Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

https://www.jns.org/report-palestinian-workers-prefer-to-work-for-israeli-employers/

Report: Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

Higher salaries, legal protections and lack of discrimination are among the reasons most Palestinians would prefer to work for Israeli firms.

February 16, 2020

The United Nations “blacklist” of businesses operating in Israeli settlements was lauded by the Palestinian leadership following its publication last week, but a recent report indicates that Palestinians actually prefer to work for Israelis rather than Palestinians.

Titled “Why Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers,” the report, by Israel-based media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, affirms that whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to leave their jobs with Palestinian employers. The report cites an article in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that praises the Israeli-employment sector.

According to senior PMW analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik, who co-authored the report with PMW director Itamar Marcus, there are a number of reasons Palestinians prefer Israeli employers.

“First, the salary from Israeli employers is more than double that of the Palestinian sector, but that is not all. Palestinians working for Israelis are protected by the same laws as Israeli workers, including health benefits, sick leave, vacation time and other workers’ rights, whereas these protections are not granted by Palestinian employers. Also there is no gender or religious discrimination in the Israeli sector.”

Speaking on the official P.A. TV show “Workers Affairs,” Israeli-Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi of the Israeli NGO Workers’ Hotline said Israeli labor law is “very good” because it does not differentiate between men and women, Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews. However, he explained, “Palestinian workers who work for Israelis still suffer because Palestinian middlemen ‘steal’ 50 percent, 60 percent and even 70 percent of their salaries, especially those of women.”

The higher Israeli salaries have been consistent for years, according to surveys published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Survey for the second quarter of 2018 showed that the average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank was NIS 107.9 ($31.5) compared with NIS 62.6 (18.3) in Gaza Strip. The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements reached NIS 247.9 ($72.3) in the second quarter of 2018, compared with NIS 242.5 ($70.8) in the first quarter of 2018.

 

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Racism, Religion. Leave a comment.

Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/18/kshama-sawant-bernie-sanders-socialist/

Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PCc740TeIk

 

February 18, 2020

Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a socialist who belongs to a Trotskyist organization that wants to seize control of America’s banks, was a featured speaker at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 campaign rally in Seattle on Monday.

In her speech to Sanders’s supporters, Sawant called for a “powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation.”

Sawant is a member of Socialist Alternative, a fringe Trotskyist group that is open about its goal of a “socialist United States and a socialist world,” according to its website.

The Trotskyist group’s platform includes taking control of the “top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the U.S. economy” and paying compensation “on the basis of proven need to small investors, not millionaires.”

Additionally, in order to put an end to layoffs, the socialist group calls for taking “bankrupt and failing companies into public ownership.”

Sawant was formerly an activist in the progressive Occupy Wall Street movement. Following Trump’s election, she used government resources to help organize anti-Trump “Occupy Inauguration” protests.

Neither the Sanders campaign nor Sawant returned a request for comment.

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Ilhan Omar DID marry her brother and said she would ‘do what she had to do to get him “papers” to keep him in U.S.’, reveals Somali community leader

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8013283/Ilhan-Omar-DID-marry-brother-reveals-Somali-community-leader.html

Ilhan Omar DID marry her brother and said she would ‘do what she had to do to get him “papers” to keep him in U.S.’, reveals Somali community leader

* Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm

* Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States

* It has long been rumored that Omar and Ahmed Elmi are siblings, but because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia, proof has never been uncovered

* Osman said: ‘She said she needed to get papers for her brother to go to school. We all thought she was just getting papers to allow him to stay in this country’

* Omar was married to her second husband Elmi in 2009 by a Christian minister – although she is Muslim

* She was first married to Ahmed Hirsi in 2002 in a Muslim ceremony, before they split in 2008 – but she later had another child with Hirsi while legally wed to Elmi

* Osman said: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the community’

* He added: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it… No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the certificate years later’

February 20, 2020

‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm.

And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized the Somali community in Minneapolis.

Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi.

But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him.

‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, exclusively told DailyMail.com.

Osman’s revelations are sure to renew calls for an investigation into the Minnesota freshman representative who has repeatedly refused to answer questions on her marriage to Elmi.

She originally said the idea that the spouses were also siblings were ‘baseless, absurd rumors’, accusing journalists of Islamophobia, but has since stayed quiet.

Her spokesman told DailyMail.com that Omar, 37, does not comment on her family or personal life.

‘The Congresswoman is focused on the work her constituents sent her to Washington to accomplish,’ he said.

Omar married her first husband Hirsi in 2002 in a Muslim ceremony that, like many in the immigrant community, was not registered with the state.

Their first child Isra was born the following year and a second followed.

But in the late 2000s Elmi appeared in Minneapolis, said Osman, who referred to Hirsi by his nickname ‘Southside’ throughout the interview.

‘People began noticing that Ilhan and Southside (Hirsi) were often with a very effeminate young guy,’ Osman said, who spoke in Somali through an interpreter.

‘He was very feminine in the way he dressed — he would wear light lipstick and pink clothes and very, very, short shorts in the summer. People started whispering about him.

‘[Hirsi] and Ilhan both told me it was Ilhan’s brother and he had been living in London but he was mixing with what were seen as bad influences that the family did not like.

‘So they sent him to Minneapolis as ”rehab”.’

Osman, who runs a popular Facebook blog called Xerta Shekh, which comments on Somali issues, said that Omar kept her marriage to Elmi quiet, with no one from the Somali community invited to the wedding.

He explained: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community.

‘I would say there were 100-150 people there.’

But, he said: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.’

Osman said at the time Hirsi was better known than Omar among Somalis. ‘He was a footballer, he promoted a lot of Somali shows, he was very popular.

‘So the scandal was about [Hirsi’s] brother-in-law more than Ilhan’s brother.’

It has long been rumored that Omar and Elmi are brother and sister.

But because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia where they were both born, positive proof of their relationship has never been uncovered.

The first report that Omar and her husband were siblings appeared on the website Somalispot in 2016. It said of Elmi, 34: ‘As soon as Ilhan Omar married him he started university at her alma mater North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2012.

‘Shortly thereafter, he moved to Minneapolis where he was living in a public housing complex and was later evicted. He then returned to the United Kingdom.’

The New York Post reported last month that the FBI was investigating the marriage and had met with a source in Minneapolis who handed over ‘a trove of documents’ related to the marriage.

Any findings were to be shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Department of Education, the paper reported. Anyone found guilty of committing marriage fraud faces up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.

Elmi and Omar married on February 12, 2009 at a Hennepin County office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis, their marriage license shows. Omar said she and Hirsi had separated in 2008, and because their faith-based union was never recognized by law, neither is their separation.

Elmi and Omar said they lived together at an address in Columbia Heights, a suburb on the north side of the city.

The marriage was conducted by Christian minister Wilecia Harris. When DailyMail.com approached her last year, she would not discuss the ceremony or why a Muslim couple would have asked her to marry them.

She and her husband Marcus run the Great and Mighty Works Ministries in Richfield, Minnesota, which is described on its Facebook page as a ‘nondenominational, Bible believing, Bible teaching, and Bible living ministry that believes in being a living example of Jesus the anointed one!’

In a Facebook message, Marcus Harris told DailyMail.com: ‘My wife doesn’t want to be involved or interviewed about Congresswoman Omar.’

‘It’s not going to happen, not now and not never.’

After their marriage Omar and Elmi moved to Fargo, where they both attended North Dakota State. But Omar and Hirsi were still together as husband and wife, Osman said.

‘She said she needed to get papers for her brother to go to school. We all thought she was just getting papers together to allow him to stay in this country.

‘Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans.

‘They both moved to North Dakota to go to school but she was still married to [Hirsi]. In the Somali way, the only marriage that mattered was the one in the mosque.

‘Ilhan came back to Minneapolis all the time to see her family, but her brother didn’t come with her.’

Osman believes Elmi and Omar sought out someone outside the Somali community to conduct the ceremony because an imam would have known they were related and would have refused to marry them.

Osman, who is confined to a wheelchair after contracting polio before he moved to the United States in 2004, said he got to know Hirsi well in his first few years in Minneapolis. They are the same age, both having been born in January 1980.

They originally met when Hirsi was working in a barber shop and when they both regularly ate at the now-defunct Indian Ocean restaurant. When Hirsi opened his own business, Urban Hookah, which is also now closed, Osman occasionally helped out at the till.

Omar and Elmi eventually divorced in 2017 and she remarried Hirsi — with whom she had a third child — in a civil ceremony the following year, just in time for her election to Congress.

Osman scoffs at the idea that this was a real remarriage. ‘They never parted,’ he said.

But last year she moved out of the family home and into a luxury penthouse apartment in the trendy Mill District of Minneapolis.

DailyMail.com then revealed that Omar was having an affair with her chief fundraiser Tim Mynett, a married father-of-one, whose company received more than half a million dollars from her campaign last year.

Hirsi and Omar divorced in November. He married pediatric nurse Ladan Ahmed 37 days later.

