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RandySF

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 36,862

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Avengers: Endgame finale marks a cultural milestone (SPOILER)

When it was first announced that Avengers: Endgame would be over three hours long, everyone freaked out. But now that we’ve all seen the final film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, we understand why the follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War had to be so long. Not only did it effectively wrap up founding Avengers members’ story arcs either by death or happy ending, but it also introduced a new generation of Marvel heroes.

In the same scene in which we realized we were going to have to say goodbye to Steve Rogers’ Captain America (Chris Evans) after he returned to his past and grew old, it became clear that Marvel wasn’t done with Captain America just yet. Steve gifted his shield to Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie), effectively passing the torch to his friend and ally. But does this mean Sam is the new Captain America in the MCU?

Yep, Sam Wilson Is Captain America Now

If that final scene between old man Steve and Sam as Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) looked on in silent approval is to be believed, then yes. Steve gave not only the Captain America shield but also the mantle to someone he could trust. Sam didn’t jump at the chance to wear the shield; he was apprehensive and even said that the shield felt like “someone else’s.” That humility and Sam’s eventual promise to do his best to honor Steve was all the proof that Steve needed that he made the right choice in passing on his legacy to Sam. The MCU made it clear with this scene that no matter what happens in the future, Captain America’s legacy will live on in a new form.

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https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/05/231362/is-anthony-mackie-captain-america-now-after-avengers-endgame

Dallas Mayor's Race Goes To A Runoff With Eric Johnson, Scott Griggs

The race for Dallas mayor isn’t over yet. Democratic State Rep. Eric Johnson will face Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs in a June 8 runoff.

The two got the most votes out of a crowded field of nine candidates.

Up until Saturday night’s election results, there had been no clear front-runner, although Johnson was among the biggest fundraisers as he split his time legislating during the session in Austin and campaigning in Dallas.

With nine candidates in the mayor’s race, a runoff was almost guaranteed.

Johnson got about 20% of the vote, the most of any mayoral candidate.



https://www.keranews.org/post/dallas-mayors-race-goes-runoff-eric-johnson-scott-griggs


FLIPPABLE: Ann Wheeler for Prince William County (VA) Chair

I have served the public and Prince William County since moving to Haymarket in 2001. I hope to continue serving my neighbors and fellow citizens as your Chairwoman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

For 14 years I have been a Member of the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative Board. I have also spent two years on the Hylton Performing Arts Center Board. I most recently completed a two-year term as President of the Prince William Committee of 100, a non-partisan civic organization that provides public forums to bring awareness to a range of county issues.

As former Chair of the Prince William County Board of Social Services, I’ve become familiar with the operations of the county and have mastered its budgeting process. Since attending the PWC Community Leadership Institute in the Fall of 2004, I have participated on various community and civic boards, including the Stonewall Middle School Advisory Council (2010-2011), the Board of Social Services (2006-2011), the Shelter Lakes Homeowners Association (2004-2007), the Gainesville District Budget Committee (2005-2007) and the Prince William County School Northern Boundary Committee (2005-2006).

Prince William County has tremendous opportunities to grow and better serve its citizens. My experiences over the last 17 years have shown me how we have yet to fully realize that opportunity. Together, I know we can move our county forward.

Before moving to Prince William County with my husband, John, and my two daughters, I spent 15 years working and consulting in the energy industry. I graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, specializing in Finance.




https://www.wheelerforpwc.com/

VA: Prince William County Board Chair Election Set With Republicans Choosing Right-Wing Candidate

The race to fill the open chairmanship of Prince William County's county board is set, with Republicans nominating accountant John Gray over longtime county supervisor Martin E. Nohe.

In a firehouse primary on Saturday, county Republicans chose Gray, a right-wing candidate, over Nohe, a moderate who has been critical of outgoing Prince William County Board Chair Corey Stewart, who most recently ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.

Gray took 3,158 votes to Nohe's 2,422, a 57 to 43 percent win. He has previously run for the board of supervisors and the school board, but lost both elections.

Gray's campaign has consisted of videos posted to YouTube, warning against "radicalized Democrats" taking a majority of the seats on the county board and turning Prince William County into a "sanctuary county," the Prince William Times reported.

Currently, Republicans hold a majority of six seats on the board, while Democrats hold two seats, but all eight seats are up for re-election in 2019.

“Today, Republicans came out in large numbers all across the county to nominate a diverse ticket of individuals who have been invested in our community and are dedicated to bringing positive results for the people of this County,” Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card said in a statement. “Our Republican ticket is unified and focused on reducing traffic congestion, bringing high-paying jobs to Prince William, and reducing classroom sizes and supporting teachers."

