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tenderfoot

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Gender: Female
Hometown: East Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: West Coast
Member since: Tue Sep 3, 2013, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 5,175

Journal Archives

KEEPING UP WITH THE KUSHNERS: WITH JARED BACK ON TOP, KIM KARDASHIAN HEADS TO THE WHITE HOUSE

Months of talks between Jared Kushner and Kim Kardashian is set to culminate in a meeting with President Trump, in which the reality-TV star will ask him to pardon a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense.

After months of back-channel talks between Kim Kardashian and Jared Kushner, the high priestess of reality television is coming to the White House. By late afternoon on Wednesday, Secret Service agents will wave Kardashian and her attorney through the southwest appointment gate to the West Wing, where they will meet Kushner to discuss prison reform before he walks with them to sit down with President Donald Trump, likely in the Oval Office, along with White House counsel. According to a person familiar with the meeting, Kardashian plans to ask Trump to pardon a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense. (White House staffers have joked about who will get to accompany her to the West Wing, and what they should wear for the occasion. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)

Prison reform is an issue near and dear to Kushner, whose father, Charles, spent more than a year in a federal prison camp in 2005 and 2006 on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering. The experience left an indelible mark on the young Kushner who, for years, carried a wallet his father made for him in prison; when he joined the White House as senior adviser, he vowed to help improve the system that his father had come through. And so, while other initiatives in his once-dizzying portfolio have fallen by the wayside, Kushner has made significant progress in getting Republican lawmakers on board with the effort, bringing law enforcement officials and Evangelical leaders to the White House, taking meetings on Capitol Hill, and hosting dinner parties with key Washington power players at the home he shares with his wife, Ivanka Trump. He pushed Congress to support a bipartisan bill known as the First Step Act, which aims to better prepare inmates to re-enter society by incentivizing participation in job-training and drug-treatment programs, and which would also give nonviolent offenders more options to serve the ends of their sentences in halfway houses or home confinement. (Kushner’s father left prison 10 months early, and finished his two-year sentence at a halfway house in Newark, New Jersey.)

<snip>

Kardashian, a more recent prison reform evangelist, appears to be approaching the White House meeting with equal seriousness. She will not be bringing the camera crew for her reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, nor will she bring a publicist or her sisters, according to the person familiar with the situation. (Her husband, Kanye West, who recently tweeted a photo of his red Make America Great Again hat, will not be present either, though there have been talks about him making a White House appearance of his own at a later, to-be-determined date.) Instead, Kardashian hopes to make a legal argument to President Trump for why he should pardon Alice Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense. More than 21 years after Johnson went to prison, Kardashian came across Johnson’s story on Twitter earlier this year and reached out to Ivanka, who connected her to Kushner, according to the source. In an interview earlier this month, Kardashian said that, if given the opportunity, she would “explain to [Trump] that, just like everybody else, we can make choices in our lives that we’re not proud of and that we don’t think through all the way.”

Kardashian’s plea, and Kushner’s push for reform, are at odds with the Trump administration’s own policies. In one of his first moves as attorney general, Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that increased leniency for low-level drug offenders, instructing federal prosecutors to bring punitive charges that could trigger precisely the sort of tough mandatory sentencing that condemned Johnson to life without parole. The president, however, has proven amenable to personal entreaties—especially when celebrities are involved. Last week, Trump hosted Sylvester Stallone, Lennox Lewis, and Deontay Wilder in the Oval Office, as they asked him to pardon Jack Johnson, the legendary boxer who, in 1913, was convicted of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for the purpose of prostitution or any other “immoral” reason. Johnson, who was widely believed to be convicted because he was black, served a year in prison. After Trump agreed to pardon Johnson, he said in a statement that he was pleased to be able to “correct a wrong that occurred in our history,” before throwing in a jab to his predecessor. “They thought it was going to be signed in the last administration, and that didn’t happen.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/05/keeping-up-with-the-kushners-kim-kardashian-white-house-visit-prison-reform

the article is from 2015

Roseanne's comments aren't any worse than what DUers say about Melania...

The Trump effect: New study connects white American intolerance and support for authoritarianism

The research suggests that when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy.

Since the founding of the United States, politicians and pundits have warned that partisanship is a danger to democracy. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, worried that political parties, or factions, could "allow cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men" to rise to power and subvert democracy. More recently, many political observers are concerned that increasing political polarization on left and right makes compromise impossible, and leads to the destruction of democratic norms and institutions.

A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather the hardening of one particular political ideology. Political scientists Steven V. Miller of Clemson and Nicholas T. Davis of Texas A&M have released a working paper titled "White Outgroup Intolerance and Declining Support for American Democracy." Their study finds a correlation between white American's intolerance, and support for authoritarian rule. In other words, when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy.

<snip>

Trump's nativist language made the GOP's sympathies more explicit, leading to further erosion of support among non-white voters. George W. Bush won 35 percent of Hispanic voters in 2000; Trump won only 28 percent. His showing with Asian-American voters was only 27 percent — worse than any winning presidential candidate on record.

