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JHan's Journal
JHan's Journal
August 29, 2018

So can we get rid of the stupid "progressive vs establishment" false dichotomy now?

Gillum had a fabulous win last night and he's a good candidate. The primary was never a factional brawl despite media narratives desperately wishing it were so...

Gillum's career didn't begin with anyone's endorsement. Gillum has built a career over a decade through hard work and grit. And his efforts have now brought him within reach of a Governorship.

He is not a footnote in someone else's story.

He enjoyed support among all kinds of Democrats, and he especially benefitted from support among the base of the Democratic Party.

Even those who supported Graham, are happy with his win. He is charismatic, his constituents in Tallahassee love him, and he has a bright political future regardless of what happens in November.

But above all, it shows that those pushing factionalism between progressives and "establishment" need to be studiously ignored from here on.

August 28, 2018

Big oil asks government to protect its Texas facilities from climate change

This is not the Onion.

"...the idea of taxpayers around the country paying to protect refineries worth billions, and in a state where top politicians still dispute climate change's validity, doesn't sit well with some.

"The oil and gas industry is getting a free ride," said Brandt Mannchen, a member of the Sierra Club's executive committee in Houston. "You don't hear the industry making a peep about paying for any of this and why should they? There's all this push like, 'Please Senator Cornyn, Please Senator Cruz, we need money for this and that.'"

Normally outspoken critics of federal spending, Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both backed using taxpayer funds to fortify the oil facilities' protections and the Texas coast. Cruz called it "a tremendous step forward."

Federal, state and local money is also bolstering defenses elsewhere, including on New York's Staten Island, around Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in other communities hammered by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Construction in Texas could begin in several months on the three sections of storm barrier. While plans are still being finalized, some dirt levees will be raised to about 17 feet high, and 6 miles of 19-foot-tall floodwalls would be built or strengthened around Port Arthur, a Texas-Louisiana border locale of pungent chemical smells and towering knots of steel pipes.



August 28, 2018

Firefighters on Mendocino Complex endangered by Verizon move to limit data service, fire chief says

"Santa Clara County firefighters were dangerously hobbled by poor internet service while they were helping battle the monstrous Mendocino Complex fire in July because Verizon drastically slowed down the speed of its wireless data during the fire fight, the county’s fire chief contends in a federal court filing.

Despite having paid for what it thought was an unlimited data plan, the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District saw its data flow “throttled” down to 1/200th of its usual speed as it fought the complex — now the biggest wildfire in state history — because Verizon officials said it had exceeded its plan limit, district Fire Chief Anthony Bowden wrote. This primarily hampered a specialized vehicle the department depends on to coordinate its machinery and staff in such emergencies, and Bowden said that put his battalions at risk.

Without full-speed service for the high-tech command and communications rig, which goes by the arcane name of OES 5262, Bowden wrote, “resources could be deployed to the wrong fire, the wrong part of a fire, or fail to be deployed at all. Even small delays in response translate into devastating effect, including loss of property, and, in some cases, loss of life.”


Verizon throttling could trigger FTC investigation of deceptive practices

"Thirteen Democratic members of Congress on Friday asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Verizon’s recent throttling of the Santa Clara County Fire Department while it was fighting California’s largest-ever wildfire.“Throttling directly violates core net neutrality principles,” the letter, led by US Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), said. “In light of the repeal of net neutrality, we urge you to investigate whether Verizon’s practices were ‘unfair or deceptive’ pursuant to Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.” The letter was sent to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons. The House members wrote to the FTC instead of the Federal Communications Commission because the latter agency ceded regulatory power to the FTC when it deregulated broadband and eliminated net neutrality rules. "

Meanwhile, "the CA legislature moved to restore a previously gutted bill - SB822 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco as the prospect of California abandoning its efforts to create the strongest internet protections in the country prompted Congressional leaders to join the fight, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The bill was passed two days after the Santa Clara County fire chief said in a federal court filing that his firefighters were put in danger after Verizon slowed down the speed of their wireless data while battling the massive Mendocino Complex fire in July.

The bill, which faces fierce opposition from the telecommunications industry, still needs to be approved by the full Assembly and Senate before it can reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk."
Weiner: “We know we have a lot of work to do to get the 41 votes, but we can get there,” he said after Wednesday’s hearing."
August 24, 2018

"Fox News poll: ObamaCare more popular than GOP tax law"

"ObamaCare is more popular than the GOP tax law, according to a new Fox News poll.

The 2010 health-care law registered a 51 percent approval rating, compared with 40 percent for the 2017 Republican tax cuts, according to the survey released on Thursday.

The poll, which surveyed 1,009 registered voters, also found that only 36 percent of respondents approve of the way President Trump is handling health care, with 55 percent disapproving.
Congressional Republicans tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, but they continue to criticize it.

Democrats say the Trump administration has been working to undermine the law through new regulations, and Trump has taken credit for "essentially" repealing ObamaCare."


August 20, 2018

"Georgia Elections Board To Close 75% Of Black County's Polling Places"

To the Members of the Randolph County Board of Elections and Registration,

The ACLU of Georgia writes to express grave concern about your discriminatory proposal to eliminate over 75% of polling places (7 out of 9) on the eve of the November elections. These polling place closures will virtually guarantee lower voter turnout in a Black Belt county that is predominantly African-American (60%), and will completely prevent rural voters without transportation (again, disproportionately African-American) from voting in person on Election Day.

