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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 166,629

Journal Archives

22 Disasters, 262 Dead, $95B in Damages: 2020 Set Records for US Climate Mayhem

17 hours ago
22 Disasters, 262 Dead, $95B in Damages: 2020 Set Records for US Climate Mayhem
As if last year weren’t bad enough.
Oliver Milman
This story was originally published in the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The US was battered by a record number of weather and climate-driven disasters in 2020 as extensive wildfires scorched the west, hurricanes in quick succession pummeled the east and extreme heat swept across the heart of the country, a new federal government report has shown.

A total of 22 major disasters, defined as each causing at least $1bn in damage, swept the US last year, six more than the previous record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

At least 262 people died, with $95bn in total damages recorded, the federal agency reported on Friday.

The year was marked by punishing extremes on both the east and west coasts. It was the most active wildfire year on record in the US west, with California recording five of the six biggest fires in its history, an outbreak that destroyed thousands of homes and caused the sky to turn an apocalyptic orange over the San Francisco Bay Area.

A total of 10.3m acres burned in wildfires in 2020 across the US west, an area larger than Maryland and well above this century’s average.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 12, 2021, 07:32 AM (0 replies)

Trump warned about potential civil liability, as some aides clear out desks

Trump warned about potential civil liability, as some aides clear out desks
"Think O.J.," an adviser explained it to Trump, according to one source.
ByJonathan Karl,John Santucci, andKatherine Faulders
January 11, 2021, 2:20 PM

In the wake of Wednesday's assault on the nation's Capitol, President Donald Trump has been advised he potentially could face civil liability connected to his role in encouraging supporters who went on to storm Congress, sources familiar with the conversations told ABC News.

"Think O.J.," an adviser explained it to Trump, according to one source. It was a reference to O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife and a friend but later faced stiff civil damages after being sued by his ex-wife's family.

Prior to Wednesday, the president and his advisers had been discussing a self-pardon -- something that would be both historic and untested in American history -- in the wake of a phone call with Trump and Georgia election officials that was made public. The sources say if the president were to self-pardon, it would only strengthen the motivation to bring civil cases against the 45th president.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 12, 2021, 07:21 AM (9 replies)

An expert on asylum seekers and refugees is joining Biden's National Security Council


An expert on asylum seekers and refugees is joining Biden’s National Security Council
Katie Tobin is leaving the UN Refugee Agency and heading to the Biden administration.
By Alex Ward@AlexWardVoxalex.ward@vox.com Jan 11, 2021, 5:35pm EST

President-elect Joe Biden will name Katie Tobin as the senior director for transborder security on the National Security Council, according to multiple sources familiar with the appointment.

Tobin, currently the external relations officer at the United Nations Refugee Agency — a senior position at that organization — has gone through the vetting process and plans to start working for the president-elect next week, sources told me. According to her LinkedIn page, she’s spent years working on asylum issues in private law offices and handled refugee resettlement cases for the US Department of Homeland Security.

An announcement of her new post is set to be made public as early as Tuesday when Biden’s transition team plans to release the names of additional director-level appointments at the NSC.

That Tobin would be offered a job that usually prioritizes border security over the plight of asylum seekers or refugees could signal how the Biden administration sees that role. It could mean a Biden White House will emphasize helping the world’s refugees instead of giving them the cold shoulder like the Trump administration did. Personnel, as they say, is policy.

A potential clue is that Biden has already said he would reverse Trump’s immigration policies once he got into office. It’s possible, then, that Tobin could prove a central figure on some of those issues.

Tobin didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, and a spokesperson for the Biden transition said they had nothing to announce at this time.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 09:15 PM (1 replies)

"So how can I be confident in my perception?"

{copied from a friend}

Huge numbers of our population believe in a complete alternate reality. Alternate facts as it were. But just as intensely as I believe they are deluded, they think I am the one who is deluded. Maybe I am.

So how can I be confident in my perception? It can be quite difficult. But I have found that in times of confusion, particularly when emotions are running high and creating tunnel vision, the presence of Nazis can be an extremely helpful indicator.

If I am attending a local demonstration or event and I see Nazis…neo-Nazis, miscellaneous-Nazis or the latest-whatever-uber-mythology-Nazis, I figure out which side they are on. And if they are on my side of the demonstration? I am on the wrong side.

It is tough to argue moral equivalence when I am standing next to a Nazi. Look to my right. Is there a guy wearing a 6MWE (6 million wasn’t enough) t-shirt? I am on the wrong side. Look to my left. If that guy is wearing a Camp Auschwitz t-shirt? Wrong side. Speakers referring to things Hitler said? Wrong side. Team-spirit face paint and hat with horns? This is an unclear indicator that could mean anything but safest to keep my distance from that guy even at a football game.

But I can always, always, always, rely on the presence of Nazis as a guiding light through a fog of disinformation.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 08:46 PM (6 replies)

First Congress Member Tests Positive for COVID After Capitol Lockdown

First Congress Member Tests Positive for COVID After Capitol Lockdown
By Katherine Fung On 1/11/21 at 2:21 PM EST

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey became the first Congress member to test positive for the coronavirus following last week's lockdown during the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The congresswoman's office said she believed "she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol as a result of insurrectionist riots" and announced she received a positive rapid antigen test result for the virus in a statement made Monday.

"Following the events of Wednesday, including sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks, I decided to take a Covid test," Watson Coleman tweeted. "I have tested positive."


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 02:28 PM (3 replies)

'You Did It': Fox News' Jeanine Pirro Blasts Pro-Trump Capitol Rioters, Says Don't Blame Antifa

She must have got the memo.