White people continue to decrease as a percentage of the U.S. population; at some point, it's going to be impossible to win a national, democratic American election with a platform that alienates people of color. The GOP, seeing their coming demographic apocalypse, has pushed voter ID laws and other barriers to voting to try to prevent black and other minority voters from getting to the polls. In Wisconsin, Republican Governor Scott Walker even attempted to delay elections for state seats that he believed Democrats would win.

<snip>

Blaming authoritarianism on partisanship suggests that both sides are equally to blame for the erosion of democratic norms. But greater commitment to abortion rights and free healthcare in the Democratic party isn't a threat to the foundations of democracy. The growing concentration of intolerant white voters in the GOP, on the other hand, has created a party which appears less and less committed to the democratic project. When faced with a choice between bigotry and democracy, too many Americans are embracing the first while abandoning the second.

"Social intolerance isn't just leading to GOP support as we know it and see it now," Miller says. "It's leading to preferences in favor of the kind of candidate the GOP ultimately nominated and supported for president." In embracing the politics of white identity, then, the GOP made a Trump possible — and is likely to make more Trump-like candidates successful in the future.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-effect-new-study-connects-white-american-intolerance-support-authoritarianism-ncna877886

Ivanka trolls citizens concerned about the 1500 missing children...

https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump/status/1000770717628104710

Donald Trump says 'our ancestors tamed a continent' and 'we are not going to apologize for America'

He's opening celebrating genocide...

https://twitter.com/Newsweek/status/1000109262578880512

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-tame-continent-america-945121?

Ah said stand up. Boy.

Sarah Braasch, the white woman who called police on Black grad student defends slavery...

I Love Hate Speech’: Sarah Braasch, the white woman who called police on Black Yale grad student for napping in dorm, defends slavery and supports burqa ban in writings



Here are five things to know about Sarah Braasch, the woman who called the police on a fellow Yale graduate student for taking a nap in a common room.

1. She is working on her fifth degree

According to her bio on Yale’s website, Braasch is working on her fifth degree, a PhD in philosophy. She already has two engineering degrees, a law degree (she’s a member of the New York State Bar), and a master’s degree in philosophy. The bio says her master’s in philosophy was obtained so “to address the sub-human legal status of the world’s women at the source, the philosophical foundations of law.”

2. She won a middle school class debate about the Civil War with pro-slavery arguments

In a 2010 blog post for Humanist, Braasch recalled a time in middle school when her classed was assigned to debate the pros and cons of slavery.

“I know, in retrospect it seems a bit odd to me as well. But, in a sense, what better way is there to learn about any historical subject than to debate it? And rather than debate the subject from the perspectives of late twentieth-century teens, we approached it as if we were abolitionists or southern plantation owners during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency,” she wrote.

Braasch continued:

“I was placed on the pro-slavery side of the argument. I remember spending many an hour in the local public library poring over Time Life books… And then I had a eureka moment. Some—not many, but some—of the slaves didn’t want to stop being slaves. A small number wanted to remain with their owners or return even after being freed. I knew I had just won the debate. And indeed, I did. I led our team to victory. The pro-slavery contingent defeated the abolitionists because, in a democracy, in the land of the free, who are we to tell people that they can’t be slaves if they want to be? Who are we to tell someone that she has to be free? Who are we to tell someone that she has to be regarded as fully human?”

3. She supports banning burqas

In that same Humanist blog post, which was ultimately about a law banning burqas, Braasch wrote about being against hate speech legislation.

“For the record, I am an incipient First Amendment lawyer and a staunch church-state separatist. I am an intractable free speech defender and a vehement opponent of hate crime legislation. I stake the claim that morality has no place in the law. I support the anticipated public burqa ban in France. And I would support a similar ban in the United States and anywhere else in the world.”

4. She is against hate crime legislation

From a 2011 blog post on Patheos : “Hate crimes legislation is stupid. Seriously stupid. Abominably stupid. I hate hate crimes legislation. But, I love hate speech. Hate crimes legislation has a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of association.”

5. She refers to her time as a Jehovah’s Witness as being a “slave”

Braasch left the Jehovah’s Witness faith as a teenager and looks upon her time in that religion as enslavement. “I was a slave who extolled the virtues of being a slave. I was a slave who insisted that I had chosen slavery of my own free will, of my own volition, as a conscious and educated choice. Because, you see, I was a Jehovah’s Witness who had been brainwashed from birth to believe that God had created me subhuman–below man,” she wrote in a blog post.

more: https://thegrio.com/2018/05/10/sarah-braasch-yale-grad-student/

Also, Braasch has since deleted her twitter account.

And here I am feeling sympathy for her current situation

Be Best Plagiarist

Melania Trump Cyberbullying Booklet Appears to Be Copied From FTC Booklet Released During Obama Administration



Two years ago, Melania Trump copied several lines in her Republican National Convention speech from an address Michelle Obama delivered in 2008. On Monday, Melania Trump formally announced the launch of an anti-cyberbullying initiative. As part of the initiative, the White House released a booklet that, in the words of Melania’s signed introduction, is intended to “help kids act thoughtfully and kindly” online. And, as BuzzFeed News’ Ryan Mac points out, it appears that the booklet was almost completely copied from a document released by the Federal Trade Commission in 2014.

