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Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 14,831

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Michelle Kwan Is Working for Hillary Clinton


In a modestly air-conditioned office space in a suburban strip mall in Arlington, Virginia, the Hillary volunteers are phone-banking. They are gathering around card tables and crammed into sofas and loveseats, beneath handmade signs and patriotic bunting, mostly retirees and college students, talking on cell phones and filling out paperwork, pinching the microphones of their headphones between thumb and forefinger and clasping their hands over their ears.

At the center of the scene is Michelle Kwan, 36, the legendary Olympic figure-skating medalist. Her hair is shorn in a long summer bob, and she’s wearing a black dress with a tulip skirt paired with black ankle-strap heels. A small group of volunteers, breaking for a moment to meet their celebrity guest, cautiously hovers around her. “I am so nervous right now,” one woman says, stepping forward to ask for a picture. “My sisters are so jealous.” Kwan smiles and says, “Aww, where are they from?”

It’s a phenomenon that goes back to the first Clinton administration and was only reinforced during the Obama years: The Democratic party now relies on a constellation of stars among its key supporters and surrogates. The new center of this nexus of politics and celebrity in 2016 is Michelle Kwan, who has the unique role of being both celebrity surrogate and Clinton campaign staffer. Kwan’s official role with the campaign is “surrogate outreach coordinator,” which basically means it’s her job to wrangle Clinton’s high-profile backers, including stars like Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, and Meryl Streep, all of whom have made appearances this year on behalf of the candidate. It cannot hurt that Kwan is also one of them. As best I can tell, the Trump campaign has no equivalent. (When I emailed a Trump campaign spokesperson to ask whether the campaign had a surrogate outreach coordinator, she wrote back, “Thanks. We will pass on this,” as though I was offering myself up for the role, rather than asking a yes-or-no question.)
Kwan is also unique in the way she inspired a generation of American women and girls, and there’s a parallel set of emotions the Clinton campaign has tried to capture as Hillary appears poised to become the nation’s first female president. At least, that’s the sentiment on display among the Clinton supporters at the phone-banking event, where a young woman with curly blonde hair looks up from her call logs and asks Kwan, “When I was in the fifth grade, I watched your long programs on VHS tapes. Do you still skate on occasion?” And an older woman jumps in: “Do you have any children?”

Gazette opinion: Vetting anti-refugee propaganda in Montana


In the 2016 race for MT Governor, RW GOPer and creationist Greg Gianforte (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Gianforte) is running against Dem incumbent Steve Bullock (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bullock_(Montana_politician). Bullock is an alum of one DIL's HS - he was a couple years ahead of her - and a genuinely good guy! Any help for his campaign will be greatly appreciated. http://stevebullock.com/

Gianforte has arguably been a good businessman, but would be an absolutely terrible governor. This OP-ED provides some reasons why, but they are just the top of the iceberg.

Does Greg Gianforte want to build a wall around Montana? Sure sounds like it when he campaigns on banning war refugees from countries suffering terrorist attacks and stopping any refugee resettlement until the vetting system is “fixed.”

He sounds like GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has called for shutting out immigrants.

The myth that governors can block refugee settlement keeps popping up, thanks to politicians campaigning on fears they help intensify. Federal law — not state law — sets rules for who may enter the United States. People who want to come into our nation as refugees are vetted more extensively, through a lengthier process than other types of immigrants or foreign visitors.
On the issue of refugee settlement, Bullock acknowledges the rule of law. As a former Montana attorney general, he should know the law. Think about it: Bullock grew up in Helena, he has a family with young children, and his political opponents are telling us he wants to bring terrorists to his home state.

As governor, Bullock has responsibility for public safety. That duty is carried out as head of the Montana National Guard, in policies and programs that protect us from crime, fires, drug abuse, unsafe water, hazardous roads and preventable diseases. There are many serious dangers for Montanans to worry about; “unvetted Syrian refugees” next door isn’t one of them.

My Tweet on Gender Bias Against Hillary Created an Instant Firestorm

Anyone who calls it out knows this: Sexism is the thing that shall not be named in 2016. I encountered that unspoken rule today.


Please note that the "My" in the headline and "I" in the short blurb above do NOT refer to ME (I don't tweet) but rather to the author of the article at the link. Just sayin' ...

But I have had the same thing happen to me time and time again anytime I have mentioned the "unmentionable" double standard - and such firestorms have also happened here to me here on DU, although somewhat less since the Dem Convention.

