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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,642

Journal Archives

Chile protests: Five dead after looters torch garment factory

Source: BBC

The military and police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters and a curfew was imposed in major cities.

A state of emergency already in place in Santiago is to be extended to cities in the country's north and south.

The unrest, sparked by a now suspended metro fare hike, has widened to reflect anger over living costs and inequality.

There is set to be major disruption on Monday with many banks, schools and shops expected to remain closed.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50119649

How Low Will Trump Go?

The wonder of the Trump administration — the jaw-dropping, brain-exploding phantasmagoria of it — is that it doesn’t bury its rottenness under layers of counterfeit virtue or use a honeyed voice to mask the vinegar inside. The rottenness is out in the open. The sourness is right there on the surface for all to see.

It’s at the president’s rallies, where he plays a bigot for laughs, a bully for applause.

It’s in the ballrooms and beds at Mar-a-Loco, where he mingles official government business with free marketing for his gilded club.

It’s in the transcript of his phone call with the president of Ukraine, for whom the quid, the pro and the Biden-ravaging quo couldn’t have been clearer.


I Had a Late-Term Abortion. I Am Not a Monster.

I am a baby killer.

I stopped mid-step on my way into my office in Manhattan, and that thought scrolled through my brain yet again: “I am a baby killer.” It was an April day this year, nine weeks after I ended my child’s life.

I decided to keep walking.

That is a choice I have to make every day: Give up or keep moving. I have been choosing the latter, over and over again.


Nunes Tries to Use Steele Dossier to Defend Trump During Closed-Door Hearing

During a closed-door impeachment meeting on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) brought up a topic that surprised some attendees: the Steele dossier. The context, according to three sources familiar with the episode, was his effort to explain why President Trump might be “upset” about Ukraine.

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee that is leading the impeachment probe, said some of the dossier’s contents dealt with Ukraine, and that the Clintons paid for it. Some attendees said it seemed oddly divorced from the topic at hand–namely, whether Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate one of his political opponents.

“It was nutso,” said one person familiar with the exchange. “It was awkward.”

That source added that Ambassador Gordon Sondland—America’s envoy to the European Union, who was questioned at the meeting—appeared perplexed by Nunes’ commentary.


Rep. Hunter votes against condemning Trump on Syria, saying 'You kick ass and you leave'

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, was among a small group in Congress who voted against a resolution Wednesday condemning the president’s recent decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

In a rare case of bipartisan opposition to President Donald Trump, the U.S. House overwhelmingly approved the resolution. The vote was 354-to-60, with every Democrat and more than two-thirds of Republicans supporting the measure.

Two days after Trump announced his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from near the northeastern Syria-Turkey border, Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched an offensive against the Kurds, who have been allies in the U.S. effort to fight ISIS.

Hunter was one of 60 Republicans voting against the resolution and was one of two members of California’s 53-person delegation to take that position. The other was Rep. Tom McClintock, a Republican from Elk Grove, a Sacramento suburb.


In a month, Trump has destroyed 'America First'

The uproar in Washington over President Trump’s corruption in Ukraine and malfeasance in Syria has obscured a broader story. In little more than a month, virtually every other foreign policy initiative the Trump administration has pursued has imploded — thanks mostly to the president’s increasingly unhinged behavior.

The unraveling started on Sept. 7, when Trump abruptly announced that he had canceled a previously undisclosed summit with the Afghan Taliban due to be held the next day at Camp David, and shelved a draft peace deal that a State Department special envoy had spent a year negotiating. The immediate result was a spike in violence in Afghanistan — and at least the temporary shelving of Trump’s ambition to pull U.S. troops out of the country before the 2020 election.

A week later, Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran came undone. Following an Iranian-sponsored attack on a Saudi oil complex, Trump ruled out a military response; instead, he told French President Emmanuel Macron that he was open to a plan to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations and lift sanctions on his government in return for negotiations. The gambit failed: Rouhani left Trump waiting on a phone line. But Saudi Arabia got the message: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has asked Iraq and Pakistan to broker a de-escalation with Tehran.

Just two weeks after the Iran debacle, Trump saw his nuclear negotiations with North Korea crumble — again. At a meeting in Stockholm, Kim Jong Un’s delegation rejected a U.S. proposal for an incremental deal — a far cry from the total disarmament Trump once sought — and walked away, refusing to agree to a date for future talks. Trump’s hopes for a Nobel Prize-securing breakthrough in 2020 now look vanishingly small.