Above, you can see the two documents’ covers. Here’s another side-by-side:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/05/melania-trump-cyberbullying-booklet-apparently-plagiarized.html

Donald Trump and the Media's Quest for a Goldilocks Conservative



At a company-wide town hall-style event in early April, Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor of The Atlantic, and his star writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates engaged in some candid public soul searching about how it is the venerable magazine, founded by abolitionists over 150 years ago, had hired (very briefly) a writer who advocated state-sanctioned hanging of women who abort pregnancies, and compared a small black child he encountered on a reporting trip to “a three-fifths scale Snoop Dogg” who gestured like a “primate.”

<snip>

The weeks in between have been as revealing about the nature of that movement as any since Trump announced his candidacy. Conservatives spent much of spring championing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the most corrupt cabinet official in modern history, and a man Kevin Williamson, the fired Atlantic columnist, praised as a “true believer, who’s “serious about this rule-of-law stuff,” because Pruitt is a friend of industry and a climate-science denier. They are currently fretting that the coal baron Don Blankenship, a viciously racist felon who cost 29 of his miners their lives, will win the GOP Senate primary in West Virginia—not because the Republican Party objects to nominating bigoted criminals to run for high office, per se, but because they worry Blankenship is likely to lose in the general election. Perhaps the central objective of the movement at the moment is to discredit the FBI and the Department of Justice so that Trump’s supporters don’t abandon him and the GOP if and when Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes Trump obstructed justice, or conspired with Russian intelligence to subvert the 2016 election, or laundered money, or multiple of the above.

Not every conservative supports every facet of this agenda, of course, including Williamson, whose one big ideological heresy as a conservative is his opposition to Trump. But every facet of it flows from the same wellspring of right-wing contempt for modern culture, and for sources of neutral authority (science, law, journalism) that get in the way of conservative objectives.

<snip>

And yet all this stretching and compromising to represent more viewpoints, and present an olive branch to Republicans, has largely served to advance the careers of NeverTrump conservatives who represent a minuscule fraction of the American right, and buy no good will. To truly mirror the full range of American political ideas, publications like The Atlantic or the Times would have to hire genuinely pro-Trump writers, who would excuse away or deflect from Trump’s racism and dishonesty and contempt for competing institutions with propaganda.

This hasn’t happened precisely because all the key decision makers understand Trumpism is beneath the best standards of opinion journalism. During and after the election, CNN hired a slate of pro-Trump commentators to appease Trump, and succeeded only in debasing itself. But Trumpism is the political style of the overwhelming majority of conservatives in the country. Most journalists have not reckoned with what that means for their industry, which is committed to values like empiricism and reason, but also to demonstrating neutrality toward America’s mainstream ideological movements. To the mission of the vocation, but also to accommodating people and ideas that are fundamentally hostile to that mission. Yet clearly one commitment or the other has to give.

At one point in their conversation, Coates and Goldberg appear to reach agreement that The Atlantic can avoid more Williamson-style fiascos by recommitting to basics. “If we publish kick-ass stories, very little of this will actually matter,” Coates said, leading to a brief discursion about the importance of reporting as a method: Reporting makes opinion journalism more persuasive and enduring by weeding out bad assumptions and other nonsense.

They’re correct about this, but they never grapple with why: Why is it that holding writers to strict standards of empiricism, logical rigor, and broad-based information-seeking will clear out the Williamson-style landmines editors like Goldberg have stepped on? Why do conservatives run either too hot, or too cold, but never just right? The answer is there. It may be the single most important thing to know about American politics today, and Donald Trump made it plain for all to see. But few journalists can bring themselves to say it out loud.

more: https://crooked.com/article/donald-trump-unmasking-america/

Now-Worthless Theranos Investments Reportedly Cost Walton Family, Betsy DeVos Hundreds of Millions

I wish every silicon valley startup existed solely to bankrupt millionaires and billionaires.



Wealthy elites sank more than $600 million into Theranos, the rapidly flatlining blood-testing startup, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

The startup’s CEO and founder Elizabeth Homes, once dubbed “the next Steve Jobs,” brought in multi-million dollar investments from big names like Education Secretary Besty DeVos and the Walton family. Now, newly unsealed documents, made public in the course of a fraud suit against Theranos, have revealed the dire finances of a company plagued by scandals, layoffs, and lawsuits. The WSJ says the top-dollar investments are now “essentially worthless.”

Theranos’ biggest investors reportedly include the Walton family, which put in $150 million; Rupert Murdoch, the largest individual investor, who put in $121 million; Betsy DeVos, who invested $100 million; and the Cox family, of Cox Media, which invested $100 million. The documents do not include the identities of shareholders or investors who gave money before 2013.

The fraud suit was brought by venture capitalist Robert Colman, who invested $15 million in Theranos in 2013. Theranos is facing multiple fraud suits from investors, all claiming Holmes misled investors on the core mission of Theranos: micro-sample blood testing. The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a civil fraud investigation against Holmes, ending in a $500,000 penalty and 10-year-ban from holding an executive role in a public company.

more: https://gizmodo.com/now-worthless-theranos-investments-reportedly-cost-walt-1825775178
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