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Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
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Journal Archives

Le Pen refuses credentials for left leaning Indy media. Mainstream media responds by

boycotting FN event.

Great demonstration of solidarity by the media there.


As many polling stations closed (some, particularly in the big cities, will remain open for another hour), France’s newspaper of record, Le Monde, has announced that it too will boycott the Front National’s election evening event in the Bois de Vincennes (see post at 17.19)pm:

The Front National has chosen to exclude some French and international media from its election evening event on 7 May ... Le Monde forcefully condemns this attitude which does not allow proper coverage of a major democratic moment and shows a poor interpretation of press freedom. In solidarity with the media concerned, we have decided we will not be present at this election evening event. This decision will not prevent us from covering the Front National to the same journalistic standards.


A list of online and mainly left-leaning media organisations and websites say they have not been accredited for the Front National’s election evening event in the Bois de Vincennes on the eastern edge of Paris.

Organisations including BuzzFeed, Politico, Rue89, Mediapart and Les Jours all said they have been refused admittance. The leftwing daily newspaper Libération has said it will boycott the event in solidarity.

Judge Blocks Order Cutting Off Funding To Sanctuary Cities

Source: CBS

SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal judge in San Francisco has blocked an order by the Trump administration that would cut off funding to cities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the temporary ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit over the executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The decision will stay in place while the lawsuit moves through court.

Read more: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/04/25/sanctuary-cities-order-blocked/

Glad to see this. Doubly glad that this is from San Francisco since the appeal would go to the Ninth Circuit.

John Oliver on the French election


Mais, oui!

" 'Terrorist' baby faces US embassy interview after error on visa form"


On the part of the Esta form which reads “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” Kenyon ticked yes instead of no.

He only learned of his error when his grandson’s travel was refused. “I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a three-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” said the 62-year-old.


“Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,” said Kenyon. “They didn’t appear to have a sense of humour over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side.

“He’s obviously never engaged in genocide, or espionage, but he has sabotaged quite a few nappies in his time, though I didn’t tell them that at the US embassy.”

Because of course an actual terrorist would tick the yes box to that question.

"Small Saturn moon has most conditions needed to sustain life, Nasa says"


A tiny moon of Saturn has most of the conditions necessary for life, Nasa announced on Thursday, unveiling a discovery from an underground ocean that makes the world a leading candidate for organisms as humans know them.

Scientists stressed that the discovery on a moon named Enceladus is not evidence that life has in fact developed on another world, but they have managed to establish the existence of the water, chemistry and energy sources that are necessary for it.

“We now know that Enceladus has almost all of the ingredients that you need to support life as we know it on Earth,” said Linda Spilker, a project scientist who said the finding essentially confirmed vents on the moon’s seafloor.

Chris Glein, another scientist involved in the project, said the discovery showed that the moon’s ocean contained a potential chemical feast for microbes. “We have made the first calorie count on an alien ocean,” he said.

Putin meets with Le Pen in attempt to influence French election.


The meeting also shows that the Kremlin is not shying away from actions that could influence foreign elections, even after the storm over U.S. intelligence agencies' allegations that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Russia has denied trying to influence the U.S. vote, and has also dismissed allegations that Kremlin-funded media outlets are spreading "fake news" in an attempt to interfere in the French presidential race.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told reporters on a conference call that Putin and Le Pen had not discussed the possibility of Russia offering any financial help to her political party.

Her party took a 9-million-euro loan from a Moscow-based bank in 2014, and is actively seeking new sources of funding.

Hmm, I didn't know about that loan. I wonder how long and in what ways Putin has been helping her and her party. Going back for some time, it looks like.

Trump's endless campaign. $$$ for him and his, untold cost to us.

It's clear that Trump prioritizes making money for himself and his cronies. And he'll continue spending unprecedented tax payer dollars in travel to and from his privately owned properties to do this, combining paid access to him and his appointees with fund raising for his now never ending campaign.

Vanity Fair has a good article about Trump continuing this cash cow campaign.

A month after he won the election, Trump’s committees continued to spend as if he’s still campaigning, too. According to a Politico analysis of documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday night, Trump’s three committees collected $11 million in December, ending 2016 with $16 million in the bank. In total, the campaign spent $32 million in December in order to build its database, collect data, and pay for branding and key staff members. The committees, for example, laid out $728,000 on hats, likely for his “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, and another $2.4 million on mugs, stickers, T-shirts, and banners, Politico reports. They paid another $511,000 to Giles-Parscale, the Texas-based digital and online advertising operation run by Brad Parscale, who has been credited with propelling the campaign on a path to victory, bringing the total amount he has collected from Trumplandia to $88 million.

In addition to funneling money to his buddies, he continues directing money to his businesses. He has increased the membership cost to Mar a Lago to $200,000. In addition, he does pop-ins there to charity events, providing access to himself and his appointees, access by wealthy donors, many of whom likely want policy decisions to go their way.

An example from February:

John P. Cook, Governor Charlie Baker’s campaign finance wizard, created a lot of chatter within Massachusetts GOP circles when he was seen close to President Trump at a Mar-a-Lago charity fund-raising event last weekend.

Baker, a Republican, refused to endorse Trump in last year’s election. But his chief money-man was caught on camera just a couple feet from him, according to a photo snapped by the Palm Beach Daily News.
Cook, who is a financial adviser at UBS Financial Services in Boston, was apparently as surprised as anyone when the President took a seat next to him. But his explanation for their impromptu meeting helps solve the mystery as to why Trump was showing up to an event to raise money for Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Surprised? Yeah, right.

Then this weekend, he went into overdrive.


Guests caught glimpses of Trump meeting with members of his team, including Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Gen. John Kelly, head of the Department of Homeland Security.

According to press reports, they had converged on the ocean-to-lake compound, which Trump calls his “southern White House,” to hash out the fallout from continued revelations about Trump campaign officials meeting with Russian officials, including Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.


President Donald Trump is expected to head to Florida next weekend to address the Republican Party's top donors, according to several people familiar with the plans.

The party's biggest donors are gathering in Palm Beach for a retreat organized by the Republican National Committee, and the president has been announced as the featured speaker, according to people with knowledge of the plans. A number of senior administration officials will also attend the retreat, the people familiar with the planning said, a key draw for the donors.

Money and access are why he goes to his private properties instead of to Camp David. His transportation there is paid by us. He rakes in membership fees, event costs, lunch and dinner money and directed contributions to his unending campaign. And who knows what agreements start brewing during his many 'unofficial' meetings there.

Colbert's critique of Trump's speech



Trump met with Scott Walker and Rick Scott to 'fix' health care.

The worst of the worst of the worst.


Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump met with two Republican governors, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott, and discussed “how best to solve the problems” of the Obama-era health law, with “special emphasis” on states’ role in health care, according to a statement by his press secretary.
The governors also listened to a consultant’s report about the fiscal impact of a Medicaid overhaul on states. The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, predicted that Medicaid reforms being proposed by House Republicans would result in tens of thousands of people losing their insurance coverage in an average-size state.

Inslee and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia called the report “disturbing.” Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky said if Democrats were disturbed, they haven’t been paying attention.

I would counter that "paying attention" is why they are disturbed.

So in Spicer's own words, gov't banning the press makes for a dictatorship.


In December, Spicer said barring media access is what a ‘dictatorship’ does. Today, he barred media access.
“Look, there’s a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds and a government entity,” Spicer replied. “I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government. That is something you can’t ban an entity from.”

“Conservative, liberal or otherwise,” he continued, “that’s what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship. I think there is a vastly different model when it comes to government and what should be expected, and that’s on both sides.”
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