friends” interview were his most expansive to date on the Justice Department’s appointment last month of Mueller to run the investigation. “Mr. Mueller is someone I’ve known a long time, and I’ve had confidence in him over the years,” said Sessions, an Alabama Republican who served for years on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel that oversees the FBI. Those remarks stand in contrast to a drumbeat of Republican criticism of the special counsel’s investigation, including from President Donald Trump, who on the same show last week contended that Mueller was “very, very good friends” with fired FBI director James Comey and characterized that relationship as “very bothersome.” Republicans have also raised conflict-of-interest concerns by noting that some lawyers on Mueller’s investigative team have previously contributed to Democratic candidates, though federal law and department policy does not permit the special counsel to take into consideration the political affiliations of a potential hire. Sessions said he was hopeful the investigation would conclude sooner than later, a point White House staff has repeatedly made, and he did suggest that questions about the composition of Mueller’s staff could be fair game. “We expect integrity from every person involved in this investigation. Mr. Mueller is entitled, lawfully, I guess, at this point, to hire who he desires,” Sessions said, “but I think he should look for people who have strength and credibility by all people.” Mueller was appointed FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush and held the position for 12 years. (AP)

The post Sessions Hopes Russia Probe Ends ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’ appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

          Need A Ride? Uber, Lyft Running In Upstate NY, Long Island   

The Uber and Lyft ride-hailing services began operating Thursday in upstate New York and on Long Island, a move that officials say will provide work for thousands of drivers and reduce alcohol-related road accidents. The ride-hailing apps became available for those regions as of 12:01 a.m. under legislation approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month. The original measure called for the services to begin upstate and on Long Island on July 9, but Cuomo and the Legislature worked out a deal to push up the start to just before the busy Fourth of July holiday. The two ride-hailing apps had been limited to picking up passengers in New York City until lawmakers voted this year to permit the expansion. The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that the state Department of Motor Vehicles said more than 20,000 drivers are expected to provide rides for Uber and Lyft. The agency, whose duties include regulating ride-hailing companies, said that’s the number of drivers who filed information with the DMV to become drivers for the two apps. All those drivers are either on Long Island or in upstate New York, DMV officials said. Buffalo, the state’s second-largest city, had been one of the largest cities in the country without access to the ride-hailing apps. On Wednesday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown joined Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and local law enforcement leaders to praise the arrival of Uber and Lyft. “Anything that we can do to produce more jobs, to produce more employment opportunities and circulate more dollars into our economy, benefits the economic development and the economy of Buffalo and western New York,” Brown said. Police officials said giving people another option to taxis will cut down on the number of drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking. “If ride-sharing can reduce the number of DWI arrests and alcohol-related crashes, then all this effort was worth it,” said Timothy Howard, sheriff for Erie County, which includes the city of Buffalo. (AP)

The post Need A Ride? Uber, Lyft Running In Upstate NY, Long Island appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

           Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel U-turn    
BERLIN (AP) - German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a move widely supported across the country that brings Germany in line with many...
           ANALYSIS-Hungary's Orban courts far-right voters ahead of 2018 vote    
By Marton DunaiBUDAPEST, June 30 (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban long proclaimed zero tolerance of anti-Semitism but has more recently...
           German parliament backs same-sex marriage    
Members of the Bundestag in Berlin voted 393 for legalising "marriage for everybody" and 226 against, with four abstentions.
           Hungary's Orban courts far-right voters ahead of 2018 vote    
By Marton DunaiBUDAPEST, June 30 (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban long proclaimed zero tolerance of anti-Semitism but has more recently...
          Grenfell bungling and the democratic deficit | Letters   
David Nowell argues for local electoral reform in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, while Leigh Daynes highlights the plight of ex-residents too frightened to get medical help

The extraordinarily inept way in which Kensington and Chelsea council has handled the Grenfell Tower disaster (Public barred as leader of council gives his apology for failings, 30 June) has been exacerbated by first-past-the-post elections and Blairite local government reforms. Before the introduction of streamlined cabinet decision-making, the old committee-based system at least ensured that any opposition councillors’ constructive comments and objections had to be minuted before key decisions were made, and not after the event.

Even if within the Royal Borough more than half still wish to vote Tory next May, at least the introduction of the single transferable vote would ensure much more diversity. Instead of four-and-a-half Labour wards confined to Kensington, including Grenfell Tower, there would be less geographic polarisation without any safe seats. STV has transformed Scottish local elections so that it is even possible for a Conservative to squeak into the last elected place to represent one of Glasgow’s poorest wards. So why can’t the wealthiest wards in Chelsea use it to replace their worst Tory councillors with some real representatives?
David Nowell
New Barnet, Hertfordshire

Continue reading...
          Why birds of a feather might bicker together | Letters   
Labour rebels | Remoaners | Minimum wage | Loose change | Charcoal toothpaste | Quarrelsome goldfinches

Thanks, Jeremy Corbyn, for making me feel like an utterly naive fool, after urging my first-time-voting twins that it’s worth voting for a party that will oppose a strong Brexit and protect workers’ rights (Report, 30 June). Sacking people for not agreeing: what a strong and stable example.
Elisabeth Young
Whitstable, Kent

• Your orgy of metrocentric remoaning (Letters, 30 June) overlooks once again the precariat, abandoned by socialists and liberals alike, who voted to end the mass free movement into the UK of poor east Europeans. Those leave voters aren’t racist or misinformed – they’re just ignored.
Chris Hughes

Continue reading...
          Emily Thornberry accuses Chuka Umunna of virtue signalling on EU vote   

Shadow foreign secretary calls Labour divisions a distraction and claims the manifesto, not the leader, was the real star of the party’s election campaign

Emily Thornberry accused Chuka Umunna and other Labour Brexit rebels of “virtue signalling”, and fighting “faux battles” after three of the party’s frontbenchers were sacked for voting for his amendment.

The shadow foreign secretary said the rebels’ approach had unnecessarily exposed Labour divisions at a time when the party should be presenting itself as an alternative to Theresa May’s minority government.

Related: Corbyn sacks three frontbenchers after single market vote

Continue reading...
          Debate: Germany approves "Marriage for all"   
The German Bundestag decided in favour of same-sex marriage today, Friday, with the votes of the Social Democrats and the opposition. Chancellor Merkel had lifted the unanimity rule for members of her party. Papers in France speculate on what the next steps will be.
           State of same-sex marriage around the world    
By Lin TaylorLONDON, June 30 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Germany has voted on Friday to legalise same-sex marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel did an...
          Highlights of the $43.7 billion two-year Washington budget   
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Highlights of the $43.7 billion, two-year budget Washington state lawmakers are set to vote on Friday:...
          Trump Appoints Voter Suppression Advocate to Election Commission   
The man most responsible for the voter fraud myth has joined the group to study voter fraud.
          KCWIR: The UMKC Downtown Arts Campus Vetoed   
Health Bill: This was supposed to be the week the U.S. Senate was to finally vote on a new health law to replace Obamacare. But that vote has now been pushed off until after the Fourth of July holiday due to lack of support. Kansas Senator Jerry Moran is making national news as he comes   ...Continue Reading
          Trump’s voter fraud task force wants personal information of Colorado voters   
A new task force created by President Donald Trump to investigate voter fraud has asked Colorado’s secretary of state to turn over personal information about the […]
          Coming to a ballot near you this November – no statewide ballot measures!   
Colorado voters will get a bit of a respite this year, now that there isn’t anyone or any group planning to run a ballot measure […]
          As GOP El Paso County Commissioners redraw their own district lines today, progressive activists have a message: We’re watching   
UPDATE: Members of the El Paso County Commission are set to vote on the new district lines today Democrats in Colorado’s heaviest Republican county are […]
          Democratic Connecticut House Leaders Have A Budget; Governor Is Unimpressed   
Connecticut House Democrats said they've come up with a two-year budget proposal that could be ready for a vote on July 18.
          Live: Watch MLAs debate ahead of B.C. non-confidence vote   
A confidence vote is expected today in the B.C. Legislature that will likely see the recently elected Liberal minority government fall. The B.C. NDP-Green alliance has said it will use its 44 votes in the house to pass a non-confidence amendment to Premier Christy Clark’s throne speech at around 5:30 p.m. The Liberals hold 43 seats. […]
          Mike Smyth: Clark wants another election — but doesn’t want to be blamed for it   
Christy Clark keeps saying that nobody wants another election in British Columbia. But when her Liberal government is defeated on a non-confidence vote on Thursday, there will be only two options available to Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon. Guichon can ask NDP Leader John Horgan to form a new government, supported by the third-place Green party. Or […]
          6/30/2017: CANADA: Confidence vote in B.C. sends Liberals packing   

VICTORIA— British Columbia’s minority Liberal government lost a nonconfidence vote Thursday in the legislature, setting the stage for the NDP to govern or for another election. No members of the legislature broke ranks as the Greens backed the New...
          Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Lea Michele Up For PETA Awards   

Peta2 is bestowing awards including Most Animal-Friendly Pop/Hip-Hop Artist to celebs for their support of animal rights.
By Jocelyn Vena

<P>PETA's youth division, peta2, is giving props to celebs like <a href="">Justin Bieber</a>, <a href="">Ke$ha</a> and "Glee" star Lea Michele at this year's <a href="" target="_blank">Libby Awards</a> for their efforts in support of animal rights. </P><P> </P><P>The Biebs, who appeared in a <a href="/news/articles/1656302/justin-bieber-peta-ad.jhtml">campaign</a> for the organization at the top of the year using Bieber-fied catch-phrases like "My world includes passion for animals, yours should too" and "Animals can make u smile. Adopt from your local shelter," is taking on fellow animal-loving pop star Ke$ha and rappers k-os and Waka Flocka Flame in the Most Animal-Friendly Pop/Hip-Hop Artist category. Ke$ha appeared in an ad campaigning against the slaughter of Canadian seals. </P><P> </P><P>Michele, who speaks out against the mistreatment of carriage horses in New York City, faces off against "Jackass" star Steve-O, Cobra Starship's leading man and peta2's Sexiest Vegetarian Gabe Saporta, and "Victorious" star Daniella Monet in the Top Animal-Friendly Celebrity category. </P><P> </P><P>The Ready Set, Tokio Hotel, Hellogoodbye and the Swellers are all up for Most Animal-Friendly Band. Ke$ha and Tokio are also up for Best peta2 ad along with Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness and Yelle. </P><P> </P><P>The Libby (as in "Liberation") Awards will be decided on January 17 by fan votes as well as peta2. Voting ends December 23. </P><P> </P><P>"Our nominees have all worked hard to shine their spotlights on a variety of important animal issues," peta2 Division Manager Marta Holmberg said about the nominees, which honors animal-friendly people and products. "As our accomplished stars demonstrate, compassion isn't just a virtue &#8212; it's also a road to success."</p>

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Catherine Bell Chandra West Charisma Carpenter Charli Baltimore

          House Passes Kate’s Law Along With Anti-Sanctuary City Bill On Mostly Party Line Votes   
Unsurprisingly, most Democrats voted against both bills (CNN) House Republicans joined President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon in declaring war on sanctuary cities — passing legislation targeting the cities’ funding while hammering a message of the dangers posed by undocumented immigrants. “Kate’s Law” is named for Kate Steinle, a young woman murdered on a busy […]
          Trump's voter fraud panel gets pushback after asking states for election data   

President Donald Trump's voting commission stumbled into public view this week, issuing a sweeping request for nationwide voter data that drew sharp condemnation from election experts and resistance from at least 19 states that said they cannot or will not hand over all of the data.

The immediate...

          Germany legalizes same-sex marriage, despite Chancellor Merkel voting no   

Germany on Friday recognized the right of same-sex couples to wed, a major step for gay women and men living in a country split between conservative, Christian customs and modernizing forces.

The German Parliament voted 393-226 to modify the country's civil code, reshaping the institution of marriage...

          Trump's voter fraud commission wants voting history, party ID and address of every voter   

The chair of Donald Trump's Election Integrity Commission has penned a letter to all 50 states requesting their full voter role data, including the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter...

          Trump plans FCC nomination, providing crucial vote to reverse net neutrality rules   

President Trump intends to nominate Brendan Carr, a former aide to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, to fill the final open seat at the agency and provide a crucial vote to reverse tough net neutrality rules.

Carr, currently the FCC’s general counsel, would fill a Republican...

          Rainbow flags, bubbly to cheer German gay marriage vote   
BERLIN - Gay and lesbian activists waving rainbow flags cheered in joyful celebration Friday as Germany's parliament legalised same-sex marriage, a victory in a decades-old rights struggle.
          Centara wins recognition of Chinese tourists with 'Best City Hotel' award   
Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World was voted “Best City Hotel” in the 2017 People’s Choice Awards after The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) polled many of the 10 million Chinese tourists who visit the country each year. 
          Voting Commissioner Kris Kobach Defends U.S. Request For Voter Information   
Kris Kobach is the vice chairman of a White House commission on voting and elections and the secretary of state of Kansas. He spoke to NPR's Ari Shapiro and defended the commission's request for voter information from across the country.
          Kentucky Secretary Of State Denies White House Request For Voter Information   
NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state for Kentucky, about resisting the Presidential Election Commission's requests for voter data from the states.
          Body Language Analysis No. 3982: Bangkok Police Officer's De-Escalation Genius - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)    

Recently a man entered a police station in Bangkok, Thailand wielding a knife. That's when Anirut Malee's instincts took over. Malee, a Thai police officer, deescalated the situation like a Jedi.

In this first image, Anirut Malee's gestures in a palms-up fashion - which is very wise. He is asking, not telling. He is open, not hyper-authoritative, nor threatening.

This next frame may, at first, seem trivial - but it's not. Anirut Malee's entire posture changes. Notice he puts a hand on the desk, his weight on his right foot, and his entire posture is more relaxed.

Next Anirut Malee sits on the corner of the desk - lowering his stature and becoming even less physically dominant. Crucially, he "body-points" down the hallway - and NOT at the man holding the knife.

Officer Malee's repeated palms-up gesture - asking for the assailant to hand over the weapon - as he lowers his head/bends his neck, further de-escalates the situation.

Even when he finally takes the knife, Officer Malee still remains sitting on the desk. If he stood up at this particular moment, it could very well backfire. 

In this image, as gestures with his arms-wide and walks toward the man, Anirut Malee made the small mistake of not throwing the knife away before the hug. It would have also been a bit better if the officer's arms were lower in this moment. All things being equal, the higher the arms are positioned, the more threatening a person is felt to be.

As he begins the hug, Officer Malee throws the knife away.

For the second time, Malee waves off assistance. He's very aware that the man is emotionally decompressing.

The act of allowing the man to rest his head on Anirut Malee's neck-shoulder, is particularly disarming.

Summary: Much too often, police officers escalate confrontations when they should be deescalating. Yet Officer Anirut Malee is an exception. He masterfully defused a situation, which could have very likely ended much worse.

Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 

See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 3980: Mitch McConnell Delays Health Care Bill Vote

Body Language Analysis No. 3978: Keanu Reeves, Chuck Spadina, Sincerity, and Empathy

Body Language Analysis No. 3976: Bill Conner bicycles 1,400 miles to hear his daughter's beating heart again

Body Language Analysis No. 3974: Elle Fanning, Robert De Niro, and Easter

Body Language Analysis No. 3972: Vladimir Putin, Oliver Stone, and a Facial Expression Red Flag

Body Language Analysis No. 3970: Kamala Harris and Jeff Sessions, Part II - Deception, Alpha, and Beta Behavior

Body Language Analysis No. 3968: The Grenfell Tower Fire, Empathy, and Emotional Processing

Body Language Analysis No. 3965: Manspreading, Madrid, and a Business Faux Pas

Body Language Analysis No. 3958: Vladimir Putin interview with Megyn Kelly 


          Parkway Inc. to be acquired in $1.2B deal   
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board plans to acquire Houston-based real estate investment trust Parkway Inc. (NYSE: PKY) for $1.2 billion, the companies announced June 30. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 and has to be approved by Parkway shareholders. TPG Capital and its affiliates, which own a combined 9.8 percent of Parkway’s outstanding stock, agreed to vote in favor of the deal. Parkway shareholders will receive $23.05 per share, consisting of $19.05 per share…

          Voting Rights Advocates Rally on Capitol Hill   

Last Thursday, League interns Allie Claman and Audra Brulc attended the #RestoreTheVOTE rally on Capitol Hill. Organized by Rep. Terri Sewell, important guests including Rep. John Lewis, Senator Patrick Leahy, Leader Pelosi, and Whip Steny Hoyer also spoke passionately about the importance of voting rights at this event.

A picture named peasInAPod.jpgBTW, the basic reason to vote against Bush: His is a failed Presidency. That's going to become painfully obvious when they try to hold elections in Iraq in January. The people holding the elections will control none of the country. Meanwhile, the US deficit grows to fund this miserable no-win war, jobs move overseas, the US economy is serving the upper class more and more, and the people who voted for Bush on the ridiculous promise that they too could be part of the upper class, will feel like they screwed themselves. They will have screwed the rest of us too. Never has a ticket had so little to offer as George Bush and Dick Cheney do. They're the shame of this country, and if we re-elect them we totally deserve what we get. IMHO.
          ESPN FC's Liga MX Clausura Playoff Awards: MVP, unsung hero and more   
The guys discuss their top three Mexico players of all time, the best MLS rivalries and the controversial Liga MX final. The 2017 Clausura has come and gone, with Chivas crowned champions for the first time since 2006. We've laid out the good, the bad and the ugly&nbsp;of the season and named our best and most disappointing XIs. Now, our experts Tom Marshall, Nayib Moran, Cesar Hernandez and Eric Gomez make their picks for most valuable player, unsung hero and more. Have your say and vote below! Most valuable player Alan Pulido (left) or Rodolfo Cota (right)? Who was the MVP of the 2017 Clausura playoffs? Alan Pulido, FW, Chivas This is a difficult one because Chivas' championship victory was all about...
          Minneapolis Council Approves $15 An Hour Minimum Wage   
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minneapolis City Council has overwhelmingly approved raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years. The council voted 11-1 on Friday to raise the minimum wage. For large businesses with 100 or more employees, the higher wage will be phased in over five years. The higher wage will be phased in...
          Who will win the Liga MX Clausura playoffs? We make our predictions   
ESPN FC's Herculez Gomez predicts the four teams that will advance out of their respective Liguilla quarterfinal ties. It's that time of year! The Liga MX 2017 Clausura playoffs are set to kick off, with Tigres hosting Monterrey in the&nbsp;Clasico Regio&nbsp;on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET).&nbsp;We've broken down the tactical battles&nbsp;and laid out the storylines to follow, but who will come out on top? Our Liga MX experts Herculez Gomez, Tom Marshall, Nayib Moran, Cesar Hernandez, Eric Gomez and Jessica Lopez make their predictions. Have your say and vote below! Who will win the Liguilla? Herculez Gomez (@herculezg):&nbsp;One...
          John White’s Teaching Experience with Chicago Public Schools | deutsch29   
John White’s Teaching Experience with Chicago Public Schools | deutsch29:

John White’s Teaching Experience with Chicago Public Schools

It seems that so much surrounding Louisiana state superintendent John White is, well, muddy.
On June 23, 2017, former Louisiana state superintendent Paul Pastorek published an op-ed that the Shreveport Times entitled, “Pastorek: Why John White Should Not Get the Boot.” In his op-ed, Pastorek makes the following comment:
It is the exclusive province of the BESE to select its superintendent and there is a substantial majority of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that support the superintendent. In my view, that’s a good thing.​
Note that the “substantial majority” is at best 7 out of 11 BESE members– not the supermajority of 8 needed to reappoint White.
Note also that in April 2011, Pastorek had brazenly published a press release announcing White as the new Recovery School District (RSD) superintendent before BESE even voted on White’s appointment– which caused some embarrassment for Pastorek when he had to admit his premature maneuverings to Louisiana House Appropriations Committee chair, Jim Fannin.
Still, White became RSD superintendent in May 2011 and then flew to the top seat to replace Pastorek as state superintendent in January 2012. RSD was just a temporary stopping point for White. His planned destination was the state superintendent’s post.
White had been state superintendent in Louisiana for several years when he applied for the Louisiana licensing credentials that would allow him to become a school assistant principal or principal and, beyond that, a district superintendent.
White had never been an assistant principal or principal; as for his seven months as RSD superintendent, Pastorek arranged to have him ushered in absent the required certification.
But by late 2015, facing the prospect of a governor who openly did not support him and a BESE election on which his reappointment rested on securing 8 out of 11 John White’s Teaching Experience with Chicago Public Schools | deutsch29:

          This Week in Education Organizing - June 30, 2017 | Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools   
This Week in Education Organizing - June 30, 2017 | Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools:

This Week in Education Organizing - June 30, 2017

Welcome to the Fight-Back!
For the next few weeks, in addition to our usual news and organizing round-up, the AROS NewsBlast will feature information about our new initiative to fight the Trump/DeVos budget proposal and privatization agenda.  Please watch the NewsBlast for information about upcoming opportunities for local action!
Nearly three quarters of voters oppose the Trump administration's proposal to cut education funding by more than 13 percent, according to a poll commissioned by the American Federation of Teachers. The poll found that 74 percent of respondents oppose the budget proposal, with more than half of them - 54 percent - strongly opposed. The poll also found that nearly half of Trump voters (48 percent) opposed the proposal.
As reported in an earlier NewsBlast, members of the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) have been fighting for a school police complaint process within the Philadelphia public school system.  Since PSU member Brian Burney was allegedly attacked at Ben Franklin high school in 2016, the group has been demanding a formal complaints process. The District Superintendent William Hite created a task force to develop such a process—but did not include any PSU members on it.  A complaint system was launched in early April. PSU has hailed the victory, but is arguing that the process does not go far enough. With the backing of the ACLU and Education Law Center, PSU is demanding additional components to strengthen the process, including a community review board. On June 6th, PSU presented their recommendations to the members of the Superintendent’s task force, which has agreed to another meeting to iron our final language. Read more here.
INDIANAPOLIS AROS TABLE FIGHTS SCHOOL CLOSURES  This Week in Education Organizing - June 30, 2017 | Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools:

          Independent Candidates Sparse Despite Voter Gains   
Even as California voters increasingly turn away from political party labels, Democratic and Republican candidates dominate elections.
          Pence-Kobach voting commission alarms states with info request - CNN   


Pence-Kobach voting commission alarms states with info request
Washington (CNN) A Trump administration letter requesting data from all 50 state's voting rolls has put some states and voting rights advocates on edge after many were already wary of the aims of the President's commission on voting. The Presidential ...
Trump's voting commission asked states to hand over election data. Some are pushing back.Washington Post
States and Trump voter fraud commission set for showdownThe Hill
Increasing number of states reject request for personal information on voters from Trump commissionLos Angeles Times
U.S. News & World Report -USA TODAY -The Boston Globe -BuzzFeed News
all 330 news articles »

          Amnesia Fortnight: Four Pitches Advance To Prototype Stage   
Amnesia Fortnight moves pretty fast. One week ago Double Fine’s yearly-except-when-busy publicly voted game prototype jam started with 31 pitch videos. Now backers have had time to vote, that list has been whittled down to the four games that are going to be developed into a prototype. The winners? Steed, Mnemonic, Dear Leader and Adventure […]
          Beach Bags   
Beach Bags Photoshop Contest, 4 entries, 4 votes.
          Comment on Tory MP Says Social Media Gives A Voice To Those Who Don’t Deserve One by laurence293   
The page has been removed (and the Evolve site is rather broken in general) but more details are at and the original tweet at .
          Aging Oil Pipeline Under the Great Lakes Should Be Closed, Michigan AG Says   
Enbridge’s Line 5 lies exposed on the floor of the Straits of Mackinac and has been losing chunks of its outer coating. A new report suggests ways to deal with it.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette called for a deadline to close a controversial portion of an oil pipeline that runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, a channel that connects two of the Great Lakes. The pipeline has had more than two dozen leaks over its lifespan, and parts of its outer coating have come off.

read more

          Climate Change Will Hit Southern Poor Hardest, U.S. Economic Analysis Shows   
Nationwide, rising temperatures could lower U.S. GDP by 6 percent this century while worsening economic inequality, the authors say. It’s “the poor getting poorer.”

Without effective action to bend the upward curve of greenhouse gas emissions, parts of the American South could experience more than a 20 percent drop in economic activity due to global warming by the end of the century, according to a new analysis of the regional economic risks of climate change.

read more

          Shock: Jeff Sessions Vows to ‘Aggressively’ Pursue Anti-Transgender Hate Crimes – VIDEO   

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has countered concerns from civil rights groups and fellow lawmakers, vowing to aggressively pursue hate crimes against transgender victims. In 2010, Sessions voted against a law that expanded federal hate crimes protec…

The post Shock: Jeff Sessions Vows to ‘Aggressively’ Pursue Anti-Transgender Hate Crimes – VIDEO appeared first on Towleroad.

          German Lawmakers Approve Gay Marriage, Even as Merkel Votes No, Saying It’s Between Man and Woman   

Berlin (dpa) – Gay marriage is set to become the law of the land in Germany after lawmakers voted in favour of legalization Friday, capping a hectic week that started with the item barely on the political agenda. Of 623 votes cast, 393 people v…

The post German Lawmakers Approve Gay Marriage, Even as Merkel Votes No, Saying It’s Between Man and Woman appeared first on Towleroad.

          Trump says Repeal, Replace Later and Self-employed/Small businesses might lose affordable coverage!!!   
Like Trump's comment that took the nations breath away...:

Yet House and Senate Republican plans are getting trashed, not surprisingly, in this most recent poll:

So if Republicans can't prevent 23 million people from losing their health care insurance with a new plan, at least just dump the Affordable Care Act outright?

Dumb doesn't begin to describe taking this kind of chance with 8 percent of the economy. But get a load of what his in-the-tank true believing followers think:
Among Republicans, Trump wouldn't bear the brunt of the blame if Congress is unable to repeal and replace Obamacare. Just 6 percent would blame him, and half said they would blame congressional Democrats. Another 20 percent said they would blame GOP lawmakers.
Of course Republicans are only doing what voters wanted them to do...see graph....

The Senate's Better Care Act adds mind-boggling costly complexity to the U.S. health care system. 

For me, an "all payer system" is simple; every doctor is your doctor, every hospital is your hospital. No bills, no worries ever. .

Waaayyyyyy too easy say Republicans, who want us to spend days, months and years maneuvering through their nightmarish and complicated idea of free market freedom. One idea is so ridiculously convoluted and costly that it numbs the mind, making people join a group formed to manage health policy...seriously?
KFFDotOrg: Association Health Plans for Small Groups and Self-Employed Individuals under the Better Care Reconciliation Act: The Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), includes a provision to create new association health plan options for small employers and self-employed individuals ... the ACA requirement that premiums cannot vary based on health status does not apply in the large group market. Neither does the requirement for policies to cover ten categories of essential health benefits. 

SBHPs would be able to set premiums for small firm and self-employed members based on health and risk status ... However, in the event a covered individual becomes seriously ill or injured, nothing under federal law would prevent the SBHP insurer from raising the premium for that small employer or self-employed individual, even to unaffordable levels. This could lead to premiums in the traditional small group market becoming much higher for employers who need to seek coverage there ... making health insurance less affordable for sick individuals and small groups who would have to rely on them, and potentially not available at all.

          Reeling from Horrifying GOP Health Care Bills? Just wait till you lose your Voting Rights, just around the corner.    
While everyone is still wondering how Republicans could ever seriously fix their health care bills that drop 22 to 23 million Americans with a few more insane amendments, voting rights is about to take a huge hit:
The Republican presidential tactic of crippling agencies you don't like by putting either the incompetent or the actively hostile in charge of them (continues) ... Kris Kobach, the godfather of the national movement to suppress the votes of people the GOP would prefer not to exercise the franchise (was) named as vice-chairman of his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a snipe hunt the only apparent purpose of which is maintaining the fiction that masses of people, many of them brown, are gaming our elections. 
Here's the most damning news that might just alert us to specific Republican governors who take the bait:
Kobach wrote a letter to his fellow secretaries of state that left many jaws on the floor. From The Kansas City Star: In a Wednesday letter, Kobach asked the Connecticut secretary of state's office to provide the commission with all publicly available voter roll data, including the full names of all registered voters along with their addresses, dates of birth, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, voting history and other personal information ... he sent similar letters to election officials in every state. 

Quite simply, any secretary of state who complies with this request is either too stupid to hold the job, or is in sympathy with Kobach's goal of whitewashing the electorate.  Alex Padilla, the Secretary of State for California, said, "California's participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President's Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections."

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill was a bit more discreet: "The courts have repudiated his methods on multiple occasions but often after the damage has been done to voters. Given Secretary Kobach's history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this commission."
BREAKING: Scott Walker gives up voter information to Trump's big government demands. Hey, we just had a recount too. All is well?

Wisconsin elections officials said Friday that they'll sell some voter information to a presidential commission investigating election fraud. Administrator Mike Haas issued a statement Friday saying data is available for purchase and the commission must release it to buyers, adding that the commission routinely sells the information to political parties, candidates and researchers. The commission would charge the presidential panel $12,500 for the data.
Having done a lot of research on "the right to vote," I found that despite the guarantee in the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments...with help from the Voting Rights Act (now destroyed by activist conservative Justices), voting seems to be the least defended squishy right ever. In fact, I could make the argument that women and African Americans were definitely given the right to vote, but anyone else including white guys...nope.

What if Obama did this? Always the best test against hypocritical Republican policy:
As Vanita Gupta points out in that same K.C. Star report, if someone in the Obama administration had made this request, at the very least, there would be a full week of howler monkeys screaming about federalism from every perch in every conservative think-tank in the jungle. At the most, there would be hearing after hearing about the Obama administration's plan to seed thousands of the president's fellow Kenyans in every crucial precinct in Ohio and Florida. What's more important, though, is that the national campaign to roll back voting rights now has reached the highest levels of government, with the blessing of the president* and the president*-in-waiting. This is the final step backwards across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

          NRA Declares War on Liberals.    
I've been writing about the Republican authoritarian movement for some time now along with their sheepishly devoted voters. They've been vilifying liberals, progressives and Democrats for years. Not coincidentally, I've also noticed my conservative friend in Milwaukee has made the attacks more personal, with an arrogance rooted from one party rule. After all, they "won" and will never lose power again. And according to my friend, with the appointment of conservative judges, liberals will lose in the courts as well.  

NRA Ad Warning: What I've seen from tweets and blog commentary is perfectly summed up in the recent NRA ad. It is literally all there, with the added call to arms of course. Trump's blatant attack on the First Amendments very clear protections of the press, the rise of right wing media, and the many years of vilifying  "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," the NRA ad may be the marker right wing authoritarians have been waiting for. Especially after the way this ad hit the fan:

"They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place."
As Vox's Zack Beauchamp put it:
This chilling NRA ad calls on its members to save America by fighting liberals: A liberal insurgency is destroying American society. The “only way” to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA.

In a 2013 op-ed, for example, NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre argued that a lawless America was inevitable if the liberals succeeded in their nefarious plan to take your guns … it functions as a kind of anti-politics — casting the NRA’s political opponents as devious enemies who can’t be opposed through normal politics. Republicans control all three branches of government and a large majority of statehouses nationwide. There is literally zero chance that any kind of major gun control passes in America in the foreseeable future.

The threat, instead, is from a kind of liberal-cultural fifth column: People who are acting outside of legitimate political channels to upend American freedoms, through protest and violence. It’s a paranoid vision of American life that encourages the NRA’s fans to see liberals not as political opponents, but as monsters.
The ad features right-wing pundit Dana Loesch, who seems determined to turn everything in our country beet red:

The NRA made the mistake of using "blue" as their background, making it ripe for parody, like this...

          MN Sec. Of State Won’t Hand Data To Trump Voting Commission   
Trump has alleged, without evidence, that millions voted illegally in the 2016 elections.
          Minneapolis City Council Approves Minimum Wage Increase   
The council voted 11-1 in favor of the increase Friday morning.
          St. Anthony To Vote On Keeping Police In Falcon Heights   
The Minnesota city that employed the police officer who fatally shot a black motorist is preparing to end its patrols of the town where the shooting happened last year.
          Abou-Rida denies involvement in illegal vote-fixing practices   

EFA President and member of FIFA Council Hany Abou-Rida has denied being involved in any illegal vote-fixing during the 2018 and 2022 World Cups bid race. Abou-Rida was mentioned eight times in the “Garcia report”, a report made by Michael J. Garcia which examines allegations of high-level corruption in world football and was released by FIFA on Tuesday, however, the Egyptian revealed […]

The post Abou-Rida denies involvement in illegal vote-fixing practices appeared first on KingFut.

          Apple's iPhone turns 10, bumpy start forgotten   

Apple's iPhone turns 10 this week, evoking memories of a rocky start for the device that ended up doing most to start the smartphone revolution and stirring interest in where it will go from here.

Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones since June 29, 2007, but the first iPhone, which launched without an App Store and was restricted to the AT&T network, was limited compared to today's version.

After sluggish initial sales, Apple slashed the price to spur holiday sales that year.

"The business model for year one of the iPhone was a disaster," Tony Fadell, one of the Apple developers of the device, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. "We pivoted and figured it out in year two."

The very concept of the iPhone came as a surprise to some of Apple's suppliers a decade ago, even though Apple, led by CEO Steve Jobs, had already expanded beyond computers with the iPod.

"We still have the voicemail from Steve Jobs when he called the CEO and founder here," said David Bairstow at Skyhook, the company that supplied location technology to early iPhones.

"He thought he was being pranked by someone in the office and it took him two days to call Steve Jobs back."

The iPhone hit its stride in 2008 when Apple introduced the App Store, which allowed developers to make and distribute their mobile applications with Apple taking a cut of any revenue.

Ten years later, services revenue is a crucial area of growth for Apple, bringing in $24.3 billion (S$33.5 billion) in revenue last year.

New model

Fans and investors are now looking forward to the 10th anniversary iPhone 8, expected this fall, asking whether it will deliver enough new features to spark a new generation to turn to Apple.

That new phone may have 3-D mapping sensors, support for "augmented reality" apps that would merge virtual and real worlds, and a new display with organic LEDs, which are light and flexible, according to analysts at Bernstein Research.

A decade after launching into a market largely occupied by BlackBerry and Microsoft devices, the iPhone now competes chiefly with phones running Google's Android software, which is distributed to Samsung Electronics and other manufacturers around the world.

