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suffragette

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
Number of posts: 10,464

Journal Archives

John Oliver on the French election

https://m.


Mais, oui!

" 'Terrorist' baby faces US embassy interview after error on visa form"

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/apr/16/baby-us-embassy-interview-visa-esta-terrorist

On the part of the Esta form which reads “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” Kenyon ticked yes instead of no.

He only learned of his error when his grandson’s travel was refused. “I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a three-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” said the 62-year-old.

~~~

“Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,” said Kenyon. “They didn’t appear to have a sense of humour over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side.

“He’s obviously never engaged in genocide, or espionage, but he has sabotaged quite a few nappies in his time, though I didn’t tell them that at the US embassy.”



Because of course an actual terrorist would tick the yes box to that question.



"Small Saturn moon has most conditions needed to sustain life, Nasa says"

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/apr/13/alien-life-saturn-moon-enceladus-nasa

A tiny moon of Saturn has most of the conditions necessary for life, Nasa announced on Thursday, unveiling a discovery from an underground ocean that makes the world a leading candidate for organisms as humans know them.

Scientists stressed that the discovery on a moon named Enceladus is not evidence that life has in fact developed on another world, but they have managed to establish the existence of the water, chemistry and energy sources that are necessary for it.

“We now know that Enceladus has almost all of the ingredients that you need to support life as we know it on Earth,” said Linda Spilker, a project scientist who said the finding essentially confirmed vents on the moon’s seafloor.

Chris Glein, another scientist involved in the project, said the discovery showed that the moon’s ocean contained a potential chemical feast for microbes. “We have made the first calorie count on an alien ocean,” he said.


Putin meets with Le Pen in attempt to influence French election.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/putin-meets-france-s-le-pen-in-moscow--says-won-t-interfere-in-election/43056130

The meeting also shows that the Kremlin is not shying away from actions that could influence foreign elections, even after the storm over U.S. intelligence agencies' allegations that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Russia has denied trying to influence the U.S. vote, and has also dismissed allegations that Kremlin-funded media outlets are spreading "fake news" in an attempt to interfere in the French presidential race.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told reporters on a conference call that Putin and Le Pen had not discussed the possibility of Russia offering any financial help to her political party.

Her party took a 9-million-euro loan from a Moscow-based bank in 2014, and is actively seeking new sources of funding.



Hmm, I didn't know about that loan. I wonder how long and in what ways Putin has been helping her and her party. Going back for some time, it looks like.

Trump's endless campaign. $$$ for him and his, untold cost to us.

It's clear that Trump prioritizes making money for himself and his cronies. And he'll continue spending unprecedented tax payer dollars in travel to and from his privately owned properties to do this, combining paid access to him and his appointees with fund raising for his now never ending campaign.

Vanity Fair has a good article about Trump continuing this cash cow campaign.
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/02/donald-trumps-2020-re-election-bid-making-him-richer

A month after he won the election, Trump’s committees continued to spend as if he’s still campaigning, too. According to a Politico analysis of documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday night, Trump’s three committees collected $11 million in December, ending 2016 with $16 million in the bank. In total, the campaign spent $32 million in December in order to build its database, collect data, and pay for branding and key staff members. The committees, for example, laid out $728,000 on hats, likely for his “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, and another $2.4 million on mugs, stickers, T-shirts, and banners, Politico reports. They paid another $511,000 to Giles-Parscale, the Texas-based digital and online advertising operation run by Brad Parscale, who has been credited with propelling the campaign on a path to victory, bringing the total amount he has collected from Trumplandia to $88 million.


In addition to funneling money to his buddies, he continues directing money to his businesses. He has increased the membership cost to Mar a Lago to $200,000. In addition, he does pop-ins there to charity events, providing access to himself and his appointees, access by wealthy donors, many of whom likely want policy decisions to go their way.

An example from February:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/02/23/charlie-baker-money-man-gets-next-trump-mar-lago-fund-raiser/jIPd1y3X11VBpl7qwk5TAK/story.html

John P. Cook, Governor Charlie Baker’s campaign finance wizard, created a lot of chatter within Massachusetts GOP circles when he was seen close to President Trump at a Mar-a-Lago charity fund-raising event last weekend.

Baker, a Republican, refused to endorse Trump in last year’s election. But his chief money-man was caught on camera just a couple feet from him, according to a photo snapped by the Palm Beach Daily News.
~~~
Cook, who is a financial adviser at UBS Financial Services in Boston, was apparently as surprised as anyone when the President took a seat next to him. But his explanation for their impromptu meeting helps solve the mystery as to why Trump was showing up to an event to raise money for Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute.



