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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 26,107

Journal Archives

Cyberattack on French presidential front-runner bears Russian 'fingerprints,' research group says

Source: The Washington Post

By Rick Noack April 25 at 8:18 AM

PARIS — A security firm claimed Tuesday that a new cyberattack against the campaign offices of the front-runner in France's presidential race carried similar digital “fingerprints” to the suspected Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and others.

The report, released by the Trend Micro research group, did not disclose what possible fallout the infiltration had on the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who is in a two-person runoff with far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the May 7 election. But if a Russian connection was proved, the hacking would add to mounting allegations of Moscow-backed attempts to influence Western elections in favor of candidates with policies potentially more favorable to the Kremlin. Le Pen has voiced opposition to the powers of the European Union and has called for better ties with Russia, echoing some of the campaign rhetoric of President Trump.

Tokyo-based Trend Micro said Macron's campaign was targeted in March and April by a cyberspy group called “Pawn Storm.” It is the same group that has allegedly used phishing and malware to infiltrate other political organizations, such as Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party in Germany and the Democratic National Committee.

“There are several things which suggest that the group behind the Macron hacking was also responsible for the DNC breach, for example. We found similarities in the IP addresses and malware used in the attacks,” said Rik Ferguson, the vice president of the company’s security research program.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/04/25/cyberattack-on-french-presidential-front-runner-bears-russian-fingerprints-research-group-says/?utm_term=.dd040b4d88e3

Obama Steps Back Into Public Life, Trying to Avoid One Word: Trump


CHICAGO — Former President Barack Obama studiously avoided any mention of President Trump or the assault on his own legacy as he returned to his adoptive home on Monday for his first public event since leaving the White House.

What might have been a moment for Mr. Obama to challenge Mr. Trump’s wiretapping accusations, or to assail the Republican agenda, instead became a college seminar on how to engage with a new generation of young people — and urge them to participate in political life.

“The single most important thing I can do,” the former president told an audience of students, is to “help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.”

Avoiding Mr. Trump was no accident.

Mr. Obama has decided — for now, at least — to steer clear of any criticism of his successor, in part out of gratitude that former President George W. Bush took that same approach. But Mr. Obama and his advisers also have concluded that confronting Mr. Trump now would be a political mistake.


Trump considers banning laptops on planes from UK airports

Source: Times of London

Lucy Fisher, Francis Elliott, James Dean, Michael Evans
April 25 2017, 12:01am,
The Times

Passengers flying from Britain to the US face a ban on carrying laptops in aircraft cabins, The Times has learnt.

Whitehall is braced for Washington to extend its security restrictions to flights from Europe after President Trump’s administration changed the rules last month for some US-bound aircraft from Middle Eastern countries.

Under the restrictions, devices larger than a mobile phone — including laptops, tablets and e-readers — must be checked in and stored in the hold. The ban has worried passengers that the gadgets may be damaged. It can also be difficult to obtain insurance for items in the hold. British security chiefs have been put on alert that the US is planning to impose its laptop ban on incoming flights from some parts of Europe — a move that could be implemented within weeks. They are waiting to see whether Britain is included, according to a senior Whitehall source.

Several informed sources confirmed that the US was considering plans to include Britain but no final decision has been taken. “As with everything from Trump’s America, there are conflicting reports about where, when and what,” one Whitehall insider said.

Read more: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/trump-considers-banning-laptops-on-planes-from-uk-airports-5rbxgm67m?CMP=TNLEmail_118918_1777741

Public pans Republicans' latest approach to replacing Affordable Care Act

Source: The Washington Post

By Amy Goldstein and Scott Clement April 25 at 7:00 AM

In strategy and substance, the American public disagrees with the course that President Trump and congressional Republicans are pursuing to replace the Affordable Care Act with conservative policies, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Large majorities oppose the ideas at the heart of the most recent GOP negotiations to forge a plan that could pass in the House. These would allow states to choose whether to keep the ACA’s insurance protection for people with preexisting medical problems and its guarantee of specific health benefits.

Public sentiment is particularly lopsided in favor of an aspect of the current health-care law that blocks insurers from charging more or denying coverage to customers with medical conditions. Roughly 8 in 10 Democrats, 7 in 10 independents and even a slight majority of Republicans say that should continue to be a national mandate, rather than an option for states to retain or drop.

