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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 22,614

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Puerto Rico governor says 2020 Democrats must support statehood

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said on Friday that as Democratic candidates begin visiting the island ahead of the 2020 presidential nominating contests there is one question they must answer: whether the U.S. territory should become a state.

“What I want to hear everybody talk about,” Rosselló told reporters, “is their stance on the equality of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico? It should be a yes or no answer. There should be no room for wiggle.”

“The only way to get that equality is through statehood, which twice in the past seven years the people of Puerto Rico have voted. That is the top simple question that I would want them to answer,” he added.

Rosselló, a Democrat, spoke to reporters at the annual National Governors Association meeting in Washington. He was elected governor in 2016 after making Puerto Rican statehood a main component of his campaign. The U.S. Congress and president would have to approve Puerto Rico becoming the 51st U.S. state.


Trump Intends to 'Cause Chaos' In Democratic Primaries

nside the White House, the President is watching announcement rallies, tuning into televised town hall sessions with voters and listening carefully to commentary on the Democratic presidential race. His opinions fluctuate on who he will, or would like to, run against. But one sentiment is unwavering — he has no plans to sit idly by and watch.

The President intends to play an active role in the Democratic primary and has instructed his aides to look for ways he can, according to more than a dozen Republicans involved in his campaign. His team is working to sow divisions among rivals and looking for opportunities to "cause chaos from the left and right," in the words of one adviser.

Trump has been holding regular meetings with a small circle of advisers inside the White House, led by his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, who briefs his boss often, sources say. On Tuesday, that meeting got a little bigger when Parscale sat down with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and more than a dozen aides to go over the expected structure of their campaign.


Venezuela Forces Reportedly Open Fire on Civilians at Closed Brazil Border

One person has reportedly died and 12 have been injured after a clash at Venezuela’s now-closed border with Brazil. Embattled Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro ordered that his country’s border with Brazil be closed “completely and absolutely” in an escalating fight over foreign humanitarian aid. On Friday morning, Venezuelan soldiers reportedly fired at civilians who were attempting to keep a segment of the border open to help deliver international relief. Maduro doesn’t want aid brought in because he insists there isn’t any crisis and has called the aid-delivery plans a publicity stunt orchestrated by the United States. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is leading a convoy from the capital, Caracas, to the Colombian border to collect the food and medicine being stockpiled there. Many Venezuelans rushed to the Brazilian city of Pacaraima to stock up on supplies after the announcement. Later in his TV address, Maduro threatened to close the Colombia border next if the aid efforts continue.


Bonus Tweet of the Day


Captain Marvel' Passes 'Aquaman,' 'Wonder Woman' in Ticket Presales

Advance ticket sales for Captain Marvel are the third biggest for any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, according to Fandango.

To boot, Marvel and Disney's first female-fronted superhero pic is pacing ahead of DC's Aquaman and Wonder Woman in terms of presales at the same point in the cycle, according to the online ticketing company.

The tentpole, which is set to hit theaters March 8, is tracking to open to a huge $100 million to $120 million. Forecasts could easily be revised upwards as Disney makes its final marketing push.


Tweet of the Day


Hate In 3 Dimensions: The Challenge Of Being A Black Muslim Woman In America

Scrolling through the headlines and tweet storms earlier this month calling Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) an anti-Semite for comments she tweeted about pro-Israel lobbying efforts, Margari Aziza Hill felt a familiar sense of dread and a twinge of fear. A black Muslim woman like Omar, Hill saw her own experience reflected in the attacks on the freshman representative. But she kept her feelings quiet.

“I have to be so careful in my words when speaking about the oppression that I experienced and also the racism that I’ve experienced,” said Hill, the co-founder and managing director of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, a human rights organization that provides racial justice education and training to various Muslim communities.

Hill knows first hand how hard it is for many Americans to have conversations confronting racism and xenophobia.