Even though most of the world's smartphones now run on Android, Apple still garners most of the profit in the industry with its generally higher-priced devices.

More than 2 billion people now have smartphones, according to data from eMarketer, and Fadell, who has worked for both Apple and Alphabet, sees that as the hallmark of success.

"Being able to democratize computing and communication across the entire world is absolutely astounding to me," Fadell said.

"It warms my heart because that's something Steve tried to do with the Apple II and the Mac, which was the computer for the rest of us. It's finally here, 30 years later."

on SPH Brightcove

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 09:54

          Comment on Getting pregnant femdom style by Subfund   
This is a great message. Congratulations i wish you a beautiful and healthy pregnaney.I am glad for you your devoted servant Subfund
          WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Dockside Bar In Minnesota   
Your votes send Amelia Santaniello to Crosslake's Manhattan Beach Lodge.
          "Voter fraud' commission runs into roadblocks after requesting sensitive voter files   
A presidential commission established to examine a bogus claim made my President Trump about voter fraud during the 2016 election took its first official steps this week. But the commission found nothing but trouble when they requested sensitive voter data from states. Nancy Cordes has more.
          Some states reject “voter fraud” commission's request for voter data   
Several Democratic state officials said Friday they will not comply with requests for information about voters
          Trump “voter fraud” commission seeking voter data from all states   
But some states already balking, with some saying commission may only be effort to advance voter suppression efforts
          Brexit- A Year after the Referendum   

June 23rd marked a year since the United Kingdom voted[1] its withdrawal from the European Union, now commonly known as Brexit. As a quick recap, the British believed they were being held back by the EU which according to them set too many rules on businesses and charged billions a year in membership [...]

The post Brexit- A Year after the Referendum appeared first on Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting.

James O’Keefe‏: “Most overlooked part of #AmericanPravda [is how CNN] selectively edited segment to make Trump voters look bad.” [VIDEO]
Why Angela Merkel, known for embracing liberal values, voted against same-sex marriage
          Comment on Scottish Lawmakers Back Independence On Eve Of Brexit by British Prime Minister Signs Brexit Letter   
[…] the Brexit letter today amidst calls for a referendum by the Scots who did not vote to leave the EU and would rather stay in the bloc than stand […]
          One Court, Indivisible, Votes Liberty and Justice for All   
This week's unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming a robust Fourth Amendment protection for cellphone data is an enormously important victory for privacy rights in the digital age. It is also a reminder that support as well as opposition to civil liberty these days can come from unexpected quarters. Or maybe it is no longer much...
          Breaking: Cooper Says State Board Of Elections Should Not Participate In Controversial Voter Roll Data Request   
Governor Roy Cooper released a short statement this afternoon in response to a controversial new request that states turn over their voter roll data to the White House by July 14. Cooper's statement indicated that he believes the State Board of Elections should not comply with the request, but he did not go as far as some other politicians, including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who released a much more harshly worded response.

          An Oceanside minister supported Trump. Now, he's getting deported   

Jorge Ramirez, an Oceanside minister and immigrant who is in the country illegally, didn’t think he would end up in line for deportation when he encouraged his U.S. citizen daughter to vote for now-President Trump.

In an interview at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, Ramirez — who said he holds conservative...

          Germany legalises same-sex marriage, Merkel votes against   
After the law passed, which prompted jubilant proponents to throw confetti in the Bundestag, the German legal code will change to say "marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex".
          Gambia’s democracy survives political turbulence   

As the results of The Gambia’s presidential election trickled in last December, incumbent President Yahya Jammeh realised his power was slipping away. Indeed, final results showed that a newcomer, 51-year-old businessman Adama Barrow, had garnered 45.5% of total votes, while Mr. Jammeh received 36.6%. 

          Fahad wishing Eid Mubarak to fabiha   

Fahad wishing Eid Mubarak to fabiha An engrossing designed, Novotel London ExCeL hotel, is placed in the Canary Wharf, London. This 4-star surprising is brilliantly intended hotel which carries the appealing position. Guests can enjoy the excellent services of the hotel. This hotel bids the renowned style which bemusements the guests. The Novotel London ExCeL …

The post Fahad wishing Eid Mubarak to fabiha appeared first on

          Girl shoots her boyfriend to make a video on YouTube   

Girl shoots her boyfriend to make a video on YouTube An engrossing designed, Novotel London ExCeL hotel, is placed in the Canary Wharf, London. This 4-star surprising is brilliantly intended hotel which carries the appealing position. Guests can enjoy the excellent services of the hotel. This hotel bids the renowned style which bemusements the guests. …

The post Girl shoots her boyfriend to make a video on YouTube appeared first on

          Social Media Gone Crazy On Igloo Ice Cream Add   

Social Media Gone Crazy On Igloo Ice Cream Add An engrossing designed, Novotel London ExCeL hotel, is placed in the Canary Wharf, London. This 4-star surprising is brilliantly intended hotel which carries the appealing position. Guests can enjoy the excellent services of the hotel. This hotel bids the renowned style which bemusements the guests. The …

The post Social Media Gone Crazy On Igloo Ice Cream Add appeared first on

          Saima Azhar In Eid Show   

Saima Azhar In Eid Show An engrossing designed, Novotel London ExCeL hotel, is placed in the Canary Wharf, London. This 4-star surprising is brilliantly intended hotel which carries the appealing position. Guests can enjoy the excellent services of the hotel. This hotel bids the renowned style which bemusements the guests. The Novotel London ExCeL hotel …

The post Saima Azhar In Eid Show appeared first on

          Nelum Muneer Dance Performance On Eid Show   

Nelum Muneer Dance Performance On Eid Show An engrossing designed, Novotel London ExCeL hotel, is placed in the Canary Wharf, London. This 4-star surprising is brilliantly intended hotel which carries the appealing position. Guests can enjoy the excellent services of the hotel. This hotel bids the renowned style which bemusements the guests. The Novotel London …

The post Nelum Muneer Dance Performance On Eid Show appeared first on

          Sana Nawaz Dance In Eid Show   

Sana Nawaz Dance In Eid Show An engrossing designed, Novotel London ExCeL hotel, is placed in the Canary Wharf, London. This 4-star surprising is brilliantly intended hotel which carries the appealing position. Guests can enjoy the excellent services of the hotel. This hotel bids the renowned style which bemusements the guests. The Novotel London ExCeL …

The post Sana Nawaz Dance In Eid Show appeared first on

          And the winner is...   
... with 4 votes in total, this week's winner is Butt No. 5! Second place is a 2-way tie between Butt Nos. 1 and 3 with each receiving 3 votes, and third place is also a 2-way tie between Butt Nos. 2 and 4 with each of them receiving 2 votes! This week's Koba's Choice Award goes to Butt No. 7! Congrats to the winners and many thanks to all those who participated! Have a great day, guys!

          2017 Emmy race for Best Drama Writing: Can ‘This is Us,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ overcome vote-splitting?   
The Emmy race for Best Drama Writing is in for quite a shake-up. The nominees last year were: “The Americans” season 4: “Persona Non Grata” (Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg) “Downton Abbey” season 6: “August 1925” (Julian Fellowes) Winner — “Game of Thrones” season 6: “Battle of the Bastards” (David Benioff & D.B. Weiss) “The […]
          Halfway through a year of Philly hoops   
This series is about those who have devoted themselves to hoops, playing or coaching it, observing it, analyzing it, organizing it, washing themselves in it.
          Trump names Marylander with little elections experience to controversial elections panel   

The Trump administration has appointed a Marylander to a controversial panel probing alleged voter fraud in last year's presidential election even though the veteran state official has little-to-no experience in elections. Deputy Secretary of State Luis E. Borunda, a former Baltimore County school board member, was quietly named last week to Trump's Election Integrity Commission, a 15-member, bipartisan panel President Donald J. Trump created with an executive order in May after alleging millions voted illegally for his opponent.


By Mazi Onyebuchi Eze
Family Writers

One thing that has seriously baffled many Biafrans is why the IPOB declaration of "No More Election" in Biafra land has continued to be the headache of the people in Abuja, Sokoto and Kano. It is worthy of note that  Biafrans have vehemently vowed that there will be no election again in Biafra land beginning with a plan to resist the conduct of Anambra governorship election billed for November 18, and ultimately boycott it should INEC and Nigeria government defy IPOB declaration and go ahead to conduct the election. Biafrans are making the world to know that by the civil disobedience to be demonstrated with "No Election" arrangement of IPOB Worldwide, they have peacefully wanted to use peaceful means to withdraw all the political office holders serving or representing Biafrans in Nigeria government because they have rejected Nigeria government and everything associated with it.

There will be total rejection, resistance and eventual boycott of all the proposed  elections if Nigeria government fail to organized a referendum for Biafra, there will be nobody elected anymore as a Senator, House of Representative member, Governors and House of Assembly members in Biafra land, because there will be nobody to vote in any election anywhere in the Biafraland. When this arrangement which we are perfecting in Biafra land is completed, Biafra land must have cut off legislative and executive ties with Nigeria government. As for the propaganda of Nigeria government against Biafra agitation with threats of war, IPOB has no business with Nigeria government over the beating of the drums of war because a demand for referendum has never been construed anywhere in the world as a call for war except in Nigeria which is a place of intellectual bankruptcy.

Biafrans want to use the rejection, resistance and outright boycott of the elections to tell the International Community that they are no more interested in Nigeria government and thereby peacefully chose to stop sending representatives in the government which they have rejected because after October 1st, 2017, any government structure of Nigeria in Biafra land as whole will be considered as forcefully occupying the Biafra territory without the approval of the indigenous people because Biafrans will no longer willfully give allegiance to Nigeria government and accord it the deserved respect as their Federal government. This development will be manifesting itself through an unprecedented freestyle of contempt and flagrant disdain against Nigeria government because it will be considered as an empirical alien government of dark ages only obtainable centuries ago during the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus or Emperor Nero.

It is upon this ugly development coming against Nigeria government within the next few days, that IPOB Worldwide hereby advise Nigeria government not to wait until this ugly development set-in before relevant actions could be taken to remedy the battered image of Nigeria government which must have been seriously made caricature of by Biafrans by that time. Nigeria government should just organize a referendum for Biafra without further delay because there is no more going back on the issue of Biafra restoration struggle. When Biafra eventually exit Nigeria, the new sovereign nation called Biafra and the remaining parts of Nigeria could be good neighbouring countries.

So, why are Nigerians wailing now as we have decided to withdraw our representatives from Nigeria government through the instrumentality of the election boycott all over the Biafra land? For many years now, mischief makers in Nigeria have being challenging Biafrans to withdraw their Senators and House of Reps members from Nigeria National Assembly if they do not want Nigeria any more but truly desire Biafra restoration. As it is at moment, Biafrans have decided to respond to the challenge of Nigerians in withdrawal of their representatives from Nigeria government through direct peaceful election boycott. It is important for Nigerians to know that Biafrans are not terrorists like Arewa people who believe in doing everything in violence but they are civilized people who do things peacefully because Biafrans knew very well that a person must be elected through an election before he becomes a Senator, a House of Representative member, a Governor and a State House of Assembly member. Therefore, Biafrans as peaceful and civilized as they are always, they will never violently remove the serving Senators, House of Representative members or the serving Governors but any time their tenures elapses and Nigeria government yet to organize referendum for Biafra, let it be known to the world that Biafrans will not even allow election again in Biafra land not to talk about electing anybody into any office representing Nigeria government from Biafra land.

In conclusion, let Nigeria government and the world at large be aware that Biafrans have started the process of withdrawal of our representatives from Nigeria government as we were challenged to do by Nigerians months back if we are truly demanding for Biafra restoration. As for Anambra governorship election, we are not only going to boycott it but resist the conduct of it against INEC in totality.

          BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu   
BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu

Published by Family Writers Press

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Frowns At Kanu’s Activities

Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday descended and distanced itself from Kanu and his IPOB organisation.

Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, made the stand of the body known while addressing members of the Anambra State House of Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka, Anambra State.

Nnamdi Kanu and Nnia Nwodo
Nwodo, who was particularly not happy with the statement credited to Kanu that governorship election should not hold in Anambra in November, said Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.

“I’m just being paternal. The way I commended them as my children is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up”, Nwodo said.

“News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby countermand that declaration as president general of Ohanaeze.

“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalisation and unfair treatment of Igbos which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.

“Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader? Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?

“Anambra, nay Igbos, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust”, Nwodo said while addressing the legislators.

Continuing, he said, “Our approach to reforms of our laws even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.

“Our language must be civil, respectful and lead to consensus building. We must resist any attempt to turn division amongst us, as to which way we must go, become a source of altercations between us.

“As we speak very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.

“The Inspector General of Police has taken public notice of Nnamdi’s comments inviting a possible invasion of Anambra by the Nigerian police, increasing the already existing siege of our people which lead to daily extortion on our highways. All these developments have arisen out of unguarded utterances.

“I find no venue more suited for the statements I make here. Every constituent part of Anambra is represented here. I believe that the honourable members here are competent enough to carry the Ohanaeze message to every nook and cranny of Anambra State”.

Nwodo, who said the organisation would visit other houses of Assembly in Igbo speaking states, said, “We are happy with the peace that exists here. We are happy with the steady progress Anambra has registered over the years. The next election can only improve not retard it.”

Igbos Must Not Be Divided

Earlier, Chief Willie Obiano, Anambra State governor, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, said that the state government was committed to the Igbo cause and would continue to do everything to support the Ohanaeze in protecting the interest Igbos.

Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu, Speaker of Anambra Assembly, and a former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, in their speeches said Igbos should avoid being divided in whatever cause they pursue in the prevailing circumstance, adding that the time to listen to Igbos has come.

It would be recalled that on Wednesday Kanu in Umuahia, Abia State, was unanimously chosen by seven pro-Biafra groups as leader of all groups agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra.

Announcing the decision of the groups under the banner of Biafra Peoples National Council (BPNC) at Nnamdi Kanu’s country-home at Afara Ibeku in Umuahia North Council, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu, said Kanu’s sincerity, focus and doggedness in the struggle towards realisation of Biafra made the pro-Biafra groups to ask him to lead them.

The groups, according to him, are MASSOB, Eastern People’s Congress (EPC), Biafran Revolutionary Organisation (BRO), Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra (JRCB); World Union of Biafran Scientists (WUBS), Biafran Liberation Crusaders (BLC), Salvation People of Biafra (SPB) and IPOB.


          5 Things To Know Friday   

1. Sales Tax

House Democrats on Thursday unveiled a two-year budget that would increase the state sales tax to 6.99 percent. Lawmakers say the move would help cities and towns. However, much of the state Senate and Gov. Malloy are opposed to any sales tax hike. A vote on the budget is expected...

          Trump Voter Fraud Panel Request For Information Gets Chilly Connecticut Reply   

President Donald Trump's special commission to investigate alleged voter fraud is asking Connecticut election officials for reams of personal data on all registered voters in the state and got a frosty reply from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

"In the spirit of transparency, we intend to...

          Legal Marijuana Sales in Nevada: Eight Things You Need to Know   

This article was published in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

As of 12:01am Saturday, legal adult marijuana sales begin in Nevada. And they will commence immediately, with dispensaries on the Las Vegas Strip announcing plans to be open to usher in Sin City's newest attraction.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]But don't go lighting up on the Strip! Smoking in public is not allowed.

Nevada now joins Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in allowing people to legally buy and sell weed in pot shops. It's the first of the states where voters legalized it at the polls to see shops open, getting out of the gate ahead of California, Maine, and Massachusetts.

That's because the state fast-tracked legal pot sales by granting licenses to a few dozen existing medical marijuana dispensaries in order to let them sell to any adults while officials finalized regulations for the legal marijuana market, which was mandated to begin by January 1, 2018.

So, now that you can add legal weed to Las Vegas's allures, here are a few things you need to know:

1. How much can I buy? Visitors and residents alike can purchase up to an ounce of buds and up to an eighth-ounce of marijuana edibles.

2. Where can I buy it? Look for medical marijuana dispensaries that have been granted recreational sales licenses. Those are clustered in the Las Vegas and Reno areas, including dispensaries on the Strip. There's a complete list of dispensaries here, but remember, not all have the recreational sales okay, so if you're about to go shopping, contact them directly to find out.

3. What do I need? You need to be at least 21 and have government-issued ID that says so. If you're a medical marijuana card holder, you don't have to be 21. And you need to have cash. That's because the federal government refuses to let banks handle marijuana business since pot is still federally illegal. Congress is working on this issue, but in the meantime, hit the ATM ahead of shopping.

4. What should I buy? Regular consumers will have a pretty good idea what they like, but novices can consult their budtenders. There will be a variety of high-quality, high-potency strains on sale, both "stimulating" sativas and "enervating" indicas, as well as a dizzying plethora of hybrid strains.

5. What about edibles? Edibles will be on sale, too, in a wide variety of forms, but because of emergency regulations issued Monday by the Department of Taxation, those products can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or 100 milligrams per package. That 10 milligram measure is a good one; novice users will certainly feel an impact at that level. But those emergency regs, which also restrict packaging and labeling are likely to produce initial shortages of edibles given the short lag time between their promulgation and opening day.

6. What's it going to cost? Grams will be going for $10 to $15, ounces for anywhere from $150 for bargain buds to $325 for the primo. Edibles prices will depend on the various products.

7. Where can I smoke it? Well, therein lies the rub, especially for visitors. The only places smoking pot is allowed are at your home or on your front porch. There's no smoking it on the Strip, in clubs or casinos, at rock concerts, or any other public place. And there's no smoking it in hotel rooms, either. Either a lot of tourists are going to end up with public smoking citations, or they start making local friends in a hurry, or they end up paying smoke damage surcharges on their hotel room credit card bills, or all of the above. This is going to have to change, especially since estimates are nearly two-thirds of legal pot buyers are going to be visitors. In the meantime, it could make edibles more attractive.

8. Can I take it home with me? Not if you live in a state where it is illegal. And if you live in a state where it is legal, why bother? If you get caught trying to bring it onto an airplane, the TSA won't bust you (since they're looking for terrorists, not tourists), but will turn you over to the local cops, who also won't bust you (since your weed isn't illegal in Nevada), but the hassles might cause you to miss your flight.

          ‘How do you find your way home each night?’ Olbermann prods Jack Kingston for ‘voter integrity’ shilling   
As states line up in opposition to President Donald Trump’s “voter integrity” commission (that many accuse of promoting voter suppression), one former GOP congressman is accusing them of “Democratic anarchy” — a comment that Keith Olbermann found hilarious. “...
          DOOM and Dark Souls 3 were the only recent releases honoured in the Steam Awards, but GTA 5 and Euro Truck Simulator snatched two gongs each   
The first Steam Awards demonstrated PC gamers have long memories and decided opinions. Valve has announced the winners of its community-voted Steam Awards. End of year award lists tend to be dominated by the latest and greatest, as everyone suffers amnesia beyond the current hype cycle, but the Steam community proved to be made of […]
          Twitter celebrates same-sex marriage legalization in Germany   
Pride Month ends on a good note in Germany as lawmakers voted Friday to officially legalize same-sex marriage. The approval allows for Germany to join a growing list of European countries that have already legalized same-sex marriage, including Denmark and the United Kingdom. With four abstentions, ...
          States refuse Trump panel request for voter information   
A growing number of U.S. states refused on Friday to give voters’ names, addresses and sensitive personal information to a commission created by President Donald Trump to investigate alleged voter fraud, saying the demand was unnecessary and violated privacy. “This commission was formed ...
          Oregon Republican group to have right-wing ‘government resistance’ militia run their security: report   
The Republican Party of Multnomah County, Oregon has elected to allow local right-wing militias to run security for them at events, as per the Portland Mercury newspaper. According to documents leaked to the Mercury, the Multnomah County Republicans voted Monday to allow the Oregon Three Percenters ...
          Kris Kobach won’t comply with his own demands by his voter fraud commission: ‘It’s not publicly available’   
Kris Kobach, the current Kansas Secretary of State and new candidate for governor, announced this week that he is demanding states provide him with voter rolls so that his federally appointed commission can investigate the degree to which there was voter fraud in the 2016 election. A total of 19 sta...
          Several states won't comply with Trump administration's voter fraud information request   
Officials from several states said they would not comply with the Trump administration voter fraud commission's request.
          What's next: Will the Senate vote on GOP health care bill before the 4th of July?   
Willie Geist and Dylan Dreyer wrap up Sunday TODAY with a look at the week ahead. On the radar, the Senate is planning to hold a vote on the GOP health care bill, but will it happen before Congress leaves for the holiday weekend? And JAY-Z is dropping a new album later this week.
          Will Mitch McConnell have enough votes to pass Senate health care bill?   
Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd tells Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will attempt to pass the GOP health care bill by "trying to make a political argument rather than make policy changes." Todd also weighs in on new reports that reveal the Obama administration's struggle to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Whoa. My amdt to sunset 2001 AUMF was adopted in DOD Approps markup! GOP & Dems agree: a floor debate & vote on endless war is long overdue.






The truth is the battle continues.

But the truth is tossed to the side by the immature.

That would include those who lap at the crotches of military men (they themselves haven't usually served ever).

MOSUL LIBERATED has fallen in Lions of Iraqi forces retake the city of Mosul from ISIS completely.

Those are the heroes?

I would think the people of Mosul who managed to survive three years of being occupied by the Islamic State would be the heroes.

You know, the people the Iraqi government abandoned for over two years?

The ones the Iraqi government made no effort to assist or help?

Reality: It's day 249 of The Mosul Slog.

It could end today.

It might not.

But as of right now, it continues.

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"Go away, Neera"

"How will Hillary celebrate?"

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          The Reality Show President   

People don't understand Trump because they don't understand Reality Television.

I have noted time and time again that Reality Television isn't real.  And many others have documented on YouTube and elsewhere how it is created.   You may not have a script with lines and direction, but you have suggestions and a rough outline.  You video your actors (and they are actors) for hours and hours and then in editing, using strategic cutaways, mood music, and snippets of conversations, create the story line you want.

The media is losing its collective mind over Trump - that is except Fox News.   Trump promises to save jobs at Carrier - and the jobs go away anyway.   And the number of jobs is pitiful to begin with.  Why is a President worried about 700 jobs at factory?   He promises to create new coal jobs and claims tens of thousands are "put back to work" in coal mines (what a treat!) when in fact, few, if any jobs have been created.   He claims that "clean coal" technology will save coal, in an era of dirt-cheap natural gas.   And in Mississippi, Southern Company decides to toss in the towel with "clean coal" as the technology simply doesn't work and the plant is converted to natural gas. 

But Trump continues with his Pepe-the-Frog shit-eating grin.  He doesn't seem bothered by the fact that the facts contradict almost everything he says or tweets.  Is he delusional?  Crazy?  Or just a reality television star?

Trump may be smarter than he appears, or at least more clever.   He doesn't really care about the 700 votes he'll get from Carrier employees (and likely lose, when their jobs go away).   What the rest of his supporters remember is that he "cared about the little man" and "saved jobs" even if the jobs weren't saved.   These are people getting their "facts" from Inforwars, not the New York Times.   So they believe that big coal is back on track, and Carrier is employing thousands more in Indiana, and Ford is building its new Focus in Detroit. 

With reality television, perception is the key, not reality.

In the Tee-Vee show, The Apprentice, people didn't actually work as an apprentice to Donald J. Trump.  They didn't "create a new hamburger" for Burger King.   If you believe this, you are a dolt.   What they did was get Burger King to sponsor the program, and then take a product that Burger King had already developed (or developed for the show) and then faked up a "contest" to have the "apprentices" appear to invent it.

But the plebes eat this shit up.  They all want to see the end part of the program where, in a conference room to the tune of dramatic music, Trump "fires" someone.   Of course it is all fake.  I mean, Celebrity Apprentice?   You really think Jay-Z is going to work every day at Trump Tower as Donald's butt-boy?

These are the kind of people who vote for Trump - people of low intellect who think reality television is real, or that American businesses are like The Jetsons, where someone gets "fired!" every week.  The reality of American business is that if you fired everyone who lead a project that was unsuccessful, you'd fire your entire staff every year and have a horrendous turnover rate.   Not all projects succeed, that is a given.  Which is why research is so expensive.  But then again, the projects and research on The Apprentice are all fake and the outcomes predetermined anyway.

This is what Trump is selling - The Reality Presidency.   And his fans eat it up.  He tweets outrageous things and says even more outrageous things - and people sit on the edge of their seat to see what outrageous thing he says next.   And the folks who hate Trump watch twice as much as those who like him.

But unlike television, ratings don't count for much in a Presidency.   But again, maybe that is where his real genius lies.   He was only days into his Presidency when he formed his re-election campaign.   Trump knows where the real battle ahead lies, not in legislative or executive branch "accomplishments" but in selling a narrative to his core base that he is "getting things done" and "saving jobs for little people" even as he knows it isn't true.

In a way, it is so beautiful how this is constructed.  He's reduced the Presidency to its essential core - all appearance and no real action.   He is, to some extent, like the Queen of England - cutting the ribbon at a new Tesco, but not really controlling the government.

And that is what most people want out of a President.   Not policy wonkism or carefully thought out foreign policy.  They want a President who speaks out about issues that are important to them.  Who says things that staid politicians shy away from.   Whether or not this accomplishes anything is actually secondary, what people want to hear is that the President is thinking of them.

And maybe there is precedent for this.   Teddy Roosevelt said that the Presidency was a "Bully Pulpit" and he used his position to rail against corruption and the trusts.   And people ate it up, even if his progressive agenda didn't go too far - and his hand-picked successor unraveled much of it.  He was a populist President, and one that many folks thought might be a bit reckless.

Another Roosevelt used a similar technique to his advantage.   Franklin Roosevelt certainly won the hearts and minds of many folks during the Great Depression by talking about their problems, even if he came from the same wealthy patrician family as his distant cousin.   Many "New Deal" programs were later invalidated by the courts, and many historians and economists debate the real effect of things like the "National Recovery Act" in turning around the economy.   The point is - and was - he was a populist.  Herbert Hoover didn't engage the troubled working class and showed that he cared about their plight, but was standoffish and talked about economic policy as if it didn't affect real people.

I am not comparing Trump to the two Roosevelts, of course.  Even Teddy was far, far smarter than the Donald.  But if you read his biography, Teddy was, in part, a "reality" star, traipsing off to Montana in his Abercrombie and Fitch dudewear, trying to remake himself as a cowboy, rather than the fop he was known as.   Teddy Roosevelt built a tennis court behind the White House, but famously remarked that he would never allow a photographer to take his photo holding a tennis racket, but rather holding a gun.   He knew about how to groom a public image.

President Trump isn't nearly as smart, of course.   But he knows how to groom a public image, as indeed, much of his life has been sent selling himself as a "brand" to other people, particularly in recent years, where his vaunted real estate deals amount to little more than branding arrangements.

The media is getting it all wrong, if they think they can debunk Trump with "the truth".  His supporters don't care about the truth, they care about appearances.   And their perception of the truth is shaped not by witty editorials in the Huffington Post, The New York Times, or The Washington Post, which largely go unread by the masses of his supporters.    They are getting their "truth" from shadowy conspiracy theory websites, Alex Jones, and Fox News.   And very likely, in four years, they will vote again for Donald Trump.

And he might win, if the Democrats put up a "progressive" candidate like Elizabeth Warren, who by all accounts is a nice and sincere person, but doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning in the States that count.

And given that the Democrats seem to spend an awful lot of time these days cow-towing to Bernie Sanders, who isn't even  a Democrat, I suspect we may see eight years of Donald Trump.   Not because he will win, but because the Democrats will lose.

          Just which state ratified the 26th Amendment?   
On June 30, 1971, President Richard Nixon issued a public statement congratulating Ohio as the 38th state to approve the 26th Amendment, in record time. But history has another state and date as the official ratifier of the constitutional rights of 18 year olds to vote.
          Astori advierte al Frente que no vote gastos sin financiamiento   
- Ante cuestionamientos de la oposición dijo que esta actúa con “muy mala intención”
          Which Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) System Should BART Implement In The Future?   
Bombardier CityFlo 650
0% (0 votes)
Thales SelTrac
0% (0 votes)
Alstom Urbalis
0% (0 votes)
Siemens TrainGuard MT CBTC
0% (0 votes)
Invensys Sirius
0% (0 votes)
Ansaldo STS CBTC
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 0

          Three States Openly Defy President, Refuse To Turn Over Vote Fraud Data   
Voter Fraud

The liberal hopes for a New Civil War are becoming more substantial by the day, and a shocking dissent by three entire states today will have the President furious.

The post Three States Openly Defy President, Refuse To Turn Over Vote Fraud Data appeared first on The Constitution.

          7/1/2017: DESTINATION AFLOAT: Ships on shores   

TITANICT BELFAST: The world’s largest Titanic v visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast, is clearly doing something right — it was voted Europe’s leading visitor attraction at last year’s World Travel Awards. The centre, a tribute to the ill-fated ocean...
          Two self-defense bills scheduled for further hearings, possible amendments & vote in House committee   

Chairwoman Kristina Roegner (R-37) has announced that the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee will be hearing testimony on two self-defense bills on Wednesday, July 5 at 1:00p.m. in Room 115.

The committee will be hearing testimony on HB 142 (Repeal LEO notification). House Bill 142 seeks to repeal requirements that, when detained for a law-enforcement purpose, a concealed carry licensee must "promptly inform" an approaching law enforcement officer that the licensee is a licensee and is carrying a concealed handgun. In 2015, a study by revealed that Ohio was in a vast minority of states that makes such a requirement of concealed handgun license-holders. This will be the fourth hearing for this important legislation, and the chair has indicated that possible amendments may be offered before a possible vote.

The committee will also be considering proponent testimony on HB 233 (DEFEND Act), a bill which seeks to decriminalize so-called “no-guns" victim zones for concealed handgun license (CHL) holders. This will be the third hearing for this important legislation, and given that opponents will be given the chance to testify, committee members are no-doubt in store for yet another round of "sky-is-falling" predictions that will never come to pass. The chair has indicated that possible amendments may also be offered on this bill before a possible vote.

In the DEFEND Hearing's second hearing on June 20, bill sponsor John Becker submitted an amendment to his original bill which he said accepts suggestions from prosecutors but preserves the spirit of the bill.

The changes, he said, add the word "knowingly" in terms of intent and change a proposed penalty of disorderly conduct to trespassing. The new version also changes the term firearm to deadly weapon.

Buckeye Firearms Association's Jim Irvine testified in support of the bill, saying no need has ever been shown for many of the restrictions on firearms. He informed the committee the bill overall reduces penalties and minimizes the potential that a person would face a crime for taking a gun to a location where they are prohibited.

Please contact your State Representative TODAY and politely urge him or her to support this pro-gun legislation.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.


Following is Jim Irvine's proponent testimony on HB 233, delivered to the House committee on June 20:

Good afternoon Chairwomen Roegner, Vice Chairman Lipps, ranking member Leland and members of the House Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations. I testify today in support of Sub H.B. 233.

We all enjoy many constitutionally protected rights. And we understand that the State may put restrictions on those rights. To properly do so, they must show a justifiable need for that restriction. You can’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded movie theater.

No need has ever been shown to restrict the constitutionally protected, individual right to bear arms in most of the places that Ohio law restricts people from having a firearm available to defend their life.There is serious criminal activity in Ohio. We are suffering through a drug epidemic. Serious crimes deserve serious (felony) punishment. It is a waste of law-enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial resources to criminalize an otherwise law-abiding citizen with a similar degree of crime for status offenses.

There is a huge difference between the crimes of rape, murder, arson, and a CHL holder walking into a church or library which happens to be a government building. The law should reflect that stark difference.

Sub. H.B. 233 makes the punishment fit the crime.

We have endorsed it and recommend its passage.

          States refuse Trump commission request for U.S. voter data   
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A growing number of U.S. states refused on Friday to give voters' names, addresses and sensitive personal information to a commission created by President Donald Trump to investigate alleged voter fraud, saying the demand was unnecessary and violated privacy.

          Wind takes a blow as N.C. legislators OK deal on solar reform bill   
In a 2 a.m vote, the N.C. House and Senate agreed Friday to restore the solar compromise provisions of a reform bill on renewable energy regulation and cut a proposed wind moratorium from four years to 18 months. Duke Energy, a principal in the more than nine months of negotiations that led to the original House version of the "Competitive Energy Solutions for NC" act, welcomed the final result. "The passage of HB 589 provides North Carolina with a more cost-effective means of expanding solar energy,"…

          Making Mistakes   
Just finished the third video in this series and this one is about the importance of learning from your mistakes when you’re studying. In addition, it’s a great way to draw attention to those areas of your study material that you need to devote more time to. I was able to use the power of […]
          The flexible workforce and how they’ll be affected by Brexit   

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union is sure to have a significant impact on both temporary and full-time workers, but the true ramifications are still yet to be realised. Ten months after the vote, employers and the flexible workforce remain unsure about how the move will affect their future. Everyone is aware that […]

The post The flexible workforce and how they’ll be affected by Brexit appeared first on Brookson Blog.

          [wanabidii] News Digest: Live updates: India braces for GST rollout   
Friday, June 30, 2017
Today's Headlines

Live updates: India braces for GST rollout

Will buy AI only if profitable for us: IndiGo president
"Let me be very clear that if it is not profitable and does not add value to our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not embark on this journey," IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh wrote in a mail to staff on Air India acquisition bid.

Debt-hit RCom seeks to give up Rs 340 cr worth spectrum

More Business News»

'Half-a-degree of warming boosted extreme weather'
Comparing two 20-year periods -- 1960-79 and 1991-2010 -- between which average global temperatures jumped 0.5 C (0.9 F), scientists found that the hottest summer temperatures increased by more than 1 degree C across a quarter of Earth's land areas, while the coldest winter temperatures warmed by more then 2.5 degree C.

Ice-free areas of Antarctica to increase by 2100: Study
Ice-free areas may increase in Antarctica by 25 per cent due to climate change, leading to drastic changes in the continent's biodiversity, a study warns. They found the melting ice could create up to 17,000 square kilometre of new ice-free area across Antarctica.

Rare Siamese crocodile eggs found in Cambodia
Conservationists have found a nest with 19 eggs from one of the world's most endangered crocodiles. It is boosting hopes for species threatened by poachers and habitat loss. Researchers believe only 400 adults still exist in the wild, the baby crocodiles will be raised at a conservation centre

More Environment News»

Europe to meet US plea for more troops to Afghanistan
European allies pledged more troops to support Afghanistan's hard-pressed military on Thursday but left details on numbers vague until the United States clarifies its new strategy to break a stalemate with the Taliban.

