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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
December 4, 2016

33 Bodies Recovered in Oakland Warehouse Fire; Search Continues

Searchers have recovered 33 bodies from a fire-ravaged warehouse in Oakland, California, that housed artist studios and was hosting a dance party when the deadly blaze broke out, officials said today.

Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office warned that he anticipates that "the number of victims will rise" from a fire officials say may be the deadliest ever in Oakland. The search effort is expected to last for days, he said.

Kelly called the 30 deaths "astronomical."

Authorities are also asking families with missing loved ones to preserve DNA samples as a way of confirming the identities of those who died in the horrific blaze.

The District Attorney's Office has criminal investigation teams actively looking at the fire with the other law enforcement agencies involved in investigating the fire, according to a statement from the City of Oakland.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told ABC News that she has ordered an investigation into the building's troubled history, including a complete review of all records of complaints. Libby also told ABC that she ordered an independent analysis into the city’s handling of this building and others like it.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire at the warehouse known as the "Ghost Ship" on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said Ghost Ship appeared to function as a residential building that hosted a makeshift artists' studio, as well as parties like the one that took place on Friday night.


December 4, 2016

Sorry, but my wife makes the best chicken soup, anywhere

- Ginger
- Bok Choy
- A Filipino vegetable I can't remember
- Hunks of whole, unprocessed chicken bought in Chinatown

Serve with steamed jasmine rice and you have the perfect late dinner for a cold, winter night.

December 4, 2016

Stein dropping bid to recount PA

Breaking on my phone.

December 3, 2016

Democrats channel disappointment into Louisiana Senate race

Democrats are channeling their post-election disappointment — and pouring buckets of donor cash — into a long-shot bid for the Louisiana Senate seat.

The odds are not good for Louisiana Democrat Foster Campbell, who is facing off against GOP state Treasurer John Kennedy in the runoff on Dec. 10. President-elect Donald Trump just carried the state by 20 percentage points in November, and Kennedy led Campbell 52 percent to 38 percent in a poll this week. And Trump's running mate, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, is scheduled to give Kennedy's base an energy boost by appearing at a rally with Kennedy in New Orleans on Saturday.

But Campbell, a state public service commissioner, has raised $2.5 million over the past month, much of it in small dollar donations from Democrats around the country looking for some way to strike back against Trump. Kennedy raised $1.6 million over the same time frame. Each man had about $1.4 million left in their campaign account.

Campbell brought in $43,000 from small donors from January to Oct. 20; since then, $1.7 million in small donations have poured in as Democrats — like former Obama administration staffers Dan Pfeiffer and Jon Favreau, who recently had Campbell on their podcast — hold up Campbell’s race as the final fight of the 2016 election and hope for an upset.


December 3, 2016

Authorities prepared for up to 40 deaths in Oakland warehouse fire

At least nine people are dead and 25 people are unaccounted for after a fire broke out late Friday at an Oakland warehouse, according to fire department officials.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office officials say they are prepared to deal with up to 40 deaths at the warehouse in the city's Fruitvale district, even as they've only confirmed that nine people were killed in the blaze. The fire broke out during an electronic music party at the warehouse, which is the home of an artists collective.

Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed told reporters that most of the dead were found on the second floor of the building, but she feared the death toll could rise. She said it took about five hours to put out the blaze in the building, which did not appear to have sprinklers.

On Saturday morning, fire officials' search of the building was stymied when the roof of the warehouse collapsed. Officials with the coroner’s office haven’t recovered any bodies from the fire because the building is still deemed unsafe.

"One of the issues was that leading up to the second floor there was only one way up and down," Reed told reporters. "It was my understanding that the stairwell was kind of makeshift, that they put it together with pallets."


December 3, 2016

A Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair

While former CIA Director David Petraeus is interviewing for a top job in the Trump administration, the woman he had an affair with is facing possible disciplinary actions from the Army.

The Pentagon decided in February it would not pursue any further punishment for Petraeus, but is now seeking to take actions against Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserves major, according to a defense official.

Petraeus and Broadwell, both married, admitted to an extra-martial affair in 2012. They both have expressed regret, with Petraeus personally apologizing to Senate lawmakers during a hearing last year.

The official did not want to characterize what the pending actions are, and said Broadwell would be given an opportunity to respond or issue a rebuttal before making a final determination on disciplinary measures.


