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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 71,747

Journal Archives

BREAKING: Man jumps security fence at White House


BREAKING: Broadway Theaters to require vaccination proof


From the Party that Nina Turner founded and proudly supports...

Movement for a People's Party

The First 100 Days: Obama Delivered Trump. Biden Will Deliver Something Much Worse.

Detroit, May 5, 2021 — The first 100 days of a president’s term are historically their best chance to enact their agenda. In 1933, as he took office at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Democrats convened a special session of Congress and ran the legislature like a New Deal printing press.

Pushed by widespread and fierce labor strikes, popular movements, and independent parties, FDR and Congress passed 76 new laws in their first 100 days — including the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Tennessee Valley Authority — programs that employed, housed, and fed tens of millions of people. Roosevelt reshaped the role of government in providing for the people.

Eighty years later, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris entered the White House in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the worst public health crisis since the Spanish Flu. They arrived backed by Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, giving their party the power to pass anything. Last Friday marked the end of Biden and Harris’ first 100 days in office, and the scale and substance of their response is the antithesis of their Depression-Era predecessors.

The Democrats are repeating history in a different way though.

In 2009, Obama and Biden entered the White House in the middle of the Great Recession, which was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression at the time. Instead of using the crisis to enact structural change, they chose to preserve the economic and social status quo that had produced the crisis. Their actions pushed the country deeper into an increasingly authoritarian oligarchy.

Twelve years later, Biden returned to the White House, during the new-worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Once again, he was backed by Democratic majorities in Congress. And just like Obama, Biden has chosen to preserve the economic and social status quo. The result will be to push this country still further into authoritarian oligarchy. Biden’s first eight years produced Trump. His next four will produce something far worse.

Gavin Newsom Has Reason To Worry


Until last week, there had been no new polls of the recall election in about a month. But since then, we’ve gotten two — and both showed Newsom in danger of being recalled. First, an Emerson College/Nexstar Media survey found that 48 percent of registered voters in California wanted to keep Newsom in office, while 43 percent wanted to recall him. Then, a poll from the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Governmental Studies co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times found that 50 percent of likely recall voters wanted to keep Newsom and 47 percent wanted to oust him. These fresh polls — both within the margin of error — differed markedly from a handful of surveys released in May and June that found the recall effort trailing by at least 10 percentage points.

Who casts a ballot in this unusually timed election could be pivotal. The UC Berkeley IGS/Los Angeles Times poll underscored why: Among registered voters, Republicans were far more likely to say they’d vote than Democrats or independents. Eighty percent of Republican registered voters said they were absolutely certain to vote, compared with only 55 percent of Democrats and about half of independents. As such, likely voters were opposed to removing Newsom by only 3 points, while the spread was much wider among all registered voters — 51 percent were opposed to removing him compared with just 36 percent in favor (in line with the pollster’s findings in early May and late January). In fact, Republicans’ enthusiasm for this race is so high that they make up roughly one-third of the survey’s likely electorate, even though they constitute only about one-quarter of California’s registered voters.

Irregularly timed elections, like a gubernatorial recall held in September of an odd year, can produce unexpected results and lopsided electorates. However, there’s one reason why that might not happen in this race: California has extended its pandemic-inspired election-law changes that require ballots to be automatically mailed to all active registered voters through the end of 2021. Mail elections don’t inherently help the Democratic Party, but studies have found that they do increase turnout, which could help insulate Newsom from a scenario where only his most fervent opponents bother to cast a ballot.

It’s tempting to point to COVID-19 as the chief cause for why Newsom is in hot water since the pandemic helped galvanize the recall effort in the first place. The highly contagious delta variant has led to an uptick in cases of COVID-19 in California, and Newsom is now weighing whether to impose statewide restrictions, which could further energize his opposition. (Los Angeles County has already reinstated an indoor mask mandate.) The governor has also had disputes with teachers unions and school administrators over the reopening of schools, and many Californians are still frustrated by the state’s continually changing vaccination-distribution plan. Yet Newsom’s handling of the pandemic might not be his biggest liability. A slightly greater share of likely voters in the Berkeley poll agreed with the statement that Newsom should be recalled “because he has failed to adequately address many of the state’s longstanding problems,” such as homelessness, income inequality and wildfires (48 percent), than agreed with the statement that he should be recalled “because he greatly overstepped his authority as governor when responding to the COVID-19 pandemic” (44 percent).

House primary in Ohio takes nasty turn as national Democrats descend

NBC News

CLEVELAND — The two leading Democratic candidates in Ohio's 11th Congressional District have turned the final days of a special election primary that has captured the national spotlight into a slugfest.

Nina Turner, a former state senator, is running on a push for universal health care and a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown, who also chairs the county's Democratic Party, is pitching herself as a staunch loyalist of President Joe Biden who wouldn't try to force the White House agenda too far to the left.

The nasty tone that has been present for months escalated Thursday as high-profile surrogates for both candidates were set to arrive here. Turner, 53, unleashed a commercial that questions Brown's ethics and ends with the image of a jail door slamming. (Brown's campaign manager said the ad was "verifiably false." Brown, 46, has sought to paint Turner, known nationally for her work on Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaigns, as too much of an outsider and too critical of Biden to accomplish anything in Congress.

