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crickets

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Hometown: Georgia
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,224

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Prosecuting marijuana as part of the war on drugs was a thing back in the day.

It isn't anymore. Irrelevant. Next! nt

eta
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/08/10/kamala-harris-progressive-pioneer-san-francisco-da-column/3334668001/

As San Francisco DA, Harris refused to seek the death penalty — even on a case where a very respected police officer was tragically killed. Marijuana sales cases were routinely reduced to misdemeanors. And marijuana possession cases were not even on the court’s docket. They were simply not charged. Unless there was a large grow case, or a unique circumstance, this was the reform-minded approach then-DA Harris’ office took. The accusations about marijuana prosecutions being harsh during her tenure are absurd. The reality was quite the opposite.

This is incredibly condescending.

If Brown really wanted to give Kamala Harris some advice, he could have called her on the phone and had a private conversation with her. It's really out of left field for him to inject himself into the situation this way. It's rude.

The VP position, particularly as it was defined by Obama and Biden during Obama's two terms, involved much more responsibility than in the past. The post under Biden is not at all likely to be the placeholder it might be for a different president. Not only that, turning down a VP request leaves no guarantee that the AG spot would be offered to her.

Biden picks these roles and does not need Brown's input.

Finally, while I wouldn't begrudge anyone all due career considerations before making a decision like this, Brown's emphasis on power and career over country really leaves me cold. The US is reeling: we're dealing with a pandemic, eminent economic collapse, social unrest, and a petulant wanna-be dictator.

When our government is teetering on the brink, a paternalistic career day lecture hits a sour note.

What Brown fails to take into account is that if offered the job, Kamala Harris might just want to accept because she hears the call to serve her country. That is entirely up to her -- or anyone else offered the job.

All the mansplainers and complainers need to butt out and let a grown woman make up her own mind.

"we will focus immediately on efficiency" -- really?

Mail industry experts said the documents — a slide show and talking points about new mail handling procedures — described a “sea change” in postal policy, re-envisioning an institution older than the nation itself as a for-profit arm of the government. One memo cited U.S. Steel, a onetime industry titan that was slow to adapt to market changes, to illustrate what is at stake.

“This is framing the U.S. Postal Service, a 245-year-old government agency, and comparing it to its competitors that could conceivably go bankrupt,” said Philip Rubio, a professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University and a former postal worker. “Comparing it to U.S. Steel says exactly that ‘We are a business, not service.’ That’s troubling.”


There it is -- a service that is not privatized and is not for profit is being treated as though it is a business that should be producing profit for the government rather than providing the vital services it always has to the citizen. smh

Good find, Phoenix.

Americans have zero appetite for even targeted, localized sequels.


Not true. Somebody should have doublechecked before making that declaration.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2020/07/23/majority-of-americans-expect-another-shutdown-per-harris-poll/#2d176b023d6b

The Harris Poll tracker demonstrates that Americans have come to view lockdowns as a necessary evil. In a previous survey two weeks ago, a whopping eight in 10 Americans (80%) said a shutdown was an effective way to curb the spread of the virus.

Americans want to see governors and mayors take responsibility amid what is seen as a lack of federal leadership. In the most recent survey, three-quarters of Americans (75%) say that if the federal government does not issue a national stay-at-home order, their governor should issue a statewide shutdown. This belief is held by a solid majority regardless of political party (86% Democrats vs. 63% Republicans) and across all age groups (83% seniors vs. 68% Gen Z/Millennials).

And what if their governor does not issue a lockdown order? Over six in 10 Americans (63%) would then like to see their mayor take the reins and issue such a mandate.


What we need is both a shutdown and proper testing in tandem. Shutdowns are a lot harder to stomach without more immediate feedback to show that they are slowing and stopping the spread. (They also work better when people have financial relief to help them through it, but that's a different discussion.) Having the information in your own hands with a home test would go a long way to keeping people settled in place long enough to see the infection rate go down, both in the news and firsthand in their own households and neighborhoods. It would help a lot to ameliorate the frustration of just watching from afar as hospitalization and death rates dance up and down in the news. It would help get most the nation on the same page at the same time to get the virus under control.

It would also help avoid what we are watching in real time right now with the reopening of schools.

From Yahoo:

“If everyone took an antigen test today — even identifying only 50 percent of the positives — we would still identify 50 percent of all current infections in the country,” Jha has explained. That’s “five times more than the 10 percent of cases we are likely currently identifying because we are testing so few people.”


The ability to use rapid antigen tests in home would improve testing accuracy somewhat by giving people more control to retest themselves over time, giving them a better chance of hitting the window when the results would be more accurate. It would take a lot of the load off of overburdened labs as well.

This means we need someone at the top willing to get the money going (FU, Mitch), get the distribution lines going (FU, Jared), and get the education and public information out there (FU, Trump and Birx). It's going to take Biden and a qualified pandemic task force to get it to work. The same crowd who refuse to wear masks will likely ignore this effort as well, but with enough people on board it could still work a lot better than what we have now.

