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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 26,157

Journal Archives

Ilhan Omar won her primary!


FBI raids offices at downtown One Cleveland Center building tied to Ukrainian oligarch

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The FBI on Tuesday raided the Cleveland offices of a company with ties to a Ukrainian oligarch that owns several downtown buildings.

FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said agents searched the offices of Optima Management Group in One Cleveland Center at East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue. A spokesman for the IRS also said his agency’s investigator’s were present.

Optima is a conglomerate of companies across the United States that has interests in real estate in Cleveland, including One Cleveland Center, the 55 Public Square building and the Westin Cleveland Downtown. Its offices are visible from an entrance and windows on the side of One Cleveland Center, and on Tuesday multiple agents were seen carrying and moving computers, boxes and other items both inside the office and later as they loaded materials into a van.


Federal authorities in Cleveland have been conducting a wide-ranging probe involving Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky that has been ongoing for quite some time. Kolomoisky is a principal of the Privat Group, a large Ukrainian business company, and principals of the company are also part of Optima.


69 Percent of Americans Want Medicare for All, Including 46 Percent of Republicans

A newly released poll shows that 69 percent of registered voters support Medicare for All, a plan which would create a national health insurance plan available for all Americans.

The poll also showed 46 percent of Republican voters supporting Medicare for All alongside 88 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Independents.

While several publications have wondered whether the coronavirus epidemic has bolstered support for a national health insurance plan, the poll found that Democratic support remained steady from a similar poll conducted in 2018, rising only two percentage points since then.


Pac-12 player group threatens to opt out, makes list of demands on injustice, safety

A group of Pac-12 football players from multiple schools is threatening to opt out of both preseason camps and games until its negotiations with the league regarding concerns about racial injustice, their safety during the coronavirus pandemic and other demands are completed.

A text message obtained by ESPN says the group's goal is to "obtain a written contract with the Pac- 12 that legally ensures we are offered the following protections and benefits."

The group's list of demands, according to the text message, includes safe play amid the pandemic, fighting racial injustice, securing economic rights and fair compensation, protecting all sports and obtaining long-term health insurance.

People familiar with the group's mission told ESPN that the central issue it wants to address with the league and its schools is racial injustice.


Yazidi activist Nadia Murad to appear on 'The Daily Show'

Nobel Peace Prize Winner and survivor of Islamic State (IS) captivity Nadia Murad will appear on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" Thursday, providing the activist with an opportunity to bring her message on sexual violence and the Yazidi genocide to a new and larger audience.

Murad is an activist and prominent member of Iraq’s Yazidi community. In 2014, she and thousands of other women from the ethnoreligious group were captured by IS when its militants swept through northern Iraq. Murad spent several weeks in IS captivity, where she was subject to severe physical and sexual abuse before escaping. IS targeted Yazidis in particular in part due to their non-Islamic religious beliefs. The killing and enslaving of Yazidis by IS in Sinjar, Iraq, has been described as a “genocide.”

Since fleeing IS, Murad has sought to highlight the plight of genocide and trafficking victims. Thousands of Yazidi, Turkmen, Christian and other women are still missing after being taken by IS. In 2018, Murad received a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.

Murad announced she would be on the show on her Twitter account today. She will discuss "my work to fight for human rights, end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and honor survivors on the 6th anniversary of the Yazidi Genocide,” she said in the tweet.


Baghdad, Iraq hits 125 degrees, shattering all- record

On Wednesday, Baghdad followed up with a temperature of 124 degrees, its second highest temperature on record. On Monday, it had reached 123 degrees.

The crippling heat forced many residents indoors, and street sellers had to seek whatever shade they could find. With the state electricity grid failing, many households were relying on generators to power fridges, fans or air conditioning units, the machines adding a guttural hum to the city’s already-noisy streets.

Two protesters were shot dead by security forces Monday during demonstrations over a lack of electricity and basic services amid the heatwave.

In nearby Lebanon, where a nationwide electricity crisis has left much of the country with less than three hours of state-provided power per day, the cost of a generator had doubled, leaving many households to go without.


Kaepernick, Fauci to receive Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick and Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, are slated to be among this year's recipients of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award.

Other leaders expected to receive the award this year include Dolores Huerta, founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of United Farm Workers of America; Dan Schulman, president and chief executive officer of PayPal; and Dan Springer, chief executive officer of DocuSign.