The national endorsers, while welcomed by the candidates, have superimposed past Democratic battles onto the district, frustrating those who say eagerness for a proxy war is overshadowing local nuances and issues. Brown and Turner are successful Black politicians in a majority Black district, familiar on their own merits to voters. Both have made local issues like poverty and gun violence central to their campaigns.

Biden to headline DNC fundraiser Monday


President Joe Biden will headline a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee on Monday, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO. And, like the last one, the event won’t be in person.

“Let’s build that bank to fuel the Democratic campaigns of 2022,” Ajay Bhutoria, national finance committee at the DNC, wrote in the invitation.

Ticket prices for Monday’s event are $100,000, $50,000 and $36,500.

Biden spoke virtually at his first DNC fundraiser as president late last month as Democrats began ramping up efforts to build their war chest for the 2022 midterm elections. Losing control of either the Senate or House in 2022 would be a blow to the president’s agenda, though historically the party in power does suffer losses during the midterms.

“The DNC is going to need you, because here’s the deal: We won in 2020 as a unified party, and we need to stay unified and keep doing the big consequential things,” Biden said at the June 28 event. “If we make the right decisions in the next four years, in 50 years, people will look back and say this was the moment that America won the future. But we can’t do it without you.”

Voters to decide mayor, city council primaries in Seattle on Aug. 3


Seattle holds top-two, nonpartisan primaries for mayor, two at-large city council seats, and city attorney on Aug. 3. Races for the mayor’s office and one city council seat are open. Incumbent City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and City Attorney Pete Holmes are seeking re-election.

Fifteen candidates are on the mayoral primary ballot, with six leading in endorsements, fundraising, or media attention. Four of the six have served in city or state government. Casey Sixkiller is the deputy mayor of Seattle. Lorena González is the city council president. Bruce Harrell was city council president from 2016 to 2017 and from 2018 to 2019. Jessyn Farrell was a state representative from 2013 to 2017.

Colleen Echohawk is the executive director of Chief Seattle Club, an organization providing services to American Indian and Alaska Native people. Andrew Grant Houston, an architect, owns a business and served as Mosqueda’s interim policy manager.

Amy Walter takes over Cook Political Report


Walter began working at The Cook Political Report in 1997. Between then and 2007 she served as a senior editor covering the United States House of Representatives.[2] She has also served as the Editor-in-Chief at the National Journal's The Hotline.[5]

Walter's work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. She has also been featured on numerous broadcasts, most recently Gwen Ifill's Washington Week, Face the Nation (CBS), PBS Newshour (PBS), Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Andrea Mitchell Reports (MSNBC), the Daily Rundown (MSNBC), the Chris Matthews Show (MSNBC), and Meet the Press (MSNBC).[6] She has also made numerous appearances on Special Report with Brett Baier (FOX) both as a contributor and on the panel.

Walter was also part of the Emmy-winning CNN election coverage team in 2006. She was the recipient of The Washington Post's Crystal Ball Award[5] and in 2009 was deemed by Washingtonian magazine one of the 50 top journalists in DC.[7]


New workplace rule...

Masks are required to be worn by individuals within MTA facilities (i.e. offices, crew rooms, depots, barns, stations, non-revenue vehicles, etc.), whether an individual is vaccinated or not, if the MTA facility is within an area that was rated as an area where the level of COVID-19 cases are measured as “high” or “substantial”. (See link https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/?source=email#cases_community for current level ratings by location). Currently, NYC’s five boroughs, Long Island and parts of Westchester and Putnam counties are rated at high or substantial COVID-19 positivity rate. We expect that the list of areas that the CDC rates as being at “high” or “substantial” risk of COVID-19 transmission will be periodically reviewed and updated. Although we will not revise this policy every time the CDC list is updated, we will keep our employees advised of any changes to the list so that they can adjust their mask wearing practices accordingly.

Previously the mask requirement applied only to common areas.

Seattle police commander files $5.48 million claim, alleging Chief Diaz falsely blamed him

Seattle Times

Seattle police commander files $5.48 million claim, alleging Chief Diaz falsely blamed him for ‘pink umbrella incident’

A recently demoted Seattle police commander has filed a $5.48 million discrimination and retaliation claim against the city, alleging that interim police Chief Adrian Diaz made him the scapegoat for what became a seminal moment of last year’s police clashes with racial justice demonstrators: the so-called “pink umbrella incident.”

Capt. Steve Hirjak contends in the claim, filed Thursday, that Diaz demoted and falsely blamed him for the improper actions of another commander, Lt. John Brooks, who gave riot-gear clad officers the orders to unleash tear gas and blast balls into a largely peaceful crowd on Capitol Hill on June 1, 2020.

The heavy-handed police tactics, captured on multiple videos that were shared widely and drew public outrage, erupted outside the department’s East Precinct after an officer’s tug of war with a protester over a pink umbrella.

Hirjak, 51, a 27-year veteran who became the department’s first Asian American assistant chief in 2018, contends his May 26 demotion and other mistreatment have marred his otherwise stellar career, “discriminated against me on account of my race and treated me differently from similarly situated white employees.”
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