Mynett and his wife Beth Jordan divorced in December. During the hearing in a Washington, D.C., courtroom, Jordan attempted to read out a statement about her husband’s affair with the congresswoman but was cut short by the judge.

Omar is running for a second term in Congress — where she has aligned herself with fellow leftist first-term congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts in the so-called ‘Squad.’

She faces three opponents in the Democratic primary to be held in August.

February 22, 2020. Tags: , . Ilhan Omar. Leave a comment.

Poll: Michael Bloomberg and Paul Harvey each made a comment about farmers. Which one do you think is more accurate?

Commentary and poll by Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 18, 2020

Below are two videos. In the first, Michael Bloomberg talks about farmers. In the second, Paul Harvey talks about farmers.

Please watch both videos. Then please vote for which person’s comment you think is more accurate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKDA3uR-ml8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRDaPEaDJ7E

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 18, 2020. Tags: , , , . Polls. Leave a comment.

Larry Schweikart tweeted a link to my blog!

https://twitter.com/LarrySchweikart/status/1229405075677663232

https://twitter.com/LarrySchweikart/status/1229405075677663232

https://t.co/fBct189sqw?amp=1

NY environmental whacko group BK ROT forces employees to use feet as brakes on their bikes “Fred Flintstone style” going DOWNHILL with over 100 lbs of loads.

Welcome to the WL future.

February 18, 2020. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

A New York City environmental organization called “BK ROT” violates OSHA safety regulations by forcing its employees to dangerously use their feet as brakes, “Fred Flintstone style,” on a bicycle, while hauling “almost eight hundred pounds” down “substantial hills”

* A New York City environmental organization called “BK ROT” violates OSHA safety regulations by forcing its employees to dangerously use their feet as brakes, “Fred Flintstone style,” on a bicycle, while hauling “almost eight hundred pounds” down “substantial hills.”

* Sandy Nurse, the organization’s founder, is running for political office.

* Nurse also thinks she shouldn’t have to pay back her college loans.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 15, 2020

In New York City, a woman named Sandy Nurse created an environmental organization called “BK ROT.” The organization collects food scraps and other organic waste, and turns it into compost.

As part if its green mission, all of its employees travel by bicycle.

The New Yorker recently wrote the following about this:

Five days a week, Victor Ibarra rides a bicycle through North Brooklyn, collecting food waste from restaurants, coffee shops, and other small businesses and packing it into plastic tubs on a trailer that he tows with his bike. There are two substantial hills on his route, and when the tubs are full the entire load—waste, trailer, bike, Ibarra—adds up to almost eight hundred pounds. “Uphill is really hard,” he said the other day. “But, actually, uphill is a lot easier than downhill. Going downhill, I have the hand brakes pressed on, but the bike is still going.” To stop completely, he has to use his feet, Fred Flintstone style.

Ibarra is twenty-three. His employer for the past six years has been BK ROT, a nonprofit hauling-and-composting operation in Bushwick.

This is very dangerous, and certainly a violation of OSHA safety rules.

Nurse also thinks she shouldn’t have to pay back the money that she chose to borrow for college, even though she chose to sign a legal document promising to pay the money back.

CNBC recently wrote the following about this:

Sandy Nurse doesn’t see why she needs to be $120,000 in debt “just for trying to improve my understanding of the world.”

And so, after a decade of struggling to repay her student loans, she plans to stop trying. She hopes others will join her, too, in a national strike against the country’s outstanding student loan debt, which is marching toward $1.7 trillion.

“It’s a way not to look at ourselves as failures because we’re failing to pay back an excessive amount of money for knowledge,” said Nurse

Nurse’s comments are despicable. Instead of admitting that she is a deadbeat and a liar, she is trying to falsely portray herself as being a victim.

I wonder how Nurse would feel if her customers who paid for their compost with a credit card were to call their credit card companies and have the charges removed, and Nurse ended up not getting the money that her customers had promised to pay her.

To make matters even worse, Nurse is running for political office to become a member of New York’s City Council.

We already know that, in the name of being green, Nurse forces her employees to use their feet as brakes like in The Flintstones.

Since Nurse is running for political office, I wonder if she wants to force the entire population to do the same thing.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Karlyn Borysenko: After attending a Trump rally, I realized Democrats are not ready for 2020. I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years, but my experience made me realize just how out of touch my party is with the country at large

https://gen.medium.com/ive-been-a-democrat-for-20-years-here-s-what-i-experienced-at-trump-s-rally-in-new-hampshire-c69ddaaf6d07

After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020

I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years, but my experience made me realize just how out of touch my party is with the country at large

By Karlyn Borysenko

February 11, 2020

I think those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me three years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed and assured you that was never going to happen. Heck, if you had told me I would do it three months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.

You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call.

You see, I was one of those Democrats who considered anyone who voted for Trump a racist. I thought they were horrible (yes, even deplorable) and worked very hard to eliminate their voices from my spaces by unfriending or blocking people who spoke about their support of him, however minor their comments. I watched a lot of MSNBC, was convinced that everything he had done was horrible, that he hated anyone who wasn’t a straight white man, and that he had no redeeming qualities.

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone who wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I saw coming from my side of the aisle.

I started to discover (or perhaps rediscover) the #WalkAway movement. I had heard about #WalkAway when MSNBC told me it was fake and a bunch of Russian bots. But then I started to meet real people who had been Democrats and made the decision to leave because they could not stand the way the left was behaving. I watched town halls they held with different minority communities (all available in their entirety on YouTube), and I saw sane, rational discussion from people of all different races, backgrounds, orientations, and experiences. I joined the Facebook group for the community and saw stories popping up daily of people sharing why they are leaving the Democratic Party. This wasn’t fake. These people are not Russian bots. Moreover, it felt like a breath of fresh air. There was not universal agreement in this group — some were Trump supporters, some weren’t — but they talked and shared their perspective without shouting or rage or trying to cancel each other.

I started to question everything. How many stories had I been sold that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half the country is overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump derangement syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years?

And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

Fast-forward to the New Hampshire primary, and we have all the politicians running around the state making their case. I’ve seen almost every Democratic candidate in person and noticed that their messages were almost universally one of doom and gloom, not only focusing on the obvious disagreements with Donald Trump, but also making sure to emphasize that the country is a horribly racist place.

Now, I do believe there are very real issues when it comes to race that we as a society have yet to reckon with. I believe that everyone from every background of every gender should have equal access to opportunities, and that no one is inherently more or less valuable or worthy than anyone else. And while the 2017 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to a tragedy precipitated by real racists and real nazis and real white supremacists, I started to see that those labels simply don’t apply to most people who support Trump.

But with all of this, I was still reticent to even consider attending a Trump event. I do not believe that Trump’s attitude is worthy of the highest office in the land. I abhor his Twitter. I am vehemently opposed to so many of his policies. But still, I wanted to see for myself.

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, so I thought I would start my day in familiar territory: at an MSNBC live show that was taking place a few blocks away from the rally. I decided to wear my red hat that looks like a Trump hat but with one small difference — it says “Make Speech Free Again”—as my small protest against cancel culture. I even got a photo with MSNBC host Ari Melber while I was wearing it, just for kicks.

The funny thing about that hat is that it’s completely open to interpretation. When I wear it around left-leaning people, they think I’m talking about the right. When I wear it around right-leaning folks, they think I’m talking about the left. It’s a stark reminder of how much our own perspectives and biases play into how we view the world.

In chatting with the folks at the taping, I casually said that I was thinking about going over to the Trump rally. The first reaction they had was a genuine fear for my safety. I had never seen people I didn’t know so passionately urge me to avoid all those people. One woman told me that those people were the lowest of the low. Another man told me that he had gone to one of Trump’s rallies in the past and had been the target of harassment by large muscle-bound men. Another woman offered me her pepper spray. I assured them all that I thought I would be fine and that I would get the heck out of dodge if I got nervous.

What they didn’t know is that they weren’t the only ones I had heard from who were afraid. Some of my more right-leaning friends online expressed genuine fear at my going, but not because they were afraid of the attendees. They were afraid of people on the left violently attacking attendees. This was one day after a man had run his car through a Republican voter registration tent in Florida, and there was a genuine fear that there would be a repeat, or that antifa would bus people up from Boston for it. Just as I had assured those on the left, I told them I thought I would be fine, because we don’t really have antifa in New Hampshire.

But I’m not going to say it didn’t get to me a bit. When everyone around you is nervous for your safety, it’s hard not to question if they have a point. But it also made me more determined to see it through, because it was a stark reminder that both sides view each other exactly the same way. They are both afraid of the other side and what they are capable of. I couldn’t help but think that if they could just see the world through the lens of the other for a moment or two, it would be a stark revelation that they don’t know as much as they think they do.

So, I headed over an hour and a half before the doors were scheduled to open—which was four hours before Trump was set to take the stage—and the line already stretched a mile away from the entrance to the arena. As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice. I was not harassed or intimidated, and I was never in fear of my safety even for a moment. These were average, everyday people. They were veterans, schoolteachers, and small business owners who had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let it slip that I was a Democrat. The reaction: “Good for you! Welcome!”

