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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 73,040

Journal Archives

US Military bombs Baghdad Airport to kill Iranian...

US State Dept call for Americans to evacuate Iraq...

Baghdad Airport is now closed.


GOP Rep. Phil Roe won't seek reelection

Source: The Hill

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) announced Friday that he will not seek reelection.

"Serving East Tennesseans these past 11 years has been the honor of my life, and I will be forever grateful for the trust my friends and neighbors put in me to represent them," Roe said in a statement. "As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career."

"After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress," he added.

Roe is one of more than two dozen GOP lawmakers to say they have chosen not to run again in 2020.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/476649-gop-rep-phil-roe-wont-seek-reelection

Email from Trivago: 6 Top-Rated Cuban All-Inclusive Resorts to Get You Through the Winter

Cuba All-Inclusive Resorts. Yep, we've said it. Now good luck thinking about anything other than white sand beaches, unlimited mojitos and pure bliss.

Viva La Reviolucion!

Joe Biden's 'West Wing' fantasy


Former Vice President and current Democratic front-runner Joe Biden is a good guy. In fact, that's his primary argument for why he deserves the presidency: He's America's Uncle, a literal regular Joe who wants to bring respectability back to the Oval Office, uniting the warring houses of red and blue in the common goal of mopping up the toxic sewage pouring out of President Donald Trump's White House.

It's a heartwarming aspiration, on the face of it. But Biden's statement Monday that he'd be open to choosing a Republican running mate -- as offhand or pandering as it may have been -- underscores just how much of his appeal is rooted in made-for-TV fantasy like "The West Wing," rather than modern political reality.

In an Exeter, New Hampshire, town hall, Biden told the crowd he's willing to keep the option open, even if he couldn't name a worthy cross-the-aisle veep candidate offhand. "There are some really decent Republicans that are out there still!" he said. "But here's the problem right now: They've got to step up."

Here's the real problem: "Decent" Republicans have had countless opportunities to "step up," beginning long before Donald Trump was elected. But those who stepped up to criticize him have fallen in line, rendering their criticism hollow. They could have condemned the racist "birther" slurs Trump used to slander his predecessor, Barack Obama. They could have rejected his public history of gross misogyny and alleged sexual misconduct. Their leadership could've called out the lies and xenophobia embedded in his campaign rhetoric, and that still define many of his policies as president today. Rare exceptions aside, the mainstream GOP has remained aligned in its support of Trump.

Editor's Note: Jeff Yang is a frequent contributor to CNN Opinion, a featured writer for Quartz and other publications, and the co-host of the podcast "They Call Us Bruce." He co-wrote Jackie Chan's best-selling autobiography, "I Am Jackie Chan" and is the editor of three graphic novels: "Secret Identities," "Shattered" and the forthcoming "New Frontiers." The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. Read more opinion on CNN.

Elizabeth Warren's Fourth-Quarter Total Is $21.2 Million, Her Campaign Says

New York Times

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raised $21.2 million for her presidential campaign in the fourth quarter of 2019, her team announced on Friday, a slight dip from the previous quarter and behind three of her top rivals for the Democratic nomination.

The total raised by Ms. Warren in final three months of the year was lower than the $24.6 million she raised from July to September. Last week, her campaign had signaled her lagging fund-raising effort for the quarter, which echoed her slip in the polls over the same period. Days before the end the year, her campaign took the unusual step of going public with its financial performance, announcing that it had raised just over $17 million and conceding that “it will be nearly impossible to match last quarter at this point.”

That turned out to be right. But her campaign said the announcement also helped spur her best end-of-quarter run of donations in all of 2019 — more than $4 million in five days — and her best fund-raising day of the campaign, when she brought in $1.5 million on Dec. 31.

Over all, Ms. Warren’s money came from nearly 900,000 contributions in the quarter, with an average donation of about $23, demonstrating her potent grass-roots support.

Sanders: 34.5
Buttigieg: 24.7
Biden: 22.7
Warren: 21.2
Yang: 16.5
Klobuchar: 11.4
Gabbard: 3.4
Booker: TBA
Bennet: TBA
Steyer: TBA
Patrick: TBA
Williamson: TBA
Delaney: TBA

Here's the latest Primary/Caucus Calendar

February 3: Iowa Caucuses
February 11: New Hampshire Primaries
February 22: Nevada Democratic Caucuses
February 29: South Carolina Democratic Primary

March 3: Super Tuesday! AL, AS, AR, CA, CO, ME, MA, MN, NC, OK, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA & Democrats Abroad
March 10: Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Washington Primaries, North Dakota Caucus
March 14: Northern Marianas Caucus
March 17: Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio Primaries
March 24: Georgia Primaries
March 29: Puerto Rico Primary

April 4: Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana Primaries, Wyoming County Caucuses
April 7: Wisconsin Primaries
April 28: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island Primaries,

May 2: Guam Caucus, Kansas Primary
May 5: Indiana Primaries
May 12: Nebraska and West Virginia Primaries,
and California's 25th Congressional District
May 19: Kentucky and Oregon Primaries

June 2: D.C., Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota Primaries
June 6: Virgin Islands Caucus

July 13-16: Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Klobuchar posts personal-best $11.4 million fundraising quarter


Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised $11.4 million in the final three months of 2019, her strongest fundraising quarter since launching her presidential campaign.

