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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 71,288

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

A Social Revolution to Rival Saudi Arabia

There’s a party in Osama bin Laden’s old neighborhood and Nasr Aldin has brought the booze to get things hopping. At 38, he’s no teenager, but it’s the first time he hasn’t feared the wrath of the authorities.

Being caught with alcohol in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum used to mean 40 lashes under former President Omar al-Bashir, who turned the African country of 40 million into an autocratic Islamic state over three decades. He was ousted by the army in April, and now the country that emulated Saudi Arabia in its pursuit of puritanism is rivaling the kingdom when it comes to loosening up.

“The old regime wanted to bury us alive,” Nasr Aldin said of his recent exploits in the Khartoum district of Riyadh, which al-Qaeda’s founder once called home in the 1990s. “We want to do things that are normal everywhere in the world,” he said, talking above the hubbub of a sidewalk cafe as smoke from the previously banned hookah water-pipes filled the air.

The power struggle between Islamists and secularists has dominated Sudan for generations and the risk is that the new era is just a prelude to another incarnation of that culture war.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-12-06/sudan-is-staging-a-social-revolution-to-rival-saudi-arabia
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 02:50 AM (0 replies)

China to Waive Trade War Tariffs for Some U.S. Soy, Pork Purchases

China has started to process applications from some domestic companies to exempt their purchases of U.S. goods including soybeans and pork from retaliatory tariffs, China’s finance ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Chinese firms have purchased a certain amount of U.S. goods based on the country’s needs and the ministry is working to exempt tariffs resulting from the trade war on those goods, it said.

American and Chinese negotiators have signaled that they may be drawing closer to agreeing on phase one of a broader accord that would resolve the trade dispute. However, Trump has said that he wouldn’t mind if it takes until after the 2020 U.S. election and that a threatened Dec. 15 tariff increase will proceed if the talks fail to yield a deal he likes.

Bloomberg has previously reported that China issued these waivers to some domestic firms.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 02:39 AM (0 replies)

10 Bronx and Westchester-Based Members and Associates of the Gambino Crime Family Indicted in

10 Bronx and Westchester-Based Members and Associates of the Gambino Crime Family Indicted in Brooklyn Federal Court for Crimes, Including Racketeering Conspiracy, Loansharking, Obstruction of Justice and Bribery

Two indictments and one complaint were unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn variously charging 12 defendants with racketeering conspiracy, bribery, loansharking, fraud, obstruction of justice and related offenses. Those charged with racketeering conspiracy were Andrew Campos, an alleged captain in the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra; James Ciaccia, George Campos, Vincent Fiore and Richard Martino, alleged Gambino family soldiers; and Renato Barca, Jr., Benito DiZenzo, Mark Kocaj, Frank Tarul and Michael Tarul, alleged Gambino family associates. The charges relate to the defendants’ criminal activities throughout the New York metropolitan area since February 2013.

Eleven defendants were arrested this morning and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. One defendant is a fugitive.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.

“The outstanding investigative work by this Office’s prosecutors and our law enforcement partners uncovered a litany of crimes allegedly committed by members and associates of the Gambino organized crime family, who still don’t get it – handcuffs and a jail cell are waiting for criminals who threaten violence and commit fraud, money laundering and bribery in furtherance of their enterprise,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. Mr. Donoghue thanked the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Probation Departments for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor for their assistance during the investigation.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/10-bronx-and-westchester-based-members-and-associates-gambino-crime-family-indicted
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 02:21 AM (1 replies)

Former President Of Little Falls Credit Union Sentenced To 96 Months In Prison For $2.5 Million

Former President Of Little Falls Credit Union Sentenced To 96 Months In Prison For $2.5 Million Fraud Scheme