Gray will now face Democratic candidate Ann Wheeler in November.



https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Prince-William-County-Board-Chair-Election-Set-With-Republicans-Choosing-Right-Wing-Candidate-509491801.html

Dow futures plummet 400 points after Trump renews tariff threat on China

New York (CNN Business)Last week US stocks hit record highs, but President Donald Trump on Sunday reminded investors of the fear that dominated Wall Street throughout much of last year.

Trump renewed threats to raise tariffs on Chinese goods, sending Dow futures down more than 400 points Sunday evening. The broader S&P 500 was set to open Monday down 1.4%. Nasdaq futures were down 1.5%.
The Nasdaq includes a large number of technology stocks that could be hit particularly hard by higher tariffs on Chinese products.

A grim opening for US stocks Monday would follow a week of record-highs. The Nasdaq closed at a high of 8,164 Friday, and the S&P 500 was near its all-time high set earlier in the week. The Dow had been closing in on its all-time high set in October.

President Trump warned he would consider increasing tariffs on a $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from the current 10%, reactivating a threat he removed months ago.


https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/05/media/stocks-trump-tariff-threat/index.html

Cohen to be imprisoned at facility that offers matzo ball soup, occasional visit home

President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, is set to be imprisoned on Monday for a range of federal offenses he pleaded guilty to last year.

Cohen is scheduled to report to the Federal Correctional Institute in Otisville, N.Y., to serve a three-year sentence, according to Reuters. Cohen received the sentence last December after pleading guilty to charges of bank and tax fraud, as well as campaign finance violations.

The sentences stem from Cohen's time working for Trump as his personal "fixer." Cohen pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal with payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels and McDougal alleged they had affairs with Trump. Federal prosecutors in New York implicated Trump in the crime, saying Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" of the president in making the payments. Trump has repeatedly denied having affairs with the women.

Cohen will be housed at the federal correctional institute's minimum security camp. Prison consultants told Reuters that the facility has become a common destination for Jewish inmates because of its proximity to the New York Jewish community.

“He’s going to what I like to refer to as ‘Jewish heaven,’” Larry Levine, founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants, told the news service.

Reuters notes that, Guy Petrillo, Cohen's lawyer at the time of the sentencing, requested the Cohen be sent to the facility in Otisville, though it remains unclear why he put in the request.

Jack Donson, a former manager at the prison who now runs a prison consulting firm, told Reuters that the facility is unusual in that it has a full-time rabbi.

Inmates have greater access to kosher food at the facility as well. The prison's website advertises matzo ball soup and gefilte fish, among other items, according to Reuters.

The news service noted that the prison also allows for the occasional visit home for its inmates.



https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/442163-cohen-to-start-serving-prison-sentence-monday

Game of Thrones' Most Epic Battles, Ranked

1. BATTLE OF THE GOLDROAD

Commonly referred to as the loot train attack, this Season 7 battle was a result of Daenerys Targaryen's frustration with Tyrion’s advice to do nothing after the Lannisters seized Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell. She instead goes with her gut and takes Drogon to sabotage the Lannister army’s trek back to King’s Landing. This was the first time two main characters, Jaime Lannister and Daenerys, squared off against each other, which made viewers anxious, as we didn’t know who to root for.


2. BATTLE OF WINTERFELL

This battle had a lot of hype leading up to it. The fates of our favorite characters were on the line, and we had heard reports that the 80-minute episode took 11 weeks to film. The expectations, therefore, were quite high, as were the stakes.


3. BATTLE AT HARDHOME

Season 5’s Battle at Hardhome was a prelude of sorts to the Battle of Winterfell. No one was ready for how massive and effective the Night King’s army would be. We see what the wights are capable of — hurling themselves off mountains, for example -- and how they can range from skeletal to relatively fresh, and from children to adults. The White Walkers' blades shatter weapons, except for Jon Snow's Valyrian steel sword; that moment of shock that passes between the White Walker and Jon is great.


4. BATTLE OF THE BLACKWATER

This Season 2 battle is the first major one of the series, with Stannis Baratheon's superior forces setting their sights on King’s Landing. The only thing that saves the capital of Westeros, and the Lannisters, is Tyrion, who employs wildfire to win the day -- or, rather, night.


5. BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS

Season 6’s Battle of the Bastards was a conventional medieval battle with the addition of a giant. The stakes were high because it was a battle for Winterfell: Whoever won would control the most powerful seat in the North. For Jon and Sansa, it meant finally returning home. They fight not only for Winterfell, but also for their fallen brother Rickon, whose death probably could've been prevented if he'd only zigzagged across the battlefield.


