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Divernan's Journal
Divernan's Journal
June 30, 2015

Nature imitates art - flash freeze - last week in New Zealand

Remember the 2004 apocalyptic film, The Day After Tomorrow? Particularly the flash freezing which occurred as temperatures dropped instantaneously? Well, such a phenomena, albeit on a smaller scale, was observed in New Zealand last week.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11471594 (Friday Jun 26, 2015)
Flights in and out of Queenstown Airport were on hold this morning due to ice on the runway, in a "never seen before" snap freeze.

"The feedback we had from the rescue fire guys who do this inspection work was they have never seen anything like this before.

"We basically had rain first up, the rain stopped and then suddenly Queenstown was snap frozen. All that water on the runway and the roads just turned to ice."

This morning road users in Otago were also warned of severe black ice across several roads in the area.

A new weather phenomena to file away for future reference. Damned lucky a plane was not in the midst of landing when this occurred.
June 28, 2015

Check out the Catholics for Bernie & Vets for Bernie FB pages

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is Jewish. He’s also the likely 2016 presidential candidate whose political philosophy lines up most closely with the economic and social theories of Pope Francis.


featuring links to articles like:
The Possible Presidential Candidate Who Agrees the Most With Pope Francis

Sanders’ social-media accounts are filled with quotes from the Holy Father about the need to reform socioeconomic systems. Unlike many leaders who name-drop Pope Francis to score political points — he is, after all, likely the most popular man on the planet — Sanders quotes the Pope because he actually believes his message. When asked about casino capitalism, Sanders points to Pope Francis, who says that is not what human life should be. “He’s saying, you know what … the economy should serve people, not people serving the economy,” Sanders explains. “The market is the billionaire class who want to get richer, that is what it is. I don’t think we should have an economy serving their needs.”

As he mused on the possibility of a 2016 campaign during an hour-long visit to TIME’s Washington bureau Thursday, Sanders hit the Pope’s main talking points before even mentioning his name. Health care as a universal right for the elderly. The economic injustices of income inequality. Climate change.

Pope Francis’ economic and political views were shaped in Argentina during the Juan Perón years. Peronism is a genre of socialism powered by working-class populism that rejects both communist and capitalist extremes. It is an ideology that resonates in some of then-Jorge-Bergoglio’s early writings, especially his appreciation of people. In this view, the poor are not just poor people who need help, Gustavo Morello, professor of sociology at Boston College, once explained to me — they are people who have a contribution to make. For Francis, this translates into “an appreciation for the folk Catholicism or the street wisdom, the things that the academia and officials tend to dismiss,” he said.
The sheer number of potential Catholic presidential candidates means that political jockeying around the Pope will only rev up this year, especially because Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. coincides with the launch of 2016 campaigns. It will be all the more important to parse the difference between claiming Catholic kinship with the Holy Father and actually sharing the same political ideology.

Sanders hopes to meet the Holy Father during the trip. In the meantime, he says he is continuing to read up on what the Pope says. “I’m not quite as radical as the Pope is,” he smiles. “But.”

June 28, 2015

The Clintons were seriously interested in this book.


With the book’s debut this week at No. 10, there are now three Clinton-related volumes on the hardcover nonfiction list; Halper joins Edward Klein, whose “Blood Feud” is No. 3 after five weeks, and Hillary Clinton herself, whose “Hard Choices” is No. 5 after seven weeks. This state of affairs is nothing new.

By my count, the Clintons have featured in more than 60 best sellers since entering the national stage in 1992. And they retain a close interest in what’s written about them, according to Halper. “While I was still reporting on my book,” he told Politico last month, “James Carville’s office called, seemingly out of the blue, to grill me on whom I’d already spoken to. I obviously refused to indulge the questioner.” Halper also said that Clinton’s publisher had reached out to his publisher for information about the book, and that “Clintonites” were scrambling to identify his unnamed sources. “I’ve found the task of covering the Clintons fascinating,” he said. “They’re not exactly the people we see on television.” They may, however, be the people we see in literature.

Halper sets his tone by opening “Clinton, Inc.” with a damning line from “The Great Gatsby”: “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into . . . whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
June 28, 2015

So the national Dems have the $$$ to win, but demand a yes man.

