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Hijo de Trump revela identidad del supuesto informante de presiones a Ucrania   

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Donald Trump Jr., el hijo mayor del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, divulgó este miércoles el supuesto nombre del informante que reveló las presiones del mandatario a Ucrania para investigar al exvicepresidente Joseph Biden.

Trump Jr. citó en Twitter un artículo del diario conservador Breitbart News que señala que el informante trabajó en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca bajo la Presidencia de Barack Obama (2009-2017) y que ahora es empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA).

La revelación se produce d

...

Más información en El Siglo de Torreón


          

Harvard Law School traces its origins to an Antiguan slave owner. Now the country wants reparations. (WaPo)   

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Harvard Law School must answer.

HLS produces some stellar graduates, like:

  • my finest law professor Robert C. Banks, Jr. (who refused to list his Harvard LL.M. degree on our graduation programs for years, preferring to say only, "J.D., University of Arkansas," on the basis he spent three years at Arkansas and only one year at Harvard);
  • Charles P. Rippey, USDOL Administrative Law Judge, the first judge for whom I clerked;
  • HLS' first African-American Harvard Law Review Editor (Barack Obama).
Neither Memphis Law Professor Bob Banks nor our 44th President Barack Obama have ever been described as snooty -- far from it.

There are many fine HLS graduates who have humbly dedicated their entire careersto public service, like Judge Rippey, and including my boyhood hero, Senate Watergate Committee Chair Sam J. Ervin, Jr. of Morgangon, N.C., who humbly described himself as "just an old country lawyer."

But far too many HLS graduates are snooty corporate thugs, hired knife-throwers, leading meaningless lives of privilege for our oppressors.

HLS has been a tool of wicked evil corporations since its founding by slave owner money.

They are all of a size (extra small), not unlike the two (2) HLS graduates I defeated in Seater v. Southern California Edison. Co., 95-ERA-13.  When one was at the podium during our trial, he asked his estimable colleague for a glass of water; his colleague refused to give it to him.  Senior Special Agent Robert E. Tyndall (Retired EPA, FBI and HUD) was in the courtroom and observed this curious behavior and reported it to me during recess -- obviously, one of the two HLS graduates was "not a 'team player.'"

The fact that slave owners' money started HLS speaks volumes.

Today, slaves have debts, not chains, and our government is owned by the Wall Street Oligarchy of Cosmic Plunderers, whose greed puts the future of our planet at risk.

Due to its blood-stained history, HLS must enact reforms, just as my undergraduate school, Georgetown University, has done.

Fitting reparations might be to provide HLS clinical assistance to Antigua for its people, to help them navigate the legal system, which is too often biased in favor of the wealthy, worldwide.

From The Washington Post:







In this Nov. 19, 2002, photo, students walk through the Harvard Law School area on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.  (Chitose Suzuki/AP)
In this Nov. 19, 2002, photo, students walk through the Harvard Law School area on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (Chitose Suzuki/AP)
By
November 6, 2019 at 6:08 a.m. EST





In an urgently worded letter recently sent to Harvard, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne demanded that the university pay his country reparations “for the gains Harvard enjoyed at the expense” of Antiguan slaves.
Browne’s Oct. 30 letter to Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow — reported Tuesday night by the Miami Herald and Harvard Crimson — draws a direct line from Harvard Law School’s success today to the oppression of Antiguans enslaved by a Massachusetts-based plantation owner in the Colonial era.





That plantation owner was Isaac Royall Jr. — the wealthy benefactor of Harvard’s very first law professorship in 1815, whose name is still attached to Harvard’s distinguished Royall Professor of Law position today.
“We consider Harvard’s failure to acknowledge its obligations to Antigua and the stain it bears from benefiting from the blood of our people as shocking if not immoral,” Browne wrote.
Browne’s request for reparations comes as numerous universities across the United States, including Harvard, have sought to reckon with their enduring ties to the chattel slavery economy. Last month, Princeton Theological Seminary pledged $27 million in reparations, in the form of scholarships and other initiatives to assist descendants of slaves; in September the Virginia Theological Seminary also created a $1.7 million reparations fund.
Though the university hasn’t committed to reparations, Harvard also has taken steps to extensively research and acknowledge its ties to slavery, particularly related to Royall. Under pressure from students, Harvard Corporation decided in 2016 to retire the Harvard Law School shield, which bore the Royall family coat of arms. And in 2017 the university erected a stone memorial and plaque honoring “the enslaved whose labor created wealth that made possible the founding of Harvard Law School.”
But to Browne, the acknowledgment has not been enough. The university, Browne wrote, has failed to take steps to make more concrete amends with Antigua through reparations. He claimed the university has ignored Antiguan officials’ past requests to begin discussing how reparations could work. He suggested in his letter that Harvard could offer financial assistance to the University of the West Indies campus in Antigua and Barbuda.
“Reparation from Harvard would compensate for its development on the backs of our people,” Browne wrote. “Reparation is not aid; it is not a gift; it is compensation to correct the injustices of the past and restore equity. Harvard should be in the forefront of this effort.”
Harvard spokesman Jason Newton provided Bacow’s Tuesday response letter to Browne. Newton noted Wednesday morning that while Bacow did not respond to a 2018 letter from the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador, a Harvard official did respond to a 2016 letter, which described Harvard’s efforts to confront slavery.
Neither the 2016 letter nor Tuesday’s addresses the core request from Antigua and Barbuda: reparations.
“We recognize that there is more work to be done,” Bacow wrote Tuesday. “Indeed, Harvard is determined to take additional steps to explore this institution’s historical relationship with slavery and the challenging moral questions that arise when confronting past injustices and their legacies."
Bacow did not specify what the additional steps would be. Browne had requested a meeting between representatives from Harvard and Antigua and Barbuda, but in his letter, Bacow does not say whether he would be open to facilitating such a meeting.
The story of the Royall family begins at the turn of the 18th century, when Isaac Royall Sr. sailed to the West Indies and settled on the island of Antigua to make a living in the lucrative, slave-fueled sugar trade. The son of a carpenter, Royall Sr. had few prospects in the British colony of Massachusetts before moving to the island, according to a 2011 report, “Harvard and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History.”
But after purchasing stake in a slave ship named the “Mayflower,” Royall Sr. quickly began to amass his wealth, eventually earning enough to start his own sugar cane plantation in Antigua. That’s where his son, Isaac Royall Jr. — the namesake of Harvard’s first professorship — was born in 1719.
The family wouldn’t stay forever. By the 1720s and ’30s, disastrous hurricanes and earthquakes struck the island, drought left many slaves dying of starvation, and disease and infection ― flourishing among slaves performing the backbreaking work of chopping sugar cane — caused countless other Antiguan deaths, according to the 2015 book, “On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century.”
As a result, Royall Sr. began planning his return to Medford, Mass., as early as 1732. He was finally pushed over the edge after the failed 1736 slave revolt, according to the book.
The bloody event, the authors of “On the Battlefield of Merit” say, is part of Harvard Law’s history too.
“The oldest and arguably the most distinguished chair in American legal education is Harvard’s Royall Professorship of Law. … But it is a historical fact that this chair is directly linked to a slave revolt on the Island of Antigua in 1736,” wrote Harvard Law School professor Daniel R. Coquillette and Ohio State University professor Bruce A. Kimball.
To plan the revolt, years in advance, about 2,000 slaves gathered in a forest to prepare to overthrow the white government, the professors reported, citing testimony from an 18th century British inquiry. Slaves in Antigua outnumbered white men four to one in 1723, according to Coquillette and Kimball’s research. But the alleged revolt conspiracy was never carried out. It instead resulted in the brutal executions of 88 enslaved Antiguans — including the Royall family’s head slave, who was burned at the stake, according to the professors.
The Royalls returned to Medford, Mass., in 1737 and brought their Antiguan slaves with them to work their new 540-acre farm. Royall Jr. inherited much of his father’s wealth, at least 18 slaves and land in both Massachusetts and Antigua following his father’s death, according to the “Harvard and Slavery” report. He became a popular statesman in the Massachusetts legislature and in local government — but following the outbreak of the American Revolution, he fled to England, according to “On the Battlefield of Merit.”
In exile, Royall Jr. penned his will in 1778 — in which he awarded the “gift to Harvard College that was to ensure Royall’s lasting fame,” Coquillette and Kimball wrote. He gave the college more than 800 acres of land, which he specified should “be appropriated towards the endowing a Professor of Laws in said Colledge, or a Professor of Physick and Anatomy” — whichever the college thought was best, Royall Jr. wrote.
In 1815, nearly 25 years after the slave owner’s death, Harvard used the proceeds from Royall Jr.'s gift to create the law professorship, establishing the foundation of today’s Harvard Law School.
“The bequest to Harvard came from the proceeds of the plantation in Antigua and from the exploitation and sale of human beings that Royall regarded as chattel,” Browne wrote in his letter. “Professor Janet Halley, on assumption of the Royall Professorship in 2006, was right to acknowledge in her inaugural address that Isaac Royall’s slaves ‘are intrinsically bound, if you will, to the grant that established the Royall Chair.’ ”
Antigua and Barbuda, which celebrated the 38th anniversary of its independence from Britain on Nov. 1, has been working with the Caribbean Reparations Commission for the last several years to make the “moral, ethical and legal case for the payment of reparations by the governments of all the former colonial powers and the relevant institutions of those countries.”
Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, wrote to Bacow to press the issue in November 2018. At that time, Sanders pointed out that “the reputation Harvard enjoys internationally is intertwined with the dark legacy of Royall’s Antigua slaves who died in oppression, uncompensated for their lives in slavery and their death in cruelty.” Sanders sought a “genuine effort” from Harvard to begin working toward reparations.
But Sanders received no response, Browne said.


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Meagan Flynn is a reporter on The Washington Post's Morning Mix team. She was previously a reporter at the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Press.


          

Qual é a cor do cabelo das executivas bem-sucedidas?   

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Michelle Obama (Foto:  Jim Bennett / Colaborador // Getty Images)

 

Uma executiva compartilhou um artigo curioso comigo. O texto falava que, apesar de apenas 2% da população ser naturalmente loiro, metade das presidentes femininas das grandes empresas e a maioria das mulheres nos altos escalões da política são loiras.

“Você acha que devo tingir meu cabelo para virar loira também?”, ela me perguntou.

Eu pensei que ela estava brincando: uma mulher mulata, bonita, autoconfiante, com ótimas credenciais e muito sucesso profissional, não iria gastar seu tempo com algo tão trivial.

Obviamente o problema não era a cor do cabelo.

Ela confessou que, na verdade, estava nervosa a respeito de sua participação futura em um vídeo corporativo. Por não ser loira como “aquelas mulheres bonitas e bem-sucedidas,” como ela seria percebida pelos funcionários da empresa?

“Veja o exemplo da Michelle Obama. Quais são as caraterísticas mais atraentes dela? Seu cabelo? A cor da pele? A sua roupa?", disse a ela.

“A atitude, a personalidade, a auto-confiança e a inteligência”, respondeu a executiva. Ela entendeu o que eu queria dizer.

Essa interação me fez refletir sobre a importância da representatividade e as dificuldades sociológicas enfrentadas pelas pessoas que nunca veem alguém como elas nos cargos de liderança.

Sendo uma mulher branca (e loira), nunca pensaria em algo como a cor de cabelo como um símbolo de pertencimento a um grupo de sucesso. Entretanto, como uma mulher, estou extremamente ciente da escassez de modelos variados de sucesso.

Faça um experimento intelectual e escreva “líder de sucesso” no Google. Na maioria dos resultados, aparece uma imagem de homem branco com terno e gravata.

Quando é preciso citar um líder inovador, sempre aparecem os mesmos nomes: Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc. Recentemente ressurgiu o nome de Elizabeth Holmes (mais uma loira), da Theranos, mas num contexto de empreendedora que se perdeu e cometeu fraude.

Temos uma visão extremamente estereotipada sobre as características que tornam uma pessoa um bom executivo ou executiva, e continuamos perpetuar o mito do gênio abusivo como um modelo certo de liderança. Temos que mudar isso aí.

+ A pergunta que as empresas devem parar de fazer às mulheres em entrevistas de emprego

*Miriam Grobman ajuda líderes de empresas de grande porte e startups criar culturas mais eficazes e fortalecer suas lideranças femininas. Ela também desenvolve programas de liderança para mulheres de alto potencial

 


          

Comment on Dreams Of My ‘Caliphate’ by byronmullet   

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Obama wasn't duped, he was all in for treason to advance Islam. Now we need to be all in for prosecuting him for it.

          

Comment on Islamic State Tells Muslims to Set Forest Fires in U.S., Europe by ladywarrior   

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....which brings to mind that Indiana and other areas of the country are fighting TB brought in by the "refugees" that is stronger than anything we've seen before. Obama knew they had TB and let them in anyway. Back in the day if you showed up at Ellis or other points of entry and you had TB or anything else ...you were denied entry. Not under Obama.

          

Comment on Islamic State Tells Muslims to Set Forest Fires in U.S., Europe by CharlieSeattle   

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The Saudi's have bribed Congress and our Presidents for decades. G Bush, Clinton, W Bush, Obama and now Trump, all on their knees suckling at the well.

          

Samsung i IBM najavili sigurnosnu platformu koju pokreću IBM Cloud, umjetna inteligencija i 5G   

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Samsung i IBM najavili sigurnosnu platformu koju pokreću IBM Cloud, umjetna inteligencija i 5G

San Jose / Zagreb (Samsung Developer Conference), 30. listopada, 2019.

Samsung i IBM najavili sigurnosnu platformu koju pokreću IBM Cloud, umjetna inteligencija i 5G

Zajedničke inovacije koje vladama i tvrtkama pomažu poboljšati sigurnost korisnika

Sa ciljem kreiranja najnovijih mobilnih rješenja, tvrtka Samsung Electronics je u suradnji s IBM-om razvila zajedničku platformu koja koristi IBM Cloud i mogućnosti umjetne inteligencije. „Mobilna industrija transformira postojeće i otvara nove načine poslovanja dovodeći u poduzeća inovativne tehnologije poput 5G tehnologije, IoT i umjetne inteligencije. Veliko nam je zadovoljstvo pokrenuti digitalnu transformaciju za naše poslovne korisnike u 5G eri pomoću IBM-ovih i Samsungovih mobilnih uređaja i povezanih usluga.“, rekao je DJ Koh, predsjednik i izvršni direktor Odjela za IT i mobilne komunikacije Samsung Electronics.


Platforma koja omogućuje pravovremenu reakciju u hitnim slučajevima

Prema podacima Međunarodne organizacije rada, gotovo 3 milijuna smrtnih slučajeva svake godine uzrokuju profesionalne nesreće pa vlade i tvrtke imaju sve veću potrebu za izgradnjom sustava za praćenje zdravstvenih stanja radnika. Izgrađena na IBM Cloud-u, nova će platforma poboljšati radno okruženje policijskim službenicima, vatrogascima i ostalim osobama koje pružaju prvu pomoć te im omogućiti da pravovremeno reagiraju u situacijama koje zahtijevaju neposrednu pozornost. Tako će, primjerice, moći pratiti vitalna stanja poput otkucaja srca i fizičkih aktivnosti te reagirati u slučaju iscrpljenosti ili opasnosti od srčanog udara.

Suradnja Samsunga i IBM-a u različitim industrijama

Zahvaljujući ovoj suradnji spojene su IBM-ove inovacije u oblaku i Samsung Galaxy ekosustav, što uključuje Galaxy tablete, mobilne uređaje i pametne satove. Ova platforma omogućuje korištenje Samsung Galaxy uređaja u različitim okruženjima i vremenskim uvjetima, poput onih s kojima se susreću vojnici, zaposlenici elektrana te radnici u rudnicima. Kako bi iskoristile najbolje od onoga što nude, tvrtke Samsung Electronics i IBM surađuju u različitim industrijskim sektorima, poput zdravstva, energetike i financija. Također, digitalizacijom prerađivačke industrije, ovo partnerstvo postavlja temelj za automatizaciju tvornica koje postaju učinkovite i produktivne uz napredne mrežne usluge i 5G. Programeri mogu pristupiti platformi i tehnologiji koja stoji iza nje te nadograditi mogućnosti koje će unaprijediti aktivnosti vezane uz proizvodnju, obranu i maloprodaju.


          

Letter to the Editor: Trump's al-Baghdadi diatribe was cringe-worthy   

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Portland Press Herald - I'm moved to comment having watched the president Sunday morning elaborating on the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that had already been reported. With the mute button on, I monitored the screen while reading the newspaper in hopes of returning to CBS' sane and civilized "Sunday Morning." No luck. Not with Trump ? and certainly not with WGME, huh? It's been noted that his predecessor, President Obama, upon the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, took just 9 minutes to simply advise the country of the event. No braggadocio, no chest-thumping. No "If it wasn't for me ?" But that was when we had a commander-in-chief worthy of respect. Trump's 40-minute diatribe, as if he were personally directing the operation, wasn't. Sophomorically mimicking al-Baghdadi's [apparent] final words was childish ? cringe-worthy. Later that evening, D.C. and Texas baseball fans vividly demonstrated their displeasure along with most of the country. As is his wont, Trump watched the whole operation on TV ?

          

Why is Nidal Hasan still alive?   

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As of yesterday, it has been a decade since the Fort Hood massacre. In Strategy Page, Austin Bay writes,
Vice President Mike Pence deserves praise for not only remembering the national horror but also personally showing up and speaking out at Fort Hood, Texas, the scene of the Nov. 5, 2009, terrorist massacre that killed 13 American soldiers and citizens.

It has been a decade since that terrorist attack on U.S. soil by a self-identified Islamic terrorist and American traitor. Ten years on and only a damnable trickle of mainstream media bother to reflect on this horror. In terms of mainstream printers, TV images and internet pixels, this savage outrage has been ... briefly mentioned, barely touched.

For the record, the terrorist who perpetrated the massacre is still alive, on death row in the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, military prison.

...Former Army major and psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan made Fort Hood a domestic battlefield. He killed 13 people and wounded over 30 more before a policeman wounded him. Fourteen dead is arguably a more accurate toll, since the unborn child of a pregnant victim died when she died. This is a forensic fact.

What spurred Hasan's treason? From the get-go, non-benighted humans identified Islamic jihadi ideology as the psycho-political insanity guiding his crime. Hasan had known contact with terrorist recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki. But the FBI did not investigate the warnings signaling Hasan's Islamic conversion. An official who recommended the FBI investigate was told an interview was "politically sensitive."

Really? Sensitive to whom?

Answer: the boss of the FBI, then-President Barack Obama. Obama initially called the Fort Hood attack "tragic events" and "violence in the workplace." Words matter. Obama insistently ignored evidence indicating that violent Islamic dogma spurred Hasan. It took Obama six years -- till 2015, well after the 2012 election -- to call the massacre a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Obama decided his political survival trumped the welfare of the soldiers he commanded.
Read more here.

          

Comment on Warren unveils health plan: $20 trillion, no middle class tax hike by RE   

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Where to begin? The projected cost is too low, the projected revenue is too low, and Warren apparently learned nothing from the failure called Obamacare. No, we did NOT save $2,500. No we could NOT keep our doctor, and could NOT keep our plan. Maybe if Warren and Congress hadn't exempted themselves they'd know this! More government bureaucracy is the wrong way to go, on so many levels. Shame on anyone who supports this fiasco.

          

White House Petition Focuses on Parental Rights   

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NEWS PROVIDED BY ParentalRights.org Nov. 5, 2019   WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2019 /Standard Newswire/ -- A new petition at WhiteHouse.gov would call on President Trump to urge Congress to take up a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.   According to the website program first launched by President Obama, any petition that amasses 100,000 signatures in its first 30 days will receive a response from the Administration. This parental rights petition, which launched on Octob Source: ParentalRights.org

          

6Nov19 Soylent Green New Deal: Newest Eco-Propaganda (Full Show)   

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*00:14:10 Alarmists bring back "overpopulation". A look back at how it began, how it started China's one-child policy, the lies, false prophecies & failed models of "climate scientists" *00:32:07 Liberal women who hate children & demand YOU not have any *00:42:27 Fit entire world's population in Texas? How about a handful of giant SmartCities? *00:56:28 ABC (Always Betting on Clintons) - spins their Epstein coverup *01:14:10 Internal Passports about to roll out USA *01:26:55 Police blow out woman's eye with pepper spray; another fights arrest for medical marijuana & wins *01:33:31 Was slaughter of innocent mothers & their young children tied to NXIVM sex cult? *01:46:48 John Rappoport, NoMoreFakeNews.com, joins to explain 5 horrible things Obama did that corporate media & political establishment had NO problem with.

          

AP Analysis: Activity at Iran's nuclear site raises risks    

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Ten years ago while flanked by the leaders of Britain and France, then-President Barack Obama revealed to the world that Iran had built a "covert uranium enrichment facility" amid tensions with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

A decade later, Iran's Fordo facility is back in the news as Iran prepared Wednesday to inject uranium gas into the more than 1,000 centrifuges there to pressure the world after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from Tehran's nuclear deal.

The resumption of nuclear activity at Fordo pushes the risk of a wider confrontation involving Iran even higher after months of attacks across the Middle East that the U.S. blames on Tehran. Israel, which has carried out pre-emptive airstrikes on its adversaries' nuclear programs in the past, also is repeating a warning that it will not allow Iran to have atomic weapons.

Tehran, which maintains its program is peaceful, is gambling that its own maximum pressure campaign will be enough to push Europe to offer it a way to sell Iranian crude oil abroad despite U.S. sanctions

Activity at Fordo, just north of the Shiite holy city of Qom, remains a major concern for nuclear nonproliferation experts. Buried under a mountain and protected by anti-aircraft batteries, Fordo appears designed to withstand airstrikes. Its construction began at least in 2007, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although Iran only informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog about the facility in 2009.

"As a result of the augmentation of the threats of military attacks against Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to establish contingency centers for various organizations and activities," Iran wrote in a letter to the IAEA.

Satellite images, however, suggest construction at the Fordo site as early as between 2002 and...


          

Radical Spawn Chesa Boudin: Nation’s Most Toxic DA Candidate      

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Michelle Malkin {townhall.com } ~ Socialist commie-Bernie Sanders just endorsed the bleeding-heart candidate for San Francisco District Attorney who makes President scumbag/liar-nObama’s Attorney General, scumbag-Eric Holder, look like Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Meet Chesa Boudin. He’s the Bay Area public defender and former shill/translator for the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez who plans to turn the…

          

Saturday ~ thefrontpagecover   

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Who’s Putting Who in Chains? By Daren Williams{americanthinker.com } ~ It was in August, 2012, during the final months of the scumbag/liar-nObama reelection campaign, when then-Vice President loose lips liar-Joe Biden made the ham-fisted statement to a Danville… Virginia crowd which included many black Americans, that rino-Mitt Romney would, “put y’all back in chains,” by…

          

La investigación de juicio político a Trump, a punto de ver la luz   

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Washington, 6 nov. (EFE).- Una nueva fase de la investigación en la Cámara Baja al presidente de EE.UU., Donald Trump, se abrirá la próxima semana con audiencias públicas, en vez de a puerta cerrada, como ha sido hasta ahora; mientras que aumenta la presión para desvelar la identidad del informante que destapó el caso de Ucrania, cuyo supuesto nombre reveló este miércoles un hijo del mandatario.

El presidente del Comité de Inteligencia de la Cámara Baja, el demócrata Adam Schiff, señaló a la prensa en el Capitolio que 'las audiencias públicas darán una oportunidad al pueblo estadounidense de evaluar por sí mismo a los testigos y su credibilidad, pero también de conocer de primera mano los hechos de la negligencia que ha cometido el presidente'.

Varios comités de la Cámara de Representantes, de mayoría progresista, desarrollan desde septiembre una investigación con vistas a abrir un juicio político a Trump por haber presionado a su homólogo ucraniano, Vladímir Zelenski, durante una llamada telefónica en julio en la que le pidió que investigara a su rival político, el exvicepresidente Joe Biden, y a su hijo Hunter por presunta corrupción en Ucrania.

Por el momento, los testigos que comparecerán en público la próxima semana, ya lo han hecho en privado ante los legisladores.

Las audiencias públicas comenzará el miércoles, 13 de noviembre, con el testimonio del embajador interino de EE.UU. en Ucrania, Bill Taylor, y del subsecretario de Estado adjunto encargado de la política hacia el país europeo, George Kent; mientras que dos días después lo hará Marie Yovanovitch, quien hasta mayo fue la embajadora de EE.UU. en Ucrania.

En su primera comparecencia, el mes pasado, Yovanovitch denunció que Trump presionó para expulsarla de su cargo; y Kent apuntó que un superior le pidió que mantuviera un perfil bajo después de que expresara su preocupación sobre los esfuerzos del abogado personal de Trump, Rudy Giuliani, para influenciar a Ucrania para que indagara sobre los Biden.

Por su parte, Taylor reconoció ante los legisladores que el embajador de EE.UU. ante la Unión Europea, Gordon Sondland, le había dicho que Trump retuvo asistencia de su país a Ucrania para presionarla para que iniciara una indagación contra Biden.

Precisamente este miércoles, el Congreso hizo pública la transcripción de la declaración de Taylor, en la que se lee que el diplomático explicó a los congresistas que tenía 'un claro entendimiento' de que la ayuda militar de EE.UU. a Ucrania no se entregaría a menos que Kiev iniciara una investigación contra los Biden que podría beneficiar políticamente a Trump.

En sus declaraciones a la prensa, Schiff destacó que cada vez ven 'más claro qué ocurrió exactamente este año y el grado hasta el que el presidente reclutó a departamentos enteros del Gobierno con el fin ilícito de conseguir que Ucrania sacara trapos sucios de un rival político y (potenciara) más teorías conspiratorias sobre las elecciones de 2016'.

Los demócratas no han establecido un calendario concreto para culminar su investigación, que seguramente terminará en un voto en el pleno de la Cámara Baja para ver si se autoriza un juicio político contra Trump, que se desarrollaría en el Senado, de mayoría republicana.

Mientras, la presión se ha intensificado en los últimos días por parte del propio presidente y de sus partidarios para que se identifique al informante anónimo que llamó la atención en una queja presentada en agosto sobre la conversación de Trump con Zelenski, lo que motivó la apertura de la investigación para un posible 'impeachment' (juicio político).

Este miércoles, el hijo mayor del presidente, Donald Trump Jr., dio un paso más e identificó en Twitter al supuesto informante.

Trump Jr. citó un artículo del diario conservador Breitbart News que señala que el denunciante trabajó en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca bajo la Presidencia de Barack Obama (2009-2017) y que ahora es empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA).

Uno de los abogados del informante, Mark Zaid, evitó confirmar o desmentir la revelación de Trump Jr. y advirtió en un comunicado de que 'identificar cualquier nombre del informante pone a ese individuo y su familia en riesgo de daño serio'. EFE


          

Yuval Noah Harari: 'Trump es un líder antinacionalista'   

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Sao Paulo, 6 nov (EFE).- El historiador israelí Yuval Noah Harari criticó este miércoles al presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, por ser un 'líder antinacionalista' y 'ampliar intencionadamente la ruptura' dentro de la sociedad estadounidense, 'escampando amenazas de odio hacia los extranjeros y las minorías'.

De esta manera se expresó el autor de superventas como 'Sapiens: Una breve Historia de la Humanidad' y '21 lecciones para el siglo XXI' durante la segunda edición del proyecto Cidadão Global, una iniciativa del Banco Santander y el periódico Valor Económico que tuvo lugar en el Teatro Santander de Sao Paulo.

Durante su discurso, Harari señaló que la singularidad de las naciones modernas es que 'encuentran la manera de hacer que la gente se preocupe por personas que nunca conocieron y lugares donde nunca fueron', una idea que le permitió conectar dos conceptos que a menudo se presentan como opuestos: nacionalismo y globalización.

En este sentido, Harari criticó al presidente Trump, por autoproclamarse un 'buen patriota' y 'escampar amenazas de odio hacia los extranjeros y las minorías'.

'Los antinacionalistas, en vez de fortalecer la unidad nacional, intencionadamente amplían la ruptura entre la sociedad, usando un lenguaje provocativo y políticas divisorias', apuntó el escritor tras aclarar que el nacionalismo va de 'amar a los compatriotas y no de odiar a los demás'.

En esta línea, Harari sugirió sustituir los muros entre países por 'una red de seguridad' y 'confianza' que permita encontrar soluciones a nivel global, pues afirmó que la 'única manera de asegurar prosperidad' entre las personas de una misma nación es 'cooperar con los extranjeros'.

'Si los políticos no pueden tener una visión global del futuro, no los voten', sostuvo el historiador, que concluyó: 'Nuestro objetivo debería ser la armonía global sin uniformidad'.

Este fue precisamente el punto que conectó a Harari con el biólogo Jared Diamond, también invitado al evento, autor de 'Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis' y ganador del premio Pulitzer por el libro 'Armas, Gérmenes y Acción'.

Diamond pidió al público votar por aquellos partidos políticos más capaces de 'ganar la carrera de caballos', una metáfora que usó para aludir a la incertidumbre del mundo de 2030.

'El caballo de la destrucción está yendo cada vez más rápido y también el caballo de la esperanza. No sabemos cuál va a ganar porque esta no una carrera normal, sino una carrera con aceleración exponencial', aseguró.

En su intervención tampoco faltó la crítica al Gobierno estadounidense que, a su parecer, fracasó en el intento de superar la crisis nacional que está viviendo, marcada, entre otros, por una 'polarización política, las restricciones de voto y la desigualdad'.

'El Gobierno no acepta su responsabilidad y culpa a China, a Canadá... Refuta aprender de otros modelos porque piensa que es excepcional, único', apuntó Diamond.

El evento, bajo el título 'O Mundo em Transformação - narrativas do século XXI' ('El Mundo en Transformación - narrativas del siglo XXI', en español), también contó con las intervenciones del director general del Grupo Globo, Frederic Zoghaib Kachar, y el presidente ejecutivo de Santander Brasil, Sérgio Rial. Ambos transmitieron al público un mensaje optimista y subrayaron la riqueza de las 'dudas' que, en su opinión, invaden de complejidad nuestro siglo.

En la edición del año pasado, el proyecto Cidadão Global recibió al expresidente estadounidense Barack Obama, que inició un ciclo de debates sobre lo que significa ser un ciudadano en este siglo. EFE


          

Baja presencia de negocios de EEUU en feria cubana   

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LA HABANA (AP) — La Feria Internacional de Comercio de La Habana es donde Cuba trata de poner el mejor rostro a su atribulada economía.

Esta semana, hay restaurantes estatales con comida fresca, muestras de motocicletas eléctricas de Panamá y decenas de compañías del gobierno ofreciendo productos desde habanos y ron hasta langosta y camarón de cultivo.

Un punto sombrío este año es la sección de Estados Unidos, donde la presencia se ha reducido de decenas de compañías durante la presidencia de Barack Obama a un puñado. Algunos dicen que pudiera no soportar otro año de sanciones del gobierno de Donald Trump.

Luego que el entonces presidente Obama anunció en el 2014 una mejora de relaciones con Cuba, la feria comercial anual se inundó de empresarios estadounidenses en busca de oportunidades. Había decenas de compañías estadounidenses, funcionarios de los estados y asociaciones, incluyendo la Cámara de Comercio de Estados Unidos. Empresarios cubano-estadounidenses recorrían los pasillos, discutiendo la posibilidad de regresar a la isla tras décadas de exilio.

Pero ese auge sin precedentes no duró mucho, pues las compañías comenzaron a darse cuenta de las dificultades de hacer negocios en Cuba, donde la burocracia estatal centralizada debe autorizar todas las inversiones extranjeras y las empresas estadounidenses son especialmente sensibles.

La presencia estadounidense comenzó a reducirse de lleno luego del anuncio del presidente Trump en el 2017 de que iba a revertir la apertura hacia Cuba, seguido de dos años de crecientes sanciones a la isla y su aliado estrecho Venezuela.

Este año, Cuba ha tenido más dificultades para hacer negocios a nivel internacional. Estados Unidos está presionando a bancos a cortar lazos con la isla y sancionando a los buques que transportan petróleo desde Venezuela.

Hay escasez esporádica de productos comunes, gasolina y diésel y la carencia de efectivo por el gobierno se ha empeorado.

Jay Brickman, vicepresidente de servicios para Cuba de Crowley Maritime, una importante empresa de embarques con sede en Florida, dijo que su compañía ha registrado una caída de 20% en sus negocios en la isla este año.

Una excepción del embargo comercial de Estados Unidos a Cuba les permite a las empresas estadounidenses venderle alimentos al gobierno en La Habana y Crowley transporta la mayoría de los frijoles de soya, los pollos y otros productos agrícolas que viajan de Estados Unidos a Cuba.

Mirando a la mayormente vacía sección de Estados Unidos del Pabellón 7 en ExpoCuba, un centro de convenciones en las afueras de la capital, Brickman dijo que recordaba con afecto su primera feria de La Habana, en el 2001, luego que Washington legalizó las exportaciones de productos agrícolas a Cuba.

Dijo que había centenares de compañías estadounidenses, el entonces gobernador de Minnesota Jesse Ventura e incluso vacas llevadas para convencer a Cuba de los beneficios del ganado estadounidense.

Con la excepción de los años de Obama, las últimas dos décadas con cumplieron con esa promesa, dijo Brinckman.

'Mucho más reflujo que flujo”, dijo. “El espíritu de todo eso comenzó a desvanecerse”.

Durante la presidencia de Trump, Cuba ha estado tratando de adquirir productos agrícolas de otros países, aparte de Estados Unidos, y los negocios de Crowley en Cuba han caído hasta el punto donde está en dudas su sostenibilidad.

'Nuestro compromiso es continuar estando aquí mientras sea económicamente posible”, dijo.

Esta semana, miles de cubanos y extranjeros acudieron a los pabellones con secciones de España, Portugal, Venezuela y otros países. Además de Crowley, la sección estadounidense en la feria tenía un par de firmas exportadores-importadoras basadas en Florida y una consultoría con sede en Guatemala que trabaja con la asociación de huevos y aves de corral de Estados Unidos.

Los estantes de la Alabama State Port Association y otros pocos representantes estadounidenses estaban vacíos el martes por la tarde, un día después de la inauguración.

El funcionario estadounidense de mayor rango en la feria parecía ser la secretaria de Agricultura de Virginia, Bettina Ring, al frente de una pequeña delegación que ella dijo mostraba el compromiso de su estado para vender cantidades moderadas de soya y pollo a Cuba.

Miembros de la delegación dijeron que dada la incertidumbre del comercio internacional, Virginia valora las compras regulares por Cuba de productos agrarios del estado.

'Cuba ha sido un mercado confiable”, dijo la vocera Stephanie Agree. 'Tenemos que mantener los amigos que tenemos”.


          

El electorado latino en Florida da la espalda a Trump, según un sondeo   

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Miami, 6 nov (EFE).- Casi la mitad del electorado latino de Florida (48 %) desaprueba el desempeño del presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, y si solo contaran sus votos en las elecciones de 2020, el gobernante sería derrotado por los demócratas Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders y Elizabeth Warren.

La Iniciativa de la Encuesta sobre Economía y Negocios de la Universidad Florida Atlantic (FAU BEPI) reveló que el 65,7 % de los electores hispanos de Florida votaría por el exvicepresidente Biden frente al 34,3 % que lo haría por Trump.

Si la elección es entre la senadora Warren y Trump, el resultado es 64,9 % frente a 35,1 %, y si el rival es el también senador Sanders, la cuenta es 62,1 % frente a 37,9 %.

La encuesta revela que un 48 % de los hispanos de Florida desaprueba a Trump, un 31 % lo aprueba y un 21 % no sabe o no contesta.

En el caso de los puertorriqueños radicados en este estado, un 64 % está descontento con Trump, al que se acusa de no haber prestado suficiente ayuda a Puerto Rico cuando fue asolado por el huracán María en 2017.

Por el contrario, en el caso de los cubanos, el 47 % está a favor de un presidente que ha endurecido la política hacia el régimen de Cuba.

BEPI entrevistó para este sondeo a 600 hispanos registrados como votantes, una parte a través de internet y otra por teléfono fijo, del 30 de octubre al 2 de noviembre.

La encuesta, que tiene un margen de error de 3,9 %, muestra que el apoyo de los hispanos al gobernador Ron DeSantis, seguidor de Trump, es de un 36 %, frente a un 23 % de opiniones desfavorables y un 34 % de no respuestas.

De los 600 encuestados, 152 se declararon republicanos y un 77 % de ellos dijo que votaría por Trump en unas elecciones primarias de su partido.

De los 268 demócratas, un 27 % votaría por el senador Sanders, un 21 % por Biden y un 20 % por la senadora Warren.

El único latino entre los aspirantes a la nominación por el Partido Demócrata, el ex secretario de Vivienda Julián Castro, es el escogido por el 5 % de los encuestados.

Florida, con un 26 % de población hispana, es un estado clave en las elecciones presidenciales, no solo porque brinda un importante número de votos en el Colegio Electoral, que es donde al final se decide quién es el ganador, sino porque no tiene un patrón de voto fijo y lo mismo puede inclinarse por los republicanos que por los demócratas.

En 2012 votó por Barack Obama y en 2016 por Trump. EFE


          

Hijo de Trump divulga identidad de supuesto informante de presiones a Ucrania   

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Washington, 6 nov (EFE).- Donald Trump Jr., el hijo mayor del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, divulgó este miércoles el supuesto nombre del informante que desveló las presiones del mandatario a Ucrania para investigar al exvicepresidente Joseph Biden.

Trump Jr. citó en Twitter un artículo del diario conservador Breitbart News que señala que el informante trabajó en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca bajo la Presidencia de Barack Obama (2009-2017) y que ahora es empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA).

La revelación se produce después de la repetida insistencia del presidente en que se conozca la identidad del informante anónimo, que fue el primero en plantear su inquietud sobre la llamada que Trump mantuvo en julio con su homólogo de Ucrania, Vladímir Zelenski, y en la que le pidió investigar a Biden, aspirante a la candidatura presidencial demócrata en 2020, y a su hijo Hunter.

Uno de los abogados del informante, Mark Zaid, evitó confirmar o desmentir la revelación de Trump Jr. y advirtió en un comunicado de que 'identificar cualquier nombre del informante pone a ese individuo y su familia en riesgo de daño serio'.

'Esta publicación no hace otra cosa que mostrar la desesperación de un grupo partidista para desviar la atención de la sustancia de la queja del informante. Ciertamente no evitará que el presidente tenga que encarar las importantes alegaciones, las cuales han sido todas materialmente probadas que son ciertas', agregó Zaid.

Las filtraciones en la prensa sobre la queja presentada en agosto por el informante sobre la llamada entre Trump y Zelenski hicieron que en septiembre la presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes, la demócrata Nancy Pelosi, anunciara el inicio de una investigación para abrir un posible juicio político contra el mandatario.

La decisión ha desencadenado una crisis política en el país y generado la ira de Trump contra los demócratas a los que acusa de lanzar contra él una 'caza de brujas'.

Los demócratas informaron hoy de que las primeras audiencias públicas de la investigación de la Cámara Baja comenzarán dentro de una semana.

La fase pública se iniciará el miércoles 13, con la comparecencia de Bill Taylor, el embajador interino de EE.UU. en Ucrania; y George Kent, un subsecretario de Estado adjunto responsable de la política hacia el país del este de Europa.

El viernes 15, testificará en público Marie Yovanovitch, que hasta el pasado mayo fue la embajadora de EE.UU. en Ucrania y aseguró en su comparecencia en privado que Trump presionó para expulsarla de su cargo.

La oposición demócrata cree que esos testimonios dejarán claro que 'los hechos más importantes' de la investigación 'no están disputados', entre ellos que Trump presionó a Ucrania para que investigara a Biden y que condicionó un paquete de ayuda financiera al país europeo a esa indagación. EFE


          

Zum Tod von Ernest J. Gaines - Louisiana On My Mind   

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Ernest J. Gaines 2013 bei einer Ehrung durch den damaligen Präsidenten Obama (DPA/Consolidated/ Ron Sachs)Die Diskriminierung von Schwarzen während der Rassentrennung im US-amerikanischen Süden war sein Schreibthema: Nun ist Ernest J. Gaines mit 86 Jahren gestorben. Als Kind von Plantagenarbeitern musste er sich sein Recht auf Bildung erkämpfen und ging als Schriftsteller einen eigenen Weg.