6. BATTLE OF CASTLE BLACK

It’s the Wildings vs. the Crows in Season 4’s big battle. This is when the brothers of the Night’s Watch really step up: Sam goes into battle knowing full well he’s not a fighter; Edd takes command of the archers at the top; and Grenn leads a group to defend the gate against a giant. Giants ride in on mammoths and the Wildings vastly outnumber them, so the goal for the Night’s Watch is just survival.


https://www.cbr.com/game-of-thrones-most-epic-battles-ranked/


Star Trek Star Leonard Nimoy's Widow Says He Asked for Nurses' Assistance to End His Life

Leonard Nimoy, the actor who originated the role of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, died in 2015 at the age of 83 from complications related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In a new interview, Nimoy’s widow, Susan Bay, says Nimoy sought the aid of his nurses to end his life.

Nimoy went public with his illness in 2014 after being spotted at an airport in a wheelchair. The condition was blamed on years of smoking despite Nimoy having quit 30 years prior. He dedicated the rest of his life to a public campaign encouraging others to kick the habit, but his condition worsened.

"You cannot catch your breath," Bay tells Inside Edition, "He couldn't go out. For him to go from the parking lot to the movie theater, forget it.

"He was on a campaign to use his profile and make people think twice about lighting up," Bay continues. She then goes on to describe Nimoy’s final days, saying that Nimoy told her it was time and asked for the help of his nurses.

"He didn't want to be confined to a wheelchair and not able to breathe," Bay said. "[Nimoy’s nurses] keep adding a little more morphine over the period. He was in such a compromised situation that it did not take long. I believe in dying with dignity. Leonard believed ... in dying with dignity."



https://comicbook.com/startrek/2019/05/05/star-trek-leonard-nimoy-nurses-assisted-death/

Avengers: Endgame Officially Crosses $2 Billion at Box Office

Avengers: Endgame has crossed the $2 billion mark at the global box office in record time. The film's global total now stands at $2.18 billion at the worldwide box office, making it only the fifth movie ever to earn $2 billion. That surpasses Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Titanic to make Avengers: Endgame the second-highest grossing film of all time.

“Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theatre both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, in a press release last week, when Endgame had the first $1 billion global opening in box office history. “Though Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world.”

“From the very beginning with Iron Man, all we’ve wanted to do was tell stories that brought these characters to life onscreen the way we’ve experienced them as fans of the comics,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios. “That we’ve had so many other successes in this journey leading to this unbelievable result with Avengers: Endgame has been almost entirely due to the fans around the world who have supported us through it all. Our directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, and our writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, really brought this story home, and I am also incredibly thankful for our cast and filmmakers from across the MCU and all who’ve worked so hard to make these films the best they can be, including the amazing teams at Marvel Studios and Disney. And of course, without Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, none of this would have been possible.”

Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo added, “We poured our heart and soul into Avengers: Endgame, hoping to tell a story that would inspire audiences around the world. Our family of cast and crew felt honored to be entrusted with bringing the Infinity Saga to a close. To Kevin Feige, everyone at Disney and Marvel, and the incredible, global community of fans – thank you.”


https://comicbook.com/marvel/2019/05/05/avengers-endgame-2-billion-worldwide-box-office/

Campaigns Will Have to Pay for DNC Voter File

Presidential campaigns seeking to gain access to the Democratic Party 50-state voter file, a crucial database that costs $175,000 to purchase, must also agree to a strict set of terms requiring candidates to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.

Across the field of 22 candidates, some Democrats view the conditions as overly restrictive for a resource that presidential campaigns rely on daily as a foundation for everything from field organizing to analytics. The terms — meant to help strengthen the DNC ahead of the general election in support of the eventual nominee — are costly, time-consuming, and specific.

The voter file contains pools of data about millions of voters. Campaigns use the database as a foundation for their own data as they identify and track support over time within their own portals.

In addition to the $175,000 price tag on the voter file, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by BuzzFeed News, candidates who purchase the voter file must also agree to appear at one or more DNC fundraising events every three months during the duration of their bid for the nomination. At each fundraising event appearance — dubbed "signature event(s)" in the term sheet — candidates will also be asked to record a short video in support of the DNC.

Campaigns must also sign at least one DNC fundraising email every three months, with donations split evenly between the campaign and the DNC. Separate from the emails to the DNC’s list, campaigns will also participate in a party-wide fundraising day, slated for Aug. 7, 2019, sending an email to their own list. Those donations would also be split equally.

According to the term sheet, candidates who use the voter file will continue raising money for the party even after they drop out of the race, sending three additional emails to the DNC list before Election Day in 2020.

The so-called DNC "signature events" will range from grassroots fundraisers to “engagement events” like the party’s Women’s Leadership Forum or “I Will Vote Gala” last year — but all will benefit the DNC financially, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement. The Democratic Party has consistently lagged in fundraising behind its Republican counterpart. In the years since the 2016 primary between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, when the DNC emerged as a source of anti-establishment mistrust and resentment, the current party chair, Tom Perez, has worked effort to restore morale inside the building and rebuild a fundraising and organizing infrastructure that languished during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.



https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/dnc-voter-file-2020-campaigns
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