It's fair to say that with the chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee pushing for someone (anyone? anyone? Buehler?) to oppose Sestak, he has to be promising competitive bucks - particularly to a county commissioner with NO campaign chest. The question is, should Sestak win the primary, will the national Dem leadership support a man who will not let them call all his shots. Speaking as a Pennsylvanian, I prefer a Senator who has the guts to tell puppeteers to pound sand - that he will vote for his constituents' best interests - not theirs.

That is why I long ago stopped donating to party fundraisers, and donate directly to the candidates. The party bureaucracy demands a quid pro quo of following their orders. One of the reasons the national Dems "are uncomfortable" with Sestak is that he had the audacity! the temerity !! to defy Rahm Emanuel and appear on the Stephen Colbert show without Rahm's approval.

As I've pointed out, our new Democratic governor rejected our decrepit state Democratic committee and ran his own campaign & fundraising. If we had campaign finance reform, an honorable, eminently qualified candidate like Sestak would win overwhelmingly.

Joe Sestak could provide great leadership within the Dem. Senate Caucus, if they welcomed him in. It seems his personal integrity and independence makes them cringe. Let's hope they wise up.

Shapiro last week telephoned the three Senate Democrats who had been encouraging him - Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada; New York's Charles Schumer; and Montana's Jon Tester, the chairman of the national party's Senate campaign committee - to decline. He also informed Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/Montcos_J osh_Shapiro_Will_not_run_for_US_Senate.html#DlzMVlRslXWHK4zW.99
June 28, 2015

Sestak independent of Old-Dem-Party-machine pols-Running on his own.


Statement by Former Admiral Joe Sestak on Marriage Equality Ruling
June 26, 2015
Media, Pa.

"Today’s ruling affirms what I learned in my 31 years in the U.S. Navy, where I went to war
alongside men and women who were gay. I could never fathom a justification for any of these warriors going home to the one he or she loves and not having the same equal right to marry that person. I will always remember the day I was least proud of the Navy I love so dearly – a day in 1993 when an official Navy spokesman, commenting on what would become Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), told the New York Times that 'homosexuals are notoriously promiscuous' and if allowed to declare their sexual orientation openly, heterosexuals showering with gay men would have an 'uncomfortable feeling of someone watching.' I was ashamed.

When DADT was passed, a two-star Admiral asked me, “What do you think about this policy?” I said, 'It’s unconstitutional and I have no doubt that the Supreme Court will throw it out in a couple months.' Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So when I got to Congress, I was proud to co-sponsor legislation to end DADT and prohibit the military from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

In my view, we need the best of our communities in the military, regardless of sexual orientation, so that each of us together can truly 'be all you can be.' The same can be said of our entire society, and it’s why today’s ruling is such an important step. I am running for
the United States Senate to continue taking the further steps on the path to true equality
–in veterans' benefits, public accommodations, adoption refusal laws and so many other fundamental areas. If we’re serious about restoring the American Dream, we need 'all hands on deck.' We must ensure that all Americans regardless of sexual-orientation and gender-
identity–are guaranteed the opportunity to achieve a better future for themselves and their families, and contribute fully to our shared common enterprise."

For more information, contact:
Danielle Lynch
[email protected]

Born and raised in Delaware County, former 3 - star Admiral Joe Sestak served in the Navy for 31 years. He served as a Congressman for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District from 2007-2011. As a Congressman, Joe served on both the Armed Services and Education & Labor Committees, and was Vice Chairman of the Small Business Committee.

According to the office of the House Historian, Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. As an Admiral, he led a series of operational commands at sea, including Commander of an aircraft carrier battle group of 30 U.S. and allied ships with over 15,000 sailors and 100 aircraft that conducted operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

After 9/11, Joe was the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit that established strategic and operations policies for the “Global War on Terrorism.” He served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy at the National Security Council in the White House, and also as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations responsible for development of the Navy’s five-year $350 billion warfare requirements.

He holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Joe most recently taught courses on Ethical Leadership and on Restoring the American Dream at Carnegie Mellon University and Cheyney University, and was the General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership, a joint faculty appointment at the United States Army War College, Dickinson College, and the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs.