Gisa Funck im Gespräch mit Tanya Liekse
www.deutschlandfunk.de, Büchermarkt
Hören bis: 19.01.2038 04:14
Direkter Link zur Audiodatei



          

Obama, Clinton Offer Tributes To Late Congressman Cummings   

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(Baltimore, MD-AP) – Two former presidents are heaping praise on the late Congressman Elijah Cummings. Speaking at Cummings’ funeral in Baltimore, Barack Obama said Cummings’ life validated “what is possible in life.” He noted that Cummings was a kind and compassionate man of “dogged determination.” Obama said Cummings’ commitment to justice and the rights of … Continue reading Obama, Clinton Offer Tributes To Late Congressman Cummings

          

American People Send Powerful Message To RINO Mitt Romney   

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The post American People Send Powerful Message To RINO Mitt Romney appeared first on I Love My Freedom.

It is beginning to look as though the longer that Mitt Romney stays around, the less popular that he becomes now that has finally made it to Washington D. C. The pathetic sore loser of the 2012 presidential election when he choked like a dog against a beatable Barack Obama has now become the leader of the gaggle of renegade Senate Republicans who will join the Dems when President Trump’s fate is in their hands. URGENT POLL: Do you support Trump against Dem impeachment efforts? Never one to simply get the message and go away, Mitt has lingered like a

The post American People Send Powerful Message To RINO Mitt Romney appeared first on I Love My Freedom.


          

There’s One Word For Trump’s Record On LGBTQ Rights: Appalling   

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There’s One Word For Trump’s Record On LGBTQ Rights: Appalling boston Tue, 11/05/2019 - 13:04
LGBTQ flags

Americans United has spoken out strongly against last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that it will strip anti-discrimination policies that apply to all of its grant programs agency-wide.

While many Americans may be harmed by this misguided policy, the brunt of the proposed rule will fall on members of the LGBTQ community. Under President Barack Obama, HHS had issued a rule that protected LGBTQ people, among others, against discrimination in its grant programs. Trump is obliterating that rule.

It’s important to remember that this is far from the first Trump salvo against LGBTQ people. The president’s record in this area can only be described as appalling. Here are the low points:

  • One of Trump’s first acts after taking office was to rescind policy guidance issued during the presidency of Barack Obama that offered protection to transgender students in public schools.
  • Five months after that, Trump announced, via Twitter in July 2017, that he was banning transgender troops from military service. He took this step without consulting with military leaders, many of whom later indicated that they opposed the move.
  • In the fall of 2018, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was considering new regulations that would narrowly define gender as a biological condition, based on genitalia at birth, that cannot change. The Times story, headlined, “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration,” asserted that the rule, if implemented, would be “the most drastic move yet in a government­-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.” (The order was never issued as a stand-alone rule, but its anti-trans concepts have surfaced in other orders.)
  • HHS’s Office for Civil Rights in May proposed new rules that would remove explicit nondiscrimination protections for transgender people under a section of the Affordable Care Act – severely threatening transgender people’s access to health care. (Although aimed at the transgender community, the new rules are so broad that they would make it harder for others to access health care without discrimination, including women, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS.)
  • In a series of cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump’s Justice Department argued that our nation’s civil rights law provides no protections for members of the LGBTQ community. In a case from Michigan, the department asserted that a funeral home should be able to fire a transgender employee. In an earlier case, Trump’s Justice Department sided with a Colorado bakery that sought the right to refuse service to LGBTQ people.
  • Trump’s HHS in May proposed a sweeping rule that would allow people who work in any area of the medical field to cite their religious beliefs to deny services to almost anyone, and LGBTQ people are particularly at risk. Americans United and allies are challenging this Denial of Care Rule in court, arguing that it puts people’s lives in jeopardy.
  • In August, Trump’s Department of Labor unveiled a proposed rule that would allow taxpayer-funded government contractors to use religious litmus tests in employment, a move that is widely perceived as giving them the right to fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ people.
  • Trump’s judicial appointments are often vetted by extreme far-right groups; many have been hostile to LGBTQ rights. Trump has stated that he is open to seeing the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality overturned.

During Trump’s campaign, he told LGBTQ voters that he’d be a “real friend” to them, adding, “I will fight for you….” Instead, he has spent three years kowtowing to Christian nationalists who have a demonstrated track record of hostility to LGBTQ rights.

Americans United believes that our laws and public policies should promote equal treatment, decency and dignity for everyone and that religion should never be an excuse to undermine these laws to cause harm or result in discrimination. We’re fighting Trump’s misguided discriminatory policies against LGBTQ Americans, women, nontheists and others in courts, in the Congress, in state legislatures and in the arena of public debate. Please consider joining us.


          

Former Obama officials rally behind Biden as he trails top rivals in money race   

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In a flex of establishment muscle, a slew of former Obama administration officials came out on Wednesday to support Joe Biden’s Democratic U.S. presidential bid at a time when he is fighting to maintain his front-runner status.

          

Brookline Millionaire Says “Tax Me”   

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Brookline's Robert Bowditch is rich. So rich, he can confidently sign an open-letter to President Obama in which he calls for an expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.

          

Obama Officials Confess Their Human Rights Sins at J Street Conference   

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Obama Officials Confess Their Human Rights Sins at J Street Conference mg allen Fri, 11/01/2019 - 14:18

          

Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......   

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Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......

          

Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......   

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Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......

          

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs   

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Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs


Tweets For Today

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:32 PM PST











Picture Of The Day

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:24 PM PST

A B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber, assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, sits on the flight line, Oct 24, 2019. Consistent training and exercising validates the B-2Õs ability to respond to challenges all over the globe. (Sr. Airman Thomas Barley/Air Force)

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Best photos of the week: Nov. 4, 2019 (Defense News).

Majority Of U.S. Voters Say President Trump Will Be Re-Elected In 2020 Despite Impeachment Process

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:16 PM PST

U.S. President Donald Trump sits for an exclusive interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Daily Mail: Comfortable majority of voters say Trump WILL be re-elected in 2020 despite impeachment process – including one-third of Democrats

* A new poll found that 56 percent of registered voters believe President Trump will win again in 2020
* That includes 85 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats, according to the Politico/Morning Consult survey
* Pollsters found that voters believed that Trump's voters were twice as likely than Hillary Clinton's to be 'very motivated' to go vote
* Another poll found that the percentage of voters who believe Trump should win re-election hasn't significantly changed since the impeachment inquiry opened

A majority of registered voters believe President Trump will win again in 2020.

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 56 percent of all voters said Trump will be re-elected next year. The president obviously has an edge with Republicans, with 85 percent saying a Trump 2.0 is happening.

But a majority of independents - 51 percent - agreed. Even a third of Democrats, 35 percent, said they believed there would be four more years of President Trump.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He will be difficult to defeat. President Trump has the advantage of the incumbency and the bully-pulpit. The economy is also doing well, and his base overwhelmingly supports him. The Democrat candidates for President are also not inspiring, and I have trouble seeing them being able to attract independent voters. But the election is still far away. A lot can happen in 12 months.

Should CIA Director Gina Haspel Protect The Ukraine Whistleblower From President Trump?

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:10 PM PST

CIA Director Gina Haspel is sworn by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as President Donald Trump looks on and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds the bible during ceremonies at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, U.S. May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque © Reuters

NBC: Intel officials want CIA Director Gina Haspel to protect Ukraine whistleblower from Trump

As Trump allies denounce the whistleblower, pressure is building on CIA Director Gina Haspel to take a stand, say current and ex intelligence officials.

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump and his allies continue to denounce the CIA whistleblower whose complaint led to an impeachment investigation, pressure is building on the spy agency's director, Gina Haspel, to take a stand on the matter, current and former intelligence officials tell NBC News.

"It will be incumbent on her to protect the whistleblower — and by extension, the organization — moving forward," Marc Polymeropoulos, a recently retired CIA officer who oversaw operations in Europe and Russia, said in an interview. "This is a seminal moment for her leadership, and I'm confident she will do the right thing."

So far, Haspel has been publicly silent as Trump has railed about the whistleblower, a CIA analyst, on Twitter. So has the director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is a problem with this "CIA analyst". He was removed from the White House for lying and leaking. He is implicated in filing a complaint against President Trump and Ukraine that has led to this impeachment inquiry, even though his complaint is at odds with the transcript that was released. He is a well known Democrat activist who is closely affiliated with former Obama intelligence officials whose opposition to President Trump is well known. Bottom line. This is a person who has used his CIA position to pursue a political agenda against the President and his policies. In this context, this is someone that I am sure CIA Director Gina Haspel does not want to step in and defend.

Democrats' 'Star Impeachment Witness' Admits He Was Not On The Trump-Ukraine Call, And That His Sole Source Of Information Was From The NY Times

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 09:17 PM PST


Zero Hedge: Democrats' 'Star Witness' Admits He Wasn't On Trump-Ukraine Call, Sole Source Was NY Times

House Democrats have released the latest in the series of heavily-redacted transcripts of the secret hearings they had undertaken in recent weeks - that of Bill Taylor - the top US diplomat in Ukraine - ahead of his public testimony next week.

As The Hill notes, Taylor is viewed as a key witness who previously testified in meticulous detail about what he considered an effort by Trump and his allies to pressure Ukraine into opening investigations that would benefit Trump politically.

In leaked copies of his 15-page opening statement, Taylor voiced concerns that the Trump administration had withheld nearly $400 million in aid as leverage to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations into interference in the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his leading 2020 political rivals.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When you listen to the main stream media they are saying that Ambassador Bill Taylor is a critical witness to President Trump's demand for a quid-pro-quo from the Ukraine government on military aid and an investigation on the Bidens .... Why William Taylor's testimony is central to the impeachment inquiry (PBS). But when you read his transcript .... READ: Testimony Of William Taylor, Acting U.S. Envoy To Ukraine (NPR), the story is very different where he admits that his source of information comes SOLELY from the New York Times?!?!?! You gotta be kidding me. His sole source of information that he is basing his testimony on is from the New York Times?!?!?! It is not surprising that the main stream media is ignoring this critical admission. Kudos to the above post from Zero Hedge and The Federalist .... Testimony Transcript Shows William Taylor Never Talked To Trump, Wasn't Even On July 25 Phone Call (The Federalist) for their summary and analysis on Bill Taylor's testimony. As for the Democrats hoping that he will be their "star witness" next week, my advice to them is that they find a better witness.

Saudi Arabia Recruited Twitter Workers To Spy On Critics Of Saudi Regime

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 08:47 PM PST



CNBC: Justice Department charges two former Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia

* The Department of Justice on Wednesday charged two former Twitter employees for spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
* The charges allege that Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their employee credentials to access information about specific Twitter users, including their email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and internet protocol addresses.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday charged two former Twitter employees for spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

The charges allege that Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their employee credentials to access information about specific Twitter users, including their email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and internet protocol addresses. A third individual, Ahmed Almutairi, was also charged for acting as an intermediary between the Twitter employees and the Saudi government, the Justice Department said.

Read more ....

More News On Saudi Arabia Recruiting Twitter Workers To Spy On Critics Of Saudi Regime

US: Saudis recruited Twitter workers to spy on users -- AP
Two former Twitter employees accused of spying for Saudi Arabia -- Euronews/Reuters
Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia -- The Hill
Saudis recruited Twitter workers to spy on critics of Saudi regime, U.S. charges -- NBC
Twitter employees recruited by Saudi Arabia to spy on kingdom's critics, US prosecutors say -- The Independent
Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia by digging into the accounts of kingdom critics -- The Washington Post
Three charged in US with spying on Twitter users for Saudi Arabia -- Twitter

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- November 6, 2019

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 04:00 PM PST

Jesse Barajas searches for the remains of his brother José, who was was dragged from his ranch on 8 April 2019 and has not been seen since, last month near the town of Tecate. Photograph: Emilio Espejel/The Guardian

Tom Phillips, The Guardian: 'The disappeared': searching for 40,000 missing victims of Mexico's drug wars

José Barajas, who was snatched from his home, joins the ever-swelling ranks of thousands of desaparecidos, victims of the drug conflict that shows no sign of easing

As he set off into the wilderness under a punishing midday sun, Jesse Barajas clutched an orange-handled machete and the dream of finding his little brother, José.

"He's not alive, no. They don't leave people alive," the 62-year-old said as he slalomed through the parched scrubland of tumbleweed and cacti where they had played as kids. "Once they take someone they don't let you live."

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- November 6, 2019

Deadly ambush shows Mexico lost control of area -- Peter Orsi and Maria Verza, AP

The epic struggle behind Iraq's protests -- CSM Editorial

A Month of Anti-government Protests in Iraq -- Alan Taylor, The Atlantic

As US dithers over human rights, China opens its arms to Prabowo Subianto, the Indonesian defence minister with a chequered past - Amy Chew, SCMP

From Singapore to Sweden, China's overbearing campaign for influence is forcing countries to resist and recalibrate relations with Beijing -- Drew Thompson, SCMP

New Silk Road money is paving the Old Silk Roads -- Alexander Kruglov, Asia Times

Why India pulled out of the RCEP free trade deal -- Rahul Mishra, DW

Why is India's pollution much worse than China's? -- BBC

One year to go for Tanzania's President Magufuli and the reviews are mixed -- Cristina Krippahl, DW

Study: Russia's web-censoring tool sets pace for imitators -- Tami Abdollah, AP

UK election campaign: Who wants what on EU issues? -- Rob Mudge, DW

Explainer: Chile's constitutional conundrum - To change or not to change? -- Natalia A. Ramos Miranda, Reuters

Revisiting the End of the Cold War -- John Lewis Gaddis & Elmira Bayrasli, Project Syndicate

Why Are So Many Countries Witnessing Mass Protests? -- The Economist

World News Briefs -- November 6, 2019

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 03:36 PM PST

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Reuters: Iran fuels centrifuges, resumes uranium enrichment at Fordow

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, the country's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) said on Thursday, further stepping away from its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

The agreement bans enrichment and nuclear material from Fordow. But with feedstock gas entering its centrifuges, the facility, built inside a mountain, will move from the permitted status of research plant to being an active nuclear site.

"After all successful preparations ... injection of uranium gas to centrifuges started on Thursday at Fordow ... all the process has been supervised by the inspectors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog," the AEOI said in a statement, Iranian media reported

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey's Erdogan speaks with Trump, to visit Washington next week.

Houthis fire missiles at Yemen's Mokha port, military coalition says.

Iraqi security forces break up protests in Battle of the Bridges.

Civilian deaths as Idlib hospital struck by Russian air raids.

Turkey says Kurdish fighters still remain in safe zone near Syrian border.

Iran begins process of fuelling centrifuges at Fordow.

Riyadh has 'open channel' with Yemen rebels: Saudi official. Riyadh in talks with Yemen rebels, Saudi official says.

Lebanon protesters seek to shut down key state institutions.

World Bank urges Lebanon to form govt, warns of recession.

Jordan police arrest man after stabbing attack at popular tourist site.

ASIA

China urges re-elected Canadian government to free Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Over a dozen killed in attack in Thailand's Yala province. 15 defense volunteers killed in Thailand attack. 15 killed in suspected rebel attacks in Thailand's south.

Tajikistan: 17 killed in border outpost attack. ISIL blamed for deadly attack on Tajik border outpost.

Two suspected suicide bombers from Egypt killed in Philippines.

Hong Kong protesters don Guy Fawkes masks to mark month since mask ban. Water cannons deployed in Tsim Sha Tsui as Hong Kong protesters wearing 'V for Vendetta' masks test new 'flash mob' tactic of assembling at short notice.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho stabbed in Hong Kong.

Facebook video shows PNG police kicking, hitting and stomping on group of men.

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy announces Saturday return.

South Korea promotes DMZ 'peace zone' with new video.

AFRICA

At least 37 killed in attack on Canadian miner Semafo convoy in Burkina Faso.

Water crisis builds in Egypt as dam talks falter, temperatures rise.

France says its troops killed a leading jihadist in the Sahel.

10 civilians killed in militia attack in eastern DRCongo.

Sudan rebels insist new parliament be formed only after peace deal.

UN calls for action as Somalia floods affect 200,0000 children.

US Nile talks 'not a negotiation', says Ethiopia.

Two killed in strike on Libya police station: ministry.

Libya migrant attack: UN investigators suspect foreign jet bombed centre.

Mozambique detains elite police chief over election observer's murder.

EUROPE

Mike Pompeo carries divisive US messages to Germany.

Sweden charges man with spying on Iranian exiles.

Johnson tries to shake off rocky start as UK election begins.

PM's election campaign launch marred by gaffe, resignation and doctored video.

Spain's far-right Vox surges in wake of Catalan independence protests.

Local German conservatives cause uproar with call for talks with far right.

Putin: New weapons will offer Russia reliable protection.

EU urges faster Greece vetting of migrants as arrivals soar.

Hungarian mayor resigns after yacht orgy video.

Netherlands: '4,000 schools shut' in teacher strike.

Italy to become first country to make studying climate change compulsory in schools.

AMERICAS

Exclusive: Brazil likely to vote with U.S. against Cuba at U.N. over embargo.

US Diplomat had 'clear understanding' of Ukraine quid pro quo.

McConnell says Senate would acquit Trump if trial held today.

Democrats win control of Virginia Legislature. Democrat declares upset victory in Kentucky governor race.

Heavily armed hitman of rival El Chapo cartel is arrested over Mormon massacre after a stand-off at the US border where he held two HOSTAGES as heartbreaking photos show devastated relatives visiting the scene of the massacre.

Mexico ambush: Boy, 13, walked 23km for help after gun attack.

United States sanctions 5 Venezuelan officials.

Chile: president promotes minimum wage hike to quell unrest.

Chile's Pinera resists call to resign over protests.

Chilean protest footage captures police officers on fire after molotov cocktail explosion.

Thousands of Bolivians march over disputed election.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Pakistan failed to stop terror groups from recruiting & raising funds, US report сlaims.

German man fighting for Kurds killed in Syria.

Turkey captured al-Baghdadi's wife and didn't make fuss like US – Erdogan.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall St. ends near flat; healthcare shares gain but trade deal delay weighs.

Europeans look to China as global partner, shun Trump's US.

Xi Jinping's Brazil trip 'may be too soon' for China to sign partial US trade war deal.

Macron in China: Xi hails $15 billion trade contracts as 'strong signal of free trade'.

Michael Jackson's iconic moonwalk socks are tipped to sell for over $1MILLION at auction... more than a decade on from his passing.

Israel Expects To Be Engaged In A Major War Very Soon

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 03:01 PM PST

Ali Hashisho / Reuters

Michael Oren, The Atlantic: The Coming Middle East Conflagration

Israel is bracing itself for war with Iranian proxies, as Tehran escalates its provocations. But what will the United States do if conflict comes?

The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran. They were mindful of the Iranian plan for a drone attack from Syria in August, aborted at the last minute by an Israeli air strike, as well as Iran's need to deflect attention from the mass protests against Hezbollah's rule in Lebanon. The ministers also reviewed the recent attack by Iranian drones and cruise missiles on two Saudi oil installations, reportedly concluding that a similar assault could be mounted against Israel from Iraq.

The Israel Defense Forces, meanwhile, announced the adoption of an emergency plan, code-named Momentum, to significantly expand Israel's missile defense capacity, its ability to gather intelligence on embedded enemy targets, and its soldiers' preparation for urban warfare. Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Syrian conflict, unrest in Iraq, and the Yemen war is where the focus in the Middle East is right now. Another Hezbollah - Israel and/or Hamas - Israel war is not on people's radar.

Media Upset That Trump's Son Tweets Name Of Alleged Whistleblower Even Though His Name Was Revealed Last Week

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 01:00 PM PST


AFP: Impeachment: Trump's son tweets name of alleged whistleblower

Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump's son published on Wednesday the name of the alleged anonymous whistleblower whose complaint fired the impeachment inquiry against Trump, breaking strict conventions for protecting officials who reveal wrongdoing in government.

Amid calls by the president himself to expose the whistleblower, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the name of a CIA analyst which has circulated online for weeks, and linked to a Breitbart news article implying the person was pro-Democrat and anti-Trump.

AFP could not independently verify the whistleblower's identity and is not publishing the name.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is actually old news. The identity of the "whistle-blower" was revealed last week .... The Identity Of The Anonymous 'Whistleblower' Who Triggered Impeachment Proceedings Against President Trump Is Suspected To Be A Well Known Democrat Activist (October 31, 2019). A picture of the "whistle-blower" is below.

Special Operations Air Force Member Goes Missing During Training Jump Over Gulf Of Mexico

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 12:40 PM PST

The airman was a part of the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in in Okaloosa County, Florida. He disappeared four miles south of the field over the Gulf of Mexico

Daily Mail: Desperate search launched for airman who fell out of Special Operations military plane 1,500 feet over the Gulf of Mexico and was last seen treading water after deploying his parachute

* A search is underway for a staff sergeant in training who disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday afternoon during a training exercise
* The unidentified Air Force airman was from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida
* He exited a C-130 four engine aircraft around 1.45pm from a height of 1,500 feet
* He deployed his parachute and was last seen treading water in the Gulf, approximately four miles south of Hurlburt Field
* As the aircraft turned to retrieve the man, crewmen lost sight of him
* Several vessels, three Air Force aircraft were deployed in the search
* The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Coast Guard are also on the scene

A desperate search is underway for a missing airman who disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico after suffering a parachute-jump mishap while exiting a Special Operations military plane.

The unidentified Air Force airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field was exiting a C-130 four-engine aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico during a training exercise around 1.45pm Tuesday when he suddenly vanished into the water below.

'The fall happened during a parachute-jump training exercise out of Hurlburt Field,' a report from the Air Force Times said.

The Coast Guard said the airman was a staff sergeant in training and fell out of the aircraft at 1,500 feet, according to WEAR.

Read more ....

More News On A Special Operations Air Force Member Going Missing During A Training Jump Over The Gulf Of Mexico

Special tactics airman missing in Gulf of Mexico; search underway -- Air Force Times
Airman who fell from plane above Gulf of Mexico still missing -- NBC
Mobile area Coast Guard continue search for airman who fell from plane into Gulf of Mexico -- Al.com
Air Force member goes missing during training jump over Gulf of Mexico -- CBS
Airman fell from C-130 military aircraft while training over the Gulf of Mexico -- Defence-Blog
Coast Guard, Air Force, local agencies searching for a airman in the water near Destin -- FOX 10

ISIS Launched A Failed Attack On A Tajikistan Border Outpost With Uzbekistan

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 11:00 AM PST


DW: Tajikistan: 17 killed in border outpost attack

Twenty masked gunmen launched a failed attack on a Tajik outpost on the border with Uzbekistan. The rare attack was quashed when border forces launched a counter operation and killed most of the raiders.

At least 17 people were killed in an overnight raid by armed men on an outpost on the border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Tajik authorities said on Wednesday.

"An armed group of 20 unknown masked individuals attacked a border outpost … using firearms," said Tajikistan's national security committee, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Tajikistan's border forces said the assailants were members of the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group in Afghanistan.

At least five of the gunmen were detained and later provided critical intelligence during interrogations, authorities said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I agree with this analysis .... Reported Attack In Tajikistan Could Have Broad Implications For Central Asia (RFE).

More News On Today's ISIS Attack On A Tajikistan Border Outpost With Uzbekistan

Many dead in Tajikistan 'firefight with IS' -- BBC
Fifteen IS jihadists killed in Tajikistan border attack -- AFP
Tajikistan: 17 killed in attack on border checkpoint -- Eurasianet
ISIL blamed for deadly attack on Tajik border outpost -- Al Jazeera

World Leaders Warn Iran To Stick To Nuclear Deal

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:24 AM PST



ABC News Online: World leaders warn Iran to stick to nuclear deal, as it begins injecting uranium gas into centrifuges

World leaders have called on Iran to fulfil the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal, after it begins injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility.

Iran has begun to further distance itself from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed its atomic work, local media reported on Wednesday (local time).

The deal bans nuclear material from Fordow and, with the injection of uranium gas into its centrifuges, the facility will move from its permitted status of research plant to become an active nuclear site.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Aside from their rhetoric that everything is still OK .... Long way before JCPOA collapses, says Rouhani's chief of staff (MEHR News Agency), the Iranians are becoming more and more nervous .... Exclusive: Iran briefly held IAEA inspector, seized travel documents - diplomats (Reuters).

          

World News Updates, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs, World News Updates   

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World News Updates, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs, World News Updates


EU crisis: Eurozone economy growth rates slashed amid fears of downturn

Posted: 07 Nov 2019 12:54 AM PST



THE European Union's economy is set to be plunged into chaos after seven years of consecutive growth, according to the bloc's latest fiscal forecast.

Taiji dolphin hunt: Sweet mammals slaughtered in horror event as calls for its axing grows

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:06 PM PST



GRAPHIC CONTENT WARING - DISTURBING footage has surfaced showing a pod of dolphins being coerced into a cove and then slaughtered in a town, called Taiji, in Japan.

Jesus revelation: Mysterious bullet hole found in Last Supper masterpiece painting

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 08:30 PM PST



A BULLET hole has been found in an interpretative painting of the masterpiece, The Last Supper, in a mysterious discovery that has eluded the artist.

Trump triumph: US President soars in major poll that predicts victory in 2020 election

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 07:13 PM PST



PRESIDENT Donald Trump received a huge boost to his chances of being reelected for a second term , as a recent poll found that a majority of voters expect him to win next year's contest.

Michelle Obama shock: Ex-FLOTUS reveals how Barack forced her to make major life decision

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 06:56 PM PST



MICHELLE OBAMA makes surprising admission about her relationship with husband Barack Obama - and it's adorable.

Melania Trump outrage: FLOTUS accused of lying about being a supermodel by ex-NYC roommate

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 06:25 PM PST



MELANIA TRUMP was accused of lying about being a supermodel by her former New York City roommate.

Archeology shock: Ancient US burial site accidentally unearthed by baffled builders

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 05:31 PM PST



A ROAD widening project was halted in California after construction workers accidentally unearthed an ancient American burial site.

Severed hand of British tourist found in killer shark’s stomach after man goes missing

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 05:25 PM PST



A BRITISH swimmer's hand has been found inside the carcass of a shark that was killed off the coast of Reunion Island, near Madagascar.

Melania Trump backlash: FLOTUS accused of 'hurting patients' as protestors storm hospital

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 04:18 PM PST



MELANIA TRUMP was met by dozens of protestors at Boston Medical Center as she visited to highlight the case of drug-exposed babies as part of her Be Best initiative.

EU news: What Europe fears more than anything else - and it involves Trump

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 11:46 PM PST



THE EUROPEAN UNION is in flux as the UK's departure remains uncertain. While across the pond, the campaign for the US 2020 elections is ramping up, posing further concerns to the bloc.

          

An Overseers Challenge Slate—and More on Fossil-Fuel Divestment   

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Young alumni and others advance an agenda of governance change and divestment from fossil-fuel investments.

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Harvard Board of Overseers Challenge Slate
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As climate change generates news daily—Donald Trump formally initiates U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement; 11,000-plus scientists declare a “climate emergency”former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, now professor of the practice of public health, becomes president of a leading nonprofit to defend against efforts to undermine environmental science—Harvard’s focus on the issues broadened and intensified this week, too:

  • On Sunday, Harvard Forward, organized by young alumni, unveiled a slate of petition candidates for election to the Board of Overseers, pursuing a dual agenda of promoting Harvard governance reform and divesting fossil-fuel investments from the University endowment.
  • On Tuesday, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) advocates of divestment held the second long discussion of the issue this semester (the October session is covered here). Although decisions on investment policy rest with the Harvard Corporation, not with the faculties, the advocates made the case for divestment on moral, historical, and financial grounds. In turn, they elicited previously unexpressed opposing arguments by colleagues who focused on the faculty’s research and teaching mission, and raised concerns about unintended, adverse political consequences from an elite institution’s decision to divest. Read a full account of the latest debate, including participants’ statements and President Lawrence Bacow’s reaction.
  • Alumni advocates of divestment reiterated their case in a detailed letter to Bacow and William F. Lee, the Corporation’s senior fellow, and hired alumni who had been involved in divestment as undergraduates to help organize support for the measure among the wider alumni community.
  • And student advocates weighed in, too.

These developments all suggest continuing, intense community focus on climate change—and on the steps the University might pursue to deploy its resources (intellectual and pedagogical, as well as financial) to address it.

An Overseers Slate

Harvard Forward announced itself on November 3 with a letter to alumni from the candidates who will petition for signatures to seek election to the Board of Overseers next spring. Citing the 1980s controversies over divesting investments in companies operating in South Africa (during which petition candidates also campaigned for election), they wrote, “Today, a coalition of alumni, students, and faculty called Harvard Forward is doing the same—this time to establish Harvard as a moral and academic leader in the fight against climate change.”

“Harvard students, led by Divest Harvard, have called on the University for years to divest its endowment from fossil fuels,” their letter read. “And yet, at a time when bold action and leadership are required, Harvard is falling behind….Our forward-looking platform calls for divesting from fossil fuels, bolstering our responsible investment practices, and increasing support for climate-related research and education initiatives.”), Harvard Forward also presents itself as a broader, dual-purpose effort. Its home page puts the message succinctly: “Harvard is falling behind in its response to the climate crisis because our governance is not representative of our alumni and student bodies. We’re changing that.”

And indeed the platform is, so far, much more evolved on the latter priority—advocating changes in governance—than on divestment. The “Climate Justice & Responsible Investing” plank is labeled “coming soon,” but “Inclusive Governance & Student Voices” provides a detailed argument for:

  • reserving six seats on the 30-member elected Board of Overseers for recent alumni (three who have graduated from the College within the past four academic cycles, and three who have graduated from the graduate schools within the past four academic cycles—or are in good academic standing and on track to graduate at the May Commencement);
  • involving the Undergraduate Council (UC) and the Harvard Graduate Council (HGC) with the Harvard Alumni Association in selecting diverse candidates for those seats; and
  • limiting voting for those recent alumni candidates to eligible members of the community who are themselves graduates within the past four academic cycles.

Moreover, the platform calls for annual Board of Overseers town halls to engage directly with students in Cambridge, Allston, and the Longwood Medical Area; and for the Overseers to invite the UC and HGC presidents to present their views on current campus affairs before the board each semester.

Harvard Forward’s platform reflects work done by The Boarding School, a nonprofit that aims  “to recruit and train young people to serve on boards of organizations that affect their lives.” The organization’s president, Nathán Goldberg ’18, and campaign manager, Danielle Strasburger ’18, are, respectively, the strategist/policy adviser and campaign manager for Harvard Forward: the Boarding School’s first project.

During a conversation this week, Strasburger (a social-studies concentrator with a secondary in human evolutionary biology, and an alumna of Winthrop House, where she chaired the House committee) and Goldberg (who captained the soccer team, served on a University-wide Title IX review committee, and earned the first joint degree in philosophy and statistics) talked about applying campaign strategies, social media, and digital and data technologies to youth engagement generally. The impetus, Strasburger said, was a sense among their College classmates that for all their involvement in undergraduate life, their impact on the institution as students was limited. Though neither was involved in the highly visible student movement for divestment, both were impressed by the energy and enthusiasm their peers were bringing to climate-change advocacy. As recent alumni, they felt a new kind of frustration about engaging with Harvard. Across the spectrum of their Harvard lives, she said, the issue of “unrepresentative governance” in the face of student and young-alumni concerns arose.

Goldberg said that UC presidents told them the council had been considering whether there could be student representatives on the Overseers—an option precluded by the terms of the University’s charter. But recent alumni, he felt, were in touch with student life still. The recent advent of online voting for the Board opens a “huge amount of space” to boost turnout (which is often in the teens as a percentage of those eligible to cast ballots).

The governance platform, Goldberg said, reflects research on the boards of peer institutions (MIT and Princeton, for example) that have student or young-alumni representation, as well as discussion among Harvard Forward campaigners on what steps to pursue. Although that governance theme has now been married to advocacy of divestment, he said that he, Strasburger, and others involved in conceiving the program were not steeped in that cause. So the climate platform is being refined in cooperation with those who have worked on the issue—and who have increasingly come to feel that the University’s governance structure is not responsive to their agenda. Goldberg said Harvard Forward was gathering input from stakeholders, and would detail its climate platform once that process concludes.

Harvard Forward’s candidate slate is meant to “look like the Harvard of today,” Goldberg said, with members diverse across “multiple axes,” including ethnicity, Harvard affiliation, geography, age, class years, background, interests (including climate and civil-rights advocacy), and socioeconomic status. The petitioners are:

  • John Beatty ’11, who was an early divestment advocate and now works at Amazon;
  • Lisa Bi Huang, M.P.A. ’19, an entrepreneur and former management consultant;
  • Margaret Purce ’17, a professional soccer player
  • Thea Sebastian ’08, J.D. ’16, a lawyer at Civil Rights Corps; and
  • Jayson Toweh, S.M. ’19, an environmental scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency 

The governance-reform platform has been endorsed by the UC and the HGC, and in an indication of Harvard Forward’s programmatic and tactical dexterity, climate-change and divestment organizer Bill McKibben ’82 wrote a supportive op-ed published in The Boston Globe.

While Strasburger says she is living on savings and the kindness of supporters, couch-surfing as she travels, the geographic breadth of the candidate slate, and their own business travels, mean that Harvard Forward has been able to reinforce its online outreach with alumni meet-ups and events scheduled in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Orlando, New York, Cambridge, at The Game in New Haven, Boston, Austin, and Mexico City—just in November, and with dates popping up in early December. That should facilitate gathering signatures for the candidates’ nomination petitions, and rally the faithful. If funds flow, too, job listings are posted for a digital and field director, and a social and communications director, both reporting to Strasburger.

In 2016, a slate of petition candidates for the Board of Overseers, calling their program “Free Harvard/Fair Harvard,”campaigned largely in opposition to affirmative action in admissions. Their campaign prompted organized opposition by alumni who supported the University’s holistic admissions policies, and the petitioners were defeated.

Harvard Forward is employing new tools and techniques in what feels like a different era. It may appeal to young alumni with its governance platform (and the University might well favor their greater engagement, even if not by the means being advocated here. There is an organized constituency in favor of divestment, with which a larger group of potential voters concerned about climate change might sympathize—and opponents of divestment do not seem similarly organized, at least to date. And although the Corporation’s Senior Fellow now grants annual news briefings on the governing board’s work (a result of the 2010 governance reforms), some peer institutions disclose more about their respective boards’ concerns and activities—so transparency may resonate as an issue with some Harvard alumni voters, too.

The University leadership has made it clear, as recently as this week, that it cares a great deal about climate change, but will not divest endowment investments in fossil-fuel production. Electing a slate of pro-divestment Overseers would not make a practical difference, in the near term: they do not vote on the endowment, for example—a power that rests with members of the Corporation (who are not elected). This a point of difference from the elected boards of trustees at institutions like MIT and Princeton, and often a point of frustration for those who do become Overseers.

That said, this promises to be an interesting, sustained election for the Board of Overseers. Stay tuned.

Alumni Advocates for Divestment

One reason that is so is that there is an organized alumni campaign for divestment—most recently, with more than 3,000 signatories. That is not a large share of the alumni overall, but in elections where relatively few people vote, it is not nothing, either.

In their most recent communication with University officials, the leading spokespeople for the alumni advocates wrote to the president and senior fellow on October 24. They requested a meeting with the Corporation, at which they propose to advocate divestment (among those assets managed directly by Harvard Management Company, and ultimately those managed by external advisers) and reinvestment of the endowment in accordance with sustainability principles by 2030. 

They also expressed support for student and faculty advocates of divestment and note, finally, that “we are working to engage a broad coalition of alumni who, like us, recognize the urgency of now. We have hired organizers to help us reach and communicate with alumni. We think that the University should use its existing institutional resources such as the Board of Overseers and its range of alumni councils to help the University adjust to and target its financial resources to the growing climate crisis.” 

Canyon Woodward ’15 and Chloe Maxmin ’15, veteran undergraduate Divest Harvard leaders, have been retained, for 30 and 10 hours a week, respectively, to work on organizing alumni in support of divestment. Their work, the correspondents’ focus on the Board of Overseers, and the Harvard Forward petition slate would seem aligned to make this a vigorous, focused campaign unlike others the University has seen in recent years.

And the Students

Nor has the graduation of earlier student divestment advocates seemed to sap enthusiasm for the cause. As rain fell before the November 5 FAS meeting, students were stationed outside University Hall leafletting the arriving professors.

“Whether you support fossil-fuel divestment, oppose it, or are undecided,” their fliers read, “it is critical that faculty are engaging in this debate that affects the defining issue of our generation. For years, the administration has not listened to student voices on this issue, so we are grateful to faculty for helping lead the way to an open dialogue.” (In fairness, this administration is doing a whole lot more listening than its predecessor—in meetings with students and the faculty—but it has not changed its reasoning or opposition to divestment per se.)

In a generational appeal, they continued, “Today, we are asking you to advocate for us. As FAS debates this critical question, we hope you keep in mind how important this issue is to us as students who will live through the increasing dangers of the climate crisis. We need a just, rapid transition to a decarbonized economy, which is why Harvard must cut its financial ties to the fossil-fuel industry….”

The students advocated disclosure of endowment assets, divestment of fossil-fuel holdings, and reinvestment “in a more socially just and environmentally sustainable economy….”

In Prospect

Whatever the outcome of the continuing debate on divestment and of the Overseeres election, there is ample room for Harvard to make significant contributions to the transition toward sustainability by focusing on students and scholarship.

Several faculty members spoke in favor of emphasizing climate change within the curriculum—a matter wholly within FAS’s jurisdiction. And after one emphasized his disappointment that The Harvard Campaign did not make climate change and energy a major, substantive fundraising goal, it is clear that the University could, and now might well want to, devote resources to research, across the disciplines and professions, that could advance technological, policy, institutional, and behavioral solutions.

Late, in this case, would still be better than never—and would give real meaning to Harvard’s aspirations to draw on its intellectual capital and its education of future leaders as One University, focused on bettering the world.

 

Harvard Board of Overseers Divestment, Governance Challenge
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Debating Divestment in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences   

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A formal, docketed discussion as proponents of divestment intensify their campaign 

Photograph of University Hall, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences meets

University Hall, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is based and holds faculty meetings
Photograph by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications


University Hall, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is based and holds faculty meetings
Photograph by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

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Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Divestment Debate
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This afternoon, at its regularly scheduled faculty meeting—which happened to fall on the day after President Donald Trump moved formally to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change—the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) formally docketed “a discussion of whether Harvard’s appropriate response to the global climate and ecological crisis should include financial divestment from fossil fuel interests.” The public discussion with President Lawrence S. Bacow, long sought by faculty advocates of divesting endowment assets invested in fossil-fuel production, follows an October airing of concerns about climate change (read a detailed account here)—which was on the agenda as a more general “discussion of the global climate and ecological crisis and Harvard’s appropriate response to that crisis.” (Bacow, who normally presides at FAS meetings, was absent that day, for Rosh Hashanah.)

The forum took place at a time of heightened activity by campus and community divestment advocates, including alumni pressuring the University to reveal its fossil-energy investments, if any, and to dispose of them—and an effort, announced this past Sunday, to put forth a slate of candidates for the Board of Overseers in the spring 2020 election who will advocate both divestment and changes in Harvard governance (see a separate report on these matters, to be published on November 6).

The Faculty’s Forum

Today’s discussion did not introduce a formal legislative proposal—which would, under FAS rules, have to lay over for a vote at a subsequent meeting. Instead, it provided the occasion for faculty divestment advocates to make their case, in the open, to Bacow and to former Harvard Corporation member Jessica Tuchman Mathews ’67, who was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and was a founder of the World Resources Institute—an environmental research organization. (During Tuchman’s service on the senior governing board, from 2013 to last year, the Corporation and then-Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust articulated their opposition to divestment. Bacow was a Corporation member then, too. Senior Fellow William F. Lee ’72, who has spoken for the Corporation in opposition to divestment, was apparently unable to attend today’s session.)

The three docketed faculty speakers, respectively, addressed the role of individual professors and the larger institution in taking on climate change; the history of Harvard’s decisions concerning its investments and public-policy questions; and the operations of the endowment itself and the financial implications of divestment.

They were followed by speakers from the floor, some of whom made further arguments for divestment, and some who forcefully objected to divestment—instead focusing on the faculty’s role in teaching and research, and likely (unintended) political perceptions of its advocacy of divestment. President Bacow then spoke about points of agreement, even though he disagreed with divestment as an action or as a “litmus test” for any person or institution.

