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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,780

Journal Archives

I think the Death Penalty is called for...


How many people are hopping out of bed each morning to find out if they can go to work?

My wife (Treasury) has been waiting for the budget to get settled; if the Govt shuts down, she's not allowed to even look at her email. OPM will apparently stretch the definition of "open Government" if it appears that the budget Bill was going to be signed. Now that Trump is threatening to veto it.....

Truck traffic in UK resulting from COVID/Brexit restrictions


Brindisi-Tenney race narrows even more: 3 to 5 votes separate candidates

Source: Syracuse Post Standard

OSWEGO, N.Y. — The incredibly close race for the 22nd Congressional District got even closer Tuesday, as about 90 new votes from a bundle of about 2,500 affidavit ballots from Oneida County were counted.

Incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) and Claudia Tenney (R) are separated by three to five votes, according to an update in court from one of Brindisi’s attorneys. The candidates’ attorneys have been locked in a courtroom battle for nearly two months to determine the winner.

The attorney, Bruce Spiva, did not specify which candidate had the minuscule edge.

More than 300,000 ballots were cast in the election, making the margin separating the candidates 0.000016%. Before today, the latest unofficial vote counts had Tenney in the lead by 19 votes.

Read more: https://www.syracuse.com/politics/2020/12/brindisi-tenney-race-narrows-even-more-3-to-5-votes-separate-candidates.html

France to allow limited border reopening, but thousands of trucks remain stranded in U.K.

Source: Washington Post

LONDON — The ports on both sides of the English Channel, one of the most crucial trade routes in Europe between Britain and France, remained snarled with thousands of idled cargo trucks on Tuesday, over fears of a fast-spreading coronavirus mutation spreading “out of control” in England.

More than 40 countries have erected travel bans with Britain, disrupting passenger air service between the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

France on Tuesday announced a limited re-opening, starting at midnight, for traffic coming via ferry, train and tunnel, but only for E.U. citizens and Britons living in the E.U. — and only if they provide a negative coronavirus test from the previous 72 hours.

France and Britain continued to haggle over when and how to restart the flow of trade.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-coronavirus-mutation-travel-bans/2020/12/22/3de9f8e4-43fc-11eb-ac2a-3ac0f2b8ceeb_story.html

Reversal of Trump immigration policies will 'take time,' Biden team says

Source: Washington Post

Top advisers to President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday they will not immediately roll back asylum restrictions at the Mexican border and other Trump immigration policies, tamping down expectations for the kind of swift reversals Biden promised on the campaign trail.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, several members of the Biden transition team said the incoming administration would “need time” to undo “damage” to the U.S. immigration system and border enforcement policies that have severely limited the ability of asylum seekers to qualify for humanitarian protection.

The transition officials echoed statements made by Susan E. Rice, Biden’s incoming domestic policy adviser, and Jake Sullivan, his pick for national security adviser, in an exclusive interview published Monday with the Spanish wire service EFE urging patience with their immigration agenda.

Rice told EFE that Biden will use executive authority to implement his immigration agenda, but her cautious statements appeared to reflect the incoming administration’s worries that easing up too quickly on Trump’s enforcement system could trigger a new migration surge at the border.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/biden-immigration-policy-changes/2020/12/22/2eb9ef92-4400-11eb-8deb-b948d0931c16_story.html

January 1, 2021 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1925 are open to all!

Duke University

On January 1, 2021, copyrighted works from 1925 will enter the US public domain,1 where they will be free for all to use and build upon. These works include books such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, and Franz Kafka’s The Trial (in the original German), silent films featuring Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, and music ranging from the jazz standard Sweet Georgia Brown to songs by Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, W.C. Handy, and Fats Waller.

This is not just the famous last line from The Great Gatsby. It also encapsulates what the public domain is all about. A culture is a continuing conversation between present and past. On Public Domain Day, we all have a “green light,” in keeping with the Gatsby theme, to use one more year of that rich cultural past, without permission or fee.

Works from 1925 were supposed to go into the public domain in 2001, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit a 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years.2 Now the wait is over.

In 2021, there is a lot to celebrate. 1925 brought us some incredible culture. The Harlem Renaissance was in full swing. The New Yorker magazine was founded. The literature reflected both a booming economy, whose fruits were unevenly distributed, and the lingering upheaval and tragedy of World War I. The culture of the time reflected all of those contradictory tendencies. The BBC’s Culture website suggested that 1925 might be “the greatest year for books ever,” and with good reason. It is not simply the vast array of famous titles. The stylistic innovations produced by books such as Gatsby, or The Trial, or Mrs. Dalloway marked a change in both the tone and the substance of our literary culture, a broadening of the range of possibilities available to writers, while characters such as Jay Gatsby, Hemingway’s Nick Adams, and Clarissa Dalloway still resonate today.

BREAKING: Dr. Fauci receives a COVID vaccine


Exclusive: Apple targets car production by 2024 and eyes 'next level' battery technology - sources

Source: Reuters

The iPhone maker’s automotive efforts, known as Project Titan, have proceeded unevenly since 2014 when it first started to design its own vehicle from scratch. At one point, Apple drew back the effort to focus on software and reassessed its goals. Doug Field, an Apple veteran who had worked at Tesla Inc, returned to oversee the project in 2018 and laid off 190 people from the team in 2019.

Since then, Apple has progressed enough that it now aims to build a vehicle for consumers, two people familiar with the effort said, asking not to be named because Apple’s plans are not public. Apple’s goal of building a personal vehicle for the mass market contrasts with rivals such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, which has built robo-taxis to carry passengers for a driverless ride-hailing service.

Central to Apple’s strategy is a new battery design that could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range, according to a third person who has seen Apple’s battery design.

Apple declined to comment on its plans or future products.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-autos-exclusive/exclusive-apple-targets-car-production-by-2024-and-eyes-next-level-battery-technology-sources-idUSKBN28V2PY

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen says he has earned early release from home confinement

Source: The Hill

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen filed a new lawsuit on Monday claiming that he has earned early release from home confinement.

Cohen filed a petition in the Southern District of New York arguing that he is entitled to time credits under the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill Trump signed into law in 2018.

Cohen claims that the Bureau of Prisons informed him on Dec. 15 that he is not entitled to any credit despite hundreds of hours of work and courses he completed while incarcerated at the federal correctional facility in Otisville, N.Y.

“This ‘calculation’ is nothing more than another delay tactic, as it goes against the plain language of the statute, as Petitioner is absolutely entitled to credit under the act,” the petition states.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/531209-former-trump-attorney-michael-cohen-says-he-has-earned-early-release
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