December 3, 2016

Trumps Victory Tour First Of Its Kind Since Hitlers Nuremberg Rallies

With presidential elections occurring only once every four years, it can be difficult to remember exactly what the normal course of events looks like between election day and inauguration day. In this case, it’s been eight full years since we’ve witnessed a change in the occupant of the White House, making it even harder to recall all the ins and outs of the transfer of power.

For example, as Trump launches his “Thank You” victory tour tonight at a rally in Cincinnati, you may find yourself wondering, “Did Obama have post-victory rallies? Did Bush? What about Clinton?”

Newsweek investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald wondered the same thing, so he did a little research. He had to go back quite a ways (and quite a distance) to find a similar set of circumstances:

Kurt Eichenwald ✔@kurteichenwald
Researched political, non-campaign victory rallies. Found 2: Trump's & Reichsparteitag des Sieges. Yah, it took place in 1930s. In Germany.
12:06 PM - 29 Nov 2016

That’s right, the last time a politician held victory celebrations in his own honor they were called the Nuremberg Rallies. They began after the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933 and became a yearly event emblematic of the power of the regime’s propaganda machine.

Each year, the rallies grew larger and more impressive, and Hitler’s speeches became progressively more sinister. The rally in 1939, scheduled to begin on September 2, was cancelled at the last moment—Hitler and Germany had invaded Poland the day before.

December 3, 2016

Federal judge sides with Jill Stein over Donald Trump; Wisconsin recount will continue

The Wisconsin recount will continue. Donald Trump and his backers had filed an emergency motion in federal court to try to immediately stop the statewide recount, already in progress, from continuing. But U.S. District Judge James Peterson denied this motion, ordering that the recount will continue unabated. However, Trump and his team aren’t giving up, and will still take one more legal shot at stopping the recount – though that may come too late to matter.

Trump’s attempt at stopping Jill Stein’s recount effort in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania has raised eyebrows around the country, suggesting that he expects to lose those states if the recounts are allowed to proceed. If all three states determined at the end of their recounts that Hillary Clinton has in fact received the most votes in that state, she will be awarded those electoral votes, which would collectively put her over the 270 mark and make her the president-elect. But according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the federal judge ordered today that the recount will continue while Trump and his side carry out the rest of their legal antics.

Judge Peterson says he will hold a hearing on December 9th, a full week from now, to allow Donald Trump and his associates to prevent their evidence for wanting the recount stopped. But in the mean time, votes will continue to be recounted. That means that by the time the hearing begins a week from now, the recount could be mostly or fully complete. Meanwhile the Michigan elections board refused Trump’s request to stop its impending recount yesterday, prompting Trump’s side to file a last ditch lawsuit in the state which has not yet been ruled on. And even as Trump tries to stop a Pennsylvania statewide recount from happening, Philadelphia is voluntarily holding its own recount.


December 3, 2016

Californias Democrats Are Ready for Political War

On Nov. 14, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said he won’t reverse long-standing department policy blocking officers from doing immigration enforcement, despite Donald Trump’s threats to cut federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, which offer residents protection from federal agents. “We are not going to work with Homeland Security on deportation efforts,” Beck said. “That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has also publicly affirmed his commitment to remaining a sanctuary city, and his office has begun drawing up contingency plans for dealing with a loss of federal funding, says City Controller Ben Rosenfield.

One of the biggest points of contention between Sacramento and Trump’s Washington will be climate change. The incoming president has called global warming a hoax “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” He’s also pledged to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement, the first legally binding global deal to reduce carbon emissions, and to shred Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which sought to control emissions from power plants.

Governor Brown has devoted himself to strengthening California’s carbon pollution rules, already the nation’s toughest. “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time—devastating climate change,” Brown said in a statement that also referred to finding common ground with Trump and the GOP where possible. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says cities should be willing to uphold the Paris commitments at the local level. “You have 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from cities,” she says. “If all mayors agree to take action, we can actually render federal action irrelevant.”

California’s Democrats are also exploring ways to ensure continued access to health care. The Affordable Care Act guarantees federal subsidies for 90 percent of the 1.4 million residents insured by Covered California, the statewide health exchange, and about 5.5 million more Californians now have insurance via the Medicaid expansion made possible by the 2010 law. A repeal, as Trump and Republicans have pledged, would cost the state more than $15 billion in federal subsidies a year, according to the nonprofit Urban Institute. “In theory, California could implement its own universal health-care program,” says California’s insurance commissioner, Dave Jones—though doing so, he warns, would require significant state tax increases.


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Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
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About RandySF

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