Washington plans $1.42 bn arms sale to Taiwan
The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components. The US is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

German parliament legalises same-sex marriage
Germany's parliament voted by a wide margin to legalise same-sex marriage. The parliament voted by 393 votes in favour of same-sex marriage to 226 against. Chancellor Angela Merkel freed members of her ruling conservative bloc to follow their personal conscience rather than the party line.

More World News»

Nasa rocket releases artificial colourful clouds
Nasa has finally launched a sounding rocket that created artificial colourful clouds that were visible from New York to North Carolina. The artificial clouds were launched to track particle motions in space. The rocket was delayed many times over the last 30 days.

In rural Kentucky, solar eclipse preparation keeps town busy

NASA's quieter supersonic jet closer to reality
The US space agency completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA's planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.

More Science News»

GST sale: 12 hot deals on smartphones, TVs and more

Comparison: Honor 9 vs Honor 8
Comparison: Honor 9 vs Honor 8

Apple iPhone turns ten: 7 little-known facts about the smartphone
Apple fans, one of your most-loved devices has turned 10. It was 10 years ago that the original iPhone hit stores on June 29, 2007 in the US. Here are some not-so-known facts about one of the world's 'favourite' smartphone.

More Technology News»

Plus III admissions 2017: DHE Odisha declares first selection list
The Department of Higher Education (DHE) has declared the first selection list for +3 admissions on their official website today.

TS EAMCET seat allotment 2017 result declared

TN govt's new policy of reserving 85% quota for state board students challenged in High Court

More Education News»

Grains and spices market of APMC remains shut in protest against GST

Train coach wheel derails near Kalyan, Central railway service affected

Mumbai: Aunt arrested for two-year-old's murder
Two days after the body of a two-year-old boy was found in a gunny bag at Malad, the police arrested his aunt on Friday.

More Mumbai News»

Live blog: Heavy rains lash Delhi-NCR

Delhi, Haryana to work together to prevent flooding in Gurugram
Officials from Delhi and Haryana will undertake a joint inspection for assessing silting in the Najafgarh drain over the next two days. This will be done in order to carry out desilting, if required, as part of measures to be taken up to prevent flooding in Gurgaon, that created a havoc last year.

Video: Delhi wakes up to fresh morning showers
Fresh spells of rain lashed the national capital on Friday morning.

More Delhi News»

Video: Protest-hit Bengaluru Metro covers Hindi signboards

Video: Elderly man held for molesting minor

Sadarame's Kalla is Kannada theatre's superstar
B Jayashree brings alive her grandfather, Gubbi Veeranna’s, timeless character

More Bangalore News»

Video: Akbaruddin Owaisi attack case: Pahelwan acquitted, 4 others convicted
Six years after the murderous attack on MIM legislator, Akbaruddin Owaisi, a local court in Hyderabad convicted four men and sentenced them to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.Prime accused .

'No mob lynching in my name,' decries Hyderabad

Stink rises in Osmania General Hospital, patients helpless
One of the oldest hospitals in India, the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) presents a dirty picture, replete with filthy wards and stinking toilets.

More Hyderabad News»

Presidential elections: Ram Nath Kovind, Meira Kumar to campaign in Chennai on Saturday
NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and opposition parties’ candidate Meira Kumar will be campaigning in Chennai on Saturday.

Medical seat scam: ED attaches four properties of Madhan
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday provisionally attached four immovable properties of B Madhan of Vendhar Movies, who is an accused in the medical seat scam.

Stalin says TN govt won't take any action, whether it is gutka scam or bribe to voters
The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu is facing several accusations but it is not ready to take action against the erring officials and others, said DMK working president M K Stalin on Friday.

More Chennai News»

PM Modi inaugurates two water projects for Gujarat farmers

Video: PM releases postal stamp, coin to mark Shrimad Rajchandra's birth anniversary

Cop's son killed in accidental discharge from service gun
According to the police report filed by Darji, when Bhavya was looking for his school notebooks in a drawer in the living room, he came across the service revolver which was loaded.

More Ahmedabad News»

Rains lashes Sangam city throwing normal life out of gear

Allahabad University makes online fee deposit mandatory

Roli, Tika to welcome students as primary schools reopen on July 1
In a novel gesture, teachers of Primary and Junior High schools of district would be welcoming both boys and girl students up to class VIIIth by applying `Roli’ or “Tika” on their foreheads as schools are all set to reopen after summer vacations on July 1.

More Allahabad News»

Asian Athletics Championships: Odisha hires two Mercedes Benz buses from Telangana
The state tourism department has hired two sophisticated Mercedes Benz buses from Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation for movement of delegates during the Asian Athletics Championships.

Shopaholics go on a shopping frenzy over pre-GST discounts

Asian Athletics Championships: Odisha's traditional handloom for flag bearers
Flag bearers at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships will wear traditional handloom saris of Odisha during the opening ceremony of the function. All major varieties of traditional handloom saris will be provided them by Boyanika, official sources said.

More Bhubaneswar News»

          Illinois House adjourns, plunging state into third year without a budget   
Illinois House lawmakers adjourned Friday without approving a budget, officially entering a third fiscal year without one, but with optimism that a deal can be reached over the weekend.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan conceded Friday morning that a budget deal wouldn't be consummated by midnight – the start of the 2018 state fiscal year – and implored the major bond ratings agencies not to downgrade the state’s credit rating to junk status.

But House lawmakers offered up a glimmer of hope with a bipartisan 90-25 test vote to approve a $36.5 billion spending plan fueled by a $5 billion income tax increase.

Lawmakers and experts statewide had warned for months about the host of bad consequences that await the state should it enter an unprecedented third straight year without a budget, courtesy of the differences between the Democratic-dominated General Assembly and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

They go far beyond becoming the first U.S. state to be have its credit rating dip below investment grade. For starters, Comptroller Susana Mendoza has said she will be unable to cover the basic state services ordered paid by courts, and the Illinois State Department of Transportation has halted all of its road construction projects.

“We will remain in session to continue our progress toward passing a balanced budget," Madigan said in the statement. "In light of this ongoing progress, I would ask that bond rating agencies temporarily withhold judgment and allow legislators time to negotiate a bipartisan, balanced budget."

Madigan’s statement included letters he sent Friday to Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service. Standard & Poor’s warned several weeks ago that it will downgrade the state to junk should it not have a budget by Saturday, and the other two agencies could follow suit.

"We will continue working to put a compromise on the governor’s desk and end this impasse through the next week, and I ask you to allow these negotiations to move forward," Madigan wrote to all three ratings firms.

Illinois' current spending, mandated by court orders and consent decrees despite the lack of a budget, has resulted in a $6.2 billion deficit and a $14.7 billion stack of unpaid bills as of Friday afternoon.

The proposed budget in the House relies on increasing the state income tax and cutting $2.4 billion.

The revenue plan conceived by House Democrats likely would increase the income tax rate for individual filers by 32 percent, or from 3.75 to 4.95 percent of income. The increase would take effect Saturday – earlier versions that made the increase retroactive to Jan. 1 met with resistance from Republicans.

If approved, it would take on average an extra $600 a year from a worker making $50,000 a year.

The 4.95 percent rate is close to the 5 percent rate that Illinois taxpayers paid for four years after lawmakers raised taxes in the lame-duck session after the 2010 election. That temporary increase, which raised the individual rate by 66 percent, took an average of a week's pay from every Illinois worker.

Rauner, who was elected in 2014 on a platform of reversing Illinois' sinking fortunes, has insisted that any budget that includes tax increases must include sufficient pro-taxpayer and pro-business reforms. They include a four-year property tax freeze, and reforms to workers' compensation laws and changes to pension benefits for state employees.

The bitter partisan divide in Springfield over how to come together on a spending plan has eased in significant part to cooperation as Republicans and Democrats alike work to avoid the nightmare scenario that experts warn will come to pass if a budget isn't finalized, and fast.

"I come to you today with great joy, not with regret or despair. We're going to save our state, and we're going to save it together," Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, the House Republicans' floor leader, said to thunderous applause.

Andersson, whose district includes a sliver of McHenry County, was the only local house lawmaker who voted yes on the 90-25 test bill. Republican Reps. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills; Barbara Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake; Steven Reick, R-Woodstock; and Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, all voted no.

Skillicorn said that Illinois taxpayers will be giving more to the state in exchange for weak and "watered down" reforms.

"It's pretty clear to me that the governor and a large portion of Republicans have capitulated to the speaker," Skillicorn said. "The appropriations amendment didn't have any substantial cuts, no structural reforms, and really was something that compromises the values of the people of McHenry County."

McSweeney, as he has since the budget impasse started, reiterated that he is a "hell no" on any tax increase.

"There's nothing that's been done to reform Illinois government or spending. It's a travesty. It's a joke," McSweeney said.

Whatever plan the House passes will need to clear the Senate before going to Rauner for a vote. Senate Democrats approved a budget in May in the last days of the legislative session – without a single Republican vote – but Madigan did not bring it forward for consideration.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

          #3 jamesblack   
Category: couples
Average: 10.00
Total Votes: 1
Age: 31
Marital: Single
Description: Mount Arcadia
Uploaded: Wed, 28 Jun 2017 04:06:33 GMT
          President Trump urges GOP to repeal Affordable Care Act law now, replace later   
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law by "immediately" repealing it and replacing it later, a formula that GOP leaders dismissed months ago as politically unwise.

Trump's early-morning tweet embraced a sequential approach favored by only a handful of conservatives eager to take quick action on one of the party's foremost priorities — repealing Obamacare, something Republicans have long promised to do. But his suggestion threatened to sharpen divisions between conservatives and moderates, who are leery of stripping coverage from millions of constituents without something to substitute for it.

"If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!" Trump tweeted.

Supporters of that idea include Sens. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

House and Senate leaders long ago abandoned initial thoughts of first erasing Obama's law, and then replacing it.

Such a step-by-step approach would leave Republicans vulnerable to Democratic accusations that they were simply tossing people off coverage without helping them obtain medical care. And the idea would leave unresolved the quandary stumping lawmakers today — how to replace Obama's system of online insurance markets, tax subsidies and an expanded Medicaid with something that will get enough Republican votes to pass Congress.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on Trump's tweet.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans were considering breaking a stalemate over what their replacement bill should do by preserving a tax boost Obama's law imposed on high earners. Keeping that tax increase in place was a bid to woo party moderates and rescue their sputtering push to repeal his health care overhaul.

The break from dogma by a party that has long reviled tax boosts — and most things achieved by Obama — underscores McConnell's feverish effort to rescue the Senate legislation from the brink of possible defeat.

The money from the tax boost would instead be used to bolster proposed health care subsidies for lower-income people.

The change, proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would give a more populist flavor to the bill. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that as the legislation now is written, it would boost out-of-pocket costs for many poor consumers and produce 22 million uninsured people while cutting around $700 billion in taxes over a decade — largely for richer people and the health care industry.

"You're increasing the burden on lower-income citizens and obviously alleviating the burden on the wealthy. That is not an equation that works," Corker said. He said he was "very confident" that leaders would address the issue in the updated bill.

Top Republicans also considered an amendment pushed by conservatives to let insurers offer plans with low premiums and scant benefits. To do so, a company would also have to sell a policy that abides by the consumer-friendly coverage requirements in Obama's 2010 statute, which the GOP is struggling to repeal.

Both proposals were encountering internal Republican opposition, and it was uncertain either would survive.

McConnell postponed a vote on an initial version Tuesday because of opposition from conservatives and moderates alike. By this week's end, he wants to nail down changes that would assure the bill's passage after Congress' weeklong July 4 recess. No more than two of the 52 GOP senators can oppose the measure for him to prevail, and there were no indications he'd achieved that margin as senators left town Thursday.

"We're kind of at a stalemate right now, I'd say," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who with Ohio GOP Sen. Robert Portman and others wants to forestall reductions the measure would make in Medicaid.

The Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people has grown dramatically in their states and others, but the Republican bill would cut it, with reductions growing over time.

Under Corker's proposal, the bill would retain Obama's 3.8 percent tax increase on investment income for married couples making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $125,000. Keeping that increase would save $172 billion over 10 years, and moderates want to use that money to make coverage more affordable for poorer consumers.

Conservatives said they opposed the idea, along with the chairmen of Congress' two tax-writing committees: Senate Finance chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Also in play was a proposal by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to let insurers offer skimpier policies, which conservatives say would lower premiums.

Moderates oppose that, especially if it lets insurers raise premiums on people with pre-existing medical problems.

Republicans also said party leaders agreed to add $45 billion for battling opioids abuse to their bill. They were also considering a proposal by conservatives to let people use tax-advantaged health savings accounts to pay health care premiums.

          Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel u-turn   
BERLIN — German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage after a short but emotional debate, bringing the country in line with many of its Western peers. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure, she paved the way for its passage by freeing other members of her party to vote their "conscience."

Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing "marriage for everybody" and 226 against, with four abstentions.

Merkel said Monday that lawmakers could take up the issue as a "question of conscience," allowing members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, to individually vote for it.

That prompted her center-left rivals to quickly call for a snap vote on the issue, adding it to the agenda Friday on parliament's last regular session before Sept. 24 elections.

While some in Merkel's conservative bloc spoke against the measure, Berlin Christian Democrat Jan-Marco Luczak urged his fellow party members to vote for same-sex marriage.

"It would be absurd to try and protect marriage by preventing people to marry," he told lawmakers.

Many applauded Merkel's comments that opened the way for the vote, but Social Democrat lawmaker Johannes Kahrs noted in the debate that the chancellor had been a longtime opponent of gay marriage.

"Many thanks for nothing," he said bluntly.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but has not granted them full marital rights, which include the possibility to jointly adopt children.

The new law won't take effect for several months because it still needs to pass the upper house of Parliament and be approved by the president, though those are formalities. It is also expected to face legal challenges.

Merkel told reporters after the vote that her vote against the measure was based upon her reading of the country's law concerning marriage and that she did think gay couples should be able to adopt.

Germany's basic law is vague, saying only that "marriage and the family shall enjoy the protection of the state," but Merkel said that for her "marriage as defined by the law is the marriage of a man and a woman."

She added, however, that she stood by her contention that the interpretation was a "question of conscience" and urged all views to be respected.

"It was a long, intensive, and for many also emotional discussion, that goes for me personally too, and I'm hopeful not only that there will be respect for either side's opinions, but that it will also bring about more peace and cohesion in society," she said.

All of Merkel's potential coalition partners after the September election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized.

It is not clear whether Merkel thought her Monday comments would prompt such a quick vote, but many analysts have suggested that by opening the door to gay marriage the chancellor removed yet another issue that might have helped her opponents in their campaigns against her.

In nearly 12 years as chancellor, Merkel has moved her party to the center and away from conservative orthodoxy, speeding up Germany's exit from nuclear power and ending military conscription among other moves.

          Trump criticized for trash-talking MSNBC hosts   
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump launched a crude Twitter attack on the brains, looks and temperament of a female TV personality Thursday, drawing bipartisan howls of outrage and leaving fellow Republicans beseeching him: Stop, please just stop.

Trump's tweets aimed at MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski revived concerns about his views of women in a city where civility already is in short supply and he is struggling for any support he can get for his proposals on health care, immigration and other controversial issues.

"I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore)," Trump tweeted to his nearly 33 million followers Thursday morning. "Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

The tweets served to unite Democrats and Republicans for once in a chorus of protest that amounted to perhaps the loudest outcry since Trump took office.

"Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment," said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's tweets, "blatantly sexist." The president, she added, "happens to disrespect women ... it's sad."

Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma even linked the president's harsh words to the June 14 shootings of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others.

"The president's tweets today don't help our political or national discourse and do not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue," Lankford said, noting that he had just chaired a hearing on the shootings.

On Trump's level of insult-trading, Brzezinski responded on Twitter by posting a photograph of a Cheerios box that included the phrase "made for little hands." People looking to get under the president's skin have long suggested that his hands appear small for his frame.

Trump's allies cast his outburst as positive, an example of his refusal to be bullied.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president was "pushing back against people who have attacked him day after day after day. Where is the outrage on that?"

"The American people elected a fighter; they didn't elect somebody to sit back and do nothing," she added.

First lady Melania Trump, who has vowed to fight cyberbullying while her husband is president, gave his tweets a pass.

"As the first lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder," her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement.

As Trump welcomed South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a White House dinner Thursday evening, he did not respond to shouted questions from reporters about whether he regretted the tweet.

Some of the administration's most high-profile women – daughter and presidential assistant Ivanka Trump, Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell – did not respond to requests for comment.

The White House has shown increasing irritation over harsh coverage of the president on Brzezinski and Scarborough's "Morning Joe," including commentary questioning Trump's mental state.

About two hours before his tweets, Brzezinski said on the show that "it's not normal behavior" for any leader to be tweeting about people's appearances or to be bullying, lying, undermining managers and throwing people under the bus. She said that if any business executive behaved the way Trump does, "there would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind."

On Wednesday, she had mocked Trump after a story in The Washington Post said he had posted fake Time magazine covers of himself in some of his golf resorts.

"Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself, lying every day and destroying the country," Brzezinski said.

Trump, who has a habit of throwing up distractions to deflect bad news, has been straining to advance his agenda lately, with the Senate this week coming up short in finding enough votes to begin debate on a bill to roll back President Barack Obama's health care law.

His demeaning broadside against a woman raised new complaints among critics who have long accused him of sexism and inflaming tensions in a deeply polarized nation. Trump also has consistently stoked a long-running feud with the press that has not hurt him with his base of roughly a third of the electorate.

But one expert rejected the idea that Trump's tweets about the MSNBC hosts amounted to a calculated push-back against the media.

"It's not a critique of the press. It's a diatribe. It's a rant," said Theodore L. Glasser, professor emeritus at Stanford University and an expert in mass media.

It wasn't the first time Trump has assailed a television personality who is a woman. In 2015, he went after then-Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly when she questioned him at a debate. Trump said later that during the exchange, Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever."

It's also far from the only time he's raised eyebrows with remarks about the physical attributes of women. Just this week in the Oval Office, Trump interrupted his phone conversation with the new prime minister of Ireland to remark on a "beautiful" Irish journalist in the room and take note of the "nice smile on her face."

The latest flare-up did nothing to improve Trump's chances of advancing the health care bill that formed a centerpiece of his campaign.

"This has to stop - we all have a job - 3 branches of gov't and media," tweeted Republican Susan Collins of Maine, a critic of the Senate GOP bill. "We don't have to get along, but we must show respect and civility."

Tweeted Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a frequent Trump critic: "Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office." Agreed South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham: "Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America."

Brzezinski and Scarborough, who are engaged, have known Trump for years and interviewed him numerous times during the campaign. But they have been highly critical of Trump since he took office.

They did meet with Trump at his Florida estate on New Year's Eve for what they described as a brief visit, and also spent time with the president and senior staff at the White House in February. But Brzezinski supporters disputed Trump's characterization of the Mar-a-Lago meeting, saying it was the president who repeatedly asked the couple to visit him. Brzezinski and Scarborough were staying in the area for the holidays.

NBC News spokeswoman Lorie Acio said in a statement, "It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job."

          Illinois legislative leaders meet; no word on budget deal   
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ legislative leaders met twice Thursday but surrendered few details about how close they are to a budget pact with one day remaining before the start of a third consecutive fiscal year without a spending plan

The relatively calm day in an otherwise cacophonous Capitol was interrupted by the announcement that the Senate’s minority leader, Lemont Republican Christine Radogno, would vacate her Senate seat Saturday, although she pledged to keep working until the moment of her departure.

The first woman to lead a caucus in the Illinois General Assembly stepped forward last winter to broker a budget compromise with Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. She faced disappointment when she could get none of her 21 other Senate Republicans to go along with the “grand bargain” they fashioned, but told reporters she is not a casualty of the contentious, two-year budget battle.

“Though I leave political office with a sense of sadness and some disappointment, I leave with no regrets,” Radogno said. “I did my best – that’s all I could do.”

Without a budget by Saturday morning, bond-rating houses have threatened to downgrade Illinois’ creditworthiness to “junk” status. Universities could face the loss of academic accreditation and the treasury will soon run short of money to cover even the court-ordered payments that have kept Illinois government on autopilot while erecting a $6.2 billion annual deficit and $14.6 billion in past-due bills.

House Speaker Mike Madigan said the House would vote Friday on the Democrats’ version of an annual budget, a $36.5 billion spending plan they said spends $800 million less than Rauner himself proposed last winter. Without elaboration, Madigan said negotiations continue over Rauner’s demands that are tangential to the budget, including cost-cutting changes to workers’ compensation, state employee pension benefits, a statewide property tax freeze and local government consolidation.

The Chicago Democrat has complained for two years that Rauner is not “reasonable” in seeking discussions of “nonbudget” items in talks over a fiscal plan. But this week, he staked out his own. They include Rauner’s promise to sign a school funding overhaul that won wide legislative majorities, requiring state regulation of rates by companies selling workers’ comp insurance, and mandating an open procurement process for a $9 billion contract the Rauner administration plans to sign for managed-care health coverage.

Madigan said he is negotiating on Rauner’s demands in an effort to compromise.

“I don’t see that I’m being unreasonable,” Madigan said. “I’m here. I’m proposing to vote on things I don’t believe in. ... But in the spirit of compromise, I’m prepared to vote” for those measures.

Radogno’s exit sets off a succession scramble which includes Deputy Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington, the unsuccessful GOP candidate for governor in 2014.

A social worker, the 64-year-old Radogno was elected to the Senate in 1996. She and Cullerton assumed their leadership positions on the same day in 2009. Cullerton called their tenure “nine years of cooperation and professionalism.”

Rauner called her a “consummate professional” who “championed fiscal discipline and human services.” House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said “Chris always stayed above the fray in this very partisan environment.”

Madigan, a legislator since 1971, applauded Radogno’s hard work, honesty, integrity, and forthrightness and concluded his praise with an apparent shot at Rauner.

“The genius of the legislative process lies in the ability to compromise,” Madigan said. “Chris Radogno understood that.”


Contact Political Writer John O’Connor at . His work can be found at’connor

          Holy Grounds! Cheryl Fortune’s ‘Fighters’ vs. Vashawn Mitchell’s ‘God Will Take Care of Me’   
It’s a wildcard week and we are bring back two songs that lost before but now have a chance for triumph! LISTEN! VOTE! Follow The Willie Moore Jr. Show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! 
          Marriage equality moves forward in Germany   
BERLIN — Today, the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s parliament, voted to make marriage equality the law of the land. Once the legislation is approved by Bundesrat, the upper house, – which is expected to be a formality – and signed into law by the president, Germany will become the 22nd country to secure […]
          Obama Continues Support for Terrorist Groups   

911 Congress on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation allowing relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, the first veto override of his presidency, just four months before it ends. The House of Representatives voted 348-77 against the veto, hours after the Senate rejected it 97-1, […]

The post Obama Continues Support for Terrorist Groups appeared first on Live Trading News.

          Oakland Has a New Two-Year Budget, but Only After a Night of Divisive Infighting   
Late Thursday night, the Oakland City Council approved the city's new 2017-2019 budget, but only after a week of polarizing debate.

The council attempted to pass a budget earlier this week, but members of the public disrupted the Monday night special meeting, forcing the city to reschedule.

Throughout this year's budget negotiations, councilmembers Desley Brooks, Rebecca Kaplan, and Noel Gallo have formed one bloc of votes pushing for a budget that cut into spending priorities of Mayor Libby Schaaf. They also sought to cut a third police academy while providing more money for homeless services and housing programs.…
          New comment on GeekList 2017 Geek Madness Tournament: Round 4 - The Sweet Sixteen   

by max bredow

dengue wrote:

1000rpm wrote:

Amuk wrote:

pilight wrote:

Chrisrob wrote:

Post the targeted end time. Presently you say "June 18th".

It does say "probably", so there's a chance it could end at some other time

I should hope so since I don't have a time machine to go back and vote two weeks ago.

Yep, copy pasted the header, changed the headline comment, the stats, but forgot the date.

And forgot to set the dates in the polls - I was going to do that too this round.

Ah well. That's what you get with a GM noob.

Anybody up for building a ziggurat for our greatest GM noob?

          New comment on GeekList 2017 Geek Madness Tournament: Round 4 - The Sweet Sixteen   

by dengue

1000rpm wrote:

Amuk wrote:

pilight wrote:

Chrisrob wrote:

Post the targeted end time. Presently you say "June 18th".

It does say "probably", so there's a chance it could end at some other time

I should hope so since I don't have a time machine to go back and vote two weeks ago.

Yep, copy pasted the header, changed the headline comment, the stats, but forgot the date.

And forgot to set the dates in the polls - I was going to do that too this round.

Ah well. That's what you get with a GM noob.

Anybody up for building a ziggurat for our greatest GM noob?
          The American media are truly lost inside of their own little world,.   

The American people already knew that they were not going to vote for another Clinton or Bush, so they picked Donald Trump.

After the election, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media started saying no, it was Russia and Putin who helped Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. And Russia was hacking the American people Presidential election, spreading the behind the scene gossip that was said inside the DNC.

God almighty doesn't CNN already know that the American people don't believe CNN political bull talk by now either?
CNN doubles down on the implosion of its brand.
          "Voter fraud' commission runs into roadblocks after requesting sensitive voter files   
A presidential commission established to examine a bogus claim made my President Trump about voter fraud during the 2016 election took its first official steps this week. But the commission found nothing but trouble when they requested sensitive voter data from states. Nancy Cordes has more.

          Chris Matthews must be stupid too.   

Who does this insulting MSNBC media propagandist think he is talking to?

Because you and I have been hearing this left-wing political bull talk for a long time now. And is why the American people voted for Donald Trump in the first place.

Is Chris Matthews ever going to wake up out of his own political liberal fantasy world?
Go ahead and criticize President Trump’s Mika tweet, but there’s no denying this was disturbing. On Thursday’s Hardball, MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews compared the…
          Some states reject “voter fraud” commission's request for voter data   
Several Democratic state officials said Friday they will not comply with requests for information about voters

          Stand up and be counted Mr. & Mrs. Republican.   

Come on Republicans fight, fight, fight.

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) was the only Republican to vote against Kate’s Law, a law that would impose harsher penalties on...
          'Not mentally equipped to continue watching our show': 'Morning Joe' cohosts respond to Trump's attack on Mika Brzezinski   

joe scarborough mika brzezinskiMSNBC

"Morning Joe" cohosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have responded to President Donald Trump's tweets attacking the pair.

In a Washington Post column published early Friday titled "Donald Trump is not well," Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote "we are both certain" that Trump "is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show."

In tweets Thursday morning, the president called the two "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and "Psycho Joe." Trump also claimed Brzezinski once visited his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, while she was "bleeding from a face-lift."

"I heard poorly rated @Morning's speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me," Trump tweeted. "She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

On "Morning Joe" on Friday morning, Brzezinski said, "I'm fine. My family brought me up really tough."

The tweet "doesn't bother me one bit," she said.

Scarborough went further, saying, "We're OK — the country is not."

In Friday's Washington Post column, Brzezinski and Scarborough responded to specific claims Trump made in his tweets.

"Mr. Trump claims that we asked to join him at Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row. That is false. He also claimed that he refused to see us. That is laughable," Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote.

"Mr. Trump also claims that Mika was 'bleeding badly from a face-lift.' That is also a lie."

The column cites pictures from the night showing that "Mika and her face were perfectly intact." CNN's Brian Stelter posted a photo of Brzezinski from the Mar-a-Lago visit in which she looks uninjured:

Brzezinski originally responded to Trump's tweets Thursday by tweeting a photo of a box of Cheerios featuring the words "Made For Little Hands." For years, Trump has taken issue with people saying he has small hands and fingers.

The White House deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, argued Thursday that the president had every right to "hit back" at "the liberal media" and "Hollywood elites" when they criticize him.

The segment that may have triggered Trump's tweeting Thursday morning took aim at a fake Time magazine cover that The Washington Post had learned was hanging at several of Trump's golf clubs and properties.

"Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself lying every day and destroying the country," Brzezinski said.

Brzezinski also said Trump was covering his hands on the fake Time cover "because they're teensy."

Top Republicans denounced Trump after the tweets.

"Obviously, I don't see that as an appropriate comment," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. "What we're trying to do around here is improve the tone and the civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn't help do that."

Trump has had a contentious relationship with the MSNBC hosts. Before Trump ran for president, Brzezinski and Scarborough were friendly with him, and they were initially receptive to his candidacy.

But they have since pivoted to criticizing him heavily on-air. In turn, Trump has both praised the pair and criticized them on social media since announcing his candidacy in 2015.

An MSNBC representative told Business Insider,"It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying, and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job."

Allan Smith contributed to this report.

NOW WATCH: 'He started talking about blood coming out of her ears’: Joe Scarborough claims a red-faced Trump ranted about Mika Brzezinski in front of 20 congressmen

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Trump's relationship with Mika Brezinski, the 'Morning Joe' co-host he just attacked on Twitter

          Trump “voter fraud” commission seeking voter data from all states   
But some states already balking, with some saying commission may only be effort to advance voter suppression efforts

          The Real Deal: Brooklyn, Harlem community boards reject controversial rezoning plans   
Community boards in Harlem and Crown Heights rejected two controversial rezoning proposals amid anxiety over rising rents and displacement. In a Tuesday night vote, members of Community Board 9 voted 
          Point England community ignored on future of local reserve   
In a death knell for local democracy, the Point England Development Enabling Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday night with 62 votes in favour, 43 votes against and 14 abstentions.
          Reply #211   
queen in the bluegrass ky we hit the 6608 well i played your 1608 today with the other numbers as well but anyway i just wanted to say hey girl you got my vote your the shiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttzzzzzzzzzzzzzz in my book just for being close i am going to try my 2276 and 2776 tonite since thenumber does add up to 16 and thanks again for your help on the pic 4 numbers
          Director of Accounting   
FL-Boynton Beach, C H I L D R E N ‘S S E R V I C E S C O U N C I L O F P A L M B E A C H C O U N T Y E M P L O Y M E N T O P P O R T U N I T Y Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, a special district created 30 years ago by Palm Beach County voters, provides leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they are born healthy, safe from abuse and neglect, ready to learn
          Morning News Brief: Health Care Vote Delayed, New Ransomware Attack Spreads   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: A massive cyberattack is still taking a toll on computer systems around the world. It all started yesterday in Russia and Ukraine and then spread around Europe and on to the U.S. A number of major international corporations were hit, including the U.S. pharmaceutical-maker Merck, the Russian state oil company Rosneft and the shipping giant Maersk, which caused the Port of New York to shut down as well as ports in Rotterdam and Mumbai. With us now is Matt Tait. He's a security expert based in London and the CEO of Capital Alpha Security. He's with us on Skype. Hey, Matt. MATT TAIT: Hey, how you doing? MARTIN: Doing well. What do we know about who's responsible for this? TAIT: So at the moment, we don't know who's responsible for it. We know how the attack has been taking place. Essentially, a Ukrainian firm that builds accountancy software was compromised yesterday, and they started distributing malware through their auto
          GOP Senators Postpone Vote On Health Care Bill   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And let's bring another voice now into the conversation. NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been covering this debate for years and years and years... SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: (Laughter). INSKEEP: ...And is here with us and has been listening to Matt Schlapp. Scott, what did you hear there that was noteworthy? HORSLEY: Well, he is right that Republicans have spent more time demonizing Obamacare than they have really selling their own plan. And part of the challenge is philosophically, the Republicans, at least in Congress, envision a health care system where the government plays a smaller role, where there is more consumer skin in the game, that is, consumers bear more of the responsibility. They feel like that'll inject market forces and help to keep costs down. But you have a president, Donald Trump, who has been marketing great care at low costs for everyone. Everyone's going to be taken care of. So there is a
          Poll Shows Low Support For GOP Health Care Bill   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: The Senate will not be voting this week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell postponed the vote until after the Fourth of July recess once it became clear he didn't have the support he needed in his own party to pass the measure. And that lack of enthusiasm appears to match the mood of the nation. A new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll finds fewer than 1 in 5 Americans supports the Senate bill, but Republican leaders insist they're not giving up. NPR's Scott Horsley is with us now. Good morning, Scott. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. MARTIN: Senator McConnell very much wanted to have this vote this week before the Fourth of July and when all the congress members go home for that recess. He was forced to backtrack. So what now? HORSLEY: Good question. This is a retreat. It's not necessarily a surrender. McConnell says he's still optimistic that he can win the
          Walla Walla Veterans Home Logo Unveiled and Upcoming Grand Opening    

Great News!  It is with great pleasure that we virtually unveil the newly designed logo for the Walla Walla Veterans Home!

This design was submitted by Michael Page at Esprit Graphic Communications, a Kennewick area Veteran Owned Business. Esprit, owned by retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Skip Novakovich and his wife Shannon, has a long history of giving back to their community. We are grateful for the time that Michael took to help us capture the spirit of Walla Walla in his design that is now the symbol for the Walla Walla Veterans Home.

In all, fourteen logos were submitted as part of the design contest. Members of the WDVA Walla Walla Planning Committee reviewed each design and made a nearly unanimous selection.  Our thanks goes to Michael of Esprit and everyone who submitted a logo design!

YOUR newest home is another Eastern Washington investment that continues our focus on the proportionate distribution of our agency resources.  Governor Inslee is supporting the funding we need so we can continue growing our services and facilities to benefit our Eastern Washington brothers, sisters and their families.   The home brings about 100 new WDVA team members to serve with dignity and respect our veterans who need 24/7 short term and long term care.  We would like to invite the general public and especially those who devoted their time and effort to submitting a Walla Walla Veterans Home logo for the contest, to join us at the Grand Opening of this incredible facility! It will be held on Saturday, February 18th at 1pm.  For more information or to RSVP, email us at or call 1-800-562-0132 option ‘1’.

Learn more about admissions, employment opportunities and more at Washington’s newest Veterans Home by visiting

Walla Walla Veterans Home Logo

          UK consumers suffer longest decline in spending power since 1970s   

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumers have suffered the longest decline in their spending power since the 1970s, official data showed on Friday, although there was a sign that the economy may have recently gathered a bit of momentum.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics painted a bleak picture for consumers who are facing the double hit of rising inflation - caused in large part by the fall in the pound since the Brexit vote - and slowing wage growth.