This is much better than the web site the campaign started out with.

My only real complaint is the splash page. Splash pages are decades out of date, and a fund raising version is pushy bordering on tacky, even for a political campaign. Once past the splash, the main site donation info is visible just 'above the fold' and there's a dropdown mast that follows you as you surf down the page. That's more than enough of 'I need your $' without the splash before the site even loads, imo.

That said, the page design is vastly improved from the old site: latest news, volunteer opportunities, policies, merch are all there without having to scroll forever or dig through menu layers. The graphics are bright and fun, and it's well organized and interesting without being too busy. I never really wanted to visit the old page; I'm looking forward to touring the information on this one and getting more involved than a little donation here and there. They really did a great job overall.

Trump's perfect storm of a Kodak deal is getting new scrutiny

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-s-perfect-storm-kodak-deal-getting-new-scrutiny-n1235817

When word leaked last week that the Trump administration was lining up a $765 million loan to the hard-luck company once synonymous with photography, shares of Kodak stock skyrocketed from a little over $2 apiece to $60 apiece before settling back down.

The company's chief executive officer and a small set of insiders made hundreds of millions of dollars on paper, and possibly in cash in some cases, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and news reports.

That required an uncanny chain of events starting with the investors acquiring millions of low-value shares of a company on the rocks, the Trump administration inverting the purpose of a foreign-development law and the shareholders riding a broader wave of market excitement over the government's newfound interest in Kodak to discover new riches.

"This loan seems like a highly questionable use of public money and raises questions about self-dealing and insider trading," Bharat Ramamurti, a member of the COVID-19 Congressional Oversight Commission, told NBC News.


[more]

How was so much ammonium nitrate left to sit in Beirut's port for years?

Beirut blast: Tracing the explosives that tore the capital apart
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/officials-knew-danger-beirut-port-years-200805032416684.html

Analysis of public records and documents published online show senior Lebanese officials knew for more than six years that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Hangar 12 of Beirut's port.

And they were well aware of the dangers it posed.


The article continues, recounting how the ammonium nitrate came to Beirut on a Russian-owned cargo vessel, the Rhosus, and how it came to be abandoned and stored at the port in 2013.

Months later, on June 27, 2014, then-director of Lebanese Customs Shafik Merhi sent a letter addressed to an unnamed "Urgent Matters judge", asking for a solution to the cargo, according to documents shared online.

Customs officials sent at least five more letters over the next three years - on December 5, 2014, May 6, 2015, May 20, 2016, October 13, 2016, and October 27, 2017 - asking for guidance and warning that the material posed a danger, Badri Daher, the current director of Lebanese Customs, told broadcaster LBCI on Wednesday.

They proposed three options: Export the ammonium nitrate, hand it over to the Lebanese Army, or sell it to the privately-owned Lebanese Explosives Company.


Customs continued to send letters in 2016 and 2017, clearly outlining the danger and requesting action, with no response.

In the October 27, 2017, letter, Daher urged the judge to come to a decision on the matter in view of "the danger ... of leaving these goods in the place they are, and to those working there".

Nearly three years later, the ammonium nitrate was still in the hangar.


Criminal indifference and reliance on borrowed time turned out to be a deadly combination. There's more in the article, but this was as much as I could cover in a minimum of quotes.



I was just thinking about that this morning.

Then I read this:

https://twitter.com/cnni/status/1290963012598353922

The Russian government is sending five planes of medical equipment and a team of doctors to set up a field hospital in Beirut to help the city in the aftermath of yesterday's explosion, according to Russia's TASS news agency.


Four years ago, that would have been our response. This time around, great leader quotes 'his' generals saying it's an attack, and then forgets all about it. I am so sick of having a fake president.

trump is a senile idiot who also happens to be a Russian asset and longtime mobster,

and a lot of the more powerful Repubs who could and should stand up to him anyway don't, because they have taken Russian money. Be it dark money campaign contributions or a sudden influx of Russian business interests pumping money into their state, legally and otherwise, the rubles are just too good. They are bought and paid for, and fear the tweets not because they give a damn about orange julius, but because behind those petulant tweets could be an inconvenienced and unhappy Russian Mafiya.

That's my theory, anyway.

eta - I almost forgot the kompromat. In the runup to the 2016 election, both the DNC and RNC email servers were hacked. The DNC emails were leaked. The RNC emails were not, and still lurk in the background hiding untold secrets.

The last visual is so haunting. That's a funeral home.

Those are cardboard caskets arranged between chairs, row on row, because there are so many dead. Along with the families touching hands from each side of a window, that's an image I will never be able to forget. Dismissing all the pain and death with, "it is what it is" is pathological. This ad does a very good job of making that plain.
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