Once we got inside, the atmosphere was jubilant. It was more like attending a rock concert than a political rally. People were genuinely enjoying themselves. Some were even dancing to music being played over the loudspeakers. It was so different than any other political event I had ever attended. Even the energy around Barack Obama in 2008 didn’t feel like this.

I had attended an event with all the Democratic contenders just two days prior in exactly the same arena, and the contrast was stark. First, Trump completely filled the arena all the way up to the top. Even with every major Democratic candidate in attendance the other night, and the campaigns giving away free tickets, the Democrats did not do that. With Trump, every single person was unified around a singular goal. With the Democrats, the audience booed over candidates they didn’t like and got into literal shouting matches with each other. With Trump, there was a genuinely optimistic view of the future. With the Democrats, it was doom and gloom. With Trump, there was a genuine feeling of pride of being an American. With the Democrats, they emphasized that the country was a racist place from top to bottom.

Now, Trump is always going to present the best case he can. And yes, he lies. This is provable. But the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, who would fight for them. Some people say, “Well, obviously they’re having a great time. They’re in a cult.” I don’t think that’s true. The reality is that many people I spoke to do disagree with Trump on things. They don’t always like his attitude. They wish he wouldn’t tweet so much. People who are in cults don’t question their leaders. The people I spoke with did, but the pros in their eyes far outweighed the cons. They don’t love him because they think he’s perfect. They love him despite his flaws, because they believe he has their back.

As I left the rally—walking past thousands of people who were watching it on a giant monitor outside the arena because they couldn’t get in—I knew there was no way Trump would lose in November. Absolutely no way. I truly believe that it doesn’t matter who the Democrats nominate: Trump is going to trounce them. If you don’t believe me, attend one of his rallies and see for yourself. Don’t worry, they really won’t hurt you.

Today, I voted in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary for Pete Buttigieg. I genuinely feel that Pete would be great for this country, and maybe he’ll have his opportunity in the future. But tomorrow, I’ll be changing my voter registration from Democrat to Independent and walking away from the party I’ve spent the past 20 years in to sit in the middle for a while. There are extremes in both parties that I am uncomfortable with, but I also fundamentally believe that most people on both sides are good, decent human beings who want the best for the country and have dramatic disagreements on how to get there. But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide. I refuse to be a part of the divisiveness any longer. I refuse to hate people I don’t know simply because they choose to vote for someone else. If we’re going to heal the country, we have to start taking steps toward one another rather than away.

I think the Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens, because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call that causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

A DC elementary school accidentally gave the wrong second-grader to a child-welfare worker

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dc-elementary-school-accidentally-gave-200737572.html

A DC elementary school accidentally gave the wrong second-grader to a child-welfare worker

February 12, 2020

* A DC elementary school mistakenly turned over the wrong 8-year-old student to a child-welfare worker.

* When the student’s relatives arrived to pick him up later that day, they realized he was missing and panicked.

* Washington City Paper reported that the mix-up happened when the case worker arrived and requested the student he was supposed to pick up, and school officials brought out a different student who shared the same distinctive first name.

An elementary school in Washington, DC, accidentally handed over the wrong 8-year-old student to a child-welfare worker, causing the young boy’s family to panic when they arrived at the school to pick him up that day and realized he was missing.

Washington City Paper reported that a Child and Family Services Agency case worker arrived at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School on January 31 to pick up a child for a visit with his father.

But the school brought out a different student who happened to have the same distinctive first name, and the case worker left the school with the incorrect child around 2 p.m. that day.

The mistake wasn’t caught until the student’s relatives arrived at the school that afternoon to pick him up, and learned he had left with a child-welfare worker.

In response to a request for comment, the CFSA directed Insider to comments from its director, Brenda Donald, quoted in The Washington Post. Donald told the newspaper that the case worker had not previously met the child he was supposed to pick up before arriving at the school, and the child he mistakenly picked up never raised any questions about why he was taken from his classroom.

“He’s a little kid, and usually the schools are trying to explain in a nice way that here’s a nice person from CFSA who is going to take you to McDonald’s to have lunch,” Donald told The Post. “It was a mistake, and it’s explainable. And again, I can understand the family being upset.”

The school’s principal, Amanda Delabar, sent a letter to parents confirming that a “student went briefly missing from school premises after being picked up incorrectly by Child and Family Services,” according to the letter obtained by Insider.

Delabar said in the letter school officials had made “every effort to protect the student’s and family’s privacy,” and said all staff had been reminded of school security protocols that include mandatory sign-ins and sign-outs, and identification requirements for any outside agencies picking up students.

But the family of the child who was mistakenly removed from school remained livid, telling Washington City Paper they had feared the boy was harmed.

“I just can’t understand,” his grandfather, Jason Myers, told the newspaper. “Anyone can come with a badge and take anyone’s kid.”

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Education. Leave a comment.

A Pennsylvania school called police after a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome pointed her finger like a gun, her mother says

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pennsylvania-school-called-police-6-025708501.html

A Pennsylvania school called police after a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome pointed her finger like a gun, her mother says

February 11, 2020

* A 6-year-old with Down Syndrome pointed her fingers like a gun at her teacher, prompting officials to call the police, her mother said.

* Maggie Gaines said in a statement to the school board that the call was unnecessary, as her daughter clearly did not understand the gesture and was not a threat.

* The school district said in a statement it had agreed to review its policy requiring school officials to call police in such situations.

A Pennsylvania family is pleading with their school board to reconsider its policy on “threat assessments” for students, after their 6-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome was reported to police for pointing her finger like a gun.

Margot Gaines, a kindergartener at the Valley Forge Elementary School in Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania, made the gesture in November and told her teacher, “I shoot you,” according to her mother, Maggie.

Maggie said her daughter made the comment when her teacher asked her to do something she didn’t want to do, but had no idea what the words or the gesture meant.

“I imagine the utterance was not unlike the instances when I’ve told her it’s time for bed and she says, ‘I hate bed. I hate mommy,'” Maggie said in a statement last month to the school district.

Maggie said the teacher perceived the response as a “threat” and brought Margot to the principal, who realized that Margot was no danger to the teacher or her classmates.

But instead of dropping the incident, the principal followed a school district policy requiring a “threat assessment” team to be convened and decide whether disciplinary action was warranted.

Maggie said in her statement she was fine with that process, which concluded that Margot didn’t intend to harm anyone. But then the school called the police.

“I think most people would agree that this is where the issue should have ended. And yet it did not,” she said.

Maggie said school officials called the police department and provided authorities with the Gaines’ personal information, as well as information on the incident. Maggie said in her statement that an officer told her the information would be entered into the department’s database and would be publicly available.

“Because the school staff and administration chose to blindly follow this policy, an incident that resulted in no disciplinary action … is part of her permanent school record,” she said. “What’s more, her personal information has also been recorded at our local police department, where it is noted, without any context to the situation or her disability that she ‘threatened’ her teacher. How or if this information will be used against her in the future, I can’t say for certain.”

The Tredyffrin Police Department told the website SAVVY Main Line that an incident report was filed containing Margot’s name, address, age, and disability, but that it is “not releasable” and not a criminal record.

The Tredyffrin-Easttown School District told CBS Philly in a statement it would review its policy in the wake of the Gaines’ complaint.

“When developing the current practice, the District worked collaboratively with parents, law enforcement and private safety/mental health agencies and legal consultants to ensure our safety measures reflected considerable input from both our local community and experts in the field of school safety,” the statement said.

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Education, Police state, Zero tolerance. Leave a comment.

Attention Saturday Night Live! Air is mostly nitrogen, not oxygen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCbYtKW2BNo

February 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Science, Television. Leave a comment.

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Dave Ramsey is a financial advisor with a radio call in program.

In this case, the caller is an unmarried woman who has three children, all of whom were fathered by the same man, who is an abusive, illegal alien and an identity thief, and who does not pay any child support.

Ramsey starts out his response with the following:

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Here’s my take on this woman’s behavior:

George Carlin was right when he said the following:

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of ’em are stupider than that.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lbTU5m59Ns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rh6qqsmxNs

February 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Immigration, Parenting. 2 comments.

Student, 21, says she was insulted by Joe Biden when he called her a ‘lying dog-faced pony soldier’ after asking about his poor Iowa results and says it shows how badly his campaign is going

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmgWBubpj2s

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7987957/Humiliated-student-Joe-Biden-called-lying-dog-faced-pony-soldier-speaks-out.html

Student, 21, says she was insulted by Joe Biden when he called her a ‘lying dog-faced pony soldier’ after asking about his poor Iowa results and says it shows how badly his campaign is going

Joe Biden called Madison Moore a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’ after she asked him a question at his campaign event in Hampton, New Hampshire on Sunday

Biden later said he was quoting John Wayne

The 21-year-old Mercer University student had nervously nodded her head yes when Biden asked her if she had ever been to a caucus before

Moore said she didn’t find his remark funny, saying: ‘It was kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president’

She added: ‘I am 21-year old college student, like what the hell do I know? Who cares who I am or my experience. Just answer the damn question’

Moore said she wasn’t expecting for her question to make headlines, saying: ‘If I had expected that I would’ve worn makeup. I would’ve looked a lot cuter’

February 10, 2020

A college student who Joe Biden called a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’ after she asked about his poor performance in Iowa shamed him for ‘humiliating’ her and said his inability to answer her question shows how ‘extremely poorly he’s performing’.