Household disposable income, adjusted for inflation, fell for the third quarter in a row, the ONS said, putting some of the blame on the timing of tax payments.

That was the worst run since the 1970s and took the household savings ratio down to an all-time low of 1.7 percent.

The Bank of England is watching for signs of a pickup in the economy after the weak start to the year as it plans when to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade.

The ONS confirmed that the economy grew by just 0.2 percent in the January-March period compared with the previous three months, slowing sharply from the fourth quarter of 2016 when it grew by a quarterly 0.7 percent.

The sudden slowdown meant Britain went from being one of the fastest-growing economies among the Group of Seven rich nations to its weakest performer in the first quarter.

The BoE expects growth to increase speed to 0.4 percent in the second quarter - despite the inconclusive outcome of this month's national election - and has said it might start to raise interest rates if it sees stronger exports and investment in the coming months.

The ONS said Britain's giant services sector grew by a monthly 0.2 percent in April, slightly slower than in March. But growth was up 0.2 percent in the three months to April, faster than 0.1 percent in the first three months of the year.

Alan Clarke, an economist with Scotiabank, said earlier on Friday that monthly growth of 0.2 percent for the services industry in April would be consistent with the BoE's forecast for overall economic growth to pick up in the second quarter to 0.4 percent.

ONS said business investment grew by a quarterly 0.6 percent in the first three months of 2017, unchanged from its previous estimate and only partially offsetting a fall in the fourth quarter.

It also said Britain's current account deficit widened to 16.9 billion pounds in the January-March period, equivalent to 3.4 percent of gross domestic product, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

The increase in the shortfall was driven mostly by a weak performance in Britain's trade balance in early 2017 although it was slightly smaller than a median forecast of 17.3 billion pounds in a Reuters poll of economists.

BoE Governor Mark Carney has said the current account deficit represents one of the vulnerabilities of Britain's economy, leaving it dependent "on the kindness of strangers" to keep funding its shortfall.

Breaking down the overall growth of the economy in early 2017, the ONS said household spending grew more slowly than in late 2016, up 0.4 percent compared with 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Real household disposable income fell by 1.4 percent in quarterly terms, the third fall in a row and the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2013.

((Reporting by William Schomberg and Andy Bruce;; +44 20 7542 5109))

          U.S. Fed needs solid data to keep diverging from central bank peers - Bullard   

By John Geddie and Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve needs solid data to maintain a monetary policy that diverges from the world's other major developed economies, St. Louis Federal Reserve chief James Bullard said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in London, Bullard added that it was "disconcerting" that market measures of inflation in the world's largest economy had fallen despite the central bank raising interest rates twice so far this year.

"The U.S. is kind of trying to go it alone... which we can do and we certainly have done historically," Bullard earlier told an event hosted by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF).

"But if you want to go it alone in this environment you have to really have data that's coming in strong behind you and justifying what you want to do."

Bullard, who does not currently vote in the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee and is more dovish than many of his peers, questioned how long the Fed could continue on its tightening path while other central banks were still keeping policy easy.

"You can go independently - I just think it's hard in this environment with low rates around the world, negative rates in Europe and Japan... how realistic is it for the U.S. to have a (bond) yield curve that is dramatically above our foreign rivals?"

Bullard said such differentials in yields -- an indication of where a country can borrow cash on financial markets -- may lead to major moves in the value of the dollar relative to other currencies.


The Fed's last policy statement flagged concern over a recent fall in the Fed's preferred measure of inflation to 1.5 percent.

Fed officials have since then split between those worried the trend may persist and those who feel the Fed needs to tighten still-loose monetary policy as a precaution.

Bullard said he was concerned investors appeared to doubt the Fed's ability to generate price growth.

"Market-based measures of inflation expectations... have come down since March and normally you would think if the Fed was tightening into good data then the inflation expectations would stay constant.

"That's a bit disconcerting for the normalization strategy."

Rather than hiking rates further, Bullard said the Fed's "natural next step" should be to trim its balance sheet -- a process that could take at least five years. [U8N1CQ01M] [U8N1CQ01N]

He added the Fed was likely to announce plans for balance sheet adjustments at its policy meeting in September, skipping its July meeting where it is not scheduled to hold a press conference.

OMFIF is an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment.

(Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; editing by John Stonestreet)

          BudgetCabIndia-Book Cab Mumbai To Pune,Sirdi,Lavasa,Nasik,Hire Taxi Mumbai To Pune   

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          Middle-Income Group Gets Modern-Bult Dream Homes At Noida Extension   

Arihant Abode for the benefit of low-income and middle income group people, to achieve what they have been dreaming all along. When a family wants to build their own house, every member makes out their wishes in the open, since it is an once-in-a-lifetime project to build a house. Very first on the list will […]

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          Gain The Knowledge Of The Basic Services That E-commerce Website Development Company Provides!   

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          Local development plan approved after Welsh government denies request to defer the decision   
VALE of Glamorgan councillors have voted to adopt the proposed local development plan, after the Welsh government ruled against a request to defer the decision.
          Mort de Simone Veil, rescapée de la Shoah et grande figure de la vie politique   
Grande figure de la vie politique française et féministe convaincue, Simone Veil, qui a porté la loi sur l'interruption volontaire de grossesse (IVG) et qui incarnait aux yeux des Français la mémoire de la Shoah, est décédée vendredi matin à 89 ans.
Mort de Simone Veil, rescapée de la Shoah et grande figure de la vie politique
"Ma mère est morte ce matin à son domicile. Elle allait avoir 90 ans le 13 juillet", a annoncé à l'AFP l'avocat Jean Veil, fils de cette centriste historique attachée aux valeurs morales et républicaines.

Membre du Conseil constitutionnel de 1998 à 2007, Simone Veil s'était notamment illustrée en faisant voter en 1974 la loi portant son nom sur l'IVG. Elle était alors ministre de la Santé sous la présidence de Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

Son difficile combat pour faire adopter cette loi -contre une partie de la droite- a fait d'elle, pour longtemps, la personnalité politique la plus populaire de France.

Née le 13 juillet 1927 à Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), Simone Veil est une rescapée des camps de la mort, où elle avait été déportée à 16 ans. Elle avait rencontré à Sciences Po Antoine Veil qui deviendra son mari.

Son décès a suscité une pluie de réactions unanimes dans toute la classe politique.

"Puisse son exemple inspirer nos compatriotes, qui y trouveront le meilleur de la France", a notamment tweeté le chef de l’État Emmanuel Macron. "En Simone Veil, la France perd une de ses plus éminentes figures", a-t-il ajouté dans un communiqué.

L'ancien président Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, qui en avait fait sa ministre, s'est, lui, dit "bouleversé", souhaitant que la "vie exemplaire" de cette "femme exceptionnelle", "reste une référence pour tous les jeunes d'aujourd'hui".

- Elle "reste immortelle" -

François Hollande a aussi salué auprès de l'AFP une femme qui "a incarné la dignité, le courage et la droiture", une des "grandes consciences" de la France, tandis que son prédécesseur, Nicolas Sarkozy a loué une femme qu'il a "admirée", "aimée" et qui "reste immortelle".

Pour la présidente du Front national Marine Le Pen, Simone Veil est "une femme qui aura incontestablement marqué de son empreinte la vie politique française".

Elle "appartient au meilleur de notre Histoire. Et son nom vivra dans notre gratitude pour toujours", a réagi le leader de La France insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

La maire PS de Paris Anne Hidalgo a fait savoir qu'elle comptait attribuer son nom à "un lieu marquant de la capitale".

Hors de la sphère politique, le Planning familial a notamment exprimé son "immense tristesse", tandis que le grand rabbin de France, Haïm Korsia a rendu hommage à une femme "déterminée et toujours digne". "Toutes les femmes la pleurent et lui disent leur immense reconnaissance", a salué la philosophe féministe Élisabeth Badinter.

- Présidente du Parlement européen -

Simone Veil avait commencé en 1956 sa carrière dans la magistrature, comme substitut à l'administration centrale du ministère de la Justice. Elle a été la première femme à devenir secrétaire général du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature (1970-74).

Entrée en politique en 1974, comme ministre de la Santé dans le gouvernement Chirac, elle le demeurera dans les trois gouvernements Barre, se voyant adjoindre la Sécurité sociale en 1977-78, la Famille en 1978-79.

Tête de liste UDF lors des élections au Parlement européen en 1979, elle avait renoncé à son poste ministériel pour présider le Parlement européen (1979-1982). Réélue en 1984 et 1989, elle siégera au Parlement jusqu'en 1993.

De 1993 à 1995, Simone Veil a été ministre d’État, ministre des Affaires sociales, de la Santé et de la Ville, dans le gouvernement Balladur.

Soutien de Raymond Barre à l'élection présidentielle de 1988, elle avait rallié Édouard Balladur dans la course à l’Élysée en 1995, puis soutenu Nicolas Sarkozy en 2007, se montrant très critique à l'encontre du centriste François Bayrou. Elle avait défendu le "oui" au référendum de 2005 sur la Constitution européenne.

En 2007, elle a écrit une autobiographie à succès "Une vie", dans laquelle cette ennemie de la langue de bois au fort caractère racontait son destin de rescapée des camps, son athéisme, son féminisme.

En 2008, elle avait été élue à l'Académie française et, en 2012, élevée à la dignité de grand'croix, plus la haute distinction de l'Ordre de la Légion d'honneur.

Lors de l'une de ses dernières apparitions publiques, elle était présente en octobre 2012 au côté de Jean-Louis Borloo au congrès fondateur de l'UDI. La première carte d'adhérent du nouveau parti centriste porte son nom.

          upvote / downvote an article   
mmelon wrote #306126:

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There was also cbe_helpful but I don’t know if it is up to date.

          White House denounces media obsession over Russia, defends Trump's tweets   
The White House has once again gone on the offensive, condemning the media for constant coverage of the Russia probe, while defending President Donald Trump's recent tweets against MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. At Thursday's White House press briefing, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited a study conducted by the conservative Media Research Center (MRC), which found that the media has spent more than half of their total coverage on Trump dealing with the Russian probe. For their study, MRC looked at all 364 evening news stories in the five weeks since former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to oversee the Russia probe. MRC found that out of the 640 minutes that the media covered Trump, 353 minutes was devoted to the Russia investigation and sacked FBI director James Comey. "That's the numbers guys, the numbers don't lie. The media's focus on priorities, they don't line up with the rest of America," Huckabee Sanders said.
          3 Secrets to Successful Forex Trading   
Do you want to know some secrets to successful Forex trading, so you can make a lot of money? To do this one must at least have a basic understanding of Forex markets and trading approaches. If you have a genuine interest in trading Forex, you need to devote time and energy to learn the basic secrets to successful Forex trading.
          Pepe Escobar - Washington and Berlin on a collision course   
The Russia sanctions bill that passed the US Senate by 98:2 on June 15 is a bombshell; it directly demonizes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, which is bound to double Gazprom's energy capacity to supply gas to Europe. The 9.5 billion euro pipeline is being financed by five companies; Germany's Uniper and Wintershall; Austria's OMV; France's Engie; and Anglo-Dutch Shell. All these majors operate in Russia, and have, or will establish, pipeline contracts with Gazprom. In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern stressed that, "Europe's energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America"; "instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests"; and the whole thing heralds a "new and very negative quality in European-American relations". An oil trader in the Gulf bluntly told me, "the new sanctions against Russia basically amount to telling the EU to buy expensive US gas instead of cheap Russian gas. So the Germans and the Austrians basically told the Americans to buzz off." A top US intel source, Middle East-based and a dissident to the Beltway consensus, stresses how, "the United States Senate by a nearly unanimous vote have decided to declare war on Russia (sanctions are war) and Germany has threatened retaliation against the United States if it initiates sanctions.
          Panel votes to explore other cities for Tennessee State Fair   
NASHVILLE (AP) — A state panel is considering moving the Tennessee State Fair to a new location after more than 100 years.News outlets report the Tenn...
          Comment on An Open Letter to Moderates by Priscilla   
Taking a break from the Deep State War against Trump and Trump's self-defeating tweets (I don't recall the press being this obsessed with Bill Clinton's self-defeating affairs, but least Russia is off the front pages for a day), Ted Cruz is pushing a compromise healthcare bill that I think could pass. It allows insurance companies to sell non-Obamacare compliant plans as long as they offer at least one Obamacare compliant one. The Obamacare compliant plans would still be eligible for state subsidies, as they have been under the ACA, Since the GOP is essentially working with only 2 votes to spare, and Cruz, Lee and Paul would likely get on board with this plan, this could push the reform over the finish line. It may ultimately lead us to a permanent two tiered healthcare insurance market, but it will remove the mandate, the bulk of the taxes and the fast-track to single payer that we currently have. Ted Cruz is starting to grow on me. He's certainly showing himself to be a great senator.
          Comment on An Open Letter to Moderates by dhlii   
Separately as things stand I do not think that Republicans can manage legislation. The Health care mess at the moment demonstrates that their margins are too small to accomplish anything that is actually needed and half measures are worse than nothing. I would love to see tax reform - but we need REAL tax reform, not twidlling at the edges. There is not likely to be a second bite at tax reform for another decade. Right now there better off doing small things that are possible. There is a long list of small measures that are not likely to be viewed as controversial enough that Republicans can not pass them on their own that would increase the ability to reign in the administrative state. There are some that might get democratic support. There is substantial talk among democrats all of a sudden regarding "federalism" - returning powers of the federal government back to states. If Trump can manage to pull growth off the 2% peg its has been on for 2 decades - republicans will do well in 2018. If he can not then republicans should not do well. Tax reform would help alot but there is a catch-22 to get the political will to do tax reform properly - republicans need to succeed and build credibility. They should repeal PPACA or atleast bring a straight repeal to a vote in the house and senate. That is what the promised. They never should have promised more. Talk of further reform can happen AFTER that. I would also note I am less afraid of Trump as the head of the executive acting unilaterally within the constraints and powers of the executive. I am not too happy with him as the leader of the GOP pushing legislation. With respect to Congress he seems more interested in scoring points - passing something, than in passing what is needed. Think about that as you think about how much you value compromise. With few exceptions as an administrator Trump seems to be "doing the right thing". He has put mostly good people in place. He sometimes buts heads with them, but ultimately he appears to have vetted them well and is leaving them to do their job their way. Regardless, there is alot he can accomplish. Right now the economy is improving - or appears to be. Given that I have heard a years worth of predictions of coming recession, that is pretty amazing.
          $36.5 billion spending plan for Illinois   
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — House Speaker Michael Madigan says he will call a $36.5 billion spending plan for a vote Friday while Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate tangential issues crucial to a state budget deal with
          Illinois Supreme Court releases decision against former SAFE unit   
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Supreme Court ruled this morning against the former State’s Attorney Felony Enforcement unit run under former State’s Attorney Brian Towne. The decision was made on a 5-2 vote, deeming SAFE was not legal.
          A good Civil War read   
My sister now lives in Atlanta, which means I visit fairly frequently. Not as much as I would like, but I have certainly spent some time there. On one of the visits, we traveled out to the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and learned about the precursors to the Battle(s) of Atlanta, but I had not seen anything in town about the fighting in and around Atlanta. As Russell Bonds notes in the beginning of his War Like a Thunderbolt, most people's (including my own) idea of the war in Atlanta comes from Gone with the Wind. Unlike Antietam or Gettysburg, there is no park or memorial to the battle of Atlanta despite its importance in history.

Bonds argues that without Sherman's victory in the four battles of Atlanta in mid 1864, Lincoln would have lost the election to McClellan and the Confederacy would have likely survived. The soldier vote was crucial to Lincoln's success and flush from the victory in Atlanta, the Army came out fully for Lincoln, which must have stung former General McClellan.

The book is part military history and part social history. Bonds makes good use of maps, which is always appreciated and keeps the narrative from becoming too bogged down in detail. I also appreciated that he let the soldiers speak, and didn't focus exclusively on the generals, as some historians are wont to do. On the generals side, we see the test of wills of General Sherman on the Union side, and General Johnston and then Hood on the Confederate side. Aside from one close run battle east of the city, Sherman's leadership was critical to the victory.

The question of Sherman in Georgia is of course a controversial one. He is still disliked by many in the South for the March to the Sea. Bonds take a even handed approach to the controversy. He points to his great success as a military leader, but criticizes many of his brutal actions, like shelling the civilian areas of the city for over a month, expelling the populace and then ensuring that the city was destroyed.

In Sherman, you can see beginnings of the idea of crushing an enemy by breaking the will of the civilian populace. The Germans developed this further by submarine warfare and the Allies in World War 2 took it even further by the bombing campaigns. It is easy to criticize these approaches, but they have a point. By ending the war sooner, do they save more lives than they take? The longer wars last, the more vicious they become, so there is some merit to Sherman's idea.

This is a long book so realistically, it will only appeal to people interested in the Civil War, Atlanta, or, at a stretch, the 1864 Presidential campaign. If that describes you, by all means pick this one up.
          Peter Andre makes a return to Brighton   
SINGER Peter Andre admitted he misses Brighton when he returned to the city to inspire people to vote for the Pride of Britain Awards.
          Guns On Campus Bill Scheduled For Texas House Vote   
Monday for a House floor vote this weekend, and a top backer predicted approval there for the plan to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry their handguns into college classrooms.
          When Lobbyists Pay To Meet With Congressmen    
Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics . At a typical event, there's a member of Congress and a member of his or her staff who is in charge of collecting the checks. This person is known as the fundraiser. "The fundraiser is standing in the room, and the fundraiser has 35,000 bucks in checks sitting in her pocket right now," says Jimmy Williams, a former lobbyist for the real estate industry. "And we're going to talk about public policy while we take the checks." How much influence do those checks have over public policy? Most of the time, checks don't by votes, Williams says. But they buy access. They buy an opportunity to make your case. The rules are clear: Lobbyists use money from their political action committees to get access to lawmakers. One time, Williams says, he took a couple clients to meet a Congressman
          Minnesota election chief denies Trump panel's voter information request   
          Trump voting commission will get limited state voter data   
          Comment on Report: Paul George still telling friends he plans to play for Lakers in 2018 by pburghballin   
He's making it easier and easier for you to win that bet. PG is doing Indiana NO favors in this situation. I got downvoted too for suggesting the Pacers were not going to come close to getting some sort of "haul" for PG. The teams who he could really help for even just a year don't have the a*sets and/or cap room, and the rebuilding teams with the a*sets aren't going to give them up for a year rental of a guy who will ultimately do nothing but hurt their draft position.
          Nedbajú na rozhodnutie súdu. V Británii naďalej udržujú bábätko umelo pri živote   
Rodičia desaťmesačného chlapčeka prehrali boj proti rozhodnutiu lekárov, ktorí nedovolili jeho prevoz do Spojených štátov.
          Comment on Anambra Secedes From Biafra by Alex   
please when did Referendum turn to War? lol. If you want to vote, you are free, but true Biafrans will not continue to vote for people who will enslave us. 50 years after the War, and we are still being punished! never!!! if you like, continue voting for people that has their own interests at heart. We Biafrans will not vote, period! If you like threaten us with War
CLINTON, Gladys (Kooyumjian) Of Watertown on June 20, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Robert Joseph Clinton. Devoted mother of Christopher Clinton...
          Bevin Orders Voting Rights Restored To 284 Kentuckians With Felony Records   

Gov. Matt Bevin has restored the rights to vote and hold public office for 284 Kentuckians with felony criminal records, though he says the action is pending background checks by the state Justice Cabinet. State law strips people convicted of felonies of their civil rights to vote, run for office, serve on a jury and […]

          Best Filipino TV Series 2017 Poll   
What is your favorite Filipino TV Series of 2017? Please choose and vote. If the Filipino TV Series you want to give your vote does not take place in our list, Add by using Upload Button. Contest End Date: 15 March 2018 Only one vote is allowed for each Devices (Mobile Phone, Computer, Tablet) per social account per 24 […]
          Grimes To Trump: I Won’t Send Kentucky Voter Data   

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says her office will not release state voter data to President Donald Trump’s election commission.

          Where are the female leaders?   
You’d think 101 years after women first voted, the gender gap in leadership roles would be closing fast, but that is just not the case.
          Comment on Hammonton tourney rained out by cheap pandora earrings   
or a gambler. … Every man can know for whom he gives his vote. And if he will give his vote only for honest men,cheap pandora charms for sale, the country will be obliged to have upright rulers. …” Finney continued: “The church must act right or the country will be ruined. God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for,cheap pandora bracelets, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this,
FOLEY, Marguerite J. (Sherman) Of Milton, formerly of Dorchester, passed away peacefully on June 29th. Beloved wife of the late Robert J. Devoted...
FRANCISCO, Maria Lurdes (DaCosta) Of Somerville, June 29, 2017 at age 66. Devoted wife of Antonio J. Francisco. Loving mother of Sandra Francisco....
          Pence-Kobach voting commission alarms states with info request - CNN   


Pence-Kobach voting commission alarms states with info request
Washington (CNN) A Trump administration letter requesting data from all 50 state's voting rolls has put some states and voting rights advocates on edge after many were already wary of the aims of the President's commission on voting. The Presidential ...
Trump's voting commission asked states to hand over election data. Some are pushing back.Washington Post
States and Trump voter fraud commission set for showdownThe Hill
States Refuse Trump Commission Request for US Voter DataU.S. News & World Report
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JOHNSON, Jeanette M. (Strozzi) A lifelong resident of Woburn, June 29, 2017. Beloved wife of the late George H. Johnson. Devoted mother of George...
KATLER, Sylvia (Fishman) Of Randolph, on June 29, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Leon Katler. Devoted mother of Elissa Katler (Damien DiBona),...
          KELLIHER, MARY N. (WALSH)   
KELLIHER, Mary N. (Walsh) Of Norwood passed away on June 19, 2017 at the age of 80. Beloved wife of the late Francis A. Kelliher. Devoted mother of...
McGRATH, Beverly A. (Corkery) Of Amesbury passed away on June 27, 2017. Beloved wife of the late James G. McGrath. Devoted mother of 3 loving...
          OSBE rrëzon 25 Qershorin: “Shitblerje masive vote”   
OSBE/ODIHR vulos dështimin e zgjedhjeve të 25 Qershorit. Deklarata e Përfundimeve Paraprake të Misionit Vëzhgues të Zgjedhjeve të OSBE-ODHIR në Shqipëri është shumë kritike për procesin zgjedhor të mbajtur të dielën e kaluar. Raporti nxjerr në pah problematikat e shumta në administrimin e zgjedhjeve, si dhe probleme në zbatimin e ligjit. Shitblerja e votës nënvizohet […]
NICHOLS, Elizabeth T. "Cyd" (Turner) Of Newton, June 27, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Clarence W. Nichols. Devoted mother of Priscilla Nichols...
PETRILLO, Angelina (Pisano) Of Walpole, formerly of Roslindale, June 29, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Egidio E. Petrillo and devoted mother of...
          PODRADCHIK, JACOB   
PODRADCHIK, Jacob Of Malden, died Wednesday, June 28th. Beloved husband of the late Florence Podradchik. Devoted father of Linda Hugeback & her late...
          POWER, ROBERT J.   
POWER, Robert J. Of Dedham, formerly of Montebello Road, Jamaica Plain, June 26, 2017. Beloved husband of the late Mary A. (MacFarlane). Devoted...
          RAVECH, RICHARD R.   
RAVECH, Richard R. Of Boca Raton, FL and Needham, on June 28, 2017.Beloved husband of 62 years to Sonia (Yassen) Ravech. Devoted father of Ellen...
ROGERS, Mildred R. (Collins) Of Winthrop, June 27, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Francis J. Rogers. Devoted mother of Kathleen Rogers and her...
STANLEY, Esther T. (Farrell) Of Brockton formerly of Roslindale, June 29, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Edward J. Stanley. Devoted mother of Edward...
          La qualité des politiciens d'un pays dépend de l'éducation du peuple lui-même. L'exemple de la Suisse ! de Jean-Paul Pougala   
L’image contient peut-être : 5 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout et costume
La qualité des politiciens d'un pays dépend de l'éducation du peuple lui-même. L'exemple de la
Suisse !
de Jean-Paul Pougala
Chaque fois que je publie un texte montrant les limites de notre système politique et économique en Afrique, il y a toujours des gens qui vont intervenir avec une phrase qui devient comme un refrain :
"Si nous avions des politiciens courageux, honnêtes et non corrompus, les choses iraient mieux en Afrique"
Non, je ne crois sincèrement pas qu'un pays prospère dépend des politiciens sincères et honnêtes. En regardant l'exemple de la Suisse, je reste très convaincu que c'est le contraire qui est valable et que c'est le peuple honnête qui exprime des politiciens honnêtes. C'est un peuple travailleur qui va générer des politiciens travailleurs.
Cet après-midi du mercredi 28 Juin 2017, je me suis venu ici à Bernes qui est la capitale de la Suisse (et non Genève comme les gens pensent par erreur). Je voulais rencontrer mon député et savoir comment les choses marchent récemment.
Ces photos que j'ai réalisées montrent ce que devrait être le siège des institutions : la vraie maison du peuple.
En effet, devant le parlement de la Confédération Helvétique, j'ai vu les familles avec les enfants partis de toute la Suisse pour m'ont-ils dit : "rendre visite à leurs politiciens". J'y ai vu des enfants jouer avec les jets d'eau du parlement, j'ai rencontré des personnes très sereines et fières de leur pays. J'ai même vu une dame qui n'avait pas trouvé mieux que de mettre sa serviette par terre devant le parlement pour faire dormir son gamin d'environ 5 ans.
Parce qu'ici, personne ne lui demanderait de s'en aller. Il n'y a ni vigile, encore moins la police pour filtrer l'entrée. Sinon, quel palais du peuple ce serait ? Et donc , personne à l'horizon pour demander à cette dame de faire dormir son fils ailleurs.
Dans la cour du Parlement, j'ai pu jouer aux échecs, qu'on a mis là pour accueillir le peuple de passage.
J'ai fini par voir mon député dans une atmosphère festive. Les Suisses sont vraiment cool ! Je me suis écrié.
Mais comment cela est-il possible ici et non ailleurs en France, en Allemagne, aux Royaume Uni ou au Cameroun d'où je viens ?
Pourquoi les suisses sont-ils si honnêtes et expriment aussi des dirigeants autant honnêtes ? C'est la réponse à ces 2 questions que je suis venu chercher ici.
J'ai eu un début de réponse juste devant le parlement, par la présence d'un immeuble somptueux en réfection : le siège de la Banque Centrale Suisse. Les Suisses ont compris très tôt qu'il n'y a pas de liberté sans le contrôle de la monnaie. Voilà pourquoi pour eux, le siège de la Banque Centrale ne pouvait pas être ailleurs que devant le siège des confédéraux qui prennent les décisions.
En plus, ici la démocratie est participative : tous les partis politiques sont au pouvoir, chacun en fonction de son poids électoral. Il n'existe donc pas de parti d'opposition en Suisse.
Pour finir, ici, la politique n'est pas une profession. Vous servez votre pays pour 5 ans et passez la main aux autres. Il n'y a donc pas le temps pour devenir un corrompu. Il n'y pas de voiture de fonction, pas de garde du corps. Chaque politicien doit gouter sur sa propre peau, le degré de l'insécurité dans le pays. Et donc d'agir en conséquence. Ceci est impensable dans la France ou l'Italie voisines.
Pour finir, avec tout ça, je n'ai toujours pas répondu à mes 2 questions que j'ai apportées avec moi : pourquoi un peuple si honnête ? et pourquoi une administration si honnête ?
Et si tout cela n'était au final qu'une question d'argent ?
Ici, le salaire médian (50% de ceux qui gagnent plus et 50% de ceux qui gagnent moins) est de 5100 euros (3.345.090 FCFA) alors que les fonctionnaires suisses sont les administrateurs publics les mieux payés au monde, avec un salaire moyen de 7300 euros bruts soit 4.788.070 FCFA
Avec cela il est facile de comprendre que si chaque fonctionnaire camerounais devait toucher en moyenne autour de 5 millions de FCFA chaque mois de salaire, il y a longtemps qu'on ne parlerait plus de corruption.
Je ne veux nullement justifier les comportements déviants de nos fonctionnaires corrompus, puisque moi-même j'en suis victime au quotidien. Mais je veux juste comprendre comme économiste comment sortir de cette galère. Et je n'ai pas trouvé mieux que de venir ici à Berne. Alors que le FMi et la Banque Mondiale avaient contraint dans les années 90 à diviser le salaire des fonctionnaires camerounais par 2 laissant intact le niveau des prix de tous les produits et services, il était évident que cela devait déclencher la vague de corruption que nous connaissons aujourd'hui. Et ce n'est pas la Banque Mondiale qu'il faut blâmer, mais nous mêmes qui ne produisons pas suffisamment de richesses et devons recourir à la mendicité internationale même pour faire fonctionner nos institutions. Ce qui n'est pas le cas des suisses qui ne dépendent de personnes, puisqu'ils travaillent très dur pour mériter leurs salaires et tenir leur pays hors d'atteinte des prédateurs internationaux.
Tout cela n'est-ce pas le mérite des bons politiciens ? Pas du tout !
Dimanche 18 Mai 2014, les suisses sont appelés à un référendum pour proposant d'augmenter le salaire minimum actuel (SMIC) de 3.300 € (2.164.470 FCFA) qui fait de la Suisse le pays avec les plus haut salaire au monde à 4000 € (2.623.600 FCFA). Résultat de ce référendum voulu par les partis politiques : 76% des Suisses ont dit NON aux politiciens donnant raison aux Patrons Suisses qui avaient demandé à la population de ne pas voter OUI.
Dans quel pays du monde vous verrez des populations voter à une telle majorité de 76% pour refuser que les Patrons leur augmentent les salaires ?
C'est la preuve qu'un pays pour bien fonctionner n'a pas forcément besoin de bons politiciens, mais d'un peuple bien éduqué et conscient des enjeux pour ne pas être manipulé. Dans ces conditions, un pays peut bien avoir les plus cancres politiciens du monde et continuer à bien fonctionner.
L'argument des Patrons suisses était qu'ils ont réussi à instaurer un modèle qui marche bien et dans lequel ils ont le taux de chômage le plus bas de toute l'Europe, autour de 3%. Et les populations ont dit NON aux politiciens pour donner raison aux employeurs, considérés ailleurs en France ou en Allemagne comme des ennemis du peuple à abattre.
Quelle leçon pour l'Afrique ?
Dans ce pays, on parle 4 langues officielles. Personne n'imaginerait ici comme au Cameroun que les Italophones vont créer des problèmes d'autonomie pour se rapprocher plus d'Italie. Ici ceux qui parlent français ne veulent pas qu'on les appelle les francophones comme on le fait fièrement en Afrique, mais des Romands. Ils sont fiers d'eux-mêmes et la diversité linguistique est plutôt vécue comme une chance, comme une richesse et non un objet de division.
Au moment où j'écris ces lignes, les bouquets de télévisions françaises offrent même gratuitement toutes les chaines arabes, asiatique que personne ou presque ne regarde en France, mais évitent soigneusement d'incorporer les chaines de télévision Suisse. Il ne faut pas que les populations françaises découvrent au quotidien qu'il existe un autre modèle où le peuple n'est pas pris en otage, mais peut imposer sa vision dans les choix des hommes politiques.
Pour information, vu de Suisse, le parlement français ne sert strictement à rien. Affirmer cela, semble une boutade. Mais aucun député français ne peut proposer de lois. Les députés en France ont deux fonctions : 1) se limiter à analyser et voter les lois proposées par l'exécutif et 2) contrôler l'action du gouvernement.
Et avec les Macron Boys et Macron Girls, qui ne pensaient jamais de faire la politique, pensez-vous que les nouveaux députés français pourront retoucher quoi que ce soit venant de leur champion Macron ?
Le pire dans tout ça est que c'est cette mafia politique érigée en "Bonne Gouvernance" qu'on a exportée en Afrique. Et le cirque fonctionne plutôt bien labas. Chacun monte au créneau pour crier très fort et répéter la partition que le système a écrit pour lui depuis Paris ou depuis Londres.
Et c'est bien parce que j'aime ce modèle Suisse que j'ai juré ne jamais faire de la politique au Cameroun ou en Italie malgré les multiples sollicitations dans mon pays d'origine comme dans celui d'adoption.
Je préfère me concentrer dans ce que je retiens prioritaire : conscientiser au maximum les peuples africains afin qu'ils soient aussi bien formés et éduqués que les suisses pour être ensuite capables de prétendre de leurs politiciens des résultats à la hauteur de leurs ambitions.
Mais comment éduquer un peuple sans commencer par lui enseigner la valeur du travail ? S
i les patrons suisses sont si contents d'offrir à leurs employés les salaires les plus élevés au monde, c'est parce que cela ne pénalise en rien la rentabilité des entreprises suisses. Au contraire, les employés suisses sont aussi réputés les plus travailleurs au monde avec une des meilleurs qualifications en absolu dans les domaines aussi pointus comme l'horlogerie. Et c'est ce qui rend compétitives les entreprises de ce pays malgré le niveau de salaire élevé.
L'Afrique ne peut pas se permettre une telle liberté de salaire sans au préalable produire suffisamment de richesses. Et dans ce pays, l'agriculture est au coeur de la souveraineté de la Nation. Les suisses sont convaincus que si tu ne peux pas te nourrir toi-même, tôt ou tard, tu deviendras esclave de celui qui te donne à manger.
Voilà pourquoi, même si ici le prix du kg de viande est le plus cher de la planète, pour rien au monde, ils ne veulent en importer de moins cher des voisins. Comme quoi pour construire la prospérité de tout pays, il faut commencer par chausser les bottes. Et c'est à cette éducation que je me suis engagé avec mes formations pour les futurs industriels africains dont la dernière s'est terminée à Paris dimanche 25 Juin 2017 dernier et la prochaine à Yaoundé au mois d'Août prochains. La chose n'est pas aussi facile comme je l'avais imaginée, mais on progresse année après année dans l'endurance et les difficultés. Et les résultats même maigres, sont plus que satisfaisants.
Peut-être que je ne pourrais pas remporter mon paris d'enseigner la valeur du travail dur depuis la terre aux africains, mais l'exemple de la Suisse en matière de démocratie participative m'inspire beaucoup dans ma contribution à la construction d'une autre société plus juste pour l'Afrique de demain, basée sur la priorité des créations de richesses comme préalable à toute politique. Et nous avons suffisamment de bonnes terres pour y arriver.
Mon vibrant souhait est que demain ce soit ces jeunes qui ont su se retrousser les manches pour créer de la richesse depuis la plantations, qui accèdent aux fonctions politiques avec des thèmes de campagne électorale, finalement centrés sur les bilans de chacun dans sa propre vie antérieure, avant de prétendre faire des miracles pour le peuple.
Mon modèle est calqué de celui suisse où la politique ne doit plus devenir une profession ou le lot de consolation des plus médiocres d'entre nous qui n'ont pas pu exceller ailleurs. Je veux opposer en campagne électorale, mes jeunes qui pourront vanter le bilan leurs actions de Patrons, de donner du travail à 100 personnes grâce auquel de nombreuses familles vivent, à un autre qui viendrait juste brandir ses diplômes de docteur en doctorat de la science politique. Je suis convaincu qu'il n'y aurait pas match, mais un vrai K.O. entre mon jeune avec sa mitrailleuse et l'Agrégé, spécialiste du bavardage avec sa flèche poétique.
Jean-Paul Pougala
Berne, le 29 Juin 2017