There's yet another level to the Trump administration's corruption in Ukraine

It's becoming evident that President Trump’s corruption in Ukraine was not limited to his pressure for politicized investigations that could help his reelection campaign. We now know that the president’s unjustified firing of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May advanced the interests of two businessmen who made large contributions to his political campaigns.

According to reporting by The Post and other news organizations, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two emigres from the former Soviet Union with checkered financial histories, made $630,000 in contributions to Republican candidates and political action committees beginning in 2016, including $325,000 to a pro-Trump PAC. This year, the men sought the removal of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom they saw as an obstacle to their scheme to change the management of Ukraine’s state energy company and strike a deal to sell it liquefied natural gas.

Messrs. Parnas and Fruman were working with Mr. Trump’s attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and connected him to two corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors, one of whom made false charges against Ms. Yovanovitch. The result was the abrupt recall of the ambassador, who told Congress last week that she had been yanked on the orders of Mr. Trump even though the State Department assured her she had done nothing wrong.

As Ms. Yovanovitch put it, “contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.” Messrs. Parnas and Fruman have now been arrested and charged with campaign finance violations, including routing illegal contributions to federal candidates from a Russian source.


China is waging war with U.S. businesses. And it's winning.

If you want to understand what’s happening in the National Basketball Association, turn off SportsCenter and pick up “The Art of War.” More than 2,000 years ago, the Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote that “the skillful strategist defeats the enemy without doing battle, captures the city without laying siege, overthrows the enemy state without protracted war.” That’s how the NBA lost its recent battle with China, and it’s how China has been beating Americans the past few years.

Let’s back up.

On Oct. 4, Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. Of course, almost no one in China saw this tweet given that the country’s ban on Twitter keeps Chinese citizens in dark. Nevertheless, this small, symbolic gesture of solidarity with human rights-seekers landed the NBA in the middle of the war between Chinese techno-authoritarianism and U.S. democracy.

The Chinese Communist Party mobilized immediately. The Chinese Basketball Association severed ties with the Houston Rockets, Chinese corporations canceled lucrative deals, and CCTV (Beijing’s state-run media company) and Tencent (the tech giant that’s in bed with Beijing) declared that they’d be blacklisting Rockets games. Millions of viewers and billions of dollars were on the line.

The NBA quickly surrendered. The league pushed Morey to apologize, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver followed suit. Even worse, Joe Tsai, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets and co-founder of the quasi-state enterprise Alibaba, parroted Beijing’s Orwellian spin that Hong Kong protesters are less pro-democracy than they are a “separatist movement.”


Unswayed by top advisers, Trump doubles down on decision to withdraw troops

President Trump’s order to withdraw essentially all U.S. forces from northern Syria came after the commander in chief privately agitated for days to bring troops home, according to administration officials — even while the Pentagon was making public assurances that the United States was not abandoning its Kurdish allies in the region.

The officials, granted anonymity to describe internal deliberations, described Trump as “doubling down” and “undeterred,” despite vociferous pushback from congressional Republicans who have been loath to challenge the president apart from a few issues, such as national security.

Behind the scenes, Trump has tried to convince advisers and lawmakers that the United States is not to blame for Turkey’s military offensive, which has targeted Kurdish fighters who have aided the U.S. fight against the Islamic State.

But experts — and many Republicans — say otherwise. And even Trump allies say the president needs to do a better job of selling the troop withdrawal to the public, beyond tweets.


The "stabl jenius" strikes again.

Memory Card Found With Brutal Videos and Photos Leads to Murder Arrest

Memory cards often hold troves of information. Well-meaning people have used the photos and videos stored on them to return lost cards found to their rightful owners.

But a memory card that someone recently picked up off the ground in Anchorage led to the arrest of a city resident this week on a first-degree murder charge.

The card, which the police say a woman discovered in the Fairview neighborhood and turned over to them on Sept. 30, contained videos and pictures of a man beating and strangling a woman in a midtown hotel room, the authorities said.

Two days later, on Oct. 2, a caller informed the police that human remains had been found outside the city, on Seward Highway near Rainbow Valley Road — about 18 miles from the hotel that was the setting in the videos and pictures found.


This is incredibly depraved, and probably not the first time this guy has done something like this.
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