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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,578

Journal Archives

'All in' for Trump: These White men, the strongest Trump supporters, say they can't be swayed

The parade of boats was decked out in flags and banners screaming support for President Trump, led by a barge that had been used in previous summers for bikini-tops-optional parties on Sandusky Bay but was now laden with 10 cannons and a crane holding up a 22-by-15-foot American flag. It flapped in the wind as the cannons fired.

There were motorcycles and pickup trucks on the shore, and an antique military plane in the sky. Trump flags seemed to far outnumber American ones; at least one Confederate flag flew among them. The dozen or so men firing the cannons wore red hats embroidered with Trump’s name and praise for the president. They shouted strings of excited obscenities as they marveled at the hundreds of boats behind them.

“There are still people coming to get into the parade!” exclaimed Shaun Bickley, 54, the barge owner who organized the parade and would later change into a black tank top with “Trump 2020” and an expletive written around an American flag-patterned skull. “Man, do you see all of these people?”

“Act like we’re being fired on!” yelled Jeff Karr, 59, who dropped out of high school to join the Ohio National Guard and spent 36 years in the military, including the Army Reserve, with two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Another volley of explosions sounded.

Blue-collar men such as Bickley, Karr and their buddies on the barge are the core of Trump’s base of support, and their enthusiasm for the president has only deepened since they first voted for him, even as Trump has driven away some voters, especially college graduates and women. As illustrated by the masculinity-oozing boat parade, the Trump Party is largely a party of men — especially White men without college degrees and especially those over the age of 40.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump--white-men-boat-parade/2020/09/27/dcd7bdd8-fe79-11ea-8d05-9beaaa91c71f_story.html

There's a pandemic, but Southern California home prices are at record levels

In the middle of a global pandemic, Southern California home prices keep setting records.

The six-county region’s median price reached $600,000 in August, up 12.1% from a year earlier, according to data released Wednesday by DQNews.

That was the largest percentage increase since 2014 and the third consecutive month during which prices set a new all-time high. Sales rose 2.4% from a year earlier.

“We have had houses with 40 to 50 offers,” said Syd Leibovitch, president of Rodeo Realty, which has offices throughout the Los Angeles area. “It’s just bizarre.”

https://www.latimes.com/homeless-housing/story/2020-09-23/southern-california-home-prices-jump-12-percent-in-august

Man pulls gun on St. Petersburg protesters during live broadcast

Counter-protesters shadow and confront demonstrators as they march through a crowded downtown.

A man aimed a pistol at protesters as they marched through downtown Saturday night in an incident broadcast on Facebook Live.

There were a series of confrontations downtown between the St. Pete Protest movement and small groups of counter-protesters and other individuals shadowing and yelling at the demonstrators at several points through the night.

A St. Petersburg police spokeswoman told the Tampa Bay Times that officers saw the gun incident on social media and are gathering information.

The tense situation unfolded while downtown was packed with people crowding into bars and restaurants the day after Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all remaining statewide coronavirus restrictions — allowing bars and restaurants to return to normal capacity. The governor made the announcement Friday in St. Petersburg.

It may have been downtown’s busiest night since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March. Florida reported 2,795 coronavirus cases that day, raising its total infections to 698,682.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/st-petersburg/2020/09/26/man-pulls-gun-on-st-petersburg-protesters-during-live-broadcast/

Trump is the worst threat to our democracy since the 1930s

Opinion by Max Boot

It is not simply the casting of ballots that makes a democracy. Many dictatorships have faux elections that change nothing. The real test of a nation’s political system is whether politicians respect the will of the voters — and in particular whether the most powerful leader, the one in control of the armed forces, willingly gives up power after losing an election. This is a test that countries such as Belarus and Zimbabwe have failed, and that the United States has passed, in good times and bad, for more than two centuries. Indeed, few presidents are even asked about their willingness to give up power because the answer is so obvious.

That is no longer the case. Asked on Wednesday whether he would commit to a “peaceful transfer of power,” President Trump did not say yes. He said: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.” He then said we should “get rid of the ballots” — presumably he meant mail-in ballots, but it wasn’t clear — and then ended with these chilling words: “There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

This is how the dictators that Trump so admires speak. “It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them,” he told Bob Woodward. “You know? Explain that to me someday, okay?” It’s not funny, it’s frightening, and the explanation is obvious: Trump shares with men like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan a contempt for the democratic process.

No U.S. president has said anything like this before. Ever. This by itself should be disqualifying. Even if Trump had been the best president in our history — rather than the worst — this refusal to play by the democratic rules should, all by itself, guarantee his electoral defeat.

But, of course, it won’t, because over the past four years we have all become habituated to having Trump erase one red line after another. Indeed, he also refused in 2016 to say that he would recognize the legitimacy of the election. But it is far more ominous for an incumbent than a challenger to talk like a tyrant.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/24/trump-is-worst-threat-our-democracy-since-1930s/

This is not a drill. The Reichstag is burning.

Opinion by Dana Milbank

America, this is not a drill. The Reichstag is burning.

For five years, my colleagues and I have taken pains to avoid Nazi comparisons. It is usually hyperbolic, and counterproductive, to label the right “fascists” in the way those on the right reflexively label the left “socialists.” But this is no longer a matter of name-calling.

With his repeated refusals this week to accept the peaceful transfer of power — the bedrock principle that has sustained American democracy for 228 years — President Trump has put the United States, in some ways, where Germany was in 1933, when Adolf Hitler used the suspicious burning of the German parliament to turn a democracy into a totalitarian state.

