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Member since: Sun Jan 22, 2017, 08:04 PM
Number of posts: 2,046

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So now I know someone

My 23-year-old niece has tested positive for the coronavirus.

She was teaching English in the Basque region of Spain, and flew home Monday to her family in Florida. She immediately exhibited symptoms and, because she was in Florida, she was tested within a day. We learned tonight that she's positive. Her symptoms remain mild, and she's resting.

Soon, we'll all know someone.
Posted by jayschool2013 | Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:42 PM (23 replies)

Dow set to open with decline of 1,300 points after markets crater

Source: NBC News

Wall Street is preparing for a bloodbath on Monday, after oil prices cratered by 30 percent overnight, pushing all three major averages to declines of around 5 percent and adding stress to an economy already feeling intense pressure from the coronavirus epidemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average looked set to open down by 1,300 points on Monday morning, with trading on the S&P 500 halted overnight after hitting critical levels that triggered a "circuit-breaker," which prevents further losses.

Investors took shelter in safe havens, pushing gold to a seven-year high and pushing the 10-year Treasury yield to an all-time historic low of 0.3 percent by early morning.

The sell-off comes as fears mount that the viral outbreak will further disrupt supply chains, travel, and production around the world.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/dow-set-open-decline-1-300-points-oil-war-adds-n1152941

Posted by jayschool2013 | Mon Mar 9, 2020, 07:23 AM (8 replies)

Southern Californians Are Receiving GOP Mailers That Look Like Census Forms

Source: LAist

Throughout Southern California, residents are getting mailers from the Republican National Committee that look an awful lot like official Census 2020 forms, setting off alarm bells for Congressional Democrats.

The RNC mailers are labeled as "2020 Congressional District Census" and include a questionnaire and urgent instructions: "When you are finished answering your Census Document, please return it within the next 7 days to ensure accurate tabulation and dependable results."

But they are not census documents — in fact, households won't begin receiving official U.S. Census Bureau mail until March.

Both U.S. Reps. Gil Cisneros, D-Yorba Linda, and Katie Porter, D-Irvine have warned constituents to read the fine print: At the end of the questionnaire, it says the mailer was paid for by the RNC, and provides information on how to make a contribution.

Read more: https://laist.com/2020/02/21/census_gop_republican_national_committee_mailers_confusion.php
Posted by jayschool2013 | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 05:04 PM (13 replies)

Lucinda Williams

"Man Without a Soul"

Posted by jayschool2013 | Sat Feb 8, 2020, 02:38 PM (17 replies)


I'm tired of the characterization of the caucus process as chaos.

Yes, the caucus process is unreasonably complicated and hard to understand if you aren't part of it.

And yes, we should move to a simpler primary as soon as 2024. No doubt about it. More people need to be involved.

But I'll draw this analogy:

Football is an unreasonably complicated game and hard to understand if you aren't a fan or part of it.

But football isn't chaos. It's highly choreographed but also unpredictable. That's what we have.

So for Brian Williams and Claire McCaskill to call our caucus process "chaos," they clearly don't get it.
Posted by jayschool2013 | Tue Feb 4, 2020, 05:22 PM (6 replies)

My first Iowa caucus

I get it. The results are slow. The process is clumsy. The preferences and ballots are far from secret.

But I sat in a middle school gym with 571 of my neighbors and talked for two hours with them about issues, candidates and processes. I haven't done that in years, if not decades.

It was a fantastic experience. And it should have been the prelude to a secret-ballot primary tomorrow.

Still, I will treasure my Iowa caucus experience, even if it may be my ... and others' last.

The delays? I'm a journalism teacher, and we tell our students every day that it's better to be right than first. What's wrong with that?

Further, my wife and I caucused for Warren, and it took two hours for us to get the first ballot done. In our precinct, Warren and Sanders were the only viable candidates at 9:05 p.m. Buttigieg and Klobuchar were close to viability, while Biden and Yang were not. Other candidates, including Steyer had scattered votes. The wrangling that ensued was not going to end soon, and I needed a beer, so we left soon after. I don't doubt that our precinct just ended its process minutes ago.

Stay calm. Be patient. We'll get an accurate count and a great candidate.
Posted by jayschool2013 | Mon Feb 3, 2020, 11:52 PM (20 replies)

Mulvaney issues a statement

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mulvaney's lawyer has issued a statement on Bolton's book. h/t <a href="https://twitter.com/meridithmcgraw?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@meridithmcgraw</a> <a href="https://t.co/bTWlNHb8gX">pic.twitter.com/bTWlNHb8gX</a></p>— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) <a href="https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1221854303993913355?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Posted by jayschool2013 | Mon Jan 27, 2020, 01:07 PM (21 replies)

Washington Post: The U.S. is pushing Latin American allies to send their Cuban doctors packing

It's all about winning Florida in November

From the earliest days of the revolution, Cuba has been sending doctors to treat the poor people of the developing world — a key source of income and influence for the communist island long isolated by a U.S. embargo.

Now the Trump administration is targeting the government’s signature medical brigades, urging U.S. allies to cancel their health cooperation agreements and send their Cuban doctors packing.

At least four Latin American countries have done so — another blow to the island as it struggles under tightening U.S. sanctions.

“The U.S. government’s crusade against Cuba’s international medical cooperation is an insult,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez tweeted in December. Officials said the program had provided hundreds of thousands of surgeries and training sessions to the countries that canceled, and called the U.S. effort “a disgraceful and criminal act against peoples in need of medical assistance.”
Posted by jayschool2013 | Tue Jan 21, 2020, 02:05 PM (9 replies)

Grassley responds and I respond back

I wrote Grassley's office a month ago asking him to stand for the rule of law when the president's impeachment trial begins. Here is his (staff's) response (below that is mine):

Dear Mr. XXXX:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your senator, it is important for me to hear from you.

