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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: 27,585

Journal Archives

Biden backs Phil Murphy, says N.J. governor's race 'most important' in nation

Source: Politico

By RYAN HUTCHINS 05/28/2017 05:12 PM EDT

LYNDHURST, N.J. — Former Vice President Joe Biden blessed the campaign of New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy on Sunday, describing the upcoming election to succeed outgoing Gov. Chris Christie as the “single most important” of the next three years — even eclipsing the 2018 midterms.

In what was largely a repudiation of President Donald Trump, Biden said Democrats haven’t done enough to acknowledge the problems faced by many in middle-class America and said he viewed Murphy — a former Goldman Sachs executive who served as U.S. ambassador to Germany during the Obama administration — as the man to do so.

“There are a lot of people out there who are freighted. Trump played on their fears,” Biden told a crowd of some 1,200 Murphy supporters packed into a community center gymnasium. “What we haven’t done, in my view — and this is a criticism of all us — we haven’t spoken enough to the fears and aspirations of the people we come from.”

He said his father used to tell him, “I don’t expect the government to solve my problem, but I damn well expect them to understand my problem.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2017/05/28/biden-backing-phil-murphy-says-nj-governors-race-single-most-important-112380

Thanks to Trump, Germany says it can't rely on the United States. What does that mean?

By Henry Farrell May 28 at 2:34 PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd Sunday in southern Germany that Europe can no longer rely on foreign partners.

<Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”

Offering a tough review in the wake of Trump’s trip to visit E.U., NATO and Group of Seven leaders last week, Merkel told a packed Bavarian beer hall rally that the days when Europe could rely on others was “over to a certain extent. This is what I have experienced in the last few days.”>

This is an enormous change in political rhetoric. While the public is more familiar with the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States, the German-U.S. relationship has arguably been more important. One of the key purposes of NATO was to embed Germany in an international framework that would prevent it from becoming a threat to European peace as it had been in World War I and World War II. In the words of NATO’s first secretary general, NATO was supposed “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Now, Merkel is suggesting that the Americans aren’t really in, and, by extension, Germany and Europe are likely to take on a much more substantial and independent role than they have in the past 70 years.

This is thanks to Trump

Merkel’s comment about what she has experienced in the past few days is a clear reference to President Trump’s disastrous European tour. Her belief that the United States is no longer a reliable partner is a direct result of Trump’s words and actions. The keystone of NATO is Article 5, which has typically been read as a commitment that in the event that one member of the alliance is attacked, all other members will come to its aid. When Trump visited NATO, he dedicated a plaque to the one time that Article 5 has been invoked — when all members of NATO promised to come to the United States’ support after the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. However, Trump did not express his commitment to Article 5 in his speech to NATO, instead lambasting other NATO members for not spending enough money on their militaries. When Trump went on to the Group of Seven meeting in Italy, he declined to recommit to the Paris agreement on climate change, leaving the other six nations to issue a separate statement.


General McMaster, Step Down--and Let Trump Be Trump

General McMaster, Step Down—and Let Trump Be Trump

Save your reputation while you still can. The country will be fine.

By THOMAS E. RICKS May 28, 2017

(Thomas E. Ricks is the author of five books about the modern U.S. military. His most recent work is “Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.”)

During the presidential transition, when a friend called me to discuss whether he should accept a national security post in the Trump administration, I advised him to do so. My thinking was that the more mature, thoughtful people we had in the administration, the better. But over the last two weeks, I have come to think I was wrong. I no longer believe in the “adults in the room” theory of containing President Trump and the similarly erratic and ignorant people around him.

The prime reason I have come to believe I was wrong was the experience of watching Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s second national security adviser, make a series of statements. On the evening of Monday, May 15, he appeared before cameras at the White House to respond to a Washington Post article reporting that the president had shared sensitive intelligence about terrorism with Russian visitors. This information was sufficiently detailed, some intelligence officials feared, that it might enable interested parties to determine the source of that intelligence.

Not so, said General McMaster. “The story that came out tonight as reported is false,” he stated emphatically.

The next day, he appeared again before the cameras. This time his line was: “the premise of that article is false—that in any way the president had a conversation that was inappropriate or that resulted in any kind of lapse in national security.” That’s what people in Washington say when they can’t dispute the facts in a given article, but still dislike it.


Maryland finishes unbeaten, wins 13th women's lacrosse national championship

Source: The Washington Post

By Roman Stubbs May 28 at 1:34 PM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Maryland freshman Kali Hartshorn made history right away in Sunday’s national championship game against Boston College, scoring a goal just 10 seconds in. But while that was the fastest score ever in a title game and hinted that Maryland might make quick work of the Eagles, nothing came easily the rest of the day.

After it was finally over and Maryland had survived with a 16-13 victory to capture its third national championship in four years, it could relish that fact that it was hard-earned. Maryland was tested in every way, watching a five-goal lead in the second half nearly dissolve at Gillette Stadium, where thousands of Boston College fans had made the short trip to watch the unseeded Eagles make their first title game appearance.

But Maryland (23-0) restored order with its record 13th NCAA title by using the postseason resolve it had built throughout the past month, which included a come-from-behind, one-goal victory in the quarterfinals against Stony Brook last week. Even after it had blitzed Penn State with a 20-10 win in the semifinals on Friday night, Maryland knew it had a formidable challenge in facing another familiar opponent on Sunday in Boston College, which had lost to the Terrapins earlier this season in College Park.

