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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 44,739

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Robert Reich on Facebook: "Just Now in the St. Louis Airport..."


Just now in the St. Louis airport (where I’m heading to Cincinnati):

Lady: Are you Robert Reich?

Me: Yes.

Lady: So what do you think is going to happen?

Me: About what?

Lady: The election, the economy, everything.

Me: I don’t know.

Lady: I’m voting for Bernie.

Me: Why?

Lady: He tells it straight. He’s not a politician. But my husband likes Trump.

Me: Why?

Lady: Same reasons. My husband says Trump can’t be bought because he’s a billionaire.

Me: Trump just buys other politicians.

Lady: My husband says Trump will get things done.

Me: But will he get things done for billionaires like himself or for regular people?

Lady: I’ll ask my husband.

Me: You should give your husband my new book.

Lady: What book?

Me (pulling a copy out of my briefcase): “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the few.” Here, you can have this copy. I have more.

Lady (taking book): Well, thank you. I’ll give it to him, (laughing) but he won’t read it.

Me: Why?

Lady: He doesn’t read. He watches Fox News.

Me: Put it on his pillow tonight with a Hershey kiss on top.

AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to IS, Other Terrorists

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear smugglers shopped radioactive material to IS and other terrorists.

AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear smugglers shopped radioactive material to IS and other terrorists

By Associated Press October 6 at 9:03 PM

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Over the pulsating beat at an exclusive nightclub, the arms smuggler made his pitch to a client: 2.5 million euros for enough radioactive cesium to contaminate several city blocks.

- snip -

But the smuggler, Valentin Grossu, wasn't sure the client was for real — and he was right to worry. The client was an informant, and it took some 20 meetings to persuade Grossu that he was an authentic Islamic State representative. Eventually, the two men exchanged cash for a sample in a sting operation that landed Grossu in jail.

The previously unpublicized case is one of at least four attempts in five years in which criminal networks with suspected Russian ties sought to sell radioactive material to extremists through Moldova, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. One investigation uncovered an attempt to sell bomb-grade uranium to a real buyer from the Middle East, the first known case of its kind.

In that operation, wiretaps and interviews with investigators show, a middleman for the gang repeatedly ranted with hatred for America as he focused on smuggling the essential material for an atomic bomb and blueprints for a dirty bomb to a Middle Eastern buyer.

In wiretaps, videotaped arrests, photographs of bomb-grade material, documents and interviews, AP found that smugglers are explicitly targeting buyers who are enemies of the West. The developments represent the fulfillment of a long-feared scenario in which organized crime gangs are trying to link up with groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida — both of which have made clear their ambition to use weapons of mass destruction.

The sting operations involved a partnership between the FBI and a small group of Moldovan investigators, who over five years went from near total ignorance of the black market to wrapping up four sting operations. Informants and police posing as connected gangsters penetrated the smuggling networks, using old-fashioned undercover tactics as well as high-tech gear from radiation detectors to clothing threaded with recording devices.

But their successes were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling, AP found.

For strategic reasons, in most of the operations arrests were made after samples of nuclear material had been obtained rather than the larger quantities. That means that if smugglers did have access to the bulk of material they offered, it remains in criminal hands.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/9f77a17c001f4cf3baeb28990b0d92eb/ap-investigation-nuclear-smugglers-sought-terrorist-buyers

Rosanne Cash on Facebook: "Do NOT Tell Me She 'Should Have Had a Gun.'"


Dear Followers and Likers-- if you can't maintain basic courtesy on my page, please allow me to show you the door. This is my page and I do have a right to my beliefs and convictions, as all of you do. I was raised to have the courage to stand behind those convictions and it's too late in life for me to sacrifice my integrity by keeping the most passionate of them secret. Those who tell me to 'stay out of politics and stick to music', or, in other words 'keep your mouth shut' are perhaps so obsessed with the Second Amendment that they haven't noticed the First.

I have as much concern for the safety of my children as any mother alive and if that makes me 'political', so be it. I don't hurl insults because I think some of you have a bewildering attachment to military-grade weapons and a refusal to consider mandatory background checks. I'd appreciate the same civility.