Madison Moore, a 21-year-old economics student at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, said for people to wave off the former vice president’s remark as a ‘joke’ is ‘kind of insulting’. Biden later explained he was quoting John Wayne.

Biden asked Moore if she had ever voted in a caucus and she nodded her head yes while attending his campaign event in Hampton, New Hampshire on Sunday night, leading Biden to call her a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’.

Moore said: ‘It was kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president. Instead of answering that question straightforward, his immediate response was to attempt to invalidate me by exposing my inexperience.

‘He has been performing extremely poorly in this race and the fact that he couldn’t just straight answer my question without bullying or intimidating just exacerbates that fact.

She added: ‘I am 21-year old college student, like what the hell do I know? Who cares who I am or my experience. Just answer the damn question.’

Moore, who is on Mercer University’s debate team, attended Biden’s campaign event as part of a trip for school, reported the Macon Telegraph.

She asked Biden why voters should believe he could win after his performance in Iowa – where he came in fourth place.

‘So you’re arguably the candidate with the greatest advantage in this race,’ Moore said, mentioning how Biden has name recognition as the former vice president and didn’t have to take time off from the campaign trail for impeachment hearings like the 2020 candidates who serve in the U.S. Senate.

‘How do you explain the performance in Iowa and why should the voters believe that you can win the national election?’ she asked.

‘It’s a good question. Number One – Iowa is a Democratic caucus. You ever been to a caucus?’ Biden asked the young voter.

She nodded in the affirmative.

‘No you haven’t. You’ve a lying dog-faced pony soldier,’ Biden said, getting laughs.

‘You said you were – but now you’ve got to be honest. Now, I’m gonna be honest with you. It was a little bit confusing in Iowa,’ he said.

Moore later explained she only nodded her head yes because she got nervous, but said she felt whether she had been to a caucus or not was irrelevant.

Biden’s spokespeople said the line was taken from a scene in a John Wayne movie, where a Native American chief refers to Wayne as a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier.’

Still, Moore said she didn’t find it funny, regardless if he tried to play it off as a joke.

She added she wasn’t expecting for her question to make national headlines, saying: ‘If I had expected that I would’ve worn makeup. I would’ve looked a lot cuter.’

Biden has previously used the same phrase and attributed it to a John Wayne movie.

At a 2018 campaign event for Heidi Heitkamp, Biden said of her opponent Kevin Cramer: ‘As my brother who loves to use lines from movies, from John Wayne movies, there’s a line in a movie, a John Wayne movie where an Indian chief turns to John Wayne and says, ”This is a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”

It appears Biden may have misquoted John Wayne as it seems he may have been referring to the 1952 Tyrone Power film ‘Pony Soldier’, which uses the phrase throughout.

Addressing Moore, Biden said: ‘But let’s assume everything was exactly right in Iowa, the idea that you come in with half the delegates that the leaders come in with in Iowa, does not necessarily say how you’re going to win Pennsylvania, how you’re going to win Michigan,’ he argued, suggesting he’d outperform Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the general election swing states.

‘I congratulate Pete, I congratulate Bernie,’ Biden continued. ‘They were really well organized, better organized than we were in Iowa.’

Biden also argued that ‘you have to take the first four as one,’ Biden said of the first early voting and caucus states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

‘Not a single person has won without overwhelming support from the black community, overwhelming, overwhelming. OK?’ Biden said.

‘Right now I am far and ahead in the African-American community,’ he continued, adding that the final result ‘remains to be seen.’

Iowa has not yet officially declared the winner, but as the results stand Buttigieg came in No. 1 in the traditional metric – the percentage of delegates earned – while Sanders won the popular vote.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren fell in third place with 18 per cent and Biden in fourth with 15.8 per cent.

Other than Amy Klobuchar, who earned 12.3 per cent in the caucus, no other candidate emerged with more than 1 per cent.

New polling out over the weekend shows Biden in fourth place in New Hampshire, as well – with one particular poll showing him only one point ahead of Klobuchar.

He also downplayed expectations in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary on Tuesday. Biden said he can’t be expected to top Sanders, who represents Vermont, or Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, since they’re from neighboring states.

‘Look, who has won a New Hampshire primary … if you have somebody running in the two states next door to you?’ he asked the crowd.

While in the room, Biden’s odd comment was taken in stride.

Once it hit the internet, however, it was ripe for critics to rip.

Donald Trump Jr. saw the back-and-forth and suggested it showed that the 77-year-old Biden was deteriorating.

‘Are we stil pretending Joe Biden hasn’t lost his marbles?’ Trump Jr. tweeted Sunday afternoon. The first son then suggested people ‘Google a video of him from 30 years ago and compare it to him now and tell me it’s the same person!’

‘Long gone,’ Trump Jr. said.

February 10, 2020. Tags: , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

Obama’s Oscar-Winning ‘American Factory’ Omits His Own Role in Ohio Factory’s Closing

https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/02/09/obama-oscar-winning-american-factory-omits-his-own-role-in-factorys-closing/

Obama’s Oscar-Winning ‘American Factory’ Omits His Own Role in Ohio Factory’s Closing

February 9, 2020

Former President Barack Obama played a direct role in the hardships of the workers featured in American Factory, the Oscar-winning documentary his new production company produced.

The former president and First Lady Michelle Obama are celebrating the Oscar win for their new production company, Higher Ground, which saw American Factory win Best Documentary Feature on Sunday evening.

The film follows the travails of a shuttered General Motors factory in Ohio that is re-opened by Chinese investors, who save American jobs but encounter cultural and economic clashes with American workers.

But as Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), the former mayor of nearby Dayton, Ohio, wrote last year, the movie leaves out President Obama’s own role in making life worse for the GM workers who lost their jobs.

Obama’s auto bailout, he recalled, helped force the plant’s closure and made it harder for the workers to find new jobs because his administration was dealing political favors to its favored union allies — and they were in the “wrong” union.

Turner wrote in the Wall Street Journal last September, after the film’s release:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-incredible-movie-makeover-11568412774

It’s a fascinating and at times moving film. What’s interesting about it, though, is that it never once alludes to the part Mr. Obama played in diminishing the ability of Moraine’s laid off workers to transfer to other GM plants. The president’s role wasn’t indirect and isn’t a matter of dispute: His administration’s bailout deal for GM included a backroom exclusive agreement with the United Auto Workers.

A quick refresher. The Obama administration’s auto bailout highly favored the UAW and its members. The GM plant in Moraine was unionized by the IUE-CWA. So—despite being one of the top GM facilities for quality, efficiency and production in the country—it was shuttered, and its employees were put at the back of the line when requesting transfers to other GM plants. Any non-UAW employees looking to transfer were forced to start as new hires, wiping clean any wages, tenure, and benefits built up during careers at other GM plants.

“American Factory” documents the UAW’s efforts to unionize the reopened auto glass factory without any mention of the same union’s direct role in the GM plant’s closure. The Dayton community was left out in the cold—thousands of jobs lost, families devastated, longtime GM workers out on the street looking for work.

The hypocrisy of this Obama-backed film is astounding. Mr. Obama fails to acknowledge his direct role in creating the hardships the Moraine workers weathered. He had nothing whatsoever to do with the plant’s reopening—that was all the work of state and local officials and community leaders.

As Rep. Turner recalled, his retired father — who had once worked at the plant — lost his health insurance in Obama’s auto bailout.

It was only because of bipartisan efforts, assisted by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), that the plant was re-opened with Chinese help, Rep. Turner wrote.

Turner was incredulous at the film’s silence about the Obama administration’s policies. “How does a nearly two-hour film telling the story of these workers fail even to mention the direct role the co-owner of the film’s production company played in creating their hardships? Did the filmmakers think no one would remember?”

Evidently, they did — at least no one in Hollywood. And they were right.

February 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Barack Obama, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Yes, AOC, we can ‘capitalism our way out of poverty’

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/actually-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-we-can-capitalism-our-way-out-of-poverty

Yes, AOC, we can ‘capitalism our way out of poverty’

January 22, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez studied economics, but she isn’t exactly known for fluency. But even considering the New York Democrat’s track record of economic illiteracy, her latest comments about capitalism are still a doozy.

Ocasio-Cortez made headlines this week for claiming that the Democratic Party is actually moderate and centrist. It was a silly claim to make, but people largely ignored another part of her comment. She asserted, as a way of dismissing centrist Democrats, that they are fools for believing that we can “capitalism our way out of poverty.”

Actually, congresswoman, we can. Literally billions of people have done so in the very recent past.

The last several centuries of human history demonstrate that capitalism and free trade can work wonders when it comes to expanding global prosperity and reducing poverty.