Surprised? Yeah, right.

Then this weekend, he went into overdrive.

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/business/night-mar-lago-inside-charity-event-with-trump-sessions-nearby/6L5xzXBS27gvkzz2FdXOgJ/

Guests caught glimpses of Trump meeting with members of his team, including Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Gen. John Kelly, head of the Department of Homeland Security.

According to press reports, they had converged on the ocean-to-lake compound, which Trump calls his “southern White House,” to hash out the fallout from continued revelations about Trump campaign officials meeting with Russian officials, including Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.




http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-top-republican-donors-meet-palm-beach-235312

President Donald Trump is expected to head to Florida next weekend to address the Republican Party's top donors, according to several people familiar with the plans.

The party's biggest donors are gathering in Palm Beach for a retreat organized by the Republican National Committee, and the president has been announced as the featured speaker, according to people with knowledge of the plans. A number of senior administration officials will also attend the retreat, the people familiar with the planning said, a key draw for the donors.



Money and access are why he goes to his private properties instead of to Camp David. His transportation there is paid by us. He rakes in membership fees, event costs, lunch and dinner money and directed contributions to his unending campaign. And who knows what agreements start brewing during his many 'unofficial' meetings there.

Colbert's critique of Trump's speech

https://m.



Brilliant!

Trump met with Scott Walker and Rick Scott to 'fix' health care.

The worst of the worst of the worst.

http://www.columbian.com/news/2017/feb/25/governors-split-by-party-over-reform-of-medicaid/

Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump met with two Republican governors, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott, and discussed “how best to solve the problems” of the Obama-era health law, with “special emphasis” on states’ role in health care, according to a statement by his press secretary.
~~~
The governors also listened to a consultant’s report about the fiscal impact of a Medicaid overhaul on states. The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, predicted that Medicaid reforms being proposed by House Republicans would result in tens of thousands of people losing their insurance coverage in an average-size state.

Inslee and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia called the report “disturbing.” Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky said if Democrats were disturbed, they haven’t been paying attention.




I would counter that "paying attention" is why they are disturbed.


So in Spicer's own words, gov't banning the press makes for a dictatorship.

https://m.



In December, Spicer said barring media access is what a ‘dictatorship’ does. Today, he barred media access.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/24/in-december-spicer-said-barring-media-access-is-what-a-dictatorship-does-today-he-barred-media-access/?utm_term=.d5526382ebca
“Look, there’s a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds and a government entity,” Spicer replied. “I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government. That is something you can’t ban an entity from.”

“Conservative, liberal or otherwise,” he continued, “that’s what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship. I think there is a vastly different model when it comes to government and what should be expected, and that’s on both sides.”

Mexico will not accept unilateral Trump immigration steps, foreign minister says

Source: The Guardian

Mexico has indicated it would not accept the Trump administration’s new US immigration proposals, saying it would go to the United Nations to defend the rights of immigrants in the US.

Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s foreign minister, was responding to Donald Trump’s plans to enforce immigration rules more vigorously against undocumented migrants, which could lead to mass deportations to Mexico, not just of Mexicans but also citizens of other Latin American countries.

“We are not going to accept it because we don’t have to accept it,” Videgaray said, according to the Reforma newspaper. “I want to make clear, in the most emphatic way, that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept measures that one government wants to unilaterally impose on another.”

The sweeping measures were announced in Washington on the eve of a visit to Mexico by the US secretaries of state and homeland security that had been aimed at salvaging bilateral relations, currently at their lowest point in at least three decades.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/22/mexico-trump-immigration-foreign-minister-luis-videgaray

Tillerson presides over abrupt shakeup at State Department

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/17/politics/tillerson-state-department-shakeup/

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reassigned a majority of the staff meant to work most closely with the top US diplomat in what career officials at the State Department fear is the start of a major reorganization.

The news sent shock waves through the agency and has left career officials on edge, in part because of its abrupt nature -- taking place before their assignments end this summer and replacements have been found -- and in part because these officials help the secretary, a government novice, work with policy experts throughout the building.

While Tillerson was on his first overseas trip at the G20 in Bonn, Germany, his aides told the entire staff in the offices of the deputy secretary of state for management and resources and the State Department counselor that their current assignments were prematurely coming to an end, according to senior aides.

~~~

The staff positions are filled by career foreign service officers and civil servants as opposed to political appointees who serve at the will of the President. The career postings come with a start and end date that traditionally transcend any change in administration.



So he waits until he will be away and has others do his dirty work. I guess we're seeing his managerial style.

I wonder about the real reason for this purge.
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