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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,683

Journal Archives

Beto O'Rourke calling for Reparations is a big mostake

It’s an impossible policy to implement and a deadly campaign issue.

Gov. Bullock is doing a solid job of presenting the moderate argument

Far better than Hickenlooper and Delaney.

I'm in Detroit...10 rows from the stage. Asked me anything.

FEMA confirms thousands of expired water bottles left on farmland in Puerto Rico

Source: The Hill

Tens of thousands of water bottles meant for the people of Puerto Rico after a pair of hurricanes hit the island in 2017 are sitting unopened on farmland near the city of San Juan nearly two years after the disasters.

Photographs of the water bottles emerged this week after international news agency AFP captured aeriel images of the bottles on what appeared to be a private estate 25 miles west of San Juan. Some of the images showed broken pallets with the bottles.

A spokesman from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed to AFP that the water bottles had been provided as part of relief for Hurricane Maria, which hit the island in September 2017.

The water was expired and it was assumed that the bottles are being disposed of, AFP reported. It said the spokesman declined to say exactly how many water bottles there were, how long they were on the farm and why they were permitted to expire.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/455280-fema-confirms-thousands-of-expired-water-bottles-left-on-farmland

House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami

The Hill

House Republicans plotting to win back their majority in Congress fear they are on the brink of a massive wave of retirements that could force them to play defense in a high-stakes presidential election year.

Three House Republicans said last week they would not seek another term next year, catching party strategists off guard. Those announcements came earlier than in a typical election cycle, when members who are ready to hang up their voting cards usually wait until after the August recess or after the Christmas break.

Republicans in Congress strategizing to win back the House say the rush to the exits reflects the depressing reality of life in the minority and a pessimistic view of the GOP’s chances of regaining the majority.

“We are in the minority. That is never much fun in the House,” said one senior Republican member of Congress, who asked for anonymity to provide a candid assessment. “The odds are against us retaking the majority.”

Who wants to spend more time in the minority with the prospect of a Democratic President?

Suburban women recoil as Trump dives into racial politics


BROOKFIELD, Wis. (AP) — Carol Evans approves of Donald Trump’s immigration policy. She gives him credit for the strong economy. But the Republican from the affluent Milwaukee suburbs of Waukesha County, a GOP bedrock in the state, just can’t commit to voting for the president next year like she did in 2016.

“I just don’t like the way he talks about other people,” Evans, a 79-year-old retired data entry supervisor, said recently as she walked through a shopping mall in Brookfield, Wisconsin, days after Trump fired off a racist tweet at Democratic congresswomen.

The president’s recent return to racial politics may be aimed at rallying his base of white working-class voters across rural America. But the risks of the strategy are glaring in conversations with women like Evans.

Many professional, suburban women — a critical voting bloc in the 2020 election — recoil at the abrasive, divisive rhetoric, exposing the president to a potential wave of opposition in key battlegrounds across the country.

In more than three dozen interviews by The Associated Press with women in critical suburbs, nearly all expressed dismay — or worse — at Trump’s racially polarizing insults and what was often described as unpresidential treatment of people. Even some who gave Trump credit for the economy or backed his crackdown on immigration acknowledged they were troubled or uncomfortable lining up behind the president.

Looks like Diamond and Silk have competition...


What's driving the conversation since the first 2020 Democratic debates


Issues that got the most heat in the first 2020 Democratic debates have since made a dent in the social-media conversation, per data harvested by Hamilton Place Strategies, an analytical public affairs consulting firm.

What they're saying: "Some of the most notable moments in the debate were around health care and immigration, and both of those topics gained in share of voice after the debate," partner Matt McDonald tells Axios.

HPS found that the biggest gainers in Twitter followers since the Miami debates are Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Julián Castro, who got good buzz from the debate, also had a nice bump.

"The candidate with the smallest percentage growth in followers was Beto (0%) (not literally 0 new followers, but the percentage growth rounds to 0)."

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Dominant storyline for each candidate


Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' plans for student debt cancellation have by far generated the most online attention from among policies proposed by 2020 Democratic candidates, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: Each candidate is vying to separate themselves from a crowded field with bold, new ideas. This data shows which have captivated readers, as well the ideas being associated with top-tier candidates — a key insight into how the average voter might view the candidates.

By the numbers: The list below identifies the policy stance or storyline that has resulted in the most combined interactions for articles written about the top 8 Democratic candidates, according to an analysis of the 50 biggest stories for each hopeful since March 1.

Interactions include reactions, comments and shares on Facebook and likes and retweets on Twitter.

The candidates are ranked by polling and linked items direct to the top story on that topic. The interactions number represents the combined total for those stories.

Joe Biden — Strong polling numbers vs. Trump — 993k interactions
Elizabeth Warren — Student debt cancellation and tuition-free college plan — 2.0 million
Bernie Sanders — Student debt cancellation — 1.7 million
Kamala Harris — Black homeownership plan — 522k
Pete Buttigieg — Attacks on the religious right — 1.1 million
Andrew Yang — Universal basic income — 140k
Beto O'Rourke — Abortion rights stance (largely used as an attack by conservative media) — 404k
Cory Booker — Gun control plan, attacks on NRA — 1.1 million

Alan Dershowitz doubles down on...lowering the age of consent to 15

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