Overwrought, you say? Then ask Yale historian Timothy Snyder, a top authority on Nazism and Stalinism. “The Reichstag has been on a slow burn since June,” he told me. “The language Trump uses to talk about Black Lives Matter and the protests is very similar to the language Hitler used — that there’s some vague left-wing conspiracy based in the cities that is destroying the country.”

Trump, as he has done before, has made the villain a minority group. He has sought, once again, to fabricate emergencies to justify greater powers for himself. He has proposed postponing elections. He has refused to commit to honoring the results of the election. And now, he proposes to embrace violence if he doesn’t win.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/25/this-is-not-drill-reichstag-is-burning/

IMHO Republicans have been acting like fucking Nazis for the past 50 years.

London police officer shot dead inside police station

Source: Washington Post

A London police officer on Friday morning was shot dead inside a police station, London Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The officer was killed by a man who had already been arrested and was being detained at a custody center in Croydon, a neighborhood in south London, police said. The officer was treated at the scene and later died at a hospital.

Police said a 23-year-old man was detained at the scene. The suspect was also taken to hospital with a gunshot wound.

The police said no police firearms were fired during the incident, prompting questions about whether the suspect was properly searched at the time of his arrest.

It is rare for a British police officer to be killed in the line of duty. The police officer in Croydon is the 17th officer from the London Metropolitan Police to be killed by a firearm since the Second World War, according to the BBC.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/london-police-officer-shot-dead-inside-police-station/2020/09/25/62b292c0-ff06-11ea-8d05-9beaaa91c71f_story.html

No, it's not your 'God-given right' to buy a new gas-powered car

By MICHAEL HILTZIK

For years, automakers have pleaded that, much as they’d love to lead the way to a zero-emissions vehicular future, they just can’t wean Americans from their love of SUVs and other gas-guzzlers.

California just called their bluff.

An executive order signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom aims to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks in the state by 2035.

What we’re sending is a demand signal...The last piece of the puzzle for the automobile manufacturers is that they need the certainty that the demand will be there in the largest domestic auto market in America.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM


The first-in-the-nation policy is far more stringent than anything the state has implemented before. But given that a dozen states accounting for 40% of the American market already conform to California’s auto rules, the policy could spread quickly.

Newsom placed his order firmly in the context of the crisis of climate change, which is on vivid display via California’s ferocious wildfires.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-09-25/newsom-order-gas-guzzling-vehicles

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to end local restrictions on restaurants

Source: Tampa Bay Times

The Florida governor is looking at a “preemption” of local government authority.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to prohibit local governments from being able to close restaurants and bars, as some locals did to slow the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year.

DeSantis, appearing ready to ease state restrictions that place a 50 percent indoor occupancy limit on restaurants and bars, believes a “preemption” of local government authority can be enacted through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees licensing.

“I don’t think it’s as much of the state having restrictions as much as it’s, we may need to provide some level of assurances for people against some of the local restrictions that we’re seeing,” DeSantis said after a health-care event Thursday at the Capitol.

DeSantis said he wants to eliminate any uncertainty that restaurants could be shut down if there is another surge of COVID-19 cases, as people are now becoming more comfortable in dining out.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2020/09/25/gov-ron-desantis-wants-to-end-local-restrictions-on-restaurants/

Amazon Prime Offers to Aid Peaceful Transfer of Power by Shipping Trump Out in Twenty-four Hours

SEATTLE (The Borowitz Report)—In order to ease the peaceful transfer of power this coming January, Amazon has offered its Prime delivery service to ship Donald J. Trump out of the White House within twenty-four hours.

Speaking from his corporate headquarters, the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, said that he understood why Trump had misgivings about leaving the White House. “Moving is always hard,” Bezos said. “At Amazon, we want to make Donald Trump’s move as speedy as possible.”

Bezos said that, on Inauguration Day, an Amazon Prime delivery truck will arrive at the White House to prepare Trump for shipping, “free of charge.”

After he has been packed, bar-coded, and scanned into the system, Bezos said, Trump will be expedited to the destination of his choice.

“Amazon Prime guarantees that he will be at Mar-a-Lago within twenty-four hours,” Bezos said, adding that it would take slightly longer if the shipping address is in Moscow.

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/amazon-prime-offers-to-aid-peaceful-transfer-of-power-by-shipping-trump-out-in-twenty-four-hours

Trump and McConnell are speeding the GOP to permanent minority status

Opinion by Joe Scarborough

The Republican Party is sealing its fate.

While President Trump refuses to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power, his vassals in the Senate are moving quickly to guarantee that Trump’s latest Supreme Court justice will be on the court in time to swing the results of any election challenge. GOP leaders, of course, have the constitutional right to jam through a vote, but any victory they secure in the coming confirmation fight will be Pyrrhic.

Washington insiders have long considered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to be a shameless and cynical operator. But the Kentucky Republican’s actions over the past four years have so radicalized the Supreme Court selection process that Democrats will surely respond to McConnell’s extreme partisanship once back in power. During Trump’s presidency, “the world’s greatest deliberative body” has been reduced to a crude vote-counting chamber; this new legislative reality means Democrats would need only 50 senators and one president to pack the Supreme Court in 2021. Expect that to happen, since McConnell’s callous response to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death will speed the GOP toward a permanent minority status.

To be fair, the Republican Party’s future was already grim; White resentment doesn’t mix well with revolutionary demographic change. And the appointment of yet another Trump justice before the election will only further alienate Republicans from women, suburban voters and independents.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-and-mcconnell-are-speeding-the-gop-to-permanent-minority-status/2020/09/24/6d63dd30-fe95-11ea-9ceb-061d646d9c67_story.html
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