Omar’s controversial tweets drew the ire of both Democrats and Republicans as anti-Semitic. The congresswoman has since “unequivocally apologized” for the tweets in a statement posted to Twitter.

“We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity,” Omar wrote.

Hill immediately wanted to speak out against the racist commentary online, but her friends and family discouraged her, fearing the attacks Omar endured would then target her. “It’s very scary. From the doxing [that happens] against black Muslim women who speak out to the physical threats that we face. Those [concerns] are real,” she said.

Omar is the first Somali-American elected to Congress. She is also one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress and the first hijabi congresswoman. But alongside those milestones, Omar has had to deal with an onslaught of bigotry targeted at her race, religion or gender — and sometimes all three. As a black Muslim woman, and one in the public eye, Omar is a frequent target of xenophobia, racism and sexism ― from conspiracy theories about her Somali family to online harassment by elected representatives.

But others like her say her experience is one they personally know all too well. Speaking to HuffPost, black Muslim women described feeling assaulted by hatred across three dimensions, including anti-black racism, blatant sexism and anti-Muslim sentiment.


NC-09 Remains in Toss Up After New Election Ordered

Harris hasn't indicated whether he would run again, but it goes without saying he will come under heavy pressure from Republicans to end his role in what has become a bizarre, nationally-watched saga.

Any new election without Harris would start out in the Toss Up column. The 9th CD voted for President Trump 54 percent to 43 percent in 2016, but a compressed special primary and general election timetable works to Democrats' advantage. McCready, a renewable energy businessman who served with the Marines in Iraq, raised over $500,000 in December alone, will easily raise millions more and won't face a primary threat.

Meanwhile, Republicans are likely headed for a crowded primary, with or without Harris. And things could get even worse for Republicans: under state law, a runoff will be held if no candidate gets 30 percent of the primary vote, further threatening to drain the party's time and resources (the legislature lowered the threshold from 40 percent to 30 percent back in fall 2017, marginally reducing the chances this would occur).

Former GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger, who lost his primary to Harris last May, could run for the seat he vacated just last month. Pittenger's wealth and ability to self-fund could appeal to GOP strategists who know they would otherwise start out at a severe disadvantage to McCready. But the staid Pittenger has never been a towering figure among the district's conservative activists and his real estate company was under FBI investigation until 2017.

Other potential candidates include Union County Republican chair Dan Barry, who hails from the most reliable GOP vote trove in the 9th CD, former Charlotte Councilman Kenny Smith, former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour, state Sen. Dan Bishop and former state Reps. Bill Brawley, Scott Stone and Andy Dulin. Former Gov. Pat McCrory has already indicated he's unlikely to run.

It's possible North Carolina officials could streamline the election calendar by calling special elections for the 3rd CD, where GOP Rep. Walter Jones passed away earlier this month, and the 9th CD on the same day. But the state board of elections will set the terms of the new election in the 9th CD, whereas Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will set the election dates in the 3rd CD, a safe Republican seat.


NC-09: Republican Mark Harris agrees a new election is warranted

Breaking on my phone via Washington Post

Please refer your local Trumpster to this 2008 story if they bring up Smollett

A John McCain campaign volunteer made up a story of being robbed, pinned to the ground and having the letter "B" scratched on her face in a politically inspired attack, police said Friday.

Ashley Todd, 20-year-old college student from College Station, Texas, admitted Friday that the story was false, police said.

Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department's investigations division, said Todd is being charged with making a false police report.

Police doubted her story from the start, Bryant said.

"She just opened up and said she wanted to tell the truth," Bryant said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "She was upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm."

Todd, who is white, initially told police she was attacked by a 6-foot-4 black man Wednesday night.

She told investigators she was attempting to use a bank branch ATM when the man approached her from behind, put a knife with a 4- to 5-inch blade to her throat and demanded money. She said she handed the assailant $60 and walked away.

Todd claimed that she suspected the man then noticed a McCain sticker on her car, became angry and punched her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground and telling her "you are going to be a Barack supporter," police said.

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