“All states should be required to do the same thing,” said Bayonni Handy-Baker of Killeen, Texas, who supports nationwide requirements on both preexisting conditions and minimum benefits for insurance plans. As the 25 year-old Army veteran and political independent reasoned, “when you have people picking and choosing what to cover, you have this system of holes and disruption and disorder.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/public-pans-republicans-latest-approach-to-replacing-affordable-care-act/2017/04/25/25355eb0-26aa-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html?utm_term=.5b72ef3b1990&wpisrc=al_alert-politics&wpmk=1

"ISIS has won": GOP candidates in Va and SC enraged by Louisiana's removal of Confederate monument

“ISIS has won”: GOP candidates in Virginia and South Carolina enraged by Louisiana’s removal of Confederate monument

If at first you don't secede, try, try again


On Monday, Corey Stewart, a Republican running to become his party’s gubernatorial nominee in Virginia compared people trying to remove state monuments to the Confederate States of America to the terrorist group ISIS.

“It appears ISIS has won,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “They are tearing down historical monuments in New Orleans now too. It must end. Despicable!”


The Republican candidate’s comments came the morning after workers wearing masks and tactical vests took down New Orleans’ Battle of Liberty Place monument under the cover of night and surrounded by police sniper protection. The controversial removal was the first of four scheduled relocations of Confederate memorials in the city.

Stewart isn’t likely to remove his inflammatory tweet considering that he’s been running his entire primary campaign trying to appeal to angry conservatives who still pine for treason against the union.


Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity face uncertain futures with iHeartMedia

MONDAY, APR 24, 2017 05:12 PM EDT

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity face uncertain futures with iHeartMedia

Top radio station owner and programming syndicator says it might not exist in 12 months


The parent company of iHeartCommunications, which syndicates programs by conservative talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, appears to be headed toward bankruptcy.

In a statement filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency charged with regulating companies that offer investments to the public, iHeartCommunications’ parent company, iHeartMedia Inc., said that it had “substantial doubt” that it would be in business by the middle of next year.

Beyond syndicating shows by Limbaugh, Hannity and other hosts like Steve Harvey and Ryan Seacrest, iHeartCommunications owns and operates more than 800 radio stations. It also sells ads on thousands of billboards across the country.

The radio industry as a whole has been fading away, not because people aren’t tuning in but rather because advertisers have been shifting their dollars to the online world where performance can be measured much more effectively, according to radio industry veteran Seth Resler: “What many people don’t realize is that the job of a radio salesperson is getting harder as more and more clients start thinking about advertising as a science and not an art,” Resler wrote. “As an industry, we simply aren’t providing them with the tools they need to compete against these new mediums.”


Bye bye, Bernie: He's not fit to captain the Democratic ship if he can't stop chasing the great...

Bye bye, Bernie: He’s not fit to captain the Democratic ship if he can’t stop chasing the great white male

The Democratic Party is selling out women and all marginalized groups in favor of Bernie Sanders’ dangerous myths


Anna March’s writing appears frequently here in Salon as well as in The New York Times' Modern Love column, New York Magazine and The Rumpus. She is the Publisher of the magazine Roar. Her essay collection, "Feminist Killjoy," and novel are forthcoming. Follow her on Twitter @annamarch or learn more about her at annamarch.com.

To the extent that Democrats are looking for their progressive soul, Sen. Bernie Sanders is not where they should be fixing their gaze. Sanders is clear that he is not a Democrat — except when he needs to be one in order to run for president. Yet he is demanding that the Democratic Party head for what Rebecca Traister last week called “third-way centrist bullshit.”

Economic populism and what are commonly erroneously and dismissively referred to as “social issues” — such as reproductive rights, immigration reform and civil rights for people of color, those who have disabilities, people of all faiths, LGBT people and women — are indivisible. Sanders routinely demonstrates his own lack of progressive values by dividing them.

There is no economic populism without abortion rights and civil rights. No one can have economic justice if he or she doesn’t have fundamental rights. Yet Sanders has made it plain that abortion rights are negotiable and brushes off “identity politics.” He consistently argues that his values — and his alone — should define what it is to be progressive. (Which can’t help but remind one of Donald Trump’s unilateral defining of terms.)

