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Dem Dean

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Name: Dean
Gender: Male
Hometown: Charlotte Court House, VA
Home country: U.S.
Current location: Mountain Timezone
Member since: Fri Jul 5, 2019, 12:42 AM
Number of posts: 81

Journal Archives

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Senate to vote on permanently extending 9/11 victims fund

Source: Politico

07/18/2019 03:35 PM EDT

The Senate has agreed to vote on permanently extending the 9/11 victims fund, setting up action that will put the bill on President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature by next week.

After Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) insisted on amendment votes rather than pass the bill unanimously on Wednesday, Senate leaders agreed in a deal announced Thursday to allow those amendment votes in order to pass the legislation. The votes will occur this coming Wednesday or before. The House has already passed the bill.

The moment was crucial for New York’s two senators, presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. They gave a press conference together shortly after the deal was locked in.

“It’s been a long, long, hard, hard struggle for over a decade. But now finally, finally it looks quite certain that this bill will pass the Senate, go to the president’s desk and become law. And these first responders will not have to come back again,” Schumer said.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/911-victims-fund-bill-vote-1422014

But will Dotard sign it? I'm taking NOTHING for granted!

Trump's Drilling Leases on Public Lands Could Lead to 4.7B Metric Tons of Carbon Emissions

Source: Ecowatch

Jul. 18, 2019 08:46AM EST

A national conservation group revealed Wednesday that President Donald Trump's drilling leases on public lands could lead to the release of more carbon emissions than the European Union contributes in an entire year.

The Wilderness Society estimates that U.S. companies will emit at least 854 million and as much as 4.7 billion metric tons of carbon if they develop leases in public waters and lands.

"Taking into account the potency of shorter-lived climate pollutants like methane, lifecycle emissions resulting from the development of these leases could be as high as 5.2 billion metric tons," the group's new report reads.

The 28 countries in the EU released four billion metric tons in one year, according to the most recent available data.

Read more: https://www.ecowatch.com/public-lands-drilling-carbon-emissions-2639229888.html

The bolded part was my doing.

Republicans Want You to Know Trump's Racism Is Very Hard for Them

JULY 16, 2019 2:32 PM

An unavoidable recurring trope of this hideous moment in public incivility is concern for the suffering of the oppressor. Buckets of ink are spilled on the pain of the predator, the grief of the duped, and the profound losses of those unfortunate golden boys who missed opportunities and lost chances due to the consequences of their own momentary bad choices. The president of the United States says blatantly racist things while attempting to enforce his race-based agenda, but then suggests that it is he who is suffering the offense of being called racist. He demands apologies for these injuries. All of this of course centers the pain of those deemed important and diminishes the experiences of their victims. It’s also a dangerous prelude to a redemption story; a sinner converted to saint, and who among us doesn’t love the redemption of a sinner more than we care about the agony of the sinned-against?

But more and more, creeping into the public narrative of the reformed baddie and his boundless anguish, another story is emerging: the story of the suffering of the silent collaborators and colluders, and how difficult it is to be forced to choose sides. Be wary of this story.

For a long time in the runup to the 2016 elections, many Republicans, many of whom called themselves Never Trumpers, felt free to condemn Donald Trump in public. After the Access Hollywood tape leaked, Republicans reacted in horror. Sen. Ted Cruz called the president’s comments “disturbing and inappropriate,” tweeting that “there is simply no excuse for them.” Sen. Marco Rubio called them “vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify,” adding that “no one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.” Paul Ryan issued a statement in which he said unequivocally, “I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.” He also canceled an event scheduled for Trump the next day in Wisconsin. At the time, these reactions were unremarkable. Any sentient listener would have said and done the same. Today, though, with almost no exceptions, Donald Trump’s vicious racist tweets telling four American congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries was met with near-universal and stoic Republican silence. That is to be expected now. Republicans who hold elected offices have long passed the point where they’re expected to react to Trump’s sexist, racist, xenophobic, and outlandish statements. Indeed, they have come to the point where they can brag about their silence, as did Sen .Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who told CNN, in response to Trump’s attack on the women of color in Congress, “I’m working as hard as I can on reducing health care costs. I’m not giving a daily commentary on the president’s tweets.”

Where once there was moral courage in standing up to the president’s despicable comments, now the claim is that the true mark of moral bravery lies in remaining silent. They are dutifully continuing the work of governance, thus goes the hypothesis, making Republicans the true patriots grimly steering the country past the choppy waters of this presidency. Silence has become—like the infamous memo to the file—a heroic public act of Republican defiance. “See,” it says, “I’m just working away here in my lane, not rising to the bait of these culture warriors on both sides.”


In lieu of a comment, I shall merely post the best and funniest line from Lithwick's piece: Hand-wringing plus cringing! Call the doctor! It’s moral carpal tunnel!

A House Divided Cannot Stand Donald Trump

I got beer in my lungs when I read that title just now, so I had to post this. Please don't kill me as I sleep tonight, Rhiannon12866!

Louvre Removes Sackler Family Name From Its Walls

Source: New York Times

July 17, 2019

The Louvre in Paris has removed the name of the Sackler family from its walls, becoming the first major museum to erase its public association with the philanthropist family linked with the opioid crisis in the United States.

