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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 03:58 PM
Number of posts: 91,246

Journal Archives

Press Conference - SNL

Houston Astros on SNL-Altuve and Leslie Jones

This made me smile

Sam Clovis withdraws from consideration for Agriculture post after his name surfaced in Russia probe

Source: Washington Post

The nomination of Sam Clovis to be the Agriculture Department’s chief scientist was controversial both because of questions about his lack of relevant experience and news this week that he was one of the top officials on the Trump campaign aware of efforts by foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to broker a relationship between the campaign and Russian officials.

Clovis, who now serves as the department’s senior White House adviser, informed President Trump of his decision in a letter dated Nov. 1.

“The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position,” Clovis wrote in the letter. “The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day. As I am focused on your success and the success of this Administration, I do not want to be a distraction or negative influence, particularly with so much important work left to do for the American people.”

Clovis was tentatively slated to have a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Nov. 9.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/02/sam-clovis-withdraws-from-consideration-for-agriculture-post-after-his-name-surfaced-in-russia-probe/?pushid=59fb3776de29211d00000001&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.7bfee1d974bf

Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users far more than first disclosed, inte

Source: Washington Post

Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

Google on Tuesday is expected to acknowledge for the first time that its platforms were also compromised, revealing that Russian trolls uploaded over a thousand videos to YouTube on 18 different channels.

The disclosures, contained in draft testimonies obtained by The Washington Post ahead of three Capitol Hill hearings this week, come as tech giants face mounting pressure to more fully investigate how Russians used their platforms to influence American voters and reveal more of their findings to the public.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2017/10/30/4509587e-bd84-11e7-97d9-bdab5a0ab381_story.html?pushid=59f7a1634069751d0000002f&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.83755ce894d0

Go Astros

Judge orders Trump administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen

Source: Washington Post

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. government to allow an undocumented teenager in its custody to have an abortion, after saying she was “astounded” the Trump administration was trying to prevent the procedure.

Lawyers for Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington that the 17-year-old, who crossed the border from Mexico illegally last month, did not have a constitutional right to an elective abortion in federal custody, unless it was a medical emergency.

Chutkan, an Obama administration nominee, said the government appeared to be presenting the teenager identified in court papers as “Jane Doe” with two options: Voluntarily return to a nation she fled to procure an abortion, or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

“I am astounded by that position,” Chutkan said in a 40-minute hearing that was mostly consumed by a back-and-forth between the judge and Scott Stewart, a deputy assistant attorney general.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/judge-trump-administration-cancannot-block-abortion-for-pregnant-undocumented-teen/2017/10/18/82348e08-b406-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?pushid=59e7bde92e6a733200000042&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.8d45dbf6564b

Federal judge blocks Trumps third travel ban

Source: Washington Post

A federal judge on Tuesday largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the latest version of the presidents controversial travel ban, setting up yet another legal showdown on the extent of the executive branchs powers when it comes to setting immigration policy.

The decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii is sure to be appealed, but for now, it means that the administration cannot restrict the entry of travelers from six of the eight countries that officials said were either unable or unwilling to provide information the U.S. wanted to vet their citizens.

The latest ban was set to fully go into effect in the early morning hours of October 18, barring various types of travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela. Watsons order stops it, at least temporarily, with respect to all the countries except North Korea and Venezuela.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/federal-judge-blocks-trumps-third-travel-ban/2017/10/17/e73293fc-ae90-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?pushid=59e651c3fc9a231d00000039&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.aa7bf8ea1a91

Reform Jews speak up in favor of transgender people

I am proud of the Reform movement for making this position so clear https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/9/1705550/-Reform-Jews-speak-up-in-favor-of-transgender-people

We have a response:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision of the Department of Justice to permit employment discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. This appalling and demeaning decision ignores the plain fact that gender identity and gender expression are fundamental parts of a person's humanity.

This administration’s permissive stance toward discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people, as well as other members of the LGBTQ community, is immoral and undermines our best traditions of inclusion. This decision is a reminder why Congress must pass the Equality Act (H.R. 2282/S. 1006), which would codify the rights of all people, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Reform Movement is strongly committed to the inclusion and equality for all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We stand firmly against any attempts to undermine the Civil Rights Act and the protections it affords Americans. As Jews, we are taught that all people are created in the image of God, or b’tzelem Elohim. We strongly oppose this latest order from the Department of Justice, its narrow view of who is worthy of protection before the law, and the invitation to discriminate that it represents.

--Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Judge blocks Texas from turning over voter information to White House

This is good news. Texas will not be turning over voter information to Kobach and the White House Commission on Voter Suppression http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/353916-judge-blocks-texas-from-turning-over-voter-information-to-white-house

A Texas civil judge has temporarily blocked the state from turning over voter information to the White House's election integrity commission out of fears that the data won't be adequately protected.

The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Judge Tim Sulak of Travis County's 353rd Civil District Court issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that told the state not to turn over the data because there are not "appropriate precautions to safeguard the privacy and security of that information."

While the decision isn't final, the Tuesday ruling deals a stumbling block to the commission, which is looking to compile voter data from across the country in order to build a database to identify potential instances of fraud. Texas has more registered voters than any other state besides California, so its data is a crucial piece of the database that the commission hopes to create.

ISIS Claim of Responsibility in Las Vegas Shooting Is Sign of Desperation

The Russian trolls are pushing the lie that ISIS was behind the Las Vegas shooting. ISIS is in bad shape and is lying to try to stay relevant. No one intelligent believes the russian trolls http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/breakingnews/isis-claim-of-responsibility-in-las-vegas-shooting-is-sign-of-desperation/ar-AAsRlFp?li=BBnb7Kz

ISIS's widely discounted claim of responsibility for the Las Vegas massacre is indicative of the terror group's increasing desperation as it loses strongholds in Syria and Iraq, according to terrorism-watchers.

By making apparent false claims of responsibility ISIS is becoming "somewhat of a joke among the rank-and-file of the international terrorist elite," said Peter Vincent, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security and a counter-terrorism expert.

ISIS claimed Monday that Las Vegas gunman Stephen Craig Paddock — who killed 59 people and injured more than 500 — was a "soldier of the Islamic State," but gave no evidence to back up its claim.

Citing a "security source," the group's media arm, Amaq, said the 64-year-old retiree from Mesquite, Nevada, carried out the attack "in response to calls to target coalition countries." Unusually, ISIS doubled down on the claim, releasing a second statement claiming Paddock had recently converted to Islam and identified him as "Abu Abd El Bar."

The FBI quickly dismissed ISIS's claims, saying at this stage there was no evidence Paddock had a connection to any international terrorist group.
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