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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
May 1, 2018

Exclusive: Bornstein claims Trump dictated the glowing health letter

CNN)When Dr. Harold Bornstein described in hyperbolic prose then-candidate Donald Trump's health in 2015, the language he used was eerily similar to the style preferred by his patient.

It turns out the patient himself wrote it, according to Bornstein.

"He dictated that whole letter. I didn't write that letter," Bornstein told CNN on Tuesday. "I just made it up as I went along."

The admission is an about face from his answer more than two years when the letter was released and answers one of the lingering questions about the last presidential election. The letter thrust the eccentric Bornstein, with his shoulder-length hair and round eyeglasses, into public view.


May 1, 2018

Wolf: Sanders sat at WHCD while awadeees received standing ovations

Comedian Michelle Wolf told NPR’s Teri Gross today that Sarah Sanders remained seated as CNN reporters received standing ovations for their awards in journalistic heroism. I don’t know if this was before or after Wolf’s routine.

May 1, 2018

Report: Michael Cohen is the real-life Saul Goodman

A few years before he started working for Donald Trump, and long before he gave legal advice to people like Fox News personality Sean Hannity, Michael D. Cohen had a different kind of clientele. Cohen roamed the courthouses of New York City, filing lawsuits on behalf of people with little means who were seeking compensation for the injuries they suffered in car collisions. Many personal-injury lawyers make their living this way, but there was something striking about Cohen's cases: Some of the crashes at issue didn't appear to be accidents at all.

A Rolling Stone investigation found that Cohen represented numerous clients who were involved in deliberate, planned car crashes as part of an attempt to cheat insurance companies. Furthermore, investigations by insurers showed that several of Cohen's clients were affiliated with insurance fraud rings that repeatedly staged "accidents." And at least one person Cohen represented was indicted on criminal charges of insurance fraud while the lawsuit he had filed on her behalf was pending. Cohen also did legal work for a medical clinic whose principal was a doctor later convicted of insurance fraud for filing phony medical claims on purported "accident" victims. Taken together, a picture emerges that the personal attorney to the president of the United States was connected to a shadowy underworld of New York insurance fraud, a pervasive problem dominated by Russian organized crime that was costing the state's drivers an estimated $1 billion a year.


May 1, 2018

Ex-CIA Official Says Torture Videotapes May Still Exist

Some videotapes recording the torture of a CIA detainee may have survived the 2005 destruction facilitated by Donald Trump’s nominee to run the agency. That’s according to an ex-CIA analyst who reviewed massive amounts of internal CIA documentation about torture and said she was told by a colleague that some of the tapes survived.

The analyst’s assertions are the basis for a new motion filed in federal court by the legal team of tortured terror suspect Abu Zubaydah, whose waterboarding and other brutal interrogation was the subject of most of the 2002-era videos.

On Tuesday morning, an attorney for Abu Zubaydah, Joseph Margulies, requested a federal judge to permit the filing of a motion compelling the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to perform a search for the tapes and attest to the results of the search under oath. Should the tapes and related documents still indeed exist, the motion requests their immediate delivery to a court security officer.


May 1, 2018

Louisiana Sec. of State (R) resigns amid misconduct charges

Secretary of State Tom Schedler (R) announced “that he is leaving his elected position as calls for his resignation increased amid allegations that the state elections chief sexually harassed one of his employees,” the AP reports.

“The woman claims Schedler frequently sent her love letters, sexually propositioned her and showed up at her doorstep with unwanted gifts, including sex tapes.”


May 1, 2018

Republican lawmakers want to prohibit Colorado teachers from striking, with potential fines and jail

Two Republican state lawmakers have introduced a bill seeking to prohibit Colorado teachers from striking and make it so they would face firing, fines or even jail time if they do so anyway.

Senate Bill 264 was introduced on Friday and comes amid a broader conversation across the state about education funding and educator pay, and as teachers gear up later this week for a second round of demonstrations at the Capitol. Classes have been canceled in a host of Denver metro school districts as a result, including in Jefferson County and in Denver where school officials plan an early release.

