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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 25,238

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

K-pop star Sulli found dead at 25

K-pop star Sulli was found dead Monday at her home in Seongnam, South Korea. Sulli, whose legal name was Choi Jin-ri, was a former member of the group f(x). She was 25.

Sulli's talent agency SM Entertainment released a statement on her passing: "Sulli has left our side. We cannot believe the situation now and we are just filled with grief. For her family who is grieving after the sudden news of her passing, we earnestly request that you refrain from writing speculative articles or spreading rumors. We express our deep condolences."

Police told CNN it appears Sulli took her own life. "So far, it seems she killed herself, but we will leave all possibilities open and investigate," a police official said.

Sulli's manager found her on the second floor of her house. The two apparently spoke on Sunday evening and when he couldn't reach her Monday, he went to her residence. Police said they found a note at the scene but didn't comment further on its content. Investigations are ongoing.


Election 2019: In fast-growing Va. suburb, state and national issues echo in local election

Democrat Phyllis J. Randall’s surprise victory four years ago — in an unusual three-way race — made her the first African American to chair Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors.

Now, Randall is working to build on that success and turn the country’s wealthiest county into a more active voice on issues such as gun violence, climate change and women’s rights, drawing on Loudoun’s growing diversity, frustration over recent racist incidents in schools and opposition to President Trump.

Randall, 54, faces a tough reelection battle against Republican John C. Whitbeck. As the two major-party candidates in an election contest that also includes independent Robert Ohneiser, they have opposing views on the role the county of 413,000 residents should play in increasingly blue Northern Virginia.

“This election is about putting people in office who are communicating with people who share their values and who want to move both Loudoun and the entire area forward,” said Randall, who has linked her campaign — and her effort to erase the GOP’s 6-to-3 majority on the board — to a giant push by Democrats to win control of the General Assembly in Richmond.


Election 2019: In rural Virginia, Democrats climb a steep hill trying to flip GOP seats

SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. — Beneath a cloudy October sky, the Clifford Sorghum Festival has it all for rural Virginians: a vintage press extracting juice from a hip-high pile of sorghum canes, a bluegrass band wailing away, raffles to win a hog or a quilt, and in quiet conversations around the church yard, a political candidate seeking to make her mark.

Christian Worth, 49, is a rarity in these parts, a Democrat running for a seat in a district where rock-ribbed Republicans have dominated for generations.

She is one of 10 Democrats running in the strongly Republican districts along the Blue Ridge Mountain spine of Virginia, from West Virginia to the North Carolina border. They have banded together in an unusual coalition, calling themselves the “Rural Ground Game,” convinced that the party can recover areas that were once Democratic but that too willingly ceded to Republicans over the past decades.

Short of big-money donors, they have pooled resources to share one consultant, who provides individual field plans for each race, coordinates schedules and exchanges policy ideas. The candidates have a polished joint presentation for when they seek funds and volunteers from around the state, including a late-September visit to the deeply blue Arlington County. They also have a candidates-only conference call every Monday at 9 p.m. in which they trade tips on everything from policy to yard signs.

The Nov. 5 contest is shaping up to be a pivotal state election. Democrats believe they are within striking distance of winning control of the legislature. All 140 seats in the General Assembly are on the ballot; Republicans are defending a 20-19 edge in the Senate and a 51-48 advantage in the House of Delegates, with one vacancy in each chamber.

But in this mountainous portion of the commonwealth, where cellphone signals do not always penetrate and the lack of universal broadband vexes residents, the Democrats have a steep climb.


Iowa teacher resigns following 'sniper rifle' comment about Greta Thunberg

he Iowa teacher who referenced a sniper rifle when commenting on Facebook about teen climate activist Greta Thunberg's visit last week to Iowa City has resigned.

Matt Baish, a science teacher at Waterloo West High School, had been placed on administrative leave after posting "Dont have my sniper rifle" Oct. 3 on an article shared from Little Village Magazine about Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl who has spoken out about climate change.

"The Waterloo Schools employee put on administrative leave due to a social media post has resigned effective immediately," said an emailed statement from a Waterloo Community School District spokeswoman. "West High School and the District are working to ensure classroom instruction continues for courses impacted by the departure."

Baish's comment, in addition to his own Facebook page, appears to have been deleted. But a screenshot of his comment was posted on the Waterloo Community School District Facebook page.


NY-15: The Bronx May Send a Homophobic Democrat to Congress

The New York City congressional delegation is having a moment. Its newest member, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, became a movement leader before her 30th birthday. Hakeem Jeffries, a high-ranking Brooklyn Democrat, could someday replace Nancy Pelosi if he whips the votes together. Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, of Manhattan and the Bronx, chair two of the House’s most powerful committees, judiciary and foreign affairs.