Apparently, identifying the double standard against Hillary as gender-based is frowned upon in the elite (male) press.

That’s not surprising. Institutional gender bias is an accepted way of doing business, a prism through which the establishment sees the world. “Of course there’s no institutional gender bias against Hillary” say the denizens of an institution (the media) that has helped block a woman from the White House for 227 years.

I’m not accusing individual reporters of sexism or misogyny. Far from it. Many of them are my friends and they are well-meaning and hard-working people. I’m talking about the national media’s collective behavior, the mindset that allows for lopsided reporting like nothing we’ve ever seen.
No other candidate gets the kind of obsessive, relentless, disdainful and disrespectful coverage than Hillary.

I would differ somewhat with the author in one respect. The collective mindset that allows for lopsided reporting "like nothing we've ever seen" has also been at work since at least November 2008 with respect to Prez O. But that fact is that with Hillary, the lopsided reporting has been obsessive, relentless, disdainful and disrespectful since at least January 1993.

When these two candidates differ from ALL other nominees in the two major parties in one respect only (in Prez O's case, race; in Hillary's, gender), then it is clear that while stating the obvious may be frowned upon, that does not make it any LESS true.

T. rex with Well-Preserved Skull Found in Montana's Hell Creek Formation

Researchers say they were able to unearth roughly a fifth of the animal


There's a new Tyrannosaurus rex fossil on the block, with a cute nickname and about 20 percent of its former body intact, including a well-preserved skull.

The T. rex was found by paleontologists from Burke Museum and the University of Washington (UW) in Montana's famous dinosaur-fossil haven, the Hell Creek Formation. It has been dubbed the "Tufts-Love Rex," in honor of the volunteer paleontologists who first noticed bones jutting out of a hillside: Burke Museum's Jason Love and Luke Tufts.

The Burke and UW researchers say they were able to unearth roughly a fifth of the animal, including ribs, hips, jaw bones and vertebrae. (They'll search for more pieces of the iconic beast next summer.)

But the centerpiece of the find is the skull, which is about 4 feet long. So far, the scientists can see the right side of the skull -- from base to snout, including teeth -- and they think it's likely the left side, now trapped in rock, is intact too. (They'll begin the painstaking process of removing the remaining rock in October.)

In Florida, it's Donald Trump's big rallies vs. Hillary Clinton's massive organizing


To Team Clinton, organizing is everything.

To the unconventional Team Trump, big rallies rule.

"We're running a unique campaign in the sense that we can draw 15,000 people together at a time," said Karen Giorno, Florida-based senior adviser on the Trump campaign. "There are over 40,000 people that we've touched in the last two weeks with just four events. . . . We have a movement. Hillary Clinton is struggling to get people moving in her direction."

As anxious party leaders await a more conventional Florida campaign apparatus by Trump — field offices, paid organizers and TV ads that Giorno says are coming soon — the Clinton campaign is methodically building a massive get-out-the-vote effort.

Clinton and her Democratic allies have spent nearly $22 million on TV ads in Florida, according to an NBC News tally. Trump allies have spent less than $1.6 million.

Bill and Hillary Clinton's First Home Is Wonderfully Charming


I thought that this was a sweet article on the whole. Two quick comments: 1) One can see that some misogynist visitor has defaced the "Rodham" from Hillary's name in the garden. 2) It's interesting to remember that many houses of the era originally had only one bathroom, as this one does. Having two full baths was a real luxury. I remember my own first house purchase in 1972 ($27,500 for a 3-BR ranch-style with half basement!!) that had 1 1/2 baths. We were overjoyed.

Even though a certain white house is all that's probably on Hillary Clinton's mind currently, back in the 1970s it was this charming home in Fayetteville, Arkansas that stole her heart. The story goes that Hillary turned down former President Bill Clinton's proposal several times. In fact, it wasn't until he purchased this brick beauty (which she had her eye on) that she said "yes."

The Clintons lived here while they worked at the University of Arkansas' Law School, but the really good part is this: Their intimate wedding took place in the living room! Apparently, the tile around the fireplace was installed by Bill himself and served as a very practical wedding present.