He also remains active in foreign affairs, education, disaster response, small businesses, energy and the environment, and health care, among other issues, through a variety of non-profits and other organizations, including the U.S Department of State. When he officially announced his bid for the U.S. Senate in March of this year at Independence Hall, he walked 422 miles on foot from Philadelphia to the Ohio border in order to show people how he wanted to serve them, earning their trust by a willingness to be held accountable. Joe’s book, “Walking in Your Shoes to Restore the American Dream,” focuses on the hopes and challenges he saw as he walked with people across Pennsylvania.

Friends of Joe Sestak
P.O. Box 1936
Media, PA 19063
This email was sent to [email protected] |

Update from Sestak's Senate campaign.
June 27, 2015

Bernie Sandersís Early Online Haul: $8.3 Million JUNE 26, 2015

The day Bernie announced his candidacy, April 30, he raised in excess of $1 million through ActBlue. On May 3, he raised $1.6 million. Except for those 2 days, his supporters donated an average $177,598 to Act Blue for Mr. Sanders each day between May 4 and June 17.
And that $8.3 Million is only the money raised by Act Blue - the article speculates the final number raised by June 30 will be in excess of $9 million.

The Upshot
Campaign Finance
Bernie Sanders’s Early Online Haul: $8.3 Million

JUNE 26, 2015
Derek Willis

The enthusiastic crowds that have been greeting Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail have been matched by online donor excitement. Mr. Sanders, the socialist Vermont senator running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has raised at least $8.3 million online through June 17, according to Federal Election Commission records. His campaign won’t file its initial report until July 15, but filings by ActBlue, the online fund-raising committee that serves as a conduit for Democratic campaigns, show that Mr. Sanders has brought in more money in May and the first half of June than any other Democratic candidate using ActBlue.

It’s likely that Mr. Sanders will report more than $9 million raised as of June 30, the deadline for midyear F.E.C. reports. That amount is larger than any Republican not named Mitt Romney raised in the first half of 2011.

His total is greater than that of Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who also uses ActBlue and has collected more than $331,000 in his first month of online fund-raising. But Mr. Sanders’s online success is likely to be eclipsed in the first set of filings by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has a larger network of donors and more time to raise money. (ActBlue is not Mrs. Clinton’s primary online fund-raising vehicle; she has received at least $43,000 through ActBlue users between April 20 and June 17).

Without the support of a “super PAC,” Mr. Sanders’s total may seem small compared with some of the other 2016 candidates, but anywhere close to $10 million would be a very respectable total for a candidate who raised a total of $6.2 million for his 2012 Senate race. One question is whether this initial flood of donations represents the high-water mark or can be sustained.


June 27, 2015

Link to a ton of Bernie/timeline photos - suitable for FB posts.

I post one of these a day, or a link to a positive report on Bernie's activities/speeches/etc.
And I'm getting positive responses from FB friends who are typically apolitical. Example:

"He is so right about so many things!!!"


June 26, 2015

International NY Times: Sanders in statistical dead heat with Clinton

I know this poll was reported from other sources, but to me it's big news that the International New York Times is featuring the report AND that the Int. NYT report is popping up on the Facebook feed.


New Hampshire Poll Shows Bernie Sanders in Dead Heat With Hillary Clinton

The next time Hillary Rodham Clinton visits New Hampshire, she need not look over her shoulder to find Bernie Sanders; the Vermont Senator is running right alongside her in a statistical dead heat for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a CNN/WMUR poll released on Thursday.

While Mrs. Clinton has been popular in New Hampshire, her favorable ratings have dropped since February, while Mr. Sanders’s have been climbing. And his negatives are lower than hers. So their net favorability ratings (favorable minus unfavorable) are now equal, at 55 percent. The poll shows Mrs. Clinton drawing 43 percent of likely Democratic primary voters compared to 35 percent for Mr. Sanders, but with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points, the race is a statistical tie.

While Mrs. Clinton has been enormously popular in New Hampshire, her favorable ratings have dropped almost 20 points since February, while Mr. Sanders’s have been climbing. And his negatives are lower than hers. So their net favorability ratings (favorable minus unfavorable) are now equal, at 55 percent. Working against her is the hefty 28 percent who view her as the “least honest.”

Working to Mr. Sanders’s advantage: Most voters believe he “best represents Democrats like yourself” and “cares the most about people like you.” The one issue that voters said he was better able to handle than Mrs. Clinton was dealing with “big banks and corporations.”

