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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
Number of posts: 32,124

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Senate Republicans are responsible for the most unethical and incompetent administration ever

Scott makes a key point that should go well beyond Farr or judicial nominees: “We should stop bringing candidates with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote.”

That raises a broader question: Why is the Senate bringing and confirming candidates with questionable track records — on race or otherwise — to a vote on the floor?

Consider the people brought to the floor and confirmed: judges rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association; an oil executive, Rex Tillerson, with no government experience, as secretary of state; a lawyer, Alex Acosta, whose supervision of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was roundly criticized and who participated in the atrociously lenient plea deal for serial child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein; Ben Carson, a man utterly lacking in government experience or housing expertise, as secretary of housing and urban development; former congressman Tom Price for Health and Human Services despite his record of trading “shares worth more than $300,000 in about 40 health-related companies” while he was sitting on the House Ways and Means Committee and “working on measures that could affect his investments”; Steven Mnuchin, who had no government experience and had failed to disclose $100 million in assets, as treasury secretary; Wilbur Ross, who also lacked government experience and had been “forced to pay fines to the government several times, including as recently as August of 2016 to the SEC for failing to disclose fees his firm was charging … [and had] sat on the board of a company that agreed to pay over $2 billion in a settlement over its handling of subprime loans,” as commerce secretary; Scott Pruitt, who had repeatedly sued the Environmental Protection Agency and collaborated secretly with private industry to defeat federal regulations, as EPA administrator; and a hodgepodge of unqualified cronies for ambassadorships (a sin other administrations are guilty of as well).

The GOP would do well to heed Scott’s advice not only with regard to judges and not only with respect to race. It shouldn’t be so hard to reject unqualified nominees and those whose records suggest they’ll be poster boys for corruption in government. Moreover, if Senate Republicans started dinging just a few of the lousy nominees, the White House would get the message and be compelled to find more-qualified people. Senate Republicans would do themselves a favor (diminishing the perception they are invertebrates) and Trump a favor as well if they started saying “no” once in a while.


As autumn rain in California vanishes amid global warming, fires worsen

This is a wet place by California standards.

It averages about 55 inches of rain a year, thanks to its prime location in the verdant foothills of the Sierra Nevada, which wrings rain out of Pacific storms.

But when the Camp fire sparked last Thursday, Paradise was parched. The area usually gets about 15 storms during the summer and early fall, adding up to five inches of rain. But this year, it got a measly one-seventh of an inch. The vegetation around Paradise was explosively dry, resulting in the worst fire in modern California history that left 7,000 structures destroyed, at least 42 dead and scores still missing.

Across California, the lack of autumn rain is having dire consequences. Ventura County, where the Woolsey fire last week destroyed hundreds of homes, also got almost no rain through the summer and fall. Early storms were supposed to have ended the Northern California fire season by now, allowing more firefighters to head to Southern California to battle fires spread by Santa Ana winds.


MSNBC just called it for Evers over Walker in Wisconsin!

Typhus outbreak in Los Angeles County surpasses 100 patients

The latest figures for Long Beach and Pasadena obtained by NBC News, 15 and 20, respectively, bring L.A. county's total to at least 107 new typhus patients in 2018, more than half of what the entire nation usually observes in an entire year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In the 2000s the number of patients diagnosed with typhus in Los Angeles county "did not exceed 20 cases per year," according to a county report. Observers say there's a correlation between the rise of typhus and the area's 47 percent increase in homelessness since 2012.

Nearly one in 10 area cases, according to the county's health department figures, was centered downtown, where squalid conditions in the skid row neighborhood, including piles of trash and conspicuous rats, have been blamed for exacerbating the outbreak.

A typhus infection can cause headache, high fever and, in rare cases, meningitis and death. According to the L.A. county health department website, it's contracted when "the feces from infected fleas are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in the skin or rubbed into the eyes."


Militia Group Says Members Will Intercept Central American Caravan at U.S. Border

Militia groups and far-right activists are raising money and announcing plans to head to the Mexican border to help stop the caravan of Central Americans, echoing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the migrants making their way toward the U.S.

Their presence has led to conflict in some cases. A militia member killed two people in 2009 during an invasion of what she thought was a drug house near the border in Arivaca, Arizona.

Residents in that same city have been posting signs in recent weeks warning that militia members are not welcome.

Marianna Trevino Wright, a South Texas resident who is director of the nonprofit National Butterfly Center, said she is more fearful of the militias than the caravan.


Mexicans shower the caravan with kindness -- and tarps, tortillas and medicine

Source: Washington Post

“Today it’s them. Tomorrow it could be us,” said Lesbia Cinco Ley, 70, who was volunteering with the Catholic church in town to distribute food.

Town officials in Pijijiapan said they began readying for the caravan’s arrival on Monday, holding meetings to strategize how to attend to the migrants. Before dawn on Thursday, Cinco Ley and several others began cooking, on a mission to prepare giant vats of ham and eggs and 14,000 sandwiches. Between the municipality, churches and private citizens, town officials estimated Pijijiapan had spent nearly $8,000 for one day’s worth of food.