The timing of your proposal is also suspicious and calls to question your true motives behind this proposal. These are the exact same polling places used in the primary and primary run-off earlier this year. It makes no sense to suddenly reduce the number of polling places for this November’s election, which will see far higher voter turnout than in the primaries or the primary run-off. Your proposal has also been plagued by procedural irregularities that cast further doubt about the real motivation behind these proposals.

Making it disproportionately harder for African American voters to cast a ballot—especially when done so deliberately—is a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 52 U.S.C. § 10301, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

We demand that you reject this proposal or you will face potential legal liability

July 16, 2018

I'm as skeptical as they come about claims but today's TreasonSummit makes me think..

the peepee tapes exist.

So too other really bad kompromat...

And he's seriously financially indebted to Putin in some roundabout way.

This is why Trump releasing this tax returns were so critical.

this is so fucked up.

July 16, 2018

"The 2 ways Russia may have helped Trump steal the election aren't what you think"

This article is the best summary I've read so far which lays out how far and extensive Russian hacking of the election went.

I've long dismissed the idea that actual votes were changed on election night since Republicans have already formalized voter suppression into law. A Russian oligarch purchasing state election software and compromised registration voter rolls ensure you're ahead of the game. "Voter suppression" was also an electoral strategy by Bannon and Cambridge Analytica, in tandem with the Kremlin's hacking of DNC political machinery.

In other words, if you can alter state voter rolls and suppress the vote through nefarious means, you don't need to change actual votes on election night since you've already compromised and manipulated the electoral process for a particular desired outcome.

The real scandal is how Republicans and their allies have managed to get away with this for long. Their intent is to contract the franchise, since the large tent of the Democratic Base is larger thus a serious threat, and unfortunately also easy to fracture.

"Friday’s indictment confirmed that hacking these voter databases was a key goal for the Russians. The criminal charges said the Russian spies obtained the personal data of some 500,000 American voters in a state that news reports have identified as Illinois. (State officials there had already acknowledged they were hacked but claimed a smaller scale of about 200,000 voters.)"

Some experts have pointed out that deleting or altering the registration files of voters could not only prevent some people from casting their ballots on Election Day but could also lead to mayhem such as long lines at polling places, causing some to give up and leave without casting their ballots. Unlike using a computer to change election tallies, there is no way to even investigate how many voters are “lost” in such a scenario.

This is how one actually hacks an election. One doesn’t change the vote count. One alters the voter registration rolls so that when you present your ID to vote, your name is not there, or your address is wrong, etc. And then a huge line forms and hundreds of people don’t vote.

— The theft of Democratic analytics.
The Mueller indictment also revealed, for the first time, that the Russian hackers were able in September 2016 to break into a cloud-based system hosting data for the Democratic National Committee and thus gain access to the party’s “analytics” — i.e., the critical data that campaign strategists use to determine whether to target ads, ramp up get-out-the-vote or registration drives and send the candidate (or, in the infamous case of Clinton and Wisconsin, where to not send the candidate.)

The indictment doesn’t suggest the data was altered, nor — according to experts — would that have accomplished much. But the access could have been critical for revealing — either to the Russians, who we now know were mounting their own extensive social media campaign to aid Trump, or to any GOP campaign officials colluding with Team Putin — where to focus attention to counter the Democrats.

Remember, one of the great mysteries of the Trump-Russia scandal has been how did the so-called Russian trolls — creating divisive Facebook postings on race or immigration, or boosting Trump or third-party candidates like Jill Stein who took votes away from Clinton — know which states to target? Or perhaps more damning, did the Russians successfully convey some of the purloined analytics to the Trump campaign so it could adjust its strategy?
- The article goes on to answer this very question with evidence - the tweets by Trump officials and interviews.

This was a highly sophisticated effort to ensure the election of Donald Trump ( or harm a potential Hillary presidency). It is like nothing we have ever seen in American politics.

This was not your run of the mill swiftboating a la Dukakis and Kerry, it was a concerted effort by rich powerful interests - the real oligarchs - to revert geopolitics to pre FDR/WW2 days - A reversion to an old world order which suits Vladimir Putin fine.

Putin wants to break up Western Alliances and create multipolarity. It would reduce the world to Russia's size - a country that can't even manage the GDP of California. Sure sanctions are partly responsible for this, but it is also the fault of Putin who suppressed any chance of Russia emerging as a powerful, prosperous democracy. Indeed, this is by design.

As Dr. Yevgenia Alba , editor in chief of The New Times, a political alt-weekly in Russia, remarked:

"[The] political regime in Russia is transforming from a personalist authoritarian regime, with a leader on top and running the show, toward a corporatist type of regime," ....For the first time, the political police have become power itself, its essence and its being. Stability is guaranteed by political-police operatives, technocrats in the bureaucracy, and violence as the primary method of governance. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/issue-briefs/the-direction-of-russian-politics-and-the-putin-factor

No country can thrive in these conditions and if the leader of such a country has dreams of being a global powerhouse, destroying alliances which pose a challenge to his supremacy would be his number 1 aim.

The wide reach of Russia's efforts to manipulate America's electoral processes, in conjunction with Republican complicity, shows how much was at stake and the numerous obstacles the Dem candidate faced. Popular narratives that 2016 was "easily winnable" are false and diminish the seriousness of Kremlin interference and Republican corruption/complicity.

July 4, 2018

Leon Bridges - River

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About JHan

Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness.
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