          Cameroun:Par rapport à la campagne de 11 millions d'inscrits, le prof Pierre Mila Assouté nous édifie. Lisez !   
Mes chers compatriotes,
A l'aune de 2018 je vois une guerre des tranchées s'ouvrir sur une opération citoyenne qui vise à faire
inscrire 11 millions d' electeurs pour preparer l' alternance au régime BIYA en 2018.
Cette initiative qui n'a rien de rédhibitoire a priori , menée par le jeune compatriote Mr. Cabral Libii Lii Ngue, que je connais bien et qui a travaillé à mes côtés, dans le courant des modernistes et en tant que militant du RDMC, peut-etre s en est-il affranchi, est très louable et à encourager pour ses objectifs avoués, dans un contexte d un corpus juridique électoral classique.
Sa candidature (eventuelle?) qui suscite chez certains des échanges parfois hystériques ou discourtois, ne me semble pas rédhibitoire non plus.
Je ne voudrais donc pas analyser ici et maintenant , ni la pertinence de son ambition putative ou effective, ni les moyens de son déploiement et de ses actions présumées dans les régions. je leur ai toujours dit au cours de nos reunions que j etais devenu député à 24 ans et qu ils le pouvaient. Je leur disais aussi que l ambition n est pas un gros mot meme s il est devenu criminalisant chez me rejouis donc que ce que jai pu essaimer prenne de la graine dans la jeunesse parmi mes disciples politiques d alors et d aujourdhui...
Mais alors, pour l'opposition et ceux qui lévitent sur l alternamce électorale avec Elecam, en 2018, je vais analyser avec vous pourquoi l 'objectif d inscrire 11 millions voire même 13 millions d electeurs, pour évincer Mr. BIYA, en 2018 éventuelllement, par les suffrages de nos concitoyens est un piège a con qui vise des desseins subtils du fonctionnement des structures que je connais par coeur au RDPC et dans l appareil étatique .
Je connais le systeme politique et électoral du Cameroun dans ses formes les plus perfides même si je n en revendiquerais aucun monopole.
Si l' objectif vise de participer aux elections intermediaires en 2018, je peux me réserver de commentaires à ce stade...
Je vous dis peremptoire qu il s agit de légitimer la fraude scientifique et sophistiquée avec les structures qui gouvernent l' election et le code électoral actuel si cet objectif est virtuellement ou effectivement atteint sans les réformes démocratiques des lois et du processus électoral.
Je sais qu il s agit d un vademecum pour anestesier les revendications des réformes qui signeraient l' alternative.
1. Elecam n enregistrera jamais 11 millions d electeurs. mais on aura fait croire...
2- Lire plus bas la su...
A supposer qu' Elecam enregistre 11 millions d' elecreurs, j' aimerais vous dire , que l' alternance, si c' est elle l' objectif , resterait une chimere en 2018...
Simplement parce que les inscriptions ne déterminent pas du résultat électoral dans un contexte d' un corpus juridique electoral vicié.
Les Sous prefets renseignent où il faut faciliter les incriptions et ou les resserer, cela s' appelle processus par exclusion zonale, exclusion preventive.
les Sous prefets choisissent où mettre les bureaux de vote le timing et leur nombre... ils choisissent a la loupe les presidents des bureaux de vote et leurs membres... les scrutateurs de l' opposition sont souvent les gars du village , sans un centime, invités au repas de midi par les chefs de villages ou on leur offre de la biere et meme de l' argent pour changer les PV a mi chemin...
Il y a les commissions departementales et centrales de recensement general des votes qui ont le pouvoir de corrections des "erreurs" materielles des calculs des suffrages...
La Cour supreme lit le resultat sans capacité de modifier quoi que ce soit et le lit tel que le lui presente la commission centrale de supervision ou les representants de l' opposition sont minoritaires et n ont aucune obligation de signer le PV du resultat final transmis pour lecture a la Cour supreme...
Retenez ce que disait Stalline des élections dans notre contexte:
<< Ceux qui votent ne decident de rien. Ceux qui decident de tout sont ceux qui comptent les votes et proclament le resultat>>.
Alors mes chers compatriotes,
Soyons 11 millions inscrits en aout 2018 mais ecoutez moi bien si la lutte n' est pas celle des reformes vous ne deciderez de rien dans les urnes. Mon jeune Cabral vous aura fait faire votre devoir civique et c' est tout.
A bon entendeur...
(c) Prof. Pierre Mila Assouté
President National du RDMC

          FIFA : le rapport Garcia (enfin) révélé, nouveaux soupçons sur l’attribution du Mondial au Qatar   
Sepp Blatter et l’émir du Qatar, le 2 décembre 2010, à Zurich.
Après les fuites du « Bild », la Fédération internationale a publié le rapport d’enquête sur l’attribution controversée des Mondiaux 2018 et 2022, organisés par la Russie et par le Qatar.

Les dirigeants de la Fédération internationale de football (FIFA) ont préféré se donner du temps pour réagir, évitant de communiquer « à chaud ». Il faut dire que l’instance mondiale risquait d’être prise dans la tempête alors que le quotidien allemand Bild a commencé à publier, lundi 26 juin, des extraits du rapport d’enquête sur l’attribution controversée des Mondiaux 2018 et 2022, respectivement à la Russie et au Qatar. Sur plusieurs jours, le journal va révéler, au compte-gouttes, des éléments de ce document confidentiel de quatre cent trente pages, rédigé par l’ex-procureur américain Michael Garcia.

Dénonçant la « fuite illégale » du Bild, la FIFA a décidé de publier ledit rapport sur son site en intégralité. Conservé dans un coffre par Marco Villiger, directeur juridique et secrétaire général adjoint de la FIFA, ledit rapport Garcia n’avait jamais été dévoilé par l’instance malgré un vote en ce sens du comité exécutif de la Fédération, en décembre 2014. « Il aurait dû être publié il y a longtemps », insiste le Nord-Irlandais Jim Boyce, ex-vice-président de la FIFA (2011-2015), qui militait à l’époque pour la parution du document.

Deux millions de dollars versés à une fillette de 10 ans

Selon les premiers éléments publiés par Bild, deux millions de dollars ont été versés au moment de l’attribution des Mondiaux « sur le livret d’épargne » de la fille — âgée alors de 10 ans — du Brésilien Ricardo Teixeira, alors membre du comité exécutif de la FIFA et aujourd’hui inculpé par la justice américaine de corruption.
« Un ancien membre exécutif de la FIFA a félicité des membres de la Fédération qatarie et les a remerciés par mail pour un virement de plusieurs centaines de milliers d’euros » juste après l’attribution de la compétition au Qatar, le 2 décembre 2010, écrit Bild. Le journal ajoute que « trois membres exécutifs de la FIFA disposant d’un droit de vote [Ricardo Teixeira, l’Argentin Julio Grondona et le Paraguayen Nicolas Leoz] sont allés à une fête à Rio dans un jet privé de la Fédération qatarie de football avant le vote pour l’attribution de la compétition ».
Quant à l’Aspire Academy, vaste complexe sportif qatari, et à son patron, Andreas Bleicher, ils ont également « été impliqués de manière décisive dans la manipulation des membres de la FIFA disposant d’un droit de vote ». Bild révèle également que Charles Botta, expert zurichois de l’immobilier sportif et époux de l’assistante de l’ex- président de la FIFA Sepp Blatter (1998-2015), aurait tenté d’approcher le Qatar pour ses affaires. La légende allemande Franz Beckenbauer, membre du comité exécutif de la Fédération de 2007 à 2011, et son homme de confiance, Fedor Radmann, sont également mentionnés dans le rapport.

Une attribution non remise en cause

Le 13 novembre 2014, la FIFA avait mis en ligne la synthèse réalisée à partir du rapport Garcia par le président de la chambre de jugement du comité d’éthique de la FIFA, l’Allemand Hans-Joachim Eckert. Ce dernier avait estimé, en substance, que si des « conduites douteuses » avaient bien accompagné le processus d’attribution du Mondial 2022 au Qatar, elles ne pouvaient être qualifiées de faits de « corruption » et remettre en cause le vote du 2 décembre 2010.
« La décision du président de la chambre de jugement contient plusieurs présentations incomplètes et erronées des faits et conclusions détaillés dans le rapport », avait riposté Michael Garcia, qui avait vainement exigé la parution du document dans son intégralité. L’enquêteur américain avait démissionné deux jours avant que le comité exécutif de la FIFA ne se prononce pour la publication de son rapport « sous une forme appropriée » et « une fois que les procédures en cours concernant plusieurs individus [seraient] terminées ».
Contacté par Le Monde en décembre 2016, le porte-parole de M. Eckert confirmait que, outre le comité d’éthique de la FIFA, « seul M. Villiger [le directeur juridique], et personne d’autre », avait « accès » au rapport. Or, selon nos informations, le document a été consulté, avant leur radiation, par Sepp Blatter et par son secrétaire général français (2007-2015), Jérôme Valcke.
Qui avait alors, à la FIFA, le pouvoir de publier ce rapport ? « Hans-Joachim Eckert a la pleine autorité de décider de la publication du rapport Garcia, répondait alors au Monde son porte-parole. Néanmoins, aussi longtemps qu’il y a des procédures éthiques et la possibilité que d’autres soient ouvertes dans le futur, une publication du rapport est impossible à ce stade. Cela n’entraverait pas seulement les enquêtes du comité d’éthique, mais aussi affecterait négativement les droits des personnes concernées avant qu’une décision soit prise. »
M. Eckert n’a guère eu le temps de donner son accord, puisque son mandat — tout comme celui de Cornel Borbely, le successeur de Michael Garcia à la tête de la chambre d’investigation du comité d’éthique — n’a pas été renouvelé par la FIFA lors de son 67e congrès, en mai.

Pièces du puzzle

MM. Eckert et Villiger ne sont toutefois pas les seuls à détenir ce rapport. A la suite d’une plainte de la FIFA, en novembre 2014, une copie du document avait été transmise au procureur suisse Michael Lauber. A ce jour, ce dernier a relevé cent soixante-dix-huit « annonces [d’activités suspectes] pour soupçons de blanchiment d’argent » dans son enquête, dont plusieurs volets concernent l’attribution des Mondiaux 2018 et 2022.
Ceux qui ont eu accès au rapport Garcia sont catégoriques : le document ne contient aucune preuve déterminante qui pourrait entraîner la remise en cause du vote du 2 décembre 2010 sur le plan juridique. Mais les nombreuses pièces du puzzle sont assez compromettantes pour déclencher une tornade médiatique.
« Cela dépend de ce que vous entendez par “smoking gun”, confie au Monde, sous couvert de l’anonymat, une source qui a lu le rapport. Une conclusion plausible peut être suffisante pour un journaliste, mais elle n’a pas toujours de valeur juridique, par exemple, devant une cour civile. Donc, on peut arriver à une telle conclusion, même si elle n’est pas suffisamment étayée par des preuves. » Une manière de dire que, dans cette affaire, la frontière entre l’éthique et le cadre légal est particulièrement ténue.
A ce jour, treize des vingt-deux membres du comité exécutif qui ont participé au scrutin d’attribution du 2 décembre 2010 ont été soit inculpés, soit suspendus, soit écartés, soit avertis par la FIFA en raison du « Qatargate » ou pour d’autres dossiers.

          Picking the Transfer Window That Liverpool Fans Would Love to Reboot   

Liverpool's summer transfer history is patchy, to say the least.

To borrow Isaac Newton's third law of motion, for every action, there has been an equal and opposite reaction. From the start of the Premier League era, the Reds made mistakes in the market.

From Paul Stewart in 1992 through to Christian Benteke in 2015, Liverpool have signed their fair share of flops. Signings that perhaps made sense on paper but, for whatever reason, didn't pan out on the pitch.

But what about the success stories?

If the club's fans could pick one summer window to reboot, allowing them to add that year's signings to bolster manager Jurgen Klopp's current squad, which year would they choose?

Well, we asked them on Twitter:

Of course, the poll only provided four options. It didn't allow the sadomasochists out there to vote for the summer of 2002, for example, when then-manager Gerard Houllier appeared to lose his marbles by agreeing to buy the triumvirate of El Hadji Diouf, Bruno Cheyrou and Salif Diao. Ouch.

Here is Bleacher Report's own breakdown of the best windows seen since the BBC cancelled Play School.



Third place: 2004, The Spanish Armada

Benitez’s arrival at Anfield signalled a wave of Spanish recruits. Dabbling in a market he knew ridiculously well, the new Liverpool manager signed four of his fellow countrymen during his first summer at the helm.

On reflection, he had a 50 per cent strike rate. Full-back Josemi—the first in the door—and Antonio Nunez—a makeweight in the deal that sent Michael Owen to Real Madrid—failed to make an impact during their largely forgettable time in England.

Yet if that pair were poor (and poor is putting it kindly, particularly for Nunez, the winger with the turning circle of the QE II), Benitez struck gold with the other two Spaniards he signed from La Liga.

By scoring the "Ghost Goal" in the 2005 UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea, Luis Garcia—the winger who drank Sangria—made sure he would forever be remembered fondly by the red half of Liverpool.

Having previously worked together at Tenerife, Benitez knew all about Garcia, a hard-working wide man with an eye for goal (he scored 18 in 71 appearances during his time with the Premier League club).

But it was the fourth and final Spaniard who must have heavily swayed the voting in the Twitter poll.

Such is the love for Xabi Alonso, Liverpool fans would have him back in a heartbeat, even though he’s now officially retired. Just mention the midfielder’s name to some and they will still go weak at the knees.

Alonso works in any team. In Benitez’s structured system, he flourished next to Steven Gerrard; at Real Madrid, he was part of the engine room that kept the Galacticos going; and at Bayern Munich, he continued to sparkle even in the twilight of his career. Oh, and then there was his success with the Spanish national team, as he won Euro 2008 and 2012, with the 2010 FIFA World Cup sandwiched in between.

But would he be the most beneficial of all the old boys? Probably not, no (and typing that makes me die a little inside).

While Alonso's range of passing would undoubtedly be beneficial, Klopp is not short of options to play in the centre of the park, particularly if Philippe Coutinho continues in the deeper role he occupied at the end of the last season.

Sorry to disagree with the masses, but Liverpool have more pressing concerns than midfield. A young, fresh-faced Alonso from 2004 isn't solving a problem in the current squad, he's just creating a headache when it comes to selecting the best XI.



Second place: 2007, Striking it Rich

Benitez’s summer of 2007 was a hotchpotch in terms of his transfer dealings.

Who can forget Charles Itandje, Damien Plessis and Sebastian Leto? Everyone, that’s who. The trio made about as much of an impact as a water pistol at the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Other recruits did, however, make a better impression with the Reds. A young Lucas Leiva could replace the departing Lucas in Klopp’s crop, while Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun would offer contrasting options off the bench, particularly as Liverpool could do with some cover for wingers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

However, this window would be rebooted for just one man: Fernando Torres.

Signed for a then-club-record £20.2 million from Atletico Madrid, the Spanish striker didn’t take long to show he was worth every penny.

Handed the famous No. 9 jersey, Torres adapted quickly to the Premier League. The physicality and pace of English football suited him down to the ground as he became the focal point of Liverpool’s attack.

"El Nino" scored 33 goals in all competitions in his debut season. Injuries hampered him in the following years, but that shouldn’t detract from the initial impact he made.

"Torres is the nearest thing I have ever seen to Roger Hunt. When Roger was around, if there was a chance inside the 18-yard box then the ball was in the back of the net—there was no question about that," Tommy Smith said of the forward, per LFC History.

Of course, his move to Chelsea left a bitter taste. Liverpool profited financially, yet the loss of such a talismanic figure was like a gut punch from Mike Tyson (prime Mike Tyson, too, not the Mike Tyson who appears on Broadway).

The anger at the manner of his departure has faded with time. Torres struggled badly as a Blue in London and is now back home with Atletico, the club where he built such a burgeoning reputation in his early years.

But that player who dominated the 2007/08 campaign would start in Liverpool's current XI. While Roberto Firmino does a fine job leading the line, he’s not good enough to keep out a prime Torres, who could lead the counter-press and would feast on the chances that the creative players around him provided.



First place: 1999, Solid as a Rock

When Houllier took over, he talked about putting in place a five-year plan for success. Having started out at Anfield working alongside Roy Evans, the Frenchman was placed in sole charge in November 1998.

The following summer offered him the chance to put his stamp on the squad. The Reds were good at scoring goals—no surprise considering they had Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen up front—but had more issues with leaks than Julian Assange.

Houllier realised his grand plan didn’t have a hope of working out without solid foundations, so he signed two centre-backs to help plug the holes at the back.

Finn Sami Hyypia cost £3 million from Willem II in May 1999. Stephane Henchoz arrived the following month, with Liverpool paying relegated Blackburn £3.5 million to acquire the Swiss (thanks to a release clause in his contract).

Talk about hitting the jackpot.

The tall, technically gifted Hyypia meshed perfectly with the doggedly determined Henchoz. In their first season playing together, Liverpool conceded just 30 league goals as they finished in fourth position.

How supporters must wish they could pair these two together now. Just one of them would be nice, popped in alongside Joel Matip to give the Reds a more stable-looking centre-back partnership. Klopp’s public pursuit of Virgil van Dijk shows how Liverpool’s current boss sees the need for defensive reinforcements.

The German would also be ready with one of his now customary bear hugs to welcome the arrival of compatriot Dietmar Hamann, who signed from Newcastle United for £8 million on July 22, 1999.

Captain Jordan Henderson filled the holding midfield role until his 2016/17 season was cut short by a foot injury.

Hamann, however, might be an even better fit for the position. His ability to read the game, as well as kick-start attacks from deep with his excellent passing skills, would make him ideal for Klopp’s 4-3-3 system.

Titi Camara, Vladimir Smicer and Sander Westerveld arrived in the summer of 1999, although all three would do well to make the bench in the current squad.

Emile Heskey was also signed in the season, albeit he didn’t join until March 2000. He proved an excellent foil for Michael Owen in Houllier’s team that did the cup treble the following campaign. Yet for all his qualities (and he does have some, despite receiving plenty of criticism during his career), the striker wouldn't suit Klopp’s high-press, fast-tempo football.

Hyypia, Henchoz and Hamann, however, would fit right in. What Liverpool wouldn't give to repeat the summer of '99 all over again.



Rob Lancaster is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All statistics and transfer fees are from LFC History unless otherwise stated.

Read more Liverpool news on

          June Doin's   
Boy, that looks funny to me. I have been mulling over titles and went back through all the pages/threads of this team...even found where there was a vote for a name change!

We've been changing the discussion thread every month...a practice begun when many folks still had only access to dial-up. I don't know if that is the situation for anyone now..but for the dial-up connections, a new thread gave less stuff to be loaded each time they signed in.

Since we seem to chat...
          Mass. to federal commission seeking detailed voter data: Go screw   

CommonWealth Magazine reports that Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has no intentions of handing over detailed data about the state's registered voters to a federal commission headed by Mike Pence and Galvin's counterpart in Kansas, who has a strong record of voter suppression.

          Another CNN Producer Exposed By Project Veritas: American Voters “Are Stupid As Shit”   
– Another CNN Producer Exposed By Project Veritas: American Voters “Are Stupid As Shit”: Content originally published at Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has just capped off a week of destroying CNN’s last shred of credibility with a Friday morning release of another undercover encounter with an employee of the beleaguered network. Jimmy Carr, a hate-filled Associate ... Read more
          Twitter Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage Legalization In Germany Following Historic Parliament Vote   
Pride Month ends on a good note in Germany as lawmakers voted Friday to officially legalize same-sex marriage. The approval allows for Germany to join a growing list of European countries that have already legalized same-sex marriage, including Denmark and the United Kingdom. With four abstentions, Parliament passed the law with 393 votes in favor of same-sex marriage and 226 in opposition to it. However, the approval was unusual for the country's normal practices because it occurred rather quickly.
          City says "no" to firefighters' pursuit of ballot measure   
So much for a state law enabling Colorado Springs firefighters to seek voters' permission to collectively bargain for pay and benefits.

City Clerk Sarah Johnson wrote to Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters Association Local 5 president David Noblitt in a letter dated Friday, June 30, saying go pound sand.

Actually, the letter was more formal than that, making the point that as a home-rule city, Colorado Springs considers Senate Bill 25, enacted to allow firefighters to seek voter approval of collective bargaining, not applicable to the city.

"Home rule municipalities have exclusive authority over municipal elections....," Johnson wrote.

Read the letter here:
Noblitt tells the Independent via email:
I am still just a bit flabbergasted on what they find so destructive about SB-25.…
          Minneapolis council approves $15 an hour minimum wage   
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council voted overwhelmingly on Friday to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years, joining other large U.S. cities that have increased basic wages.
          Inside Mae Beavers: A Parody Arises   
Your PeskyFly was considering a soft-core parody of Tennessee's puritanical, porn-busting gubernatorial candidate Sen. Mae Beavers. The premise: Me and May would destroy millions of innocent young lives with passionate acts of slippery abandon. Awesome so far, right? Catch was, I couldn't come up with the right title. Should it be Around the World with Mae Beavers? 69 Things I Know About Mae Beavers? Strangers in a Strange Beaver? Butt Slammers Vol. 4? So many choices, none of them quite right.

Like they say, when you snooze you lose. While I was dithering, some industrious person was busy crafting a Mae Beavers parody that's so much better than anything I might have come up with because, presumably, this call's coming from inside "the House."

The entire text, typos and all, as originally shared by the Nashville Scene.

How to be The Ultraconservative Candidate
Nothing is more important when running for office in Tennessee than getting the conservative vote – and it is the ultraconservative who will probably win the election. So how can you appear to be the ultraconservative candidate?

Preeminence: Make yourself the preeminent conservative in the state. Remember, it is a competition, and by passive aggressively one-upping all other politicians, you can appear to be really nice but in reality, you are crushing the reputations and political futures of potential opponents. Which is good to do because self-centered, attention-grabbing is a useful skill to ensure your future political success.

Secure your superiority through negative contrasting; unnecessarily make comparisons that negatively contrast other elected officials with you. This will present you in the most positive light. Should an official try to claim that they are conservative, what they are really doing is claiming to be more conservative than you. Put an end to this by calling them a RINO, and inferring that they secretly support an income tax.

The key to being the preeminent conservative is control. Control is the glue that holds conservatives who lack critical thinking skills together. It is also a passive aggressive technique you can use against other Republicans; it is really the best way to ensure that you receive the constant attention and admiration from the public that you deserve.

Remember, being in office for 25 years doesn’t mean you are an establishment politician as long as you always call other conservatives who have been in office for a shorter amount of time than you establishment politicians. This helps you assert your dominance in the lives of everyone around you, and dominance helps to improve your life. If anyone doubts you, simply recite your impossible dogmatic standards or your rabid deep-seated feelings of victimization.

Public Speeches: Supplying detail in your public speeches is bad, and may cause you to have to answer actual questions; so speak in vague generalities and platitudes at all times. People will read between the lines and respond with total adoration and obedience. If political insecurities necessitate wild claims about ISIS infiltration or constituents – sweep the room for mics first.

Be sure to call all other Republicans RINOs, that way these officials will learn that they have done something wrong, and because you should be speaking in vague generalities, people will just assume you are the only real conservative without any way to actually measure. They will also believe that all other legislators are simply RINOs at the core of their being.

Further, each time you make negative accusations about the legislature, it is encouragement for them to be more conservative.

Statesmanship: Emphasizing your own statesmanship through snarky comments has the added benefit of shaming other legislators – communicating your own statesmanship through misdirected shame is a direct way to communicate that you are preeminent, and don’t forget – they deserve it.

Legislation: Be legislatively savvy. File bills that appear so conservative that they are actually unconstitutional. Then issue a press release that takes advantage of the blind support of people who don’t know the difference. Insist on running these bills in committee; when the Attorney General opines that the bill is constitutionally suspect this is your big chance to issue a second press release that labels the AG and your Republican colleagues as RINOs – which makes you appear to be the only real conservative in the legislature.

Paint your record as something completely different than what it is. Your oath to uphold the Constitution should never get in the way of your own narcissistic desire for preeminence. Only a true freedom fighter would file an unconstitutional bill, and your refusal to fix your bill by making it constitutional can easily be justified by a plain folks’ appeal that encompasses name calling and proper over simplification of the actual legal issues.

Never let anyone else’s conservative efforts be good enough for you. Remember, if another legislator asks for your support for their ultraconservative idea, they’re not trying to be friendly, they are trying to overthrow your tyrannical reign of control and dominance. You can’t let that happen. You’ll want to play the trump card of filing a nearly identical bill, except, make it a little more outrageous. Then issue a press release containing a directly indirect passive aggressive message that the first legislator has stolen your work. This clearly puts you back in the driver’s seat.

This technique works for dead ultraconservative bills too. If another legislator’s ultraconservative measure died because it came smack dab up against legal realities, you can steal that bill next year and announce to the world that because that legislator was such a RINO and pathetically decided not to get the job done, you will justly assume your natural position of conservative preeminence. When you come up against the same issues as the prior legislator, you can thoroughly enjoy the renewed sense of purpose that floods into your life while you sit on top of your moral high ground calling the committee members who can’t vote for your unconstitutional bill RINO's.

Budget: Take advantage of the fact that the state budget is so large that no one can possibly know off hand all that it contains. This fact alone creates a lot of suspicion and skepticism among ultraconservatives. In this way, year after year, you can receive statewide attention for being the lone conservative vote against the budget. When media ask why you voted no, supply a simplistic platitude, “There is too much pork in that budget”, an explanation so simple that even a democrat can understand. Pork works because people identify pork with fat, and fat makes people think of indulgence and waste.

Supreme Court: Ignoring Supreme Court cases that have already been decided is another good way to lock down your support from a statewide ultraconservative base while at the same time unmistakably signal your disrespect for the judiciary.

Security: You are entitled to your feelings of needing special treatment, and requiring security makes you appear important enough to protect. But what if no one has actually threatened your life? No problem – your paranoia can assist you in just making something up. Also, by pleading, a wealthy conservative businessman is likely to pay for you to have the constant presence of security whenever you are out in public – this has the added benefit of making you look really important and worthy of protection.

Look the Part: Drive a conservative vehicle. It may be tempting to develop a Lexus nexus with other candidates but that’s really sketchy and y’all in Tennessee … a pickup truck is your best bet.

The Constitution: If you’ve gotten this far, understanding constitutional facts isn’t necessary for you so don’t spend any time on this subject. You’ll want to spend most of your time creating new unconstitutional bills that appear ultraconservative but in reality, will rigidly control people’s lives or help them to realize that they are going to spend eternity in hell.
Since being an ultraconservative is a political philosophy that doesn’t have an actual platform or rule book, you don’t need to know what constitutes an ultraconservative and neither does anybody else. This also means that you have zero knowledge of what may or may not be constitutional in your ultraconservative sense. But don’t worry about that, to fill this small little loop-hole, you only need to publicly preach with conviction that any views you hold are truly ultraconservative, and if anyone else who may actually know something about the constitution raises the specter that you are incorrect, it will be crystal clear that they are actually a RINO and you can call them out on that fact.

These suggestions are a really good start towards your goal of ultraconservative preeminence. Good luck with your political future. 


          Last Weekend's NAACP Centennial Celebration Looked Back — and Forward   

As Memphis prepares for a 4th of July weekend, members and guests of the Memphis chapter of the NAACP are still savoring some moments last weekend from the organization’s centennial anniversary luncheon — particularly from keynoters Melissa Harris-Perry, former MSNBC host and Wake Forest professor, and Harold Ford Jr., the onetime Memphis congressman who now works on Wall Street and keeps his hand in politically, also on MSNBC.

There were notable things happening before keynoters Harris-Perry and Ford took their star turns, of course. Local NAACP president Deidre Malone and MC Mearl Purvis kept things moving from the dais, and a series of local dignitaries, including Ford’s successor, current 9th District congressman Steve Cohen and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, had some trenchant things to say — Cohen about the perils of the Trump presidency, Strickland about the need to boost African Americans’ share of local business opportunities.

Arguably, though, the best crowd reaction early on was to remarks by longtime civil rights activist Jocelyn Wurzburg, who (along with Shannon Brown and Roquita Coleman-Williams) was one of three official co-chairs for the event, held at the East Memphis Hilton last Saturday and devoted to the theme “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy.”

Wurzburg, recipient of numerous citations and the person for whom Tennessee Human Rights Commission's annual Civil Rights Legacy award was named, conflated two tales. The first was about being embarrassed in her early youth when her mother, without asking, signed her up as a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy; the second detailed her response, during a visit to New Orleans, when a resident of that city lamented Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s recent removal of Confederate memorials, including a statue of Robert E. Lee.

The New Orleans native insisted that Lee had been done an injustice, in that the Civil War, in which he led a Southern army, had not been done on behalf of slavery. Wurzburg countered that, “as a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, I can assure you it was.”

Harris-Perry, utilizing her erstwhile media chops, would wow the NAACP audience with a deceptively stream-of-consciousness rendition, including flamboyant hand-and-arm gestures, of what was actually a tightly organized dramatic presentation, aptly illustrated by a series of slides.

And along with her mastery of the medium (two actually; that of television and that of the lecture hall) came several provocative messages. One was both powerful and original: Taking off from her declaration that America had elected a president who was both “a racist and a pussy-grabber,” she formulated a convincing argument that racial domination, in its various forms, had depended on a distinctly physical domination of black women.

Slavery, which had involved the calculated and merciless separation of children from their mothers, had continued “through us,” Harris-Perry declared. To maintain the current stratified social system, she suggested, “Black women have to give birth,” and thereby to yield up to others “not only the product of our labor but our labor….The people who run this joint are pussy-grabbers.” That, she said, was “the reality of our wombs.”

Noting the incidence of black domestic servants in her paternal ancestry visi-a-vis the fact that her mother’s side was white and relatively privileged, Harris-Perry identified strongly with the former and with the idea of building “from the bottom,” a moral that she said would apply both to the advancement of the NAACP and the redevelopment of a dilapidated Democratic Party. “You always have to start with the least of these, literally, Jesus said. If you start at the top, you will miss so much. If you start at the bottom, you will miss nothing.”

Harris-Perry was the proverbial Hard Act to Follow, but Ford, who came next and last, managed to do just fine.

Professing that he was “glad to be home,” the former 9th District Congressman (who came within an ace of winning a Senate seat as a Democrat in 2006) executed an artful segue from Harris-Perry. Elaborating on the theme of “the power of women,” he recalled the importance of women teachers in his early education, extolled the helpful role played by “women in this district” in the development of his political career, and did some verbal doting on his 4 ½-year-old daughter Georgia.

Ford then shifted to the subject of change and to what he saw as a geometrically increasing demand for it in the society of today, treating the abrupt shift by American voters to Obama in 2008 and, even more precipitously, to Trump in 2016 as a case in point. The silver lining was the fact, as he saw it, that yet another political shift in a wholly different direction could happen, and relatively quickly.

“People want change, and they want it now,” he said, noting the pell-mell transformations of public technology, like the ever-escalating rise in photography via cell phone. He recalled being told two years ago that, within five years from that point, “97 percent of all the pictures in the world” would have been taken.

Ford closed on a note of optimism: “We’ve got to be daring and not afraid of change.” He quoted Babe Ruth to the effect that “Yesterday’s home runs do not win tomorrow’s ball games.”

          Professional Garage Doors and Gates Fillmore   
Pearl Garage Doors 93015 is a locally owned and operated company, devoted to the highest quality professional service and full customer satisfaction. We are proud to serve our clients because we believe that everyone should have the chance to be proud of their homes. Everyone wants to take pride over the look of the front […]

Professional Garage Doors and Gates Fillmore is a post from: 1st Gates & Garage Doors

          June 30, 2017: Hour 2   
In hour two of Here & Now's June 30, 2017 full broadcast, we talk with Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson — whose state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — about his reaction to the Senate health care plan. Also, we meet Mikah Meyer, who's on a quest to be the youngest person to visit every one of the National Park Service's 417 sites in one continuous trip. And recreational marijuana goes on sale for the first time Saturday in Nevada, after voters passed a ballot measure in November to make the practice legal in the state.
          Growing Pile of Data Shows That Voter Fraud Is a Real and Vast Problem   

This week, The Heritage Foundation is updating its Voter Fraud Database with 89 new entries, including 75 convictions and a slew of overturned elections and... Read More

The post Growing Pile of Data Shows That Voter Fraud Is a Real and Vast Problem appeared first on The Daily Signal.

          Amendment 9 would do what many thought was already done   
If Louisiana voters ratify Amendment 9 on the Oct. 4 ballot, they will impose a dedication they thought already was done, according to state Rep. Rick Farrar.The proposed change to the state Constitution would dedicate all but $500,000 of the annual revenues from the state lottery to public education. The $500,000 set aside would be used for treating problem and compulsive gamblers.Farrar, D-Pineville, said he authored the amendment in response to voters' questions about how about $100 million i... [ More ]
          Chief Executive’s Report, 29th June 2017   

Maren Deepwell at ALT conference 2016Dear Members

I’d like to start this report with a warm welcome to everyone who’s joined ALT this year. It’s great to see the number of Learning Technology professionals growing across sectors and we are pleased to have you on board!