Where speakers provided their comments in advance or after delivery, they are reproduced below as prepared for delivery. Where other faculty members spoke from the floor, FAS rules require that they consent to being associated by name with quotations from or paraphrases of their remarks within the confines of faculty meetings; that consent has been sought, and when and if it is granted, the text will be updated to associate the speakers with their remarks. [Updated November 6 at 3:40 P.M. All the speakers are now identified below,with their consent.]

The Docketed Speakers

Individual and institutional responsibility: statement of Charlie Conroy, professor of astronomy and director of graduate studies.

I am an astronomer. I spend most of my time collecting data and running computer models to understand the origin of our Galaxy. But today I speak to you as a deeply concerned member of our community.

I have grown up with the reality of what we once called global warming: rising temperatures, melting glaciers, species extinctions, destabilizing weather patterns. The consequences for humans have also been in plain view: increased occurrence of famine, droughts, and diseases, and, on the horizon, a refugee crisis unparalleled in human history. And yet, like many people I became numb to the increasingly urgent calls for action. I was busy and preoccupied with issues closer to home: raising a family, conducting research, securing tenure. I focused on small acts—recycling, commuting with public transit, eating locally grown food. What more could I do? I am after all only one person.

That thinking was wrong.

As members of the Harvard faculty we have a powerful platform to effect change. This means that we also have a responsibility to use that power in extraordinary times. And these are extraordinary times.  

As I speak California is burning. UC Santa Cruz, where I used to teach, has been subjected to forced blackouts resulting in canceled classes. Fire-related evacuations are now a routine part of life for many communities. This is the new normal. In recognition of the climate crisis, the University of California system is divesting its $13-billion endowment and its $70-billion pension fund from fossil fuels. 

The ice sheets on West Antarctica and Greenland together hold enough water to raise global sea level by 13 meters. Destabilization of these ice sheets could result in sea level rise of 2 meters by the end of this century and 6 meters by the end of the following century. With 6 meters of sea-level rise significant portions of the Harvard campus will be underwater. As will all of MIT, Fenway, and the South End. Globally the situation will be much worse: 600 million people live at an elevation within 10 meters of sea level.

We in rich countries may be able to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, though the costs may be staggering. Maybe. Maybe not. But island nations, poor countries in South Asia and elsewhere, will not have the option of buying their way out of disaster. 

The predicted short-term consequences of climate change from major organizations such as the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] tend to be conservative. We see evidence of this every year as new reports indicate the pace of change is accelerating faster than predicted. The global climate is a complex system with multiple non-linear feedback cycles that are poorly understood. The near future could easily turn out to be much more extreme than current models predict—during the Pliocene Epoch the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were comparable to today’s levels. During that time the Earth was 3° C warmer and global sea levels were 10-20 meters higher.

There is currently five times more fossil fuel in proven reserves than can be burnt if we are to stay within the 2°C warming scenario advocated by the UN Paris Agreement. Avoiding catastrophic changes to our world will therefore require leaving huge reserves of fossil fuel in the ground. And yet, the fossil-fuel industry continues to devote vast sums of money and resources to identifying new reserves. Despite its profession of support for the Paris Agreement, ExxonMobil has not changed its position since this agreement was signed. In 2015 ExxonMobil projected that by 2040 fossil fuels would supply over 75 percent of the world’s energy needs. In its latest projections from this year, that number has actually risen to 80 percent.   

It is simply unrealistic to expect the fossil-fuel industry to willingly walk away from so much money in the ground. As our colleague Naomi Oreskes has demonstrated through extensive scholarship [read her October statement here], the fossil-fuel industry has for decades engaged in deliberate doubt-mongering on the topic of climate change. This includes explicit undermining of public policy and indirect undermining of attempts to move to alternative energies. In light of these facts, the idea of working in collaboration with the fossil-fuel industry is dangerously naïve and counterproductive.

These extraordinary times require big ideas and bold leadership.  

The scale of the problem is so enormous that many ideas must be pursued simultaneously. We should commit to a carbon-free campus on a rapid timescale. We should incentivize reduced air travel and the use of a robust public transit system. We should encourage significant new academic and research ventures. We should engage with our community beyond Harvard. And we should divest from the fossil-fuel industry.

There are multiple reasons to support divestment. There are arguments from history and from economics that my colleagues will discuss. My perspective is this: the degree of action and change required to avoid the worst-case scenarios is far larger than anything we could hope to accomplish on our own, even as teachers and researchers. Every one of us could commit 100 percent of our time and resources to combating climate change, but that would fall far short of what is needed. This is where divestment comes in. It is an opportunity, perhaps our best opportunity, to catalyze action and change far beyond these walls. 

Imagine I came here to announce that a civilization-destroying asteroid is heading toward Earth. Would we wait to act until the probability of disaster is 100 percent? No. Would we wait to act until the impact was days or weeks away? No. Climate change is that asteroid. Its impact will be felt not instantaneously but over years, decades, and centuries. As scientists we have an obligation not only to identify and study the asteroid, but to act upon the clear and present danger it represents, and to join our colleagues in other disciplines in urging responsible action.

Harvard is in a position to lead on this issue. We have a responsibility to do so. Now is the time to act.

The Harvard historical perspective: statement of Joyce E. Chaplin, Phillips professor of early American history. (Footnotes removed from this version.)

On the question of divestment from fossil-fuel interests. Harvard’s official position has been that the endowment should not be used to make political points or influence social policy, that the University’s engagement with leaders in the fossil-fuel industry would instead be more effective. In my remarks today, I will examine Harvard’s past in order to question this position, showing that Harvard has a long history of using its reputation and resources to make points about politics and society, that there are precedents for using Harvard’s endowment to state those ethical claims, and that reluctance to do so has had the unfortunate effect of making Harvard seem indifferent to human-rights violations. 

Harvard has been raising its voice in politics and public life at least since April 3rd, 1776, when it granted an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws to General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army. Harvard thus endorsed the idea of American independence three months before delegates from Massachusetts would sign the Declaration of Independence. Harvard would gain its own independence in 1865, when selection of the Overseers would begin to be done by alumni rather than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From this point on, Harvard’s contributions to public life would increasingly engage the worlds beyond Massachusetts. This was notably the case for the service Harvard President James B. Conant performed for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Conant became director of the National Defense Research Committee in 1941; he estimated that, during the war, he racked up half a million miles on the train between Boston and Washington, D.C. Conant witnessed the July 16th, 1945 successful test of the first atomic bomb, “Trinity,” at Almogordo, New Mexico, reporting that “the whole sky [was] suddenly full of white light[,] like the end of the world.” 

After the war, Harvard faced new questions about its financial investments, and this is when we first see a stated policy of conservatism about the endowment—during the Civil Rights movement. In May 1964, at the start of the Mississippi Summer Project, Harvard and Radcliffe students identified Harvard as the largest shareholder in Middle South Utilities. This company owned Mississippi Power and Light, whose leadership overlapped with that of the Jackson Citizens’ Council, a white supremacist group. Students did not ask for divestment; rather, they requested that the Corporation withdraw 10 percent of its $10-million investment in Mississippi Power and Light to use as bail for students working for civil rights in Mississippi. The Corporation refused. A conflict of interest was apparent. Middle South’s second largest stockholder was Massachusetts Investor Trust; a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, Thomas D. Cabot, served on the trust’s advisory board. In addition, Harvard’s treasurer, Paul C. Cabot, was chairman of Middle South’s third largest stockholder, State Street Investment Corporation. When Cabot retired, he was succeeded by Harvard’s deputy treasurer, George F. Bennett, also of State Street Investment. In the wake of the controversy over Harvard’s investment in Middle South Utilities, Bennett responded, “We don’t try to accomplish social purposes with our capital; we just try to put it where it will bring us the best return.”

That preference was restated several times during Derek Bok’s twenty-year term as president of Harvard. One year into Bok’s tenure, two student groups, in February 1972, demanded that the Corporation sell its 682,000 shares of stock in Gulf Oil, valued around $20 million. Gulf Oil was extracting oil from the coastline of Angola, a militarily-occupied colony of Portugal, which until 1974 was itself ruled by a dictatorship, one determined to suppress Angolan freedom fighters. But the Harvard Corporation declined either to sell its Gulf Oil stock or require the company to issue a report on its business strategies in Angola. 

This too was the response when students urged Harvard to disassociate itself from the apartheid regime in South Africa. The 1980s anti-apartheid movement focused on government sanctions of the country and non-governmental divestment from commercial and financial interests in South Africa. Harvard’s disinclination to divest was, in this instance, technically political, because it could have been read as criticism of U.S. leadership—President Ronald Reagan opposed sanctions. The Reaganite alternative was “constructive engagement” with the apartheid regime and with South African businesses, to persuade government and business leaders to abandon racist policies; Harvard likewise advocated constructive engagement. Of course, this position of not divesting was no less political than making any decision to divest. Only when it became clear, by 1985, that Reagan’s policy against sanctions was losing support did Harvard begin to divest from its financial connections to South Africa. By 1988, formal U.S. policy no longer endorsed unilateral engagement with the apartheid regime; it was considered irrelevant, if not bankrupt, as a political strategy. The 2009 comprehensive history of The Rise and Fall of Apartheid, peer-reviewed, published by a university press, does not even list “constructive engagement” or its Reagan-era architect in the book’s index. 

The position that the Harvard endowment should not be used to address social problems has, in any case, never been consistent. In 1970, a Harvard Committee on University Relations with Corporate Enterprise issued a statement that ethics should influence investment, specifically naming alcohol and tobacco as questionable sources of profit. During the controversy over Angola, President Bok set up two deliberative committees: a Harvard Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) and an Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR) composed of alumni, faculty, and students. Perhaps unexpectedly, the CCSR proved to be somewhat critical of anti-divestment and the ACSR in 1984 voted for total divestment. 

And in the case of one industry, divestment became Harvard’s policy. In 1990, Harvard sold off its last (direct) stock in tobacco companies. “This decision was motivated by the University's belief that in this case it would be unable, as a continuing shareholder, to influence the policy of the companies in regard to the marketing practices mentioned above, and by the desire not to be associated as a shareholder with companies engaged in significant sales of products that create a substantial and unjustified risk of harm to human health.” 

If the official position of the President and Fellows of Harvard College is still that Harvard’s endowment should not be used for political or social purposes, that engagement with the fossil-fuel industries is instead preferable, I think we must ask: why? Why should a position tarnished through association with racism be acceptable as a response to the climate crisis, arguably the greatest threat to human rights today? Why should “engagement,” highly questionable during the 1980s argument over apartheid, now be regarded as an effective way to handle an industry we know to be perfidious? The World Health Organization and Harvard physicians warn that the climate crisis is already generating threats to global public health, threats that will eventually be enormous—why are these of less concern than those posed by big tobacco? In 1945, Harvard’s president saw his work on atomic weapons culminate in a light so bright it seemed to signify the end of the world. In 2019, science has shone enough light on climate change for all of us to see that it might end the world as we know it. This danger demands that we end our complicity with the industries that deny their responsibility in creating our current state of emergency.

 •Financial and investment perspective: statement of Stephen A. Marglin, Barker professor of economics. (References removed from this version.)

I must first report a failure. I do not have the information I need to speak in any detail about the Harvard endowment. Not for lack of trying. After some delay, which I mistakenly, perhaps naively, took as a positive sign, I was directed to the annual financial report and SEC filings. Practically useless.  

Absent this information, what is there to say? Turns out quite a lot. I used to caution against thinking that divestment would have a direct effect on the fossil-fuel industry by denying capital for expansion. No, the shares in ExxonMobil that Harvard sold would be purchased by some other investor. No impact on ExxonMobil.  

I’m no longer sure that it’s a fallacy to argue that our endowment directly provides capital to the fossil-fuel industry. One of the things I did learn from this year’s financial report is that over 50 percent of the endowment is invested in hedge funds and private equity. We simply do not know how much capital Harvard is providing for the expansion of the fossil-fuel industry through these vehicles. We do know, thanks to Bill McKibben [’82, a prominent climate-change and divestment activist], that providing finance for the industry is a thriving business, even as it puts the planet in jeopardy: one bank, Chase, has reportedly committed a hundred and ninety-six billion dollars in financing for the fossil-fuel industry in the three years after the Paris Agreement was signed.

How much has Harvard committed? The Administration won’t tell us.

Not that the information about current holdings and past returns is dispositive. But knowing the extent of our commitment to fossil-fuel investment would at least provide context for an intelligent discussion.

There are a small number of studies on the financial costs of divesting. Not surprisingly—this being economics after all—the conclusions differ. Two studies argue that divestment would have major effects on the financial performance of investment funds, one suggesting that the Harvard endowment in particular would be 16 percent smaller after 50 years if we divested our holdings in fossil-fuels.

These studies suffer from two defects. First, the argument rests on the superior performance of energy stocks during one particular decade. Between 2003 and 2012, ExxonMobil stock rose at double the rate of the stock-market average, from $35 per share in the first week of 2003 to $89 in the last week of 2012. The second defect—make of it what you will—was that both these studies were financed, as the authors acknowledge, by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Other studies, I read four, find no adverse effects of divestment. The risk-adjusted performance of portfolios with and without fossil-fuel stocks are virtually identical over long periods.

But all these studies look at publicly traded stocks, and only one-quarter of our endowment is invested this way. In any case, one thing we know for sure: the past is not going to be a very good guide to the future. Unless you’re Donald Trump, climate change is real.  

And so, looking ahead into the not-too-distant future, are the financial risks of investing in fossil fuels. The major risk is stranded assets, oil, gas, and coal that must be left in the ground if we are to limit global warming to the 1.5° Celsius target that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now recommends.    

Not a problem for ExxonMobil. As Professor Conroy pointed out, ExxonMobil has upped the ante: in 2014, it was projecting that over 75 percent of the world’s energy would come from fossil fuels in 2040; in its most recent projections, the 2040 percentage for fossil fuels is 80 percent. No peak oil, no stranded assets. The oil companies, professing allegiance to the Paris Agreement and even to the IPCC’s revised targets, are like St. Augustine: give us renewable energy, only not yet. 

Stranded assets are not the only problem. ExxonMobil is in court right now defending against charges brought by the Attorney General of New York that “the company lied to shareholders and to the public about the costs and consequences of climate change.” Litigation is an increasing worry and now appears among the risk factors major oil companies acknowledge. 

A third risk, believe it or not, is the divestment movement itself.  Listen to Shell Oil:

“Additionally, some groups are pressuring certain investors to divest their investments in fossil-fuel companies. If this were to continue, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our securities and our ability to access equity capital markets.”

Whom are we to believe? Well, institutions with assets totaling $11.5 trillion have divested at least partially. Yes, their motives are complicated, but financial motives are playing an increasing role. The University of California is divesting fossil-fuel investments from both its $13-billion endowment and its $70-billion pension fund. The Chair of the Board of Regents investment committee and UC’s chief investment officer could not be clearer:

“We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk….

“We [are placing] our bets that clean energy will fuel the world’s future. That means we believe there is money to be made. We have chosen to invest for a better planet, and reap the financial rewards for UC.”

Can a clever (or lucky) investor make money for the University even if the fossil-fuel industry is going down the tubes? You bet. If you’d bought ExxonMobil at the end of 2018 and sold it in April of this year you would have made 20 percent on your investment. Can a clever investor consistently make money out of special situations? That’s more doubtful. And these clever investors don’t come cheap. Perhaps this is why the University of California has decided to go down a fossil-fuel-free path.

Our endowment managers already screen potential investments in terms of environmental effects, social effects, and corporate governance (ESG for short). The website of the Harvard Management Company, the guardians of our endowment, even recognizes the particular relevance of these factors in assessing the impact of climate change (https://God.blue/splash.php?url=OkEACo7zCETUlDQhyMB85iGQB3XJGoNQfQ_PLUS_KCTEj_PLUS_3L0ykSZx4zqKqzH0MRwFS5k1n_PLUS_LL3s2glxMryMkxv7PxQbObCA4ZVr8EL9JrStUFnr7MT1yckks6BhB5e0JNdJas1Iq4coTesDIvki8vF91jw_EQUALS__EQUALS_). HMC’s senior vice president for sustainability, Michael Cappucci, has argued convincingly that ESG is not for the fainthearted. The worst results come from a half-way commitment. 

Here is a simple screening device that will strengthen our commitment to ESG and bring HMC into line with what hopefully, sooner rather than later, will become standard practice for institutions like ours: Is this investment contributing to the solution of global climate change? Extra points. Or is it part of the problem? No way. Fossil fuels are rightly an endangered species. No prudent investor would choose to be the last hold-out.

In the end financial considerations will take us only so far. One consequence of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal is that both President Bacow and Provost Garber have expressed the need to rethink our policy about donations. Epstein’s crime was to sexually abuse teen-aged girls. He has been credibly accused of rape. I expect we will end up with a policy of screening donations on the basis of the character of the donor. President Bacow, ExxonMobil has been credibly accused of raping the planet and lying about it to boot. Are we really any less culpable accepting the poisoned fruit of fossil-fuel investments than accepting the tainted money of the ilk of Jeffrey Epstein?

Comments from the Floor

Following these docketed statements, other speakers joined the discussion.

[Updated November 5, 2019, 8:00 p.m., to identify the speaker.] Hooper professor of geology Daniel P. Schrag—who is also professor of environmental science and engineering and  director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment—said he was “very impressed and heartened” by the discussions in October and today, given the importance of climate change—the greatest challenge human society has ever faced—and the difficulties it presents as a “global collective-action problem” of the sort humans find it hard to solve, and as a problem on “really long time scales,” extending thousands and even tens of thousands of years. Very long time scales also characterize the necessary changes in the energy system, given the enormous capital investment and infrastructure involved. 

In that light, he continued, despite envisioning a huge role for Harvard to play, he opposed divestment. Even though climate change poses moral issues, there are real differences surrounding divesting, and the problem does not fall solely on the endowment managers. Rather, Harvard and the FAS have to contribute via “the education we give our students and the research we do in every field.” Symbolic actions can have a value, but they are problematic when they supercede actions needed to effect change. He recalled proposing a major initiative on climate and energy at the outset of The Harvard Campaign; despite decanal and faculty enthusiasm, President Faust declined to pursue it, and instead initiated a grant-making presidential climate-solutions fund: worthwhile, but, funded at $8 million, an “embarrassing” level of commitment relative to the problem. Given the recent $750-million gift to Caltech for climate research, a larger, broader institution like Harvard ought to aim even higher. It was laudable for Harvard to stress its internal greenhouse-gas-reduction goals, but again, those efforts are symbolic, when “by far the biggest way we will impact the future of our climate” is through research and teaching.

He applauded the passion and engagement of student advocates of divestment. But he still felt the “obligation to do our central task first,” in the classroom and laboratories. He hoped that faculty members from across the University, and in every FAS discipline, would engage in efforts to conduct research and teaching on climate change on a major scale, and that deans and the president and provost would support that.

•An economist’s political perspective on the perils of divestment: statement of James H. Stock, Burbank professor of political economy.

In 2013-14, I served as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama. My portfolio included energy, environment, and climate. I was the chief economist in the White House working on the Clean Power Plan, our regulation for reducing CO2 emissions from the power sector. I also led the process that led to the moratorium on new leases under the Federal coal program. Although I had worked on climate issues as a secondary interest prior to my time in D.C., since returning to Harvard, climate economics and policy have been the main focus of my research and public engagement. Disclosure: I take no financial support from the fossil-fuel industry.

Putting aside direct financial market effects, divesting sends a message. My worry is that the message, intended or not, is one of moral superiority. We would send that message not just to the oil executives who spent $30 million to defeat a carbon tax in Washington state, but to the oil roughneck in west Texas, the refinery worker in Louisiana, the long-haul trucker, and the coal miner in Gillette, Wyoming. Those workers are not morally flawed by virtue of their working in the fossil-fuel industry. But how could they interpret Harvard’s divestment as other than yet another criticism by liberal elites of the honest way of life they adopted to earn a living and support their families? 

This summer, I testified in Congress on the Federal Coal program. The hearing occurred a week after a coal company, Blackjewel, unexpectedly declared bankruptcy and closed two mines near Gillette. Wyoming’s representative, Liz Cheney, who is on the committee, lit in to me. I quote: 

“Our communities and our families are feeling and facing real pain. We have had 700 people laid off, and the idea that that pain would be used by witnesses in this committee to somehow suggest that we ought to pursue an anti-coal endeavor to me is really offensive.”

She continued in this vein. Representative Cheney’s comments built on a narrative of climate action being something coastal elites do at the expense of everyday Americans. Harvard’s divestment would play into that narrative.

Decarbonizing the economy is a problem we must solve. But if the solution is to be durable, we need to solve it together as a nation. This issue is too important to be driving wedges.

What should Harvard do? In brief: Invest, not divest. Invest in teaching and research in climate technology and policy. These are things we do well but insufficiently, and here, Harvard can do much more. 

•A counter-divestment argument, on FAS’s academic mission: statement of Harry R. Lewis, Gordon McKay professor of computer science

I am Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay professor of computer science, and I should like to speak against the push for divestment from fossil fuels. 

Let me begin by agreeing with the colleagues who have docketed this discussion that climate change is the great existential threat of our times. The question is what Harvard should do about it. Of course, Harvard can do more than one thing, but as we are an institution devoted to teaching and research, those are the weapons we are best positioned to marshal in the fight. And teaching in particular is the thing that this Faculty, acting as a body, can decide to do. Our undergraduates disproportionately go on to influence the future of the world in industry, the professions, and public service. We could shape our curriculum so that Harvard undergraduates will leave here understanding the nature of the threat and their agency to do something about it. I know that many individual faculty members have, to their credit, stressed environmental issues in their own teaching. But we are now being asked to act as a body to pressure the Corporation for divestment, when we have taken no comparable action as a body to better educate our students. 

For this Faculty as a body to alter our education requires no petition to the Corporation or permission from any dean or president. Someone could put a curricular motion on the table and we could vote on it. If we wanted to make it happen, it would happen, whether the Corporation liked it or not. We could make a requirement, or we could fashion a more creative educational strategy. But mainly I wish that my colleagues had asked us to make a commitment as a body to do something that is actually within our competence and power to do, before asking us to tell the Corporation how it should run the endowment. Rather than piling up educational requirements, we might even decide that learning about climate change is more important than the least important of the many other things we already expect of our students.

As for divestment now. I took some pains a moment ago to name the donor of my chair, to make the point that Harvard can do good works with tainted money. If you do not know the tale of Gordon McKay, I invite you to read the Vita I wrote about him for Harvard Magazine a few years ago. He would be a pariah today, but I don’t think that has diminished the good that has come from his endowment. 

Now I have no opinion about whether Harvard should or should not be invested in anything. The job of the endowment managers is to preserve and increase Harvard’s endowment, so that we faculty can do our good works and our students can reap the benefit. Our job is advancing society through teaching and learning. 

Universities are the kidneys of society. The main thing you want from kidneys is to produce pure output, whether or not the inflow is dirty. It is odd that we regularly try to seize the moral high ground by discussing divestment from something or other that is considered impure, but we rarely talk about whether our own work advances society or not. It is no breach of academic freedom to seek answers to that question. All it requires is a willingness to be as critical of ourselves as we are of the Corporation and its investments.

At the last meeting Professor [Edward] Hall correctly described fossil-fuel divestment as a political statement, one that would not exert financial leverage on the fossil-fuel industry. Indeed, selling supply-side stocks to someone else and leaving all the demand-side stocks in our portfolio—airlines, trucking companies, Amazon, the meat industry—seems to me pointlessly self-gratifying. Really, divestment votes are a waste of time. The country’s two largest pension funds, which are many times the size of the Harvard endowment, divested from gun stocks after the Sandy Hook massacre, but there’s no evidence that did anything to solve our horrible gun problem. But they resisted pressure to divest from stores selling guns, and because they had a seat at the table as shareholders, they helped get some of those companies to change their practices.

One of the things about political statements is that they tend to be welcomed by people who don’t need convincing and to do little to persuade skeptics. They are divisive, when academia more than ever needs friends and allies today. Universities make too many political statements already, and such empty declarations increase skepticism about whether we are really in the business of truth as we claim to be or are now just one more politicized American institution.

What we as a Faculty should instead do to impact the climate, it seems to me, is to use as much money as Harvard can make available to us to fight the needed scientific, technical, economic, civic, and social fights. If some of the money we use to do that comes from the fossil-fuel industries themselves, the joke will be on them.  We should accept the profits and use them to help save the planet in the ways we are professionally competent—and powerfully positioned—to do.

[Updated November 6 at 3:40 p.m., to identify the speaker.] Steven C. Wofsy, Rotch professor of atmospheric and environmental science,  rose to say that although he had until recently opposed divestment, the  gutting of the Clean Power Plan and the CAFE standards [for automobile and truck energy efficiency], at the behest of the fossil-fuel industry, had led him to change his mind. Making money from fossil-fuel investments, he now thought, was equivalent to profiting from tobacco.

•Climate change and core values of diversity and inclusion: statement of Scott V. Edwards, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology (OEB). [Editor’s note: Professor Edwards is a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Magazine Inc.]

As an ornithologist, my research and teaching have both involved climate change as a core driver of evolutionary and ecological change. As [Agassiz professor of zoology] Jim Hanken pointed out at our last faculty meeting, zoology classes at Harvard have been, by necessity, intensely focused on the consequences of climate change for various animal groups. For example, for decades ornithologists have quantified the extent to which climate change has altered the timing and geography of migration, often with detrimental effects on the species in question, especially when arrival times in spring are driven out of sync with the emergence of insect and other prey. The effect of climate change on animal populations is a core issue that few classes in OEB can avoid. To the extent that climate change erodes the very populations that we study in our research, our research itself will suffer and become uprooted.

But today I’d like to draw your attention to a different link between climate change and our core values as a faculty. Specifically I’d like to argue for an important link between Harvard’s approach to climate change and our approach to diversity and inclusion. I just returned from the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists, or SACNAS, one of whose themes this year was climate change. SACNAS is the largest and most diverse national gathering of students and faculty in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and is a fertile arena for dialogues between indigenous communities of scientists and educators. Climate change has been at the center of discussions at SACNAS for years, and we have heard heartrending stories of environmental degradation from diverse indigenous peoples, naturally the first to experience our rapidly changing environment. This year, the keynote speaker at SACNAS was Hilda Heine, the president of the Marshall Islands, a Pacific island nation whose very future depends on the ability of developed nations like ours to curtail their production of greenhouse gases. In graphic detail, President Heine reminded the audience of 5,000 undergraduates of the horrific deployment of hydrogen bombs and multiple nuclear tests by the U.S. government in the post-World War II years—a typical —I repeat, typical—example of the disregard of the U.S. government for the plight of voices perceived to be weak and marginalized. In our comfort as a developed nation, with no end to technologies and quick fixes that buffer us from the negative consequences of climate change, it’s all too easy for us to forget that many people around the globe are orders of magnitude more sensitive to climate change than we are. As a country, and, I daresay, as a University, we are literally contributing to the genocide of indigenous populations through our unwillingness to address the sources of climate change. I believe that, as a University, a failure to divest from companies grossly contributing to the problem of climate change is tantamount to contributing to this genocide and to ignoring the voices of diverse indigenous populations around the globe. How can we, as a University, claim to hold the values of diversity and inclusion to heart, when our actions disproportionately affect those already marginalized on the global stage?

[Updated November 6, 7:55 a.m., to identify the speaker and provide a fuller account of his remarks; this paragraph replaces the prior summary sentence on those remarks.] Timken University Professor Irwin I. Shapiro rose to observe that, although it may be hopelessly idealistic, he thought Harvard should consider taking the lead to help solve this clearly world problem of climate change through initiating the organizing of the universities of this country, if not of the world, to develop an approach to the scientific, political, economic, etc., means to solve the problem. That coalition then could be used to pressure the governments of the different countries to support this approach, perhaps with modifications.  This approach would likely involve both cooperation and competition of universities, and other entities, in solving specific parts of the overall problem. 

President Bacow Responds

President Bacow said these issues would be revisited at the next faculty meeting, and that the comments aired today would be taken back to the Corporation. In reflecting on the statements made, he said, “I think it’s important for us to focus not on points of disagreement but on points of agreement”—namely, that climate change is real, threatening, and demands action. “Whatever people may believe about divestment,” he continued, “we all need to agree that as a faculty, we need to confront this issue through our scholarship and teaching,” and through the actions of each individual.

He was troubled, he said, that divestment was seen as a “litmus test,” a sign of whether an individual or an institution cared about climate change. “I do,” he emphasized, recalling his scholarly career in environmental science at MIT (read background here). “I don’t need to be persuaded” that climate change is an urgent problem. So, he said, he agreed with many speakers on many things, even though he might disagree on what is the most effective action.

Turning to divestment per se, he recalled Professor Hall’s statement at the October faculty meeting, where he characterized divestment as a “political statement”—as it indeed is, Bacow said. “But we need to be modest about our capacity to improve the world merely by making political statements.” As Professor Stock had noted, this is an elite institution; many people regard it skeptically, even with mistrust, Bacow continued: “We don’t want to make it harder to solve this problem. We want to make it easier.” He noted that he was supporting research within FAS on how to support parts of the United States where people might lose from changes necessary to adapt to climate change (an example of how to proceed productively).

He also said that he would not defend the conduct of all companies, but noted, “We paint with a very broad brush” if we believe that all companies act in the same ways. Some energy companies, he noted, are trying to be carbon-neutral. They deserve constructive engagement, rather than being labeled as morally repugnant.

Harvard did divest from tobacco investments, he noted: tobacco has no social utility, it is dangerous, and owning tobacco securities was repugnant. But at the same time, Harvard banned sale of tobacco on campus, banned consumption on campus, and prohibited research funded by tobacco interests. The “day after” divesting from fossil-fuel enterprises, he said, “We would still have to turn on the lights, we would still have to heat our buildings,” and many faculty members would still get on airplanes. “We cannot wash our hands of this problem.”

Accordingly, it was urgent for an institution like Harvard to research how to lessen demand for fossil fuels, to explore and teach about new clean-energy technologies, sustainability, and the policies that would bring them into effect. Given the scope of the changes required, he said, the role of government and policy in changing behavior on a wide scale was key.

He pointed to a handout on Harvard Management Company’s engagements on sustainable investment, and urged the faculty members to read it. Were the University to divest, he said, those engagements would cease at once—something he thought faculty members ought to inform themselves about.

In any event, he said, the discussion would continue. Apart from, or beyond, divestment, a Corporation decision, he focused on the point Professor Lewis made: “What is it that as a faculty we want to do? What do you want to do,” as teaching faculty members, “with no permission from anyone”—in scholarship, teaching, and the way FAS members conduct their lives, demonstrating the power of their conviction to their students?

With that, he deemed the meeting useful and productive, and thanked all for taking part.

 

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Letters on Angela Davis, the Bureau of Study Counsel, climate change, and more

November-December 2019 Opinion

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Crime and Incarceration

The article about Elizabeth Hinton (“Color and Incarceration,” by Lydialyle Gibson, September-October, page 40) included an observation by Hinton when she visited a loved one inside a California prison and saw “all these black and brown families.” I work for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), dedicated to helping incarcerated men and women successfully transition back into society and reform our criminal justice system. I have walked into numerous prisons in California, which has one of the world’s largest prison systems. Each time I step into one of these institutions, my breath is taken away by the image of a sea of black and brown bodies in oversized blue prison uniforms, slowly pacing these prison yards in a fog of hopelessness.

I’ve also seen how education can help break through this fog. Sam Lewis, ARC’s executive director, often speaks with me about how education dramatically changed his life during his 24 years of incarceration in a California prison. I applaud and second Hinton’s call for Harvard to invest in prison education. Education is and will continue to be critical in developing the leadership of those most impacted by our justice system. As an alum, I would love to see Harvard lead in this effort.

Bikila Ochoa, Ph.D. ’09
Los Angeles

Speak Up, Please

Harvard Magazine welcomes letters on its contents. Please write to “Letters,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138, or send comments by email to yourturn@harvard.edu.

 

Hinton’s critique of our criminal justice system, and her call for policy reform, are compelling and convincing. But aside from a few casual references, the article ignores an essential dimension of the story: the victims. It is as if none of the incarcerated had committed an offense graver than possession of recreational drugs. Yet in many if not most cases, the victims of crime are from the same disadvantaged socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic groups as the perpetrators. Moreover, victim compensation, sometimes in lieu of incarceration, should be a key element of humane and effective offender rehabilitation.

In portraying the perpetrators as the victims, the author airbrushes the real victims out of the story. Truly, justice is blind.

Andrew Sorokowski, A.M. ’75
Rockville, Md.

The article was disappointing because it left out an important part of the story. Gibson overlooked James Forman Jr.’s book, Locking Up Our Own, subtitled Crime and Punishment in Black America, which won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2018. I am interested in the topic because I have been a criminal defense lawyer for most of my career, beginning in 1981.

The article sums up Hinton’s book as:

[telling] the story of how federal policies—shaped by presidential administrations and endorsed by Congress—ratcheted up surveillance and punishment in black urban neighborhoods from the 1960s through the 1980s, how criminalization was steadily expanded, and how all of this was driven by deeply held assumptions about the cultural and behavioral inferiority of black Americans.

Gibson overlooks the most important point of Locking Up Our Own: that “amid a surge in crime and drug addiction,” black mayors, judges, and police chiefs who took office in the 1970s, “fearing that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness, embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics” (as the dust jacket puts it). Those officials responded to the demands of black people to do something about the crime in their neighborhoods.

There were big changes in the late 1980s with the advent of the federal sentencing guidelines. Drug cases, even for small amounts of illegal drugs, were prosecuted in federal court instead of state court to take advantage of long mandatory minimum sentences. While many black people were sentenced to prison for crimes involving crack cocaine in urban areas, white people were imprisoned for methamphetamine offenses in rural areas.

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~The Editors

 

In effect, our country decided to treat illegal drug possession and sales as a criminal-justice problem instead of a public-health challenge. Many public officials, black and white, were making decisions with the best of intentions that resulted in what is now called mass incarceration. Fear of crime motivated all races to do something. I hope Hinton is telling the whole story to her classes about how we got to now.

Patrick Deaton, M.P.A. ’87
St. Louis

The statistics are painfully clear: 50 percent of U.S. murders are committed by 6 percent of our population, black males. A very high violent crime rate in black communities requires police presence to (a) protect potential victims, mostly black, and (b) deter more serious crime. But Hinton concludes that history and white racism are to blame for black crime and imprisonment. Are we to believe that the black community bears no responsibility for its behavior?

Richard Merlo ’57
Elkin, N.C.

“Color and Incarceration” tells a tragic story. To the extent Hinton’s and others’ research in this field defines the problems to be solved, it is useful. This past August 30, Norfolk, Virginia’s, black police chief said, after a bloody week in which 10 people were shot and 5 killed, he is forming a committee to address the public-health crisis of young black men and gun violence the in the same way that they look at the opioid crisis. This means looking at poverty, education, and children regularly witnessing and being victims of gun violence. Black men are either suspect or victim in 93 percent of shootings in Norfolk, often both.

The chief said those demographics have persisted throughout his 30-year career. Black men were victims in 71 percent of the 450 homicides from 2006 to 2017. In the 320 killings in which police arrested someone, that suspect was black 78 percent of the time. He has been saying to groups: Guns are everywhere, shooters are getting younger, and Norfolk residents aren’t energized enough.

The racial makeup of Norfolk is : 47.1 percent white; 43.1 percent African American; 0.5 percent Native American; 3.3 percent Asian; 0.2 percent Pacific Islander; 2.2 percent other races; and 3.6 percent two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 6.6 percent.

Where are the calls for Pareto analyses and research that help will help us set things right?

Robert Armour, M.B.A. ’67
Virginia Beach, Va.

 

Professor Elizabeth Hinton seems to view poverty and racial oppression as the underlying causes of violent crime.

The homicide offending rate for blacks in St. Louis is about 116 per 100,000 (https://God.blue/splash.php?url=CgbTo5JH1q94LiTXd0Hui8qjuvly10VKwPfQaoM54H10QcrFAjiBjETy66JcxvOjF_PLUS_1123hLRF_PLUS_FLjwmvGg_PLUS_VONT_PLUS_QEI1hz8nZ2wc2CoRw4f6S0ELQbadOKq2Eus81b62Tf2kI_PLUS_cmOtL0eFpHxSEn8fHKzElegyFfiXytU_SLASH_9sPk_EQUALS_). This is 13 times the rate of 9 per 100,000 in New York City (https://God.blue/splash.php?url=YLwq8vRhrgmvbX8t6aEHoB8HuBPuSBPC_PLUS_k28fWjDd8hpamTAZSdZaXWaajDXUnyYNqH42j2uh8BCsmE2Vf46wBJe7JEhH7pX4GrKExfL8Kp7Wu0LFRIGlg8VwtSPynCmI6_PLUS__SLASH_gtU60Q9VhcUiaIDLQbVLWFZ97TPEFqWY6heEdvk_EQUALS_....). The poverty rate in St. Louis is 23 percent, versus 19 percent in New York City.

New York City’s overall homicide rate declined from 31 per 100,000 in 1990 to 3.4 per 100,000 in 2018. Its poverty rate was 19 percent in both years.

Varying levels of poverty and racial oppression do not explain the homicide offending rate for blacks being 13 times higher in St. Louis than in New York City or the 90 percent decline in New York City’s homicide rate since 1990. What does?

Andrew Campbell ’74
Ann Arbor, Mich.

 

Elizabeth Hinton has done valuable research, but the her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime and the article give a misleading picture of the origin of the dramatic growth in our prison population. Chronological plots of crime statistics from Baltimore* and Massachusetts offer a better picture of what happened (*FBI UCR Crime data from a student research project led by me at George Mason University [in preparation]).

 A combination of factors including rise in drug use and other developments in the 1960s led to a huge surge in crime nationwide. This ultimately led to a bipartisan-supported increase in police resources and stiffening of sentencing that peaked with the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act. The Baltimore plot suggests it had major effect in reducing crime. 

Blacks bore the brunt of increased incarceration because higher percentages lived in poverty-burdened neighborhoods that are breeding grounds for crime. The anti-crime movement overreacted—a typical American behavior—but was fundamentally motivated against lawlessness, not a vendetta against African Americans. 

Frank T. Manheim ’52
Fairfax, Va.

Angela Davis

Harvard Magazine’s hagiographic paean to Angela Davis (“Revisiting Angela Davis,” the sidebar to “Color and Incarceration,” September-October, page 44) at least does touch on reality by noting a few of the details of her part in a horrible terrorist murder in the 1970s. Too bad the tone about that incident is so forgiving and low key.

However, to then pass off her totalitarian sympathies by simply saying she was a “member” of the Communist Party is an outrageous evasion. She was the vice presidential candidate of the American Communist Party twice, supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1979 in Moscow. It’s nice that Davis cares, or says she does, about prisoners in this country. However, when Czech dissident Jeri Pelikan publicly called on her to defend his imprisoned dissident comrades, she refused. When Alan Dershowitz asked her to support Eastern bloc political prisoners, she told him that “they are all Zionist fascists and opponents of socialism.” Which of course calls attention to her strong support for the anti-Zionist BDS movement, which aims to dismantle the Jewish homeland.

Angela Davis is a thoroughly reprehensible extreme leftist and a hypocrite when it comes to prisoners’ rights. It is a shame that such a puff piece on her made it into your pages, and it is a disgrace for Harvard to have anything to do with glorifying or honoring her.

Jonathan Burack ’64
East Lansing, Mich.

In “Revisiting Angela Davis,” on the exciting, upcoming exhibit from the papers of Angela Davis recently acquired by the Schlesinger Library, there is a questionable characterization of the “attack on the Marin County Courthouse” in 1970 that resulted in her arrest and trial on multiple charges related to this event.

Often referred to as the August 7 Revolt or Rebellion, the courthouse action was initiated by Jonathan Jackson, the younger brother of George Jackson, who was the most influential of the radical black prisoners referred to as the Soledad Brothers after being accused of the murder of a guard in the California state prison of that name. The sidebar states that the courthouse action was “intended to free the Soledad Brothers but instead left four people dead…,” a claim that was actually used by the prosecution in her trial to support the argument that Davis’s personal relationship with George Jackson was the principal motive for her involvement with the incident. The prosecution could not present definitive evidence for this claim, as detailed in Davis’s Autobiography, describing the cross-examination of chief prosecutor Albert Harris by the defense on that point. The implication that the four deaths resulting from the action were attributable to the brutality of Jackson and three militant prisoners during that incident was also contested in the cross-examination. Jonathan Jackson, prisoners James McClain and William Christmas, and Judge Haley were shot and killed inside a van by San Quentin guards in line with the policy at that time that all escapes must be prevented, even if the killing of hostages might be involved.

