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Hometown: Georgia
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 13,832

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There has been no repeal of the Civil Service Reform Act

Apologies for a naive question, but legally, can he actually do this? In know trump does what he wants, but that's not my question. There is legislation currently in place - isn't there a problem if presidents throw out that legislation with the sweep of pen? Congress passes the law, not the president. Do they have any pushback?

Yep. You know Amtrak could always use the money.

Biden's charter was likely a boon for them, and the free advertising they received over time was a nice little bonus. The tortuous logic in this letter that claims the charter somehow hurt Amtrak is just unreal.

We are concerned that the apparent use of a struggling, resource-deprived, publicly-run service for political gain does not serve the best interests of Amtrak or the American taxpayers at this time.

Then they go on: You didn't give him a discount, did you? Did he make any freight trains run late? Has anyone else ever done this? Where are the time sheets for everyone working for Amtrak who was even slightly involved? Basically: here's a long list of questions we want you to waste your time and resources answering for us. It will take many man hours and we all know it's meaningless, partisan BS on our part, but your funding could be on the line in future, so hop to it! While Amtrak may have made money from Biden's charter, we are going to cost you money by sending you out on this snipe hunt, because we are shameless, oblivious idiots blahblahblah.

Unbelievable. Biden's reply was the perfect slap back.

Taking away health care coverage during a pandemic isn't just disgraceful.

It's deliberate, premeditated mass murder.


I am not the biggest AOC fan in the world. She is so energetic and her heart is obviously in the right place, but there are times when I just :cringe: and think, "oo, you really do need a little more time, experience, and seasoning there." Then there are other times she just crushes it. She is obviously intelligent and highly motivated; it's amazing what she can get done. In other words, nobody's perfect and nobody can please everyone all the time, but you can tell when someone is trying hard and usually doing a pretty good job.

Last night, AOC really hit it out of the park. What started as an offhand tweet conversation swiftly got her set up with streaming equipment and training, a Twitch channel and lobby complete with custom graphics, a group of well known gamers and a fellow congress critter (Ilhan Omar) willing to play, and some practice games the night before so she could competently play this particular game. That happened in 24 hours, and she still took care of her day job.

Think about it: with all the teleworking and home schooling going on right now, getting the equipment at all was the first hurdle. Gamers helped her get it done, set it up, and learn to use it. Now, it's obvious she is already a gamer and has likely played online, but playing online and streaming online are two entirely different things, and after a little hesitance getting going (no more than I've seen from people who game/stream for a living - stuff happens) she was just pro. You would never know she hadn't streamed before. That alone was impressive. She was sitting in a room by herself. There was no one in the background helping her; it was all AOC. She maintained excellent composure while using a somewhat unfamiliar tech setup, playing a game she barely knew, with people she barely knew, and made it look easy.

Before the game started, she spent a good twenty minutes or so with chat and lurkers (raises hand) alike about making sure to vote, and to do that by having a plan to vote. In between games, players often end up hanging around in the game 'lobby' with some down time, and while it didn't come up every time, AOC used many of those moments to talk about voting. The chat was well moderated, and messages about voting (whether spontaneous or planned was unclear, probably both) constantly scrolled through all night.

The point is, it wasn't just game night with a 'vote!' tagline. Someone with weeks of lead time couldn't have done a better job. Her staff (and/or the gamers who helped her) must be so detail-oriented. The home page was spiffed with graphics links for all of AOC's social media sites, main web site, as well as voting info sites, and a post of the all important rules -- something that a less than net savvy staff might have forgotten. They remembered to get moderators for chat and found people who did a great job. At one point there was a bit of MAGA agitation and spamming, but no truly rude stuff made it through as far as I could tell. I hid chat during game play anyway.

The people playing with her came prepared to talk about voting as well, and it was obvious she found gamers (hasanabi in particular) who are politically aware and prepared to talk about politics and voting without it sounding forced or contrived. In fact, my only complaint about the whole night was that it was difficult to track down some of the other players, players well known to many but not to me until now. I did find pokimane and hasanabi, and loaded three tabs with their channels as well as AOC's so I could flip among them and watch the game from different perspectives. That only lasted about half an hour and then I couldn't keep them synched any more, even with two channels muted, but it was fun to do it that way for a while. I need to learn to pop out mini-windows to do that better next time, but whatever.