As a Member we’d like to encourage you to get involved and we are currently inviting expressions of interest for a range of different roles, including our governance, events, publications, professional development and accreditation. Following the launch of our strategy for 2017-2020 earlier this year, there are a lot of new initiatives getting underway as well, so whether you have just joined or are an established member there is, I hope, a rewarding way for you to engage.

Further particulars are available on ALT’s website and you can also to sign up specifically for Pathways to CMALT, expanding the accreditation framework .

I’d also like to use this opportunity to give particular thanks to Members who edit and run this blog. Since its transition from newsletter to blog the readership and output has increased significantly and from event reports to case studies and reports the blog is going from strength to strength. I invite you to meet the editors and consider joining the editorial team or to write for the blog.

Another important development in the last month has been around ALT’s journal, Research in Learning Technology, and our new partnership with Open Academia.

As a Member you also have the right to vote in the elections run by the Electoral Reform Services which determine who becomes a Trustee of ALT and joins the Central Executive, the committee that governs the Association. Look out for an email with details of who is standing for election and how to vote. The results will be announced at the AGM on 6 September.

As I am writing this we are also preparing for what looks like a busy Annual Conference in Liverpool in September. The largest of our three annual events, with the OER Conference in April and the online conference in December, has received a record number of submissions this year, 230 in total, which is the biggest number in five years. Full information, the programme and registration is on the conference platform.

As a staff team we look forward to supporting the conference this year and since my last report we have welcomed our new Events Manager, Jane Marsh, who will be running the event this year. We are also pleased to be supporting one of our senior staff, Martin Hawksey, through a period of research leave, and you can read more about what Martin will be doing on his blog.

Together with my colleagues and Trustees I am heartened to see our work make a difference and our community grow despite the significant challenges we are facing as individuals, within institutions and on a national scale. I look forward to meeting many of you in Liverpool and more online as we gather, discuss and critically reflect on the role of Learning Technology in our future – ‘beyond islands of innovation’.

 Maren Deepwell, Chief Executive of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), @marendeepwell

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member

          Many Wins for the LGBT Community Since Election   
While much of the media is still concentrating on the passage of anti-gay legislation back in November, many gains for LGBT equality are being made across the nation.
  • Just yesterday, our community and elected officials made these changes!
    • Columbus, Ohio, and Binghamton, NY's, city councils both, extended their nondiscrimination laws to include discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
    • Sioux City, Iowa's, city council decided to delay action on a proposal that would publicly oppose marriage equality.
    • A federal judge denied Birmingham, Alabama's, request that the court dismiss an anti-gay discrimination lawsuit.
    • Ankeny, Iowa's, school board denied a request to bar children from reading the children's book And Tango Makes Three, which features two male penguins who raise a chick together.
    • New York's governor mandated that gay parents be allowed to appear on birth certificates.
With the discouraging losses on Nov. 4, it's important to point out all of our steps forward and to know that for the most part these issues have been covered by the media in a fair, accurate, and inclusive way. Fair media visibility of our community on the local level-everywhere from Florida to Alaska to Iowa-makes a big change in the way our neighbors perceive us. In addition to the media coverage in your community, sharing your story with your community helps change hearts and minds too! Check out GLAAD's Announcing Equality toolkit to learn all of the ways to share your story locally:
December 19, 2008

          Inhumans Movie / Show - News, Casting, Speculations, and Rumors   

Marvel Studios /TV has announced that Inhumans will be a new show appearing on ABC and will premiere in fall of 2017.  The series first 2 episodes will be shot in Imax Cameras and will debut in movie theaters across the country.

Trailer 1:
There are still a few things that worry me about this.  However they do look better in motion.  I am not seeing much use of Powers either and I think that would be something you would sneak into the trailer.  I also think they need address why Blackbolt can't speak.  Yes, many of Toylab's readers are experts on Blackbolt but he is still pretty unknown outside of Marvel fanboys.

The Inhuman Royal Family remains isolated in their amazing technological city of Attilan.  Attilan is capable of flying and has remained hidden from human eyes by resting on the Moon.  The powerful and silent ruler of the Inhumans Black Bolt is challenged by his brother Maximus.  Maximus wants the Inhumans to go to Earth and take their rightful place as its rulers.  When denied by Blackbolt, Maximus leads a coup that sees Black Bolt and a close group of followers hiding on Earth where they find a new purpose.

Cast and Characters

The series will not focus on the Inhuman characters in Agents of SHIELD (Though it would not surprise me if they appeared).  Instead the show will focus on the classic Inhuman characters of the Inhuman Royal Family.  The show will be set in the modern day and will be set both on Earth and the Moon.  The addition of the Moon as a set means that Attilan and the Blue Side of the Moon will very likely be a setting for the show.

The show / film showing with Imax will be the first time that a show and Imax have joined in such away.  The Marvel press release as posted on states:

ABC, IMAX and Marvel Television also intend to work together to create a joint marketing and promotion plan for the series across their proprietary media platforms--which would be the first such cross-platform marketing launch of a television series. Today’s agreement also marks IMAX’s first time as a financing participant in a TV pilot and series.

Major news in the Marvel press release was on the focus of the series:
Marvel’s "The Inhumans" will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.
This should mean that all of the Inhuman characters will be on the table for Agents of SHIELD and this new Inhumans show.

I think it is safe to say that Inhuman's film has officially been canceled and this show is a replacement to tell some of the same story that was planned for the film.  There has been speculation building for years on what Marvel will end up doing with the Inhumans and now we finally know.

What do you think?  Are you excited?  Disappointed?  Please let me know.

The first picture of the Cast was released fans noticed that Black Bolt did not have his mask which is his iconic look.  A user of named Seon.  Created this edited version of the picture.  I think this looks so much better and there is not reason why Marvel vs ABC could do something similar.

Teaser Video:
First teaser does not show any characters but we do hear the voices and learn about the issues that the group will face.  It sounds like some of the series Inhuman (After terregenisis cloud) storylines could be mined here.  Though it will be different because Blackbolt left the Royal Family during that storyline and here he is very much in place as the ruler of the group.
The voices in the narration are one male and one female.  The male is certainly Maximus the Mad as seems to be plotting the overthrow of his brother and calls for the Freedom of all Inhumans.  He talking to a female who says what he is saying is treason.  I doubt that is Medusa, my guess is that it is Crystal.
Overall really like this teaser, its very short but sets the mood.  Really wish they had just gone this route instead of the stiff looking Entertainment Weekly shoot.

Pictures and Posters from Series:

Actual Casting Call Notes for Inhumans:
From the Hashtag show the Casting notes for the Inhumans has been released.  Keep in mind that the names for the characters coded.  However, if you know anything about the Inhumans its pretty easy to decode.

Source: The Hash Tag Show

It generally looks like they will be sticking to the classic looks of the characters:  Toylab Bloggers added the suspected character names to the character descriptions so that those are not official.

Black Bolt

Broderick: Male. 30-40. Caucasian. Can say volumes with just a look. Strong, thoughtful and private, he’s unaccustomed to being questioned or feeling a need to answer to anyone, to an extent that can verge on arrogance. Series regular.


Marjorie: Female. 30-40. Caucasian. An elegant and intelligent advisor to her husband, she struggles to find her place outside of their relationship, as others tend to view her as just a pretty face. Strong and resourceful, she’s not afraid to break the rules when the situation demands it. Series regular.

Maximus the Mad:

Marty: 30-40. Caucasian. Broderick’s younger brother; he is intelligent, charming, and articulate. He comes across as a man of the people but secretly covets power. Series regular.


Kevin: Male. 30-40. Open. Slight of build, his mind is his greatest asset. Always prepared with a plan, his outlook on life is the glass is always half-empty and often cracked and dirty as well. Though his outlook can be grim, he has a droll, dry sense of humor. Series regular.


Grady: Male. 25-35. Open. Impetuous and brash, he has serious impulse control issues which frequently get him into trouble whether its women, booze, or fighting. He loves life and lives in the moment for better or worse. Series regular.


Christine: Female. 18-25 to play 18. Caucasian. Soulful but still learning the ways of the world, she has the arrogance of youth. Impetuous and independent she is also deeply devoted to her family. Series regular.


Timothy: Male. 25-35. Open. SFXMU required. Supremely athletic. The ultimate picture of cool. He’s calm under pressure and willing to do anything to get the job done.

Sir Kent's thoughts on the Inhumans
Thoughts on the Inhuman Show and Casting from our infamous Guest Blogger Sir Kent!


The Internet and comic geeks alike were all abuzz this week over the MOSTLY confirmed news that MARVEL is planning a GARGANTUAN (LOVE using such words) and ambitious introduction for a group that had been first reported to be D.O.A. The news of THE INHUMANS FINALLY getting not only a big screen, I-Max only treatment but, being tied into a T.V. series was not only enough to make me fuck a duck but about as overdue as this month's Netflix membership is from me (Don't worry bitches, I’ll get to you!). Speaking of ducks, a very brief history of The Inhumans. They were created by way back in 1965. Until recently, they never really had a long running comic of their own. They just kinda showed up at major events throughout Marvel history and much like the Terrigen Mist that gives them their powers, disappeared again. They were originally genetically enhanced humans that had been experimented upon by an alien race called The Kree.

(If you don't know who they are, you ain't a fan! And SHAME ON YOU!) The Kree created the Terrigen Crystals as a way to not only bring out and modify any hidden ability each person may have had but, the ultimate goal was to have them blend into different races throughout the galaxy and wait for orders to try and take over. Which explains their unique and individual appearance. I could go on and on because of their sudden resurgence of popularity thanks to A.O.S. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

But I will spare you that because the BIGGEST question of the week is HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK??? the way BRA-F'BEEP'IN’-VO MARVEL! This is an endeavor that has NEVER been done before and if executed correctly, could spell a new way of movies and T.V. for years to come. Marvels plan is to have The Inhumans have a big screen run only only I-Max or I-Max 3-D screens. THEN spin that into a T.V. series.

This is simply GENIUS and ballsy thinking but, the story, the writing and the casting has got to be about as balls on as it was for DEADPOOL! Which brings me to the gist (Dirty but proper English term! Ya GOTTA love those, don't you?) WHO WILL PLAY THE ROYAL FAMILY??? This in it of itself is a HUGE problem because you have a bunch of start who think they are “TOO GOOD” to appear on the small screen! I said it once before and I’ll say it again.

If the great Samuel muthuf'BEEPin’ Jackson can appear TWICE on A.O.S. then NONE of you muthuf'BEEPa’s have an excuse! Except for being dick’s...thats always an excuse. Here is what I'm thinking should be the short list of consideration for the key members of The Royal Family (Of Inhumans. Not THAT Royal Family. DIPSH'BEEP!)

For the role of KING BLACKBOLT the first that comes to mind would be Vin Diesel BUT that dumbfuck probably would be one of those dicks that wouldn't do T.V.! I could see that so my next choice would be
Jessie Williams of GREY’s ANATOMY fame. Just because, physically, he fits the role to a t. It adds a certain level of color so that this won't turn into FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. (Or as I call it, The Oscars all over again! HAH! Could there BE a cast anymore white? Oh wait...trump. I’m sad again)


My choice to play CRYSTAL would be Gillian Jacobs of COMMUNITY fame because HELLO. I mean LOOK AT HER! SHE IS CRYSTAL! Put her in something skin tight, add special effects and BOOM!


My choice for QUEEN MEDUSA would be Christina Hendricks of
BAD SANTA 2 and MAD MEN. Tits, ass and red hair. Need I say more?


An obvious choice to stay on that “Not too white” line of thinking is my boy KARNAK. Interesting note about Karnak. He wasn't introduced to the terrigen gas like everybody else. His mother wanted him to build his abilities naturally. So she sent him away to a monastery where he mastered his sensory abilities and martial arts prowess. Now, he can see weakness and flaws in anything and exploit it with his skills.

He is a natural tactician as well. My choice to play him could only be
Daniel Wu of INTO THE BADLANDS fame. If you ain't checked out this
A & E series, you really need to.

Photo: Daniel Wu as Sunny - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Gallery - Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

An easy pick for GORGON who is arguably the second strongest of the group would have to be Jason Momoa of STARGATE ATLANTIS and JUSTICE LEAGUE fame. He would play the shit of of a guy who could cause seismic tremors with his cloven hooves.


So there you have it. There is my bright ideas for who would fill out this cast well and hopefully wouldn't act like a bunch of dicks making the transition from the big screen to T.V. What do you think?

Inhuman's Shop
Toylab is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program and is able to bring our fans the best deals on Inhuman Merchandise directly from Amazon.

Here is the information on the prior Inhuman Movie.

Inhumans Movie - News, Casting, Speculations, and Rumors

Scheduled Release date:  Nov 2nd, 2018

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was quoted saying this about the movie:
“November 3, 2018 will introduce dozens of characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe," ... "We really do believe the Inhumans can be a franchise or a series of franchise unto themselves. They have dozens of powers and an amazing social structure. With our 20th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we wanted to continue to refine what that universe is about."

Update Oct 9, 2015:
No More Inhumans Movie?

There is a rumor circulating NYCC and has been reported by Bleedingcool news that the Inhumans film may no longer be on Marvel's slate.
Some speculate that has to do with a disagreement between Marvel's film and TV divisions.  Others conclude that this means that Marvel may be working on a deal with Fox to bring over the X-Men franchise.
For the moment this is all very much rumor and speculation.  Bleedingcool does insist though that it has reliable sources to this rumor.
It would be unclear if true what this would mean for the plot of Agents of SHIELD.  Agents of SHIELD has built up the ideas of Inhumans for the past 3 years.  Would this give the show free reign introduce the Royal Family or does it put their future seasons in a quagmire?

Update: Oct 12, 2015
Devin Faraci addressed the rumor circulating from the BleedingCoolNews article.  According to him there is no delay or cancelation of the Inhuman film.

He also questioned Bleedingcool's claims on the Iron Fist TV show:

Want to learn more about the Inhumans?  Go to:
Inhumans CheatSheet for Agents of SHIELD fans

Current Marvel Logo for the Inhumans movie

Will Vin Diesel be Blackbolt?

Agents of SHIELD build up of Inhumans 
Inhumans CheatSheet for Agents of SHIELD fans
Is Skye an Inhuman?
Skye's Full Origin by Toylab 
Inhuman #8 why did Marvel double orders? 
Hunting for the Mysterious City in Agents of SHIELD
Who are Skye's parents? 
Did Agents of SHIELD jus introduce Skye's Mom?
Is Skye's Father Maximus the Mad?

Who are the Inhumans?
Who is Blackbolt? Why is he so powerful?
Who is Maximus the Mad? 
Who is Medusa?
Who is Karnak?
Who is Crystal?
Who is Triton? 
Who is Gorgon?

Important Places: 
What is Attilan? 
What is the Temple of Randac? 

Ancient Inhumans
Who is King Randac?

Nova Worldmind - Cosmic Races and Cosmic Map
          TruRating Leaves the Shark Tank Victorious…and Rewards Aptos with Cupcakes!   
Last week during Engage, our annual user conference, Aptos produced an Innovators Shark Tank session, where we invited four young and interesting companies to present their solutions to conference attendees and to our sharks (Joe Skorupa and Vicki Cantrell). At the conclusion of the program, attendees voted for the solution they believed could have the … Continue reading TruRating Leaves the Shark Tank Victorious…and Rewards Aptos with Cupcakes!
          Congratulations to Shark Tank Winner TruRating!   
Congratulations to TruRating for taking home this year’s Shark Tank crown, as voted on by the attendees of Aptos Engage 2017! Come see their team alongside ours at the Aptos booth at NRF 2018!
          Jumping into the ‘Shark Tank’   
The Engage version of Shark Tank starts now! Technology companies review their new retail ideas and innovations and then attendees vote for their favorite via the Engage mobile app based on the potential value for their business. Mike Verdeyen, Technology Leader at Aptos, hosts Solution Shark Tank, while Vicki Cantrell and Joe Skorupa play the sharks! … Continue reading Jumping into the ‘Shark Tank’
          Front Desk Agent - Part Time - Novotel Vaughan Hotel - Vaughan, ON   
Answers all incoming phone calls and take reservations. Helps guests with any inquiries, and provides assistance where necessary in a professional manner....
From Indeed - Tue, 30 May 2017 18:53:51 GMT - View all Vaughan, ON jobs
          Commentaires sur Jean-Michel Blanquer : des casiers pour déposer les téléphones des élèves ? par JPhMM   
C'est bien beau de faire voter dans le CA, mais paie les n casiers ?
          (USA-MI-Kalamazoo) Maintenance Shop Clerk / Service Writer   
**33656BR** **Job Title:** Maintenance Shop Clerk / Service Writer **Division:** 3080: Republic-Kalamazoo **Position Summary:** The Maintenance Clerk provides administrative support to the maintenance function. **Exempt Status:** Non-exempt **Requisition ID:** 33656BR **Preferred Qualifications:** • Related experience in a maintenance / trucking industry. **State:** MI **EEO Statement:** Republic Services is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. **Position Type:** Full-Time **Location:** 26211: Kalamazoo-3432 Gembrit Cir **Principal Responsibilities:** • Assures the availability of parts in a cost-effective manner. • Maintains fleet records on inventory levels, preventive maintenance schedules, and corrective maintenance performed on all units. • Inputs fleet information into the computerized fleet management system daily. • May act as a point of contact with vendors to order, receive and ensure payment for goods and services. • Prepares truck purchase orders for management approval, including assignment of general ledger codes. Utilizes ePro to process transactions. • Receives, tags, stocks and dispenses parts to mechanics according to Corporate and Regional policy and local operating procedures. • Reviews purchase orders with accounting to ensure accuracy and proper payment of invoices. • Produces various productivity and usage reports for management review. • Follows all safety policies and procedures; participates with the team to achieve safety goals. • Reconciles Dossier financial data to Lawson general ledger. • Supports the Fleet Manager with analysis of fleet operations reports. This includes analyzing data, identifying trends and outliers, and correcting mistakes where appropriate. Resolves data errors and escalates others errors to management for comparison against identified critical objectives and standards. • May assist with the parts organization and inventory. • Performs other job-related duties as assigned. The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees, and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required by personnel so classified. Furthermore, they do not establish a contract for employment and are subject to change at the discretion of the Company. **Qualifications:** • High school diploma or G.E.D. • Minimum of 1 year of general office experience or equivalent training. **Other Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:** None. **City:** Kalamazoo **Job Category:** Administrative Support **About Us:** About Republic Services Republic Services is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste. Through our subsidiaries, Republic’s collection companies, recycling centers, transfer stations and landfills focus on providing effective solutions to make proper waste disposal effortless for our 14 million customers. We’ll handle it from here.TM, our brand promise, lets customers know they can count on Republic to provide a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue PlanetTM for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world. Our Heritage Our history dates back to the early 1990’s when Republic Waste Services was formed to consolidate a series of regional waste collection companies. The Company underwent a series of name changes and business transformations during the early to mid-90’s and began trading as Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) on July 1, 1998. For the next 10 years, the Company experienced strong and dramatic growth and, in late 2008, Republic Services and Allied Waste Industries merged to create the current Company. Today, Republic Services is a Fortune 300 Company, operating across 39 states and Puerto Rico. Why Work with Us Our Company cannot thrive without great people devoted to serving customers, the community and the planet. We hire the best people to make Republic a great place to work. We are focused on attracting talented individuals across professions who are as committed to serving customers and the planet as we are. We strive to create a workplace that's meaningful and rewarding to our 33,000 employees. That's why we are proud to be recognized as Best Large Employer by Forbes, World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere, and One of the Most Meaningful Companies to Work for in America by Business Insider. **Rewarding Compensation and Benefits:** Eligible employees can elect to participate in: • Comprehensive medical benefits coverage, dental plans and vision coverage. • Health care and dependent care spending accounts. • Short- and long-term disability. • Life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment insurance. • Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP). • Employee discount programs. • 401(k) plan with a generous company match. • Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP).
          German Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage – Merkel Votes Against It   

On Friday, Germany joined the modern world by legalizing same-sex marriage by way of a vote in Parliament, a vote which was not supported by the nation’s leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The vote was held on Friday in Parliament, a snap referendum hastily assembled once Merkel dropped her public opposition. Social Democrats, Greens, and

The post German Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage – Merkel Votes Against It appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          How To Know What You're Talking About, 101   
To the critics of our First Lady (many of whom are uninformed and capricious). Here are a few things you ought to know:
She's the first foreign-born First Lady since John Quincy Adams's wife, Louisa Adams; the only First Lady to be born and raised in a communist country. Most likely, as the Washington Post put it, the most "linguistically gifted" first lady (she is fluent in four languages).
Focused and hard-working from the start, she became a successful model at age five and did her first commercial at 16. She has co-hosted The View with Barbara Walters and is also active in philanthropy and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the American Red Cross and an active member of the Police Athletic League (PAL).
She's been featured in the pages of Allure, Self, Vanity Fair, ELLE, and more. 
Do you know what it takes to be successful in such endeavors? It's grueling work. Very few make it to the top. VERY few.
"She's not gossipy at all, not bitchy and just really nice, though I know that's not exciting to hear," said Robert Janjigian, fashion editor for The Palm Beach Daily News. And the famous photographer Harry Benson says of Melania: "She is a very quiet and nice person"
"She's a really nice person and a fabulous mother," said Terry Allen Kramer, the Palm Beach socialite and veteran Broadway producer, echoing a point reiterated by many who know Melania.
She's known to have her own mind about things and doesn't hesitate to correct the President or steer him in the right direction. Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone said, “She’s very private and she’s very smart. Anyone who thinks she’s a mannequin doesn’t get it. She has excellent instincts into who is trying to exploit their influence with [the President]."
Kind. Focused. Self-assured. Hard-working. Gracious. Beautiful. Worldly. Smart.
A successful professional and savvy, well-informed person in her own right. A fine wife and exceptionally devoted mother.
I think she's a WONDERFUL First Lady. 

          Pennsylvania Senate Passes Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry Guns in School   

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania state Senate voted to pass a bill which would allow teachers in the state to carry firearms while in schools. The bill was purportedly proposed in an effort to prevent school shootings and defend students, but opponents argue that it does more harm than good. The bill passed 28-22 and will

The post Pennsylvania Senate Passes Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry Guns in School appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Sénégal/Législatives: Les acteurs politiques trouvent une solution pour pallier la pléthore de listes de candidats   
Les électeurs pourront choisir au moins cinq des bulletins de vote au lieu de tous les 47 bulletins en lice pour les législatives sénégalaises du 30 juillet, avant de se diriger vers l'isoloir pour voter, a annoncé vendredi la Commission électorale nationale autonome du Sénégal.
          Wall Street Thugs Sink Puerto Rico – America’s Lawyer   

To learn more about this topic, visit AL.Law Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio discusses Puerto Rico’s recent vote for statehood and speaks with attorney, Peter Mougey, about the legal benefits and drawbacks of Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state. Transcript of the above video: Papantonio: According to a 2016 YouGov poll, only 43% of Americans

The post Wall Street Thugs Sink Puerto Rico – America’s Lawyer appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Yeah, They Think It's On Its Way -- And Soon!   
Most voters continue to think President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans will make significant changes to Obamacare in the near future, but most also worry those changes will go too far.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s at least Somewhat Likely that President Trump and Republicans in Congress will make significant changes in Obamacare in the next six months. Thirty-one percent (31%) believe changes in President Barack Obama’s health care plan are unlikely. These figures include 35% who say it’s Very Likely changes are coming and 11% who feel they are Not at all Likely.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on June 26-27, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
          Republicans Have Done Nothing For The American People Since Lincoln – Mike Malloy Show   

Radio talk show host Mike Malloy talks about the Republicans trying to save face after delaying the vote in the Senate for a replacement of Obamacare. “Facing growing opposition from members of his own party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the vote on the Republicans’ healthcare bill until after Congress’s 4 July recess.”

The post Republicans Have Done Nothing For The American People Since Lincoln – Mike Malloy Show appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          "House Republicans OK Measure Asking Military to Study Climate Change"   

"A year ago, the U.S. House tried to block the military from preparing for climate change. Now, several GOP members have voted to support studying the security risks."

Source: ,

          Big Brother UK S18E26 720p HDTV x264-PLUTONiUM   
Big.Brother.UK.S18E26.720p.HDTV.x264-PLUTONiUM Bitrate :2519 kb/s| Video Resolution :1280x720| Video Frame-rate :50.00 fps(r) (eng) Audio : ac3, 48000 Hz, 5:1 Summary: Big Brother takes place entirely within the confines of the Big Brother House. It's essentially a competition between the housemates, the object of which is to be the last remaining housemate in the House. At least one housemate will leave the House every week by a process of nomination and public eviction. Housemates will nominate each other for eviction and those with the most votes from their peers face a public vote. The housemate that receives most public votes leaves the House and is out of the competition. Housemates are provided with a shopping budget each week to buy food and other necessities. Throughout the series housemates will be asked to complete tasks set by Big Brother. If the group does well in the tasks they get rewarded with a bigger shopping budget, plus special treats. On the final night of Big Brother the public vote on which housemate they want to win the show. The housemate with most votes wins a fabulous cash prize!
          Trump commission on voting fraud asks states for voter data   
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- President Donald Trump&apos;s commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections has asked states for a list of the names, party affiliations, addresses and voting histories of all voters, if state law allows it to be public....
          6/30/2017: NEWS: Health care bill has hurdles to clear   

Majority Leader WASHINGTON Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., delayed a vote on the Senate health care bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare after it became clear the legislation lacked enough votes for even an initial motion to bring the bill to the...
          VO10-classic d:vote Touring Kit   
VO10-classic d:vote Touring Kit

VO10-classic d:vote Touring Kit

DPA VO10-Classic d:vote 4099 Classic Touring Kit, 10 Mics and accessories for Normal SPL • Excellent frequency and phase response • Capable of handling extremely high SPLs • Compact, discreet size • Versatility in mounting options • Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender Ready for on-the-road-use for rental companies, musicians or theatres, the d:vote 4099 Rock Touring Kits offer a wide selection of microphones and accessories selected for typical use. The close microphone placement to sound levels like violins or guitars requires microphones with normal sensitivity in order not to clip the following input stages. A detachable lightweight cable from gooseneck to the XLR adapter makes it convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. The extremely flexible cable does not weigh down the instrument. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. The low profile and unobtrusive design provides visual elegance along with uncompromised sound quality and accurate dynamics for the vast majority of instruments. The unique and flexible clip-on system provides fast, stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily positioned at different angles via the flexible gooseneck to match different radiation patterns and allow a variety of sound nuances. The d:vote 4099 Touring Kits include a 3-pin XLR phantom power adapter with belt clip. Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom. The packages include: 10 x d:voteâ„¢ 4099 Instrument Microphones 10 x Microdot adapters 10 x Miniature Microphone Cables 8 x Clips for Violin 3 x Clips for Cello 2 x Clips for Piano 4 x Clips for Guitar 2 x Clips for Sax/Trumpet 2 x Universal Clips 2 x Clips for Bass 2 x Clips for Drum 1 x Peli Case  

          6/30/2017: NEWS: Liberals’ call to action: ‘ Crank up the outrage’   

WASHINGTON Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay a vote on a GOP health care plan gives Democrats a big opportunity to seize the July 4 recess to dial up the pressure to kill the bill for good. Several outside liberal groups plan...
          VO10-rock d:vote Touring Kit   
VO10-rock d:vote Touring Kit

VO10-rock d:vote Touring Kit

DPA VO10-Rock d:vote 4099 Rock Touring Kit, 10 Mics and accessories for Hi SPL • Excellent frequency and phase response • Capable of handling extremely high SPLs • Compact, discreet size • Versatility in mounting options • Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender   Ready for on-the-road-use for rental companies, musicians or theatres, the d:vote 4099 Rock Touring Kits offer a wide selection of microphones and accessories selected for typical use.   The close microphone placement to high level sources like drums and brass instruments requires microphones with low sensitivity in order not to clip the following input stages.   A detachable heavy-duty cable from gooseneck to the XLR adapter makes it convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. The extremely strong 2.2 mm cable is perfect for daily life in PA/Live gigs. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast.   The low profile and unobtrusive design provides visual elegance along with uncompromised sound quality and accurate dynamics for the vast majority of instruments.   The unique and flexible clip-on system provides fast, stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily positioned at different angles via the flexible gooseneck to fit different drums and allow a variety of sound nuances. The d:vote 4099 Touring Kits include a 3-pin XLR phantom power adapter with belt clip.   The DC4099 Clip for Drums unveils a revolutionary new “90 degree” system which provides many more mounting options. Detaching the clip from the gooseneck and re-mounting it turned 90 degrees double the number of mic positions. Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument.   A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom.   The packages include: 10 x d:voteâ„¢ 4099 Instrument Microphones 10 x Microdot adapters 10 x Miniature Microphone Cables, Heavy Duty 7 x Clips for Drum 5 x Clips for Sax/Trumpet 4 x Universal Clips 2 x Clips for Guitar 2 x Clips for Violin 2 x Clips for Piano 1 x Clips for Bass 2 x Clips for Cello 1 x Peli Case

          VO4-classic d:vote Touring Kit   
VO4-classic d:vote Touring Kit

VO4-classic d:vote Touring Kit

DPA VO4-classic d:vote Touring Kit 4 mics and accessories for Normal SPL • Excellent frequency and phase response • Capable of handling extremely high SPLs • Compact, discreet size • Versatility in mounting options • Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender   Ready for on-the-road-use for rental companies, musicians or theatres, the d:vote 4099 Rock Touring Kits offer a wide selection of microphones and accessories selected for typical use.   The close microphone placement to sound levels like violins or guitars requires microphones with normal sensitivity in order not to clip the following input stages.   A detachable lightweight cable from gooseneck to the XLR adapter makes it convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. The extremely flexible cable does not weigh down the instrument. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast.   The low profile and unobtrusive design provides visual elegance along with uncompromised sound quality and accurate dynamics for the vast majority of instruments.   The unique and flexible clip-on system provides fast, stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily positioned at different angles via the flexible gooseneck to match different radiation patterns and allow a variety of sound nuances. The d:vote 4099 Touring Kits include a 3-pin XLR phantom power adapter with belt clip.   Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument.   A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom.   The packages include: 4 x d:voteâ„¢ 4099 Instrument Microphones 4 x Microdot adapters 4 x Miniature Microphone Cables 4 x Clips for Violin 2 x Clips for Cello 1 x Clips for Guitar 1 x Clips for Sax/Trumpet 1 x Universal Clips 1 x Clip for Bass  1 x Peli Case

          VO4-rock d:vote Touring Kit   
VO4-rock d:vote Touring Kit

VO4-rock d:vote Touring Kit

DPA VO4-rock d:vote Touring Kit 4 mics and accessories for Hi SPL VO4-Rock d:vote 4099 Rock Touring Kit, 4 Mics and accessories for Hi SPL • Excellent frequency and phase response • Capable of handling extremely high SPLs • Compact, discreet size • Versatility in mounting options • Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender   Ready for on-the-road-use for rental companies, musicians or theatres, the d:vote 4099 Rock Touring Kits offer a wide selection of microphones and accessories selected for typical use.   The close microphone placement to high level sources like drums and brass instruments requires microphones with low sensitivity in order not to clip the following input stages.   A detachable heavy-duty cable from gooseneck to the XLR adapter makes it convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. The extremely strong 2.2 mm cable is perfect for daily life in PA/Live gigs. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast.   The low profile and unobtrusive design provides visual elegance along with uncompromised sound quality and accurate dynamics for the vast majority of instruments.   The unique and flexible clip-on system provides fast, stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily positioned at different angles via the flexible gooseneck to fit different drums and allow a variety of sound nuances. The d:vote 4099 Touring Kits include a 3-pin XLR phantom power adapter with belt clip.   The DC4099 Clip for Drums unveils a revolutionary new “90 degree” system which provides many more mounting options. Detaching the clip from the gooseneck and re-mounting it turned 90 degrees double the number of mic positions. Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument.   A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom.   The packages include: 4 x d:voteâ„¢ 4099 Instrument Microphones 4 x Microdot adapters 4 x Miniature Microphone Cables, Heavy Duty 4 x Clips for Drum 4 x Clips for Sax/Trumpet 2 x Universal Clips 1 x Peli Case

          VO4099B d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Bass   
VO4099B d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Bass

VO4099B d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Bass

before-feedback Natural sound – easy to blend with pick-up Flexible and easy mounting Mount has no impact on acoustic sound Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender Perfect for PA amplification and live recording of acoustic upright bass, the 4099B offers a sound that is considerably more natural than an internal microphone or pick-up as well as several excellent placement possibilities. The 4099B is a unique clip microphone inheriting the sonic approach from the legendary DPA studio microphones to a new instrument microphone. The 4099B microphone and mounting system is meticulously designed and optimized for the double bass. This is to ensure the best possible mount and audio reinforcement is achieved when performing live. The 4099B attaches to the E and G string below the bridge and allows for microphone capsule placement in the sweet spot between bridge and fingerboard. Representing years of research and development, the 4099 condenser microphones feature supercardioid polar patterns for superior gain-before-feedback. Fully capable of handling the double bass’s dynamic range and subtle details, these microphones live up to their pedigree with sound as accurate as DPA’s other world-class microphones. Despite its tiny, discreet size and elegant, lightweight design, 4099B is extremely rugged. The versatile gooseneck provides stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily unclipped and repositioned or moved to another instrument, while the mounting system is designed never to mar or scratch the finish of your instrument nor changing the sonic character of it. Reduce cable clutter on stage by using the DAO4099 Double Cable. The cable carries both the 4099 mic extension cable and a pick-up jack connection in one dual cable run in a nylon sock. The jack uses high quality Mogami cable and gold Neutrik connectors. At the instrument end there is a right-angled connector. The microphone extension is the DPA miniature cable. Through the use of our extensive adapter system, the 4099 can be used as a standard 48V phantom powered microphone via the included XLR connector and is also compatible with virtually any wireless system. Fleet owners of 4099s will appreciate the multiplicity of using the microphone for a number of different instruments simply by moving the microphone/gooseneck part to another instrument clip from the range. With its very flexible design for a wide variety of mounting and positioning possibilities along with its extremely natural sound, the 4099 is truly a musician’s mic without equal. Continuing DPA’s heritage of sonic excellence, this series of microphones achieves the purest reproduction of your instrument and therefore your full range of expression. Optional gooseneck extension Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. Detachable cables The updated 4099 range features detachable cable from gooseneck, so it’s more convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. Furthermore, the choice of different cable qualities makes it possible to tailor your mic to the specific task, such as choosing the heavy duty 2.2 mm cable for PA/Live gigs or the easier-to-hide, thinner miniature cable for personal mounting on instruments where you don’t want the cable weight to interfere with your performance. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. Adapters for wireless microphones A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom. DPA has specific adapters for AKG, Audio Ltd., Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, Electro-Voice, Lectrosonics, Micron, Mipro, Pastega, Telex ProStar, Ramsa, Samson, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Toa, Vega and other systems. Each adapter for your cordless microphone is guaranteed to perfectly mate to your system of choice.  

