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Gender: Male
Hometown: NY
Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 11:41 PM
Number of posts: 36,683

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David Hockney on Vincent van Gogh

With timely allusions to spring included.
Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri May 3, 2019, 04:11 PM (0 replies)

Democrats have many avenues of attack. Why hold back?

Jennifer Rubin

Republicans and nervous Democrats would have us believe that Democrats must choose a single approach in the face of President Trump’s multifaceted wrongdoing. Nope.

The House can hold investigative hearings — calling Robert S. Mueller III, Donald McGahn, Hope Hicks and others — without yet making a decision to pursue impeachment of Trump. At the same time, the House can subpoena Attorney General William P. Barr and hold him in contempt if he refuses to appear and produce the full Mueller report. The House can also, if Barr still refuses and further instructs the U.S. attorney not to enforce a contempt finding in court, pursue impeachment of Barr. Too much going on at once? Well, that never stopped Trump.

None of his precludes the House from moving forward on popular legislation...

One gets the feeling that Democrats are far too concerned that rigorous pursuit of Trump’s wrongdoing will detract from winning messages on health care, the environment and income inequality. For one thing, the former helps enliven their base, and for another, Democrats risk tolerating worse and worse behavior if they show skittishness over pursuing their oversight functions. (We already see Barr testing the House by refusing to show up for a hearing.)

There is another benefit for Democrats in pursuing a full-court press on both substance and scandal: the Senate. As House bills pile up outside the Senate chamber (because Sen. Mitch McConnell won’t bring them up for votes), the GOP-controlled Senate refuses even to investigate obvious wrongdoing and Republican senators make fools of themselves slobbering over Trump and his Cabinet officials (as they did with Barr), the portrait of craven, spineless enablers becomes more vivid. They won’t pass bills. They won’t do real oversight. They won’t insist on truth-telling from witnesses. The more reasons they give voters to oppose sycophantic senators, the more likely a flip in control of the Senate becomes.

Democrats therefore shouldn’t reject the political gifts they have been given. Trump’s surplus of scandals and unpopular policy positions shouldn’t limit Democrats’ avenues of attack. To the contrary, they should advance on all fronts.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu May 2, 2019, 10:36 AM (4 replies)

Behind the Counter, a New Political Force Takes On The New York Post and Trump

Yemeni-American bodega owners in New York City organized a boycott of the newspaper over what they see as anti-Muslim bias.

Stepping into his Brooklyn bodega, Mohammed Almuntaser recalled how his heart sank. Staring up at him from the entryway was a copy of The New York Post, with a picture of the World Trade Center in flames on the cover and a headline attacking a Muslim member of Congress, Ilhan Omar.

“It was disgusting. It was racist. I couldn’t believe this racist thing was sitting at my store,” said Mr. Almuntaser, 29, who owns four bodegas in the city. “The very next day, I told everyone who works at my stores not to accept the paper.”

He was not alone, and a boycott of The Post began.

...In 2017, Yemeni-American bodega owners closed their shops for a day and rallied in Downtown Brooklyn against Mr. Trump’s Muslim travel ban, which separated some Yemeni husbands in New York from wives and children abroad.

After The Post cover was published on April 11, the community’s two-year-old trade association, the Yemeni American Merchant Association (YAMA), again called for action.

The association asked Yemeni-American bodega owners in the city to stop selling The Post until it issues an apology to Ms. Omar and Muslim-Americans in New York. Of the roughly 10,000 bodegas in the city, YAMA estimated that between 4,000 and 6,000 are owned by Yemeni-Americans.

“We have the power and tools to do something about this. We have thousands of stores which, from an economic perspective, can make an impact,” said Rabyaah Althaibani, a Yemeni-American organizer and member of YAMA.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/nyregion/yemeni-bodegas-ny-post-boycott.html

Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 29, 2019, 10:59 PM (2 replies)

Woodstock 50 Canceled By Its Investors

Source: NPR

Woodstock 50, a wide-ranging festival that had hoped to bring the spirit of 1969 to a new generation this August, has been canceled. Tim O'Hearn, the administrator for Schuyler County, New York, where the event was to take place, confirmed the cancellation to NPR; he said he had been contacted by Dentsu Aegis Network, which had been bankrolling the planned festival.

The festival, which was supposed to run Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. — a different location than its namesake event — boasted an impressive lineup that was meant to bridge multiple generations and musical genres, from Santana, David Crosby and John Fogerty to Jay-Z, Chance The Rapper and Miley Cyrus. One of the primary organizers of Woodstock 50, promoter Michael Lang, was also a co-founder of the original Woodstock event in 1969.