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of MARGURITE MARY COFELL, 62, to 96 months in prison for orchestrating a multimillion dollar credit union fraud scheme. COFELL, who pleaded guilty on April 3, 2019, to one count of credit union fraud, was sentenced on December 3, 2019, before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from at least June 2006 through January 2014, COFELL was the Manager, Chief Operating Officer and/or President of the St. Francis Campus Credit Union located in Little Falls, Minnesota. In that capacity, COFELL was responsible for the oversight of the daily operations of the credit union, and ensuring proper documentation of the credit union transactions. COFELL used her access and position to fraudulently divert credit union funds to herself and other members of the credit union, including family members, friends and businesses in the Little Falls and Flensburg area. COFELL did so by authorizing fictitious loans or increasing the balances on existing, legitimate loans without the knowledge or authorization of the borrowers, issuing checks from the credit union despite the absence of any corresponding deposits into the credit union, making fictitious electronic deposits into the accounts of credit union members that they did not contribute but later withdrew from the credit union, including an account held in her name, and accounts in the names of various family members and friends, taking cash from the tellers’ cash drawers and the credit union’s vault, and recording fictitious cash payments on loans held by family members. In total, COFELL caused a loss amount of $2,513,360.77 to the St. Francis Campus Credit Union. As a result of COFELL’s fraud, the St. Francis Campus Credit Union, which had served the Little Falls community for more than 50 years, was placed into liquidation due to insolvency.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorney Michelle E. Jones prosecuted the case.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 02:12 AM (0 replies)

The Role of Public Capital

There is an obvious reason why the New Deal is the model for the immense changes we need to address global climate change. The New Deal, and our response to the war that followed, were the only times in American history that we moved so fast, and so well.

In less than ten years, the New Deal transformed the United States from an immensely energetic but ramshackle and barely connected gaggle of regions into what would soon emerge as the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world had ever known, and the champion of freedom around the globe.

Most obviously, the New Deal succeeded in physically remaking the country. We all know the different litanies of public infrastructure built: the nearly 5,900 school buildings, the 325 new firehouses, the 400 post offices and nearly 400 airports; the 212 dams and canals, the 894 sewage plants, the 29,000 units of public housing, the 78,000 new bridges, the 381,000 miles of power lines, the quarter-million miles of road—the list goes on and on. And there was the physical environment restored: the 2.3 billion trees planted, the billion fish restocked into waterways, the 2,400 plant and tree nurseries established, the thousands of square miles of soil reclaimed.

Yet the New Deal was a moral revolution as well. It remade how we did things in America, leaving us—all of us—with new rights and responsibilities. We—our democracy—was to be the steward of the land around us.

Read more: https://prospect.org/greennewdeal/role-of-public-capital-reconstruction-finance-corporation/
(American Prospect)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 02:03 AM (0 replies)

The Tantalizing Nuclear Mirage

It took seven months on the campaign trail for Cory Booker to emerge as the Democratic Party’s foremost champion of nuclear power. In September, after he unveiled a signature climate plan replete with “$20 billion dedicated to research, development and demonstration of next-generation advanced nuclear energy,” he embraced the technology with unprecedented ardor. “I didn’t come to the United States Senate as a big nuclear guy,” Booker told Grist in an interview. “But when I started looking at the urgency of climate change … nuclear has to be a part of the blend.”

To hear Booker tell it, his evolution on the subject was the product of scientific rigor and anti-ideological clarity on decarbonization. He related this narrative during a media blitz, comparing anti-nuclear Democrats to Republican climate deniers over their rejection of an incontrovertible science, while pledging to usher in a nuclear future that no right-minded person could deny. “Where the science is going, to me, at first sounded like science fiction … new nuclear actually portends of exciting things where you have no risk of the kinds of meltdowns we’re seeing,” he proclaimed at CNN’s climate town hall.

Grandiosity aside, Booker isn’t alone in his nuclear embrace. He’s part of an unlikely pro-nuclear political alliance, an emergent accord that spans the centrist think tank Third Way, Andrew Yang, Jay Inslee, environmental activists, and progressive commentators alike. “The left should stop worrying and learn to love existing nuclear power plants,” wrote New York’s Eric Levitz in a subsequent send-up of Bernie Sanders’s and Elizabeth Warren’s twin commitments to phase out the technology.

In a world where the rapid deployment of zero-carbon energy production is urgent, nuclear power, the argument goes, represents the only proven bet. As it stands, nuclear is currently the largest single source of near-zero-carbon energy generation in the United States, providing 20 percent of our total energy mix. And while the waste may be dangerous, and the risks associated with meltdowns cinematically seared into our collective memory, the technology is actually safer than burning fossil fuels—one study found that per unit of electricity generated, oil is 263 times more deadly than nuclear, on account of air pollution alone. With 11 years, per the U.N.’s 2018 IPCC report, to overhaul our energy system, to be serious about decarbonization is to find a place at the table for nuclear.

