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BlueMTexpat

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 10,984

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Some recent articles on the French Presidential elections today..

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/23/france-presidential-election-voting-begins-eu-le-pen

Franceís interior ministry said turnout at midday was 28.54%, a slight increase on the previous poll in 2012 and well up on the record low 21.4% in 2002, when Le Penís father Jean-Marie advanced to the runoff in a major upset. Analysts have said the abstention level could play a big part in this yearís vote.

Topless demonstrators from the Femen activist group briefly caused a commotion as they staged a protest against Le Pen outside a polling station in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont where she was heading to vote.


More recent reports indicate that since noon, the turnout has been slightly less than in 2002.

The Telegraph (UK) is really playing up Marine Le Pen, but other sources say that Macron is slightly ahead of her. I believe that The Telegraph is considered RW or right-leaning. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/23/french-election-live-results-exit-polls/

There is no real breaking news as the candidate spread is still tight according to the latest polls and some believe that any of the top four (Macron, Le Pen, Fillon, or Melenchon) could still be chosen for the top two slots for the run-off. The general consensus, however, is that there the run-off will be between Macron and Le Pen and Macron appears to be leading as of the latest reports.

One site in French (actually it's in French-speaking Belgium) that seems to be updated the most regularly is RTBF: https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_presidentielle-francaise-la-participation-a-midi-direct?id=9587638#

Le Monde reports that there is a LONG line of French expats waiting to vote in Montreal: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/video/2017/04/23/election-presidentielle-2017-a-montreal-des-centaines-de-metres-de-file-d-attente-pour-voter_5115864_4854003.html

This link at Le Monde is also being regularly updated: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/live/2017/04/23/election-presidentielle-suivez-la-journee-du-premier-tour-en-direct_5115735_4854003.html

The polls in France will close in a little more than an hour from now.

I had actually liked Manuel Valls best (he was Prime Minister until December 2016; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Valls), but the Socialist Party did not choose him as its candidate. The Socialists have not been able to rally around the candidate that they did choose. Valls has also thrown his support to Macron, infuriating some Socialists. http://en.rfi.fr/france/20170330-french-socialists-turmoil-over-vallss-macron-support

Unless Fillon is able to pull off a minor miracle, it looks very much as though neither of France's traditional parties will have a candidate in the run-off election.

As a globalist myself, I very much prefer Macron to ALL other candidates currently in the race. But should the race be between Le Pen and Fillon, I'd back Fillon in a second over the female version of DJT, although I must admit that Le Pen is MUCH more intelligent than Man-Toddler. At least, Fillon is also a globalist.












Black and Brown Girls Matter

From my email inbox this morning: https://www.womensmarch.com/missing-girls/

In March, a social media meme went viral stating that 14 Black and Latina girls went missing from the DC area within a 24-hour span. While the statistic was incorrect, it sparked a much-needed conversation about missing girls of color in America, and the overall lack of attention from the media and white communities. This was glaringly obvious at a recent town hall meeting in DC on the missing girls, which was attended almost exclusively by Black folks, and left many women of color wondering where the white women they marched with in January were. For many white women, it may be painful to hear that they have not shown up for their sisters of color; it is also painful for women of color to be ignored by their white sisters when children of color are missing.

While all missing youth face obstacles and are at risk of some kind of violence, girls of color, particularly Black and Indigenous girls, face intersecting threats of gendered violence, racial violence, and mistreatment and violence within systems and institutions that are supposed to serve them. Trans, queer, and gender nonconforming young people, as well as disabled youth, also face intersecting violence and represent a disproportionate share of homeless youth.

The response to #MissingGirlsDC has shown just how pervasive this violence is - and how invisible it is to those who are not directly impacted by it. It is not invisible. We all know it is happening. And we all must act.

Today, Womenís March is launching an awareness campaign to connect people, huddles, and communities, to resources around the issue of the missing Black, Latinx, and Indigenous girls. We are committed to supporting, advocating for, and uplifting the work of local organizations that have long been dedicated to finding and caring for these girls, and for all missing youth - including trans and gender nonconforming youth. Below, weíve included some organizations based around the country for you to consider supporting - whether by attending meetings and events, volunteering, spreading the word on social media, or through financial support.


I am a white woman who currently lives abroad. I support ALL my sisters - EVERY SINGLE ONE!

American Democrats Abroad are

not letting the November 2016 debacle get us down.

Please see this Xpost in the General Discussion Forum: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028866336

American Democrats Abroad are

more active than ever. Last Saturday (25 March), I attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of American Democrats Abroad - Swtizerland (ADACH) in Basel.

Here is a summary of the meeting which included elections for ADACH's Executive Committee.