          VO4099C d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Cello   
VO4099C d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Cello

VO4099C d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Cello

DPA VO4099C (VO 4099 C VO-4099-C VO/4099/C) d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Cello Features: Natural sound and high isolation Superior gain-before-feedback Flexible and easy mounting Mount has no impact on acoustic sound Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender Perfect for PA amplification and live recording of a cello, the 4099C offers a sound that is considerably more natural than an internal microphone or pick-up as well as several excellent placement possibilities. The 4099C is a unique clip microphone inheriting the sonic approach from the legendary DPA studio microphones to a new instrument microphone. The 4099C microphone and mounting system is meticulously designed and optimized for the violoncello. This is to ensure the best possible mount and audio reinforcement is achieved when performing live. The 4099C attaches to the C and A string below the bridge and allows for microphone capsule placement in the sweet spot between bridge and fingerboard, offering a unique combination of natural string sound and high audio separation on stage. Representing years of research and development, the 4099 condenser microphones feature supercardioid polar patterns for superior gain-before-feedback. Fully capable of handling the cello’s dynamic range and subtle details, these microphones live up to their pedigree with sound as accurate as DPA’s other world-class microphones. Despite its tiny, discreet size and elegant, lightweight design, the 4099C is extremely rugged. The versatile gooseneck provides stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily unclipped and repositioned or moved to another instrument, while the mounting system is designed never to mar or scratch the finish of your instrument nor changing the sonic character of it. Through the use of our extensive adapter system, the 4099 can be used as a standard 48V phantom powered microphone via the included XLR connector and is also compatible with virtually any wireless system. Fleet owners of 4099s will appreciate the multiplicity of using the microphone for a number of different instruments simply by moving the microphone/gooseneck part to another instrument clip from the range. With its very flexible design for a wide variety of mounting and positioning possibilities along with its extremely natural sound, the 4099 is truly a musician’s mic without equal. Continuing DPA’s heritage of sonic excellence, this series of microphones achieves the purest reproduction of your instrument and therefore your full range of expression. Optional gooseneck extension Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. Detachable cables The updated 4099 range features detachable cable from gooseneck, so it’s more convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. Furthermore, the choice of different cable qualities makes it possible to tailor your mic to the specific task, such as choosing the heavy duty 2.2 mm cable for PA/Live gigs or the easier-to-hide, thinner miniature cable for personal mounting on instruments where you don’t want the cable weight to interfere with your performance. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. Adapters for wireless microphones A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom. DPA has specific adapters for AKG, Audio Ltd., Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, Electro-Voice, Lectrosonics, Micron, Mipro, Pastega, Telex ProStar, Ramsa, Samson, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Toa, Vega and other systems. Each adapter for your cordless microphone is guaranteed to perfectly mate to your system of choice.    

          VO4099D d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Drum   
VO4099D d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Drum

VO4099D d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Drum

DPA VO4099D (VO 4099 D VO-4099-D VO/4099/D) d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Drum FEATURES: Excellent frequency and phase response Capable of handling extremely high SPLs Compact, discreet size Versatility in mounting options Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender 4099D is a microphone solution that allows for high quality audio capture of drums and percussion instruments. The low profile and unobtrusive design provides visual elegance along with uncompromised sound quality and accurate dynamics. The unique and flexible clip-on system provides fast, stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily positioned at different angles via the flexible gooseneck to fit different drums and allow a variety of sound nuances. The 4099D includes a 3-pin XLR phantom power adapter. The 4099D unveils a revolutionary new “90 degree” system which provides many more mounting options. By detaching the clip from the gooseneck and re-mounting it turned 90 degrees, the number of mic positions is doubled. 4099D can easily be combined in numerous ways and with a wide variety of microphones. For bass drum, the DPA VC4099 clip fits perfect on the rim and makes a DPA Microphones drum-sound revelation possible at a reasonable price level. Optional gooseneck extension Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. Detachable cables The updated 4099 range features detachable cable from gooseneck, so it’s more convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. Furthermore, the choice of different cable qualities makes it possible to tailor your mic to the specific task, such as choosing the heavy duty 2.2 mm cable for PA/Live gigs or the easier-to-hide, thinner miniature cable for personal mounting on instruments where you don’t want the cable weight to interfere with your performance. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. The package includes Supercardioid gooseneck mic with cable Integrated windscreen and shock mount system Clip to attach on drums and various percussion (also available separately as DC4099) XLR adapter Adapters for wireless microphones A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom. DPA has specific adapters for AKG, Audio Ltd., Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, Electro-Voice, Lectrosonics, Micron, Mipro, Pastega, Telex ProStar, Ramsa, Samson, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Toa, Vega and other systems. Each adapter for your cordless microphone is guaranteed to perfectly mate to your system of choice.    

          VO4099Lo d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone in Pouch, Lo-Sens   
VO4099Lo d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone in Pouch, Lo-Sens

VO4099Lo d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone in Pouch, Lo-Sens

DPA VO4099Lo (VO 4099 Lo VO-4099-Lo VO/4099/Lo) d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone in Pouch, Lo-Sens  d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone in Pouch, Lo-Sens  

          VO4099P d:vote 4099 Stereo Microphone System for Piano   
VO4099P d:vote 4099 Stereo Microphone System for Piano

VO4099P d:vote 4099 Stereo Microphone System for Piano

DPA VO4099P (VO 4099 P VO-4099-P VO/4099/P) d:vote 4099 Stereo Microphone System for Piano FEATURES: High gain-before-feedback Flat frequency response Compact, discrete size Excellent phase characteristic Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender 4099P is a piano miking solution that makes it easy to achieve a high level of isolation on stage while providing clean and transparent stereo sound quality with realistic dynamics. The 4099P is a complete system which includes a pair of sensitivity selected 4099 microphones on goosenecks with magnetic mounts to allow the most realistic capture of a piano.  With its low profile and unobtrusive design it is perfect in closed lid scenarios for capturing true acoustic piano sound in a live setting. The versatile magnet mount/gooseneck system provides stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can easily be positioned at different angles via the flexible gooseneck to provide a variety of sound nuances. The system includes two 3-pin XLR adapters. The mounts can also be used with various instruments with magnetic surfaces. Optional gooseneck extensionStandard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. Detachable cablesThe updated 4099 range features detachable cable from gooseneck, so it’s more convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. Furthermore, the choice of different cable qualities makes it possible to tailor your mic to the specific task, such as choosing the heavy duty 2.2 mm cable for PA/Live gigs or the easier-to-hide, thinner miniature cable for personal mounting on instruments where you don’t want the cable weight to interfere with your performance. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. The package includes Two sensitivity selected supercardioid 4099 gooseneck mics Integrated windscreen and shock mount system Magnet mounts to place on piano frame Two DAD6001 3-pin XLR adapters  

          VO4099U d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone, Universal   
VO4099U d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone, Universal

VO4099U d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone, Universal

oe, clarinet, bassoon, recorder and flute. The hook-and-loop fastener band pulls tight to fit the circumference of the instrument, like a wrist watch on your arm.  If using the clip on very large diameter instruments, additional hook-and-loop fastener straps can easily be added to extend the clip’s capacity. The 4099U includes a revolutionary new “90 degree” system which provides many more mounting options. By detaching the clip from the gooseneck and re-mounting it turned 90 degrees, the number of mic positions is doubled. The 4099U includes a 3-pin XLR phantom power adapter. The UC4099 Universal Clip is available separately, and can be used with any of the various versions of the 4099 family. Gooseneck Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. Cables The updated 4099 range features detachable cable from gooseneck, so it’s more convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. Furthermore, the choice of different cable qualities makes it possible to tailor your mic to the specific task, such as choosing the heavy duty 2.2 mm cable for PA/Live gigs or the easier-to-hide, thinner miniature cable for personal mounting on instruments where you don’t want the cable weight to interfere with your performance. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. The package includes A supercardioid gooseneck mic with cable Integrated windscreen and shock mount system Clip with hook-and-loop fastener to mount on various instruments (also available separately as UC4099) XLR adapter with belt clip Adapters for wireless microphones A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom. DPA has specific adapters for AKG, Audio Ltd., Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, Electro-Voice, Lectrosonics, Micron, Mipro, Pastega, Telex ProStar, Ramsa, Samson, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Toa, Vega and other systems. Each adapter for your cordless microphone is guaranteed to perfectly mate to your system of choice.    

          6/30/2017: OPINION: Don’t repeal and replace — retain and repair Obamacare   
Scrambling for votes on their wildly unpopular health care bill, Senate Republicans find themselves with an unappealing choice. They can anger their base by ditching seven years of promises to repeal Obamacare. Or they can strip 22 million people —...
          VO4099V d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Violin   
VO4099V d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Violin

VO4099V d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Violin

DPA VO4099V (DPAVO4099V DPA-VO4099V DPA/VO4099V) d:vote 4099 Clip Microphone for Violin FEATURES: Superior gain-before-feedback Wireless compatible Flexible and easy one-hand mounting Holder gentle to the instrument Detachable cable and versatile gooseneck extender Violin, banjo and viola players will appreciate how gently the 4099V adheres to a prized instrument while its elegantly lightweight, unobtrusive design keeps it from getting in the way of a passionate performance.  The 4099V is a unique clip microphone inheriting the sonic approach from the legendary DPA studio microphones to a new instrument microphone. The 4099 microphone and mounting system is meticulously designed and optimized for the string family. This is to ensure the best possible mount and audio reinforcement is achieved when performing live. The 4099V fits other instruments with a body depth between 35 mm (1.4 in) and 55 mm (2.1 in). Representing years of research and development, the 4099 condenser microphones feature supercardioid polar patterns for superior gain-before-feedback. Fully capable of handling the violin’s dynamic range and subtle details, these microphones live up to their pedigree with sound as accurate as DPA’s other world-class microphones. Despite its tiny, discreet size and elegant, lightweight design, 4099V is extremely rugged. The versatile gooseneck provides stable and repeatable positioning. The mics can be easily unclipped and repositioned or moved to another instrument with only one hand, while the mounting system is designed never to mar or scratch the finish of your instrument. Through the use of our extensive adapter system, the 4099 is compatible with virtually any wireless system and can also be used as a standard 48V phantom powered microphone via the included XLR connector. Fleet owners of 4099s will appreciate the multiplicity of using the microphone for a number of different instruments simply by moving the microphone/gooseneck part to another instrument clip from the range. With its very flexible design for a wide variety of mounting and positioning possibilities along with its extremely natural sound, the 4099 is truly a musician’s mic without equal. Continuing DPA’s heritage of sonic excellence, this series of microphones achieves the purest reproduction of your instrument and therefore your full range of expression. Optional gooseneck extension Standard gooseneck length is 140 mm (5.5 in), which can be altered with the optional gooseneck extension unit, adding another 50% to the length, helping to achieve exactly the sweet spot for the instrument. Detachable cables The updated 4099 range features detachable cable from gooseneck, so it’s more convenient to mount the mic on an instrument before connecting it. Furthermore, the choice of different cable qualities makes it possible to tailor your mic to the specific task, such as choosing the heavy duty 2.2 mm cable for PA/Live gigs or the easier-to-hide, thinner miniature cable for personal mounting on instruments where you don’t want the cable weight to interfere with your performance. In case of cable break, service is easy and fast. Adapters for wireless microphones A wide range of connection adapters makes it possible to use DPA miniature microphones with all professional UHF, VHF or digital wireless system available plus 48 V Phantom. DPA has specific adapters for AKG, Audio Ltd., Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, Electro-Voice, Lectrosonics, Micron, Mipro, Pastega, Telex ProStar, Ramsa, Samson, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Toa, Vega and other systems. Each adapter for your cordless microphone is guaranteed to perfectly mate to your system of choice.

          Gangs encourage members to vote in general election   

Different gangs are coming together this weekend in Auckland to make sure their voice is heard in this year's General Election. 

  • Auckland

          A Guilty Verdict in Nemtsov Trial, But Impunity Reigns   

On Thursday, the 12-person jury sitting at the Moscow District Military Court rendered its verdict in modern Russia’s most high-profile political assassination. By a majority vote, the jurors found five men—all of them linked to the Kremlin-appointed leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov—guilty of the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down on a bridge in front of the Kremlin on February 27, 2015. Zaur Dadayev, a Kadyrov associate and, at the time of the murder, an officer serving in Russia’s Interior Ministry, was convicted of pulling the trigger. The sentence will be handed down in early July.

The verdict followed a two-year investigation and trial that left more questions than it gave answers. From the start, the authorities went to great lengths to avoid any discussion of motive. Russia’s Investigative Committee refused to invoke Article 277 of the Criminal Code—“encroachment on the life of a statesman or a public figure,” instead qualifying the assassination of the former deputy prime minister, incumbent regional legislator, and leader of the opposition as a common murder. Indeed, those questions that attempted to probe the political motives surrounding the murder, asked by Vadim Prokhorov who represented Nemtsov’s family, were repeatedly disallowed by the judge. Despite Prokhorov’s continued requests—and despite obvious links between those accused and the Kadyrov regime—the Chechen strongman was not even formally questioned. Neither was General Viktor Zolotov, commander of the Russian National Guard (formerly of the Interior Ministry’s interior troops) in whose command Dadayev was serving at the time of the murder, and who is widely considered to be a go-between between Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov.

Both the investigators and the court proved unable—or unwilling—to go beyond the perpetrators to pursue those who masterminded and ordered the killing. The only person named as an organizer in the assassination at the foot of the Kremlin Wall was a Chechen driver who remains at large. Initial attempts by investigators to name Ruslan Geremeyev, another Kadyrov associate and Interior Ministry officer, as an organizer were (twice) vetoed by General Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee. As for the masterminds, no one is even pretending to look.

“We saw a trial where it is forbidden to talk about the substance,” noted opposition politician Lev Shlosberg. “The court is investigating a political assassination without any questions about politics. This trial has done everything to make sure society did not get answers to the most important questions: who ordered [the assassination] and why. This shows that there are people who know the answers to these questions. And they are guarding them as a military secret of the state.”

“This was not a full-scale investigation but an imitation,” said Zhanna Nemtsova, the slain leader’s daughter. She has welcomed the guilty verdict for the perpetrators, but—in the absence of named organizers, masterminds, and motive—considers the case to remain unsolved and vows to “continue fighting to establish the truth.” So does Prokhorov, her lawyer. In this, they will be helped by Lithuanian lawmaker Emanuelis Zingeris, recently appointed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as a special rapporteur for the Nemtsov murder case, with a mandate to consider all aspects of the investigation and trial. Hours after the verdict, a message of support also came from the other side of the Atlantic. “Vladimir Putin and his thugs may have succeeded in taking Boris’s life, but they did not silence him,” US Senator John McCain, who knew Nemtsov and worked with him to pass the groundbreaking Magnitsky Act, said in a statement. “His memory, and the cause for which he gave his life, lives on in the hearts and minds of true Russian patriots, tens of thousands of whom have been taking to the streets in recent months to fight for truth and liberty for the Russian people. Inspired by Boris’s example, I know that someday they will succeed.”

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          Team USA Awards: Vote for USA Volleyball's Sweat/Ross   
Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross are up for the Team USA Awards Best of June Team of the Month
          Simone Veil, une vie exceptionnelle et des idées tenaces (PORTRAIT)   
Rescapée de la Shoah, européenne convaincue, l'ancienne ministre de la Santé, qui fit voter la légalisation de l'avortement, est décédée à l'âge de 89 ans.
          Offshore GMB members vote to take industrial action   
The union is in a long-running dispute over pay with the Offshore Contractors Association.
          upvote / downvote an article   


I think I could put this together. Possibly using a custom field to keep the score, then some smd query type stuff to add or subtract one using a pair of linked icons. There are probably other considerations that mean it’s not that simple. How do these features normally stop people from cheating and hammering the database with votes. I guess the most effective would be an IP based delay between votes.

Any ideas?

Kind regards,

          Vote for your favorite Tokyo 2020 Olympics license plate design   
tokyo 2020 summer olympics license plate design contest 1Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has selected five finalists for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics license plate design contest. Now the ministry is asking for your help in narrowing down the competition to one.
          Vote On Team USA's Top Athletes From June   
See which athletes made Team USA's Best of June nominations and vote on your favorites.
          I love malls. I hate that they’re dying. I have a suggestion: Teitel    

My soul is so suburban that when I visited the shopping mall of my youth last week (Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill), I nearly cried because of how much it had changed. Gone was the Mr. Sub, the Zellers, and, saddest of all, the General Store: an overpriced knick-knack shop that sold model cars and special items for left-handed people (my late Bubbie Shoshie called this the “crap store”; clearly she wasn’t the only one who felt this way).

Those who grew up in cities might be under the impression that every suburb and shopping mall is more or less the same. And perhaps to outsiders they are. But if you’re an insider — if you grew up, like I did, on a residential grid of cookie cutter houses — you don’t feel this way. In fact, it’s precisely because you weren’t spoiled with stuff to look at that you’re more attuned to the details of your environment. The sameness of the landscape sharpens your senses. As a result, you know your Indigo, your Silver City, your Kelseys restaurant and of course, your mall, like the back of your hand. (I could pick the Richmond Hill Indigo out of a lineup blindfolded.)

But no matter how well we know our suburban landmarks and defend their existence to our city-slicker friends, they are apparently not long for this world.

Read more: How neighbourhood malls are struggling to survive

According to new research published by Credit Suisse, 20 to 25 per cent of all malls in the U.S. are projected to close by the year 2022. This month, Sears Canada, a mall mainstay, announced plans to close 59 stores, a move that will result in the elimination of nearly 3000 jobs.

Retail analyst Robert Warren says there are a few major contributing factors to the demise of the North American mall: the baby boomer demographic isn’t spending at malls as often as it once did, millennial consumers want more choice — which they can find online — and TV streaming gives us more reason than ever to stay home.

But there’s something else in the mall-decline mix too. And that’s the reality that at the vast majority of North American malls, there simply isn’t enough to do. Most western shopping centres are devoted almost exclusively to retail, which means if you aren’t buying clothes or renewing your criminally overpriced cellphone plan, you don’t have much reason to stick around after you’ve run your errands.

In many parts of Asia, however, the opposite is true. This winter, I travelled throughout Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, where I observed and participated in a mall culture totally unlike our own. Nearly every mall I visited had some element of amusement totally unrelated to the purchasing of stuff. No matter how small, every shopping centre was a miniature West Edmonton Mall, complete with at least one of the following amenities: an aquarium, an arcade, a petting zoo, a batting cage, a bowling ally, laser tag, a high-tech photo booth, a pop culture-themed restaurant, a karaoke stall and even occasionally a museum.

What’s more, it wasn’t just families with young children and teens using these amenities; they were popular with everybody, regardless of age. In East Asia, it became clear to me very quickly that there’s no shame in enjoying the recreational activities you loved as a kid well into adulthood.

Warren says Canadian shopping centres might benefit from the amusement model popular in Asian malls. He even notes that where West Edmonton Mall does well is on “the theme stuff.”

“(Asian) malls are different than ours in that they’ve turned them into entertainment locations,” Warren says. “I think with the massive population we’re (Canada) drawing in from Asia, if a mall operator started to do things like (adding more amusement) they’d draw those consumers in because it’s a bit of a touch of home for them.”

In my mind, the Asian mall model wouldn’t just attract new Canadians from Asian countries or tourists looking for a touch of home, but anyone looking for a variety of amusement in one place. Social media went wild this week with news that Cineplex opened the Rec Room in downtown Toronto — what is essentially a sprawling arcade for adults. Among the activities Torontonian millennials currently go nuts for: escape rooms, axe throwing, board game cafes and lining up for hours on Queen St. W. for something called “charcoal ice cream.”

All of these things point to the reality that millennial adults want to participate in recreational activities that don’t involve getting plastered and going to a bar or nightclub. Malls can use this desire for wholesome recreation to their advantage. Right now most of these activities are spread thin throughout the city and suburbs, often in repurposed warehouses. Why aren’t they at your local mall?

The suburban shopping centre is a town square. If you live in the suburbs, it’s where you go to see and be seen, especially in the wintertime, where the mall is pretty much the only public space you can go to and not freeze your butt off. For a lot of suburbanites, malls aren’t cultural dead zones. They’re meeting places, walking tracks and study spots. In other words, they’re hotbeds of culture. We can turn our noses up at them or we can save them. I say we save them, one arcade and board game cafe at a time. Hillcrest, I’m rooting for you.

Emma Teitel is a national affairs columnist.

          Want to see how far we have come? Compare Canada 150 to Expo 67: Hébert    

MONTREAL—In the city that I’ve called home for the past 20 years, one would be hard-pressed to find signs that Saturday is a special Canada day. A bicycle ride across town on the eve of the country’s 150th anniversary elicits no Maple Leaf flag — except at various hotel and official venues.

Quebec leases expire on July 1. Year in and year out, Canada Day in Montreal is marked by a ballet of moving vans. This year is no exception. The city has spent the past six months celebrating its 375th anniversary. And last week was the June 24th Fête Nationale. It is not as if we were suffering from a deficit of history or festivities.

But for those of us who are old enough to have been there the contrast between this sedate sesquicentennial weekend and Canada’s last significant birthday in 1967 could not be more striking.

I was entering adolescence at the time of Expo 67. My family had moved from Hull (now Gatineau) to Toronto the previous fall. My English was still a work in progress. Our neighbours’ French even more so.

On our street, the family that lived next door was among the first to trek to Montreal to visit Expo. They did not know that the Quebec short form for “excusez-moi” is “scuse”. Expo 67 being the crowd scene that it was, it was a word they heard many times a day. At least one child came home wondering if the expression was a code of some sort.

My mother had relatives on the south shore of Montreal. The seven of us — two parents and five kids including a toddler — camped there for our Expo week. My aunt and uncle lived in a leafy empty nest. They shed crocodile tears when we departed.

Like many of my generation, my first passport was the Expo version. That is probably where I picked up a lifelong travel bug. But the world I encountered on the man-made islands was an artificial paradise.

A very popular pavilion was that of Czechoslovakia. It featured leading edge multimedia presentations as well as puppet shows. It was a magic place that spoke to us of a magic land. By the following summer, Prague was under Soviet occupation for having tried to cut a hole in the Iron Curtain.

An entire section of the United States pavilion was devoted to the conquest of space. The first walk on the moon would take place two years later. Of the American civil rights movement, there was no trace

In the politically correct francophone fashion of the time, my parents took us to France’s pavilion and gave the U.K.’s showcase a wide berth. We had migrated to the cottage by the time French president Charles de Gaulle generated diplomatic havoc by saluting a free Quebec. We all sat around the radio to listen to the live broadcast of his Montreal speech.

Little did most visitors know that the face Canada put forward at Expo was about to be transformed. Trudeaumania was less than a year away from seizing the country. Talks that would lead to the founding of the Parti Québécois were underway.

There are those who pine for the innocence of Canada’s centennial year. But it was largely based on ignorance.

If you are reading this column and/or have read me in the Star for the past number of years, know that few could have fathomed my journalistic path at the time of Expo 67 and not just because women did not take up much space in its “Man and his World thematic environment.

On the day I was offered this column almost two decades ago, I was taken aback by the fact that a non-Quebec media organization like The Star would make a francophone one of its top national politics niche.

It was a few years later that I joined the nascent CBC At Issue panel in a similar role.

At the time of Expo 67, competing soliloquies passed for a national dialogue. The reporting of Canadian politics took place in language silos. Today those silos are no longer as hermetic. The temptation to pigeonhole voices remains rampant but in an increasingly diverse media coop, it cannot endure.

Breaking down some of those barriers is one of Peter Mansbridge’s main contributions not so much to broadcasting as to a more authentic national conversation.

Saturday is Mansbridge’s last broadcast as CBC’s chief correspondent. The next time all hell breaks loose, someone else will walk us through the minefield of breaking news. As my former column-mate the much-missed James Travers would say: Fly straight Peter…

Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer. Her column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

          Sessions hopes Russia probe ends 'sooner rather than later'   
WASHINGTON (AP) " Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a vote of confidence Friday to former FBI director Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, but he also said he hoped the probe could "move forward and come to an end sooner rather than later."The attorney general's comments during a "Fox & Friends" interview were his most expansive to date on the Justice Department's appointment last month of [...]
          Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (PC) 2017   
VOTE AQUI TOP30! (Demora 2 segundos por favor! Ajude-nos!) 

COMENTEM! Abraços. Daniel

Komaru Naegi, pequena irmã de Makoto Naegi, foi presa Dentro de um apartamento misterioso há mais de um ano. Um dia, ela é Resgatado por Byakuya Togami da Future Foundation, mas o resgate é Descarrilado por um súbito ataque de centenas de Monokumas. Komaru em breve Descobre que a cidade foi tomada por um grupo de crianças Chamando-se os Guerreiros da Esperança.

Requisitos Minimos:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core i3-530 CPU 2.93GHz or above
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX650 1GB or AMD HD 7700 1GB(DirectX 11 graphic card required)
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 18 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

Informações do Arquivo: 
Plataforma: PC
Tamanho: 15.86 GB

          No70 - Eye of Basir (PC) 2017   
VOTE AQUI TOP30! (Demora 2 segundos por favor! Ajude-nos!) 

COMENTEM! Abraços. Daniel

Minha avó, Aras e eu estávamos vivendo em uma antiga casa quando eu era um criança. Esta casa estranha que vivemos com nossa avó por muito tempo Anos estava localizado em uma rua estreita e tem todos os nossos recordações. Algumas noites, havia apenas um puro silêncio na casa. Os acontecimentos que não poderíamos explicar poderiam ocorrer nessas noites, Os objetos mudariam freqüentemente, e às vezes nos sentimos Algo passando pela porta.

Requisitos Minimos:
OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10
Processor: Intel Core i3 4160 / AMD FX-6300
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 690 / Radeon HD 7990
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 15 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
Additional Notes: Targetting 1080p @ 60 fps

Informações do Arquivo: 
Plataforma: PC

Tamanho: 9.69 GB

          Health official calls on neuroscience to fight mental illness    

New clues to autism, schizophrenia emerge from studies of synapses

dendritic spines

Branches called dendrites extending from a nerve cell (green) receive messages from other neurons at tiny protrusions called dendritic spines. A faulty protein in the spines may be related to a wide range of mental disorders.

SAN DIEGO — Society’s record for protecting public health has been pretty good in the developed world, not so much in developing countries. That disparity has long been recognized.

But there’s another disparity in society’s approach to public health — the divide between attention to traditional diseases and the resources devoted to mental disorders.

“When it comes to mental health, all countries are developing countries,” says Shekhar Saxena, director of the World Health Organization’s department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Despite a breadth of scope and depth of impact exceeding that of many more highly publicized diseases, mental illness has long been regarded as a second-class medical concern. And modern medicine’s success at diagnosing, treating and curing many other diseases has not been duplicated for major mental disorders.

Saxena thinks that neuroscience research can help. He sees an opportunity for progress through increased interdisciplinary collaboration between neuroscience and mental health researchers.

“The collaboration seems to be improving, but much more is needed and not only in a few countries, but all countries,” he said November 12 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

By almost any measure, mental health disorders impose an enormous societal burden. Worldwide, direct and indirect costs of mental disorders exceed $2.5 trillion yearly, Saxena said — projected to reach $6 trillion by 2030. Mental illnesses also disable and kill in large numbers: Global suicides per year total over 800,000. “Indeed, it is a hidden epidemic,” Saxena said. That’s more deaths than from breast cancer and probably more from malaria, according to a new comprehensive analysis of global mortality.

Mental illnesses encompass a wide range of disorders, from autism and Alzheimer’s disease to substance abuse and schizophrenia. Saxena acknowledged that there have been advances in the scientific understanding of these diseases, but not nearly enough. No easily used diagnostic test is available for most of them. And no new class of drugs for treating major mental disorders has appeared in the last 20 years, with the possible exception of dementia.

“We need increased investment in research, increased public, private and philanthropic investments,” Saxena said. “We need increased connection of research with public health gains.”

He called on the community of neuroscientists to establish a “grand challenge” to researchers to address these concerns.

“There have been many grand challenges in neurosciences — perhaps we need one for finding out mental health interventions,” he said.

Many neuroscientists are, of course, aware of the important link between their research and mental health. Some progress is being made. One promising avenue of work focuses on synapses, the junctures through which nerve cells in the brain communicate. Typically synapses form where axons, the long neuronal extensions that transmit signals, connect with dendrites, the neurons’ message-receiving branches. Most of the axon-dendrite connections occur at small growths called dendritic spines that protrude from the dendrite surface.

Several sessions at the neuroscience meeting described new work showing ways in which dendritic spines may be involved in mental disorders. One session focused on the protein actin, a prime structural component of the spines.

Actin activity depends on a complicated chain of chemical reactions inside a cell. In mice, blocking a key link in that chain reduces the number of spines in the front part of the brain, Scott Soderling of Duke University School of Medicine reported. Those mice then exhibited symptoms reminiscent of schizophrenia in people.

It seems that losing spines in the frontal cortex alters nerve cell connections there; with spine shortages, some axons link directly to the dendrite shaft. Bypassing spines, which play a filtering role, can intensify signals sent to the ventral tegmental area, which in turn may send signals that increase production of the chemical messenger dopamine in another brain region, the striatum. “We think that this is actually what is driving the elevated dopamine levels” in disorders such as schizophrenia, Soderling said.

Some antipsychotic drugs (known as neuroleptics) for treating schizophrenia work by blocking sites of dopamine action in the striatum. But such drugs do nothing about the loss of spines that initiated the problem.

“These neuroleptics largely treat these symptoms, but they’re not a cure,” Soderling said. “We think that this is good evidence … for the idea that these drugs are treating a downstream consequence of a primary insult that’s occurring elsewhere in the brain.”

This insight from neuroscience — that antipsychotics treat downstream symptoms, not the problem at its source — may help the search for better treatments.

Soderling suggests that many other mental disorders may have their roots in problems with actin in dendritic spines. Another speaker at the neuroscience meeting, Haruo Kasai of the University of Tokyo, emphasized how fluctuations in the numbers of spines, related to actin activity, could play a role in autism.

Such results from neuroscience should be of great value to fighting mental disorders. But science alone won’t enable the discovery of effective treatments without a broader scope of scientific investigation of mental illness as a global problem. Too much of research to date focuses on too small a portion of the worldwide population. As Saxena noted, more than 90 percent of scientific studies on mental illness are from — and about — high-income countries.

“We are ignoring a very large number of people living in this world,” he said. “And this can be, and is, a real impediment to science. If we don’t know what is happening in the brains of the majority of the people living in this world, can we really advance science in the best possible manner? Can we still say that we know the human brain? And at least my answer would be: No.”

Follow me on Twitter: @tom_siegfried

          Why quantum mechanics might need an overhaul   

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg says current debates suggest need for new approach to comprehend reality

Steven Weinberg

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a physicist at the University of Texas at Austin, was once happy with quantum mechanics. But now he thinks that some more general theory may be needed to resolve long-standing disputes about the meaning of quantum mechanical math.

SAN ANTONIO — Quantum mechanics is science’s equivalent of political polarization.

Voters either take sides and argue with each other endlessly, or stay home and accept politics as it is. Physicists either just accept quantum mechanics and do their calculations, or take sides in the never-ending debate over what quantum mechanics is actually saying about reality.

Steven Weinberg used to be happy with quantum mechanics as it is and didn’t worry about the debates. But as he has thought about it over the years, the 83-year-old Nobel laureate has reassessed.

“Now I’m not so sure,” he declared October 30 in San Antonio at a session for science writers organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. (Disclosure: I am a member of the CASW board.) “I’m not as happy about quantum mechanics as I used to be, and not as dismissive of its critics.”

One reason Weinberg thinks there’s a need for a new chapter in the quantum story is that those who think everything is fine with quantum mechanics take different sides in the debates about it.

“It’s a bad sign in particular that those physicists who are happy about quantum mechanics, and see nothing wrong with it, don’t agree with each other about what it means,” Weinberg says.

Quantum mechanics stirred up consternation from its beginnings. More than a century ago, physicists such as Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr showed that standard 19th century physics was inadequate for explaining various features of heat, light and atoms. By the 1920s, other physicists, including Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Paul Dirac and Max Born, developed those early realizations into the full-fledged quantum mechanical math that today lies at the foundation of physical understanding of just about everything. Quantum mechanics, Weinberg noted, is the “basis of our understanding of not only atoms, but also atomic nuclei, electrical conduction, magnetism, electromagnetic radiation, semiconductors, superconductors, white dwarf stars, neutron stars, nuclear forces and elementary particles.”

But quantum theory’s explanatory power has come at a substantial price: the need to accept counterintuitive weirdness about reality that many physicists, including such pioneers as Einstein and Schrödinger, refused to accept.

One such objectionable aspect was the quantum rejection of Newtonian determinism, the belief that all events are fully determined by preceding circumstances. You can calculate exactly where a baseball will land, for instance, if you know its velocity and direction when it gets hit by a bat. Quantum mechanics, to the contrary, imposes a probabilistic element into the description of natural processes. When an electron bounces off an atom, no one can predict exactly which direction the electron will go; quantum mechanics just permits you to calculate the odds that it will go one direction or another. A mathematical formula called the wave function provides the instructions for calculating where an electron is likely to be — when you make a measurement of the electron, you are most likely to find it where its probability wave is most intense. Repeated measurements would find a range of results corresponding to the probabilities that the quantum math specifies.

Einstein objected, saying God does not play dice. He further objected to another weird aspect of quantum mechanics, involving its description of pairs of particles separated at birth. Two photons emerging from a single atom, for instance, could fly very far apart yet share a single quantum description; making a measurement on one can reveal something about the other, no matter how far away it is.