"At a time when the courageous pursuit of equality and justice has become political and riddled with adversity, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights stands with these modern-day human rights defenders in their inspirational fight for progress," the organization said in an announcement on Monday.

In a statement thanking the organization for the honor, Kaepernick recalled his experience watching musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte receive the same award in 2017.


Donald Trump's suburban horror show

If current numbers hold, the Republican Party will suffer its worst defeat in the suburbs in decades — with implications reaching far beyond November.


It is the same story in suburbs everywhere. In a Fox News poll last weekend, Trump was trailing Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, by 11 percentage points in the suburbs. An ABC News/Washington Post poll had Trump down 9 percentage points there — larger margins in the suburbs than exit polls have recorded since the 1980s, when Republicans were winning there by double digits.

That polling reflects a dramatic swing from 2016, when Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the suburbs by 4 percentage points. Trump’s erosion in the suburbs is a major reason the electoral map this year has expanded for Democrats in recent weeks — with Trump in danger not only of losing, but of taking the Senate down with him. And demographic shifts are only becoming more favorable to Democrats. The suburbs are rapidly growing, and by 2018, according to Pew, people of color made up nearly a third of suburban population.

“The movement of suburban voters, particularly educated women and millennials being so progressive in their politics, increased voting participating among Latinos, African Americans,” said Bill Carrick, a Democratic strategist who managed Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt’s 1988 presidential campaign. “That all contributes to this geography: Suddenly, we’ve got Georgia and Texas and Florida and Arizona, Iowa. There’s a lot of places in play.”

Trump’s damage in the suburbs has come primarily, as it has elsewhere, from his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But Trump’s response to the George Floyd protests also appears to have hurt him in the suburbs — his militant reaction crashing into an electorate that is less white and insular than it was half a century ago, when Richard Nixon made “law and order” rhetoric work.


Poll Shows Most Voters Agree Black, Hispanic Americans Face Discrimination

Voters in growing numbers believe that Black and Hispanic Americans are discriminated against, and a majority of 56% holds the view that American society is racist, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

The poll finds that Americans of all races and age groups share significant concerns about discrimination nearly two months after George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. Nearly three-quarters of Americans, 71%, believe that race relations are either very or fairly bad, a 16-point increase since February.

In other signs of substantial shifts in views on race, more voters see racial bias as a feature of American society and support protests aimed at addressing it. Nearly 60% in the survey said that Black people face discrimination, and just over half said so of Hispanics, about double the shares from 2008. Support has also grown for two of the public responses to concerns about inequality: the Black Lives Matter movement and professional athletes’ practice of kneeling during the national anthem.

“Americans are concerned about issues of inequality, and George Floyd’s death helped contribute to that,” said Brenda Lee, a pollster who worked on the survey with Democrat Jeff Horwitt and Republican Bill McInturff. “We’ve moved the needle a great deal in terms of just clearly identifying that we, as Americans, have an issue with racism in this society.”


CDC employees take on another pandemic: racism COMMENTARY

More than 1,200 Centers for Disease Control employees recently signed a letter imploring Director Robert Redfield to declare racism a public health crisis and for the CDC to “clean its own house” by instituting what they’re calling seven acts of change. Among the demands is an acknowledgment that the CDC has a “toxic culture of exclusion and racial discrimination” and an increase to Black representation among top leadership. The letter notes that out of 30 senior officials at the CDC, only three are Black, and two out of the three are in leadership roles related to race.

“At CDC, we have a powerful platform from which to create real change,” they wrote. “By declaring racism a public health crisis, the agency has an unprecedented opportunity to leverage the power of science to confront this insidious threat that undermines the health and strength of our entire nation.”

The employees make a powerful point: Racism is a pandemic that’s been raging for centuries, and it’s deadly. In the Black community, it takes lives through police brutality, inadequate health care and unequal economic opportunities. We saw it this spring, when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd, an African American man, for nearly 9 minutes, until he was dead. And we see it daily in our own communities, as COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color — something the primarily white CDC leadership clearly didn’t want to admit, seeing as The New York Times had to sue them to gather data related to the pandemic’s racial breakdown. It shows that Black and Latinx Americans are three times as likely to contract coronavirus as whites, and twice as likely to die from it.

Unsurprisingly, when the White House Coronavirus Task Force was initially announced, there was not a single Black or Latinx expert on the list, and though several people of color have since joined, the group is still overwhelmingly white (and male). In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan’s Coronavirus Response Team, convened in March, included only one African American person out of a dozen people named.

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