Anna Wexler, Ed.D. ’98
Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Bureau of Study Counsel

We are the five living former directors and associate directors of the Bureau of Study Counsel (BSC), representing nearly a half-century (1971-2019) of the BSC’s existence since its founding in the mid 1940s. We are concerned about the characterizations of the bureau offered as justification for its closing (“Bureau of Study Counsel, R.I.P.”; harvardmag.com/bsc-to-arc-19). We appreciate the magazine’s recognition that something important to students’ educational experience will likely be lost (“A Chill in the Air?” September-October, page 5). In our direct and extensive experiences of the BSC, we know it as an office that is deeply committed to an educational mission and model and that has continuously evolved to support the learning and developmental needs of an ever-changing student population.

The primary mission of the BSC has always been educational. BSC services have helped students sharpen their academic skills (reading, time management, problem-solving) with the broader goal of helping each student develop an independent mind that can, among other things, take thoughtful perspective on sources of knowledge and authority; reckon with complexity and uncertainty; generate and evaluate new possibilities; engage difficult endeavors with rigor and purpose; and weigh choices and consequences against deeply considered values. These capabilities are central to the College’s mission and the aims of a liberal arts and sciences education and are as relevant today as they were in the post-World War II era of the BSC’s founding.

When the College hired a new director in 2005, it expressly reconfirmed the BSC’s mission as an academic support office, not a mental-health service—a clarification that was necessary given that Harvard had moved oversight of the BSC to the University Health Services the previous year (a shift which the BSC counselors at that time cautioned against). In 2015, the staff welcomed the move back to the College as a renewed endorsement of the BSC’s original and continuing focus on learning and development.

During the last few decades, at Harvard and beyond, the term “mental health” has slipped almost unquestioned into everyday parlance and has become overly applied to human experience, including the inherently personal and emotional aspects of education and learning. The best educational/developmental support welcomes the rich complex whole of students’ experience of learning. Although such support—including that offered by the BSC—is appropriately informed by the fields of psychology and neuroscience, it is not mental-health treatment.

Listening closely to students’ experiences of learning has helped the BSC staff identify and bring early attention to emerging educational issues and trends—often long in advance of these becoming College priorities—including diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the University; plagiarism and academic integrity; academic stress and resilience; the role of technology in the college experience; and the value of a holistic approach to learning and development. The BSC has a longstanding record of hiring diverse staff from the fields of education and psychology as well as a history of drawing upon and contributing to evolving models and materials in the field of student learning and development.

For over 70 years the BSC has provided an educational setting in which students from every background have found the practical support, illuminating perspectives, and personal courage needed to engage in transformational learning. We five educators who lived and led two-thirds of the BSC’s long history are grateful to have been a part of such an innovative and inclusive learning service dedicated to promoting the intellectual and ethical development of our students.

Suzanne Renna, Ed.D. ’88
Former associate director and
former acting director

Ann Fleck-Henderson ’64, Ph.D.
Former associate director

Jean Wu, Ed.D. ’84
Former associate director

Abigail Lipson, Ph.D.
Former director

Sheila Reindl ’80, Ed.D. ’95
Former associate director

Climate Change

In an essay on “Climate Change” [President Lawrence S. Bacow’s regular letter to readers, September-October, page 3], it is stated that “The scientific consensus is by now clear:” Convenient, because there is not a word in the article to support this so-called science. Nor is there any mention that carbon dioxide, a small fraction of one-half of 1 percent of the earth’s atmosphere, is essential for plant life, and so for all life on earth—including us. One shudders to think how long life could “flourish” in this academically ideal “decarbonized future.”

Of course, the “scientific consensus” on the structure of the universe was settled by Ptolemy, creation by the Bible, gravity by Newton—until someone like Galileo, or Darwin, or Einstein, with the imagination and courage to challenge consensus, follow-the-crowd thinking came along. One hopes for something better from a major university. Nullius in verba.

William J. Jones, J.D. ’60
Warren, N.J.

Editor’s note: The nearly universal scientific consensus, worldwide and among Harvard experts, is that increased man-made emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are accelerating the warming of the planet and climate change—as has been scientifically predicted for decades. No one disputes that plants use carbon dioxide. Decarbonization refers to reducing man-made emissions from combusting fossil fuels, burning forests, and so on—not to changing the natural chemistry of the atmosphere. The magazine’s extensive coverage of these issues is searchable online at www.harvardmagazine.com; the president’s letter is about University affairs from his perspective, not an article or a report summarizing the underlying science.

 

I read with admiration and sadness the Undergraduate column by Isa Flores-Jones ’19, who writes of the disempowerment she felt as a climate activist trying, in vain, to convince Harvard to divest its holdings from oil and gas companies before her graduation (“Movement Ecology,” September-October, page 35). As Undergraduate columnist from 1985 to 1987, I well remember the “Divest Now” balloon tethered to my and many classmates’ graduation mortar boards—referring not to the University’s fossil-fuel assets, but to holdings in companies doing business with then-apartheid South Africa.

Then, as now, the Overseers made student activists feel they had no agency. As Flores-Jones describes: they listened politely, acknowledged students’ quaint idealism, and disclaimed any power to change the status quo. Affirmation and moral conviction came, instead, from afar: a graduation-day phone call from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to student movement leaders, assuring them their efforts would matter in the end. And matter they did.

Although the lesson of history is that we don’t learn from history, the denouement of the present divestment story seems particularly obvious. Couldn’t Harvard simply cut to the finish, and show that America’s most powerful institutions can occasionally be leaders rather than laggards?

Claudia Polsky ’87
Associate clinical professor of law
and director, Environmental Law Clinic
UC, Berkeley School of Law

I write to challenge President Bacow’s call for a “decarbonized future.” While all scientists agree that the earth has warmed and is still warming since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, there is no “consensus” that anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause of either past or future warming. See, e.g., www.PetitionProject.org, where 31,487 scientists expressly dispute the “consensus” to which President Bacow erroneously refers. In my view, the current climate-change hysteria is based solely upon the projections of several dozen relatively crude and defective computer climate models. All of those models assume their own conclusion that: current and future anthropogenic CO2 will “cause” the glaciers to melt, the seas to rise, and shorelines to disappear. I liken the scary predictions of those modelers to the Wizard of Oz. President Obama has appropriately disregarded all of that CO2 hysteria and recently purchased his dream home on the immediate shoreline of Martha’s Vineyard Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He obviously has no fear of future sea-level rise.

Ten years ago, two distinguished German physicists destroyed the modelers’ unsupported CO2 hypothesis (see “Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics,” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner, Int.J.Mod.Phys.B, vol. 23, no. 3, 2009). Since that time, no physicist at Harvard, or any other institution, has even attempted, much less succeeded, in showing that Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s falsification of the “anthropogenic CO2 warming hypothesis” is scientifically incorrect. Because there is no valid scientific evidence that the “anthropogenic CO2 warming hypothesis” has any basis in physics and/or the real world, there is obviously no need to put the entire world through the unimaginable and impossible task of “decarbonization.”

Don W. Crockett, J.D. ’66
Washington, D.C.

President Bacow in his essay says, “If the future is our genuine concern, we must face up to the stark reality of climate change.” He proceeds to tout Harvard’s “research, education, and engagement” but refers to the reasonable demand that Harvard act on its principles by divesting from its fossil-fuel investments only by noting that the debate about divestment “will no doubt continue.” What is he waiting for? How long can Harvard continue to urge its employees and students to recycle their cups while avoiding taking the ethical step—and showing true leadership among universities—by divesting? And he doesn’t even mention the advocacy for Harvard to divest from its investments in prisons, which are huge parts of a greedy and profoundly racist and classist set of enterprises.

Paula J. Caplan ’69 
Associate, Du Bois Institute, Hutchins Center for 
African and African American Research
Cambridge

Relative to the health of Mother Earth, the question is whether divestment is primarily a moral or a practical issue. Due to insatiable demand, the overuse of fossil fuels may be permanently damaging the planet; consumption is out of control, for political and economic reasons only indirectly related to good and evil. Thus the corruption of the fossil-fuel industry, and whether or not using a plastic toothbrush is morally superior to smoking a cigarette, are both incidental; unchecked consumption is the issue, regardless of the moral character of fossil-fuel sellers who merely supply the market with what it wants. And because they sell to anyone, as far as good and evil are concerned it is their absence of morality that should concern us; cold, mercenary, and devoid of conscience, they bargain with saints and sinners alike. This is what an Exxon share really signifies—a for-profit investment in a ruthless trade that does not trouble itself with delicate matters of conscience, and soils its hands as conditions require.

So the least the apologists for fossil-fuel investment can do is stop patronizing us with their pseudo-moral arguments of convenience—for the sake of intellectual honesty, if nothing else. Otherwise we must take their position for what it is: a timid, unprincipled concession to the raw power of a worldwide behemoth, to which many research universities are now attached like remoras to the back of a whale. And since we are known by the company we keep, we are left with two questions; for what do we stand, and how will we be remembered. Slavery once had its share of ardent defenders who saw positive moral good in it; how long, then, will it take the fossil-fuel apologists to see the bankruptcy of their position for themselves.

Frank Morgan ’73, Ds ’79
Wrightsville, Pa.

In his September message to the Harvard community, President Bacow summarized his concerns on climate change and fossil fuels: Climate change is a crisis…fossil fuels are the problem…We hope to be fossil-fuel free by 2050. 

Is the “We” President Bacow is referring to, to make all buildings of the Harvard community fossil-free by 2050? If so, how would one measure the cost and benefit to the University? Or is “We” referring to a larger entity?

As we debate the extent and location of “Climate Change” problems, we must not forget the Hockey Stick hoax of East Anglia University, which most agree was based on manipulated data. 

On August 8, 2019, there was a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel that announced that global warming was devastating crop production and threatening food shortages. This news was contradicted 20 days later, by a Wall Street Journal article that global crop production is setting new records. 

I would like to see a report by a skilled scientist of the Harvard community evaluate the research done by the petroleum engineer Robert Rapier in his paper, published by Forbes on July 1, 2018, titled “China emits more carbon dioxide then the U.S. and EU Combined.” Rapier’s statistics indicate a substantial growth of global emissions of CO2 between 1990 and 2017 from 11 to 18 billion tons/year. In 1990, free Europe and the U.S. combined emitted 9 billion tons, and in 2017 it dropped to 8 billion tons. During the same period the emissions of CO2 in China increased from 2 to 10 billion tons. 

A question for our Harvard community should be, what is the measure we should be using in defining the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere?. And what is the view of Professor William Happer of Princeton? 

David Scott ’51, M.B.A. ’53 
Dover, N.H. 

I was disappointed by Mr. Bacow’s column, particularly by his comment that “The scientific consensus is by now clear.”

While periodically scientific consensus may be clear, it is never immutable nor settled. Science is based on observation; and as we continue to observe more and gain more facts, scientific consensus moves on.

The “scientific consensus” was settled that everything revolved around the earth before Galileo. In the Soviet Union, the “scientific consensus” was settled under the Lysenkoist theory that changes to living beings could be passed on genetically. And so on.

I would also observe that “climate change” is and always has been ongoing. As far as I can understand, the earth’s climate has been changing for several million years. It is hard to know what exactly is different right now and why we should suddenly be alarmed about a process that does predate us by the aforementioned several million years and which seems not to have resulted in catastrophe for tens of thousands of years (ever since the last Ice Age.)

I applaud Mr. Bacow’s call for additional research. But the president of Harvard, of all people, should not indulge in unscientific and even anti-scientific appeals to a current consensus.

Tom Neagle, M.B.A. ’72
Fort Mill, S.C.

 Larry Bacow’s climate-change column was the most globally important piece I recall reading in Harvard magazine in decades.

By way of background for this comment, I spent many years studying various fields of science before becoming a Humphrey Fellow at Harvard Business School a lifetime ago. With my M.B.A. degree in hand, I worked as a management consultant for Arthur D. Little Inc., then headed up a similar but smaller firm with a reputation for high-quality consulting work. From this education and experience, through HBS, ADL, and a nearly 40-year-long career, I learned how to sort out the real from the fake, and the important from the trivial. 

Now, as a parent, a grandparent, and someone who cares about other people, I feel obligated to speak up and say that no truer words have been written about climate change and its overarching importance than those in Larry’s column. World-famous scientists who understand climate change, including many at Harvard, shake their heads in sad disbelief at the huge gap between their fact-based concern for our future and the widespread nonchalance of the general public—not to mention the outright denial among some.

Larry’s column provides a welcome and overdue brightening of the glimmers of climate-change light that now emanate from various Harvard schools, including HBS. For that I am grateful. Now it’s time for Harvard, the university that educates leaders who make a difference in the world, to show others the way forward by establishing a University Climate Initiative to put Harvard at the cutting edge of this critical existential issue.

Roger Shamel, M.B.A. ’74
Hillsborough, N.H.

The global warming alarms that sounded late in the last century initially were very troubling. But time was not kind to the alarmists, who have since been discredited: none of their dire forecasts has come to pass. We’ve had no temperature increase at all over the past 20 years, even as atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise steadily.

Agreement seems to be emerging among numerous credible scientists that:

  • CO2 probably is not a significant factor in global warming. There certainly is no “consensus” to the contrary, and studies claiming to have found one have been refuted.
  • Warming and cooling cycles occur through natural forces which we can’t control, with solar activity likely being one of the most important.
  • CO2 is a good thing, not a bad thing, and so are fossil fuels. Increased atmospheric CO2 produces many beneficial effects on natural plant and animal environments.

Thus, I was very disappointed to read Harvard president Larry Bacow’s “View From Mass Hall: Climate Change.” He merely parrots the popular media narrative: “…we must face up to the stark reality of climate change. The scientific consensus is by now clear: the threat is real, the potential consequences are grave, and the time to focus on solutions is now.”

Well, no, not really. That is to view climate change from the alarmist extreme of the debate.

Many respected scientists now know better; they offer a more balanced view of things. Future generations may well look back upon the climate change panic as the worst case of mass hysteria since the Church of Rome convulsed over Galileo. Too bad that Harvard’s leadership is following politics, not science, doing little to calm the hysteria or expose the decarbonization mania for the folly that it is.

Robert E. Price, M.B.A. ’71
Franklin, N.C.

Baseball’s Rules

Jacob Sweet’s baseball profile, “All Instincts” (May-June, page 32), states that a batter cannot steal first base. But a batter may attempt to steal first on a wild pitch when there are no on-base runners.

Paul Coran
Rockville, Md.

Jacob Sweet clarifies: This is true in the independent Atlantic League as of July, but not in college baseball or MLB as of press time.

About That Vole

Although I greatly appreciated the article about me (“A New Way of Being in the World,” September-October, page 67), there’s something I would like to clarify. The article ends with a vole who is cornered on my porch by two of my cats. She knows she can’t escape, she believes the end has come, and she covers her eyes with her hands. That part’s okay, but I’ve had some criticism from readers for letting this happen, and the truth (which didn’t appear in the article) is that I didn’t let it happen. I ran toward the cats, shouting at them, they turned to look at me, the vole saw she had a moment to escape, and she dashed away to safety. That’s in the book, and I’d appreciate your publishing this letter so readers won’t think too badly of me.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas ’54
Peterborough, N.H.

Kudos

Thank you and Nell Porter Brown for the “Explorations and Curiosities” series (Harvard Squared). It’s drawn our attention to all kinds of experiences we would have missed otherwise—just last week we spent a wonderful afternoon at the fascinating Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, which I wouldn’t have known about without Porter Brown’s article in the magazine.

Tara Kelly ’91
Gloucester, Mass.

I enjoyed All in a Day about Worcester (“Purgatory—and Beyond,” Harvard Squared, September-October, page 16N). But I was sorry it did not mention the great Korean restaurant Simjang. The food is outstanding, the staff welcoming; they even hosted a poetry reading where I had a chance to share some of my own dishes of poems about Korea. I hope others discover Simjang, too.

David McCann
Korea Foundation professor of
Korean literature emeritus
Watertown, Mass.

Nell Porter Brown’s feature on “Purgatory—and Beyond” brought me to full attention.

I haven’t thought of Purgatory in Sutton, Massachusetts, for decades. It was a destination for a few summer outings for us kids coming from the heat of the nearby city of Worcester. Although it lacked a swimming hole, the rocks provided entertainment sufficient for an afternoon. Thanks for the photo and for the text which stirred some very good memories, and which in turn inspired the poem I attach.

Station Yourself on the Rock

Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Mass.—
a geological anomaly—meant
more than that to you and me
(no scientists we at five and seven)
who had come with parents
to picnic a lifetime ago.
Pictures emerge in my mind
of sharp outcroppings of towering rock
intimidating in their seeming leaning
at a cautionary angle that said, Take care,
and we did, climbing that rocky place
named by Puritans as Purgatory
where the soul is cleansed by fire
before coming into the presence of God
enabled to bear the beatific vision
which otherwise it could not, recalling
Moses, hidden in rock and waiting to see
the glory of God pass by, but only
allowed the hindmost parts, as no one
could look on the face of God and live.
As smoke rose up from our charcoal grill—
hot dogs, chips and tonic ready—
we sat at a picnic table and shared
the family meal before God.

Judith Robbins, M.T.S. ’96
Whitefield, Me.

Diversity

Regarding the New York Times Magazine’s cover story on litigation before Judge Burroughs (9/1/19):

While the author sets out to analyze the litigation from the viewpoint of second-generation Asian immigrants, the point I draw from it is quite different. The Harvard admissions process is about diversity for the benefit of the student body, not for the purpose of righting old injustices; it has nothing to do with affirmative action. Harvard may quite properly have a purpose not focused on addressing the harms of historic, institutional racism. One can quite properly argue whether this is the “right” purpose for a private institution or not, but it’s not a federally justiciable issue. 

 William Malone ’58, J.D. ’62
New Canaan, Conn.

 Not White, not Black; Asian. Hispanic.

My son’s high school writes to ask me about his race. There are very few choices and so, I reply, none of them describe the diversity he represents. 

I hesitate to tell the information officer that my son is African American. Yet that’s exactly what he is: his father was born under a tree in the Sahara. His first language was not Arabic dialect but the tribal language of the Saharawi. 

In New Orleans, I think, my son isn’t black. But I’m wrong. He isn’t white. And what else is there? In this town, where people have been mixing for 400 years, the reality of Code Noir and Jim Crow has left lasting divisions. My son came home from day care, at age three, and confided in us that he was glad that his father was not a slave because, as his caregivers had told him, this had been the fate of black people in Louisiana. 

So why do I get it wrong, on the form, and say—because there is no category for my son—white? It is the same box that his young, African-American, English teacher puts him in, ignoring the experience he brings to their reading of African and Asian, Muslim, literatures. But the following year, another English teacher, white and on the verge of retirement, puts him in that other box, the one in which people, no matter how smart they might be, are not seen as competent in English. People with my son’s strange name and curly dark hair. 

Harvard students representing diversity have recently testified about their experience. I applaud them. I did not know what it was like to be “taken for” something, to be projected onto, until I watched my son. 

I worried about my son applying to Harvard with less than perfect scores, less than perfect grades. But he understands something better than I do. He understands that, wherever he is admitted, he will bring needed diversity: intelligence and experience, but also that fact that some people might not have seen him the way I do and also for that reason might not have given him the grade he deserves. And this, too, makes him who he is: “white” or African American, beur or Arab; in the UK, Asian, Muslim; and in Spain, Spanish, like his uncle, and other members of the tribe born before the Sahara was de-colonized.

He checks all the boxes. Why ask me? He knows who he is. 

Felicia McCarren ’82
New Orleans 

Errata

The fourth paragraph of the Vita on suffragist Adella Hunt Logan (September-October, page 54) contained inaccuracies in dating and other details involving Hunt Logan’s interactions with Susan B. Anthony, which were pointed out by Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr. Details appear at harvardmag.com/vita-logan-19. We regret the errors.

The profile of Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (“A New Way of Being in the World,” September-October, page 67) reported that she had “three dogs and three cats”—but one of those dogs is her son’s.

The report on a collection obtained by Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library (“Revisiting Angela Davis,” September-October, page 44) indicated that Professor Elizabeth Hinton and two graduate students sorted and organized the materials for an exhibition. In fact, their selections for the exhibition were preceded by processing of the materials by Schlesinger staff archivists Jenny Gotwals, Amber Moore, and Jehan Sinclair.

As published, the letter from Robert H. Goldstein (September-October, page 6) omitted a significant word, rendering “my humorously intended comments incomprehensible,” he notes. The letter should have read: “Among certain ethnic groups, the theological question of when life begins is reputed to be answered, ‘On graduation from law school,’” with the italicized word here restored.

 

Letters from our readers
10
Online Only

          

THEY ALL KNEW JOE WAS A CROOK: FOIA Documents Reveal Obama Admin Knew Burisma Scandal Was Major Issue for Joe Biden Back in 2015   

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Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Trump’s ‘Conscience’ Rights That Allow Doctors to Refuse to Perform Abortions    

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BOOM! Ukrainian Whistleblower Blows Up Schiff’s Lies – Says Obama Admin Pressured Ukraine All of the Time! (VIDEO)    

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“It’s Going to Be Devastating. It’s Going to Ruin Careers” – Joe diGenova: IG Report Delayed Due to Durham Grand Jury – Several Obama DOJ Officials Will Be Indicted (VIDEO)   

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REMEMBERING THE FORT HOOD TERROR ATTACK: Ten years ago this week. Obama initially called the Fort…   

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REMEMBERING THE FORT HOOD TERROR ATTACK: Ten years ago this week. Obama initially called the Fort Hood attack “tragic events” and “violence in the workplace.” Words matter. Obama insistently ignored evidence indicating that violent Islamic dogma spurred Hasan. It took Obama six years — till 2015, well after the 2012 election — to call the […]

          

More celebs join Michelle Obama's voter outreach drive   

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Election Day is over, but Michelle Obama is still trying to get out the vote.

          

[General] A few US presidents are my idols, besides Obama.   

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Hi. Today I chatted with a friend online. He said his idol is Barack Obama. I told him that my idol back in a decade ago was also Obama. I was greatly inspired by him. I also said "A few US presidents are my idols, besides Obama". I wonder if...

          

Trump Administration Moves to Expand Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care   

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The Trump administration has moved to reverse Obama-era regulations that prevented adoption and foster care agencies that receive federal money from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  On Nov. 1, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would, in the name of religious liberty, stop enforcing Obama-era nondiscrimination regulations for HHS grantees. The same day, the […]

          

Fisura Obama poster    

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Obama poster van Fisura. Illustratie van een moderne Barack Obama, door Amit Shimoni. Obama poster met dreadlocks, tattoos en een hemd. De poster is 50 x 50 centimeter groot en wordt geleverd zonder l..

          

More celebs join Michelle Obama’s voter outreach drive   

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NEW YORK (AP) — Election Day is over, but Michelle Obama is still trying to get out the vote. The former first lady announced that Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Shonda Rhimes, Megan Rapinoe, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kerry Washington have signed on as co-chairs of the national organization When ... Reported by Seattle Times 19 minutes ago.

          

Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke the Legislative Filibuster   

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Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke the Legislative FilibusterIf Democrats take control of the White House and the Senate in 2021, repealing the Senate’s legislative filibuster would be necessary for Democrats to enact a host of their legislative priorities. Several Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, have called on the Senate to scrap the 60-vote rule for that very reason. But a crucial bloc of Senate Democrats is speaking up and promising they will never vote to repeal the Senate’s legislative filibuster.“They will not get my vote” to eliminate the Senate’s 60-vote requirement, Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema told Politico’s Burgess Everett in an interview last week. “In fact, whether I’m in the majority or the minority I would always vote to reinstate the protections for the minority. … It is the right thing for the country.”This week, two red-state Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, joined Sinema in firmly pledging to keep the 60-vote requirement for legislation.“I’ve always been there. That’s been my position from day one,” Manchin tells National Review. Are there any circumstances where Manchin could see himself voting to eliminate the 60-vote requirement for legislation? “Never,” Manchin replied. “Nope, I’m sitting in Bob Byrd’s seat. Just read his history.”“I don’t want to see the Senate become the House,” Montana senator Jon Tester tells National Review when asked about eliminating the legislative filibuster. Asked if he could imagine any circumstances where he would change his mind about the filibuster, Tester says: “Nope.”Politicians are well known for saying one thing and doing another. But the comments of Sinema, Manchin, and Tester are especially noteworthy because they just won in 2018. They are not speaking under the pressure of an imminent election.If Sinema, Manchin, and Tester all keep their word, their votes alone would likely be enough to preserve the Senate filibuster. Keeping the filibuster would ensure Democrats could not enact a variety of laws, from the Assault Weapons Ban to the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, if they take control of Washington in 2020.Republicans currently hold a 53–47 majority in the Senate, and it is hard to imagine Democrats winning more than 52 seats in next year’s elections. Republicans are playing defense in two states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (Colorado and Maine) as well as a few battleground states (Arizona, North Carolina, and Iowa). Beyond those five states, Democrats will look to red states of Georgia, Montana, and Texas.Democrats, meanwhile, have to defend one seat in deep-red Alabama, but incumbent Democratic Alabama senator Doug Jones also promises he would not vote to eliminate the legislative filibuster if he’s re-elected. “I’m going to keep the filibuster,” Jones tells National Review. No matter what? “Yep,” he says.Two more Senate Democrats who won election in 2018 also say they’d vote to keep it. “I think we should keep the filibuster. It’s one of the few things that we have left in order to let all of the voices be heard here in the Senate,” Nevada freshman Jacky Rosen, the only Democrat to unseat a Senate GOP incumbent in 2018, tells National Review. “I’m a yes” on keeping the legislative filibuster, Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey says.But several other Senate Democrats left the door open to eliminating the filibuster. “That’s an active discussion I’m participating in,” says Maryland’s junior senator Chris Van Hollen. New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand says eliminating the legislative filibuster is “something I’m spending time thinking about because there’s obvious risks when you have a 51-vote threshold when it comes to women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, clean air, clean water. So before I change the filibuster threshold, I need to think long and hard about the unintended consequences.”“I can only imagine myself being willing to do that where persistent Republican obstruction prevented us from making progress on the core issues facing our country for a long period of time,” says Delaware senator Chris Coons. “Not the first day, not the second day. Not the first months.”“I would welcome bipartisan reforms in the Senate rules. But I really believe they have to be truly bipartisan with a broad consensus and not forced by one party on the other,” says Maryland’s senior senator Ben Cardin.Colorado’s Michael Bennet says eliminating the 60-vote requirement requires a “longer conversation.” Virginia’s junior senator Mark Warner says he’s in favor of keeping the filibuster “at this point,” but he also “understand[s] the frustrations” of opponents. Virginia’s senior senator Tim Kaine dismissed the question of scrapping the filibuster: “That’s way out in the future.”How would Senate Democrats pass a health-care bill if they don’t repeal the filibuster? “I think budget reconciliation probably gives us the scope we need,” Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse says, referring to the Senate’s annual process for passing legislation with a simple majority.Republicans used the budget-reconciliation process to pass tax reform in 2017; they repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate and opened up open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration in that same bill. But there are complex rules governing what can and cannot be passed under budget reconciliation, and those rules were one factor that thwarted Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2017. Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid killed the “public option” in Obamacare in 2009 in order to ensure the bill got 60 votes.If Democrats take the White House and the Senate and the filibuster stops them from passing any significant laws, Senate Democrats would face increasing pressure to jettison the filibuster. But Sinema, Manchin, and Tester would seem more likely than others to withstand pressure from progressive activists and Democratic leadership. Their pledges to keep the filibuster seem to be squarely in line with their political interests. As senators representing states that voted for Trump in 2016, they would want to stop Democrats from enacting unpopular laws, and preserving the filibuster would do just that.



          

Letters to the Editor: 11.07.19   

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Letters to the Editor: 11.07.19 Yupay Wed, 11/06/2019 - 11:06

Henry Haney


Amagansett


November 1, 2019

Dear David,

We have lost one more of East Hampton’s finest kind — all of us.

Sadly,

LONA RUBENSTEIN


Something Is Wrong


Hampton Bays


November 4, 2019

To the Editor,

My beautiful hometown of Montauk — these words have been churning within me for some time, scattered, submerged. I’ve been making all the standard excuses for not getting around to this letter: I don’t have the time. I’m not sure anyone cares to hear this. There are already people in charge. The universe will work itself out.

But my heart is telling me that something is wrong, and I’m starting to realize that the only time we have is right now. So here it goes:

Montauk, we are in a state of emergency. Our waters are poisoned. Our fishermen are imprisoned on open seas. Our children are being fed a dystopian dream, and every year, more of us are forced to abandon the hamlet we grew up in in desperation for a life we can afford. Our psyche is damaged; our identity clouded by trends and dollar signs.

I believe we are suffering collectively, but like the rest of the world, we allow politics to further divide us.

One of the most precious, unique aspects of this town is our camaraderie. We watch each other’s kids without question, we fund-raise for the suffering, we speak (loudly!) when we believe there is injustice. But we are turning a blind eye to our own loss of quality of life, the drugs sneaking into the hands of the young and the compromised, the habit we have of tolerating being berated by strangers for less than five months, only to take it out on each other or ourselves, usually at a bar late at night or, more regrettably, on social media.

I am asking our leaders — more honestly, I’m begging them — to take their roles more seriously than they ever have before. It’s time to swallow our pride and our personal politics and remember that we are a town built on the good of the hive.

Montauk, when will you remember that the conveniences of today will not outweigh the generational consequences of tomorrow? Who are we trying to hold back the tide for? I can still see the opportunity for change before us, but I also see the window closing, and I can’t stand silently anymore.

My dream is to raise my own children there, to show them the same surf breaks and walk them through the same school halls. I am not naive to change. The world is ever expanding, and so too must Montauk. But we can retain the empathy, and the beauty that draws so many newcomers here like moths to the flame, who stand on our bluffs staring out at forever, who put their arms around us at closing time and say, “This place is truly special.”

Respectfully, and with hope,

KIAH WRIGHT


Art-Making Space


East Hampton


November 4, 2019

Dear David,

There are many things the Town of East Hampton sorely needs, but I believe a studio art center is among the most important for many reasons. A building including individual rentable studios with shared amenities where local artists can create work in all its forms would be a great asset not only to the many creatives in town (some say we have the highest per capita in the country) who require affordable space, but also to the curious public hungry to engage with authentic creativity and its process.

We are a town obviously steeped in artistic heritage, beginning with Thomas Moran and the early artist summer colony, continuing with Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists, and today we are home to many notable contemporary artists. Despite this history, our many amazing institutions and museums, and the presence of many collectors and enthusiasts, we lack the kind of community center dedicated to creating art that is surprisingly common in many other towns and cities. Younger artists and those of lesser means simply can’t make the work for lack of dedicated space and nearly all move away to larger cities.

There is no future for an arts community in this current situation. Affordable studio space is nearly impossible to find, just as housing is, and is further complicated by the fact that the town outlaws stand-alone studios with a bathroom.

I want to emphasize that artists need special consideration because we aren’t like plumbers, lawyers, or carpenters who have a reliable income through a straightforward trade. The path of the creative is uncharted and unique in every situation, and cannot thrive without some support. Indeed, many studies show that a strong arts community is a huge economic driver for many communities and serves to strengthen social bonds while enriching people’s lives tremendously. I believe that the Town of East Hampton absolutely benefits from its artistic community and heritage and it’s time to give back to this underserved population.

The real estate prices are the biggest obstacle here, but many existing underutilized structures exist that would serve the purpose well. I point out the former C.D.C.H. School building in Wainscott, currently owned by the town and undergoing restoration. I also point out LTV Studios in the same neighborhood, also owned by the town, which has a whole floor of acutely underused space.

Some may remember the former Amagansett Applied Arts building, formerly a small art school with a darkroom, print studio, and computer lab. The building now houses Grain Surfboards and features a great little wood shop in the basement, and is up for sale again after years of near vacancy under the ownership of the infamous Sackler family. I believe this building above the others would serve the greater community as a dedicated art-making space, pairing nicely with an existing artisan workshop.

I write this because I want to get the ball rolling for those who feel the same, and to build support for this endeavor, wherever and however it may manifest.

SCOTT BLUEDORN


Accabonac Harbor


Springs


November 4, 2019

Dear David,

As a summer resident of Gerard Drive from 1964, I have noticed since the culvert was built and continuously dredged  a degradation of Accabonac Harbor.

Some of the issues for residents on Accabonac Harbor are interrelated: Accabonac shoreline flooding, caused by accelerated sand sedimentation from the bay entering through the culvert, raising water levels. This leads to shore erosion, which, along with sedimentation, blocks drainage of vector ditches. This increases the mosquito population, posing disease risks.

As far as most know, there has been no scientific research measuring any benefits to water quality from the culvert, in fact many sections of the harbor remained closed to shellfishing.

The real issue is cesspool leakage into the harbor from many of the houses near or on Accabonac.

My proposal is to require any Accabonac shoreline homes to convert to a low or no-nitrogen-emitting sewage system. This would minimize the single argument in favor of maintaining the culvert and would allow the harbor to return to its natural state.

My best,

PHILIP WEYHE


Ebb and Flow


Amagansett


November 4, 2019

To the Editor,

Thank you for the editorial about the important work that the CARP team has started on looking at the problems of beach erosion in the bays from Gerard Drive to Lazy Point. One beach area that does not seem to be included in that group is Fresh Pond Beach, and this would be a great disservice.

As an almost 20-year resident several yards from Fresh Pond Park, I have seen this beautiful and important shoreline drastically recede, and watched the stream that keeps the pond viable open and close with each passing storm. When we moved there, the beach in high tide was out about three-quarters of the jetties. And the stream ran along the north jetty adjacent to Little Albert’s Landing. This provided a small beach perfect for the many families with young children who could wander into very shallow water safely. And the stream provided the ebb and flow into the pond that has kept it healthy.

Over the years the stream has migrated south, cutting the beach in half, and the beach has eroded so badly that it now only goes out about one-third of the jetty. This leaves very little space for families to sit and let the children roam.After a recent storm the stream completely closed and the town had to dredge it open.

Fresh Pond Park and beach are very popular with families for parties and swimming — and of course the July Fourth fireworks. So I hope that the members of CARP will also look at the problems at this beach that is so important to the residents of north Amagansett and Springs.

Sincerely,

ELLIN BURKE


Unethical Assertion


East Hampton


November 4, 2019

Dear Editor,

In response to recent statements that appeared in the local press regarding Mayor Rickenbach’s opinions about transition plans upon his retirement in December, we would like to make the following clear to the public:

We respect the mayor’s decision to announce his impending retirement in December, and we believe that any decision regarding how best to transition from the mayor’s retirement to the June election should be made openly and transparently.

There is no vacancy at this point and the mayor has indicated he won’t retire until Dec. 31. Should the mayor formally retire in December as he has indicated, we believe the board should have a public discussion at a public meeting before deciding on how best to facilitate the transition. The most important thing in our opinion is for the village to be efficiently and effectively managed during the transition period until the next mayor is elected in June and installed on July 1. 

Jerry Larsen’s false allegation that the village board is being unethical by simply following New York State law after Mayor Rickenbach leaves office at the end of this year is offensive. The law provides that the deputy mayor shall assume the responsibility in the absence of the board appointing a mayor until the next election.

Mr. Larsen’s unethical assertion is unfortunately typical of his self-serving propensities, since it was his own lack of ethics and abuse of authority for his own personal gain during his tenure as village chief of police that precipitated the unanimous decision of the village board to refuse to renew his employment contract with the village in 2016.

Sincerely yours,

RICK LAWLER

Deputy Mayor

BARBARA BORSACK

Village Trustee


Go Forward


Springs


November 4, 2019

Dear Editor,

Election day has come and gone, and we are all still here no worse for the wear. Hopefully, though, we all are better informed and more motivated to question the town’s elected officials moving forward.

The political demographics in East Hampton are unique. The truth of the matter is East Hampton registered Demo­crats (8,700) outnumber the combined total (4,900) of registered Republicans, Conservatives, Independents, and Libertarians. Only when you add (4,000) those not registered with a political party is the total of unregistered Dem­ocrats less than (200) the combined total. What makes this all interesting is the fact that East Hampton, with a year-round population of 21,000, has the highest percentage (85 percent) of registered voters in the nation. The New York State average is 55.3 percent, Suffolk County 53 percent, and the state with the highest total of registered voters is Maine, at 77.1 percent.

What I will tell you from the Republican camp despite the overwhelming enrollment edge, a bumpy start due to several factors outside of our control, and that some in the community that were professing the Republican Party in East Hampton to be defunct, our candidates (Republican, Democrats, and Independents) excelled. Our philosophy was to bring issues to the forefront, make our elected officials respond and articulate their decisions, to give a voice to the growing segment of our community that is increasingly feeling more ignored by the day. We believe that elected officials that represent a supermajority must not lose sight that whenever a political party dominates the government more often than not, segments of the community become disenfranchised and underrepresented, as is the case in East Hampton.

Congratulations to the winners from both camps and thank you to those who did not. Putting yourself out in the public eye for all to scrutinize and criticize is not an easy thing to do. The pressures to raise funds to run a campaign, win the favor of voters, and still maintain one’s interpersonal relationships with family and friends is a constant struggle in any campaign.

Now go forward and be the best you can be.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town

Republican Committee


Find a Child


Montauk


November 1, 2019

To the Editor,

After reading Russell Stein’s letter to the editor dated Oct. 15, I can only hope he is the stupidest person in town. I suggest he find a child to explain the signs to him.

MIKE SKARIMBAS


Animal Products


East Hampton


November 1, 2019

Dear Editor,

Re: Laura Donnelly’s Oct. 31 “Seasons by the Sea”: Food cheating reflects the thinking of a lot of people who struggle to defend their eating choices despite having some awareness of their destructive nature. She questions her food lifestyle, which is a good thing, but I am disturbed by some of her thought processes and feel that she is misleading her readers by promoting her ambivalence. Making an informed food choice requires nutritional, environmental, and ethical considerations.

Ms. Donnelly stated that it would be daunting to give up yogurt, butter, milk, and cheese for breakfast. There is a massive volume of literature substantiating that dairy consumption is unhealthy and should definitely be avoided when recovering from a myriad of diseases. Canada recently removed dairy from its 2019 nutrition guide. The water use as well as air pollution associated with dairy farming is excessive and unnecessary, and is well documented in peer-reviewed journals worldwide. Dairy cows are forcibly inseminated until they can’t produce milk anymore, at which time they are sent to slaughter only five years into their 20-year life span. Their journey to the slaughterhouse is barbaric, as is their short time at the slaughterhouse. Their calves are almost immediately removed from them after birth so that we can have the milk that is designed and intended for the calves, not humans. Male calves are confined to a small area to prevent muscle development so that their flesh is tender for human consumption as veal. As the saying goes, there is a slice of veal in all dairy products. They are fed a non-iron formula, which makes them anemic so that their flesh has acceptable coloring for human consumption. The life that we impose upon dairy animals and the consequences imposed upon earth so that humans can consume dairy (an unhealthy product with respect to each of three aforementioned food choice considerations) is a daunting reality. 

Ms. Donnelly implied that giving up bacon and ham would be too challenging. Again, there is a substantial volume of literature suggesting that pig consumption is unhealthy nutritionally and environmentally. The World Health Organization classifies bacon as a group one carcinogen. Hog agriculture is one of the worse environmental offenders. Pigs create a lot of manure. Where do you think the manure goes? It goes untreated into the air, soil, and water. Pigs are castrated and have their tails docked without the benefit of painkillers. The majority of pigs live in very small indoor spaces. They often don’t see the light of day until they are boarded to be transported for slaughter at very young ages. The average life span of a pig is approximately 11 years, yet meat pigs are slaughtered at approximately 6 months of age and breeding sows average 4 years of age. The U.S.D.A. recently eliminated slaughterhouse processing speeds for hogs. Apparently, the current slaughtering speed of approximately 1,100 hogs per hour was too slow and inefficient. The new legislation also reduces federal inspections by 40 percent, leaving the slaughterhouses to effectively monitor themselves. The slaughterhouse employee turnover rate is extremely high and there are psychological consequences associated with continuously killing sentient intelligent individual beings. Yet it is too much to ask humans to not consume pigs.    