Maryland held a 5-2 lead early on Sunday, but went the final 16:11 without scoring in the first half. After Boston College (17-7) scored three consecutive goals to tie the game at five before halftime, Maryland responded with five straight goals to open the second half. That included two consecutive scores apiece from Caroline Steele and fellow sophomore Jen Giles to spot Maryland a 10-5 lead. Steele tied a championship game record with six goals, scoring three in each half. Kenzie Kent led Boston College with five goals and five assists, which also tied a championship-game record.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/maryland-finishes-unbeaten-wins-13th-womens-lacrosse-national-championship/2017/05/28/0e8a6088-43ca-11e7-bcde-624ad94170ab_story.html

Ben & Jerrys bans same-flavor scoops to support marriage equality

By Alex Bollinger · Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ben & Jerry’s is protesting the ban on same-sex couples marrying in Australia by imposing a ban of its own: the ice cream chain will no longer serve two scoops of the same flavor together.

The announcement came via Twitter, where Ben & Jerry’s reminds Australians that if they’re annoyed that they can’t choose to have two scoops of the same flavor, they should remember that others still can’t choose to marry the person they want to.


Ben & Jerry’s will have cards available in stores that customers can mail to their Members of Parliament to show support for marriage equality. The chain’s Twitter feed also directs followers to an online petition.


Even though a poll last year showed that 62% of Australians support marriage equality, the country’s current governing coalition is conservative. A promised national referendum on the issue was rejected by the Australian senate last year.



Don't take the remembrance out of Memorial Day


What does Memorial Day mean to you? Is it a day off work, time spent grilling with family and friends? A day to grab the hottest discounts on cars and electronics — perhaps a needed new mattress? Or maybe a day to catch a game and enjoy a cold one or two?

It seems over the years Memorial Day has come to represent the luxuries of western society, and the best sales since Presidents Day. Retailers are more than willing to give the American public just what they want — sales.

However, for those of us who have served, and the families of those who did not come home, it is anything but a retail holiday. Memorial Day to us is a somber day of remembrance. It is a day to honor the ultimate sacrifice so many of our brothers and sisters in arms have made for this exceptional nation. To remember this country was founded — and kept secure — by the blood of patriots. Men and women who’ve heeded the call to stand the ramparts and defend all that we hold dear: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The day was first observed after the Civil War and known as Decoration Day. Businesses closed and communities came together in a day of honor and remembrance. They decorated the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers. They set time aside, one and all, to honor those who fought for freedom. In 1971, this long-standing tradition was recognized as a federal holiday meant as a time for our nation to come together as one and recognize the cost of freedom.

To many, Memorial Day has come to signify the start of summer and a well-deserved three-day weekend. For the families who have lost a loved one, and those who've lost a comrade in arms to the ravages of war, it is a day of honor and reaffirming the promise to not let their sacrifice have been in vain.


Adam Schiff: Jared Kushner will lose security clearance if he lied about Russia


Maria Cardona: Comey 'acted as an agent of the Russian government' when he scolded Clinton...

Maria Cardona: Comey ‘acted as an agent of the Russian government’ when he scolded Clinton based on fake intel


White House Adds Name of Luxembourg's Gay First Gentleman to Caption After Online Outrage

by Josh Feldman | 9:20 pm, May 27th, 2017

The White House has added the name of the First Gentleman of Luxembourg to a photo caption after online backlash to his name not being included.

This was the official photo posted to the White House Facebook page earlier today:

The photo was taken at the NATO conference in Brussels, and it included Gauthier Destenay, the spouse of Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg. The initial caption read thusly:

<First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of NATO leaders: First Lady Emine Erdoğan of Turkey; Iceland’s Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir; the First Lady of France Brigitte Trogneux; First Lady Melania Trump; Slovenia’s Mojca Stropnik; Bulgaria’s Desislava Radeva; Belgium’s Amélie Derbaudrenghien, and Norway’s Ingrid Schulerud, during their visit Thursday, May 25, 2917, at the Royal Palace in Brussels. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)>

But Destenay’s name is left out of that, and people had some questions why:



Dan Rather blasts Trump for not treating Portland attack as a terrorist act

Dear President Trump,

Their names were Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best. One was a recent college graduate. The other was an army veteran and father of four. I wish we would hear you say these names, or even just tweet them. They were brave Americans who died at the hands of someone who, when all the facts are collected, we may have every right to call a terrorist. A third brave man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was wounded in the knife attack.

This story may not neatly fit into a narrative you pushed on the campaign trail and that has followed you into the White House. They were not killed by an undocumented immigrant or a "radical Islamic terrorist." They were killed in an act of civic love, facing down a man allegedly spewing hate speech directed at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab. That man seems to have a public record of "extremist ideology" - a term issued by the Portland Police Bureau.

This "extremism" may be of a different type than gets most of your attention, or even the attention in the press. But that doesn't make it any less serious, or deadly. And this kind of "extremism" is on the rise, especially in the wake of your political ascendency. Most people who study these sorts of things do not think that is a coincidence. I do not blame you directly for this incident. Nor do I think other people should. But what a President says, who he has around him, and the tone he sets can set the tone for the nation at large.

Perhaps Portland, Oregon is off your radar. It is, after all, a rather liberal place. It's even a "sanctuary city." But it is still an American city. And you are its President. Two Americans have died leaving family and friends behind. They are mourned by millions more who are also deeply worried about what might come next.

I hope you can find it worthy of your time to take notice.


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