The Louvre’s collection of Persian and Levantine artifacts is housed in a wing that has been known as the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities since 1997.

But on Wednesday, a plaque acknowledging the Sacklers’ donations had been removed from the gallery’s entrance, and references to “the Sackler Wing” on other signs in the museum had been covered with gray tape.

Members of the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, an enormously profitable and frequently abused painkiller that is the subject of numerous lawsuits in the United States.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/17/arts/design/sackler-family-louvre.html

I know---sorry, knew---two people who died because of the lies promulgated by this horrible family and its representatives, while another friend barely escaped opioid addiction with his life. This is very personal for me. Now if only more U.S. institutions would follow the Louvre's lead!

U.S. fears Iran seized UAE-based tanker in Strait of Hormuz

Source: CBC News

Jul 16, 2019 12:30 PM ET

A small oil tanker from the United Arab Emirates travelling through the Strait of Hormuz entered Iranian waters and turned off its tracker two days ago, leading the U.S. to suspect Iran seized the vessel amid heightened tensions in the region, an American defence official said Tuesday.

Iran offered no immediate comment on what happened to the Panamanian-flagged oil tanker Riah late Saturday night, though an Emirati official acknowledged the vessel sent out no distress call. Oil tankers previously have been targetted in the wider region amid tensions between the U.S. and Iran over its unravelling nuclear deal with world powers.

The concern about the Riah comes as Iran continues its own high-pressure campaign over its nuclear program after U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord over a year ago.

Recently, Iran has inched its uranium production and enrichment over the limits of its 2015 nuclear deal, trying to put more pressure on Europe to offer it better terms and allow it to sell its crude oil abroad.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uae-tanker-missing-in-iranian-waters-1.5213490

Somewhere, John Bolton is wanking.

'Really Good Speller' Trump's Handwritten Note Shows Embarrassing Mistakes

Source: Yahoo News

Ed Mazza
HuffPost July 16, 2019

Just last week, President Donald Trump bragged that he was really a “good speller” despite his reputation for Twitter typos. However, another handwritten note caught on camera shows he also struggles with writing simple words on paper.

In this case: “people,” which the president spelled as “peopel.”

The note from Trump’s comments on Monday when he doubled down on racist attacks against several lawmakers also contained another gaffe, with the president misspelling “al Qaeda” as “alcaida.”

The mistakes were caught by several photographers, including Jabin Botsford of the Washington Post

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/donald-trump-spelling-al-qaeda-074220489.html

If this gets locked, I'll understand, as it's not exactly unprecedented. But maybe it is newsworthy that the guy with the nuke codes is basically illiterate.

WaPo - Trump has done the impossible: He has united the Democrats

By Dana Milbank
July 15 at 6:46 PM

President Trump, bless him, has once again achieved the impossible: He has unified the Democrats.

The fractious opposition party had been holding one of its regular Festivals of Gratuitous Self-Injury over the past few weeks on the matter of race. Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and other Democratic presidential candidates had attacked the “hurtful” actions of front-runner Joe Biden from decades ago in opposing busing and in working with segregationist senators. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) split Democrats by accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) of the “explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

Now, Trump has come to the Democrats’ rescue by reminding them, and all the world, what racism really looks like. On Sunday, he attacked four nonwhite Democratic congresswomen — Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — by saying they “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and proposing that they “go back” to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Thus, Trump would have these lawmakers “go back” to Ohio (in Pressley’s case), New York (Ocasio-Cortez’s birthplace) and Michigan (Tlaib’s). Omar, who emigrated from Somalia as a child, grew up in Minnesota. Rather than back down from this notion that nonwhites are not American, Trump broadened his attack on the four on Monday, saying they “hate our country” and proposing they “apologize to our country” and to him. And Democrats were bickering over Biden’s relationship with James Eastland in 1973???

Democrats’ differences are trivial, or should be, as they spend the next 16 months preparing for an election that will either affirm America as a multicultural society or define it as a redoubt of white nationalism. Trump’s racist words, clearly aimed at firing up his most ardent supporters, will, as in 2018, bring out his opponents in even greater numbers — as long as Democrats can move beyond their own squabbles.



India aborts first moon landing mission less than an hour before launch due to 'technical snag'

Source: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Published: 2:07am, 15 Jul, 2019 / Updated: 5:55am, 15 Jul, 2019

India on Monday called off the launch of a rocket aiming to take a probe to the moon less than one hour before blast-off because of a “technical” problem.

India had hoped the Chandrayaan-2 – or ‘moon chariot’ 2 – mission would make it the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to land a craft on the lunar surface.

India’s nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s security and technology prowess.
But the countdown at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre was stopped 56 minutes and 24 seconds before the planned launch at 2.51am.

“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at T-56 minute,” the India Space Research Organisation said on Twitter. “As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later.”

Read more: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/3018571/indias-first-lunar-landing-mission-chandrayaan-2-prepares

GODDAMMIT! I stayed up to watch the launch! I have (perhaps cynically) given up on the idea of this country ever being a world leader in space again. After all, Jeeeeeeeeesus doesn't believe "space" even exists! Thus, I have, for years now, been pinning my geek hopes on the Chinese and Indians. (But most definitely NOT the Russians. To paraphrase James T. Kirk: "I've never trusted them, and I never shall." Good night, jadies and lentlemen.)

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