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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,697

Journal Archives

Andrew Yang qualifies his UBI proposal


"My program is universal, but's it's opt-in, and if you opt-in then you would be foregoing benefits from certain existing programs."

Boris Johnson 'turbo-charging' no-deal Brexit plans, say ministers

Source: The Guardian

Boris Johnson is “turbo-charging” preparations to leave the EU without a deal on 31 October as his government’s number one priority, according to several senior cabinet ministers.

The new prime minister sent out cabinet ministers for interviews across newspapers and broadcasters this weekend as part of a publicity blitz about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

Their message is that the UK will be heading for no deal unless EU leaders agree to replace the Irish backstop.

Michael Gove, the new Cabinet Office minister in charge of no-deal preparations, said the government was “operating on the assumption” that Britain would leave without a deal on 31 October and it was a “very real prospect” because EU leaders had so far not changed their minds about scrapping the backstop.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/28/boris-johnson-turbo-charging-no-deal-brexit-plans-say-ministers

Candidates on the news shows this morning...

Julian Castro and Marianne Williamson on FACE THE NATION

Tom Steyer on MEET THE PRESS

Andrew Yang on FOX NEWS SUNDAY

Bill De Blasio on THIS WEEK

Covington student's defamation case against Washington Post is dismissed

Source: Politico

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post over its coverage of an interaction between a Kentucky high school student and a Native American activist on the National Mall, which gained national attention after the video went viral.

Judge William O. Bertelsman dismissed the suit, stating that the Post's coverage was protected as free speech and rejecting Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann's argument that the newspaper implied inaccurately that Sandmann had behaved in a menacing or violent way. The Post had quoted the activist, a veteran named Nathan Phillips, who said Sandmann stood in his way to get to the Lincoln Memorial in the Jan 19 incident.

Bertelsman wrote that though Phillips' claim may have been inaccurate, the Post had a right to publish it. The Post couldn't be sued for defamation simply if some of its reporting was inaccurate, he wrote, rather it had to both false and defamatory.

Bertelsman added that the Post did not report factually that Sandmann was acting in a criminally violent manner. He added that many of the statements that Sandmann alleged were defamatory were not actually about him but about the students as a whole

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/26/washington-post-covington-high-school-student-defamation-case-dismissed-1437881

Poll: No impeachment bump after Mueller's testimony


A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted immediately after former special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony, shows little impact on support for impeaching President Donald Trump, with a plurality of voters still opposed to beginning proceedings that could result in Trump’s removal from office.

Only 37 percent of voters say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, according to the poll, which was conducted Thursday. More voters, 46 percent, say Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings. Sixteen percent of voters are undecided.

“Robert Mueller’s testimony did little to change public opinion around impeachment," said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president — who also noted that, in the previous POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted last Friday through Sunday, 38 percent of voters supported launching impeachment proceedings, while 50 percent opposed it.

But while public sentiment overall continues to lean against impeaching the president, the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll also underscores the quandary facing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders: Democratic voters are strongly in favor of impeachment, with 64 percent supporting it, combined with 18 percent who oppose it.

Democratic governors sound alarm on Trump reelection

Source: Politico

With all the infighting and intraparty intrigue in recent weeks — most recently over the prospect of impeaching the president — many Democrats in the states are beginning to worry the party is losing its grip on its message, potentially paving the way to Donald Trump’s reelection.

The anxiety reverberated far from Washington this week, as the nation’s governors gathered here for their annual summer meeting.

“Nationally, the focus has been on last week’s hearings and quote-unquote oversight, the question of impeachment, the effectiveness of Trump to make it about … the four [congresswomen who constitute the “squad”],” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday. “That’s been the zeitgeist, and so Trump being the master of deflection and distraction … it’s been hard for the Democrats to sort of hold that message.”

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak — the governor of an early primary state and a potential battleground in the general election — said that going into 2020, his constituents “want to look forward, and how are we going to make their lives better.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/27/democrat-governors-disconnect-2020-1437616

Andrew Yang Thinks It's "Ridiculous" How Some People Believe Atheists Are Less Moral


As I’ve written about before, I’m a fan of Andrew Yang. He’s an incredibly thoughtful candidate with some of the most modern ideas in his platform. And now I’ve found another reason to support him: he explicitly defended atheists in this interview.

Atheists in America are still stigmatized. Roughly half of Americans would not vote for an atheist president. Studies have found that we are viewed as less moral than religious people. Which is absurd since there are plenty of theists committing horrendous crimes!

When asked about the rights of atheists Yang replied:

“I just want to say to my atheist friends, some of my best friends are atheists. And some of them are also some of the best people I know. And it is ridiculous that people would think you are somehow less moral or less worthy of the full protection and enjoyment of all of our virtues as a society because of your religious beliefs.”

Soccer/football is descibed as "the beautiful game"

Yesterday's match between Real Madrid (one of the world's best teams) and Madrid Atletico involved:
A 7-3 blowout by Atletico
Two tripping incidents resulting in penalty kicks
A 20-person fight on the field resulting in two red card ejections.

Not surprising, the referee say "the hell with it" at 90 minutes, and didn't bother to add any stoppage time.

After Investigation, Neil deGrasse Tyson Will Keep His Job

Source: New York Times

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who leads the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, will keep his job, the institution said on Thursday. The museum has closed an investigation into sexual misconduct accusations against him.

“The museum’s investigation into allegations concerning Neil deGrasse Tyson is complete,” a museum spokeswoman said in a brief statement. “Based on the results of the investigation, Dr. Tyson remains an employee and director of the Hayden Planetarium. Because this is a confidential personnel matter, there will be no further statements by the museum.”

Dr. Tyson was accused of behaving inappropriately with two women in an article published in November on the website Patheos.

In one instance, Katelyn N. Allers, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, said she met Dr. Tyson in 2009 at a party after a gathering of the American Astronomical Society. He was examining her tattoo of the solar system, which stretches along her arm to her collarbone, and she said he followed the tattoo with his hand, putting it into her dress. He said he was looking for Pluto, she said.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/arts/design/neil-degrasse-tyson-keeps-job.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

While Trump and Kim Talk, North Korea Appears to Expand Its Nuclear Arsenal

Source: Wall Street Journal

President Trump’s summit diplomacy has raised hopes around the world: Is North Korea now willing to surrender its nuclear arsenal?

Analysts who pore over satellite images of the isolated country paint a different picture: North Korea’s scientists have ramped up production of long-range missiles and the fissile material used in nuclear weapons.

Shipping containers, trucks and crowds of people moving materials and instruments at North Korea’s key weapons facilities like the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center and the Sanum-dong missile production site, suggest North Korea has continued producing fissile material and intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to analysts Jenny Town, a fellow at the Stimson Center, a think tank specialized on security issues, and Jeffrey Lewis, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, a research center analyzing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Analysts at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency say North Korea’s scientists may have produced 12 nuclear weapons since the first Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore last year. In total, Pyongyang could currently possess between 20 and 60 nuclear bombs, according to estimates by various security analysts.

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/while-trump-and-kim-talk-north-korea-appears-to-expand-its-nuclear-arsenal-11564059627
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