I appreciate hearing your support for the impeachment of President Trump. The question of whether or not to impeach a duly elected public official, in this case the President of the United States, is an extremely serious one that was contemplated by the Framers and addressed in the Constitution. Accordingly, I am taking my constitutional role as a senator and juror seriously.

Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution provides that "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Those are the sole bases for impeachment.

On December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The first article provides that President Trump should be impeached for abuse of power, and the second article provides that he should be impeached for obstruction of Congress. This marks perhaps the most partisan impeachment in the history of the United States of America. In fact, the only bipartisanship the American people witnessed during the vote stood opposed to impeachment. The Framers of the Constitution warned against using impeachment as a partisan weapon. They were rightly concerned that impeachment would be determined by the strength of political parties instead of by real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. But that’s one reason why the Framers didn’t leave impeachment solely in the hands of the House of Representatives.

As an “impeached” government official, President Trump is now subject to a trial in the United States Senate. At the conclusion of the trial, the Senate—with each member taking on the role of a juror—will vote on whether to convict on one or both articles. Conviction, and thus the removal of an impeached official, requires “the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.” Until the House fully prosecutes its case before the Senate, and the President’s team presents its defense, I will withhold final judgment.

As you may know, however, I have many concerns with the way the House Majority conducted its impeachment proceedings. Following a whistleblower report regarding a phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi immediately launched an impeachment inquiry. Instead of waiting to first learn the facts by reviewing the call transcript or hearing from the whistleblower, the Majority moved straight to their expedited inquiry—and an opaque one at that. The Majority’s inquiry ignored the procedural rights that were given to the investigating Committee’s minority in previous impeachments, such as equal subpoena power to both the chair and ranking member of the Committee. This is why I joined over 45 of my Senate colleagues in introducing a Senate resolution that called on the House of Representatives to provide members of the Minority with the ability to participate fully in all proceedings and have equal authority to issue subpoenas.

Whether the House successfully pleads its case before the Senate remains to be seen. The Majority’s desire to overturn the 2016 election by impeaching President Trump has been abundantly clear since before he took the oath of office. They’ve seemingly struggled, however, to arrive at a charge that can stand up to scrutiny. First it was collusion with Russia, but the special counsel spent two years and $35 million investigating, only to debunk the theory. The Majority then focused their efforts on an alleged “quid pro quo,” but that didn’t poll well with voters. So, they changed their allegation to bribery, but the facts and history didn’t seem to support that claim either. The articles ultimately passed by the House reflect that, once again, they had to water down their charge.

Unfortunately, the House Majority’s strung-out preoccupation with impeachment has come at a cost. For example, USMCA languished in the House for more than a year, only to finally and conveniently move just minutes after Speaker Pelosi announced articles of impeachment. Meanwhile, the Senate has remained focused on issues that matter most to the American people, like strengthening the economy, promoting job and wage growth and preventing a government shutdown.

To be clear: the Senate, through this impeachment trial, will carry out its constitutional duty with fairness and clear eyes, as opposed to blind partisanship. In the meantime, rest assured that I’ll continue my work on the issues that affect the everyday lives of Iowans.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.


Chuck Grassley
United States Senate

Dear Sen. Grassley:

Thank you for the thoughtful response, though it strains credulity that you would not believe the sworn testimony of dedicated and patriotic career civil servants, intelligence officers and military officials, and instead would choose to believe known serial conmen, liars and fabulists such as the president, former New York Mayor Giuliani, Rep. Nunes and others in your party who have made this a “partisan process.” If it weren’t for their slavishness to party over country, this wouldn’t be a partisan process. The president abused his powers to try to get a foreign ally to invent an investigation into a political opponent. Your only problem with the investigation should be that it didn’t start sooner, when Robert Mueller’s report identified 10 clear cases of obstruction of justice by this president.

Be very clear — Michael Cohen sits in jail today because he committed a crime ON BEHALF OF and AT THE DIRECTION OF the president. Do not turn a blind eye to this president’s criminality, or it will be a stain on your otherwise strong reputation as a public servant who usually stands for the rule of law.

Do not go down in history as the enabler of a criminal president.


Posted by jayschool2013 | Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:01 PM (37 replies)

My email to Sen. Grassley

Sent a similar note to Ernst, only thanking her for her military service, and that her colleagues voted to remove Clinton, not her personally.

Dear Senator Grassley:

Thank you for your years of service to Iowa in your various roles in government. However, if you want that legacy to include standing up for the rule of law and the Constitution, you have no choice but to remove Donald J. Trump from the Office of the President when his trial is conducted in the Senate.

The con man in the Oval Office has skirted and flouted the law since his inauguration nearly three years ago. The bribery scandal involving Ukraine and his clear obstruction of Congress — added to the obvious obstruction of justice outlined in the Mueller Report and the emoluments violations charges now finally making their way through U.S. district court — make him a clear and present danger to our republic and our fair system of elections.

Should you choose not to remove President Trump from office, you are sending a loud and clear message to all Iowans that you no longer care about those things we thought mattered — namely the rule of law and the Constitution.

Twenty years ago, you voted to remove President Bill Clinton from office because he lied under oath about an extramarital affair. I will consider it the height of hypocrisy if you don't vote to remove President Trump based on far worse crimes than Clinton committed.

Thank you for your time.

Jeff Browne
Iowa City
Posted by jayschool2013 | Tue Dec 10, 2019, 01:02 PM (18 replies)
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