I don’t know what they taught Ocasio-Cortez in the economics department at Boston University — she might want to demand a refund — but I, along with most undergraduates in the field, learned in my very first year of studying economics the basic fact that capitalism has radically reduced poverty. Students are often taught about the “hockey stick of human history.” Incomes and economic growth were stagnant for centuries and centuries, and then came the advent of market capitalism and the spread of trade. As society shifted away from mercantilism and feudalism toward this new way of operating, economic growth instantly skyrocketed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9FSnvtcEbg

https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1003750249041747974

(Click on link below to see a larger version of the image)

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1247

https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1003750249041747974

Economic history resembles a hockey stick. For thousands of years, economic growth was negligible. At the end of the 18th century, however, economic growth and the standard of living started to accelerate in Great Britain and then in the rest of the world

— HumanProgress.org (@HumanProgress) June 4, 2018

It can be hard to visualize all of this progress when we’re just talking about abstract economic growth figures at the country level. But as Bill Gates has famously noted, raw poverty data show radical reductions due to capitalism, too.

https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1086662632587907072

(Click on link below to see a larger version of the image)

https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-conditions-in-5-charts?linkId=62571595

 

https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1086662632587907072

This is one of my favorite infographics. A lot of people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries:

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) January 19, 2019

In recent decades, state-run economies such as the Soviet Union collapsed, while markets globally, including in formerly communist nations such as China, liberalized and trade expanded globally. This has resulted in outstanding progress. According to HumanProgress.org:

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1528

The World Bank has just released its latest numbers, and according to them, the proportion of the world population in extreme poverty, i.e. who consume less than $1.90 a day, adjusted for local prices, declined from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015.

Even though world population increased by more than two billion people, the number of extremely poor was reduced by almost 1.2 billion. It means that in the now much-despised era of globalization, almost 130,000 people rose out of poverty every day.

This is no coincidence. A report from the Fraser Institute concluded after comprehensive study that “nations that are economically free outperform non-free nations in indicators of well-being.”

No one is saying that capitalism is perfect, or that further progress doesn’t need to be made. But Ocasio-Cortez gets it exactly wrong when she asserts that we can’t “capitalism our way out of poverty.” It is a historically and economically ignorant thing to say, and it really highlights the mentality that would allow someone, even in this day and age, to embrace an outdated and backward ideology such as socialism.

February 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Economics. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders: “I was very excited and impressed by the Cuban revolution”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Lo8YcEcPY

February 8, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Manhattan judge, over prosecutor’s objections, releases suspect in two violent street assaults without bail

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-homeless-man-freed-without-bail-manhattan-assaults-20200110-z7xfbvea4jhxhlckwqlvrpq3vq-story.html

Manhattan judge, over prosecutor’s objections, releases suspect in two violent street assaults without bail

January 10, 2020

A giggling suspect accused of randomly battering three women in violent Manhattan street attacks was cut loose without bail Friday over the objection of prosecutors.

Homeless defendant Eugene Webb was freed just two days after allegedly punching a woman in the face on West Houston St., knocking out one of her teeth — then hours later shoving a second woman to the ground and kicking her on Park Ave. and E. 42nd St.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office sought $10,000 cash bail or a $30,000 bond, but Criminal Court Judge Ann Thompson ruled that Webb should be released on his own recognizance under the state’s controversial new bail guidelines.

Webb, 26, was arrested at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday after police got a tip he was there. He was charged with assault and aggravated harassment.

The antsy defendant wore dark sweatpants, a purple undershirt and a black jacket to his Friday arraignment where he constantly shifted back and forth, unable to stand still.

Assistant District Attorney John Dunn’s argued that Webb showed a “willful and persistent” pattern of skipping court dates. He noted that the defendant failed to show for a scheduled hearing last October after punching an unsuspecting 35-year-old woman in the mouth on Sept. 3 on E. 14th St.

Webb was arrested for the September attack after cops found him smoking crack on a Greenwich Village stoop.

“The defendant persistently attacked females,” Dunn said Friday. “As to bail, the defendant failed to return to court … He was willing and able to do so, and he intentionally chose not to.”

Judge Thompson argued that one misstep was not enough to merit jail under the modified bail system.

“One failure to appear, despite having a new case and having a record of criminal conduct — I don’t think that makes the defendant meet the standard,” she ruled.

Webb was ordered to return on Feb. 25 for the two Wednesday attacks, and left the hearing with a smile.

A spokesperson for the New York County Defender Services, a group that provides free legal services for low-income city defendants, said to focus on the bail ruling was to miss the point.

“This case says more about our city’s deficient system for dealing with homelessness and serious mental illness, and how they intersect, than it does about bail reform,” the spokesperson said.

February 7, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Iowa Democrats can’t do simple arithmetic

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/nbc-news-review-iowa-caucus-vote-finds-potential-errors-inconsistencies-n1132011

NBC News review of Iowa caucus vote finds potential errors, inconsistencies

The results as reported by the Iowa Democratic Party raise questions about the accuracy of the outcome of the first-in-the-nation vote.

February 6, 2020

The Iowa Democratic caucus results are rife with potential errors and inconsistencies that could affect the outcome of the election, according to a review by the NBC News Decision Desk.

The apparent mistakes — spotted in at least dozens of the state’s 1,711 precincts — call into question the accuracy of the outcome of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus, which was held on Monday night.

In some individual precincts, it may be possible to fix the errors; in other precincts, it will probably be impossible to determine how voters truly made their choices.

The potential errors and inconsistencies take on importance because of the closeness of the contest between the two front-runners — former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

With all percent of precincts reported, Buttigieg had 26.2 percent support and Sanders had 26.1 percent.

The NBC News Decision Desk said it has reviewed the reporting data provided by the Iowa Democratic Party and identified several different types of potential problems with the count.

“There are definitely some inaccuracies in the data,” said John Lapinski, director of the Elections Unit at NBC News, who leads the Decision Desk.

“When you have a tied result, even the smallest sort of inaccuracy could be consequential,” he said. “If there was a lot of spread in this race, these errors would be insignificant. But when we are talking about a tied race, everyone wants to know that every number is correct.”

Lapinski added, “In close races, every number is consequential.”

Results from the contest held Monday were delayed by what organizers said was a problem with a smartphone app. The Iowa Democratic Party said problems with reporting the caucus results were due partly to “coding issues” with the app, which was being used by precincts for the first time.

NBC News has not called a winner in the first-in-the-nation contest.

Here are some examples of the potential errors and inconsistencies:

Numbers don’t add up
The Decision Desk said it identified at least 77 precincts, or 4.5 percent, where the total votes for what is known as “reallocated candidate preference” is greater than the total votes for “initial candidate preference” — a difference that makes no sense.

In the Iowa caucus system, the reallocated preference is based on the raw tally taken after the process of realignment. For instance, if a caucusgoer’s initial preferred candidate did not receive enough support to meet the precinct location’s viability threshold (15 percent in most cases), the caucusgoer is allowed to shift their support — or realign — to another candidate who did attain viability.

Therefore, it doesn’t make sense that the number of voters would increase during this process. If anything, it might decline since caucusgoers whose initial preference didn’t make viability might chose to simply leave, rather than sticking around to support another candidate.

And yet the number of voters appears to have increased in precinct Des Moines-62 in Polk County. The total of votes recorded for initial preference was 784 — but the total number of votes in the precinct on the reallocated preference vote increased to 841. It is unclear how to explain an increase between rounds because the initial preference is supposed to include the votes of everyone who is participating in the caucus. The initial preference should reflect the total turnout in the caucus.

Some of the discrepancies are a result of zero votes being reported for the initial preference. In the Des Moines-80 precinct, for example, there were zero total reported votes on the initial preference vote and 215 total votes on the reallocated preference vote.

Because the precinct has no votes recorded for candidates on the initial preference round it is impossible to know whether the reallocation was correctly done in the precinct. Moreover, because the precinct is not contributing any votes to the total candidate votes on the initial preference ballot the statewide percentages for candidates doing well in this precinct also will be understated.

Other precincts, however, have discrepancies that are more irregular than simply failing to report any data for the initial preference vote.

In precinct WDM-312 in Polk County, there were only 61 total votes reported in the initial preference round, but there were 339 total votes reported in the reallocated preference round.

Looking at the pattern of recorded votes suggests that no initial preference votes were recorded for any of the viable candidates, but only for candidates who had not attained viability — which is not how the process is supposed to work. Because the data was not reported, it is therefore impossible to know what the initial preference votes were for viable candidates in this precinct, nor how voters changed between initial preference and reallocated preference.

Issues with state delegate equivalents
The Decision Desk also said it found allocations of “state delegate equivalents” — the caucuses’ most important prize for candidates — that are hard to reconcile with the other data being reported out of the precinct.

Iowa Democratic caucus results are not actual votes cast. The percentages received by candidates, based on returns of the estimated number of state convention delegates won by each candidate through the caucus process, are known as state delegate equivalents, or SDEs.

Because the 41 elected delegates that Iowa is sending to the Democratic National Convention are elected by the state delegates selected by the Iowa caucus results, issues with the SDEs are potentially more consequential in terms of the overall Democratic nomination for president.