... the new ExCom is equally representative of all the regions of Switzerland. This exciting new composition shows how truly energized this membership has become since November! It has been 41 years since DA Switzerland was created (1976) and run primarily from Geneva. Now, the new Chair, Kate Edson, will be running the organization from Basel with members of her committee based in 5 other cities! This means that it will be easier than ever for more members to participate.

This new leadership also brings enormous talent and energy to DA Switzerland at a time when it is most needed, to support political action by our members, and get out the vote for special elections this year and the Senate/House races in 2018.

Thank you to Maya Samara and Peter Butterfield on the nominations committee for all the hard work that went into making this meeting and election such a success. Thank you to the Basel team: Kelli Brouillet, Rosie Pontarelli, Mariah Silkey, Lyndsay Obbarius, Kristen Jafflin, Vivian Beetle, Sara Stewart, Liz Voss and Julie Charubusapayon for finding such wonderful venues for the lunch and meeting, and for the many kind hands that helped with the many thankless tasks that go into such an endeavor.

Thank you to the more than 60 members who took the time to attend (coming from Winterthur, Zurich, Zug, Lucerne, Bern, Lugano, Geneva, and points in between) and the 20 who voted by proxy. Most importantly, thank you to the sixteen candidates for their willingness to run for office.

I am also thrilled to announce the creation of two new chapters: Basel and Geneva. That makes a total of three chapters, along with Zurich (2009). This is wonderful news because while the new Executive Committee is getting cranked up, three additional committees will also soon be elected to join them (Look out for the call for candidates going out very soon!)

Member meetings around Switzerland have helped galvanize members into forming active groups elsewhere too! Thank you to Robin Bognuda and Meghan Jones for taking the lead in Ticino, Margo O'Brien and Pamela Penman in Zug, and Jack Pogany for hosting enthusiastic members in Lausanne. More will follow soon in other venues, so please let the ExCom know if you are interested in hosting or participating in a location near you.

It has been a privilege and an honor to Chair DACH for the last four years, together with such talented and dedicated ExCom team members. My heartfelt thanks go to them all. Special thanks are due to Maya Samara, former Chair, for her wisdom, insight and experience that she generously offered at every critical moment. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to Peter Butterfield as Vice-Chair, for his steadfast, kind and reliable contributions. My heartfelt thanks and admiration also go to Terri OíBrien and Eileen Weinberg for the many wonderful contributions they made, far beyond their mandates. Further to her role, Emily Benson singlehandedly ran the registration for the Election Night in Geneva, a superhuman task! Christian Jordan (Treasurer) encouraged and supported the team in any way he could. Thank you to Karen Monroe for filling a key role as legal Counsel. I am extremely grateful to Kate Edson for reactivating the Basel team which has become a formidable force under her leadership. Thank you Renee Rousseau for your personable and talented promotion of DACH as Zurich Chair. And not least of all, thank you to the many many volunteers who answered the call to help register voters at the primaries, and all year round countrywide last year.

...

We might have lost the Electoral College, but we won the popular vote. The movement that was started in November to counter the current government has already shown promising results and I am sure that with your active participation, here and at home, and with the leadership of this new Executive Committee, American voters in Switzerland will continue to build support and overcome the hurdles to form a Democratic Senate in 2018.


If you are a US expat, please check here to find out which DA Country organization you can join. http://www.democratsabroad.org/countries Even though we live abroad, we can also help to influence events at home to assist those of our fellow citizens who are suffering under the draconian antics of a madman and his all-too-willing GOPer toadies.

Please keep this Special Election information in mind.

Please also do everything you can to ensure that the Dem candidates win.

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Congress_elections,_2018

Xavier Becerra's seat (CA-34) is open because Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to be the CA AG. http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-gov-brown-taps-california-s-rep-1480609606-htmlstory.html

Every other seat is currently an R-held seat. With some hard work, dedication and $$$, Dems could conceivably win SIX seats (five in the House and one in the Senate), for a net gain of FIVE. What a message THAT would send ... and some GOPers might actually "get" it even though Trump NEVER will.

This is NOT the time for negative thinking. Now more than even is the time for action.

Sen. Booker headlines Montana Democrats' annual dinner​

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2017/03/18/sen-booker-headlines-montana-democrats-annual-dinner/99373022/

I'm very glad to see that some national Dems are taking Montana's special election seriously. Thank you, Senator Booker!

HELENA, Mont. (AP) ó Montana Democrats brought in one of their national party's rising stars to headline their annual dinner, but the hundreds who gathered Saturday wanted to hear more from one of their own: musician Rob Quist, who must convince fellow Democrats that he can win back the state's only congressional seat and help national Democrats push back against the Republican tide.

He will have to prevail in the May 25 special election against Republican Greg Gianforte, a Bozeman entrepreneur and former gubernatorial candidate with deep pockets and a determination to win public office.