June 25, 2015

Hey, Hillary! Pay Your Interns

As the high school girl who slept in a Hillary for President T-shirt for most of 2007, cried when she conceded to Barack Obama, railed at Congress during the Benghazi hearings and was an early follower of Texts from Hillary, I took heart from the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign had created.

When Hillary announced her second run for the White House, I felt my passion for politics reignite. I quickly applied for and was offered a position as a Hillary for America fellow to work on the campaign. I couldn't have been more excited — until I was told I'd have to move to Nevada and work full time on my own dime.

I couldn't believe my ears. I did not apply as a routine volunteer but as a fellow. Its application process with an elaborate screening and interview process was now revealed to be an ugly lie. If Hillary hopes to inspire young people, to prove she understands our interests she should offer substance to earn our votes.

But it doesn't bode well that a campaign seeking younger voters would callously overlook my generation's biggest struggle: employment. Nearly 14% of us are unemployed. After two straight years of unemployment, I thought things were looking up with a potential Hillary victory. Internships, once a prestigious foot-in-the-door experience, have increasingly been shown to be an abusive way for employers to gain free labor. I had bad experiences at unpaid internships in California and New York. I promised myself when I graduated two years ago to never let anyone do that to me again.

As as been pointed out in repeated articles about Hillary's unpaid campaign "fellows", only young people from wealthy families can afford to work for her campaign.

Meanwhile, Hillary's campaign just hired journalist/Fusion host and Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos' daughter. http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/jorge-ramos-announces-his-daughter-will-work-for-clinton/265511 "I am disclosing that my daughter, Paola, has accepted a position working with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

So here's the big question, Is SHE being paid? If so, was she hired and given preferential treatment, i.e, being paid, because of her father's influential position as a news anchor? Or because according to Time magazine, "Jorge Ramos is one of the most influential men in the world." http://www.mediamoves.com/2015/04/jorge-ramos-makes-times-100-influential-list.html

If she (who just graduated from Harvard last month) like other Clinton campaign workers is not being paid, then who's picking up her relocation, cost of living, medical insurance expenses? Reasonably, one would expect it's her father/family. This is the father who states he still talks to her on the phone everyday, but protests he can maintain his journalistic integrity, impartiality, fairness, etc. http://www.latintimes.com/jorge-ramos-letter-daughter-paola-will-melt-your-heart-318583

The reality is that whomever actually subsidizes all the expenses and costs of living for unpaid campaign workers is indirectly contributing to the Clinton campaign, and doubtless in excess of the legal limits on campaign contributions. What stinks about this? Pretty SLICK, huh?

June 23, 2015

Seattle Icebreaker Heads for North Pole

Source: KUOW Seattle

The Shell Oil rig that left Elliott Bay last week isn't the only big vessel heading to the Arctic from Seattle. A Coast Guard icebreaker heads to Alaska on Wednesday. The Seattle-based ship will help a multinational team of scientists explore pollution at the North Pole.

Climate change has fueled competition at the top of the world, where shipping and resource extraction are becoming feasible for the first time. With a tiny fleet of icebreakers (the Coast Guard has just two in operation), the U.S. lags behind other nations. At last count, Russia has 41 icebreakers.

KUOW's John Ryan reports.
"It's a beehive of activity on the docks at the Coast Guard station in South Seattle. Crew members and scientists are loading crate after crate on board the Healy. It's a 420-foot long ice breaker.

"This is historic, the fact that all these nations are working together. It's historic just from that point of view. They will be getting a pan-arctic picture of the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean. This will generate data that will be used for decades to come."

Read more: http://kuow.org/post/seattle-icebreaker-heads-north-pole

In a rare example of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans, Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski have introduced legislation to add as many six ice breakers to the U.S. Coast Guard fleet, which currently only has 2, as compared to Russia's more than 40 icebreakers.
Climate change has been shrinking the northern ice cap about 10 percent each decade. Polar shipping and mining are becoming feasible where they never were before. Nations have been jockeying for territory and resources at the top of the planet.

Cantwell: "The Chinese, the Russians are already aggressive in their resource development in the Arctic. I found out this morning even India is building an icebreaker."

The Coast Guard estimates new ice breakers could cost nearly a billion dollars each. Cantwell says it'll be worth it as shrinking ice makes the Arctic grow in economic importance, if not ecological health, in the years ahead.

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