Under the rules, candidates should not receive SDEs if they have less than 15 percent of support in the reallocated preference vote.

Despite that, the Decision Desk said it found at least 15 precincts where a candidate received SDEs, despite being below the 15 percent threshold.

In all but the smallest precincts, the rules state that the viability threshold is determined by multiplying the number of voters by 0.15 and rounding up to the nearest whole number. However, it appears that the viability threshold was calculated by rounding down in several precincts Monday night.

No single candidate seems to have benefited disproportionately from this misapplication of the rules. There were at least six instances where Sanders benefited, four favoring Buttigieg, two for former Vice President Joe Biden, one for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and one for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

An example of this is in the City of New Hampton Ward Three precinct in Chickasaw County. Forty-two voters participated, meaning that a candidate would need seven votes or more to be above the 15 percent threshold. In the reallocated preference, however, Sanders received only six votes, or 14.29 percent. Despite receiving below 15 percent in the reallocated vote in the precinct, Sanders received 0.1 SDEs from the precinct — when he should have received none.

NBC News has reached out to the Iowa Democratic Party about these potential errors and inconsistencies and has not received a response.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said that, “Throughout the collection of records of results, the IDP identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors.”

February 7, 2020. Tags: , . Politics. Leave a comment.

Fatal DWI suspect bragged about bail reform: ‘I’ll be out tomorrow’

https://nypost.com/2020/01/30/fatal-dwi-suspect-bragged-about-bail-reform-ill-be-out-tomorrow/

Fatal DWI suspect bragged about bail reform: ‘I’ll be out tomorrow’

January 30, 2020

A Long Island man arrested after a fatal drunken wreck Jan. 12 bragged to cops, “The laws changed, I’ll be out tomorrow,” thanks to new bail reform measures, prosecutors said Thursday.

Jordan Randolph, 40, who did walk free the next day, also told cops the deadly crash was “just a DWI.”

Details of the boozy bust were revealed Thursday as Randolph was hit with a 24-count indictment for vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide and a slew of other charges in the crash that killed 27-year-old Jonathan Flores-Maldonado.

“As Jonathan Flores was left taking his last breaths and dying, this defendant was hurling expletives at both officers and EMTs who were trying to render him aid,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Jacob DeLauter said during Randolph’s arraignment.

“At one point, the defendant completely trivialized this deadly collision by stating to police, ‘F–k you, January 1st the laws changed. I’ll be out tomorrow and I will come find you,’” DeLauter said. “He also stated to an EMT that when he gets out, he’ll come find her.”

DeLauter said Randolph, who has three prior DWI convictions, was driving at “more than 135 miles per hour” prior to the deadly crash, and that it took several officers to subdue the hulking suspect.

Randolph had been free without bail for weeks before the Jan. 12 crash — despite an earlier arrest in Suffolk on Jan. 1 and a parole violation in Nassau County on which he was supposed to plead guilty months earlier.

And yet he walked free again after the fatal wreck.

That’s because the new law prohibits judges from setting bail on most misdemeanors and many nonviolent felonies — including drunken driving.

“My son became a body count,” Flores-Maldonado’s mother, Lillian Flores, railed outside the Suffolk courtroom Thursday after Randolph pleaded not guilty to the indictment.

“I’m here to advocate for my son and for any other victims that are subject to the injustices of these new laws,” she said. “My name is Lillian Flores. My son is Jonathan Flores-Maldonado, and he was the one that was mowed down on the damned highway.”

Under the new bail laws, Randolph could not be held after the crash because Suffolk prosecutors only charged him with drunken driving and not with Flores-Maldonado’s death.

Extensive media coverage of the case prompted Nassau County Judge William O’Brien, who was presiding over the parole violation in that county, to order Randolph arrested and jailed.

On Thursday, Suffolk County Judge Fernando Camacho ordered him held without bail on the indictment.

February 6, 2020. Tags: , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

Baltimore County puts its “recycled” glass into a landfill

https://reason.com/2020/02/03/baltimore-county-admits-it-hasnt-been-recycling-glass-for-7-years-it-still-encourages-residents-to-recycle-glass/

Baltimore County Admits It Hasn’t Been Recycling Glass for 7 Years. It Still Encourages Residents to Recycle Glass.

When ritual is more important than reuse

February 3, 2020

Baltimore County residents’ have had their perceptions about where their glass ends up shattered.

Over the weekend, news broke that the county—which does not include the City of Baltimore—has not been recycling the glass it’s been collecting as part of its recycling program. For the past seven years, the jars and bottles that residents dutifully placed in their blue bins have been being junked instead.

“There are numerous issues with glass recycling, including increased presence of shredded paper in recycling streams which contaminates materials and is difficult to separate from broken glass fragments, in addition to other limitations on providing quality material,” county spokesperson Sean Naron told The Baltimore Sun.

Glass recycling reportedly stopped in 2013, the same year the county opened a $23 million single-stream recycling facility, according to the Sun article.

Single-stream recycling refers to the practice of letting people put all their recyclables into one bin, then sorting it at material processing facilities, rather than have people sort their papers, plastics, and glass into separate containers at the curb.

Baltimore County had adopted single-streaming for all homes by October 2010, part of a growing trend among municipalities trying to boost recycling rates. The thinking was that if you make recycling easier, more people will do it.

A study from the American Forest & Paper Association found the percent of the population covered by a single-stream recycling service that included glass grew from 22 percent in 2005 to 73 percent in 2014.

The trouble with single-streaming is that placing everything in the same bin increases the chances of contamination. Non-compatible materials get mixed together or coated with food waste. So a good deal of the glass isn’t pure enough to ground down and be shipped to glass manufacturers.

Chemical & Engineering News notes that only 40 percent of glass collected by single-stream recycling services ends up being recycled into new products, compared to 90 percent of glass in multi-stream collection systems.

The same article notes that the cost of transporting heavy glass from recycling centers to glass manufacturers is often prohibitively high, meaning it’s often more economical to just make glass out of new materials.

Regardless of the material in question, the American recycling industry has been going through a crisis over the last several years. Rising rates of contamination and the effective closure of a major export market in China, which stopped accepting most American plastic, have left material processing facilities with no willing buyers. Many of the recyclables that are collected therefore end up in landfills or incinerators.

And that’s what’s been happening to Baltimore County’s glass. Yet county officials are wary about telling people to stop recycling the stuff, according to the Sun. People, they fear, will fall out of the recycling habit. Ritual is apparently more important than actual reuse.

February 6, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Elizabeth Warren makes global warming and income inequality worse by riding on private jet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkPi-6qf0sk

 

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/class-warrior-warren-on-video-stepping-off-private-plane-in-des-moines

Class-warrior Warren on video stepping off private plane in Des Moines

February 4, 2020

A video provided to Fox News by a source shows Elizabeth Warren, whose Democratic presidential campaign has made railing against the “rich and powerful” a central theme, stepping off a private jet in Iowa Monday night. The Massachusetts senator was returning to the state after spending Monday in Washington, D.C., for the closing arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

At one point in the video, Warren seems to walk behind a staffer after apparently noticing the camera filming her in Des Moines.

Warren and her competitor for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have both used private planes to go back and forth between the nation’s capital and Iowa during the impeachment trial.

Warren, who funds her trips with campaign cash, tweeted as recently as last Thursday about Trump administration officials using private aviation on the taxpayer’s dime. She specifically referenced former Trump Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who still owes the U.S. government over $300,000 in travel expenses, according to an Inspector General report.

Between June and September, Warren paid over $150,000 to “Advanced Aviation,” a private jet charter service, according to FEC filings. Last week the Washington Examiner reported she had spent over $700,000 total on private aviation.

Warren, Sanders and the rest of the Democratic field still don’t know who won the Iowa caucuses after issues accurately reporting the vote total from the state. The Iowa Democratic Party had said that its backup systems worked even after the app it was using to report vote tallies failed, and that it should be able to release the majority of Monday’s results by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.

February 6, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Iowa Caucus Results Riddled With Errors and Inconsistencies

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/upshot/iowa-caucuses-errors-results.html

Iowa Caucus Results Riddled With Errors and Inconsistencies

The mistakes do not appear intentional, but they raise questions about whether there will ever be a completely precise accounting.

February 6, 2020

Results from the Iowa Democratic caucuses were delayed by “quality control checks” on Monday night. Days later, quality control issues have not been resolved.

The results released by the Iowa Democratic Party on Wednesday were riddled with inconsistencies and other flaws. According to a New York Times analysis, more than 100 precincts reported results that were internally inconsistent, that were missing data or that were not possible under the complex rules of the Iowa caucuses.

In some cases, vote tallies do not add up. In others, precincts are shown allotting the wrong number of delegates to certain candidates. And in at least a few cases, the Iowa Democratic Party’s reported results do not match those reported by the precincts.

Some of these inconsistencies may prove to be innocuous, and they do not indicate an intentional effort to compromise or rig the result. There is no apparent bias in favor of the leaders Pete Buttigieg or Bernie Sanders, meaning the overall effect on the winner’s margin may be small.