For ten years, I was on the board of PAX- an organization whose sole purpose was to prevent gun violence among children. (PAX merged with Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence several years ago.) After ten years of meeting grief-stricken parents of children killed by guns, I had to quit. I couldn't take the endless parade of innocent people with shattered lives. It was eating at my soul. More pre-schoolers die by guns every year than police officers in the line of duty, and people seem to accept it as collateral damage for 'freedom.' Whose freedom are we talking about? Certainly not a classroom of first-graders lying in a pool of blood. And we're not talking about the freedom of their parents either, whose lives are utterly destroyed.

In 2000, as a representative of PAX, I attended the Million Mom March in Washington, DC with my husband, my year-old baby and my 11 year old daughter. I had a lot of hope that day-- the energy was powerful and the thousands of parents holding pictures of their dead children was a mandate in itself.

At the end of the day, my friend Patty Smyth, who marched alongside me with Bette Midler, Emmylou Harris, Raffi and many, many more, said 'if nothing else, we helped carry the burden of the grieving mothers for one day.' I wrote an article for Rolling Stone about that day. I was full of expectation that our elected officials would rise to the occasion and enact basic gun safety legislation like background checks, safety locks and a ban on military-grade weapons.
It turned out that, in fact, all we did was help carry the burden for a day. Nothing changed.

Several years later, my precious daughter, Chelsea, was held up at gunpoint in the jewelry store where she worked. The gunmen held her for twenty minutes. I'm so grateful she was not killed and I'm also so acutely aware that the difference between me and the moms carrying the photos on the march is a split second. Do NOT tell me that Chelsea 'should have had a gun.' If she had, she'd be dead. She is not physically or mentally able to coolly aim a gun at someone who is already pointing a gun at HER, and fire sharp-shooter style at another human being while terror-stricken. Nor am I. Nor are millions of other people.

The logic that 'if more law-abiding citizens had guns, there would be fewer mass shootings' is confounding to the point of nihilism. What's the end game? Every first grade teacher should have a gun in her desk to prevent another massacre like Newtown? Every pastor in his pulpit? Every movie-goer, mall shopper, night club patron and mom pushing a stroller, until we are reduced to anarchy and violence in every social venue of this country?

If you can make a compelling argument why we have laws requiring safety locks on medicines to protect children, but no law requiring a safety lock on a gun, I'd like to hear it. If you can make a compelling argument why a mentally disturbed youth should be able to easily stockpile military-grade weapons because of loopholes in the law and no background checks, please-- go ahead. I'd like to hear an articulate and reasoned logic behind that thought.

The Constitution is a living document-- if it hadn't changed since its inception, I personally would not be allowed to vote. The language 'well-regulated militia' doesn't equal 'mentally ill person with stockpile of automatic weapons' in my interpretation, but if you believe the amendment extends to that, then I believe Congress needs to amend the amendment, as it has done before in other cases.

Personal handguns and hunting rifles will never be banned in this country. Not a single person talking about the gun issue, that I have heard or read, has suggested that.

If one classroom of first graders can be saved just by requiring background checks and a ban on military style weapons, wouldn't it be worth it? One teenager in a movie theater, one student nurse, one pastor in the pulpit, one little pre-schooler? If the answer is no, or the answer is just more vicious rhetoric, then we should be ashamed. That child could be yours. It was almost mine. So don't tell me to keep my mouth shut.

Thanks to the kind follower who posted this fantastic essay:


Man Can’t Believe Obama Would Use Tragedy To Push Anti-Tragedy Agenda


Man Can’t Believe Obama Would Use Tragedy To Push Anti-Tragedy Agenda

NEWS IN BRIEF October 2, 2015
VOL 51 ISSUE 39 · News · Guns · Violence · Barack Obama

SEDALIA, MO—Following yesterday’s speech by the president addressing the recent events in Roseburg, OR, local 42-year-old Tim Moss expressed his outrage to reporters that President Obama was attempting to capitalize off a tragedy to push his anti-tragedy agenda. “It’s just disgusting and shameful that, once again, the first thing out of Obama’s mouth after a tragedy is that he wants to limit tragedies,” said Moss, adding that it is both insensitive and opportunistic of the president to suddenly shift the conversation toward curbing the number of tragedies as the nation mourns in the wake of this tragedy.