Further, Sanders routinely divides matters of race and gender and class — which, again, cannot be untwined — by discussing the “pain” and needs of working-class voters and perpetuating the dangerous myth that the Democrats have ignored them. Sanders has insisted that Democrats have failed to reach these voters, while dismissing the fact that 75 percent of working-class voters of color voted for Clinton, not Trump, last year.


'Welcome to Hell': Drudge Mourns a Future Where Maddow Has Top Ratings

by Lindsey Ellefson | 12:46 pm, April 24th, 2017

Yesterday, Mediaite predicted that Rachel Maddow was going to crush the 9:00 ratings. Today, conservative aggregator Matt Drudge mourned.

Drudge rarely tweets, but when he does, the overall mood tends to be ominous or disappointed. Today’s message was no different:

Clearly, a future with flying cars and a Maddow success story doesn’t appeal to Drudge. He calls it “hell.”

Maddow’s MSNBC colleague Joy Reid responded to Drudge like this:




Republican Judge Resigns to Protest North Carolina GOPs Attack on Courts

Source: Slate

APRIL 24 2017 5:56 PM

By Mark Joseph Stern

The battle between North Carolina’s Republican-dominated General Assembly and its Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has centered, in large part, around the judiciary. The GOP knows that many of its efforts to consolidate power are unlawful, and the courts have not hesitated to block legislative overreach. In response, North Carolina Republicans are attempting to simultaneously hobble the courts and pack them with partisans. Legislative Republicans are close to passing two bills that would strip Cooper of the authority to appoint many judges, delegating that task to the General Assembly instead. And they have already passed a bill shrinking the state Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12—a brazen effort to prevent Cooper from filling the vacancies left by three Republican judges set to step down during his term. Cooper vetoed the bill, but the legislature will soon enact the measure through veto override.

On Monday, however, one of these judges took a stand against the GOP’s chicanery, resigning in protest of the bill targeting the Court of Appeals. Judge J. Douglas McCullough, a Republican, will reach the mandatory retirement age of 72 next month, requiring him to step down. At that point, the General Assembly will almost certainly have overridden Cooper’s veto, preventing him from appointing McCullough’s successor. So McCullough stepped down on Monday, allowing Cooper to appoint John Arrowood to replace him. Arrowood is a well-respected Democratic attorney who briefly sat on the Court of Appeals a decade ago. He is the court’s first openly gay member.

In an interview with the Charlotte News & Observer, McCullough explained that the GOP bill would unduly burden the court by increasing the judges’ workload. (Most cases are heard by three-judge panels; on a smaller court, each judge would have to hear more cases.) He also pointed out that a 12-member court can be deadlocked on those rare, usually significant cases that are heard by the full court. But his key concern seemed to be GOP’s assault on his court. In his interview, McCullough fondly recalled the era when Republican Gov. Jim Martin governed North Carolina alongside a Democratic-controlled General Assembly. In those days, McCullough noted sharply, the legislature “did not interfere with (the governor’s) power to make appointments to the judiciary.”

McCullough is a Republican and a conservative; he is no Democratic sympathizer. But it’s notable that the North Carolina GOP’s attack on the judiciary has so alienated him that he would rather let a Democrat replace him—as will happen under current law—than be complicit in Republicans’ scheme. In its quest for total domination over state politics, the General Assembly is driving away even its former allies. McCullough deserves credit for taking a stand against its ongoing legislative coup.


Read more: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/04/24/north_carolina_republican_judge_resigns_in_protest_of_his_own_party_s_attack.html

Trump calls for new U.N. sanctions against North Korea

Source: Reuters

Mon Apr 24, 2017 | 5:38pm EDT

By Steve Holland and Ben Blanchard | WASHINGTON/BEIJING

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea as concerns mount that it may test a sixth nuclear bomb as early as Tuesday.

"The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable," Trump told a meeting with the 15 U.N. Security Council ambassadors, including China and Russia, at the White House. "The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs."

"This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem and it's a problem that we have to finally solve," he said. “People put blindfolds on for decades and now it’s time to solve the problem.”

U.S. officials have told Reuters tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, banning North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks and other foreign doing business with Pyongyang.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-idUSKBN17Q06N
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