The measure’s chances of becoming law are minuscule — with the Democratic-controlled House unlikely to support it and some GOP lawmakers weary themselves — though it has injected another level of debate and controversy into the already simmering issue.

“I started thinking about the bill when I saw the news about teacher strikes in West Virginia,” said Sen. Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican who is one of the measure’s prime sponsors. “… It’s a wise thing to do, in some shape or form, in the state of Colorado because we have one district that’s already voted to strike. We have others discussing a strike. Strikes are not good for children.”

He called the assertion from some that he is trying to hinder teachers’ free speech rights “absurd,” saying the bill does not take away their right to speak or assemble.


May 1, 2018

The DNC Launched a Website to Help People Run for Office

The Democratic National Committee is trying to help Democrats regain the pole position as the tech-savviest political party in the U.S.

After getting Trumped in the 2016 election (pwned on security, data analysis and at the polls), the DNC is launching I Will Run, a marketplace for software, services and training to upgrade the campaigns of Democratic candidates.

Announced today by Sally Marx, the tech program manager for the DNC, the new marketplace will have a host of tech tools that campaigns can use to get off the ground, manage their progress and ensure easy outreach to voters.

A profusion of political services have sprung up in the months since Donald Trump took the presidency. Energized technology developers (on the whole a pretty left-leaning bunch) tuned in to politics, turned on new services and (in some cases) dropped out of their careers at high-profile shops like Google, Facebook and other Bay Are behemoths to join the political circus — or at least build tools for it.

“[We’ve] heard repeatedly from candidates and campaign staff that they are unsure what tools are out there, and simultaneously feel as if they are being fed too much information by vendors,” says Marx. “On the other hand, many of these innovators are not always reaching campaigns effectively  –  some state parties and campaigns, therefore, are in the dark about some of the innovative new technology that they should know about. And, finally, we’ve been in touch with funders and supporters who want to boost the progressive tech ecosystem, but aren’t clear on where those opportunities are.”

The marketplace, which Marx writes is explicitly for Democratic campaigns, is a curated compilation of tools used by campaigns and tools tested by DNC-funded case studies.

One of the companies already on the platform is the secure messaging service, Wickr, which has been working with campaigns from both parties to secure their communications. Wickr’s one of around 56 companies and nonprofits that are listed on the site in one of six categories: digital (which is crazy general), finance, research, security, training organizations and voter outreach.

The DNC tech team will also use the site to coordinate training, volunteers and pricing for Democratic campaigns. They’re piloting the program in states like Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and Iowa.

For campaigns interested in seeing what wares I Will Run has on offer, the DNC tech team is taking its show on the road with a whistle-stop tour at DNC events so state parties and campaigns can demo the tech.


May 1, 2018

FLIPPABLE: Lauren Friedman for OH-SD29

Lauren Friedman is a Stark County native, a Navy veteran, a mom of three boys, a wife, and a proven leader. She has a strong commitment to public service and is a tireless advocate for her community and its people.

Lauren’s passion for serving her country developed early, and when she was a student at Lake High School in Stark County, she knew that she would pursue military service after graduation. Lauren was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where she was proud to represent the state of Ohio. The Naval Academy is one of the world’s premier leadership institutions, as described in its mission: “To develop Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.”

Lauren graduated from the Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in English and a minor in Spanish. Her career trajectory was greatly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001; soon after, she and her classmates graduated and took on leadership roles in the Global War on Terror. During the five years of active duty service that followed, Lauren was trained as a Naval Intelligence Officer, and completed two war time deployments as part of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom- one onboard the aircraft carrier CV-67, USS John F Kennedy, and one working in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lauren has lived in many places, but when she was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2007, she chose to return home to Stark County. Later that year, she married her husband, Tom, whom she has known since the two of them ran Cross-Country and Track together in high school. Together, they share a home in Jackson Township with their three children and several rescued pets. Stark County is very special to Lauren, and she would not want to raise her children anywhere else.