Mon, Jan 11, 2021
'You Did It': Fox News' Jeanine Pirro Blasts Pro-Trump Capitol Rioters, Says Don't Blame Antifa
By Jason Lemon On 1/10/21 at 9:13 AM EST

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro didn't mince words in calling out pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, condemning those who have baselessly claimed that antifa was responsible for the violence.


"I want to be clear. The actions at the United States Capitol three days ago were deplorable, reprehensible, outright criminal," Pirro, who regularly defends the president, said during her Saturday evening program. "These frightening and repulsive actions represent the most significant breach on our Capitol in over 200 years. And I don't care what happened in the past and or whether those who did it think the election was stolen. That is not justification."

Pirro went on to call out claims that antifa was involved. "Stop looking for other people to blame, including those dirt-bag terrorists antifa. To those of you who did this, you did it, of your own will, and you will be held accountable. Take the veil of politics off," she said.

"Be totally objective, anyone w
atching this must condemn it," she said, going on to describe the pro-Trump rioters as a "bunch of freaks."


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 10:19 AM (6 replies)

Eric Boehlert: How the press -- like the police -- missed the looming Capitol coup


How the press — like the police — missed the looming Capitol coup
Insurrection in plain sight
Eric Boehlert


Question: If Trump supporters had "openly discussed" for weeks trying to physically stop Congress' certification of the Electoral College results, if the bloody seeds of insurrection "were hidden in plain sight," why did the press miss such a big story? Why was the media caught off guard last week, just like the Capitol police? Why was there a refusal to consider Trump’s white supporters to be a national threat?

It's hard for news outlets to now claim they knew the mob story was looming, because if they knew, media voices would have done something in advance of the storm. They would have used their institutional voices and demanded Trump resign. They would have insisted the Wednesday rally to be canceled. They would have urged that the National Guard be called out preemptively.

I didn't see any of that. Instead, I saw a deliberate failure of imagination by the press when covering Trump, and the radical revolution he's been trying to lead.

"What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change,” one anonymous "senior Republican official" told the Washington Post last November, as Trump began marshaling his forces to overturn an election he lost by seven million votes. "It’s not like he’s plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20."


Over the weekend, CNN announced the mob attack last Wednesday represented, "the day America realized how dangerous Donald Trump is." But millions of American knew how dangerous Trump was years ago. It seems astounding that it would take journalists working for leading news outlets until last week, when bomb-making rioters stormed the Capitol, to realize the threat he poses to our democracy. The CNN report also claimed that over the years, "Much of America grew numb to his circus act, shrugging off the magnetic power of Trumpism as though it was a passing fad."

Law enforcement deserves a huge amount of blame for missing the red flags in the days and weeks before the looming insurrection, which was plotted in public via social media. The press also needs to ask itself how they missed the most important political story in a generation.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 08:12 AM (5 replies)

Clearing up some 'confusion'...

Found on FB~

“I’m seeing a lot of confusion out there today, so I’d like to clear up a few things for those of you who have been fed inaccurate information -

The Central Park Five WERE innocent.
President Obama was NOT born in Kenya.
Senator John McCain WAS a War Hero.
trump’s Inauguration crowd was NOT the “largest ever”.
Mexico is NOT paying for the Wall.
Windmills DO NOT cause cancer.
The Russia Probe was NOT a Witch Hunt.
The Mueller Report did NOT exonerate trump.
The Corona Virus is NOT a Hoax.
The Election was NOT rigged.
Hundreds of thousands of votes are NOT missing.
The Insurgent Riot was NOT the work of ANTIFA.
The Insurgent Riot WAS the work of trump supporters.
And finally, Nazis are NEVER “Very Fine People”.
Wear a Mask in Public
Stay safe”
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 08:00 AM (5 replies)

Talk Radio Owner Orders Rhetoric Dialed Back

Too little, too late.


Talk Radio Owner Orders Rhetoric Dialed Back
January 11, 2021 at 7:15 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“After months of stoking anger about alleged election fraud, one of America’s largest talk-radio companies has decided on an abrupt change of direction,” the Washington Post reports.

“Cumulus Media, which employs some of the most popular right-leaning talk-radio hosts in the United States, has told its on-air personalities to stop suggesting that the election was stolen from President Trump — or else face termination.”

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 07:52 AM (47 replies)

Growing GOP problem: Powerlessness


24 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Growing GOP problem: Powerlessness
Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei

Republicans are losing power where power matters most at the national level: in politics, media, technology and the workplace.

Why it matters: Republicans often felt mistreated when they had real power in the form of the presidency and Senate. Watch Fox News or listen to Ben Shapiro, and you will see and hear how this new isolation will feed Republican worries and grievances in the months ahead.

Tucker Carlson warned on Fox: "Tens of millions of Americans have no chance — they’re about to be crushed by the ascendant left."

Democrats will soon control the White House, Senate and House. They already dominate most mainstream newsrooms, own Big Tech companies, and often band together inside corporations to force politically motivated decisions.

Republicans will be left with Mitch McConnell as party leader of a 50-50 Senate, prime time on Fox News and The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

Most importantly, the right has the Supreme Court, which might prove to be the one reliable counterbalance, and the majority of power at the state level.

Conservatives long ago lost so many key institutions that define the national conversation, including culture, media and higher education.

But since 1980, the party had political power and policy-making capability.

Now, President Trump has cost Republicans those tools, and the party will have to rebuild around new people and ideas.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 11, 2021, 06:10 AM (6 replies)
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