“This is a poor town, but we still did all this,” said Guadalupe Rodriguez, 48, a city councilwoman.

It has been difficult to get a reliable estimate of the number of people in the caravan, for several reasons: It is now dispersed among towns along the highway in Chiapas; more than 1,000 migrants have dropped out to apply for asylum in Mexico; and new people have joined in. Meneses, Pijijiapan’s mayor, said 7,500 migrants had been in town, while the U.N. staff traveling with the caravan estimated it was 3,000.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexicans-shower-the-caravan-with-kindness--and-tarps-tortillas-and-medicine/2018/10/26/b2f828b4-d7b0-11e8-8384-bcc5492fef49_story.html?utm_term=.ec9e3164ab24

Despite their own poverty, the Mexican people are giving what they can to the Central American migrants. They are showing us what decency looks like.

Sickness, Fear, Harassment Whittle Away at Migrant Caravan in Mexico

Source: Associated Press/KTLA

Little by little, sickness, fear and police harassment are whittling down the migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. border, with many of the 4,000 to 5,000 migrants camped overnight under plastic sheeting in a town in southern Mexico complaining of exhaustion.

The group, many with children and even pushing toddlers in strollers, planned to depart Mapastepec at dawn Thursday with more than 1,000 miles still to go before they reach the U.S. border.

But in recent days a few hundred have accepted government offers to bus them back to their home countries.

Jose David Sarmientos Aguilar, a 16-year-old student from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was one of at least 80 migrants waiting in the town square of Huixtla, where the rest of the caravan departed Wednesday morning, for four buses that would take them back to Honduras.

Read more: https://ktla.com/2018/10/25/sickness-fear-harassment-whittle-away-at-migrant-caravan-in-mexico/

Sounds like there won't be a whole lot for Trump's troops to shoot at soon...just the desperate families who have nowhere to go back to.

In Deep Red Idaho, Voters Are Fanatic About Democrat Paulette Jordan

The enthusiasm gap between Jordan and her opponent, 64-year-old multimillionaire Lt. Gov. Brad Little (R), was obvious after their last debate. The self-described undecided voters in attendance swarmed her for photos and questions as he quietly slipped out. One veteran waited in line for 15 minutes to meet her and promptly ripped a sticker off of his shirt bearing Little’s name, saying he is voting for her instead.

Jasper LiCalzi, the chair of the department of political economy at the College of Idaho, said Jordan has hit a sweet spot in the Idaho electorate: young people and women unhappy with President Donald Trump and people across all parties who feel ignored.

Jordan, a 6-foot-tall indigenous woman in a state led by white Republican men, also just looks different. Between her dynamism and calls for big changes to Idaho policies, like marijuana legalization, she couldn’t stand out more from Little, who is, well, boring.

Paulette Jordan comes from a long line of tribal chiefs, and the elders in her tribe, the Coeur d’Alene tribe, saw that same leadership quality in her early on, said her mom. She said her own mother would often pull her aside and tell her to make sure to protect her daughter because the elders believed she had “a gift.” https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5bc90d21e4b0d38b58766654

Spain to lead Japan in global life expectancy, US continues to slide

People in Spain will live for 85.8 years on average, marginally edging out expected lifespans in Japan (85.7), Singapore (85.4) and Switzerland (85.2).

The United States will take the biggest drop in ranking of all high-income countries, falling from 43rd in 2016 to 64th by 2040, with an average life expectancy of 79.8.

The US will be overtaken by China, which rises 29 places to 39th in the table.

Spain is one of several European countries to offer tax-funded healthcare, with their healthcare system ranked as the seventh best in the world by the World Health Organization.


I was in Spain (Barcelona) in 2015 and remember how trim the locals were, and wondering how that could be, since the food was crazy delicious and there was a bar on every block. But people walked a lot. And everyone had good healthcare.

Houses intact after Hurricane Michael were often saved by low-cost reinforcements

The houses still standing in the storm-ravaged neighborhoods of Florida’s Panhandle are conspicuous for their presence. Sticking up from the rubble like one remaining tooth in a jawful of decay, each one is a haunting reminder of what used to exist around it.

In many cases, they were saved by additional strategically placed nails, some small metal connectors and window shutters that created a sealed package — low-cost reinforcements that determined whose home survived and whose was destroyed by the power of Hurricane Michael.

There are the five Habitat for Humanity houses in Panama City, a waterfront vacation home in Mexico Beach, a house built by a homeowner and a few of his church friends — modest structures that lost shingles and suffered water damage but stand largely untouched overlooking the wreckage of buildings that were shredded and ripped from their foundations.

“Often the difference between a roof that stays on and one that flies off is the connection method,” Chapman-Henderson said. “A handful of additional nails can mean the difference.”



President Jimmy Carter has been a strong proponent of Habitat for Humanity, and continues to do the physical work himself, alongside Rosalynn! True patriots!

Here's a nice summary of the Carters' work this year:
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