On Monday morning, Billboard published a statement from Amplifi Live, a Dentsu Aegis division, that read in part: "Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees. As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network's Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved."

Since the 50th anniversary event was announced in January, there have been multiple signs that the festival's organizers did not have matters in order. Originally, organizers announced that tickets would initially go on sale in late January, and that the artist roster would be released in February. The festival missed both of those dates, as well as a plan to release tickets for sale on April 22. Tickets were still not on sale as of Monday afternoon.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/718321891/woodstock-50-canceled-by-its-investors
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 29, 2019, 03:07 PM (31 replies)

Bruch's Violin Concerto no. 1

Joseph Joachim, for whom this piece was written, once made the famous statement: ‘The Germans have four violin concertos. The greatest, most uncompromising is Beethoven’s. The one by Brahms vies with it in seriousness. The richest, the most seductive, was written by Max Bruch. But the most inward, the heart’s jewel, is Mendelssohn’s.’

Joachim’s placing of the Bruch in this highest tier of concertos is praise indeed, and certainly justified. The Bruch packs an amazing emotional punch, and its slow movement in particular is one of the most glorious pieces ever written for the violin...


That’s from Joshua Bell, but one of my favorite interpreters of this piece is Kyung Wha Chung, whose recordings with Kempe and Tennstedt are among the best out there. Check out her performance at the 2002 BBC Proms conducted by her brother, Myung-Whun, a great artist in his own right:

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat Apr 27, 2019, 12:33 AM (0 replies)

Senator Elizabeth Warren On Why You Should Vote For Who You Believe In

For anyone who doesn’t think Warren is inspiring.
Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 26, 2019, 06:55 PM (2 replies)

North Korea issued $2 million bill for comatose Otto Warmbier's care

Source: Washington Post

BEIJING — North Korea issued a $2 million bill for the hospital care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, insisting that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay it before being allowed to fly the University of Virginia student from Pyongyang in 2017.

The presentation of the invoice — not previously disclosed by U.S. or North Korean officials — was extraordinarily brazen even for a regime known for its aggressive tactics.

But the main U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the medical bill on instructions passed down from President Trump, according to two people familiar with the situation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained — unpaid — throughout 2017, the people said. However, it is unclear whether the Trump administration later paid the bill, or whether it came up during preparations for Trump’s two summits with Kim Jong Un.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/north-korea-issued-2-million-bill-for-comatose-otto-warmbiers-care/2019/04/25/0e8022a0-66ad-11e9-a698-2a8f808c9cfb_story.html?utm_term=.c14df8d97693

Art of the deal baby.
Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu Apr 25, 2019, 10:59 AM (19 replies)

Trump: I can't be impeached, Democrats are the criminals

Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:24 AM (17 replies)

Charles Blow on impeachment: I'm tired of all the fear and trepidation

...I find the conflation of Clinton and Trump ill-reasoned on the issue of the public’s response in polling.

First, Clinton’s approval was subject to change in a way Trump’s is not. Clinton experienced a 40-point swing in his approval over his presidency, according to Gallup. Trump’s seems almost impervious to change, no matter the news.

People either love Trump or hate him. Impeachment will most likely not change that any more than Trump seeing fine people among Nazis or locking children in cages.

Furthermore, Clinton jumped 10 points, from 63 percent 73 percent, just after the House voted to impeach him. But, five month later, those gains had vanished and then some. His approval rating sank to 53 percent.

I’m tired of all the fear and trepidation.

...House Democrats, at least the leadership, are afraid of looking like they have a blood lust and inadvertently increasing Trump’s chances of re-election.

Folks, this is not the 1990s. Until 1996, CNN was the only cable news network. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist. Google wasn’t founded until 1998. Cellphones were in their infancy, and few people had them.

Furthermore, the massive — and growing — amount of campaign spending will drown out anything that happened months prior.

In 1996, Clinton raised $42 million for his re-election bid; in 2012, Obama raised a billion for his.

And finally, there was no President Trump in the 1990s producing a head-scratching number of headlines each day. Trump can’t ride a victory nor will he be crestfallen in defeat. There would likely be untold new outrages even after an impeachment.

As for me, I’m afraid of lawlessness and the horrible precedent it would set if Congress does nothing.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/opinion/impeach-donald-trump.html
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 22, 2019, 07:36 AM (77 replies)

Warren: A constitutional duty to start impeachment proceedings


”The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.

Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.

To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways.

The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”
Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 19, 2019, 03:38 PM (16 replies)
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