Read more: https://prospect.org/greennewdeal/the-tantalizing-nuclear-mirage/
(American Prospect)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 01:54 AM (1 replies)

Green New Deal: The Urgent Realism of Radical Change

In just a few centuries, the human footprint on the Earth has devastated other species of plant and animal life, and is on the verge of making the planet uninhabitable for people. The cumulative interaction of assaults on several natural systems has already brought about consequences far more dire than the most pessimistic scenarios of just a decade ago. These include ice caps shrinking, oceans rising,

melting permafrost releasing more CO2 and methane, heat producing still more heat, and climate extremes creating ever more devastating storms and fires. Despite the Paris commitments, greenhouse gas emissions keep increasing rather than diminishing. Unless a drastic reversal happens, we will soon pass the point of no return. Pessimists believe we are already there. Even if we succeed, daily life will have to be very different, though in many respects it can be better.

In order to avert even worse catastrophes, a number of improbable events will have to break just right. The United States, where Donald Trump revels in removing restraints on carbon production, will need to elect a radically progressive president and a working majority in Congress. That alone will take a miracle of popular organizing, leadership, and common purpose. The president and Congress will then need to undertake the largest economic mobilization of national resources since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.

A number of people and groups have used the metaphor of a Green New Deal to describe the scale of the needed effort and the large-scale national (now global) solidarity that the New Deal evokes. Our purpose in this special issue of The American Prospect is not to add one more volume to the existing libraries of manifestos and reports, but to demonstrate that an initiative on the scale required is not only urgent but practical. That has to mean practical as policy, as technology, and above all as politics. As we demonstrate in this special report, the needed technologies and strategies exist. The challenge is rallying a national commitment to pursue them. Leadership has to begin in the U.S., because we are both the worst climate offender as well as the one nation capable of spearheading a global reversal.

Read more: https://prospect.org/greennewdeal/the-urgent-realism-of-radical-change/
(American Prospect)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 01:44 AM (0 replies)

Jimmy Kimmel Live: PROOF: The World is Laughing at Donald Trump

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 6, 2019, 12:15 AM (1 replies)

Beto O'Rourke backers cite poll showing he'd sail through Senate primary; Cornyn wary he'll heed the

Beto O’Rourke backers cite poll showing he’d sail through Senate primary; Cornyn wary he’ll heed the call

WASHINGTON – With just a week remaining before the deadline to run for office in Texas next year, some Democrats are still hoping to see Beto O’Rourke jump into the race to unseat Sen. John Cornyn.

Cornyn himself continued to raise money on Monday off the specter.

Poll after poll shows Cornyn would trounce the dozen or so contenders for the Democratic nomination at this point. None can touch the near-universal name recognition O’Rourke enjoys among Texas Democrats after his near-miss against Sen. Ted Cruz last year.

And a new poll commissioned by backers worried that the current crop of candidates would fall short shows that O’Rourke is by far the top choice of Democratic voters in Texas at 58%, with the runner-up, state Sen. Royce West of Dallas at 13%.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2019/12/03/beto-orourke-backers-cite-poll-showing-hed-sail-through-senate-primary-cornyn-wary-hell-heed-the-call/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 5, 2019, 11:29 PM (3 replies)

Tiger Makes Epic 1,300-Kilometer Journey Across India Looking For Food And Sex

A tiger has made a record-breaking journey across India, trekking over 1,300 paw-aching kilometers (807 miles) in just five months, the longest walk ever recorded in India according to reports. Why all the effort, you might wonder? Obviously, for food and sex.

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, a national park in the western state of Maharashtra, has been keeping tabs on a group of tigers using radio collars. Among them is a 2.5year-old male known as C1, reports Times Of India.

Around June this year, C1 left its home in the sanctuary and embarked on a winding journey around the region's farms, roads, hills, and waterways. Over the following five months, the young tiger walked through seven districts in the states of Maharashtra and Telangana, before arriving in the Dnyanganga sanctuary on December 1.

"The tiger is possibly looking for territory, food, and a mate. Most of the potential tiger areas [in India] are full and new tigers have to explore more," Dr Bilal Habib, a senior biologist with the Wildlife Institute of India, told BBC News.

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/tiger-makes-epic-1300kilometer-journey-across-india-looking-for-food-and-sex/
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