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Current location: Rochester, New York
Member since: Wed Dec 21, 2016, 06:50 PM
Number of posts: 2,271

Journal Archives

Shutdown expected to stretch into 2019 as sides are still "very far apart"

Source: CBS

Washington — Members of the House of Representatives were notified that no votes are expected to take place this week, a congressional aide told CBS News, which virtually guarantees that the partial government shutdown will drag on into the new year. Both the Senate and House reconvened Thursday after the Christmas break, but few lawmakers showed up on Capitol Hill.

Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Democrats and the White House are still "very far apart" in discussions to broker a deal and reopen the government. "As our office stated immediately following the Saturday meeting, the two sides were 'still very far apart' — and still are today because of the President's insistence on keeping the government closed over his expensive and impractical wall," Goodman wrote in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Massachusetts, said Republican leadership blocked efforts to reopen the government by refusing to allow debate on a spending bill.
"It is outrageous that Republicans once again blocked our attempt to debate a bill to end the Trump Shutdown and reopen the government," McGovern wrote in a statement Thursday. "Federal workers should not be held hostage by the president's demand for a useless and offensive border wall that he promised Mexico would pay for."

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/shutdown-expected-to-stretch-into-2019-as-congress-adjourns-until-next-week/

Both Congress chambers adjourned within minutes without debate to end the shutdown.

New airplane seat that claims to make flights cheaper would basically require passengers to stand

Italian airline seat manufacturer Aviointeriors has come up with a design for an airplane seat that it says would make flights a lot cheaper.

But the seat comes with a catch: Passengers would essentially have to stand up throughout the flight.

According to Aviointeriors, the Skyrider 2.0's upright passenger position would allow airlines to install the seats at a reduced pitch — a word that refers to the distance between a row of seats and the one in front of it. While a reduced pitch would mean less legroom for passengers, the manufacturer's representative told us that the seat design would still "maintain an adequate comfort" for passengers.

According to the manufacturer, the compact design of the seat would enable airlines to accommodate 20% more passengers on planes. The Skyrider 2.0 is also lightweight, weighing 50% less than standard economy class seats.


Trump launches unprecedented reelection machine

Source: Politico

President Donald Trump is planning to roll out an unprecedented structure for his 2020 reelection, a streamlined organization that incorporates the Republican National Committee and the president’s campaign into a single entity.

Under the plan, which has been in the works for several weeks, the Trump reelection campaign and the RNC will merge their field and fundraising programs into a joint outfit dubbed Trump Victory. The two teams will also share office space rather than operate out of separate buildings, as has been custom.

“We are going to streamline this presidential campaign like no presidential campaign has been streamlined before,” said Chris Carr, a veteran party strategist who has been tapped to serve as political director on the Trump reelection effort.

Speaking to the departure from presidential campaign tradition, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called it “the biggest, most efficient and unified campaign operation in American history.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/18/trump-machine-swallows-rnc-1067875

Primary? What primary?

Cuomo Moves to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in New York Within Months

Source: NYT

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he would push to legalize recreational marijuana next year, a move that could generate more than $1.7 billion in sales annually and put New York in line with several neighboring states.

The highly anticipated proposal came in a speech in Manhattan on Monday, in which the governor outlined his agenda for the first 100 days of his third term. Mr. Cuomo framed the speech as a reflection on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt — the former president who was once a New York governor himself — would do today, mixing sweeping rhetoric about American ideals with ominous warnings about the failings of the Trump administration.

The speech, which seemed delivered with a national audience in mind, could prolong slow-burning speculation about Mr. Cuomo’s presidential ambitions. It also showed, in striking detail, the governor’s leftward evolution in his eight years in office, from a business-friendly centrist who considered marijuana a “gateway drug,” to a self-described progressive calling for recreational marijuana, taxes on the rich and a ban on corporate political donations.

“The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” Mr. Cuomo said before introducing the cannabis proposal, describing the injustice that he said had “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/nyregion/marijuana-legalization-cuomo.html

'Simple Private Transaction'

I always set up LLC’s when making “simple private transactions” among acquaintances!

Doesn’t everyone?!


It's a Disgrace to Celebrate George H.W. Bush on World AIDS Day

Just after midnight on December 1, World AIDS Day, I learned that President George Herbert Walker Bush had died. And I was dismayed not just that the hagiography afforded dead presidents would overshadow Bush’s own appalling legacy on AIDS, but that his death would eclipse the tens of millions of lives we should be remembering today.

When I teach AIDS history, I always show a clip of ACT UP’s October 11, 1992, “ashes action” at the White House, in which brave activists took the cremated bodies of loved ones who had died of AIDS and hurled them onto Bush’s lawn. (If you’ve never seen it, I dare you to watch without crying).

The ashes action is brilliant not just for how raw it was but also for how it held a powerful man to account without civility. (ACT UP had also gone to Bush’s vacation home in Maine, and they hounded him up until the night he lost reelection, when they marched the dead body of Mark Fisher to his campaign headquarters.) For in life—and, sadly, in the first obits, in death—Bush dangerously hid the vast nature of American violence beneath the seductive cloak of civility, that opiate of mass media that gets journalists and readers to let violence go unremarked.


But at a presidential debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot the day after the ashes action, journalist John Mashek asked Bush:

Mr. President, yesterday tens of thousands of people paraded past the White House to demonstrate about their concern about the disease, AIDS. A celebrated member of your commission, Magic Johnson, quit, saying there was too much inaction. Where is this widespread feeling coming from that your administration is not doing enough about AIDS?

Looking annoyed, Bush listed what his administration was doing before saying, seemingly irritated, “I can’t tell you where it’s coming from. I am very much concerned about AIDS. And I believe we have the best researchers in the world at NIH working on the problem.” But then he added:

It’s one of the few diseases where behavior matters. And I once called on somebody, “Well, change your behavior! If the behavior you’re using is prone to cause AIDs, change the behavior!” Next thing I know, one of these ACT UP groups is saying, “Bush ought to change his behavior!” You can’t talk about it rationally!
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