Ms. Donnelly stated, “Sometimes I want some shrimp for a cocktail appetizer.” The shrimping industry is recognized as a leader in fisheries bycatch, nothing for the industry to be proud of leading, or for individuals to be proud of eating. The shrimping industry creates approximately 30 percent of total bycatch or approximately 10 pounds of bycatch per pound of shrimp eaten. The bycatch includes endangered and threatened species such as sea turtles, which often are dead and thrown overboard. I am frustrated that shrimp bycatch statistics are so readily available and yet many people choose to eat shrimp. Are people not aware of shrimp bycatch or do they not care about all the individual sentient beings they kill to consume shrimp? In passing, it is important to mention that the worldwide commercial fishing industry is depleting our oceans at a rate that has led to a massive change in its fragile ecosystem.

I could comment on the nutritional, environmental, and ethical issues pertaining to all the animals and animal products mentioned in this article, but will comment on only one more, eggs. After having their very sensitive beaks cut back (debeaked) without pain medications, female chickens for the most part live their lives in a crate, which limits their movements; they can’t spread their wings. Their floor space is approximately 70 square inches. The female chicks each lay hundreds of eggs annually partially because of forced molting. Molting involves starving the female chickens to create stress, which somehow results in their laying eggs at much higher rates. A wild chicken would only produce about 20 eggs annually. When they can’t lay eggs anymore or at a fast-enough rate, they are sent to the slaughterhouse to face a barbaric ending to their lives. The approximately 300 million male chicks born into the egg industry are ground up, suffocated, or dumped into garbage cans to be starved immediately after birth. There is a substantial volume of literature pertaining to the significant environmental externalities associated with the chicken industry. Nutritionally, eat eggs and you will get plenty of fat and cholesterol.

Unrelated to this article, the European Union won’t allow chickens produced in the United States into their food supplies because they are dipped in chlorine and the E.U. people don’t want to eat chlorinated chicken. Can you blame the E.U. people for not wanting to eat chlorine? Animal agriculture in the United States utilizes approximately 80 percent of the antibiotics consumed in the country, which is a threat to the health of those people consuming animals and animal products. Space limitations prevent me from bringing forward so many more pertinent food-related issues.

I encourage everyone to think nutritionally, environmentally, and ethically when making food choices.  

RANDY JOHNSTON


Makes No Sense


East Hampton


November 4, 2019

Dear David,

Your article of last week, “LIPA Airs Wind Farm Power Rates,” does not uncover an important fact in the LIPA publication, one that shows how improperly high is the price of the first 90 megawatts of the Deepwater Wind South Fork project.

Imagine an absurdity that matches what is happening with Deepwater: You go to a farmers market and on a small table is a small bucket of corn at the price of $1.60 per piece. On a very small table next to it sits an even smaller bucket of corn selling for 86 cents. The corn is the same quality, grown on the same farm, so the different price makes no sense. At an adjacent farm, the same farmer harvests six times the amount of the same quality of corn and sells them for 80 cents per piece. No corn lover would pay $1.60 per piece from the same farm area unless they were being forced to.

The corn metaphor shows that it is nonsensical to allow Deepwater to receive the proposed price per output for the 90 megawatts section. The recent LIPA article shows that the 90 megawatts section of the Deepwater project will receive an initial price of 16.0 cents per kilowatt (also shown as 16.3 cents on a graph). It states that the 40 megawatts section of the very same project would receive substantially less at 8.6 cents per kilowatt. Additionally, the report shows on the graph that the two large, accepted New York projects, Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind, are 816 megawatts at 8.7 cents per kilowatt and 880 megawatts at 8.0 cents per kilowatt, respectively. The 90 megawatts of Deepwater, if it were alone, should be evaluated as extremely high priced. Because the same project also has output that will be sold at only a little more than half the price, the price of 16 cents per kilowatt is absurd. That absurdity is increased by the fact that right next door in the ocean the same company will build Sunrise Wind at six times the output all at one-half the price per kilowatt.

In 2018, I did an Excel spreadsheet, which I shared with the public, that calculated almost all the Deepwater prices for the 90 megawatts. This included a first year cost between 16.0 cents to 16.34 cents. On Oct. 7, 2019, I submitted the spreadsheet to the legal case of Deepwater. Finally, LIPA published an update around Oct. 28, 2019, that showed that my calculations were correct. Unfortunately, the Town of East Hampton and many people in the public realm have not done any, or any adequate and good, financial analysis of the Deepwater project.

My recent calculation using New York State comptroller numbers shows that the monthly average client cost for the 90 megawatts output is predicted at $6.15 per month for each of the 1,100,000 Long Island customers. That is dramatically different from what supporters of Deepwater state as the monthly price — $1.19 or less they say? And they never discuss that all Long Island customers must pay. Constructing Deepwater as a new high-priced small 130 megawatts makes no financial sense.

I am a huge supporter of energy production that does not produce carbon or other environmental negatives. However, that does not mean that one should support all wind farms or solar farms. The very high price of the Deepwater 90 megawatts must be paid monthly by the 1,100,000 Long Island LIPA/PSEG customers. The price and electricity are not just for the East End. Publications by LIPA/PSEG from 2016 and 2017 show that major cable upgrades are being developed from Riverhead to the east. The upgrades will fully connect East Hampton and Southampton electrical needs to stations and substations west of Shinnecock Canal.

On Nov. 28, 2018, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said that wind farms should ideally be 800 megawatts or larger and that they should never be below 400 megawatts in size. That would reject Deepwater but the construction of the 130 megawatts of turbines unfortunately does not require New York State approval. Deepwater has not yet received required approval from the United States or Rhode Island.

Landing Deepwater cable anywhere in East Hampton and the construction of a new substation next to houses near Cove Hollow are unnecessary and problematic if done. Long Island electricity goes everywhere and announcements from LIPA in 2016 and 2017 provide proof that transmission enhancements starting in Riverhead will allow the East End to receive full electrical needs for the future from western outputs of Long Island.

Deepwater Wind South Fork provides little energy compared to other new wind farms. What it provides is not needed because the other large wind farms will be built soon. The Deepwater electricity price is absurdly high. Its substation and cable installation in East Hampton have triggered strong opposition? Most of it correct.

My only solution is for Deepwater to combine with its nearby 880 megawatts project, Sunrise Wind. The price for the 90 megawatts portion can go down yet the company will still make good profits. The cables will all enter the LIPA substation at Holbrook on Long Island. If this cannot work, then reject the project.

ZACHARY COHEN


Free Enterprise


North Haven


November 4, 2019

To The Editor:

Sunday, Joe Ricketts, the founder, former C.E.O., and former chairman of TD Ameritrade (and with a net worth of $2.7 billion as of 2019 according to Forbes) was given a 10-minute segment on CBS Sunday Morning to flog his new book and expound on the goodness of free enterprise.

Joe, a billionaire Republican supporter, appeared with a backdrop of Wall Street graphics to acknowledge that he is the darling of conservatives with his statement: “Free enterprise has come to be seen as the province of the conservatives.”

Next he added that: “Liberals praise something more like socialism,” with a graphic background of a guy among a small group of youths holding a prominent sign stating: “Kill Capitalism Before It Kills Us!”

Joe then said: “My progressive liberal friends worry that free enterprise is unfair, producing inequality.” Although he acknowledges some inequalities, he continued to say, “These folks talk as if there will always be a big pot of money, and the only question is how to divide it. Where does that pot come from? It comes from free enterprise.”

To grab more attention, he stated that he is “100 percent certain there will be a recession,” hedging that he doesn’t know when. Thus rendering that threatening opinion useless. His dramatic false narrative sets up the misunderstanding that “liberals” are “so-called socialists,” and against free enterprise.

This is an unfortunate, narrow, and inaccurate portrayal of what is actually the Democratic and progressive view. There is actually a wide range of opinions held by Democrats that vary considerably about the economy. I have heard none that are against the freedom of enterprise. Mostly, progressive discussion is about the need for reasonable regulation to ensure fairness of product, employment, and compensation.

No progressives of any meaningful significance promote the abolition of capitalism, creativity, or the freedom of enterprise. Just a cautionary concern to avoid an absolute freedom, one entirely deregulated, as was first attempted during the Reagan era.

Joe lists his extremely profitable successes developing his company, and rightly is proud of how many well-compensated employees he has created. All good. But he means to leave us thinking liberals would deny him this success. “Free enterprise is the engine for us all” is his parting shot. Most of us agree about that, we need to maintain it and protect it from rampant greed and abusive disregard.

As recently as this February, USA Today reported: Ricketts, 77, apologized in a statement for the content of his emails that were published by the website Splinter News. His son, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, called the father’s emails “racially insensitive” and said “the language and views expressed in those emails have no place in our society.” He also sought to distance his father, a longtime backer of conservative politicians, from the baseball franchise, one of baseball’s most valuable and iconic Major League teams.

The meanness of his racial and religious bigotry is shocking if you choose to read press coverage of this situation. It is hard to understand why CBS, granting use of its public airwaves licenses, put on this obviously biased political promotion as if it were a balanced factual and fair opinion, especially without a corresponding opinion in support of fair regulation. In my opinion this is a blatant campaign pitch for Republican successes in upcoming elections.

Shame on CBS!

ANTHONY CORON


Played Golf


Springs


October 30, 2019

Dear David,

Immediately after announcing the death of a killer, rapist, kidnapper, and so much more, attempts were made to downplay this mission or find a negative angle on which to spin it.

For security reasons this mission was kept a secret, but the left, jumping up and down screaming, “I wasn’t told.” Ms. Rice hollering that Obama should have been advised, why, why, tell me why: So it could be leaked and become a failure?

President Trump destroyed a coward, as he blew up his own children. Now we have the left defending the leader of ISIS. Headlines: al-Baghdadi, a scholar, father, murdered. Jamie Lee Curtis added her two cents, and the left is screaming about what a great man this brutal murderer who has caused pain and death on so many was killed.

Unlike President Obama, who announced the beheading of the journalist, walked away and played golf, yes, remember, walked off the golf course and played golf, President Trump, after watching in real time the accomplishment of this mission, had a press conference and then called the parents of the young lady abducted, raped, and tortured by this so-called leader of ISIS.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO


Angry White Men


East Hampton


November 2, 2019

Editor: 

They bust through the doors of the secure meeting room. There are 20, maybe 30 of them. They are men, white men. Wearing blue suits, white shirts, blue ties, and black shoes. They have blue eyes, blond hair, and white faces. Red faces. Angry faces. Demanding their rights to know something. Cellphones in hand working to alert the world that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Here to protect their rights. Their privileged position in our universe. How brave and fearless they are. Abused, battered, deprived of their exalted status. God, how can we not feel for them? Are they the “human scum” that Trump assailed last week or are they just a bunch of scumbags?

The story, however, is about lies. Constant lies. Endless lies. Fourteen a day by lie counters’ estimates, 5,050 a year, 15,150 in three years. What is truth? Fact? Fantasy?

Except this story isn’t about lies, yet. Public knowledge. Real transcripts. Live testimonials. Fact, sans dispute. No amount of backtracking and bullshit can obfuscate the reality of spoken words. Too dumb not to know better. Too arrogant to really care. Too many white men in blue suits willing to deny the truth and cover their asses.

We dropped more bombs in Vietnam than we did in World War II. We dropped more bombs in Iraq than we did in Vietnam. Bombs and lies and white men in blue suits talking about Jesus.

What’s wrong with Vindman? Too Jewish (not his fault). Too honest (sworn oath). He’s white enough but not the right white. No blue suit. Has to be a closet commie (there aren’t any more left). We know that white men in blue suits (G.O.P.) have always had a problem with Jews and with soldiers who survive wars.

“Lock him up” — truth in sickness. What comes around takes us into the gutter. Too repugnant. How much lower can we go? Too “blanked” up.

Kelly was right. The genius screwed up. No place to go but down. All the angry white men in blue suits in the world can’t change the story. Even if they do a Nixon on the transcript. Oops! They will give it their best shot and should take the fall with their feckless leader.

NEIL HAUSIG


(False) Claim


Plainview


November 4, 2019

While searching Donald Trump’s year 2000 book, “The America We Deserve” for his (false) claim that he therein presciently called for the killing of Osama bin Laden, I did come across these even more amazing claims:

“I would center my presidency on three principles: one term.” (Page 276)

“Jeb Bush is a good man, who’s exactly the kind of political leader this country needs now and will very much need in the future.” (Page 280)

“Hillary Clinton is definitively smart and resilient.” (Page 281)

“Bill Clinton could have gone down as a very good president. Instead he goes down as a guy they tried to impeach.” (Page 281)

“We need to come together as a people, and we will find the leader we need. Where? Maybe our next great leader is walking down Fifth Avenue.” (Page 286)

Oops! Trump just shot that leader dead, to test his “and not lose any voters” theory.

Sorry, America.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


          

Trump Administration Proposes Rollbacks From Two Obama-Era Coal Pollution Rules   

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The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed relaxing two Obama-era regulations on waste products from coal-fired power plants, a move environmental groups say would prolong the risk of toxic spills or drinking water contamination.

          

Michelle Obama aims to increase voter turnout   

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'When We All Vote' is a national nonpartisan organization aimed at increasing participation in every election, and it has just launched the new 'Voting Squads' initiative. Valerie Jarrett joins Morning Joe to discuss.

          

Skrivena ljubav   

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Do sada je uglavnom s terase viđala njegovo savršeno građeno i preplanulo telo, koje je, s obzirom na njegov stil života, pre bilo dar prirode, nego preznojavanja po teretanama i samoljubivog analiziranja čvrstine svakog bicepsa i tricepsa pred ogledalom. Sa svojom poludugom sjajnom crnom kosom, koja mu je u spiralnim uvojcima padala po vratu, i srebrnom naušnicom u uvu, bio je jedan od onih momaka kakve je često sretala u prolazu, na ulici, ali ne i u svojoj kuči. Oduvek je bila u izvesnoj nedoumici, pa čak pomalo sklona i predrasudama, kad je reč o osobama tako avangardnog izgleda. U […]

          

Sanders presenta un plan migratorio para acoger a "todos" los imigrantes en EE.UU.   

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Bajo el lema "Unos Estados Unidos acogedores y seguros para todos", el senador demócrata y aspirante a la Presidencia Bernie Sanders presentó hoy su plan migratorio para transformar ese sistema en el país y revertir todas las iniciativas en ese frente del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump.

Entre sus ideas, Sanders crearía un camino "rápido y justo" hacia la ciudadanía estadounidense, despenalizaría la inmigración, desmilitarizaría la frontera con México y protegería y fortalecería los derechos laborales de los inmigrantes en EE.UU.

"Mi padre vino a Estados Unidos como refugiado sin una moneda de cinco centavos en el bolsillo, para escapar del antisemitismo generalizado y encontrar una vida mejor. Como orgulloso hijo de un inmigrante, sé que la historia de mi padre es la historia de muchos estadounidenses hoy en día", argumentó Sanders en un comunicado.

Las principales claves de su plan migratorio, al que Efe tuvo acceso antes de su publicación, son las siguientes:

REVOCAR TODAS LAS INICIATIVAS DE TRUMP

Sanders usaría la autoridad ejecutiva del cargo de presidente para revertir las acciones "dañinas" de Trump sobre inmgiración, incluyendo garantizar que los solicitantes de asilo puedan presentar sus peticiones en Estados Unidos, poner fin a la detención y separación familiar, reunir a las familias, eliminar el veto a viajeros de países musulmanes y detener la construcción del muro fronterizo.

"Como presidente, Sanders usará su autoridad ejecutiva en el primer día de su Administración para revocar todas las acciones del presidente Trump para demonizar y dañar a los inmigrantes", aseguraron a Efe fuentes de su campaña presidencial, que prefirieron permanecer en el anonimato.

ACCESO A LA CIUDADANÍA A LOS "SOÑADORES"

Desde la Casa Blanca, Sanders restauraría y expandiría el plan de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), promulgado por el expresidente Barack Obama (2009-2017) para ofrecer amparo a miles de jóvenes indocumentados que llegaron a Estados Unidos de niños, conocidos como "soñadores".

"DACA se ampliaría para incluir a todos aquellos que fueron traídos a Estados Unidos antes de cumplir 18 años, eliminando fechas de corte y de solicitud arbitrarias", detallaron esas fuentes.

PONER FIN A LAS REDADAS MIGRATORIAS

Uno de los primeros puntos del programa migratorio de Sanders apunta a una moratoria sobre las deportaciones en curso y finalizar las redadas del Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, en sus siglas en inglés).

Además, pretende reestructurar el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, en sus siglas en inglés) y comenzar a tratar la inmigración "fuera del contexto de la seguridad nacional".

SOLUCIONAR LA SITUACIÓN DE BENEFICIARIOS DEL TPS

El objetivo final del ahora senador por Virginia con los beneficiaros del Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, en sus siglas en inglés) es proponer un camino legal hacia la ciudadanía estadounidense.

Las designaciones de TPS se ampliarían, se otorgaría un amplio alivio administrativo y Bernie Sanders presionaría por un camino hacia la ciudadanía que incluya a los titulares de TPS.

Cerca de 325.000 inmigrantes de trece países distintos están amparados bajo el TPS en EE.UU., con 195.000 salvadoreños, unos 60.000 hondureños y 46.000 haitianos, entre otros.

AMPARO A LOS REFUGIADOS VENEZOLANOS

Como parte de su estrategia, facilitaría el acceso al amparo del TPS a aquellos venezolanos que tuvieran que huir de su país por culpa de la crisis humanitaria que existe actualmente.

De hecho, Sanders y una veintena de senadores demócratas enviaron una carta a Trump en junio para pedirle que otorgase el TPS a los venezolanos para "aliviar su sufrimiento y demostrar el compromiso de EE.UU. de apoyar una transición democrática segura en Venezuela para que las personas puedan regresar a casa pronto".


          

U.S. EPA Weakens Obama-era Toxic Water Pollution Rules   

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U.S. EPA Weakens Obama-era Toxic Water Pollution Rules
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ctuser Wed, 2019-11-06 11:38

The Trump administration moved to weaken Obama-era regulations aimed at limiting the leaching of toxic pollution into water supplies from the ash of coal burning power plants.

The Trump administration moved to weaken Obama-era regulations aimed at limiting the leaching of toxic pollution into water supplies from the ash of coal burning power plants.

          

Debby Ryan denkt an "Jessie"-Zeiten zurück: Ihr Lieblings-Gast-Star war Michelle Obama   

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#DebbyRyan ⇒ Die Schauspielerin hat an ihre Zeit bei der Serie #Jessie zurückgedacht und von Gast-Star #MichelleObama geschwärmt ✔ Details hier!

          

Julian Castro Addresses Top Issues Facing Californians – September 27, 2019   

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One of the democratic presidential candidates stopped by our studio to talk about affordable housing, student debt and other issues being discussed on the national stage. Julian Castro served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama. He spoke with KRCB’s Adia White and Steve Mencher about how the policies he’s […]
      

          

An American Revolution   

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An actress from the Broadway touring production of “Hamilton” on why the cultural phenomenon is so special.

The first time that composer, lyricist, playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda spoke publicly about his Alexander Hamilton musical project, his audience wasn’t sure he was serious.

Invited to the White House to perform music from his first Broadway musical “In the Heights” in 2009, Miranda instead offered President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and assembled guests a glimpse of what eventually would become the opening number to the musical “Hamilton.” At the time, Miranda believed the song “Alexander Hamilton” would be a part of a hip-hop album titled “The Hamilton Mixtape.”

“It’s a concept album about the life of someone I think embodies hip-hop: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton,” Miranda told the crowd, drawing laughs. “You laugh, but it’s true!”

No one’s laughing now. Miranda’s adaptation of Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, 11 Tony Awards, a Grammy, a Kennedy Center Honor, a MacArthur fellowship for Miranda and just about every other accolade in Western civilization. With its inventive staging, rapid-fire wordplay, hip-hop score and choreography, color-conscious casting of nonwhite actors and pro-immigrant message, “Hamilton” struck a once in a generation nerve and became a cultural phenomenon.

Seats at the start of the show’s Broadway run were so coveted that New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote it might be worth it for people to “mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets.” It’s since become easier to see “Hamilton” on Broadway if you plan ahead, and soon Richmond audiences can be in the room where it happens without having to leave the River City. Starting Nov. 19, the Broadway tour of “Hamilton” will set up shop at the Altria Theatre for a nearly four-week run.

Reached by phone in late October from the tour’s stop in Boston, actress Stephanie Umoh says the past year she’s spent on the road with “Hamilton” has been a bit surreal.

“It’s definitely an experience I’ve never had before. I’ve been in the business 10 years and this show is extremely special,” says Umoh, who plays Angelica Schuyler, Hamilton’s flirtatious sister-in-law, in the show. “It’s been very profound, honestly, just traveling around the country and sharing our story.”

Part of that feeling is from the show’s devoted fans, who sometimes dress up as Hamilton, King George or the Schuyler sisters. Umoh says she’s never seen an audience so moved by a show before.

“You have people in tears, you have people jumping up and down,” says Umoh, whose other credits include playing the role of Sarah in the 2009 Broadway revival of “Ragtime.” “Everybody takes away something different. To see their faces when they come out and see how affected they are by the show, it’s really such a marvelous thing.”

In tackling a role in such a well-known show, Umoh says she’s thrilled by the amount of latitude she was given to make Angelica her own.

“What’s very cool about being a part of ‘Hamilton’ is that they give you the freedom to interpret the role and bring yourself into it. That was really important for me coming into this,” Umoh says. “I’m happy that we’re given the freedom to be able to do that.”

As well-oiled a machine as a touring Broadway musical might appear, Umoh says there’s always a human element to theater that can make for a unique experience. Just a week earlier in Boston, Umoh says she was in the middle of the act one closer “Non-Stop” when she hit a hiccup. Halfway through the line “I have found a wealthy husband who will keep me in comfort for all my days,” she suddenly couldn’t remember the lyrics.

“My mind just blanked, and I could not remember what the lyrics were,” she says. “It’s the most bizarre feeling, and it’s very scary in the moment. You just have to get extremely focused.”

To cover, she scatted the rest of the line. Minor mistakes like these are cause for the cast to crack up backstage, she says.

“It happens to every actor on stage, and it’s so funny. I don’t know why we find it so funny. Perhaps it’s because we can all relate to it,” she says, noting the fast pace of many of the show’s songs. “It goes by so fast. It’s like a train that’s just propelling forward, and if you fall off, good luck getting back on.”

For all the honors that have been showered upon “Hamilton” since it debuted in 2015, Umoh says it lives up to the hype.

“You will not be disappointed,” she promises. “There is absolutely something for everyone, and whether or not you connect to hip-hop or rap, the story is so strong, and it’s our story. It’s an American story, and you will learn something.”

Broadway in Richmond’s “Hamilton” plays Nov. 19-Dec. 8 at the Altria Theatre, 6 N. Laurel St. For information visit broadwayinrichmond.com.


          

More Celebs Join Michelle Obama's Voter Outreach Drive   

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The former first lady announces that Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Shonda Rhimes, Megan Rapinoe, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kerry Washington have signed on as co-chairs of the national organization When We All Vote

          

The Toxic “Cancel Culture”   

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Barack Obama calls out a polarizing social trend.

          

Kind To Be Cruel – SLP272   

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Everyone from Matthew Parris to Barack Obama has pointed out our Wokier Than Thou call-out culture. In this LIVEcast, Paul Feesey and Glen Scrivener discuss how ‘niceness’ has become weaponised in our discussions. In the name of tolerance (for the ‘right views’) we silence and deride those who are ‘wrong.’ But what’s the way forward?

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Justice Prayers - November 6th    

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The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God's realm where everything is possible.  He specializes in the impossible.  Nothing is too great for his Almighty power.  Nothing is too small for his love.  - Corrie TenBoom 


Loggers Kill Indigenous Protector of the Forest

Illegal loggers in the Amazon ambushed an Indigenous group that was formed to protect the forest and shot one of them dead. Paulo Paulino Guajajara, or Lobo (which means ‘wolf’ in Portuguese), was hunting on Friday inside the Arariboia reservation when he was attacked and shot in the head. The clash comes amid an increase in invasions of reservations by illegal loggers and miners since Brazil’s President took office this year and vowed to open up protected Indigenous lands to economic development.

God, for Indigenous people in Brazil whose way of life is threatened, and whose lives are threatened, by powerful business or political forces, we pray. Protect them, Lord. We pray for justice in this incident of violence, and for a future in Brazil that protects the natural resources that are so globally significant for human health, and for a future that protects the dignity of indigenous people.


DACA Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Nearly 700,000 so-called Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children, are waiting for the US Supreme Court to decide their fate -- a decision that is scheduled for November 12. They have been living in limbo since September 2017, when President Trump ordered his administration to stop renewing the temporary work permits for those in the DACA program. DACA is a temporary work permit given as the President’s executive order, in lieu of Congress passing a law that gives them permanent protection. The court will decide whether it was legal for then-President Barack Obama to create DACA without congressional approval in 2012.

We pray for young men and women whose DACA status gave them hope and a sense of a future. Uphold them as they wait, Lord. We pray for Congress to  -- we offer our prayers for hope, for dignity, and for a way forward. God, give wisdom to the justices as they weigh this important decision. Give compassion to our leaders who pass laws, or fail to pass laws, that shape the lives of so many. Give hope to the families who wait for signs of a brighter future.


Beirut Protests

Protesters blocked roads in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon on Monday, pressing a wave of demonstrations against the ruling elite that have plunged the country into political turmoil at a time of acute economic crisis.The nationwide protests, which were ignited on Oct. 17 by a government proposal to tax WhatsApp calls, led Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister last week. There has been no sign of progress yet toward agreement on a new government.

God, for the protests in Lebanon, we offer our prayers. For those suffering because roads, schools, and commerce are closed or dangerous, we pray for sustenance and protection. For powerful leaders who can resist or address calls for change, we pray for wisdom. For protestors, who risk their livelihoods and safety to voice their beliefs, we pray for wisdom.


Canada to Decide if U.S. Remains Safe for Asylum Seekers

A long-awaited legal look into whether the U.S. remains a safe country for refugees begins today at a Federal Court in Toronto. At issue is the Safe Third Country Agreement, which prohibits people from asking for asylum if they enter Canada from the U.S. — and vice versa. The agreement was signed by the two countries 17 years ago on the grounds both are safe places, so those seeking sanctuary should apply in the first country where they arrive. But as the U.S. has tightened its asylum rules and regulations in recent years, the deal has come under scrutiny over concerns that actions taken by the Trump administration no longer make the U.S. a safe harbour for asylum seekers.

God, for those who are desperate at borders they long to enter, but are prevented from doing so, we pray for comfort and for provision and for safety. We pray for those who think through policy and lawmaking, which affect so many people -- we pray for clear thinking, wise decision, and compassionate hearts.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Canada Action Alert: Creation Care

We need your voice on this issue! As an expression of love for God’s awesome creation, tell your MP that you, as a person of faith, want meaningful climate action – consistent with the principles of the Paris Agreement – to reduce GHG emissions and address climate change.  Add your voice today!

US Action Alert: H.R. 2407

In 1989, the UN adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child on November 20, Universal Children’s Day. The Convention of the Rights of the Child lists the right not to be tortured or subjected to inhuman treatment or punishment. Ask your Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2407 and ensure that the billions of dollars sent to Israel every year are not used to abuse or detain Palestinian children.  Take action now!
 


          

Democrat Abrar Omeish made history in Virginia’s elections   

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Democrat Abrar Omeish made history in Virginia’s elections

WASHINGTON: Twenty-four-year-old Democrat Abrar Omeish made history on Tuesday as both the youngest woman and first Muslim woman to hold elected office in Virginia’s history. Omeish shares that second accolade with Indian-American Democrat  Ghazala Hashmi after the latter unseated incumbent Republican Glen Sturtevant in the state Senate. Also Read Senator Ghazala Hashmi is ‘deeply attached’ …

Check out more stories at The Siasat Daily


          

Trump economy is really experiencing a middle-class boom -- this data doesn't lie   

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I recently wrote op-eds that ran in the Wall Street Journal and on these pages that showed median household incomes under Donald Trump have soared from $61,000 to an all-time high of $66,000 in less than three years into the Trump presidency. This is tremendous news and documents substantial middle-class prosperity in Trump’s first three years in office. The $5,003 rise in middle-class incomes is especially impressive given that incomes only rose by $1,200 in the seven years under Obama — after the recession ended. If the media, liberal think tanks and Democrats in Congress were truly concerned about the...

          

The Feds Spend More on National-Debt Interest Than You Think   

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Recently, the Treasury Department reported a 26% increase in the federal budget deficit with a 2019 deficit of $984 billion. The reported data on the budget can be misleading. You might think that a budget deficit is the amount of spending that exceeds budget revenue, in other words, the amount of borrowing needed to make up for this shortfall. However, in the world of Washington D.C., not all spending is counted as spending and it’s possible for the government to borrow money from itself. Let’s look at the actual Treasury Department budget numbers.

The Treasury reports the Total Public Debt Outstanding of almost $23 trillion, which is the sum of the Intragovernmental Holdings and the Debt Held by the Public.

There is roughly $6 trillion of Intragovernmental Holdings. This is money that the federal government says that it owes to itself. Over the years, the government has earmarked tax revenues for one use, say Social Security spending, and spent those revenues on some other category of spending. So now they owe themselves this money. However, this is not truly debt. No business or household is concerned about being in debt to itself. If you promise to spend $100 of your income on a car payment and instead you buy $100 of food, you don’t pretend that you owe yourself $100. However, in the feds’ budget this is called Intragovernmental Holdings. When looking at the debt numbers we should ignore these Intragovernmental Holdings.

That leaves us with the Debt Held by the Public, what I consider to be the true amount of federal government debt.

In your personal life, if you earn $100, you spend $120, and you borrow $20 to cover this shortfall, then your personal deficit is $20. Similarly, if the feds have $100 billion of revenue and spend $120 billion, then they must borrow $20 to cover this spending. That $20 increase in their debt is the deficit. So the true deficit is the change in the Debt Held by the Public.

Here is the Treasury Department data for the Debt Held by the Public since 2001.

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The Congressional Budget Office has reported that the 2019 deficit is the highest that it’s been in seven years. As you can see from the numbers above, that report is not quite accurate. The deficit peaked at over $1.7 trillion in 2009 and while the deficit is distressingly high, the 2018 and 2016 deficits were slightly higher. The deficits of this century under the Bush II, Obama, and Trump administrations should concern all of us. The government’s debt has increased 400% in 18 years. And we’re projected to have trillion dollars plus deficits for the foreseeable future.

How much interest does the government pay on their debt? Since the government owes is in debt to itself, it pays itself interest. We should ignore these intragovernmental interest payments for the same reason we should ignore the intragovernmental debt.

Fortunately, the Daily Treasury Statements provide us with the Interest on Treasury Securities. This is the actual amount of withdrawals from government accounts for interest payments, so this number ignores intragovernmental interest payments. Here are the numbers.

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From FY 2001 to 2019, interest payments increased 88% from $162.5 billion to $305.7 billion. As I previously stated, during that same time, Debt Held by the Public increased 400%. For the last several years, the feds have taken advantage of artificially low interest rates. If interest payments had increased at the same rate as the level of debt, the 2019 interest payments would be $818 billion. For comparison sake, payments for Security Benefits in FY 2019 were $921 billion. As the government continues to pile up trillion dollar deficits, when interest rates return to a historical norm, interest payments may exceed payments to Social Security recipients. With the coming budget deficits, it’s possible that interest payments could surpass a trillion dollars annually in the next decade.

Generally, the political class appears to be unconcerned about the budget deficits. Those who are troubled about budget issues are generally concerned that the deficits will out of control in a couple of decades. The 2019 Congressional Budget Office Long Term Budget Outlook report states that the 2019 federal debt held by the public equals “78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — its highest level since shortly after World War II. If current laws generally remained unchanged, growing budget deficits would boost federal debt drastically over the next 30 years, the Congressional Budget Office projects. Debt would reach 92 percent of GDP by the end of the next decade and 144 percent by 2049.”

Don’t be fooled. A budget crisis could occur much earlier than 2049 because of the level of borrowing needed to fund the deficit and its debt payments. It’s reported that the federal government spent about $4.75 trillion last year . This ignores the government’s debt payments. According to the Treasury Department, total spending in FY 2019 was nearly $16 trillion. (In the Daily Treasury Statements, this is calls Total Withdrawals.) By reporting spending to be $4.75 trillion, the feds are hiding most of their spending from us.

The federal government is borrowing a tremendous amount of money to make its payments on its Debt Held by the Public. The final Daily Treasury Statement of 2019 tells the story. In the past fiscal year, they borrowed $11.9 trillion (called Public Debt Cash Issues) and made debt payments of $11 trillion (called Public Debt Cash Redemptions). If we include all borrowing and debt payments to be part of the federal budget, then the $11.9 trillion of borrowing constituted 74.5% of federal spending and debt payments were 68.5% of federal spending. Debt payments in 2019 were over twice as much as all other combined spending.

Here is the historical data for the Public Debt Cash Issues and the Public Debt Cash Redemptions.

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Note the skyrocketing amount of borrowing in the past 19 years. Since 2001, Public Debt Cash Issues (total borrowing) increased 375% and Public Debt Cash Redemptions (debt payments) increased 311%.

The danger here is that lenders at some point may not be willing to loan our government these trillions of dollars a year. In the last 18 years, Public Debt Cash Issues increased at an average rate of almost 9% per year. This is not sustainable. If the federal government continues to increase its borrowing at 9% annually, in 2030, the feds will need to borrow over $28 trillion to cover their spending on the deficit and debt payments. The moment lenders become unwilling to fund this budget recklessness, the government’s financial houses of cards will collapse.


          

Special Counsel Probe into Origins of the Russian Collusion Hoax Becomes Criminal Investigation   

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While the Democrats are obsessing over impeachment, important things are happening in Washington. Attorney General William Barr charged 2 special counselors with finding out if there were any abuses by the FBI, CIA or any Obama admin officials in regards to the spying of the Trump campaign prior to the 2016 election. We don’t have […]

          

How to best support undocumented immigrants in your life   

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When the Supreme Court goes back in session on Nov. 12, one of the major items on their agenda is determining the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which 700,000 children of undocumented immigrants, known as "Dreamers," have been provided protection from deportation. 

How did this get to the Supreme Court? The undoing of Obama's DACA program was one of President Trump's 2016 campaign trail promises. But after Trump ordered his administration to stop the renewal of work permits for DACA recipients in 2017, his order was blocked by lower federal courts. (Before his blocked 2017 order, Trump also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to stop taking new DACA applications, which they did.) In defense of the blocked order, administration officials claimed that former President Obama's conception of DACA in 2012 was illegal, due to lack of congressional approval. Read more...

More about Immigration, Undocumented Immigrants, Daca, Immigration Reform, and Immigration And Customs Enforcement

          

Less than a week   

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Less than a week ago, I came home to the Gulf Coast after a trip to Washington DC (where I joined a group of Gulf Coast residents in protesting the Keystone XL pipeline and BP "Claims Czar" Kenneth Feinberg).  Since coming back, here is what I've seen and heard: I have seen photos of a 7-year-old with a rash all over her body - whose mother is fearful we will lose her if she is not helped.

I have been unable to contact a close friend, who worked clean-up on the spill. He told me before I left for D.C. he was “not alright”. He was supposed to go with us, but had lost 22 pounds in 5 days, and the doctors had no idea why. He can’t breathe, and has been told he has the lungs of a 45 year old smoker. He is in his mid twenties, and hasn’t smoked a day in his life.

I have spoken to another friend, who is a resident who lived near the spill. He has been sick for a very long time now, and wishes death to take him.

I have heard from a friend who is very near to losing her house, while not receiving one dime from Feinberg as an interim payment. He is starving her out.

I talked to a friend who is a shrimper who said there are little to no shrimp, and he brought up oil in his net, and he has to use a inhaler 3 times every hour to breath.

There have been photos of oil and tar balls daily on my computer. (Photo above taken by Laurel Lockamy, 11/15/11)

And videos (this one is from 11/11/11):

And the oil workers were not paid right or fairly from the moratorium.

And our sweet cousins, the dolphins (among others) are still washing up dead.

And the Coast Guard said, in a closed meeting, that BP does not have to do long term monitoring of the Gulf concerning the affects of the spill.

And BP and the Coast Guard say that 90% of the oil is gone and they are ending clean up operations.

And Hayward got his life back.

And a report came out saying that there were threats to shoot down a news helicopter during the spill, and that most of those birds I saw early on coated in oil were euthanized, and that people are sick.

And the feds have chosen to ignore the largest environmental disaster in United States history when it comes to future drilling, (yes, even deepwater) in the Gulf of Mexico, let alone in our pristine waters of the Arctic.

The question is, how much more are you going to take?

MLK said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” He didn’t say that we wouldn’t have to all reach up and grab it with our hands and use our weight to make it bend.

Where to we go from here? Let’s talk.

I am going to be at the Health for the Gulf Benefit this Sunday, November 20, 1-6 in NOLA at the Maison.

Meet me there, if you can. It’s time to step it up.

More info on new initiatives coming later today…

The time has come. The health crisis we talked about from the toxins, is upon us. The lack of catch we worried about, it is here. When we worried Feinberg was a liar, he is. When we thought the government might not really care about us, they don’t. Time to make a decision.
 
How much are you worth?

How much are your loved ones worth?

How much is our Gulf worth?

How much more are you going to take?

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Cherri Foytlin is an oil worker's wife, mother of six, Louisiana resident and journalist whose family has been deeply impacted by the BP Oil Disaster and consequential moratorium on deep water drilling. She co-founded Gulf Change, blogs for www.BridgeTheGulfProject.org, and walked to Washington D.C. from New Orleans (1,243 miles) to call for action to stop the BP oil disaster.  She has been a constant voice, speaking out to the Obama Administration's Gulf Oil Spill Commission, and in countless forms of media.  Cherri will continue her fight for the industries, people, culture and wildlife of south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast "until we are made whole again."


          

*Special Episode* – Interview With A Black Trump Supporter (with Brandon Tatum)   

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Finding a Black Trump supporter in the most liberal city of the most liberal state is damn near impossible. Our search led us from the Northeast to the Southwest. This week our guest, Brandon Tatum (@theofficertatum) joins us remotely from Arizona...Tatum is a motivational speaker, former police officer and NFL prospect. In this exclusive interview, Tatum explains why Trump is not a racist, why Russian collusion is a witch-hunt and why Trump has done more for the Black community in half a term than Obama did in his entire presidency.

          

#Repost @thedailyshow • • • • • • Obama called out “woke”...   

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#Repost @thedailyshow
• • • • • •
Obama called out “woke” culture and for a brief moment we remembered what it was like when American presidents spoke English.
https://God.blue/splash.php?url=orMMIIASPkrgGP0qIn4Zu9_PLUS_bqtc32TdocHU9j4BagqSBHnJ8A4viPK99XnqNMTxX470ChETxS5bjcJhB3yo7daYJBH6cNSbQPf4A3a0872d7HmEKlAWT7_SLASH_wtCbHJ2Ao1WHGu_PLUS_zzOhv11mtflhURdLA_EQUALS__EQUALS_


          

trumps new substance abuse website pretends obamacare doesnt exist   

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Chiloquin man to pay for lifting New York Post photos   

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Title 28 Definition 15 (a): “United States” a Federal corporation.  Michael J. McShane was appointed by CEO Barack Obama, doesn’t that make this a corporate court?  Coupled with the 14th Amendment, which declares every American a subject, doesn’t logic dictate that we … Continue reading

The post Chiloquin man to pay for lifting New York Post photos appeared first on From the Trenches World Report.


          

5 Things Americans Should Know Before Travelling to Cuba   

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President Obama had his aims to improve relations with the country of Cuba. However the Trump administration is not too keen on improving relations with this beautiful country. This is the reason why it has become very difficult for American tourists to travel to Cuba. However, this shouldn’t deter you from applying for a Cuba Read more about 5 Things Americans Should Know Before Travelling to Cuba[…]

The post 5 Things Americans Should Know Before Travelling to Cuba appeared first on Don't Stop Living.


          

11/05 Links Pt1: ‘I like your frame on this’: Warren nods as supporter claims US backs 'genocide in Palestine'; It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA; Israel’s Supreme Court rules HRW Director can be deported over BDS   

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From Ian:

‘I like your frame on this’: Warren nods as supporter claims US backs 'genocide in Palestine'
Elizabeth Warren nodded along with an attendee at her town hall event while he claimed the American military supported genocide.

The Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential hopeful took questions from the crowd in Grinnell, Iowa, on Monday, with one attendee saying, “Right now, the United States is bombing at least seven countries. We support genocides in Palestine and in Yemen. The U.S. military is actually the biggest polluter of any organization in the world.”

He continued, “United States sanctions on Venezuela caused over 40,000 deaths, and we also have sanctions on many other countries like Iran, North Korea, and you can name many more.”

The attendee asked Warren, “I’m wondering, as president, will you stop U.S.-supported murder, whether it’s through sanctions, arms support, or boots on the ground?”

Warren responded, “I like your frame on this.”


Republican Jewish group’s campaign slams Democrats as a ‘disgrace’ — in Yiddish
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Sunday launched a $10 million campaign — an unprecedented amount in partisan Jewish advertising — with online ads depicting 2020 Democratic US presidential candidates as a “disgrace.”

Videos titled “Shanda,” Yiddish for “disgrace,” blast the Democrats for saying they would consider reducing aid to Israel.

“The radical Left has taken the reins of the Democratic Party, and their policy proposals will devastate our national security, our alliance with Israel, our economy, and our health care system,” Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the release of the 15- to 30-second ads.

The placement of the videos on Facebook, YouTube and other media will cost $50,000. Brooks confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency a report in Axios that the RJC had budgeted $10 million for its 2020 efforts.

In the spots, “leading Democrats” are accused of “turning their back” on Israel. They show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is Jewish.





It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA
UNRWA’s top official, Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, was accused of appointing as an adviser a woman with whom he was romantically involved. The pair traveled on business class flights across the globe. Deputy Commissioner-General Sandra Mitchell was accused of bullying and of manipulating the system to find a well-paid job for her spouse, Robert Langridge, who was promoted. Chief of Staff Hakam Shahwan was accused of behaving like a thug, placing people loyal to him in positions of power, and lobbying to take over UNRWA operations in Jerusalem.

Perhaps not surprisingly in view of the above, the agency has adopted a culture of secrecy about itself. It employs about 30,000 people (compared to the UNHCR’s 11,000 for the rest of the world’s 17 million refugees and displaced persons). Most of its staff are Palestinians and many are known members of Hamas (indeed, Hamas membership helps one get a UN job). Peter Hansen, UNRWA’s former Commissioner-General (1996–2005), admitted in an interview with CBS that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll. For example, the chairman of UNRWA’s Palestinian workers’ union, Suhail al-Hindi, is a member of Hamas’ new political leadership.

Retired IDF Col. Yoni Fighel, a former military governor in the territories, notes that as long as UNRWA employees are members of Hamas, they are going to pursue the interests of that organization within the framework of their job.

The agency was threatened with closure after the Trump administration implemented severe cuts following reports that proved rockets had been hidden inside UNRWA schools. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who sat on the ethics findings for months, claims he is “committed to acting swiftly on the corruption allegations.”

The UN originally made clear that UNRWA’s mandate would be short-term, indicating that the refugee issue should be solved expeditiously through repatriation or resettlement. In the words of former UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie, “The refugees will lead an independent life in countries that have sheltered them. Except for the ‘hardcore’ cases, the refugees will no longer be maintained by an international organization as they are at present. They will be integrated into the economic system of the countries of asylum and will themselves provide for their own needs and those of their families.”

Palestinian residents of Arab states — all of whom are considered refugees by UNRWA — should become citizens of those states, as they are in Jordan.


Israel’s Supreme Court rules HRW Director can be deported over BDS
In a landmark anti-BDS ruling the High Court of Justice has paved the way for Israel to deport Human Rights Watch’s local director Omar Shakir for his support of boycott activity against Israel.

Human Rights Watch is weighing an appeal to a larger judicial panel of the verdict by a three judges. If not appeal is lodged, Shakir could be asked to leave the country within 20-day.

The ruling is a victory for those who hold that advocates of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement are acting against the state and are not engaged in legitimate criticism of Israel. Opponents view it as part of a movement to suppress human rights advocacy in Israel.

Shakir, who is a US citizen, immediately tweeted that if the HCJ decision is upheld, Israel will “join ranks of Iran, N Korea & Egypt in blocking access for @hrw official. We wont stop. And we wont be the last.”

Minister for Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan [Likud] expressed his satisfaction over the verdict.

"I applaud the decision of the Supreme Court that accepted my Ministry and the Interior Minister's position that a work visa should not be given to a foreign boycott activist who wants to harm Israel and its citizens," he said in a statement.

"Omar Shakir is a BDS activist who took advantage of his stay in Israel to harm it, something no sane country would allow. Israel sees great importance in the activities of real human rights organizations, granting hundreds of visas every year to human rights activists. HRW is welcome to appoint another representative in Israel in place of Shakir if it chooses to do so," he added.
NGO Monitor: Resource Page on Omar Shakir (HRW) Court Case
On November 5, 2019, the Supreme Court rejected Shakir’s appeal and upheld the ruling of the Lower Court that his work visa will not be renewed.

In October 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) hired Omar Shakir to serve as its “Israel and Palestine Country Director.” Shakir has been a consistent supporter of a one-state framework and advocate for BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) campaigns, fitting the longstanding HRW practice of hiring anti-Israel activists to serve in key positions relating to Israel.

In May 2018, due to Shakir’s BDS ties, the Israeli Ministry of Interior chose not to renew his work visa. HRW and Shakir have been challenging this decision in Israeli courts. In April 2019, he lost his case in the Jerusalem District Court and immediately appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. The hearing took place on September 24, 2019. While Shakir regularly assails Israel for its “lack of democracy,” in fact, the Israeli courts allowed him to remain in the country during his appeal process despite having no obligation to do so.

Omar Shakir’s background and history of anti-Israel activity exemplifies the organization’s troubling ideological approach to Israel and retreat from the universal principles of human rights.1


Guardian fails to challenge the lies of HRW’s Omar Shakir
The Guardian is adept at amplifying, and failing to critically scrutinise, the unsubstantiated claims and accusations of anti-Israel NGOs, and today’s article about the Israeli Supreme Court decision on Human Right Watch’s regional director Omar Shakir – a long time BDS activist – follows this pattern.

First, as we predicted in a tweet before the article by Oliver Holmes (“Israel can deport Human Rights Watch official, court rules”, Nov. 5th) was published, the piece uncritically cites Shakir’s simply unhinged response to the court’s decision:
Shakir wrote on Twitter that if he was kicked out, Israel would join the ranks of Iran, North Korea and Egypt in blocking access to Human Rights Watch staff. “We won’t stop. And we won’t be the last,” he said.

The truth is that democracies all over the world reserve the right to deny entry to those seen as intent on harming the state. Moreover, there are in excess of 350 NGOs (such as HRW) operating freely in Israel, even those who continually deligitimise the state, support BDS and even reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

The denial of a work visa to one employee of one of these NGOs – after careful consideration by the country’s internationally respected supreme court – wouldn’t even minimally change the democratic nature of Israel. The human rights organisation Freedom House continually ranks Israel as the only truly free and democratic country in the region, and the suggestion that this status will change due merely to the supreme court’s decision on Shakir’s work visa is risible.

In a subsequent paragraph in the article, Holmes makes the following claim about the broader effort by Israel to fight BDS – a movement, let’s remember, whose leaders oppose the continued existence of a Jewish state.
'A unity government is dead, and Israel is on its way to a 3rd election'
There is virtually no chance, and if there is no dramatic breakthrough in negotiations, Israel will be facing its third general election in a year, senior political officials from the Likud, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, and the New Right were saying Monday.

According to one official, the two sides are farther apart than ever, particularly since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokespeople were questioned by police last week.

The same official said that Blue and White was waiting for Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to decide whether or not to indict Netanyahu. Mendelblit is expected to make his decision in early December. For Blue and White, even if Mendelblit were to drop the count of bribery, any indictment would be the final nail in the coffin of any possibility of forming a government with Netanyahu, he explained.

On the other hand, the official said, Netanyahu wants to remain prime minister, even if he is indicted. Therefore, he will not step down, and will apparently retain the support of the Likud and the smaller right-wing parties when and if he is under indictment.

The official said that as of Monday night, it was clear that neither the Likud nor the right-wing bloc would oust Netanyahu and would prefer to hold a third election, even at their detriment.

He also said that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz's position was shaky and even if he wanted to adopt the compromise put forth by President Reuven Rivlin, he would not be able to negotiate it.

"A unity government is dead, and Israel is on its way to a third election," the official said.
Sderot youth challenge MKs to take up their cause
In the middle of Sderot, near the Gaza border, 120 chairs sat empty on a lawn on Sunday, waiting for MKs to fill them.

The chairs were set up by young residents of Sderot to represent the 120 MKs who they say they feel abandoned them as rockets continue to be fired at them from Gaza on a regular basis, including on Friday.

“Elections are important and coalition negotiations are important,” organizers wrote. “Even investigations are important, recordings are important, indictments are important. And also a memorial ceremony [for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin] is important.”

“Hey, how did we forget?” they continued. “A plane for the prime minister is important and so are demonstrations outside the attorney-general’s house, but wait, rockets on the residents of the South are not a little important.”

The residents said they’re sick of promises that are not being fulfilled.

“After a Shabbat full of fireworks in the sky, after the horror show organized by terrorists on the other side of the fence, we decided to stop being quiet.”

Dvir Sasi, a spokesman for the protest, said: “We welcome all the MKs to come to us and explain the situation to us, and listen to us, and tell us their solution.”

What does conviction of IDF soldier mean for ICC war crimes battle?
Twenty months into the Gaza border conflict, the IDF courts issued their first conviction of a soldier for shooting one of the approximately 350 Palestinians who have been killed.

At the same time, the sentence was a mere one month of community service since the conviction was not for a more serious charge, like manslaughter, but essentially for the low-grade offense of violating the rules of engagement for opening fire.

Why was this the result, and what does all of this mean for the broader big battle before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over whether Israel’s legal system complies with international law or whether it has committed war crimes?

Official and unofficial statements from the IDF were short on details, leaving some critics to speculate about potential improper intentions.

Essentially, they said that the unnamed IDF soldier had violated open fire regulations in shooting toward the 15-year-old Palestinian Othman Helles as he was climbing the Gaza security fence, but that IDF investigators could not establish for sure one way or another whether that soldier’s bullet was the one that killed him.

What does this mean? How can the IDF know the soldier fired illegally toward Helles without knowing whether his bullet was the “kill-shot”?
JPost Editorial: Recognize the Armenian genocide
About 105 years ago, the Armenian genocide began. Members of the Armenian community living in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated at the orders of the governing authorities. As many as 1.5 million Armenians, an ethnic minority, were rounded up and murdered or deported to the deserts of Syria to die.

The Armenian genocide was well known in its time. The German military attaché to the Ottoman Empire described it as “total extermination” and other accounts provided graphic details of the horrors the survivors went through. Women were sold into slavery and raped, children were left to starve. In a prelude to the Holocaust and the crimes of ISIS, the slaughter of Armenians was an opening to a hundred years of similar mass murder events.

As a state founded in the wake of genocide, Israel knows too well what it means to be a small minority subjected to massacre and the systematic murder by a government. Like Armenians, Jews had to live as minorities under regimes such as the Germans or the Poles, enjoying “protection” so long as they did not get in the way of the state’s interests.

In late October, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide. It overwhelmingly passed with 405 votes and affirms that the US will record the genocide and provide “solemn remembrance of one of the great atrocities of the 20th century.” The US was moved to act because of recent tensions with Turkey.


Turkey protected Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Turkey protected ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and Trump should have known.

In his national address announcing that US Special Forces had killed Baghdadi, President Donald Trump commended Turkey while turning a blind eye to Turkey’s collusion with ISIS. While Trump thanked “the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us,” he downplayed the importance of intelligence provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was critical to the mission.

We know that Turkey institutionalized support for jihadis after Syria’s President Bashar Assad attacked Syrian rebels in Ghouta using chemical weapons in September 2013, and that Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) provided weapons, money and logistical support to jihadi groups that evolved into ISIS. Wounded ISIS warriors regularly showed up at Turkish hospitals in Gaziantep to receive medical care.

Baghdadi founded ISIS in the spring of 2014. ISIS attacked Mosul and Sinjar in June, terrorizing Yazidis and Kurds. Over five years, the so-called ISIS caliphate grew to the size of Great Britain, with eight million people under its control.

According to the SDF, “Turkey provides all kinds of support to the terrorist groups. These forces, trained and funded by Turkey, are engaged in a planned ethnic cleansing against our people.” Turkish-backed jihadis in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) commit crimes on a daily basis in Turkish-occupied areas of Syria such as Afrin, Azaz, Bab, Jarablus and Idlib.
MEMRI: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad: It Is Possible That Al-Baghdadi Has Been Kidnapped, Hidden, Or Had His Appearance Surgically Altered; Israel Has Been Behind The Scenes Throughout The War; Erdoğan Is Our Enemy
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was interviewed on Syria TV on October 31, 2019. He said that the extremist Wahhabi doctrine represented by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and ISIS will continue to exist even after ISIS is gone and that Al-Baghdadi had been released from American prisons in Syria in order to lead ISIS. Questioning whether Al-Baghdadi was really killed by the Americans, President Al-Assad suggested that he may have already been dead or that he may have been kidnapped, hidden, or had his appearance surgically altered. He said that the American operation to kill Al-Baghdadi was a trick and that American politics rely on imagination and resemble Hollywood. Later in the interview, President Al-Assad said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Syria's enemy and that U.S President Donald Trump is the best president America has ever had because he is transparent about American policy and America's interest in Middle Eastern oil.

In addition, President Al-Assad said that even though Turkey is occupying parts of Syria, negotiating with it would not suggest that Syria could also negotiate with Israel, because Syria does not recognize Israel as a state or the Israelis as a people the way it does Turkey and the Turks. He also said that Syria wants to gradually regain sovereignty in Kurdistan. Furthermore, President Al-Assad said that Israel's influence is ever present in Syria, that Israel's involvement in the Syrian civil war is a given even though it is not openly apparent, and that everything that has taken place in Syria has served the interests of Israel through proxies, agents, flunkies, or the United States. The English-subtitled version of the interview was uploaded to the Syrian Presidency's YouTube channel.
Halkbank Says It Will Seek Dismissal of US Indictment, Judge’s Recusal
A lawyer for Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, which has been criminally charged by US prosecutors with helping Iran evade sanctions, said in a letter on Monday that it would seek to dismiss the case and have the judge assigned to it recuse himself.

In a letter to US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, Andrew Hruska, a lawyer for Halkbank, said the bank was not agreeing to appear in court on the charges. He asked that he be allowed to represent the bank for the limited purpose of arguing the dismissal and recusal motions.

A hearing is scheduled in the case on Tuesday, and prosecutors have said they may seek a fine against Halkbank if it refuses to appear.

A spokesman for the office of Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. Hruska did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan brought the criminal charges against Halkbank on Oct. 16. The bank called the charges an escalation of Washington’s sanctions on Ankara over its military incursion in Syria, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called them an “unlawful, ugly” step.

Hruska said in Monday’s letter that the bank’s “incidental contacts with the US are insufficient to establish… jurisdiction” in the New York federal court.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah official: Abbas won't seek reelection
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not planning to run in the next presidential election, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said in an interview with Palestine TV on Monday.

Rajoub’s announcement contradicts a statement by another senior Fatah official, Hussein al-Sheikh, who recently said that the only candidate of Fatah in the presidential election will be the 84-year-old Abbas.

“President Abbas is the only candidate of Fatah and honorable Palestinians,” Sheikh said.

Rajoub, who also heads the Palestinian Football Association, described Abbas as a “national treasure.” Abbas, he revealed, does not want to run in the election, and he won’t agree to be a candidate.

“Let us make him the sheikh of the tribe and the spiritual father of the democratic process,” Rajoub said. “In two months, President Abbas will celebrate his 85th birthday.”

In September, Abbas announced in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly that he intends to call for “general elections” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

Rajoub, a former head of the PA’s Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, is seen by some Palestinians as a potential successor to Abbas. However, Rajoub did not say in the interview whether he intends to present his candidacy in the presidential election.

Rajoub’s announcement that Abbas won’t seek another term in office is likely to trigger a “war of succession” between several veteran PLO and Fatah officials who see themselves as suitable candidates to succeed the PA president.

Abbas himself has not said whether he intends to contest the next election. Moreover, he still hasn’t announced a date for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections.

The last Palestinian presidential election was held in 2005, when Abbas was elected for a four-year term. The last parliamentary election, held in 2006, resulted in a Hamas victory.

Rajoub expressed hope that Abbas would set a date for the new elections before the end of this year.
PMW: “The most despicable plot” – Palestinian reactions to the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration
The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Zionist leader Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Every year, PA officials condemn the Balfour Declaration and seem to compete in calling it names, denying its legitimacy, and refuting the validity of Jews’ right to a national home in “Palestine” as Palestinian Media Watch has reported. This year is no exception. Here are some examples of statements by PA officials and others about Balfour’s “ominous promise”:

PA Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif stated that the Balfour Declaration is an “invalid promise” that Britain had no right to give, and that the Jews had no right to receive. He called it “a mark of disgrace in the history of humanity” and a “historic mistake,” and predicted that Israel/the Jews will disappear like previous “invaders”:
Minister Abu Saif: “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, and the invaders will go away as those who preceded them went away...

He added: ‘The ominous promise, in which the one giving the promise permitted giving what is not his to one who has no right, was a mark of disgrace in the history of humanity. The historic mistake will only be corrected when the right returns to its owners.’”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 2, 2019]


The PA claims of the illegitimacy of Britain’s actions and Israel's creation is illustrated by this image printed by the official PA daily, which shows the British and the Israeli flags in a no entry sign on the Balfour Declaration together with an image of Balfour and “Palestine”:

The PLO factions issued a joint statement on the anniversary that named the Balfour Declaration “the most despicable plot in the history of the peoples.” The PLO claimed that the “ominous promise” was the result of the convergence of interests of the “colonialist states” Britain and the US and the Zionist movement. The PLO repeated the PA claim that the colonial powers used the Jewish people as a pawn in the Middle East to gain control in the region, steal its resources, and prevent the Arab countries from developing:
Fatah: “We will defend our holy sites with our blood and our souls” “Jerusalem is ours”
Text: “The deal of the century will never pass. We will defend our holy sites with our blood and our souls” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "This is not allowed. This cannot happen. This is a decisive moment, a dangerous moment for us. Our entire future is at stake. If Jerusalem is lost, what will you say afterwards?" Text: “Jerusalem is ours and you will never have a place in it” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "This is a crucial moment that demands that every Palestinian present themselves immediately to quickly discuss the fate of the eternal capital [Jerusalem]. In politics: It’s the capital. In religion: It’s the capital. In geography: It’s the capital." Text: “The shining rage will uproot the tyranny from our land” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "Here we are sitting, here we are remaining. We will never repeat the mistakes of the past. We will not repeat the mistakes of 1948 or the mistakes of 1967. We are remaining here – occupation, settlements, whatever – We are remaining here!" Song lyrics: "The home is ours and Jerusalem is ours" Text: “The home is ours and Jerusalem is ours. And with our hands we will liberate it, Allah willing” Text: “Fatah Al-Asifa” (The Fatah logo includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas.) [Official Fatah Facebook page, July 28, 2019]


Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas Joins Iranian Plan to Foil Arabs' Anti-Corruption Protests
Alnehaiwi added that the "popular revolutions against the [Iranian] occupiers and [Arab] executioners are a luminous point and milestone that will serve the interest of the Palestinian issue." Noting that Hamas did the right thing when it sided with the Syrian people in their uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad, the political analyst said:
"Hamas may regret its support for Iran. Hamas will lose a great deal if it continues to side with Iran and stands against the people who have revolted against [Iranian] occupation and the executioners."

Such criticism, however, is unlikely to deter Hamas from pursuing its agenda of promoting Iran's interests in the region. The Arabs who are risking their lives to demand good governance and an end to corruption are now being targeted by Iran and its puppets in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Iraq.

It now remains to be seen whether the Arabs who have finally woken up to realize that Iran -- and not Israel -- is the real threat to their well-being will be able to keep up the momentum and continue their uprising against corruption and Iranian dominance over their countries.

By continuing to align itself with Iran, Hamas is leading its people straight toward even greater suffering. The only way for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to alleviate their misery is by revolting against their "leaders" in Hamas. Instead of firing rockets at Israel and demonstrating at the Gaza-Israel border, Palestinians ought to learn from their brothers in Lebanon and Iraq who their real enemies are: Iranian-backed dictators and fake Palestinian leaders, who only know how to lead their people towards further suffering.
Hamas Encouraging Youth Drug Use as Qatar Support Comes to an End
As the year comes to an end, the Gaza Strip is preparing to return to the familiar, suffocating financial crises that is sure to result from Qatar’s ending its grant to poor families. Qatari envoy in the Strip, Mohammed al-Emadi, has informed Hamas and other terror factions there that his government is having difficulties renewing the grant, Al-Akhbar reported Tuesday.

These funds did not cover all of Gaza’s poor families, and the most each lucky family received was $100 each month, but it was a reliable stopgap measure to stave off the explosion that’s sure to come without this charity. There will be two more payments until the end of 2019, Al Emadi told the local leaders, after which they are on their own.

Over the weekend, Hamas made it clear that it was blocking the security escalation with Israel and is not interested in keeping it up. But then, on Monday, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, bragged that he had been the one to determine in recent years whether or not there would be war.

Kan 11 TV on Monday night provided a glimpse into the other wars Hamas has been waging: internal leadership wars, a cruel, Darwinian effort to literally “thin the herd” with violent border fence riots, and an unofficial operation to induce as many as 200,000 Gazan youths to using drugs, mostly hashish and opiates – to help them forget the hardships of their daily lives.
Hamas official: Egypt has barred Haniyeh from traveling abroad for past 3 years
Egyptian authorities have barred Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh from traveling outside the Gaza Strip and Egypt for almost three years to prevent him from meeting with their political rivals, a senior official in the terror group said in an interview published Tuesday.

The last time Haniyeh traveled beyond Gaza and Egypt was in late 2016 and early 2017 before he was elected Hamas head.

“The Egyptians are not permitting the head of the politburo to travel abroad because they do no want him to meet their political rivals,” Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior official in the terror group, told Dar al-Hayat, an Arabic-language news site. “This ban [has been in place] for about the last three years.”

Hamas, which frequently meets with Egyptian intelligence officials mediating between the terror group that rules the Strip and Israel, also maintains close ties with countries that Cairo views as foes such as Qatar and Turkey.




In chilling detail, ex-envoy to US Oren warns of Israel-Iran ‘conflagration’
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren has described in chilling detail how a conflict between Israel and Iran could easily be sparked and descend into a massive conflagration, devastating Israel and other countries in the region.

Israel is already girding for a war with the Islamic Republic, and has carried out hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. A single miscalculation during one of those airstrikes could draw retaliation by Iran, Oren wrote in a column published in The Atlantic on Monday.

“The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran,” he began. “Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it’s not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark.”

An Israel Defense Forces bombing run could inadvertently hit a sensitive target, or an Israeli official could step out of line and say something to embarrass Iran following an attack, Oren wrote.

“The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin,” he continued.
The Revolt Against Iran
Unsurprisingly, Iran and its allies in Iraq and Lebanon are blaming recent unrest on the usual suspects: a conspiracy of foreign actors that includes the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Zionists.

How will this end? In 2008, civil unrest led to Hezbollah’s armed seizure of Beirut. Hezbollah and Iran have poured thousands of fighters and billions of dollars into neighboring Syria to help crush the rebellion against their Syrian ally. In 2009, Iran’s green movement protests over stolen elections finally ebbed in the face of torture, beatings, and detentions meted out by the regime. “We in Iran know how to deal with protests,” Iran’s second-most powerful man assured Iraqi officials this month. “This happened in Iran and we got it under control.”

Ten years ago, when Iran saw its largest uprising since the 1979 revolution, Obama was not only reluctant to express solidarity with Iranians, he also refused to acknowledge the rigged elections, dismissed advisers who urged active assistance, and blocked CIA resources earmarked for supporting democratic uprisings. In The Iran Wars, former Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon reveals how Obama’s peculiar reticence was largely motivated by his worry that American involvement would ruin his secret overtures to Tehran in hopes of brokering an agreement. While President Trump has also expressed a desire to strike a deal with Iran, he has already retweeted two videos of Iraqi demonstrators storming the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Whether this administration is able to leverage these protests into successful policy beyond tweets remains to be seen. And perhaps more importantly, it is too early to tell whether the nascent political revolts in Lebanon and Iraq can survive the backlash from Iranian-backed militias and snipers long enough to evolve into a meaningful, organized political opposition.
Rep. Cheney to Introduce Legislation Mandating Full Dismantling of Iran Nuclear Deal
Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) will soon introduce new legislation that would compel the Trump administration to eradicate the remaining vestiges of the landmark Iran nuclear deal, the lawmaker told the Washington Free Beacon.

Cheney's legislative effort comes as GOP hawks in Congress have launched an offensive against the Trump administration's decision to again grant Iran sanctions waivers that permit it to conduct sensitive nuclear work, including at an underground bunker site that once housed the regime's atomic weapons program.

The legislation is yet another sign of mounting frustration among hawkish Republicans over the Trump administration's mixed signals on Iran. Critics allege the administration is backtracking on its own "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran in order to preserve possible diplomacy with Tehran down the road.

The Free Beacon reported last week that the Trump administration's State Department had signed off on the nuclear waivers, despite public and private pressure from anti-Iran voices on Capitol Hill. The debate marks one of the clearest divides yet between typically faithful Trump administration supporters in Congress and those inside the administration.

Cheney told the Free Beacon that the waivers have helped legitimize Iran's nuclear infrastructure and paved a way for it to continue working on sensitive nuclear issues with help from countries such as China and Russia.
The Islamic Zealots Who Seized U.S. Embassy 40 Years Ago Today Weren't 'Students'
These were first and foremost religious zealots blindly following the will of clerics (Ali Khamenei and Mousavi Khoeini among them) who often visited the hostages, too. Many attended Amir Kabir University, "strictly allied with Khomeini and the new Mullah establishment," according to Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah (2006). As Bowden puts it, they "were all committed to a formal Islamic state and were allied, some of them by family, with the clerical power structure around Khomeini."

Bruce Laingen, who was the chargé d'affaires at the embassy, wrote in his journal that Khoeni was "the clerical link with the 'students' at the embassy since the day of the seizure and . . . the link before that, too, in the planning for the seizure." On July 21, 1980, he wrote with certainty that Khoeni was Khomeini's "liaison with the 'students' of the embassy" and that there "can be no question of the extent to which the clerical forces are solidly in control."

The term "students" was inaccurate and misleading in 1979, and it is all the more so now. After four decades, the time has come finally to get it right.


40 Years On: How US-Iran Hostility Affects the World Today
With anti-American slogans and effigies mocking President Donald Trump, thousands rallied outside the former US embassy in Tehran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. Amid renewed tensions with Washington, state television showed rallies taking place in several other cities, including Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan, four decades after revolutionary students stormed the diplomatic mission. "They will continue their enmity against us. They are like a lethal scorpion whose nature is to have a poisonous sting," the head of the army, General Abdolrahim Mousavi, said in a speech at Tehran. "We are ready to crush this scorpion and will also pay the price."






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11/04 Links Pt2: Poll: Almost 50% of UK Jews will 'seriously consider' leaving if Corbyn wins elections; Historian: New evidence shows FDR’s bigotry derailed many Holocaust rescue plans; Ray Charles in Israel   

Cache   

From Ian:

Poll: Almost 50% of UK Jews will 'seriously consider' leaving if Corbyn wins elections
Britain's Jewish community so deeply concerned by the prospect of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn winning the next general election that community leaders have launched a campaign to undermine his premiership candidacy.

A recent poll by the Jewish Leadership Council, a British-Jewish advocacy group, found that 47% of British Jews would "seriously consider" emigrating if Corbyn is elected prime minister.

Some 87% of British Jews believed Corbyn to be anti-Semitic, and 90% said they will not vote for Labour, the poll found.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the general elections, set for Dec. 12, following his failure to push the Brexit deal through Parliament. Johnson's promise to have the UK leave the European Union by Oct. 31 had been a key element in the Conservatives' leadership bid, which brought him to power in July.

Corbyn has been repeatedly lambasted for his failure to tackle anti-Semitism within Labour. In 2018, the party received 863 complaints of anti-Semitism but took action in only 101 of those cases. Worse, Labour members who have publicly made statements such as "Jews are the problem" have remained in the party despite complaints against them.


According to the Jewish Chronicle, prominent British Rabbi Jonathan Romain has even taken the unprecedented step of urging congregants to vote against Labour, warning that a Corbyn-led government "would pose a danger to Jewish life as we know it."

"I should stress that the problem is not the Labour Party itself, which has a long record of fighting discrimination and prejudice, but the problem is Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn-led Labour, has at best, let antisemitism arise within its ranks, or at worst, has encouraged it," Romain wrote in a letter to the 823 families who are members of his Berkshire shul.

"This has never happened under any previous Labour leader … so the finger of responsibility really does seem to point to Jeremy Corbyn. I am therefore suggesting we should each put aside all other considerations and vote for whichever party is most likely to defeat Labour in whatever constituency we are in – even if we would never normally vote for that party."

Israel Advocacy Movement: Why vote Labour?
In the upcoming election, a vote for Labour is a vote for:
☠️ Terrorism supporters
🇻🇪 An economy like Venezuela
🚫 Racism
A vote for Labour is a vote for insanity… watch the election video Labour don't want you to see.


Jewish Caller Tells Maajid Nawaz He Would Emigrate If Corbyn Elected
A Jewish caller told Maajid Nawaz that he would close his business and leave the UK if Jeremy Corbyn were to become Prime Minister because of anti-Semitism.

David, from Hendon, said: "I will leave the country as soon as Corbyn comes in, God forbid that he should.

"I will not stay in a country where anti-Semitism is now accepted because I think, brilliantly, he and his PR people just didn't answer really, just deflected old accusations.

Now people are fed up with hearing the word so it's almost as if it's accepted and whether that's the case or people are actually anti-Semitic in this country... I hope not but I'm beginning to have my doubts."

He also explained that he would shut down his business of 53 people.

He said: "I will leave, I will close down all of my businesses which I can. I've been nervous of this, I'm in the position where I'll be able to close them down.

"These people won't be employed anymore and that's fine. I'm looking after myself and I'm sure people, some of your viewers or listeners will be saying 'good riddance, let's get rid of the guy'.

But there are hundreds of people like me, and not all of them are Jewish, there are hundreds of wealthy people who have built up businesses who know that in the end Mr. Corbyn will take it all away from us because he doesn't appreciate people who work hard."




Historian: New evidence shows FDR’s bigotry derailed many Holocaust rescue plans
Not only was US president Franklin Roosevelt perfunctory about rescuing Jews from the Nazis, but he obstructed rescue opportunities that would have cost him little or nothing, according to Holocaust historian Rafael Medoff.

FDR’s role in preventing the rescue of European Jewry is detailed in a new book called, “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust.”

Published in September, Medoff’s book includes new archival materials about the relationship between Roosevelt and Rabbi Stephen Wise, who the author sees as a sycophantic Jewish leader used by Roosevelt to “keep the Jews quiet.”

Wrote Medoff, “Franklin Roosevelt took advantage of Wise’s adoration of his policies and leadership to manipulate Wise through flattery and intermittent access to the White House.” In return for visits to the White House and Roosevelt calling him by his first name, Wise undermined Jewish activists who demanded the administration let more Jewish refugees into the US.

According to Medoff, Roosevelt’s policies toward European Jews were motivated by sentiments similar to those that spurred him to intern 120,000 Japanese Americans in detention camps as potential spies.

“Roosevelt used almost identical language in recommending that the Jews and the Japanese be forcibly ‘spread thin’ around the country,” Medoff told The Times of Israel. “I was struck by the similarity between the language FDR used regarding the Japanese, and that which he used in private concerning Jews — that they can’t be trusted, they won’t ever become fully loyal Americans, they’ll try to dominate wherever they go.”
Gil Troy: Mark Twain’s ‘Innocents Abroad’ explains our Israel obsession
Twain offered his pragmatic American explanation for Palestine’s desolation: “Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition – it is dream-land.” Twain feared that Palestine induced so much stargazing no one ever rolled up their sleeves to produce anything there.

Fortunately, the Zionist movement was starting to tap into old-new Jewish dreams to motivate hardy, hardscrabble, hardworking pioneers – much as the American dream drove Twain’s fellow Americans. This pre-Zionist book offers a core Zionist message. The Palestine Twain saw highlights the modern miracles Zionism created that we take for granted.

STILL, IF dreams can motivate or paralyze, mythmaking can inspire – or disappoint. Sarna has long shown how Palestine as dreamland boosted modern Israel in American and Jewish eyes. Many Americans, especially American Jews, echo the pilgrims’ naivete. They romanticize Israel, falling in love with what Sarna calls a “mythical Israel,” more indicative of “American Jewish ideals” than “Israeli realities.” The Zionist dream, American-style, long celebrated an Israel that was even more progressive than America – defined by kibbutz workers, not Wall Street investors; built by new brawny Jews, not traditionally brainy Jews.

Beware: too much mythmaking about any country – especially the world’s only Jewish state trying to survive in a Middle East hostile to Jews and democracies – is risky. As with any romance, some idealization during courtship greases the wheels of love. And Israel’s “dreamland” still dazzles most Americans. But, today, with Israel in middle age, the toxicity of faded romance often triggers an overly harsh counterreaction. Somehow, many of Israel’s jilted leftist lovers still love America while hating Donald Trump. Yet when they detest an Israeli policy or prime minister, they give up on Israel and Zionism.

Mark Twain’s memories of being a Missouri non-Yankee in King Solomon’s court helps explain our modern obsession with Israel, too. Twain emphasizes how foundational Palestine is to the West. “Crowded with historical interest,” filled with “elegant fragments,” it still dominates our collective imaginations.

But heed Twain’s warning. Those who believe Israel can do no right – along with those who believe Israel can do no wrong – are often telling us more about the “verdicts they brought with them” rather than their fair assessments of this rich, complex, modern democracy.

Clearly, we have some Mark Twain-like “unlearning” to do, especially about Israel.
Revisionist Author Tries to Distort the Record of David Ben-Gurion
Tom Segev’s well-written biography of Israel’s first prime minister, A State At Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion, is undercut by the author’s biases and penchant for narrative.

It would be hard to imagine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publishing an op-ed in The New York Times on Buddhism. But back in April 1962, the first Israeli premier, David Ben-Gurion, did precisely that — but only after spending weeks studying with religious scholars as a personal guest of the prime minister of Burma, today’s Myanmar. Ben-Gurion even insisted, much to the consternation of his teachers, “that he had discovered a self-contradiction in the Buddha’s doctrine that no one else had ever noticed.” It turned out that he was wrong; it was a translation error.

As Segev makes clear, Israel’s founding father was both exceptional and eccentric. And nearly five decades after his passing, Ben-Gurion remains iconic, with a legacy and career that are arguably unmatched in the small nation’s modern history.

As his private secretary, Yitzhak Navon, once observed, “Without Ben-Gurion, the State of Israel would not be in existence — and this I can say about nobody.” Indeed, long before he was making history, Ben-Gurion was its avid student.

As Segev notes: “He saw himself, and was seen by others, as an incarnation of history.” To a great extent, this was the result of the tremendous willpower that he displayed throughout his life.
New Book Tells a Holocaust Family Mystery
I just finished reading an extraordinary new book, House on Endless Waters by author Emuna Elon.

From start to finish, I found it to be well-written, touching, and chock-full of character development; there were so many stories I could relate to.

The book is a family mystery ripe with great plot twists. It explores one man’s quest — a renowned Israeli author — to visit his birthplace in Amsterdam, despite promising his late mother that he would never return to that city. And during a visit to that city’s Jewish museum, he sees a picture of his mother, pre-war, holding a child he doesn’t recognize. The book explores his adventures through Amsterdam — past, present, and future — replete with dreams, visions, and more, all in beautifully written prose.

Throughout the book, I had memories of growing up in a home where my grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and my mom (z”l) spent so much time researching, reading, and studying about the history of our many family members who were murdered by the Nazis. She attended conferences, discovered obscure files, and spent days at Yad Vashem. In the last few months of her life, my mother learned that her father, Morris Waga, had been married with a family before he married my grandmother. He lost that wife and a three-year old daughter in the camps to the Nazis. Yet, throughout his entire life, he never told my mother or her younger brother.

The book discusses underground networks that hid Jewish children during the war, and the burdens faced by those who survived. The scars of the Holocaust haunt families and people for generations.
Jonathan Tobin: Can Joe Biden save the day for pro-Israel Democrats?
The problem here for pro-Israel Democrats is that, out of necessity, they’ve hitched the fate of their cause to what right now looks like a fading star. Biden, who hasn’t won a competitive race on his own (being Barack Obama’s running mate doesn’t count) since Richard Nixon was president, has so far been a disappointment to his backers. With a focus on the effort to impeach Trump dominating the headlines this winter, it may also remind voters of his son’s questionable behavior further dragging him down.

Nor, it should be added, is Biden coming to the issue with entirely clean hands. He was part of Obama’s eight-year-long pressure campaign against the Israeli government, as well as an ardent supporter of the disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he still defends.

Biden may be instinctively supportive of the Jewish state in ways that eclipse those of Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg; however, the tenor of his dialogue with Israel has always been that of an American who thinks he knows the Middle East better than Israelis. Biden received a devastating – and completely deserved – tongue-lashing from former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at a Senate hearing in June 1982. In response to Biden’s threats of aid cuts that were hardly different from the statements of the primary opponents he now considers “outrageous,” Begin slapped him down by telling him that he was “not a Jew with trembling knees,” and that Israel would defend its principles, “and, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”

In a competition with far more extreme critics of Israel than he ever was, Biden is the best that pro-Israel Democrats, who once dominated their party yet now seem unable to muster sufficient support for censoring or shunning anti-Semites like Omar and Tlaib, can muster. It is on his aging and uncertain shoulders that the fate of the Democrats as a pro-Israel party rests. That’s a prospect that should scare friends of the Jewish state, no matter which party they support.
Michael Lumish: Are Arabs indigenous to Judea?
Of course, Arabs are not indigenous to Judea / Israel. Arabs are conquerers indigenous to the Arabian peninsula. If one cares about "the conflict" -- or what I call The Long Arab / Muslim War against the Jews of the Middle East -- then one must recognize the Jews as indigenous and the Arabs and Muslims as imperialists and colonialists.

And, yet, the progressive-left and the Democratic Party honestly believe that the Jewish defenders of Jewish children and Jewish land are the aggressors. They honestly believe that Arabs have every right to kill Jews as a matter of "resistance." It is an intelligent rhetorical strategy on par with the propaganda skill of the National Socialists.

The brilliance behind Arab and Muslim imperialism is that they actually managed to convince the arrogant and ignorant Euros that they are the indigenous population in the lands that they conquered.
Corbyn, a cause for concern
Meanwhile, Johnson's main rival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, also isn't assured of restoring his party to power for the first time since 2010. Corbyn's ideological extremism is attractive to certain strata of British society but is also a deterrent to others. Some polls find Corbyn to be the "least popular Opposition leader of the past 45 years." Even if he doesn't win, it's still theoretically possible for him to establish a "resistance coalition" against Johnson and Brexit, which would include the Liberal Democrats and Scottish separatists who oppose leaving the EU.

Even if Labour is weakened in the upcoming election, in such a manner that Corbyn is forced to resign, he will have left behind a party that is fundamentally different than the one he inherited four years ago. Labour's far-left faction has effectively consummated its takeover of Britain's main Opposition party, essentially ridding it of all internal dissent. Under the guise of its anti-Israel and anti-Zionist worldview, Labour has normalized anti-Semitism as part of the British political landscape. Even if Corbyn goes, the devastation he leaves in his wake will be absolute.

All efforts by the country's Jewish community and Labour's own Jewish MPs to foster dialogue with Corbyn's circle about banishing anti-Semitic activists within its ranks have floundered amid their refusal to recognize the importance of the matter. There have been cosmetic initiatives, mostly for public relations purposes, but little else. Labour under Corbyn's leadership has legitimized anti-Semitism and shown Jews that the party that first welcomed them to Great Britain – no longer cares for them.

With a sense of humor that under the current circumstances has taken a darker turn, British Jews have altered Labour's slogan from "For the many, not for the few," to "For the many, not for the Jew." If Labour rises to power, this joke could have serious implications for all of Britain.