But not all of the errors are minor, and they raise questions about whether the public will ever get a completely precise account of the Iowa results. With Mr. Sanders closing to within 0.1 percentage points with 97 percent of 1,765 precincts reporting, the race could easily grow close enough for even the most minor errors to delay a final projection or raise doubts about a declared winner.

The errors suggest that many Iowa caucus leaders struggled to follow the rules of their party’s caucuses, or to adopt the additional reporting requirements introduced since 2016. They show that the Iowa Democratic Party, despite the long delays, failed to validate all of the results fully before releasing them to the public.

Mandy McClure, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party (I.D.P.), said the party reported the data as provided to it by the precinct caucuses.

“The caucus math work sheet is the official report on caucus night to the I.D.P., and the I.D.P. reports the results as delivered by the precinct chair,” she said. “This form must be signed by the caucus chair, the caucus secretary and representatives from each campaign in the room who attest to its accuracy. Under the rules of the delegate selection process, delegates are awarded based off the record of results as provided by each precinct caucus chair.”

Just about every election night includes reporting errors. They can be difficult to identify, but can often be corrected during a recount or a postelection canvass. This year’s Iowa caucuses are the reverse: Errors are now easy to identify, and hard to correct.

The errors are detectable because of changes to the way the Iowa Democratic Party reports its results, put in place after the Sanders campaign criticized the caucus results in 2016. This cycle, and for the first time, the party released three sets of results corresponding to different steps in the caucus process. The rules are complex and thorough, and they create conditions in which the results can be obviously inaccurate or inconsistent within a precinct.

First, caucusgoers express their preference for a candidate upon arrival, and these votes are recorded in a “first alignment.” Then, candidates with limited support at a precinct, usually less than 15 percent, are deemed not viable; their supporters get a chance to realign to support a viable candidate. The preference at this point is recorded as well, and it’s called the final alignment.

Viable candidates can’t lose support on realignment, but there were more than 10 cases where a viable candidate lost vote share in the final alignment, even though that is precluded by the caucus rules.

No new voters are permitted to join the caucus after the first alignment. But in at least 70 precincts, more than 4 percent of the total, there are more tabulated total votes on final alignment than on first alignment.

Many of these cases could be simple tabulation mistakes in a precinct caucus that otherwise went smoothly, like a West Des Moines precinct that reported the first alignment results only for the “nonviable” candidates (those who didn’t meet the 15 percent threshold) but still reported final alignment results for the viable ones. Others appear to be more serious.

At the next step in the process, each precinct allots county delegates based on final preference, and these county delegates are reported to the news media as “state delegate equivalents,” which approximate the number of delegates won at the state convention. Each precinct caucus gets a set number, but a handful of precincts allotted more state delegate equivalents than they had available.

Notably, there are dozens of precincts where there is a discrepancy between the final preference vote and the number of state delegate equivalents allotted. This includes more than 15 cases in which a candidate received fewer state delegate equivalents than another despite receiving more votes in the final alignment.

In these cases, it is not obvious whether the state delegates or the final alignment results were reported inaccurately.

The Iowa Democratic Party has corrected some errors, but the errors became far more frequent on Wednesday as the count dragged on.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Iowa Democratic Party released a wave of results showing Deval Patrick sweeping central Des Moines. That was incorrect. Mr. Sanders’s votes had been reported as being for Mr. Patrick, while Elizabeth Warren’s tallies went to Tom Steyer.

A plausible explanation is that an Iowa Democratic Party staff member accidentally copied the results of one column too far to the left in a spreadsheet for some precincts. Such errors inevitably occur in manual data entry, but the Iowa Democratic Party does not appear to have enough quality checks to assure that it reports accurate results.

The Iowa Democratic Party quickly corrected these errors, and they are not included in our overall count of discrepancies in more than 100 precincts. The party has not yet addressed other irregularities reported to it or circulating on social media. In another case, The Times alerted the party to an error at 6 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday that remained in the data released several hours later.

The Times is continuing to report the Iowa Democratic caucus results as released by the party and has alerted the party to an extensive list of precinct errors.

There is no reason to believe that Mr. Sanders or Mr. Buttigieg did materially better in the contaminated precincts than they did elsewhere, either over all or controlling for their demographic characteristics. But the tabulated result could be close enough for the remaining ambiguity to preclude a projection of a winner.

Even if the appropriate candidate is deemed the winner, the irregularities in the results are likely to do little to restore public confidence in the Iowa caucuses.

The Times is continuing to report the Iowa Democratic caucus results as released by the party and has alerted the party to an extensive list of precinct errors.

There is no reason to believe that Mr. Sanders or Mr. Buttigieg did materially better in the contaminated precincts than they did elsewhere, either over all or controlling for their demographic characteristics. But the tabulated result could be close enough for the remaining ambiguity to preclude a projection of a winner.

Even if the appropriate candidate is deemed the winner, the irregularities in the results are likely to do little to restore public confidence in the Iowa caucuses.

February 6, 2020. Tags: , . Politics. Leave a comment.

Perfect Club Engineering – Iowa Democrats Release Partial Results – Buttigieg Lead, Bernie Screwed, Biden Covered…

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/02/04/perfect-club-engineering-iowa-democrats-release-partial-results-buttigieg-lead-bernie-screwed-biden-covered/

Perfect Club Engineering – Iowa Democrats Release Partial Results – Buttigieg Lead, Bernie Screwed, Biden Covered…

February 4, 2020

A key point of reference is ABC reporter Kendall Karson revealing the DNC came in and took over the tabulations of the Iowa Caucus result prior to this release. “One Democratic official I spoke to is being told that the DNC is “taking over” the accounting of results. The official said this that to their knowledge, this has never happened before.”

This is important because it highlights that The Club decided what partial results, from what locations, showing what outcomes, the Club wants to put forth.  Put another way, the DNC is releasing a specific 62% of the result to generate a specific Iowa narrative.

So what did they release:

Again, notice how all Club needs are met with this release.

Pete Buttigieg is proclaimed the winner (so far). This is narrative engineering that allows the promotion of Buttigieg and the diminishment of Bernie.  Undermining Bernie is the paramount Club goal here.  Buttigieg did not win the popular vote, and he will not likely be the final winner, but selecting this specific sub-set of votes allows a narrative to cement.

Next, notice how Joe Biden is propped up above the 15 percent threshold.  This makes it appear that Biden will receive delegates.  He may or may not; but for the narrative, propping up Biden is again a necessary club objective.

The dynamic to watch how Biden -vs- Sanders is played out and controlled.  The Club needs to diminish Bernie and hide the collapse of Biden.   The framework is to create a viable “Never Sanders” alternative?

Stunningly MSNBC’s John Heilemann outlines the media awareness of the dynamic.

 

February 4, 2020. Tags: , . Politics. Leave a comment.

The DNC’s Move to Accommodate Bloomberg Stirs Outrage in Iowa

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/dnc-bloomberg-michael-moore/

The DNC’s Move to Accommodate Bloomberg Stirs Outrage in Iowa

Candidates, members of Congress, and activists are outraged over debate rule changes that bow to a billionaire.

February 2, 2020

Grinnell, Iowa—Michael Moore could barely contain his fury.

After the Democratic National Committee signaled Friday that it would abandon a grassroots-funding requirement that ensured candidates had to prove their appeal by attracting tens of thousands of small donations, Moore told a crowd of 2,500 that had packed into a cavernous concert hall near Des Moines, “You had to show you had a certain number of Americans that would give you a buck, that’s all the rule said, to show you have support. And that’s how they determine who would be on the debate stage. Today they removed that rule because [of] Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire, the Republican Mayor of New York City.”

As Moore described the rule change, his rage was echoed by the crowd, which booed the DNC and cheered the filmmaker’s stark assessment of the party’s motivation.

He doesn’t have to show he has any support among the American people, he can just buy his way onto the debate stage, and I’m going to tell you what’s so disgusting about this.

I watched the debate in Iowa here two weeks ago—the all-white debate—and the fact [is] that the Democratic, the DNC will not allow Cory Booker on that stage, will not allow Julian Castro on that stage, but they are going to allow Mike Bloomberg on the stage? Because he has a billion fucking dollars!

A roar of progressive populist outrage shook the venue.

Moore’s been an enthusiastic surrogate for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Iowa, where Monday’s caucuses officially launch the race for delegates to nominate the party’s 2020 candidate. Since the news broke Friday, there has been widespread objection to the rule changes, which will allow candidates to gain a place on the stage of the February 19 debate in Nevada by registering at least 10 percent support in four qualifying national, Nevada, or South Carolina polls—or 12 percent in a pair of qualifying polls from the two states. They can also qualify if they win convention delegates with a good finish in Monday’s Iowa caucuses or the February 11 New Hampshire primary.

But the requirement that candidates show an ability to raise significant amounts of money from small donors—which DNC chair Tom Perez once defended by saying, “You can’t win the presidency in the modern era if you can’t build relationships with the grassroots”—are being scrapped.