The Minnesota Democrat posted strong debate performances throughout the fall, which helped boost her fundraising as well as her performance in polls. The fourth-quarter haul gives her the financial heft to try to turn that into a strong showing in neighboring Iowa, the first caucus state and the key to Klobuchar’s campaign strategy.

But Klobuchar still lags behind the top Democratic candidates in both polling and fundraising. Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been bunched near the top of most recent polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, with Klobuchar lagging behind, nearer to the rest of the pack — though there has been sparse early-state polling in recent weeks, especially since the most recent Democratic debate on Dec. 19.

In fundraising, Sanders announced raising $34.5 million in the fourth quarter, while Buttigieg’s campaign said he raised $24.7 million and Biden brought in $22.7 million. Andrew Yang also raised $16.5 million.

Netanyahu says U.S. had right to self-defense in killing Soleimani: statement

Source: Reuters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the United States had the right to defend itself by killing senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.

“Just as Israel has the right of self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office.

“Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks.”

Netanyahu spoke on the airport tarmac in Greece after cutting short a trip abroad to fly back to Israel.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-netanyahu-idUSKBN1Z214U

Leader vows 'tough revenge' for Gen. Soleimani's martyrdom

Source: Tehran Times

TEHRAN — Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a message on Friday to express his deepest condolences over the martyrdom of Commander of the IRGC Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani, saying Iran will take tough revenge on the criminals who killed the top Iranian general.

The following is the full transcript of the Leader’s letter published on his official website.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Dear Iranian Nation,

The great and accomplished Sardar has become heavenly. Last night, the untainted souls of the martyrs embraced the pure soul of Qassem Soleimani. After years of sincere and courageous jihad against the devils and evil-doers of the world and after years of wishing for martyrdom in the path of God, alas, dear Soleimani attained this lofty station and his pure blood was spilled by the vilest of humans.

I congratulate Hazrat Baqiyatullah – may our souls be sacrificed for him – and his own pure soul on this great martyrdom and I express my condolences to the Iranian nation.

He was a stellar example of those educated and nurtured in Islam and the school of Imam Khomeini (ra). He spent his entire life engaging in jihad in the path of God.

Martyrdom was his reward for years of implacable efforts. With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease and severe revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy hands with his blood and the blood of the other martyrs of last night’s incident.

Shahid (martyr) Soleimani is the international face of the resistance and all who have a heart-felt connection to the resistance seek his blood revenge.

All friends – and indeed all enemies – should know that the path of jihad and resistance continues with increased motivation and certain victory awaits the mujahideen on this blessed path.

The absence of our dear and self-sacrificing Sardar is bitter, but the continuation of the resistance and its final victory will be more bitter for the murderers and criminals.

The Iranian nation will cherish the name and memory of the towering martyr, Shahid Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, together with his fellow martyrs especially the great mujahid of Islam the honorable Mr. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. I declare three days of public mourning in the country and I congratulate and express my condolences to his honorable wife, dear children and family.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei

13th of Dey, 1398


Read more: https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/443673/Leader-vows-tough-revenge-for-Gen-Soleimani-s-martyrdom

(this is an official media outlet of the Iranian Government)


I’m extremely grateful for the contributions that poured into the campaign over the last two days of 2019. They have enabled us to pay down an accumulating campaign debt.

We've had a wonderful team, and I am deeply grateful for their energy and talents. But as of today, we cannot afford a traditional campaign staff.

‍I am not suspending my candidacy, however; a campaign not having a huge war chest should not be what determines its fate. The point of my candidacy has been to tell the heart’s truth and that does not cost money. Forging a new path for campaigns is going to be necessary, if we’re ever to forge a new path for our country.

The conversation between candidate and voter is what matters most. As long as I feel a connection with voters that gets to the heart of things, bringing forth the conversation that would win the 2020 election and help transform this country, I will remain in the race.

Why? For these reasons...

Because I'm talking about the challenges and vulnerabilities of millions of American children, way beyond the ability of our government agencies to absorb or our current infrastructure to adequately respond to.

Because I’m talking about our need to proactively wage peace and not just endlessly prepare for war.

Because I’m talking about ways to incentivize health, not just treat sickness, and to add integrative health modalities to a universal health insurance system.

Because I'm talking about societal wellness in all its forms, including racial and economic justice.

Because I’m talking about the meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the corruption of our democracy over the last forty years.

Because I'm talking about the amoral economics of a corporate aristocracy.

Because I'm talking about a World War II level mass mobilization to reverse climate change over the next seven years.

Because we will not defeat Donald Trump with mere policy prescriptions; we will defeat him with a moral vision for the nation.

Because I’m talking about a politics of love.

There is an inherent value in talking about those things as a presidential candidate. In my mind, the fact that they couldn’t make it into the machine of modern politics is not a reason to stop talking; if anything, it's a reason to KEEP talking.

And that is what I’ll do, as long as we have the resources to do it. In the meantime, it’s amazing what you can do with volunteers.
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