Also in October: A selection of other antisemitic Incidents that we did not cover
A swastika was spray-painted on a sign near a Jewish school in Gateshead. The graffiti appeared on the corner of High West Street and Gladstone Terrace on 7th October.

A swastika and the words “Lewis is a Jew” were carved into the glass panel of a bus stop in East Leeds. Anyone with information should contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 referencing log number 243.

On Shabbat, 19th October at the Clapton Common and Oldhill Street junction in Stamford Hill, three males accosted Orthodox Jews walking home from synagogue with antisemitic slurs including “Heil Hitler”.
Alison Chabloz fails to overturn conviction over Holocaust denial at High Court, leaving no further avenue of appeal
Moments ago, notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz has had her application for a judicial review denied by the High Court following her landmark conviction on three charges of sending grossly offensive communications via a public communications network.

Ms Chabloz had sought to overturn her conviction on technicalities relating to the meaning of what constituted sending communications online, but the High Court denied her appeal and upheld the earlier judgment. There was confusion over the way that the case had proceeded to court as Ms Chabloz’s case was brought before judges by her barrister, Adrian Davies, who maintains his record of losing cases for neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.

Ms Chabloz had sought to overturn her conviction on technicalities relating to the case began as a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism, which was then continued by the Crown Prosecution Service. The charges related to three self-penned songs in which Ms Chabloz denounced a supposed Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world and attacked the Holocaust as a fraud perpetrated by Jews for financial gain.

The conviction set a new precedent in British law, effectively delivering a landmark precedent verdict on incitement on social media and on whether the law considers Holocaust denial to be “grossly offensive” and therefore illegal when used as a means by which to hound Jews.
Boston University set to hire anti-Israel professor
Sarah Ihmoud, a postdoctoral associate at Boston University, is currently under consideration for a teaching position at the university, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) reported.

According to APT, the university has not yet made an offer to Ihmoud, but the offer is "imminent."

Education Without Indoctrination (EWI) called for action to prevent Boston University from becoming "a platform for Jew-hate."

Ihmoud, co-author of Sexual Violence, Women’s Bodies, and Israeli Settler Colonialism, presented the paper to BU. In it, she claims that "rape and killing of Palestinian women was a central aspect of Israeli troops' systematic massacres and evictions during the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948" and describes Nazi-like actions, including the shooting of pregnant women and the murder of children.

The paper also claims that that both brutality and sexual violence against Palestinian Authority women is an ongoing tactic of the IDF.
Major Jewish Groups Applaud Twitter for ‘Belated’ Shut Down of Hamas, Hezbollah Accounts
Major Jewish groups applauded the micro-blogging website Twitter on Sunday for suspending a series of accounts affiliated with the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

“Thank you @Twitter for suspending the accounts of Hamas and Hezbollah,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted.

Referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Greenblatt added, “US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations do not belong on the platform. Let’s hope all platforms follow @jack’s lead.”

The American Jewish Committee also weighed in, pointing out that while Twitter has accepted that there is no difference between the “military” and political wings of terrorist groups, the European Union continues to separate the two.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center responded by tweeting, “Belated but welcome anti-terrorist moves by @Twitter — hope others will follow.”
BBC ignores Twitter’s terror groups suspensions
To date, those searching for coverage of that story under the BBC News website’s ‘social media’ and ‘Twitter’ tags will find nothing.

Perhaps the BBC is having difficulty working out how to square that quote from Twitter with its own euphemistic portrayals of Hamas as a ‘militant Islamist group’ and Hizballah as a ‘political, military and social organisation’.
Indy egregiously misleads on Gaza power shortages
A Nov. 3rd article in the Independent on the use of solar power in Gaza grossly misled readers as to the extent and origin of the strip’s electricity shortages.

The article, “Meet the Gazan woman turning rubble into building blocks and sunlight into power”, by their deputy international editor Gemma Fox, begins thusly:

For Samar, Gaza’s crippling blackouts used to mean a daily, panicked rush to take her son to the nearest hospital so that his lungs wouldn’t fail.

He suffers from a lung disease that has left him dependent on a machine to breathe. But the machine depends on electricity – something in critically short supply in Gaza.

Samar’s story is far from unique, with the enclave’s two million residents forced to try to survive on roughly three hours of electricity since Israel imposed a blockade in 2016.

Hospitals and other buildings rely on generators to keep the power on during the cuts, but they are expensive, and until recently, a luxury that Samar was unable to afford.


First, Israel imposed their blockades of Gaza, due to Hamas’s takeover of the strip, in 2007, not 2016.

Also, it was both Egypt and Israel who imposed a blockade. In Israel’s case, the only items that have generally been restricted are military related (or dual-use) goods.

Additionally, the Indy gets their figures on the daily availability of electricity in Gaza wildly wrong. Palestinians in the strip get around twelve hours a day, not three, as a detailed report and graph by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) makes clear.
BBC WS radio amplifies claim that a country called Palestine “existed”
Despite the claims from Hills and Lefrak, as we noted when BBC World Service radio previously promoted the museum and its founder back in June, it is essentially the continuation of a project that is very much political – even if Lefrak fails to identify it as such.

Lefrak: “Museum founder Bshara Nassar says his goal is to create a space that’s more personal than political.”
Nassar: “We want to really transform the story and put Palestinians in the light that we’re human beings, right? We’re artists, we’re entrepreneurs, we’re in politics and we contributing a lot to the US as immigrants as well.”
Lefrak: “Nassar immigrated to the US from the West Bank in 2011. When he came to Washington he saw a city full of museums but he didn’t see one that reflected him.”
Nassar: “Really I could not see a place where the Palestinian story can be told.”
Lefrak: “So he decided to open a travelling exhibition that would eventually become the museum. One of the objects in the collection is a 1946 passport for the Palestine Mandate. It was rendered useless the following year after the United Nations voted to establish the State of Israel. Curator Nada Odeh wants visitors to understand that history.”


That passport was of course in fact “rendered useless” in May 1948 when the British terminated their administration of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – the purpose of which was to create a Jewish national home. In 1947 the UNGA passed a resolution (181) recommending that the area then still under British administration should be partitioned between Jewish and Arab states – a recommendation accepted by the Jews but rejected out of hand by the Arabs and hence never implemented. BBC world Service listeners heard nothing of that history – or the Arab attacks which followed that UN vote – but they did hear the ‘non-political’ museum’s Syrian-born head curator promote the falsehood that a country “called Palestine” used to exist.


German Cardinal: Antisemitism is an attack on us all
A prominent German cardinal of the Catholic Church has pledged that Jews and Christians will stand together in the fight against rising antisemitism in the country.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who is chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference and serves as the archbishop of Munich and Freising, said on Sunday night that “Christians and Jews will never separate again,” in the face of new antisemitism.

He made the comments during a panel discussion on antisemitism at the Catholic Academy in Berlin hosted by the German Bishops’ Conference and the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany.

Among prominent figures who attended were Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission coordinator on combating antisemitism; Armin Laschet, prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia; and Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

A statement released by the German Bishops’ Conference quoted Marx as calling for stronger social commitment and better cohesion in society “in the face of resurgent antisemitism in Germany and Europe.”

He stressed that he was “very worried” about the direction society is heading because there are “more and more blogs and ideologies from people that cannot be taught, who indulge in conspiracy theories and soon unite as a sounding board for... slogans of antisemitism.”
Outrage in Germany over neo-Nazis’ political ‘kill list’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Monday strongly condemned death threats against two leading Green party politicians by a neo-Nazi group, as concern mounts over a rise in right-wing extremism.

Greens lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, who has Turkish roots, revealed at the weekend that police were investigating an email he had received from a neo-Nazi group saying he was at the top of their kill list.

“We are currently planning how and when to execute you. At the next rally? Or will we get you outside your home?” the email read, according to the Funke newspaper group.

Fellow Greens MP Claudia Roth received a message saying she was second in line to be killed.

Both emails were sent on October 27 and signed with “Nuclear Weapons Division Germany” (AWD), apparently a German offshoot of a notorious US-based neo-Nazi group.

“The German government clearly condemns any kind of threats or violence against politicians,” Merkel’s spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters.

“We cannot and will not accept these attacks on our free democratic system,” she said, vowing to use the full force of the law against the perpetrators.
White supremacist charged with planning to blow up Colorado synagogue
US authorities have arrested a known white supremacist on suspicion that he planned to blow up a synagogue in Colorado, local media reported Monday.

The suspect, named as Richard Holzer, 27, reportedly met an undercover FBI agent on Friday at a motel with explosives that he allegedly intended to use to attack Temple Emanuel in the city of Pueblo.

Holzer told an undercover FBI agent that he had previously been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and had become a skinhead, according to the Denver Post.

Holzer said he was preparing a “holy war” and claimed to have poisoned the water at the synagogue with arsenic and was planning to do so again, The Denver Post reported, citing an affidavit filed on Saturday at the US District Court in Colorado.

According to the affidavit, when asked what if people were in the building when the bomb exploded, “Holzer stated that he did not think anyone would be there, but that if they were, Holzer would not care because they would be Jews.”
Men dressed as Jews hand out Holocaust denial fliers at Colorado mall
A group of men wearing large white yarmulkes and fringed prayer shawls handed out fliers promoting Holocaust denial and hung up cards bearing anti-Semitic canards on a pedestrian mall in Boulder, Colorado.

The fliers handed out at Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall by the men who appeared to be posing as Jews claimed the Holocaust was “impossible.”

The men also hung notes on index cards around the mall that claimed “Academia is dominated by Marxist Jews,” Jews run the porn industry,” and “Jews ran the Atlantic slave trade,” the Daily Camera newspaper reported.

The men livestreamed their actions, according to the report.

As of Sunday morning, no reports were filed with police about the fliers, Boulder police told the newspaper.


City of Poway, CA, set to rename street after Chabad shooting victim
The city council in Poway, Calif., will consider a proposal on Nov. 5 to change the name of a short street in memory of Lori Lynn Gilbert-Kaye, the only fatality in the shooting earlier this year at Chabad of Poway.

Under the proposal, Eva Drive would become Lori Lynn Lane. It is located near where the 60-year-old congregant lived with her husband, Dr. Howard Kaye, about a mile from the synagogue.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said that people associated with Chabad approached the city to propose the street-name change.

“They did all the groundwork, and our team got the obstacles out of the way,” he said. “It should have unanimous and enthusiastic support.”

Three people, including senior Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, were wounded on April 27 when lone gunman John Earnest shot at worshippers during Shabbat-morning services.

Earnest has pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges, including 113 federal hate crime-related counts.
Karish natural gas field off Israel’s shore found to be much bigger than thought
Energean Oil and Gas plc, a Greek gas producer focused on the Mediterranean, said Monday that its appraisal of the Karish North discovery offshore Israel has revealed 0.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas resources plus 34 million barrels of light oil or condensate.

The appraisal “significantly” increases the resource volumes discovered by Energean at the Karish and Tanin leases off Israel’s shore, the statement said.

The firm had already discovered 2.4 tcf of natural gas at the Karish and Tanin fields, along with 33 million barrels of light oil. Energean has already signed accords to sell 4.7 billion cubic meters a year of the fuel to Israeli customers.

Light crude oil is a liquid petroleum that has a low density and low viscosity than heavy crude oil. Natural gas condensate is a mixture of hydrocarbon liquids that are present in the raw natural gas produced at gas fields.

Israel, a nation traditionally starved of natural resources, believes the discovery of natural gas reserved off its shores in the Mediterranean will lead it to energy independence and make it an exporter of gas. The Karish and Tanin natural gas fields sit alongside the larger Tamar and Leviathan deposits in Israel’s economic waters in the Mediterranean.
Israel-Egypt gas pipeline deal expected in coming days
A deal that would transfer control of a natural gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt is expected to be closed in the next few days, the companies said on Sunday.

Texas-based Noble Energy (NBL.N), Israel’s Delek Drilling (DEDRp.TA) and Egyptian East Gas Co have partnered in a venture called EMED, which last year agreed to buy a 39% stake in the subsea EMG pipeline for $518 million that will carry Israeli gas exports to Egypt.

In a regulatory filing in Tel Aviv, Delek said the shares have already been transferred to the buyers while the funds are currently being held in a trust. It noted that no closing conditions remained.

“Upon the transfer of the full amount of the consideration to the sellers, which is expected to be performed in the coming days, the EMG transaction will be closed in practice,” Delek said.

Partners in Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore gas fields had agreed to sell $15 billion worth of gas to a customer in Egypt — Dolphinus Holdings — but last month the deal was amended to boost supply by 34% to about 85 billion cubic meters, or an estimated $20 billion.
Elbit Systems Lands 5-Year, $50 Million Portuguese Defense Ministry Contract
Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems announced over the weekend that it has been awarded a $50 million contract to supply the Portuguese Air Force with a complete electronic warfare suite and customer logistics support for the new KC-390 multi-mission aircraft. The contract is to be completed over a five-year period.

Under the contract, Elbit will supply the Portuguese Air Force’s KC-390s with Radar and Laser Warning Systems, an IR Missile Warning System, Countermeasures Dispensing System, a Directional IR Countermeasures system and Active ECM (AECM) POD system.

“The Portuguese Air Force is a long-standing strategic partner of Elbit Systems and we are proud of this contract award to provide enhanced survivability for their new fleet of KC-390 aircraft,” said Edgar Maimon, executive vice president and general manager of Elbit Systems’ Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence Unit.

Last week, Elbit announced that it had been selected by the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport to provide the Swiss Armed Forces with an army-wide tactical Software Defined Radio (SDR) solution under the Telecommunications Armed Forces (TK A) program.
Ray Charles in Israel
“I had always heard that I was popular in Israel, but I didn’t get over there until the early seventies,” the soul genius Ray Charles recalled. “Some people asked me to do a documentary. I liked the idea. I’d never done anything like that before. The film people knew I wasn’t a scholar or a theologian, but they had heard that I had a decent working knowledge of the Bible. They had also heard that the Israelis liked me, and they hoped the two things would blend.”

Ray Charles, accompanied by his five backup singers, the Raelettes, arrived in Israel in early December 1972. In the first two weeks of that month they performed at five wildly successful concerts. Israeli fans of the “Genius of Soul” thronged the concert halls of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. Fans cheered the musicians in the streets and the press gave their concert tour wide coverage.

The musicians spent two weeks performing and touring in the country. It was, Charles remembered, an opportunity to “look around and learn. … It was all so old, so incredibly old, that I couldn’t help but shake my head in wonder. I could smell history in the streets.”

By the early 1970s, Ray Charles and the Raelettes had given concerts all over the world. In Japan, they had encountered particularly enthusiastic audiences. But in terms of enthusiasm none of these concerts prepared Charles and his ensemble for the reception they received in Israel.

That many Israelis liked Ray Charles and his music was an understatement. I was living in Jerusalem at the time and I remember vividly the excitement that his visit generated. I also remember that by the time I made it to the concert hall box office the two Jerusalem shows were completely sold out. I never got to hear him on that tour, but news of it was in all of the Israel newspapers. It seemed that by missing that concert I had missed more than the music.

The riveting story of the Jerusalem concert is best told by the genius himself: In his autobiography, Brother Ray, (co-written with David Ritz) Charles wrote that, “In thirty years on the road, I had never experienced anything like this. We were supposed to do two shows, but the first one had the crowd so crazy and happy that they wouldn’t leave. The second crowd was due any minute, but the first crowd wasn’t about to move.”


The Jewish roots of French icon Asterix the Gaul
The iconic adventures of Asterix the Gaul may be most famous in the French-speaking world, but their inspiration is decidedly Jewish.

One of the most famous characters in French comics, and considered by many to be a French national hero, the adventures of Asterix and his sidekick Obelix are popular all over the world. The comics were translated to over 100 languages, including Latin, Welsh and Hebrew. It has inspired 10 movies, the most recent one the 2018 Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion.

But could Asterix be Jewish? While the answer is obviously no – Asterix is literally a Gaul, after all – Ateret Yerushalayim rosh yeshiva Rabbi Shlomo Aviner argues that the Jewish inspiration is clearly there.

It is important to note that the original writer behind Asterix, René Goscinny, was undoubtedly Jewish, having been born in Paris in 1926 to two Jewish immigrants from Poland. His father accepted a job in Argentina after he was born, unknowingly ensuring their family won't be harmed by the Nazi occupation of France, to which he returned in 1946.

Speaking in an interview reported by Srugim, Rabbi Aviner, who is French himself – after mentioning that this isn't as important as studying Rashi, a medieval Jewish scholar who was also French – reaffirmed Goscinny's Jewishness.

"His father was born in Warsaw, and his grandfather was a rabbi," he explained. "His Jewish identity was strong."
Jewish astronaut snaps space pics of Israel, salutes late father
Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir, who made history last month as one half of the first all-female spacewalking team, on Friday posted pictures of Israel snapped from space with a caption saying the country was part of her father’s journey.

“My father’s globe spanning journey as a surgeon from the Middle East, to Europe, and eventually to the U.S. was an inspiration to many in my immediate and extended family. #TheJourney,” Meir wrote.

Meir’s late father was born in 1925 in Baghdad, and in 1931 the whole family left Iraq as a result of anti-Semitism and settled in pre-state Israel.

He was in medical school at the American University of Beirut when the 1948 War of Independence broke out and returned to Israel, where he drove an ambulance during the war. He then went to Geneva to finish medical school before taking a job in Sweden, where he met Meir’s mother, a nurse who was raised in a Christian Swedish family.

Her parents then moved to the US.




We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

          

Hillary's Russian Connections : i NEVER get emotional,about a...   

Cache   

Author: carbon20
Subject: 36632
Posted: October 31 2017 at 2:58pm

i NEVER get emotional,about  a FOX news item, (never read the rubbish) or politics ,to me its a a big joke , and Chump is the top JOKER....at the moment, 

please Note ,Obama will be the next President of the USA ,

 i cant wait to see Chump SACKED.......

Jacksdad, if you have ever read "the Art of War",its very pertanent to the China situation we have developing NOW.....they building "ports" all over in Strategic places , i.e Sri Lanka,Djibouti , building and fortifing Islands...........seems to me they building infrastructure to what means  ,who knows.....

the World needs a strong USA lead by a 

STATESMAN................

not a TWIT SALESMAN !!!!!



          

Hillary's Russian Connections : Satori wrote: Joy Reid dismantles...   

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Author: Medclinician
Subject: 36632
Posted: October 30 2017 at 8:04am

Originally posted by Satori Satori wrote:

Joy Reid dismantles GOP Uranium One propaganda in a little under two minutes

https://God.blue/splash.php?url=MRGsHll984QhECCQ6XHp1ZYAy4V9sL5NM8N2F9uNipnbvjtN_SLASH_irH2XOLEtdeaM6n8ABrMylD8DICMLpeQOw8POOf3GHtnUU_PLUS__PLUS_QS3gZWdxyFv0WZ2i3wOF4i6YcHfX5pz4aKVHSQbTsocj_PLUS_JvxExDEdSRPnuFlLDH_SLASH_nzTc3Qvm594_PLUS_e_PLUS_qYNYM3wnur_SLASH_1waMM_PLUS_ZBw9ySEusOohsG6U6iUMwyGNuO8gxO3qmHhccNx61kfOO_PLUS_X_PLUS_2WRiIdc4hwxtJUwj

this whole "scandal" is literally the definition of FAKE NEWS

nice try DonnieLOL


This thread is not about Trump, it is about Hillary. Can anyone stay on topic here?

Joy Reid lost the election for Hillary Clinton and she still is more than one brick shy of a load. As most Social Justice Warrior she thinks saying something makes it true it doesn't.

https://God.blue/splash.php?url=NkxJ3ynwbvyI1Q_SLASH_Q_PLUS_SXfO2YTat7B_SLASH_yXIWXkyGbF2qwtmCefHQjTSDVEw4TNTvQQnTTK9oF6YSKdep7aO69aOTQ2MKLlOtTuN1U0AcQsdlbyn4byc68lWOQ_PLUS_LTL8hzbRNE3a_SLASH_Dr9gxbYOc_PLUS_Kj8aK34OKBDz7aS2AwyWnWoOMIvcRfUPdkVqXrzIPx2lU6jc_PLUS_Bl38sIIbbUoiqtNNOFtAjvg_EQUALS__EQUALS_

She helped alienate millions of voters for Hillary by calling Trump's supporters "deplorables".  This another black woman on a mission calling people racists at every turn and trying to boost NBCs rating on the network.

I can say anything in 5 minutes. That doesn't mean it's true. I will continue to hedge off all the thread diversions that continue to be completely off topic on this thread.

This is about Hillary Clinton's Russian Connections and also the DNC and Obama Administration. They took over $145,000,000 in bribes, and money to the "Pay for Play" for the Clinton Foundation. The formal investigation of the Uranium Sale sent people to prison and was lied about recently when everyone is claiming they did not know "until today" anything about it.

It will continue.  The rest continues to be a smoke screen and a witch hunt which has turned around. Mueller should be removed from the case since he as involved in a far great example of working with the Russians.

You continue to attack anonymously. When my country and my president is attacked I would like to know where that is coming from. It does matter where you are from and free speech is not shooting bullets from the dark - which is what you are doing.


Medclinician


          

Hillary's Russian Connections : Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent...   

Cache   

Author: carbon20
Subject: 36632
Posted: October 29 2017 at 2:26pm

Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States' Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations?

Allegations of a "quid pro quo" deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

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 109k

CLAIM

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton's approval of a deal to transfer control of 20% of U.S. uranium deposits to a Russian company was a quid pro quo exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. See Example( s )



RATING

 FALSE

ORIGIN

In the months leading up to the 2016 United States presidential election, stories abounded about the relationships between the Clinton Foundation and various foreign entities.

May 2015 saw the publication of a book called Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, an exposé of alleged Clinton Foundation corruption written by Peter Schweizer, a former Hoover Institution fellow and editor-at-large at the right-wing media company Breitbart.

A chapter in the book suggests that the Clinton family and Russia each may have benefited from a “pay-for-play” scheme while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, involving the transfer of U.S. uranium reserves to the new Russian owners of an international mining operation in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The mining company, Uranium One, was originally based in South Africa, but merged in 2007 with Canada-based UrAsia Energy. Shareholders there retained a controlling interest until 2010, when Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, completed purchase of a 51% stake. Hillary Clinton played a part in the transaction because it involved the transfer of ownership of a material deemed important to national security — uranium, amounting to one-fifth of U.S. reserves — thus requiring the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), on which the U.S. Secretary of State sits.

During the same time frame that the acquisition took place, Schweizer claims in Clinton Cash, the Clinton Foundation accepted contributions from nine individuals associated with Uranium One totaling more than $100 million. Among those who followed him in citing the transaction as an example of alleged Clinton corruption was GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who said during a June 2016 speech in New York City:

Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Trump’s campaign repeated the allegation in a September 2016 press release, and again in an October 2016 television ad stating that Clinton “gave American uranium rights to the Russians”:

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An image circulating via social media during the final months of the presidential campaign asked the question, “So Hillary, if Russia is such a threat, why did you sell them 20% of our uranium? Are you a liar, or a traitor, or both?”

clinton-uranium

The Uranium One deal was not Clinton’s to veto or approve
 
Among the ways these accusations stray from the facts is in attributing a power of veto or approval to Secretary Clinton that she simply did not have. Clinton was one of nine cabinet members and department heads that sit on the CFIUS, and the secretary of the treasury is its chairperson. CFIUS members are collectively charged with evaluating the transaction for potential national security issues, then turning their findings over to the president. By law, the committee can’t veto a transaction; only the president can. According to The New York Times, Clinton may not have even directly participated in the Uranium One decision. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez, whose job it was to represent the State Dept. on CFIUS, said Clinton herself “never intervened” in committee matters.

Despite transfer of ownership, the uranium remained in the U.S.

A key fact ignored in criticisms of Clinton’s supposed involvement in the deal is that the uranium was not — nor could it be — exported, and remained under the control of U.S.-based subsidiaries of Uranium One, according to a statementby the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

NRC’s review of the transfer of control request determined that the U.S. subsidiaries will
remain the licensees, will remain qualified to conduct the uranium recovery operations, and will continue to have the equipment, facilities, and procedures necessary to protect public health and safety and to minimize danger to life or property. The review also determined that the licensees will maintain adequate financial surety for eventual decommissioning of the sites. Neither Uranium One nor ARMZ holds an NRC export license, so no uranium produced at either facility may be exported.

The timing of most of the donations does not match
 
Of the $145 million allegedly contributed to the Clinton Foundation by Uranium One investors, the lion’s share — $131.3 million — came from a single donor, Frank Giustra, the company’s founder. But Giustra sold off his entire stake in the company in 2007, three years before the Russia deal and at least 18 months before Clinton became secretary of state. 

Of the remaining individuals connected with Uranium One who donated to the Clinton Foundation, only one was found to have contributed during the same time frame that the deal was taking place, according to The New York Times — Ian Telfer, the company’s chairman:

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said. 

The timing of Telfer’s donations might be questionable if there was reason to believe that Hillary Clinton was instrumental in the approval of the deal with Russia, but all the evidence points to the contrary — that Clinton did not play a pivotal role, and, in fact, may not have played any role at all.

Foundation admits disclosure mistakes
 
One fault investigations into the Clinton Foundation’s practices did find was that not all of the donations were properly disclosed — specifically, those of Uranium One Chairman Ian Telfer between 2009 and 2012. The foundation admitted this shortcoming and pledged to correct it, but as the Guardian pointed out in its May 2015 discussion of Clinton Cash, the fact that it happened is reason enough to sound alarm bells:

It is also true that large donations to the foundation from the chairman of Uranium One, Ian Telfer, at around the time of the Russian purchase of the company and while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, were never disclosed to the public. The multimillion sums were channeled through a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation, CGSCI, which did not reveal its individual donors.

Such awkward collisions between Bill’s fundraising activities and Hillary’s public service have raised concerns not just among those who might be dismissed as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

An enormous volume of interest and speculation surrounds the workings of the Clinton Foundation, which is to be expected. Given the enormous sums of money it controls and the fact that it is run by a former U.S. president who is married to a possible future U.S. president, the foundation deserves all the scrutiny it gets, and more.

At the same time, for the sake of accuracy it’s crucial to differentiate between partisan accusations and what we actually know about it — however little that may be.

Update

On 17 October 2017, The Hill reported obtaining evidence that Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official who oversaw the American operations of the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, was being investigated for corruption by multiple U.S. agencies while the Uranium One deal was up for approval — information that apparently was not shared with U.S. officials involved in approving the transaction. The Hill also reported receiving documents and eyewitness testimony “indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow,” although no specifics about who those Russian nuclear officials were or how the money was allegedly routed to the Clinton Foundation were given. In any case, none of these revelations prove that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in a quid pro quo agreement to accept payment for approval of the Uranium One deal.

Updated [17 October 2017]: Added synopsis of new reportage by The Hill.


          

Senator Lankford and Representative Hartzler Lead Amicus Brief in Support of ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’   

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) led Members of Congress in an amicus brief to urge the United States Supreme Court not to enforce a rule issued by Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Obama administration that forces organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their religious beliefs. In 

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Grassley Seeks Details on Administrative Sanctions for Deliberate Mishandling of Classified Information on Clinton Server   

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Letter also asks whether Clinton & Obama emails were part of security review

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How Is Call-Out Culture Playing Out In High Schools?   

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 Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. ; Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

AirTalk®

Last week, during an interview about youth activism, Obama called out “call-out culture,” arguing that the stone-casting mentality, facilitated by social media, isn’t a productive way to effect change. 

Also known as “cancel culture” Obama is referring to a (usually online) form of public shaming in which people will call attention to problematic behavior or collectively boycott a public figure.

But cancel culture has also infiltrated high schools and the way kids talk and interact with each other. We discuss the trickle down and the nature of this phenomenon in schools. Plus, if your child has experienced this, give us a call: 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Sanam Yar, styles reporter at the New York Times, where she writes about youth culture and social media; her latest piece is “Tales From the Teenage Cancel Culture”; she tweets @sanam_yar

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


          

The U.S. Debt Breaches $23 Trillion For The First Time In History – More Than 7 Times Of China’s Foreign Reserves   

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Admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once said – “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt. He commented that back in 2010, when the federal debt totalled US$13 trillion. Nine years later today, Donald Trump has taken over from Barack Obama. But the debt continues its […]

          

ISIS Chief Baghdadi Betrayed – Now His Trusted Confidant-Turned-Traitor May Get $25 Million Reward   

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On Sunday, President Donald Trump excitedly shared with fellow Americans details of the U.S. military operation that led to the death of terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a nearly 50-minute live press conference. In comparison, former President Barack Obama used up only 9-minute of press time when he announced an operation that killed Osama […]

          

Trump contra el futuro del planeta   

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El Acuerdo de París contra el cambio climático sustituyó al Protocolo de Kioto y vino a representar un atisbo de esperanza en la lucha contra las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero por tres razones básicas. Fue firmado por casi todos los países, incluidos las mayores y más contaminantes potencias económicas como China y Estados Unidos, estableció unos parámetros claros para evitar que la temperatura del planeta superara en el año 2100 los 2 grados de diferencia con respecto a los niveles preindustriales y fue ratificado con gran celeridad, apenas un año después de la firma. Justo ahora se cumplen tres años de la ratificación del acuerdo por la Administración de Obama, una de sus últimas medidas. 

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National First-Generation College Celebration, Nov. 8th   

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All this week we are celebrating first-generation college graduates. This includes many of our Ivy Tech staff, and graduates. We have a display of selected books by famous first-gens, including neurosurgeon Ben Carson, First Lady Michelle Obama, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, General Colin Powell, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The books … Continue reading National First-Generation College Celebration, Nov. 8th

          

Unprecedented! Obama White House Communications Director Picked As Roger Stone Juror    

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Education Department calls Grand Canyon a for-profit, raising questions about conversion bids   

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Grand Canyon University announced last year that it had succeeded in a second bid to convert from a for-profit to a nonprofit institution, winning almost all of the needed approvals. But the one exception -- the Trump administration’s Education Department -- has ruled to the contrary.

The surprising decision by the department, announced Wednesday by the university’s for-profit holding company and first reported by Education Dive, raises questions about ongoing efforts by other for-profit colleges to change their tax status.

Grand Canyon said Wednesday that it will challenge the department’s move to treat it as a for-profit under federal aid laws.

“Holy shit,” Trace Urdan, a managing director at Tyton Partners and an expert on the for-profit higher education sector, said of the news. He said numerous other for-profits are considering or working on converting, and that the department’s decision may make those colleges reconsider the change.

The Phoenix-based Grand Canyon is one of the nation’s largest universities, enrolling 105,000 students in its thriving online and campus-based programs. The Christian institution enrolls more than 20,000 students at its campus in Phoenix, where it has spent over $1 billion on capital improvements over the last decade.

Yet the university for at least five years has sought a “level playing field” with nonprofits and to drop the “stigma” of being a for-profit. The conversion has allowed Grand Canyon to bulk up its research capacity, receive philanthropic donations and participate in NCAA governance at the Division I level.

The Higher Learning Commission in 2016 rejected the university’s first conversion bid.

Grand Canyon had proposed a structure where the nonprofit university would outsource many of its administrative functions to a separate for-profit services corporation. That arrangement was similar to several smaller for-profits that had made the conversion. It also in some ways looked like Purdue University Global, a boundary-testing nonprofit that later was created by the acquisition by Purdue of Kaplan University, a large for-profit chain.

HLC, however, decided that too much of Grand Canyon’s academic operations would be operated by the for-profit division.

The accreditor later changed its guidelines on outsourcing, and Grand Canyon tried again.

The university has argued that both attempts were not about avoiding regulations that are specific to for-profits.

“GCU fully exceeds all of those regulatory measures,” a university spokesman said Wednesday in a written statement, noting that none of the university’s programs would have failed the Obama-era gainful-employment rule; that it gets 72 percent of its revenue from federal sources, well below the 90 percent federal threshold; and that its student loan default rate is 5.6 percent, which is also substantially lower than the national average.

Sixteen-Month Wait

In July 2018, Grand Canyon celebrated earning approval from the Higher Learning Commission and its state regulatory agency in Arizona. The IRS also signed off on the university arm operating as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

The resulting structure was like the one Grand Canyon previously proposed.

Its publicly traded owner, now dubbed Grand Canyon Education, sold the campus and academic operations for $870 million to the new, nonprofit Grand Canyon University. Under a 15-year contract, Grand Canyon Education provides a wide range of outsourced support services to the university in exchange for 60 percent of its tuition and revenue.

“The structure behind the scenes will change, but our goals and mission remain the same -- to provide high-quality Christian education that is affordable to all socioeconomic classes of Americans,” Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon Education's CEO, said at the time.

However, some critics took issue with the new nonprofit and its relationship with the for-profit holding company. One reason is that Mueller presides over both entities, which critics call a conflict of interest.

The holding company later bought Orbis Education, an online program management company, to expand its online offerings with other university partners. Grand Canyon Education said Wednesday that the OPM division now works with 20 other colleges, providing support for online programs that enroll 3,100 students.

When Grand Canyon announced its successful conversion, however, it noted that the Education Department had not yet responded to a requested sign-off on the transaction, called a “pre-acquisition review.”

Yet observers seemed to think that the deregulation-minded Trump administration would back the move, as it did with Purdue and others. Some said this administration was providing a window for nonprofit conversions, while the sector worries about what might happen under the next Democratic administration.

For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is seeking her party’s presidential nomination, has called for all for-profits to lose federal aid eligibility.

Yet after waiting 16 months on the decision, Grand Canyon said it heard Wednesday from the department that it got a thumbs-down on the conversion.

Mueller made the announcement during a quarterly earnings call.

“While we have not yet had a full opportunity to review this letter and the department’s reasoning, we do believe that Grand Canyon University meets all the requirements to be treated as a nonprofit entity for Title IV, HEA program purposes and we would expect that the university will initiate appropriate measures to challenge this decision,” Mueller said, according to a transcript of the call with investors.

Grand Canyon said the department had approved the transaction to sell its academic operation to the entity created last year. And the provisional Program Participation Agreement from the feds did not include restrictions such as a letter of credit or limit on growth, the company said.

“Since we just received this information within the last hour, you can appreciate that we need further time to digest it and to discuss it with our client,” Mueller said. “We expect to make a further statement once we have a chance to do so.”

Urdan said Grand Canyon University is in a strong enough position to ride out the bad news, which is likely to hurt its share price today. “The whole reason for doing this was to the lift the weight of the brand,” he said.

But the department’s decision will keep higher education lawyers busy, both for the university and others looking at a nonprofit conversion.

“What do you make of Purdue? Why is that OK?” he said. “How is the department making that distinction?”

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Letters: Trump economy; Longmont United Hospital   

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Trump’s economy is on fire, but at a cost The Trump economy is on fire. The jobs and wages numbers are setting records. The stock market soars. Unemployment numbers are crazy low. Economists agree he’s no longer riding on the Obama recovery. The current economy reflects Trump’s actions and philosophy. Credit is due. In large […]

          

Trip Report Middle Class Boom   

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The average middle class family is $5000 a year richer under Trump than they were under Obama... The numbers don't lie. *Trump economy is...

          

Rep. Eric Swalwell trips all over Obama trying to roll out legislation to protect 'whistleblowers'   

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Now that Rep. Eric Swalwell isn't running for president anymore he's got some extra time to try and dig up some impeachable offenses against Trump. Swalwell is also very concerned about protecting "whistleblowers" -- or anybody inside of government who simply helps forward the Democrat narrative:

https://God.blue/splash.php?url=rOFfJR1b_SLASH_Ffc5WR3qSLMTY_PLUS_0U_SLASH_N0y5gQ6wewOwucPf6v7tg5LYLvfsV_PLUS__SLASH_cZSgLc0ZUWtKbJ7a_PLUS_iP3Akp0tPFupJMP8971HB4yvR6EekF8QBQiY_SLASH_NH6hoLn1xFlR0eiKEZWfg6m94b1ygAvregnZJHQ_EQUALS__EQUALS_

Funny how we didn't]]

          

Fashion’s Newest Star Already Has Michelle Obama’s Approval   

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Christopher John Rogers wins the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. NYT > Style BEST DEAL UPDATE:

The post Fashion’s Newest Star Already Has Michelle Obama’s Approval appeared first on Gabby Love.


          

Lawmakers urge Trump to stay in Paris climate deal   

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Senate Democrats and even one Republican are urging President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. The international deal involving nearly 200 countries, which was signed under the Obama administration, promised the U.S. would drastically reduce its carbon emissions by 2025. The Trump administration took the first steps to withdraw this week, fulfilling a campaign promise and saying the deal hurts U.S. businesses. Environmentalists and lawmakers are urging the […]

          

What Michelle Obama leaves out about 'white flight'   

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Michelle Obama recently complained about "white flight" in her old Chicago neighborhood. By "white flight " she means that whites left her neighborhood as it became increasingly black. "Upstanding families like ours, who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better – as we moved in, white folks moved out, because they were…

The post What Michelle Obama leaves out about 'white flight' appeared first on WND.


          

As the Coal Industry Shrinks, Miners Deserve a Just Transition   

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Date: 
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 14:30

Coal miners wait prior to the arrival of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who visited the Harvey Mine on April 13, 2017, in Sycamore, Pennsylvania. JUSTIN MERRIMAN / GETTY IMAGES

November 5, 2019

Murray Energy, one of the biggest private U.S. coal companies, has become the fifth coal company to file for bankruptcy in 2019. Union leaders and many elected officials worry that in addition to the 7,000 miners on Murray’s payroll, this step could threaten the solvency of the United Mine Workers of America pension fund, which supports over 100,000 retired miners and fully vested workers.

Whether people support or oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to prop up the coal industry, one point of agreement is that shifting from coal to cleaner fuels threatens struggling coal-dependent communities. Murray Energy’s bankruptcy is the latest reminder that it is past time to discuss a just transition for coal miners.

My legal scholarship examines environmental decision-making processes, with a focus on law and the urban-rural divide. In my recent research, I’ve dug into the origin and meaning of the idea of a just transition for workers.

More than half of the U.S. coal mines operating in 2008 have closed.
More than half of the U.S. coal mines operating in 2008 have closed.

What Is a Just Transition?

There is no single definition of a just transition, but in the coal context it generally means finding alternative ways to support struggling communities that are losing their traditional livelihoods.

The concept was popularized in the 1970s by progressive labor activist Tony Mazzocchi, who worked in the auto, steel and construction industries before becoming an organizer. He believed that workers who had contributed to the public welfare through hazardous work deserved help in transitioning away from their difficult jobs. He first called for “full income and benefits for life” for such workers, but eventually changed his demand to four years of income and education benefits. Even then, his efforts met substantial opposition.

Mazzochi had ties to labor and the environmental movements, and his activism blended these concerns. Today scholars are embracing the idea that government should consider the economic impacts of transitions such as the shift to low-carbon fuels, especially when workers are displaced by public initiatives.

In my view, it’s unfortunate that it has taken so long for mainstream attention to focus on the fate of coal workers. For communities dependent on fossil fuels, particularly in regions like Appalachia with few other major industries, today’s job losses are just the latest phase of a long decline.

No Simple Formula

There is no road map for transitioning communities away from coal, but there are lessons from history. For example, American workers faced losses from international competition when the U.S. joined liberalized trade agreements in the second half of the 20th century.

In response, Congress passed legislation in 1974 that established the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which still operates today. It provides aid primarily to factory workers who can show that they have lost jobs or wages because of increased international competition. Eligible workers petition the U.S. Department of Labor for benefits administered through state agencies, including cash payments, retraining and assistance with relocation and job searches.

However, research shows that even with this support, affected workers were substantially worse off than they had been before the shift in trade policy. Scholars have criticized trade adjustment programs as an ineffective band-aid. In 2008 one of the program’s directors called it “too little assistance too late to those in need.”

Another example, the Clinton administration’s 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, was developed in connection with the decision to provide federal protection for the Northern spotted owl. Officials recognized that restrictions on logging would hurt the Pacific Northwest timber industry, which was already declining.

The plan provided direct federal subsidies to traditional timber counties to offset logging reductions on public lands. However, these payments have been declining since 2006, contributing to a fiscal crunch in rural Oregon. Local opposition to tax increases, which could support local government services and community planning, hasn’t helped.

Another initiative, the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, achieved more mixed results. In 1998 the four largest U.S. tobacco companies executed a major legal settlement with states suing them to recover tobacco-related health costs. The agreement required tobacco companies to provide billions of dollars in economic assistance to farmers to ease their transition away from growing tobacco.