Attempts to explain these conundrums fall into two broad categories, Weinberg said: “instrumentalist” and “realist.” Instrumentalists contend that the wave function is merely a tool for calculating the results of experiments — there’s no way to know anything more about reality. Devotees of the realist approach contend that the wave function is a real thing out in the world, evolving over time, and at a fundamental level it is responsible for what’s really happening.

Weinberg finds the instrumentalist view unattractive. It’s “so ugly to imagine that we have no knowledge of anything out there — we can only say what happens when we make a measurement,” he says. “The instrumentalist approach takes the attitude that we just don’t know what’s going on out there.”

On the other hand, the realist view does say what’s going on “out there,” but at the cost of enormous complexity, in the form of a countless number of independent streams of reality. “What’s going on out there is a wave function that is progressing with time in a perfectly deterministic but incredibly complicated way,” Weinberg says. In this view, all possible outcomes of quantum processes (that is, everything) come to pass in one stream or another (even though nobody is aware of any of the other streams, or “histories”).

Weinberg would prefer a reality with one history. But apart from that preference, the realist approach does not explain why measurement results observe the rules of quantum probabilities. If everything actually does happen in the various histories, there seems to be no reason why the quantum rules for probability would apply inside any one stream.

So Weinberg thinks there might be something beyond quantum mechanics, a deeper theory that introduces probabilities at a fundamental level, rather than requiring a human to make measurements to get the probabilities to show up. And there is a line of research attempting to generalize quantum mechanics along those lines. But so far a compelling theory that succeeds in generalizing quantum mechanics does not exist.

Perhaps a replacement for today’s quantum theory will come together any time now. Or perhaps not. “Maybe it’s just the way we express the theory is bad,” Weinberg says, “and the theory itself is right.”

Or possibly a surprise is in store.

“There’s always a third possibility,” Weinberg said, “that’s there’s something else entirely, that we’re going to have a revolution in science which is as much of a break with the past as quantum mechanics is a break from classical physics. That’s a possibility. It may be that a paper from a graduate student tomorrow morning will lay it out. By definition I don’t know what that would be.”

In any case, Weinberg observed, there’s a danger in evaluating any theory in terms of contemporary philosophical prejudices. Newtonian gravity, Weinberg noted, was itself regarded as unacceptable by many scientists of his era.

“Newton’s theory … seemed unpalatable to his contemporaries,” Weinberg said. Newtonian gravity was action at a distance, with no tangible pushing or pulling guiding the planets in their orbits. That “seemed like the introduction of an occult element into science, and was rejected for that reason by the followers of Descartes,” Weinberg said. Furthermore, “the force of gravitation was something that couldn’t be deduced from fundamental philosophical considerations and was rejected in part for that reason by the followers of Leibniz.” And Newton also did away with the dreams of Kepler and others to deduce the size of planetary orbits from fundamental principles.

Yet over time, Newton’s theory compiled an impressive list of successes (much like quantum mechanics has).

“By the end of the 18th century, it was perfectly clear to everyone that Newton’s theory was correct, or at least a spectacularly successful approximation,” Weinberg said. “We can take the lesson that it’s not really a good idea to hold new physical theories too strictly up to some preexisting philosophical standard. We have to go with it and see where it takes us — and see whether or not perhaps we have to change our philosophical standards.”

Follow me on Twitter: @tom_siegfried

          House Votes to Make ‘Space Corps’ the Sixth Branch of US Military   
  The US has an Army, a Navy, an Air Force, a Marine Corps, and a Coast Guard. The House Armed Services Committee this week voted to create a sixth branch of the American military, dubbed...
          Legal weed comes to Nevada — and alcohol industry wants a piece of the pot   
… When the recreational marijuana statue was approved by voters, it gave alcohol wholesalers exclusive rights to the distribution licenses for the first 18 months it was enacted. Letters were mailed to eligible license holders...
          The Over-Criminalization of American Life   
While the corporate media devotes itself to sports, entertainment, dining out and the latest political kerfuffle, America has become the Over-Criminalization Capital of the World. The proliferation of laws and administrative regulations, federal, state and local,...
          State of the Word Idea: Remembering Those We’ve Lost in the WordPress Community   
Later this week, nearly 2,000 people will be in Philadelphia, PA to attend WordCamp US, the annual conference devoted to WordPress. One of the event’s highlights is Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word presentation. In it, Mullenweg shares data on WordPress’ growth throughout the year and gives insight to where (more...)
          VSIX Extension Gallery for Visual Studio   
In a [previous article](/2017/05/vs-itemtemplates-wizards-and-vsix.html) I discussed how to create Item and Project templates and bundle them into their own VSIX installers. However, now that you have your VSIX installer the question becomes how do you distribute it to all your coworkers? It would be great if they could use the _Extensions and Updates_ manager that is already built into Visual Studio. That handles installing, uninstalling, searching and auto-updating extensions. Pretty neat! However the project you have is not suitable to have in a public VSIX repository like the [Visual Studio Marketplace](
The public marketplace is no place for internal company extensions unfortunately.

The public marketplace is no place for internal company extensions unfortunately.

You need to host your own private marketplace. **But how?** TL;DR; I built one # Private Extension Galleries Microsoft has [addressed this issue]( but only through documentaton. There are no concrete implementations available from Microsoft nor any others on how to host and serve these files. Neither is there a simple way to leverage the advanced features the Extension Manager provides (such as search, ratings and download counts). ## So what is available? Unfortunately the commercial offerings are incredibly limited. The main one []( is purely online and regretfully not free. The popular [Nexus Repository]( by Sonatype dropped support for VSIX files in their latest version (v3). There are some [half-automated]( solutions out there, others [very manual]( The worst thing about most of the automatic offerings is that they require being run on an [existing webserver]( (IIS, Apache, Ngix, etc) and require a relational database system to store data. So there really is no freely available out-of-the-box solution available. **Until now...** # Introducing vsgallery
The VS-Gallery running inside of Visual Studio's Extension Manager

The VS-Gallery running inside of Visual Studio's Extension Manager

With the current rise in popularity of [_the Microservice_]( I found it really disappointing that a simple click-to-run solution wasn't available to run a private Visual Studio Marketplace. I wanted something simple and self-contained that could be run without installing and configuring multiple other systems (such as a webserver and a database system). ## The VS Gallery solution Before I bore you with more text, go ahead and test [_vsgallery_]( out. Just download the latest release and run the executable file. It is really that super simple. I promise! Download vsgallery **vsgallery** is a single executable file which acts as a complete self hosted extension gallery for Visual Studio 2010 and newer. It really is ultra simple to configure and run. You are up and running in a few seconds. All for the low low price of **FREE**! The whole system runs as a single self-contained executable and uses no database. All files and data are stored on the local file system which makes maintenance and backup super simple.
## Features * Fully featured Extension Gallery ready to use in Microsoft Visual Studio. * Counts downloads of extensions * Displays star ratings, release notes and links to project home pages * Offers a simple to use REST API to submit ratings and upload new VSIX packages * Atom and JSON feeds for available packages * It's FREE! # How to install into Visual Studio In Visual Studio ``` Tools > Options > Environment > Extensions and Updates ``` Add a new entry and copy in the URL of the main Microservice Atom Feed. > By default the URL is `http://YOUR_SERVER:5100/feeds/atom.xml`
Please consult [this MSDN document]( for any further details and alternative options on how to install a Private Extension Gallery in Visual Studio. # How it works The microservice is configured via the `config.ini` file that sits in the same folder as the main executable. The `.vsix` files, along with their download counts and ratings data are stored in a subfolder of the main service executable `VsixStorage/` (this subfolder is configurable). This makes taking backups and moving the service between machines super easy as the root folder contains the entire Microservice state and data. ``` root-folder |--vsgallery.exe |--config.ini |--VsixStorage |--atom.xml |--First.vsix |--Second.vsix |--AndSoForth.vsix ``` Latest release # The vsgallery API The Microservice comes with a rich HTTP based API. You can plug the data and its functionality directly into your development portal or company intranet with minimal web programming. Even direct integration into your continuous integration platforms and communication pipelines such as #slack are possible. > The `vsix_id` required by many of the endpoints can be obtained by reading the `id` field in the feed endpoints. ### [GET] /feeds/atom.xml This is the main entry point for the VSIX feed and serves up the Syndicate-Feed compatible Atom file containing all available extensions on the server. **This is the URL endpoint that should be used in Visual Studio.** See [How to install into Visual Studio](#how-to-install) for more information. ### [GET] /api/ratings/{vsix_id} Retrieves the rating value and vote count for a particular VSIX package by its ID. ``` curl -X GET http://VSGALLERY_SERVER:5100/api/ratings/VSIX_ID ``` The return type is the following JSON ``` { "rating": 4.3, "count": 19 } ``` ### [POST/PUT] /api/ratings/{vsix_id} Submitting rating values for a particular VSIX package by its ID. The post payload should be just raw string and contain a single floating point value in the range between [0.0, 5.0]. The example below will post a rating of `3.5` stars to VSIX package with the id `VSIX_ID` ``` curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: text/plain" --data "3.5" http://VSGALLERY_SERVER:5100/api/ratings/VSIX_ID ``` ### [GET] /api/json JSON feed for the entire package catalog. Same data that is being fed through the atom feed but just in a handier JSON format. ### [POST/PUT] /api/upload This endpoint accepts form-data uploads of one or more .vsix files to the hosting service. The example below will upload the file `my.vsix` to the gallery server and propose a new name for it `renamed.vsix` (you can omit the filename param to use the original name) ``` curl -X POST --form "file=@my.vsix;filename=renamed.vsix" http://VSGALLERY_SERVER:5100/api/upload ``` To upload multiple files simply add more form elements. The example below uploads two VSIX files at the same time. ``` curl -X POST --form "file1=@my.vsix" --form "file1=@your.vsix" http://VSGALLERY_SERVER:5100/api/upload ``` # Closing So if you're searching for a simple solution for your internal, low traffic, extension gallery then please consider **vsgallery**. If you do try it out, please leave me feedback in the comments below. Peace! vsgallery
          32 House Dems Sign Anti-Israel Letter from Pro-Hamas, pro-BDS Groups   

There are few surprises here. Just the inevitable descent of the Democrats into the fever swamps of hatred and extremism. 

According to the anti-Israel group behind the Congressional letter, “The effort to gather signatories to the letter was supported by a coalition of human rights organizations including U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.”

American Muslims for Palestine has been linked to Hamas. Jewish Voice for Peace, which is neither Jewish nor peaceful, is a BDS group. This is what the Dems are mainstreaming.

32 Democrats in Congress signed on to a letter circulated by a group that even the ADL had described as having its "organizational roots in the now-defunct Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an anti-Semitic group that served as the main propaganda arm for Hamas in the United States."

It won't surprise you to learn that Keith Ellison tops this list. Or that  Betty McCollum, Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan are also there. Pocan recently got caught sponsoring an anti-Israel forum. And is turning into a reliable anti-Israel hack on the Hill.

Then there's Hank Johnson, who called Jews terminates, Barbara Lee, James McGovern, Andre Carson, Anna Eshoo, John Conyers, Luis Gutierrez, Peter DeFazio, Marcy Kaptur, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Karen Bass, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Roy Khanna, Zoe Lofgren, Bobby Rush, Peter Welsh, David Price, Alan Lowenthal, Donald Beyer, Chellie Pingree, Salud Carbajal, Gwen S. Moore, Danny Davis, Jackie Speyer, Jared Huffman, Tulsi Gabbard and Pramiya Jayapal. 

So there's the usual Prog caucus gang. And a sizable heaping of Congressional Black Caucus people. Anyone with a leftover crush on Tulsi Gabbard as the one good Dem would do well to drop it. 

A particular note of disgrace here has been struck by Alan Lowenthal. The leftist won his last race by a limited margin. It remains to be seen what the voters will think of his role in this.

          CNN Associate Producer: "Voters Stupid as S___"   

It's the latest Project Veritas video hammering CNN. 

The admission of bias and hostility might have been a big deal a year ago. But life comes at you fast and the media these days makes no bones about its overt hostility to Trump. CNN plays off its "feud" with the President of the United States. More damaging is the contempt for American voters. And that makes it more of a "deplorable" moment. 

And it's good to remind Americans that the media is run by a separate class that views them with contempt.

More revealing still is the illusory nature of what actually gets shown. Most people don't quite grasp how editing transforms reality. And this serves as a reminder.

          Increasing number of states reject request for personal information on voters from Trump commission   
Reported by L.A. Times 45 minutes ago.
          Comment on The Righteous, Seduced by Secret Combinations by SWS   
Its really a shock to see LDS congressmen toss their integrity aside to support such a vile, amoral, dishonest, self-serving windbag as trump. Even more disturbing perhaps, is their aggressive partisan disrespect and obstruction of President Obama and his administration- he is a decent man who loves this country and worked every day for the people. And, that very secret meeting that several Republicans attended, vowing to obstruct anything and everything Pres. Obama tried to accomplish was a deal made in darkness- they vowed to obstruct even things that were for the good of the country because they wanted him to be a 1 term president- that is pretty evil. That meeting is a "secret combination". Republican hatred is still burning, even though the majority of Americans do not want the Affordable Care Act repealed, Mitch McConnell is trying to force it through anyway. The ACA can be fixed, but their hatred of Pres. Obama is the main reason they want it repealed. Trump is clearly trying to erase the existence of Pres.Obama from the pages of history, which is why McConnell & Ryan are supporting Trump, even supporting him on stupid things like withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord- putting the US in the same category with Nicaragua and Syria. The Trump, Ryan & McConnell team is a secret combination. McConnell's closed door creation of a terrible healthcare plan, with plans and schemes to push it through Congress is a secret combination. The GOP & Trump's plan to slash taxes for the very wealthy & corporations, while taking away, privatizing or gutting every aspect of government that helps people, will turn our government into a one primarily run by the wealthiest families and big corporations- rolling back regulations on pollution is one example of placing corporations over the welfare and health of people. Some in the religious right are also part of this secret combination- by diverting funds from public Education to private/religious schools, generations of Americans will be taught ideas as science that have nothing to do with science, they will teach their stereotypes and their irrational fears- they will turn this country into the pre-apocalyptic nation they are longing for. Talk of the Illuminati is an old story as well- mostly based on conspiracies without any real proof. But, these secret meetings, secret agendas that will redefine the U.S. and our freedoms is very real is happening in front of our faces. Other groups the right accuses of practically everything, just want their civil rights, equal rights, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Orrin Hatch, Lee, Chaffetz & Heller have all shown their cruelty in their votes and are or have been part of these secret combinations. Orrin Hatch doesn't even appear to have a soul anymore.
          Fair Game: How SeaWorld Disregards Its Shareholders   
Facing federal investigations over its response to “Blackfish,” the company retained a chairman who had been voted out and enriched insiders with stock.
          McAuliffe Defies Trump Voter Commission; His Attorney Led Soros-Funded Voter ID Challenges   

Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was the first governor to defy requests for information from Donald Trump's voter commission, announcing that he refuses to turn over voter registration information from the state.

The post McAuliffe Defies Trump Voter Commission; His Attorney Led Soros-Funded Voter ID Challenges appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

          The Regulatory Week in Review: June 30, 2017   
Supreme Court to hear lawsuit challenging travel ban, Senate delays vote on bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and more...
          NY Gov. Cuomo not so eager to find out how many Russians voted after all?   
Never mind!
          Jury suggests censure for 3 Delta trustees   
By Jennifer Torres
Record Staff Writer
June 29, 2010 12:00 AM

STOCKTON — Three members of the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees should be censured for violating the state’s open-meetings law, the county grand jury recommended in a report released Monday.

The trustees — identified in the report only as Trustees A, B and C — knowingly participated in a serial meeting, discussing public business outside of public view, in violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act, the report concludes. Two of the trustees also disclosed confidential information even after fellow board members tried to prevent them from doing so.

In October, Trustee Jennet Stebbins told The Record that several months earlier, she met Trustee Mary Ann Cox — at Cox’s request — at a doughnut shop, where Cox asked for Stebbins’ vote in a bid to oust Delta President Raul Rodriguez. According to Stebbins’ account, Cox told her she already had discussed the matter with trustees Taj Khan and Ted Simas.

Simas, Khan and Cox at the time denied participating in an illegal, secret meeting, and on Monday, Cox said that, based on her training, she does not believe a Brown Act violation occurred.

She said the grand jury report leaves questions. “I really don’t know what all this means yet,” she said. “We don’t know who A, B and C are. … I’m looking forward to finding out.”

Board President Teresa Brown said the board asked the grand jury to identify the members it accused of misconduct. She was disappointed they remained unnamed.

“Until they name them, it casts the same specter over the whole board,” she said. “It makes no sense to me.”
And, she said, without the names, there is no legal foundation for disciplinary action.

“There is no way we can censure them,” Brown said. “There are no Trustees A, B, C. We cannot censure people who are not named.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Torres at (209) 546-8252 or Visit her blog at
          Candidates for Quote of the Week   
Please vote for only "one" of these four IN THE POLL.>>>>

1. One of those in support [of cuts to basic skills], Delta Trustee Ted Simas wants the issue taken to the board for a vote once and for all.

"It just gets frustrating to hear the same thing over again," Simas said, referring to the parade of instructors and students who have protested the cuts in recent weeks. "I want this to become an action item so that this Board of Trustees can make a decision and we can get on with the business of the college."
Record, 10/09/09

2. “This public servant business is over-rated. And the voice of the people is the voice of God—gimme a break! The voice of the people is a dogfight in a back alley over butcher’s scraps. The guys with the juice decide what the public needs.” Boss Pendergast, Kansas City philanthropist and civic leader.

3. “Funny how everything sounds like ‘blah, blah, blah,” when you’ve already made up your mind and some sap keeps on talking when he never had a snowball’s chance in hell of influencing the decision.” Quoted in Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

4. “Who knew the business of a college wasn’t educatin’ people who need some learnin’? Sounds like déjà vu all over again. Tough decisions gotta be made, and I say when you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra, philosopher and Hall of Fame catcher
          Time to get serious   

Probation a prospect not to be taken lightly by Delta College
By The Record
February 20, 2009 6:00 AM

It was disappointing to learn that San Joaquin Delta College has been placed on probation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

In June, the same group issued a warning to the college telling officials there to bring things up to an acceptable level or face probation and the possibility of losing accreditation.

Losing accreditation is no slap on the wrist. Among many other things, it could undermine the availability of financial aid to students and jeopardize the academic future of students wanting to go on to four-year schools.

Like last summer, college officials seemed to say don't worry about the threat. It's not uncommon for colleges to be given warnings or even placed on probation, they said.

Maybe so, and it's true that last summer, the commission issued warnings to about 20 other colleges in the West. But just because being threatened is common doesn't mean it isn't embarrassing.

In the fall, Delta officials did send the commission a 250-page report outlining the progress they felt had been made addressing the commission's concerns. They hoped that would be the end of it.

Apparently not.

Probation indicates the college "deviates significantly" from standards, commission President Barbara A. Beno told Delta President Raul Rodriguez in a Feb. 3 letter.

In fact, of 11 recommendations to the commission, six still have not been addressed. Ignoring - or at least putting off action on - more than half the things suggested by an accreditation commission is not the way to make the group happy.

To be sure, there has been a huge change in the trustee leadership at Delta. In November, district voters swept from office the two incumbents on the ballot and elected two other new trustees in districts where the incumbents did not run. A fifth was replaced last month after she resigned during an embezzlement case. Five of the board's seven trustees are new.

That might slow progress. But it's troubling that one of the commission's continuing concerns is the lack of a trustee code of ethics.

The problems the district has faced in the past will not be cured overnight. But the time to begin working on them is before the sun gets any higher in the sky.

          Mountain House Residents Looking Out for #1   
Written by Mountain House Press
Thursday, 15 January 2009

Mountain House's board sets up committee to watch Delta's doings.

MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Getting San Joaquin Delta College to Mountain House is a strong priority in this small, windswept community.

The Mountain House Community Services District board of directors Wednesday night voted to create a Delta College advisory committee to keep its citizens informed of what transpires during Delta’s board of trustees meetings in Stockton.

The committee will be chaired by board member Matt Balzarini and will include Bernice King-Tingle and three other Mountain House residents picked by the board.

New Delta Board trustees who campaigned on the promises of moving the proposed campus from Mountain House to Tracy prompted the urgent formation of the committee.

“We think this is a very important committee, and that’s why it showed up so quickly on your agenda,” MHCSD General Manager Paul Sensibaugh told the board. “The idea here is to have the community involved in a level of authority or at least recognition for some people who can go to the Delta board of trustees and express Mountain House’s concerns on certain items.”

The board will also ask Delta College trustees to keep them informed when an issue of importance to Mountain House comes up.

The board had some debate on the size of the committee, but decided to go with five members.

“I think that it would be good to have two people from the board and from the community at large, three people,” director King-Tingle said. “It shows that Mountain House as a board and a city are interested in that project.”

Mike Klinkner was one of many concerned citizens of Mountain House who voiced concerns about a Delta College campus in Mountain House.

“We have to stand up for this campus,” he said. “We have to keep the campus here.”

A safety advisory committee was also formed Wednesday night that will work jointly with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department to address the community’s law enforcement needs.

The board’s next meeting will be on Jan. 22 to discuss the 2009 Mountain House budget.

          Delta trustees up to task of challenges ahead   
Written by Steve Castellanos
Tuesday, 06 January 2009

The new president of the San Joaquin Delta College board of trustees say its time for the college administration and the board to mend the college's reputation.

On Nov. 4, [2008] voters of the San Joaquin Delta Community College District elected me along with C. Jennet Stebbins, Mary Ann Cox and Teresa Brown, to positions on the college’s board of trustees. On Dec. 10, we were sworn in, and on Dec. 16, my fellow board members appointed me as their president.

It is now time for the college administration and the board to roll up our sleeves and collectively begin the difficult work of mending the reputation of this college that is so vital to the economic and cultural strength of the region.

During the past several months, Delta has been the subject of intense public scrutiny and criticism. This is unfortunate, but with a new year upon us and a renewed spirit of cooperation in the air, it is now our challenge to replace the public’s suspicion and frustration with optimism and trust. We will do this by consistently making well-informed, student-centered decisions in the full light of public scrutiny.

As the president of the board, I commit to the public that we will move quickly while learning from the past to make sure that it is good policy and not political concerns that guide Delta College to a much brighter future.

As an architect, I am acutely aware of how important it is to build on a solid footing. While it is no secret that the college has some challenging issues it must immediately address, it does, however, have an unshakable foundation.

Simply put, the faculty, staff and administrators I’ve met in my short time at the college get up in the morning and go to work determined to change lives. They understand and hold sacred the extraordinary role they play in the well-being of the more than 20,000 students who place their dreams of a better future in the college’s hands each semester.

Also, Measure L controversies notwithstanding, Delta has a long tradition of making responsible financial decisions dating back to its first days as a public institution. Accordingly, the college has prudent reserves, has very little long-term debt and, in relation to its peers, is well prepared to navigate the difficult financial issues we all know lay ahead.

But perhaps the greatest reason for my optimism about Delta’s future is the fact that members of the public have demonstrated time and time again that they place enormous value on the work of the college and are unwilling to accept anything less than excellence from those of us who have the privilege of serving such a fine school. Seldom does one get to build on a stronger foundation than that.

I understand that when the public trust is strained, sentiment means little, and words mean even less.

Action is what counts, and I think it is important to state publicly that the board and the administration are fully aware that we have a great deal of work to do if we want to restore the college to its rightful place in public opinion — and we intend to do just that.

• Steve Castellanos, a resident of Valley Springs, is the new president of the San Joaquin Delta College board of trustees.

          New Delta board owes taxpayers due diligence   
Written by Shelon Arbuckle
Friday, 26 December 2008
The decision to build a college campus in Mountain House raises questions.

San Joaquin County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas said nobody put a gun to the head of the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees in regard to the college’s decision to build a campus in Mountain House.

That’s probably true, but with a board member (Maria Elena Serna) who was willing to compromise her reputation and ethics for $1,600, future payoffs would have been negotiated and promises made behind closed doors.

Dean Andal, who ran for Congress and lost in November, has a stake in future revenues at Mountain House. Thanks to the voters, he didn’t beat out Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.

The only ones now pointing guns at the new board of trustees seems to be Ornellas and Mountain House developer Gerry Kamilos, and now they’re pushing the new Mountain House Community Services District board members to load theirs.

What’s in it for them? Property values.

What’s in it for the taxpayers? Future commitments involving more bond elections to complete the project and more money to establish public transportation in that area.

I hope that before anything else is done at Mountain House, in reference to the south county Delta College campus, the new board will investigate everything before making any final decisions. The taxpayers made a decision and voted in November to eliminate the old board for the bad choices made in regard to this potential white elephant (the south campus called Mountain House).

There are so many unanswered questions: Where are the portables and on whose land will they be placed? Who will receive rent, and for how long will they get it? How much is the rent? Is it, as Ornellas and Delta President Raul Rodriguez have said, too expensive to move out of Mountain House? Where are the binding contracts, what contracts can be relocated and what is just another threat of pending lawsuit by Kamilos?

The Mountain House land purchased may not be good in today’s market, but it can be sold by the college when the value returns.

We should let our new board members have the time to have every question answered and every rock turned over. They will have to justify this bad decision with truthful facts, not threats, if they continue down this same path.

They owe this to the people — the taxpayers and the students — not the few who had and have hidden agendas for this monstrosity of waste.

•Shelon Arbuckle is an 21-year resident of Tracy and has been self-employed for 18 years as a printer repair technician and toner supplier. She lived in Alaska for eight years and served on a parks and recreation commission.

          Consumer confidence is lowest since Brexit vote aftermath, survey finds   

People’s view of their own financial situation and general economic outlook have got worse, says market research firm

Worries about the economic outlook and a squeeze on household budgets dented consumer confidence this month, according to a closely watched survey.

The monthly barometer of consumer mood from the market research firm GfK dropped to its lowest level since the aftermath of last summer’s EU referendum.

Continue reading...
          Maria Elena Serna's lawyer says charge is a technicality / He also 'thinks there are political issues involved'   
By Maggie Creamer
News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:36 PM PST

A day after Maria Elena Serna resigned from the San Joaquin Delta College Board and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor offense of doublebilling the college, her attorney characterized the charge as a technicality and said it may have been politically motivated.

Serna, 67, received three years probation in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday. The Lodi resident "double-dipped" by asking and receiving reimbursements from Delta and the Community College League of California for travel costs and other expenses. The total amount of the reimbursements were $1,642.10.

Her lawyer, Al Ellis said the case was a technical violation of the law.

"She never had any intention to cheat anyone. ... This is the same woman to march with Cesar Chavez, and after he died, she started a scholarship named after him for the college," Ellis said.

During the time Serna received double reimbursement, Ellis said she was dealing with her husband's death and recovering from back surgery.

He also said the college's decision to take the case to the authorities may have been motivated by politics.

"I think there are political issues involved," Ellis said.

Contacted at her home, Serna declined to comment and directed all questions to Ellis.

In her resignation letter, Serna said she is resigning on the advice of her physician.

She thanked the students, faculty, administrators and other board members for her 18 years on the board.

"I look forward to observing the 'ideals' that I have espoused being carried out by our new board," she wrote.

Serna is the latest departure of veteran trustees from the board. Several incumbents lost their bid for re-election in November, and Dan Parises, one of the longest-serving trustees, opted to retire rather than seek re-election.

On Monday, Parises praised Serna for what she has done for the school, including her work on the Cesar Chavez Community Leadership Award.

"I've known her for 18 years; she has high integrity and is honest ... maybe she wasn't paying attention," he said.

Delta spokesman Greg Greenwood reiterated on Tuesday that the college sent the case to the Stockton Police because the college will not tolerate elected officials pocketing money, no matter how small.

"From the college's perspective, this wasn't an accident," he said. "This is the college trying to ensure we are being responsible to the community."

The board has 60 days to either make a provisional appointment or hold a special election to replace Serna. Greenwood said that he did not know how much an election would cost. The board meets today to swear-in the four newly elected trustees. Its meeting on Dec. 16 is the first board meeting where the group will be able to vote on action items.

According to a report by the Stockton Police Department, questions first arose about Serna's reimbursement claims when Valerie Stewart-Green, an administrative assistant in the president's office, said Serna said she received a reimbursement from the league. Stewart-Green thought this was odd because reimbursements from the league are supposed to go directly to the college. She called the league and found out that Serna specifically requested the reimbursements be sent to her home address.

Other incidents that raised questions at the college were also detailed in the report.

Delta College Trustee Janet Rivera recounted when she and Serna attended a conference in San Jose in November 2007. Rivera was driving herself and Serna to the conference when Serna asked her to not tell Delta College officials they were riding together. When Rivera said she already told Delta President and Superintendent Raul Rodriguez, Serna reportedly said, "Oh shoot, I was going to claim the mileage."

In another incident, Reen Perez, an administrative assistant in Rodriguez's office, said Serna tried to collect money for a meal Rodriguez paid for with his college credit card.

At the Delta Associated Student Body Government office, Navid Shaghaghi, the president and chairman of the interclub council, said he thinks the way the administration handled the problem is reflective of its inability to work with people on campus.

"They didn't want to solve the problem. They just saw a great opportunity to get rid of this person," he said.

          Reason for hope   
S.J. Delta College, too essential to fail, is unlikely to lose its accreditation
By The Record
November 20, 2008 6:00 AM

Good news for San Joaquin Delta College, an important asset in this area that has endured its share of bad news in recent months.

Likely the college will not lose its accreditation.

Although not official yet, it is "very unlikely" accreditation will be pulled, according to Brian King, president of Cabrillo College in Aptos, who was at Delta this week representing the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

A complete report is expected from the association by February, and it should spell out what the college has done that pleases WASC representatives. But King, speaking at a public forum after meeting with college officials, said, "A lot of things have changed since the (last) time we were here."

There probably was no actual danger that the college would lose its accreditation. Losing accreditation would make degrees from Delta afterward worthless in the eyes of many, including schools where students might transfer. Accreditation is so important that school officials would be expected to do anything possible to keep it. And apparently they did.

When the accreditation team first visited, it voiced concern about a number of issues, including the lack of a trustee ethics code, the lack of stability among the district's leadership ranks, the lack of planning and the perception of bias on campus.

Delta officials put together a 250-page response, which took issue with some of the accreditation team's findings but also said the college was moving aggressively to make improvements.

That kind of quick, positive response is refreshing and noteworthy. A highly critical grand jury report and an equally critical state audit chastised college officials for the way a $250 million bond was handled. Grand jurors also questioned the district leadership, especially the Board of Trustees for its bickering and lack of unity.

The college's responses to the grand jury report and the audit showed more interest in defending district practices than in improving them.

And in response, voters on Nov. 4 ousted two incumbent trustees and found replacements for two others who did not seek re-election.

But the series of critical reports has prompted change, according to English instructor Sam Hatch.

"A lot of institutional denial has broken down, and people are willing to go to work to make things better," Hatch said at the public forum.

Let's hope. Delta College is too incredibly important to this area to be allowed to fail.

          Delta President Delays Seating New Board Members   
SJDCwatch Exclusive.

In case you missed it, the voters recently elected four new board members at Delta College. Since there are a total of seven seats on the board, we have a new board. So, why is President Raul Rodriguez doing everything he can to delay seating the new board? Why should the college administration be allowed to push through business that is against the stated views of the new members?

-President Up To His Same Old Tricks-

Even as voters spoke loudly for change on the Delta board, President Rodriguez is working to thwart their will by delaying the seating of the new members until long after the first day that they can legally be seated (Friday, December 5).
In a recent e-mail, Rodriguez claims that "we plan to swear in the new trustees, hold an organizational meeting to select the new board officers, and then transact any business that might be before the new board" on December 16, 2008.
Rodriguez defends his idea on the dubious premise that this is the "normal schedule of holding board meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of the month."
Rodriguez does not seem to appreciate the historic nature of the recent election. Voters rose up, like never before, and demanded change. Four incumbents were either voted out or chose not to run on their record.
In a time of such unprecedented change, the President must honor the will of the electorate.

-Never Missing An Opportunity... to Miss An Opportunity-

There was a window of opportunity in the first week after the election to contact the new trustees, work with the old board, and synchronize calendars. There should have been at least a sketch of a plan for welcoming and installing the new members before the election. We doubt anything was done.
As things stand now, even with a measure of goodwill and competence on the part of his subordinates, we doubt Rodriguez could arrange for the new board to take office before Dec. 9. Under the law, the old board has full authority to continue to make decisions until the new board is sworn in and installed. It would show some self-restraint and respect for the voters if the old board conducted nothing more than routine business after Dec. 5.

-What To Do Now?-

Cancel the December 2, 2008 board meeting.
Seat the new board on December 5, 2008.
Hold the meeting on December 16, 2008 with the new board.
Start conducting the District's business in a transparent manner.

          Hardly a 'hit piece'   
State auditors find disturbing practices at Delta College

By The Record
November 16, 2008 6:00 AM

In the words of a San Joaquin Delta College spokesman: "It's a hit piece."

More precisely, a politically motivated hit piece, according to spokesman Greg Greenwood, reacting to yet another highly critical assessment of how the college has handled the $250 million bond approved four years ago.

And our response: So?

Who cares if the audit was politically motivated (it came at the urging of state Sen. Michael Machado, D-Linden)? What district taxpayers should care about is what state auditors say they found. And they found plenty, just like county grand jurors did last summer.

In pushing Measure L, Delta officials made pie-in-the-sky promises about satellite campuses and sprucing up the main campus. What did college officials do? They built athletic fields and bought electronic message boards - check them out the next time to drive by the campus on Pershing or Pacific avenues - instead of fixing leaking roofs, faulty electrical wiring, upgrading existing buildings or building new ones.

The excuse offered up earlier by Delta President Raul Rodriguez: "It was important for people to see the visual results of bond spending."

Huh? Really? They didn't even start pushing dirt around for the new athletic facilities until last year, three years after Measure L was passed. And the idea that most district voters associate improving higher education at a community college by building athletic fields is absurd on its face.

To most people, especially those who for years will be paying off the $250 million bonds, what comes to mind are things like biology labs and classrooms and updated library facilities and more classes available to the far-flung reaches of the college district.

There's not a lot to show for $250 million, not a lot of "visual results".

State Controller's Office auditors did find that in addition to spending millions on athletic fields and message boards, the college also spent $283,382 in bond on a new financial information system that included sending college staffers to 18 campuses around the nation.

Only later were those expenses shifted out of the bond account and to the college's general account.

"Not one penny has been charged to