“Every single time this happens, he makes the tragedy all about clamping down on tragedies, and it’s simply not the time or the place for him to be going in front of the camera and pushing for steps to decrease the number of tragedies. Christ, this is a national tragedy we’re dealing with right now.” Moss added that he hopes Obama conducts himself more appropriately during the next tragedy.

AP BREAKING: Joaquin Strengthens, Becoming 'Extremely Dangerous' Category 4 Storm

Source: AP News Alert

AP BREAKING: Joaquin Strengthens, Becoming 'Extremely Dangerous' Category 4 Storm

Hurricane Joaquin develops into Category 4 storm

Really Nasr

4 Hours Ago

The National Weather Service has upgraded Hurricane Joaquin to a Category 4 storm that is "extremely dangerous."

The storm has already sustained winds from 131 mph to 151 mph. Forecasters expect the storm to stay offshore of the Eastern U.S., but there will still be coastal flooding and very heavy rains all the way up the seaboard.

The storm however is expected to weaken as it moves along the Eastern coast. Forecasters expect Joaquin will reach eastern Long Island sometime early next week, perhaps Monday night into Tuesday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Joaquin, which is expected to start impacting the state with heavy rainfall on Friday.

Read more: http://abc7ny.com/weather/joaquin-strengthens-becoming-an-extremely-dangerous-category-4-storm/1009318/


VOTER ID: "Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters..."

"Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed.

Every one."


Voter ID and driver's license office closures black-out Alabama's Black Belt

Kyle Whitmire | kwhitmire@al.com By Kyle Whitmire | kwhitmire@al.com

on September 30, 2015 at 3:55 PM, updated September 30, 2015 at 3:59 PM

I still remember when the lady in the uniform giving me my driver's test asked me to do a three-point turn.

Instead, I gave her a blank stare. I had no idea what a three-point turn was. It was a couple of days after my sixteenth birthday, and I knew right then that I wouldn't be getting a license that day, but the lady was nice about it. Politely, she explained what I was supposed to do. Next we drove back to the Clarke County courthouse, and she failed me.

A couple weeks later, I took the test again. That time, I passed, but my parents weren't all that happy that we had to make a second trip.

And that trip was only 10 miles, each way. When you live in a rural area, 10 miles seems a lot farther there.

However, today a lot of folks will have to drive a lot farther just to be able to drive.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's website says their office at the Clarke County Courthouse is still open, but soon a lot of others nearby won't be. On Wednesday, the agency announced that it would close 31 offices throughout the state, leaving 29 counties without a place where 16-year-olds can take a driver's test, whether they pass on the first try or not.

That's an inconvenience.

But there's something bigger happening here.

In 2011, Alabama lawmakers approved the state's voter ID law, making it illegal to vote in Alabama without a government-issued photo ID.

For most folks, that's a driver's license.


Trump Coming Up on Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Saw on Twitter...

from studio audience early tonight that Colbert "eviscerated" him? I hope so.

"Buys Rights to AIDS Medication..."

After Getting Shamed For 5000% Hike, ‘Most Hated Man In America’ Will Lower Drug Price

Source: Think Progress

After Getting Shamed For 5000% Hike, ‘Most Hated Man In America’ Will Lower Drug Price
BY JUDD LEGUM SEP 22, 2015 7:59PM

Martin Shkreli, the controversial pharmaceutical CEO and former hedge fund manager, announced that he would reduce the price of the drug Daraprim to “a point that is more affordable.” Shkreli has been the subject of unrelenting criticism since he implemented a 5000% increase in the price of the drug — from $13.50 per pill to $750 — which is used to treat severe infections in AIDS patients and infants.

Shkreli, who talked to ABC News, declined to name the new price for the medicine, which has been on the market for 60 years. ABC described Shkreli as “the most hated man in America.”

While working at a company he founded called Retrophin, Shkreli had implemented a similar price hike on a kidney medicine. The Huffington Post reported that Shkeli “is part of a criminal investigation” involving Retrophin. He owes the company more than a half-million dollars.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/09/22/3704542/after-getting-shamed-for-5000-hike-most-hated-man-in-america-will-lower-drug-price/

TOM TOMORROW: It's All Fun and Games Until...

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/21/1423130/-Cartoon-Fun-and-games
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