City councilman Rubén Díaz Sr.—a cowboy hat–wearing Pentecostal reverend and the father of the current Bronx borough president with the same name—wants to join their ranks, and with a Democratic primary coming up next year, he has his shot. New York’s 15th congressional district, which covers much of the South Bronx, including Yankee Stadium, will soon be up for grabs: José Serrano, the longtime incumbent, announced his retirement earlier this year, citing his struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

For New York City’s political class, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity: a vacant House district, with no natural successor and no true power broker to dissuade insurgents. And the June 2020 Democratic primary will effectively determine the next representative.

Díaz is hardly the image of a progressive NYC lawmaker. He claimed as recently as February that the “homosexual community” controls the New York City Council. He once battled against the city’s hosting the Gay Games, an LGBTQ sports competition, saying the participating athletes “are likely to be already infected with AIDS or can return home with the virus” and that the event would teach children “that homosexuality is O.K., that it is not immoral or sinful behavior.” In 2016, as Democrats flocked to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, Díaz was escorting Ted Cruz around the Bronx. It’s a good guess (he never said this, but it’s an assumption based on his politics; he’s been supportive of Trump) that he’d rather vote for Donald Trump than impeach him.

“I call him Lucifer,” said Gerson Borrero, the former editor-in-chief of El Diaro La Prensa, New York City’s largest Spanish-language newspaper. “It’s hard to beat him.”


'Loner' Yom Kippur shooter posted manifesto about 'anti-whites'

An anti-Semitic gunman who shot two people dead in Germany after trying and failing to massacre worshippers inside a synagogue on Yom Kippur was a loner who lived with his mother, it has been revealed.

Stephan Balliet, 27, spent hours online and was a user of Twitch - a live-streaming service popular with video gamers - where he shared footage his rampage on Wednesday in chilling echoes of the Chirstchurch mosque attack in New Zealand.

Balliet's father, who was not named, told Bild that his son was an angry young man who 'was not at peace with himself or with the world, and always blamed everyone else' for his problems.

It was also revealed that Balliet posted a manifesto online a week ago where he specifically talks about attacking the synagogue in Halle while outlining his plan to kill 'anti-whites', including Jews.

In the wake of the attack, Jewish community leaders criticised German authorities for failing to do enough to combat rising anti-Semitism, while demanding round-the-clock security for Jewish sites in the country.

'The fact that, 75 years after the Holocaust, such groups are gaining influence in Germany speaks volumes,' Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, said.


"Did AG Barr really just paraphrase ... Mein Kampf?"


Nate Silver: Biden doing better than conventional wisdom suggests.


'Broken system' starves U.S. oil boom of immigrant workers

The son of a Mexican guestworker, Vega cannot find enough legal workers to meet demand for his oil well service rigs.

There is no shortage of Hispanic and Latino immigrant workers without work permits he could hire in Lea County, New Mexico - the No.2 oil-producing county in the United States.

But Vega says he wants to play by the rules, not least because of a heightened risk of company audits by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under President Donald Trump. As a result, he has equipment that could be generating $700,000 a month standing idle in his yard.

“They’re demanding more rigs, more swabbing units, but you don’t have enough employees,” said Vega, who runs Mico Services with around $17 million in annual revenues. “It’s a lack of a system to get legal workers, to have more of a workforce to pull from.”

Employers like Vega in the Permian Basin oilfields of New Mexico and Texas say they feel caught between Trump’s support for their industry and his policies focused on tougher immigration enforcement.

It’s a dilemma faced in other sectors of the U.S. economy that depend on foreign workers after ICE reported surges of between 300% to 750% in worksite investigations, audits and arrests in fiscal year 2018.


Son of Texas Sheriff Who Called Immigrants 'Drunks' Busted for Public Intoxication

The son of Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn was arrested Friday on charges of public intoxication and indecent exposure, jail records show.

Arlington police arrested Sergei Waybourn near AT&T Stadium, just a few days after the sheriff, his adoptive father, sparked controversy with comments he made at the White House about some of Tarrant County’s jailed undocumented immigrants.

Bill Waybourn was at a Washington, D.C., event Thursday opposing a judge’s decision to end the use of unreliable databases when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests local law enforcement hold someone facing possible deportation.

The sheriff said the ruling would make it difficult to keep undocumented immigrants charged with DUIs in jail. While noting that many undocumented Tarrant County inmates are repeat offenders, he said, “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children."

He faced immediate criticism from people who believed his comments were bigoted and an attack on immigrants as a whole — a sentiment the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department denied.

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