Each participating farmer received an average of US$17,000 through the program, which ran from 2005 to 2014. The top 10% of recipients received 75% of the payments. Some assessments concluded that these cash injections boosted struggling rural communities. But farmers arguably have more autonomy than many other kinds of workers, since they can opt to grow different crops, so this example may have limited relevance for coal miners.

County economic status in Appalachia, fiscal year 2020.
County economic status in Appalachia, fiscal year 2020.

Recent Transition Aid for Coal Communities

The most defined federal effort so far to help coal communities economically is the POWER Plan, launched by the Obama administration. This program directs funds into Appalachian communities to assist displaced workers, build regional institutions’ capacity and fund economic development programs.

From 2015 through 2019 the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development agency supported by federal, state and local governments, has invested over $190 million in 239 projects across Appalachia. Although President Trump often calls himself a friend to coal miners, his first budget request proposed terminating the commission. Congressional supporters restored its funding.

It is popular for commentators to propose initiatives such as retraining coal workers for solar or natural gas jobs. In my view, this approach is simplistic: A just transition should focus on sustainably rebuilding regional economies, and should be informed by input from people who are affected.

 

 

Subsidies to local governments and benefits for individuals are a start, but should be better funded and implemented than trade adjustment assistance. They should build local institutions, such as schools and planning agencies, that can contribute to sustainable economic diversification — something the Northwest Forest Plan failed to do. And they should distribute benefits more equitably than the compensation program for tobacco farmers.

Along with job retraining programs, POWER is funding infrastructure development, public services and new educational institutions. But a just transition will require substantial resources and effort. It remains to be seen whether federal efforts will rise to the challenge.

Author: 
Ann Eisenberg

          

Obama La Grande Desillusion Andre   

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Obama La Grande Desillusion Andre

          

Merkel und die „Zombie“-Koalition   

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  Für die „New York Times“ war Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel lange Zeit eine Heldin. Nach dem Abgang von US-Präsident Barack Obama würdigte sie Merkel als „letzte Verteidigerin des freien Westens“. Jetzt senkt die liberale Zeitung die Daumen und bescheinigt in einer aktuellen Analyse Merkel, eine „Zombie-Koalition“ anzuführen. Die „New York Times“ macht ihr Urteil vor […]

The post Merkel und die „Zombie“-Koalition appeared first on Hessen Heute.


          

Former Obama officials rally behind Biden as he trails top rivals in money race   

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Former Obama officials rally behind Biden as he trails top rivals in money raceIn a flex of establishment muscle, a slew of former Obama administration officials came out on Wednesday to support Joe Biden’s Democratic U.S. presidential bid at a time when he is fighting to maintain his front-runner status. Biden, 76, who was vice president for eight years under Barack Obama, was the guest at a fundraiser that marked the latest effort by his allies to confront the mounting threat posed in polls and fundraising by his top Democratic rival, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Biden has become increasingly reliant on the Democratic political establishment to repel her charge.



          

Special election recap: Democrats flip GOP seat in St. Louis suburbs, and two new races come online   

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Here’s a recap of the most interesting special elections from Tuesday. You can check out the results of all Democrat vs. Republican races with our Big Board here.

CA-AD-01: Republican Megan Dahle defeated Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt 58-42 to win this deep red seat in California's rural far north. Betancourt was able to slightly improve on both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s margins here, following on her unusually solid showing for a Democrat in the first round of voting.

MO-HD-99: Democrats got their second special election flip of the year after Trish Gunby defeated Republican Lee Ann Pitman 54-46. This district, located in the suburbs of St. Louis, has been shifting leftward in recent years. Mitt Romney won it 55-43 but Donald Trump prevailed just 49-44.

NJ-SD-01: Republicans, meanwhile, earned their fifth special election flip of the year, as Mike Testa unseated Democratic Sen. Bob Andrzejczak 53-47 to win this South Jersey seat. This district had moved from 53-46 Obama to 53-44 Trump, and Andrezejczak attempted to position himself as a conservative Democrat by declining to rule out voting for Trump in 2020.

TX-HD-28: The race to replace former Rep. John Zerwas in this suburban Houston district is heading to a runoff. Eliz Markowitz, the lone Democrat in the race, and Republican Gary Gates will be the participants in the runoff, after taking 39% and 28%, respectively. Five other Republicans combined to take the remaining 33% percent. Overall, Republican candidates outpaced the Democrat 61-39. The runoff date has not been determined, but will be chosen by Gov. Greg Abbott.

In addition, two of Tuesday's local election results in the Northeast will prompt special elections for a pair of Republican-held seats that Democrats will have a shot at flipping:

NY-SD-50: Republican state Sen. Bob Antonacci won a state Supreme Court race on Tuesday, which creates a vacancy for his suburban Syracuse seat. This district supported Clinton 50-45 and Obama 54-43. Antonacci came out on top 51-49 in his race last year, a low mark given that this district’s previous Republican incumbent faced no serious opposition in the last several elections.

PA-HD-18: Republican state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo was elected to the Bucks County Commission on Tuesday, opening up his Bensalem-based state House seat. While DiGirolamo never had any trouble winning re-election, this district is strongly Democratic at the presidential level. Clinton was victorious here 58-41, and Obama won by a similar 59-39 spread.


          

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/6   

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Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

Please note: The Live Digest is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free space. It’s also a place to discuss elections, not policy.

Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 3:46:48 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

IN-01

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Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 4:34:12 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

IN-01: Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky announced Wednesday that he would not seek a 19th term representing Indiana’s 1st Congressional District. Visclosky’s seat, which includes the state’s northwestern corner, backed Hillary Clinton 54-42, and the winner of the May Democratic primary should have no trouble holding it.

Visclosky, whose father served as mayor of Gary in the 1960s, got his start in politics as a congressional aide to local Rep. Adam Benjamin. Benjamin died in office in September of 1982, and Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher and his allies in the district Democratic Party selected state Sen. Katie Hall to take Benjamin’s place as the Democratic nominee. Hall’s general election victory made her the state’s first black member of Congress, but she faced a tough primary challenge two years later from both Visclosky and Lake County Prosecutor Jack Crawford.

Hall argued during the 1984 race that “[i]f I wasn't black and female, there wouldn't be a contest.” Her opponents, though, insisted that Hall took her orders from Hatcher, a prominent black politician who many local white voters despised. (The Washington Post’s Mike Debonis explained Wednesday that much of the district’s white electorate viewed Hatcher, who was his city’s first black mayor, as the man who had destroyed Gary,” though the city’s struggles were “of course waaay more complicated” than that.) Visclosky and Crawford also said that Hall had missed key House votes. Visclosky, who dubbed himself the “Slovak Kid,” ended up edging Hall 34-33, while Crawford was just behind with 31%.

Visclosky had no trouble winning in November, and he always won at least 56% of the vote in all of his general election contests. Visclosky did face two more primaries against Hall, though. The incumbent defeated her 57-36 in 1986, and he won by a similar 51-30 margin during their third match in 1990. That race was also the last time that Visclosky faced a serious intra-party contest.

However, that could have changed in 2020. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott had expressed interest in challenging Visclosky for renomination, and McDermott announced that he would run here immediately after the congressman said he would retire.

McDermott is a self-described moderate, and he last month, he faulted Visclosky for backing an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. McDermott argued that Democrats should censure Trump instead because the Senate would just acquit him, and he further insisted that the congressman’s support for impeachment could cost the region federal funding for a commuter rail extension to Chicago.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 7:21:14 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Aurora, CO Mayor: Former GOP Rep. Mike Coffman won the mayor’s office in Aurora, a city of 367,000 in the Denver area, one year after he lost re-election for Colorado’s 6th District. Coffman took first place in the five-way nonpartisan contest with 38% while local NAACP head Omar Montgomery, who was the only Democrat in the race, was in second place with 33%. There is no runoff here, so Coffman’s plurality win has kept this seat red.

Local Democrats also were hoping to take a majority on the City Council by defeating three moderate and conservative members, but they didn’t make any gains. Instead, the only councilmember who lost was unseated by a fellow conservative.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 7:59:13 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Indiana: Democratic incumbent Joe Hogsett won re-election as mayor of Indianapolis by defeating GOP state Sen. Jim Merritt in a 72-27 landslide. This was the best performance for a Democratic mayoral candidate ever since before Republican Mayor Richard Lugar merged the city government with the rest of Marion County in 1970.

Indianapolis Democrats also went into Tuesday with a small 14-11 majority on the City-County Council, but they ended the night with a 20-5 supermajority. Democrats won a narrow majority on the body back in 2011, but they struggled mightily to hold it for years. In 2013, the GOP legislature eliminated the four citywide seats, all of which were controlled by Democrats, in a move Democrats denounced as a “power grab.”

Team Blue still maintained a majority after the 2015 elections, but early last year, nine members of the GOP minority joined five Democrats to oust the Democratic council president and install Democrat Stephen Clay in a power sharing agreement. Clay ended up stepping down after six weeks, though, and mainstream Democrats quickly retook control.

Democrats also had a strong night in neighboring Hamilton County by winning a council seat in Carmel and two council districts in Fishers. The Indianapolis Star writes that Republicans have had a monopoly on both city councils for decades, and politicos can’t even remember the last time Democrats had any representation in either city.

All of Hamilton County is located in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, which is held by retiring GOP Rep. Susan Brooks. The once-solidly red 5th has been moving to the left in recent years, and Tuesday’s results should give Democrats more reasons to be optimistic about flipping it next year.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 8:18:06 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Des Moines, IA Mayor: Democratic incumbent Frank Cownie, who is the longest-serving mayor in Des Moines history, was forced into a Dec. 3 runoff against former state Sen. Jack Hatch. Cownie took 43.4% of the vote while Hatch, who was Team Blue’s 2014 nominee for governor, was just behind with 42.7%.

Hatch entered the race just before the mid-September filing deadline and ended up self-funding most of his campaign. Hatch, who works as a developer, has argued that the city needs to do a better job improving infrastructure and mental health care. He also attacked Des Moines' new zoning code for "fast-tracking" development projects, saying they will mean less input from the neighborhoods that will be impacted. 

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 8:26:05 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Wichita, KS Mayor: Democratic state Rep. Brandon Whipple unseated GOP incumbent Jeff Longwell 46-36 to win control of Kansas’ largest city in an officially nonpartisan race. GOP businessman Lyndy Wells, who took a close third in August’s primary, launched a write-in campaign during the final weeks of the race, and most of the 18% of write-in votes likely went to him.

Longwell drew some bad headlines in September when The Wichita Eagle reported that he had steered a large and crucial city contract for a new water treatment plant to his political allies and friends. The race took another nasty turn a week before Election Day when Whipple filed a defamation lawsuit against a Republican operative and two unnamed defendants over a web ad that falsely accused Whipple of sexual harassment. Longwell condemned the spot and denied any involvement.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 8:34:46 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

KY-AG, KY-SoS: While Democrat Andy Beshear appears to have unseated GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, Team Red won every other statewide office. Republican Daniel Cameron, a former general counsel for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, won the race to succeed Beshear as attorney general by beating former state House Speaker Greg Stumbo 58-42. Cameron is the first Republican to hold this office since World War II, as well as the state’s first black attorney general.

The contest to succeed termed-out Secretary of State Alison Grimes, who was McConnell’s Democratic opponent in 2014, was considerably closer. However, Republican elections attorney Michael Adams still beat former state Department of Veterans Affairs head Heather French Henry 52-48. GOP incumbents were also decisively re-elected in the races for auditor, treasurer, and commissioner of agriculture.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 8:53:26 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Mississippi: While Republican Tate Reeves’ 52-47 victory over Jim Hood was Team Blue’s best showing in a gubernatorial race in two decades, Democrats also lost two of their last sources of statewide power. Republican state Treasurer Lynn Fitch won the race to succeed Hood as attorney general by defeating former state ACLU executive director Jennifer Riley Collins 58-42. Either candidate would have been the first woman to hold this post, but Fitch is also the first Republican to serve as attorney general since 1878.

Republicans also took a 2-1 majority on the state Public Service Commission, which is charged with regulating utilities. The remaining Democratic member is Brandon Presley, who was unopposed. Presley has been mentioned as a future statewide candidate for a while, but he’s always opted to stay put.

Republicans decisively kept control over all their statewide offices, and they maintained their supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature as well.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 8:58:04 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Manchester, NH Mayor: Democratic incumbent Joyce Craig won a second two-year term as mayor of this swing state’s largest city by beating former GOP state Rep. Victoria Sullivan 57-43. Craig has been talked about as a rising star in state Democratic politics for a while, and this wide victory will only increase her stature. It doesn’t sound like she’s looking to run for governor next year, though, since Craig said on election night she was “excited to serve the people of Manchester for another two years.”

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 9:03:04 PM +00:00 · David Nir

FL-13: Trump superfan Matt Gaetz has endorsed Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, who is one of several Republicans running to take on Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist. While Gaetz's district in Florida's panhandle is a long way from the 13th (which is based in St. Petersburg), his seal of approval could help Luna lock down the frothiest elements of the GOP base. That, however, isn't likely to be a boon in the general election, though, considering that this district has always favored Democrats.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 9:04:06 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

NJ State Assembly: New Jersey Republicans made some gains on Tuesday in South Jersey, though they’re still deep in the minority. Team Red has won at least two Assembly seats and successfully defended Minority Leader Jon Bramnick from a serious Democratic effort to oust him, while another two Democratic-held seats are still unsettled. 

The GOP flipped both Assembly seats in LD-01 and they also lead both Democratic incumbents in LD-02 in the AP’s count as of Wednesday evening, though the latter contest is very tight. The Press of Atlantic City wrote Wednesday that when mail-in votes, which are not currently included in the LD-02 tally, are included, both Democrats emerge with narrow leads. There are still ballots to count in LD-02, and no one has declared victory on either side yet. The paper writes that final results are “at least a week away.”

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 9:33:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

New York: New York hosted several races for county executive on Tuesday, and both parties scored some notable wins.

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello unseated GOP incumbent Cheryl Dinolfo 52-48, which will make him the first Democrat to hold this office since the end of 1991. Over in Erie County, Democratic incumbent Mark Poloncarz won a third term by beating County Legislator Lynne Dixon, a member of the Independence Party who was also running on the GOP line, 54-46. Democratic incumbent Steve Bellone also won a third term in swingy Suffolk County by turning back Republican John Kennedy, the county comptroller, 55-43.

Republicans had more success elsewhere. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who was Team Red’s 2018 nominee for governor, won re-election by a wide 59-41 against Joseph Ruggiero, a former executive director of the New York State Bridge Authority. National Republicans have been hoping to recruit Molinaro to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado in New York's 19th Congressional District, and they’ll probably step up their persuasion campaign following his victory on Tuesday. Over in Onondaga County, Republican incumbent Ryan McMahon beat self-funding Democrat Tony Malavenda 55-45.

Meanwhile, out on Long Island, Republicans also appear to have regained an office they controlled for over a century until 2017. Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin holds a 50-49 lead for town supervisor over incumbent Laura Gillen, a margin of just under 1,400 votes. Clavin has declared victory but Gillen, a Democrat, has not conceded. The Town of Hempstead, which used to be the center for the once-powerful Nassau County GOP machine, has a population of about 770,000, which is larger than many major American cities.

Finally, in New York City, voters adopted instant-runoff voting for all city primaries and special elections by approving Ballot Question 1 by a 74-26 margin. Instant runoffs would come into effect for races for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, and the New York City Council starting in 2021.

The success of this measure means that New York City will be by far the largest jurisdiction in America to use instant-runoff voting. This could also impact the 2021 Democratic primary to succeed termed-out Mayor Bill de Blasio, a contest that could attract a large field of contenders. This Question 1 does not impact general elections, where it still will take just a simple plurality of the vote to win.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 9:48:24 PM +00:00 · Matt Booker

Special Elections: Here’s a recap of the most interesting special elections from Tuesday. You can check out the results of all Democrat vs. Republican races with our Big Board here.

CA-AD-01: Republican Megan Dahle defeated Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt 58-42 to win this deep red seat in California's rural far north. Betancourt was able to slightly improve on both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s margins here, following on her unusually solid showing for a Democrat in the first round of voting.

MO-HD-99: Democrats got their second special election flip of the year after Trish Gunby defeated Republican Lee Ann Pitman 54-46. This district, located in the suburbs of St. Louis, has been shifting leftward in recent years. Mitt Romney won it 55-43 but Donald Trump prevailed just 49-44.

NJ-SD-01: Republicans, meanwhile, earned their fifth special election flip of the year, as Mike Testa unseated Democratic Sen. Bob Andrzejczak 53-47 to win this South Jersey seat. This district had moved from 53-46 Obama to 53-44 Trump, and Andrezejczak attempted to position himself as a conservative Democrat by declining to rule out voting for Trump in 2020.

TX-HD-28: The race to replace former Rep. John Zerwas in this suburban Houston district is heading to a runoff. Eliz Markowitz, the lone Democrat in the race, and Republican Gary Gates will be the participants in the runoff, after taking 39% and 28%, respectively. Five other Republicans combined to take the remaining 33% percent. Overall, Republican candidates outpaced the Democrat 61-39. The runoff date has not been determined, but will be chosen by Gov. Greg Abbott.

In addition, two of Tuesday's local election results in the Northeast will prompt special elections for a pair of Republican-held seats that Democrats will have a shot at flipping:

NY-SD-50: Republican state Sen. Bob Antonacci won a state Supreme Court race on Tuesday, which creates a vacancy for his suburban Syracuse seat. This district supported Clinton 50-45 and Obama 54-43. Antonacci came out on top 51-49 in his race last year, a low mark given that this district’s previous Republican incumbent faced no serious opposition in the last several elections.

PA-HD-18: Republican state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo was elected to the Bucks County Commission on Tuesday, opening up his Bensalem-based state House seat. While DiGirolamo never had any trouble winning re-election, this district is strongly Democratic at the presidential level. Clinton was victorious here 58-41, and Obama won by a similar 59-39 spread.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 9:49:40 PM +00:00 · David Nir

FL-07: Physician Leo Valentin is the latest Republican to join the race to unseat sophomore Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy in central Florida's 7th Congressional District. So far, all of the other GOP contenders look like Some Dudes, though it's not yet clear whether Valentin, who only moved to the area last year, offers a different profile.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:01:56 PM +00:00 · David Nir

FL-19: On Wednesday, state House Majority Leader Dane Eagle became the first Republican to announce a bid for Florida's 19th District, which recently became open thanks to GOP Rep. Francis Rooney's retirement. Eagle, who is term-limited as a state legislator, currently represents just under a quarter of the congressional district he's now running for.

A very large number of other Republicans are still hovering around this seat, though, so Eagle could get some company very soon. Several in fact reaffirmed their interest after Eagle's announcement, including one new name, Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:09:50 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Pennsylvania: Democrats scored historic wins in the Philadelphia suburbs in 2017, and they made history again there on Tuesday by taking control of the board of county commissioners in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Lehigh Counties.

The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that this is the first time that Democrats have won control of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners since 1983, while Team Blue hasn’t run the Delaware County Council since the Civil War. The paper also adds that Democrats had never won the Chester County Board of Commissioners until Tuesday. The Morning Call also says this is the first time in decades that Democrats have taken the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.

Democrats are counting on strong wins in the Philadelphia suburbs next year to take the state’s 20 electoral votes away from Donald Trump, and Tuesday’s results are a good omen. The Bucks County results in particular should also encourage Democrats looking to take down Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick: Bucks County makes up the vast majority of the 1st Congressional District, which is one of just three seats won by Hillary Clinton yet still represented by a Republican.

The news wasn’t uniformly good for Team Blue in the Keystone State, though, since the party lost control of several board of county commissioners in western Pennsylvania. However, state political analyst Ben Forstate writes that after Tuesday, over half of the state will live in a county controlled by Democrats.

Republicans also suffered a historic defeat in Philadelphia to the progressive Working Families Party, though not all Democrats are happy about it. The 17-member Philadelphia City Council contains seven citywide seats (the other 10 are single-member districts), but each party can nominate only five candidates. This has allowed Republicans to control at least two citywide seats since the city’s Home Rule Charter went into effect in the 1950s, but Working Families Party candidate Kendra Brooks cost Team Red one of those seats on Tuesday.

Brooks’ victory came despite efforts by Democratic City Committee Chairman Bob Brady, a former congressman who runs what was once a powerful city political machine. Brady argued before the election that Brooks could cost the five Democratic candidates support, and he suggested that any party committee members or ward leaders who supported a non-Democratic contender could be expelled from the committee. All five Democrats won, but Brady was still angry after Election Day.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:21:40 PM +00:00 · David Nir

VA-07: Despite an epic botch that led to his name getting left off the ballot, Republican Del. Nick Freitas appeared to have won re-election to his safely red state House district on Tuesday night thanks to a write-in campaign, but he may not stick around long. When asked after the results came in if he'd commit to serving a full two-year term in the legislature, Freitas was decidedly non-committal, saying, "Look, my job is to serve the people of the 30th District, and I'm going to continue to do that."

That's likely because he's been mentioned as a possible candidate to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger in the 7th Congressional District, a race that the Club for Growth has sought to recruit him for. Freitas' legislative district largely overlaps with the 7th, though he represents less than 10% of the latter. However, he’d be able to run without giving up his current seat.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:25:25 PM +00:00 · David Nir

TX-24: Less than a month after launching her campaign, Republican businesswoman Deanna Metzger has dropped out of the race for Texas' open—and highly competitive—24th Congressional District.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:31:01 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Houston, TX Mayor: Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner took 47% of the vote in Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary, which was a little less than the majority he needed to avoid a Dec. 14 runoff. The second spot went to wealthy trial attorney Tony Buzbee, who defeated conservative independent and 2015 runner-up Bill King 28-14. Two fall polls both showed Turner failing to take a majority but still leading Buzbee by double digits in what was at the time a hypothetical second round.

Buzbee poured at least $10 million of his own money into his campaign, and we should probably expect more where that came from. Buzbee, who successfully defended then-GOP Gov. Rick Perry on corruption charges in 2014, refuses to identify himself with any party, and he's hosted fundraisers with Donald Trump as well as Hillary Clinton.

However, Buzbee also donated $500,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee and has a Trumpesque habit of insulting his enemies over social media, prompting Turner to run ads connecting the two men. On Tuesday night, Buzbee delivered what the Texas Tribune called a “boisterous, rambling speech” while clad in what the candidate described as his “Marine Corps greens.”

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:40:07 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Salt Lake City, UT Mayor: City Councilor Erin Mendenhall appears to have decisively defeated state Sen. Luz Escamilla, a fellow Democrat, but she’s not declaring victory yet. Mendenhall ended Tuesday night with a 59-41 lead, but she said the next day that the race wasn’t decided yet since thousands more ballots needed to be counted. Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen expects to release updated results on Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 10:47:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Prince William County, VA Board of Supervisors: Democrat Ann Wheeler decisively won the race to succeed Confederacy fanboy and frequent GOP statewide candidate Corey Stewart as leader of Virginia's second-largest jurisdiction. Wheeler beat John Gray, a Republican who ran a pro-Trump campaign, 55-35. Wheeler and her ticketmates also turned what was a 6-2 GOP majority on the Board of Supervisors for this large Northern Virginia County into a 5-3 Democratic edge.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 · 11:40:30 PM +00:00 · David Nir

KY-Gov: On Wednesday, despite facing a nearly insurmountable deficit, Gov. Matt Bevin requested a recanvass of Tuesday's vote while his fellow Republicans in the legislature began plotting to overturn the results of Kentucky's election for governor.

With all precincts reporting, Democrat Andy Beshear currently leads 49.2 to 48.8, a margin of 5,189 votes. In typical Trumpian fashion, Bevin has repeatedly claimed that the election was marred by "voting irregularities," but, reports the Louisville Courier Journal, his campaign has "not replied to multiple requests asking for any of those examples."

Not that there are any problems to uncover, but a recanvass—which differs from a recount—wouldn't find them anyway. In a recanvass, officials simply check the tallies reported by each voting machine and compare them to the numbers that were reported to the state Board of Elections. (To seek a recount, in which all ballots would be individually reviewed, Bevin would have to petition a court and pay the entire cost.)

Barring an impossible profusion of tabulation errors, then, the end result won't change as a result of a recanvass—something Bevin knows well, since a recanvass of his narrow 2015 primary win didn't budge his 83-vote lead by even a single vote. In fact, a recanvass has never altered the outcome of an election in Kentucky.

The goal, however, is not to clarify the results but rather sow confusion about them—and, if state Senate President Robert Stivers has his way, throw the election to the GOP-dominated legislature. Speaker to reporters on Wednesday, Stivers cited Section 90 of the state constitution, which specifies that "[c]ontested elections" for governor "shall be determined by both Houses of the General Assembly"—and hasn't been used since 1899.

There are no grounds, of course, for such a contest, but Stivers is happy to invent one: He said it was "appropriate" that Bevin hadn't conceded because he thinks that most of the votes received by Libertarian John Hicks, who won just under 2% of the vote, "would have gone to Bevin."

This is as bonkers as it is anti-democratic. For starters, Kentucky obviously doesn't have any sort of instant-runoff voting, though Stivers surely could have passed such a law at any point during the last three years, when Republicans held complete control of state government. In our actual reality, rather than Stivers' fantasy, Hicks was in fact on the ballot and therefore his vote wouldn't "have gone" to another candidate—it did go to Hicks and Hicks alone. Stivers can't now retroactively invent a kinda-sorta instant runoff on his own say-so.

What's more, there's good reason to think that Hicks' supporters want nothing to do with Bevin. In a statement posted on Facebook, the Libertarian Party of Kentucky said, "[W]e are always happy to split the vote in a way that causes delicious tears. Tonight there are plenty of delicious tears from Bevin supporters." The post continued, "We split the vote. And we could not be more thrilled. If our friends in the major parties do not want this to happen again, they should think about passing ranked choice voting."

Bevin has yet to take any formal steps toward seeking a recount or contesting the election, though he'll likely wait until after the recanvass, which Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes says will take place on Nov. 14. Republicans won't have much time to launch any schemes to steal the election after that date, though, as Beshear's inauguration is currently set for Dec. 10.

Thursday, Nov 7, 2019 · 12:12:29 AM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Salt Lake City, UT Mayor: City Councilor Erin Mendenhall ended Tuesday night with a wide 59-41 lead over state Sen. Luz Escamilla, a fellow Democrat. While there are more ballots to be tabulated, Escamilla conceded defeat on Wednesday evening.

Thursday, Nov 7, 2019 · 12:29:52 AM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

San Francisco, CA District Attorney: As of Wednesday evening, appointed District Attorney Suzy Loftus holds a 51-49 lead over public defender Chesa Boudin, a margin of 2,205 votes. That represents an increase for Loftus from the 240 edge she held in the morning before a new batch of votes were added.


          

Two Democrats voted against opening an impeachment inquiry. One may be courting his doom   

Cache   

On Thursday, the House voted to formalize its impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, with all but two Democrats in favor and every Republican voting against (Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash was an "aye"). The two Democratic dissenters were longtime Rep. Collin Peterson, who represents the reddest district held by a Democrat, and freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was thanked by Trump for his anti-impeachment comments in September.

In explaining himself, Peterson largely echoed discredited GOP talking points about process, and his decision was likely driven by raw political preservation: His once-blue district in rural northwest Minnesota, numbered the 7th, voted for Trump 62-31 and is likely to keep getting redder. Peterson has also drawn what's likely going to be his toughest challenge ever from former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, who recently earned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's endorsement.

Two decades ago, though, Peterson felt quite differently. In October 1998, he voted in favor of a Republican resolution opening an impeachment investigation into Bill Clinton, even though the crimes Clinton was alleged to have committed were far less grave than what Trump stands accused of. And while Peterson has always been one of the most conservative members of his caucus, his district had voted for Clinton by a 45-40 margin in 1996. (He ultimately voted against all four articles of impeachment that December.)

Van Drew, meanwhile, faces the opposite political calculus, though he doesn't seem to realize it. Van Drew's district in southern New Jersey also went for Trump, but by a considerably smaller 51-46 margin, and it previously backed Obama twice. In addition, calculations by analyst J. Miles Coleman show that Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy carried New Jersey’s 2nd District  50-48 during his successful 2017 run.

By virtue of representing swingy turf, Van Drew was always likely to be a Republican target next year, regardless of his vote on impeachment. Now, though, the conservative congressman has upped the likelihood he'll face the wrath of progressives in June's primary.


          

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 10/31   

Cache   

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

Please note: The Live Digest is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free space. It’s also a place to discuss elections, not policy.

Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 3:34:49 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

AL-02: Citing poor fundraising, state Rep. Will Dismukes dropped out of the GOP primary on Wednesday for this safely red open seat.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 3:43:01 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

KS-Sen: On Thursday, both the DSCC and EMILY’s List endorsed state Sen. Barbara Bollier’s campaign for this open GOP-held seat. Kansas famously hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since 1932, but Team Blue is hoping for an opening next year especially if 2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach wins his primary.

Bollier, a former moderate Republican who switched parties late last year, entered the race in mid-October and quickly emerged as the heavy favorite in the Democratic primary. Former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom dropped out just one day after Bollier jumped in and endorsed her, and she also soon earned the backing of both Gov. Laura Kelly and former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Bollier still faces Manhattan Mayor Pro Tem Usha Reddi in the August primary, but Reddi raised very little money during her first month in the race and has little outside support.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 7:30:42 PM +00:00 · David Nir

NJ-02, MN-07: On Thursday, the House voted to formalize its impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, with all but two Democrats in favor and every Republican voting again (Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash was an "aye"). The two Democratic dissenters were longtime Rep. Collin Peterson, who represents the reddest district held by a Democrat, and freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was thanked by Trump for his anti-impeachment comments in September.

In explaining himself, Peterson largely echoed discredited GOP talking points about process, and his decision was likely driven by raw political preservation: His once-blue district in rural northwest Minnesota voted for Trump 62-31 and is likely to keep getting redder. Peterson has also drawn what's likely going to be his toughest challenge ever from former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, who recently earned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's endorsement.

Two decades ago, though, Peterson felt quite differently. In October of 1998, he voted in favor of a Republican resolution opening an impeachment investigation into Bill Clinton, even though the crimes Clinton was alleged to have committed were far less grave than what Trump stands accused of. And while Peterson has always been one of the most conservative members of his caucus, his district had voted for Clinton by a 45-40 margin in 1996. (He ultimately voted against all four articles of impeachment that December.)

Van Drew, meanwhile, faces the opposite political calculus, though he doesn't seem to realize it. Van Drew's district in southern New Jersey also went for Trump, but by a considerably smaller 51-46 margin, and it previously backed Obama twice. In addition, calculations by analyst J. Miles Coleman show that Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy carried the district 50-48 during his successful 2017 run.

By virtue of representing swingy turf, Van Drew was always likely to be a Republican target next year, regardless of his vote on impeachment. Now, though, he's upped the likelihood he'll face the wrath of progressives in June's primary.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 7:44:12 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

Wichita, KS Mayor: On Tuesday, Democratic state Rep. Brandon Whipple filed a defamation lawsuit against a man named Matthew Colborn and two unnamed “John Doe” defendants over a web ad that falsely accused Whipple of sexual harassment.

Whipple is running to unseat Jeff Longwell, the Republican mayor of Wichita, and his lawsuit alleges that “supporters of the Mayor entered into a civil conspiracy to publish defamatory claims against the plaintiff with the intent of harming his candidacy.” Longwell has condemned the spot and denied any involvement with it.

The ad features several young women describing how they were sexually harassed while they were interns in the Kansas state legislature, and concludes with them all saying in unison, “Stop Brandon Whipple.” However, while the stories the women recount come from media reports describing harassment at the state capitol, none of them involved Whipple. The anti-Whipple ad even quotes one intern recounting how a legislator asked her, “Do your panties match your outfit?” but it fails to note that those words were attributed to a Republican state senator.

The web video was paid for by a New Mexico group called Protect Wichita’s Girls LLC, but state records don’t reveal any information about who’s behind the organization. However, one of the actresses who appeared in its ad came forward to tell The Wichita Eagle that she had been paid $50 to read a script for the video and identified GOP operative Matthew Colborn as the producer, saying Colborn told her she was working on “an ad against domestic violence.” The actress added that she had no idea who Whipple was when she took part, but said that “knowing that it’s a lie now, I just feel terrible.”

Colborn has served as campaign manager for Republican state Rep. Michael Capps, and he filmed the ad in an office he shares with Capps and another Republican, City Councilman James Clendenin. Clendenin has acknowledged that he knows Colborn but denied that he had anything to do with the video. Wichita’s mayoral election is Tuesday.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 8:33:17 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

New York City, NY Ballot: On Tuesday, New York City will vote on whether to adopt instant-runoff voting for all city primaries and special elections. If a majority votes in favor of Ballot Question 1, instant runoffs would come in to affect for races for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, and the New York City Council starting in 2021.

The measure would not impact general elections, where it still would take just a simple plurality of the vote to win, but if New York City does adopt instant-runoff voting, it would be by far the largest jurisdiction in America to do so.

The city has long allowed candidates for mayor and other citywide offices to win party nominations with considerably less than a majority of the vote, and that’s put Democrats in some rough spots more than once. The most notorious incident arose in 1969, when City Comptroller Mario Procaccino, a conservative Democrat who declared, “We must stop coddling the criminals and pampering the punks,” was the beneficiary of a crowded primary.

That year, the liberal and moderate vote split between the party’s frontrunner, former Mayor Robert Wagner, and Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo. Procaccino ended up winning the nomination with just 33% of the vote while Wagner and Badillo took 29% and 28%, respectively. (Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer also competed in that race and finished a distant fourth with 5%.)

Procaccino, with his denunciations against “limousine liberals” and calls to “stop coddling the criminals and pampering the punks,” alienated the Democratic base, and in so doing, he gave incumbent John Lindsay a boost. Lindsay himself had narrowly lost the GOP nomination to a conservative opponent, state Sen. John Marchi, but he forged on as candidate of the now-defunct Liberal Party and beat beat Procaccino 42-35, while Marchi wound up with just 23%.

With Democrats eager to avoid a repeat, the state legislature passed a new law requiring citywide primary candidates to win at least 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff. Procaccino sued, saying that the new rule “discriminates against poor guys like me.” However, the law stood, and it remains in effect today.

But while the new rules have prevented a conservative like Procaccino from winning another Democratic primary, they’ve still caused headaches for Team Blue. Republican incumbent Rudy Guliani was termed out in 2001, and Democrats were initially optimistic about retaking the mayor’s office after eight years in the wilderness. However, the primary between Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and Public Advocate Mark Green went into a nasty second round that ended with a 51-49 victory for Green.

Less than a month later, Republican Michael Bloomberg defeated Green 50-48; while Bloomberg benefited from his massive spending and Guliani’s renewed popularity in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the negative Democratic primary likely also played a role in the narrow GOP win.

In 2013, the Democratic primary to succeed Bloomberg almost went to a runoff, but late-counted votes put Bill de Blasio just over the top with 40.8% of the vote. De Blasio will be termed-out in 2021 and if Question 1 passes on Tuesday, what could be a crowded Democratic primary to succeed him will be held under instant-runoff rules.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 9:36:08 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

NC-Sen: On Thursday, the DSCC endorsed former state Sen. Cal Cunningham in the primary to take on GOP Sen. Tom Tillis. Cunningham faces a few opponents in the March contest, but none of them have raised much money. Cunningham had $1.1 million in the bank at the end of September while his nearest intra-party foe, state Sen. Erica Smith, had only $13,000 to spend.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 9:46:52 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

LA-Gov: Edgewater Research and My People Vote are out with a poll of the Nov. 16 runoff that gives Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards a 50-47 lead over Republican Eddie Rispone, which is the same margin that the GOP firm JMC Analytics recently found in their survey for the media company Nexstar Communications. Edgewater Research is run by veteran New Orleans pollster Ed Chervenak.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has announced that he will hold a rally sometime next week for Rispone in Monroe. The city is located in the 5th District, which is represented by defeated all-party primary candidate Ralph Abraham. Abraham endorsed Rispone on the night of his defeat, but Edwards has been running TV spots in the 5th District reminding voters about the ugly contest between the two Republicans.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 9:57:33 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

ME-Sen: Republican Sen. Susan Collins is already going up with two more TV ads after first taking to the airwaves earlier in October. The first spot is positive and touts her as "the most bipartisan senator," while the second ad blasts supposed "extreme-left" groups for spending millions of dollars on ads that the narrator claims are false without specifying any of the attacks against Collins.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 10:01:39 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

MD-07: On Thursday, Del. Talmadge Branch became the first elected official to announce that he would compete in the special Democratic primary to succeed the late Rep. Elijah Cummings. Branch is the chamber’s majority whip, and he is also a former chair of the Legislative Black Caucus.

This week, former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Del. Terri Hill also each expressed interest in joining the February primary for this safely blue seat. Rawlings-Blake was a rising star in state and national Democratic politics for years, but she was widely criticized for her handling of the unrest that followed after a black man named Freddie Gray died in police custody in 2015.

Rawlings-Blake had initially announced that she would seek re-election as mayor, but several prominent local politicians began making noises about challenging the weakened incumbent in the primary. Rawlings-Blake ended up announcing that she would retire later that year.

A number of other Democrats are also eyeing this race, but state Sen. Antonio Hayes took his name out of contention this week.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 10:11:37 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

CA-25: Democratic Rep. Katie Hill has confirmed that her resignation will take effect on Nov. 1 Meanwhile, Democratic Reps. Julia Brownley and Brad Sherman have endorsed Assemblywoman Christy Smith, who appears to have the inside track with the party establishment ahead of a 2020 special election, the date of which has yet to be announced. However, despite Smith's growing support among prominent state and local Democrats, Politico reports that Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides is considering running as a Democrat, but he has yet to say anything publicly.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 10:16:33 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

TX-22: Wealthy fundraiser Kathaleen Wall is already launching a cable TV ad well before the March 3 GOP primary, and the ad primarily focuses on touting her Christian faith, along with hitting generic Republican themes of "building the wall" and opposing abortion.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 · 10:26:41 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

TX-13: On Wednesday, businessman and GOP donor Chris Ekstrom announced that he would seek the nod for this safely open seat in the Texas Panhandle.

Ekstrom has a habit of taking on the state party establishment, and he made news late last year when he and his conservative nonprofit launched a persuasion campaign to try and convince incoming (and now outgoing) state House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to keep a plaque in the state Capitol that lionized the Confederacy and pledged to teach that the Civil War "was not a rebellion nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery." Ekstrom’s effort failed, and the historically inaccurate plaque went down earlier this year. Ekstrom’s group also has attacked a Dallas city councilwoman for voting to take down a statue of Robert E. Lee in a city park.

While GOP voters probably won’t hold this campaign against Ekstrom, they may not be too keen to support a former Never Trumper. In 2016 Ekstrom was part of the Free the Delegates movement that made a last ditch effort to try and deny Donald Trump the GOP nod at the Republican National Convention. Ekstrom argued at the time, “It’s now our time and our duty to say that this is a conservative platform in the Republican Party, and we simply will not abandon it.” Unsurprisingly, though, Ekstrom now calls himself “a conservative Christian Trump Republican.”

It’s also not clear if Ekstrom has close ties to this seat. Multiple media reports have said that Ekstrom is based in Dallas, and as recently as May, the Texas Observer identified him as a “Dallas Republican donor.” While this seat extends to the outskirts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the city of Dallas is about 55 miles away from the border of the 13th District.


          

Refugee Inflow Drops By Staggering Amount Under President Trump   

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The post Refugee Inflow Drops By Staggering Amount Under President Trump appeared first on I Love My Freedom.

You will never hear it on CNN or read about it in the New York Times but President Trump continues to make progress on the nation’s immigration problems. In what is yet another example of the successful policies of the Trump administration, the president has announced that the 2020 cap on refugees will be set at 18,000. EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Which of these 6 Trump products would you like for FREE? To put that number in perspective, it is a stunning drop from the 85,000 cap set during the last year of the catastrophic Obama regime. Even more remarkable? The POTUS

The post Refugee Inflow Drops By Staggering Amount Under President Trump appeared first on I Love My Freedom.


          

Comment on #ImpeachTrump? #ExpelMcConnell! by Roe v. Wade Was a Conservative Decision – RAnt(hony)-ings    

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[…] card stacking the federal courts in conservative favor. A task that was made possible by a Senate Majority Leader who should have been removed from office for dereliction of duty in 2010 when he stated his plans to do nothing for Obama while he was […]

          

short essay on bangalore city   

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