The DNC now says it has better measures, in the form of polls and caucus and primary results. But Bloomberg has declined to campaign in Iowa and other states where the process begins. Instead, he is spending heavily—almost $200 million by the end of 2019 and much more since then—on a national advertising campaign (including a $10 million Super Bowl ad) that aims at upping his poll numbers in time for later contests in delegate-rich states. Bloomberg’s numbers are rising, and there is mounting speculation that with the rule change he will make it into the Nevada debate.

No one wants to exclude Bloomberg from the debates. In fact, there has been real concern about the lack of scrutiny faced by the wealthiest candidate. While other contenders have been required to prove themselves as policy-makers, fundraisers, and grassroots campaigners, Bloomberg has been able to surf a free-spending broadcast, cable, and digital media campaign into contention.

There are plenty of Democrats who want to see whether Bloomberg can manage on a debate stage—and plenty who suggest he would have a hard time holding his own in fall debates with Republican Donald Trump, who has already begun to refer to Bloomberg as “Mini Mike.” But there is anger at the prospect that Bloomberg could get on the debate stage without playing by the rules that others—including another wealthy self-funding candidate, Tom Steyer—struggled to follow.

“The DNC didn’t change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage,” declared Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who like Sanders has been a stark critic of the influence of big money on politics. “They shouldn’t change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldn’t be allowed to play by different rules—on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government.”

Former housing secretary Julián Castro, a candidate who dropped out and is now backing Warren, noted, “When [New Jersey Senator] Cory Booker led an effort to change the debate thresholds, the DNC refused—saying they couldn’t benefit any candidate. It seems the only candidate they’re willing to benefit is a billionaire who’s buying his way into the race. Total mess.”

In a race that began with the most diverse field in American history, candidates who embodied that diversity, including Castro and Booker, have now left the competition—leading to complaints that debate rules were creating an “all-white” competition. But the DNC has refused to bend in the face of demands for a loosening of the rules—or to calls by grassroots groups for issue-focused debates on the climate crisis and poverty.

On Friday, the Sunrise Movement mocked the DNC in a tweet that read:

DNC Chair @TomPerez: we will never change the rules of the debates, not for a #ClimateDebate, not for a #PovertyDebate, not for anything.@MikeBloomberg: I’m a billionaire

Tom Perez:https://t.co/Kvk8I61dKO pic.twitter.com/Kq3GKtHne0

—Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) January 31, 2020

Frustration with the DNC’s move has been a feature of discussions on the campaign trail in Iowa. At a stop in Ankeny, where she spoke for Sanders, Congressional Progressive Caucus cochair Pramila Jayapal answered questions about the rule change in blunt terms. “There were ways to adjust the debate rules when you realized black and Latino candidates were being excluded, but they refused to do that,” she said. “They didn’t adjust the rules until Bloomberg.”

Iowans have had a front-row seat for a long campaign, and there is heightened sensitivity to moves that change the rules after the contest has begun.

Jade McMahon, a 19-year-old political science student at Grinnell College, was sitting at Grinnell’s Saints Rest coffeehouse, which has been packed for appearances by the candidates—including Sanders on Saturday and Booker when he was still running. “They made a rule change for the rich white guy but not the black guy,” she said. “It’s against what should be Democratic Party values to prioritize the sheer amount of money that a person has over the amount of people they have following them—especially when a candidate has attracted a lot of working-class support.”

Another Grinnell student, Eli Calalang-LaCroix, said, “This is what they have done again and again and again for years and years.”

“It exposes the DNC for how they operate,” said the 20-year-old, who will caucus for Sanders. “I think it’s reprehensible. But I think it can only help Bernie.” Why? Calalang-LaCroix is betting that the candidate who has challenged the power of the billionaire class will do well in a debate with a billionaire who bought his way into the competition.

February 4, 2020. Tags: , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

DNC Debate Rules Forced Diversity Out of the Democratic Presidential Race – and Then They Changed the Rules for a Really Rich White Man

https://www.theroot.com/dnc-debate-rules-forced-diversity-out-of-the-democratic-1841432496

DNC Debate Rules Forced Diversity Out of the Democratic Presidential Race – and Then They Changed the Rules for a Really Rich White Man

February 3, 2020

When the race for president began with Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, it was hailed as the most diverse Democratic presidential field in history. By the end of January, damn near every candidate of color had withdrawn from the race. And all of them could cite one culprit as the reason for their withdrawal: the stringent and unwavering debate rules of the Democratic National Committee.

“In the seven months since they were first announced, the standards—a combination of increasingly higher polling and fundraising thresholds—have upended various campaigns’ tactics and become the proximate cause of multiple withdrawals from the race,” is how Politico described it.

And then former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg entered the race.

Bloomberg is an American businessman who has more money than God and, as such, he’s been able to fund his entire campaign himself. And because Bloomberg is rich and was blessed with the complexion of lightly cooked but still raw chicken, “The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that there will be no donor threshold for its upcoming Nevada debate (Feb. 22),” opening an avenue for Bloomberg to participate.

You know who could’ve used this kind of rule-bending? Kamala Harris. Cory Booker. Julián Castro. All of these viable candidates of color running for president could have benefited from a rule change, but the DNC wasn’t playing rule-breaker for them.

February 4, 2020. Tags: , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

As our planet gets greener, plants are slowing global warming

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-planet-greener-global.html

As our planet gets greener, plants are slowing global warming

January 31, 2020

Chi Chen, a Boston University graduate researcher, and Ranga Myneni, a BU College of Arts & Sciences professor of earth and environment, released a new paper that reveals how humans are helping to increase the Earth’s plant and tree cover, which absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and cools our planet. The boom of vegetation, fueled by greenhouse gas emissions, could be skewing our perception of how fast we’re warming the planet.

Taking a closer look at 250 scientific studies, land-monitoring satellite data, climate and environmental models, and field observations, a team of Boston University researchers and international collaborators have illuminated several causes and consequences of a global increase in vegetation growth, an effect called greening.

In a new study, published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, the researchers report that climate-altering carbon emissions and intensive land use have inadvertently greened half of the Earth’s vegetated lands. And while that sounds like it may be a good thing, this phenomenal rate of greening, together with global warming, sea-level rise, and sea-ice decline, represents highly credible evidence that human industry and activity is dramatically impacting the Earth’s climate, say the study’s first authors, Shilong Piao and Xuhui Wang of Peking University.

Green leaves convert sunlight to sugars while replacing carbon dioxide in the air with oxygen, which cools the Earth’s surface. The reasons for greening vary around the world, but often involve intensive use of land for farming, large-scale planting of trees, a warmer and wetter climate in northern regions, natural reforestation of abandoned lands, and recovery from past disturbances.

And the chief cause of global greening we’re experiencing? It seems to be that rising carbon dioxide emissions are providing more and more fertilizer for plants, the researchers say. As a result, the boom of global greening since the early 1980s may have slowed the rate of global warming, the researchers say, possibly by as much as 0.2 to 0.25 degrees Celsius.

“It is ironic that the very same carbon emissions responsible for harmful changes to climate are also fertilizing plant growth, which in turn is somewhat moderating global warming,” says study coauthor Dr. Jarle Bjerke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

Boston University researchers previously discovered that, based on near-daily NASA and NOAA satellite imaging observations since the early 1980s, vast expanses of the Earth’s vegetated lands from the Arctic to the temperate latitudes have gotten markedly more green.

“Notably, the NASA [satellite data] observed pronounced greening during the 21st century in the world’s most populous and still-developing countries, China and India,” says Ranga Myneni, the new study’s senior author.

Even regions far, far removed from human reach have not escaped the global warming and greening trends. “Svalbard in the high-arctic, for example, has seen a 30 percent increase in greenness [in addition to] an increase in [summer temperatures] from 2.9 to 4.7 degrees Celcius between 1986 and 2015,” says study coauthor Rama Nemani of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

Over the last 40 years, carbon emissions from fossil fuel use and tropical deforestation have added 160 parts per million (ppm), a unit of measure for air pollutants, of CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere. About 40 ppm of that has diffused passively into the oceans and another 50 ppm has been actively taken up by plants, the researchers say. But 70 ppm remains in the atmosphere, and together with other greenhouse gases, is responsible the land warming patterns that have been observed since the 1980s.

“Plants are actively defending against the dangers of carbon pollution by not only sequestering carbon on land but also by wetting the atmosphere through transpiration of ground water and evaporation of precipitation intercepted by their bodies,” says study coauthor Philippe Ciais, of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. “Stopping deforestation and sustainable, ecologically sensible afforestation could be one of the simplest and cost-effective, though not sufficient, defenses against climate change,” he adds.

It is not easy to accurately estimate the cooling benefit from global greening because of the complex interconnected nature of the climate system, the researchers say. “This unintended benefit of global greening, and its potential transitory nature, suggests how much more daunting, and urgent, is the stated goal of keeping global warming to below 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius, especially given the trajectory of carbon emissions and history of inaction during the past decades,” says study coauthor Hans Tømmervik of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway.

February 2, 2020. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Next Page »