Quist has been traveling the state as he did while on tour with his musical group to win support from voters. He will also have to convince donors to invest in his campaign.

"This House seat should not be his consolation prize," Quist said of his Republican opponent, in a speech meant to energize the 1,200 Democrats from across the expansive state meeting for the Mansfield Metcalf Celebration at the Lewis and Clark County fairgrounds.


The GF Tribune used to be a decent paper, but has become much more conservative than it was in my youth.

Montana Democrats pick musician Rob Quist to run for U.S. House

http://billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/mt-democrats-pick-musician-rob-quist-to-run-for-us/article_ae4853b1-3b4b-565c-8769-6ddea049a7b8.html

Rob Quist has been selected by MT Dems to run in the special election for the seat vacated by the resignation of Ryan Zinke - possibly the only silver lining to Zinke being named to 45's Cabinet.

The leading candidates were divided on whether political experience would help or hinder their electability. Candidates did agree on several core aspects of the Democratic platform, such as keeping public lands public and fostering an inclusive environment.

Quist, who gained fame in the Mission Mountain Wood Band, hasnít ever held elected office. When announcing his campaign, Quist touted years of public service including serving for 11 years on the Montana Arts Council and as a state ambassador to Montanaís sister state in Kumamoto, Japan. He advocated for the Montana Food Bank and received a grant from the Office of Public Instruction to create anti-bullying programs and art programs in public schools.

Quist said heís traveled the state and understands what kind of representation Montanans need. He grew up in Cut Bank and now lives in the Flathead Valley. The musician received an endorsement from former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who called Quist a political outsider who will stand up for Montana.

While nominating Quist, Rosebud County Committee Vice Chair Jean Dahlman said he has a unique relationship with Montanans and will appeal to Independent and Republican voters.


I know Rob personally and really hope that he can win this election.

This was his campaign site before he received the official party nod, so it may be/have been updated since. Please be generous! I know that I will be. http://www.robquistformontana.com/

Montana Democrats pick musician Rob Quist to run for U.S. House

http://billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/mt-democrats-pick-musician-rob-quist-to-run-for-us/article_ae4853b1-3b4b-565c-8769-6ddea049a7b8.html

Quist, who gained fame in the Mission Mountain Wood Band, hasnít ever held elected office. When announcing his campaign, Quist touted years of public service including serving for 11 years on the Montana Arts Council and as a state ambassador to Montanaís sister state in Kumamoto, Japan. He advocated for the Montana Food Bank and received a grant from the Office of Public Instruction to create anti-bullying programs and art programs in public schools.

Quist said heís traveled the state and understands what kind of representation Montanans need. He grew up in Cut Bank and now lives in the Flathead Valley. The musician received an endorsement from former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who called Quist a political outsider who will stand up for Montana.


I know Rob Quist personally. He is a good and decent person and would be an excellent Dem Representative in Congress. Go Rob!

Switzerland's answer to the Dutch:

Now the Swiss want to be second too!

There are a lot of creative minds in Europe!

The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian Connections

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/

Because this article dates from Dec 16, 2016, it may have been posted on DU before. If so, it is worth repeating, especially in light of the recent report from US intelligence agencies. It also provides some excellent background showing that the US does not necessarily have "clean hands."

Even so, NOTHING justifies foisting someone like Trump, not only on the US, but on the world. The stakes are just too high.

This is a long and excellent read.

From the introduction:

As veteran investigative economist and journalist Jim Henry shows below, a robust public record helps explain the fealty of Trump and his family to this murderous autocrat and the network of Russian oligarchs. Putin and his billionaire friends have plundered the wealth of their own people. They have also run numerous schemes to defraud governments and investors in the United States and Europe. From public records, using his renowned analytical skills, Henry shows what the mainstream news media in the United States have failed to report in any meaningful way: For three decades Donald Trump has profited from his connections to the Russian oligarchs, whose own fortunes depend on their continued fealty to Putin.

We donít know the full relationship between Donald Trump, the Trump family and their enterprises with the network of world-class criminals known as the Russian oligarchs. Henry acknowledges that his article poses more questions than answers, establishes more connections than full explanations. But what Henry does show should prompt every American to rise up in defense of their country to demand a thorough, out-in-the-open congressional investigation with no holds barred. The national security of the United States of America and of peace around the world, especially in Europe, may well depend on how thoroughly we understand the rich network of relationships between the 45th President and the Russian oligarchy. When Donald Trump chooses to exercise, or not exercise, his power to restrain Putinís drive to invade independent countries and seize their wealth, as well as loot countries beyond his control, Americans need to know in whose interest the President is acting or looking the other way.

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