Kudos to Twitch. It was amazing that, with very little notice, they handled a crowd of over half a million people showing up to watch spread over the various channels. I though we'd crash at least once, and I did get a little lag at the peak of over 400,000 in AOC's channel. At one point I swapped from another channel back to AOC and found I'd lost her, but a tab reload quickly fixed it.

I'm not a millennial. I'm a boomer gamer. We're out there. I'm in my late fifties, female, and I've been video gaming since arcades were a thing and since computers became and stayed a thing. :waves cane: I love playing video games, I love watching other people playing them, and I cannot remember the last time I had that much fun watching online gaming. It was superb, went off without a hitch, and I stayed up way too late watching the gang continue playing after AOC and Ilhan Omar left. I found some new gamers to follow, whee!

Videos are available on her channel as well as Ilhan Omar's if you missed and want to watch it, and I highly recommend wandering over to take a look.

Regardless of what you may think about AOC, regardless of what you may think about gaming, this event was a big deal, and I have no doubt that it made an important impact. Just the buzz about the event has made an impact. I'm convinced it not only worked to get out the vote, it opened up a whole new arena for reaching voters, younger voters in particular, in their own space and without talking down to them. Remember, "there are other times she just crushes it." This was one of those times.


The split second someone starts making these noises, the pushback

has got to be immense and immovable. If anyone is questioning why this nation absolutely needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, absolutely needs an entire panel of special prosecutors, absolutely needs to charge, prosecute, and jail the guilty -- they need to reminded of these children and told in no uncertain terms that we are not going to just "move on" next year.

This is only one of the outrages perpetrated by the trump administration that require investigation and prosecution if we ever hope to be whole as a nation again, if we ever hope to heal our international reputation.

This is only one of them.

When people want to know why we should have a panel of special prosecutors,

and why there should be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after trump is voted out, this is one of the big reasons why. Every single one of the hundreds of thousands of dead deserve it. And so do we.

It will take a small fleet of special prosecutors, but it has to happen.

This is one of the things we have to go through as a country, a process we must go through in order to keep the country. At least twice in the past, we've skipped over this step, and we are all paying a heavy price for it. No more. Not again.

So, Democrats have to be like Republicans to get results?

No thanks.

"the public does not care about procedure" - I disagree and I don't care for someone else pretending to speak for me.
I'm the public. I care about procedure. It's sometimes more difficult and takes longer to do things the way they should be done, especially when there are other people ignoring the rules, but that's no reason for not doing things the right way. Getting everyone to ignore the rules doesn't speed things along so much as it creates more chaos. Again, no thanks.

What scum.

The administrator running the service, known only as "P" said: "I don't care that much. This is entertainment that does not carry violence.

Just because there is no physical violence does not mean there is no abuse taking place. The argument that there are "wars, diseases, many bad things that are harmful in the world" so this harmless by comparison is just -- oh, shut up. Shut. Up.

"No one will blackmail anyone with this, since the quality is unrealistic."

Maybe no one is being blackmailed yet (that we know of) but that's only because the quality is unrealistic so far. eta - Just watched the video that goes with the article. Bella Thorne was blackmailed, and released her own nudes rather than let someone release fake ones. How awful for her, or anyone, to be put in that situation.

"It's devastating, for victims of fake porn. It can completely upend their life because they feel violated and humiliated."

Likely part of the thrill and the point for some, if not all of the people drawn to the service. I use the terms 'people' and 'service' loosely in this instance. Talking about this just in terms of pornography misses part of the point -- computer generated images of fake people with fake faces is possible. Why not do that? Women have been posing for nude photos for as long as cameras have existed. Why generate a fake at all? Well, faking the face is a little more trouble, plus then the violation and humiliation element is lost, especially if customers have particular women (or children) in mind.

This is a form of identity theft, as well as targeted assault and abuse, and that really should be emphasized when devising legal protections against the activity.

Ratcliffe still be ratting.

John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, told Fox Business on Monday that the dissemination of materials from Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop was not part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

“The intelligence community doesn't believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that,” Ratcliffe said.

This is the same man who said, "This impeachment is an assault on due process. It’s an assault on the separation of powers. It's unconstitutional."

It seems like the rest of the intelligence community disagrees with him. Still, the FBI has been working on this since December and no news? That's disappointing. I hope they're just getting a whole flock of ducks in a row, and that dear Rudy and Steve Bannon are among them.
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