However, Lauren’s transition home from active duty, like that of many veterans, was not easy. Like so many Americans during the 2008 recession and the years that followed, she struggled to find a job. There were times that her family did not have health insurance, despite her husband working multiple jobs. She lost the home she had owned in San Diego to foreclosure following the crash of the housing market and an inability to sell it or make the mortgage payments, and she eventually filed for bankruptcy. Like many other families in Stark County, Lauren and her husband have worked hard to fight their way out of that very difficult situation over the last ten years, often working multiple jobs each while raising their young family.

Regardless of where life has led, and even in the face of this personal adversity, service has remained a top priority for Lauren. She has not forgotten her fellow veterans who left the military after risking their lives in combat only to return home unsure of how to deal with their injuries or how to provide for their families. In fact, it is their stories that inspired her to pursue work in social service, so that she could help make things better for the people around her. Lauren, herself, is a Wounded Warrior Project Alumnus and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. She has never forgotten that she is one of the lucky ones who made it home from the war.

During the transition to civilian life, Lauren volunteered at the Packard Institute in Akron, where she helped young adults struggling with addiction. She eventually began working at the Social Security office in Canton, before pursuing graduate school at Kent State University. She then earned her Master’s of Education Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and began working to help people with disabilities to live more independently. For the past six years, Lauren has been employed by the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, where she has worked to help some of the most marginalized people in Stark County to receive the services they need and to live the lives they want.

Ever a passionate advocate for social justice, the election results of 2016 motivated Lauren to help organize the group Action Together Stark, in an effort to help people in Stark County who care about their community to have a bigger voice and a greater impact. Lauren has remained active and engaged in speaking up and communicating with her elected representatives. The current political climate propelled Lauren to move forward in utilizing her Naval Academy leadership training and professional experience to run for political office. Lauren is running for the Ohio Senate District 29 seat so that she will be able to take a more active and impactful role in creating positive change for Stark County, for Ohio, and for this country that she loves.


May 1, 2018

FLIPPABLE: Taylor Sappington for OH-AD94

Born to parents Amy and Tom who both were strong members of AFSCME, I grew up with my younger brother Spencer. Coming to Nelsonville in 2002, we learned how to work hard, think for ourselves, and to never give up. My mother walked into work one day and received what every workers dreads: the pink slip. The company was downsizing and the welfare of our family was thrown into deep uncertainty.

During elementary and middle school, I remember feeling that the pressure was building on us. Late notices came in the mail, we stopped eating out, we didn't shop. Eventually, they took our lifeline for any Appalachian family: the car. I even remember the electricity being shut off. Despite the rapid dip into hardship, mom worked harder than any person I know to keep our lives as normal as possible relative to our friends. She worked on her education, she came back one day crying because we were only offered a few bucks in SNAP benefits a month, and she made every single dollar that came into the family stretch ten times farther than before. Sometimes I wonder how she ever kept it together with all the walls closing in on us.

But with each sunrise over our hillside, we got a little bit farther from the worst. My brother and I graduated high school, mom graduated from Hocking College, and I walked across the stage at Ohio University. The proudest day of my life, which came just a couple weeks before my swearing in as City Councilman for my proud city of Nelsonville. Mom has her first home and Spencer proudly works in corrections for the State of Ohio.

While on Nelsonville City Council, I wrote and we passed the city's first and only balanced budget requirement. It forces city councils to pass budgets that are responsible with the citizens' money. Through hard work from the employees and city leadership, 2017 was the first year in a decade that the city's bank account held steady instead of dropping further into crisis. During my time, we have also instituted our town's first curbside recycling and turned around a struggling city pool and guaranteed it many more years.

I was raised in a regular family that just had a lot of fight in it when the times got rough. Not to different from most of the folks I know in southeast Ohio. People don't want a handout. They just want a fair shot at a dignified life. They want to just feel like their politicians hear them and aren't wholesale bought and sold to the highest bidder. I am in this campaign to fight to the very last for these folks because I know their struggle personally. And I won't rest until they've been heard.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 53,676

About RandySF

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

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