Today, the home serves as a museum where visitors can see Hillary's wedding dress (which she picked up at Dillard's the night before the nuptials) and the kitchen, which has been restored to how it looked when the Clintons lived there. Let's just say, the neon orange walls and cabinets and yellow appliances prove they once had interesting taste in decor — it's certainly a far cry from their Chappaqua, New York vacation home .

The story behind 1971 New Haven photos of Bill and Hillary Clinton — and Marylouise Oates


Fun story!

There’s the famous “hippie photo” of Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham in 1971, during their time at Yale Law School, but there was always a little bit of mystery about it.

Where was it taken? Some speculated that it was outside the law school, others that it was close to one of the residential colleges.

But there’s a second photo, very much like the first, that hangs on the home office wall of television writer and producer Michael Oates Palmer of Los Angeles. There’s one big difference in the two, though: In Palmer’s photo, Hillary is talking to his mother, Marylouise Oates.
For Michael Palmer, the best part of the whole story is a letter he received from the secretary of state’s office, dated Nov. 6, 2012 — Election Day:

“I was delighted to read your piece and see the photograph you shared on the Huffington Post; it instantly brought back fond memories of my time at Yale with your parents. I am also pleased to hear you are having such great success writing for television. Keep up the great work, and give my warm regards to your parents.


How Craft Beer Brewers Brought Bottle Recycling to Montana


One BIL is a craft brewer in Billings. This made me think of him.

Cities and states around the nation are struggling to figure out ways to recycle glass without losing money. Glass prices are down, and the cost of hauling is often more than the value of the glass itself.

“There is no state out there that doesn’t have a glass problem,” says Dusti Johnson, a specialist in recycling and market development for Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality. But in Big Sky Country, dealing with discarded bottles is enough of a headache that the state just doesn’t do it. And that bothers a lot of residents.
Johnson says that “thousands” of people call her office to complain about the state’s lack of glass recycling, but the money to pay for it hasn’t become available. So far, conversations at the state legislature about raising taxes to pay for glass recycling have always stalled out.

But state-run programs aren’t the only way to keep bottles out of the landfill. Bayern Brewing, in Missoula, has purchased an industrial bottle-washing machine and many of the surrounding breweries have switched to using glass bottles compatible with the washing system. In the past three years, this cooperation between brewers has saved almost 2.5 million bottles from the landfills.

As a kid growing up in North Central MT, I used to make good pocket money from collecting glass bottles left along the RR tracks. In those days, we used to roam freely without fear in such places. I'm not so sure that I'd be as complacent about my grandkids doing so as my parents were with us. Times have changed - even in MT.

A Definitive Guide to the Brexit Negotiations

From the Harvard Business Review ... very informative!


Because the clock only starts when Article 50 is formally invoked by the UK, there has been some wrangling over when it should occur. There is an option of extending negotiations beyond the two-year time limit, but it requires the consent of all countries in the EU.

Two other points of process are worth mentioning. The first is that many parties within the EU are involved, and because a member state has never exited before, the internal process on the EU’s side of the table is itself being negotiated. The key groups are the European Council, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. (See here to learn more about these three institutions, and here for more information on the role they are expected to play in the negotiations.)

The second issue is more crucial. If the agreement reached between the EU and the UK is broad enough in scope to be considered a “mixed agreement” — which it certainly will be if the parties negotiate not only trade but also security and foreign policy issues — then the agreement will need to be ratified by the parliament of every member state, which means every EU country would have a veto. From a negotiation perspective, this not only increases the amount of time needed to reach a comprehensive agreement but also lessens the likelihood of a deal.

Let’s start with some context. The European Union is based on the idea of a single market, characterized by four freedoms. They are the free movement, across borders, of goods, services, capital, and people.

There are three consequences of this arrangement that are of particular relevance to Brexit negotiators: free trade between EU member states (think “tariff free”); businesses in the member states being subject to EU regulations; and citizens of any member state being able to move to another member state to live or work there. All of these were important factors leading up to the Brexit vote, and they are central to the negotiations that will take place between the UK and the EU.

Poll: Clinton Makes Gains Across the Country


It was a good week for Hillary Clinton. Not only does the Democratic nominee lead Donald Trump by 8 points, a deeper dive into the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Tracking Poll shows that Clinton received a bounce across the entire country — making gains in every census region.

Winning the presidency requires securing Electoral College votes across a geographic range of states, so it is important to understand candidate support across different regions in the country. Below is a break out of our Tracking Poll results by Census region.

The link contains some good graphs as well.
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