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Saturday open thread for night owls: Poor People's Campaign focuses on the ballot box

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II and Dr Liz Theoharis at The Guardian write—The war on poverty begins at the ballot box: [...] The weight of poverty lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who lack the will and political courage to truly eradicat
Daily Kos

Saturday open thread for night owls: Poor People's Campaign focuses on the ballot box

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II and Dr Liz Theoharis at The Guardian write—The war on poverty begins at the ballot box: [...] The weight of poverty lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who lack the will and political courage to truly eradicate poverty despite abundant resources to do so. If we are to truly wage a war on poverty, we must start by mobilizing and registering poor and disenfranchised voters who have been left out of the process for far too long. Earlier this year, the Poor People’s Campaign waged the most expansive wave of non-violent civil disobedience in history, calling attention to the systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation plaguing the nation. We marched on state houses and Capitol Hill, risking arrest to lift up the voices of people directly affected by these issues. Now, with the midterms in sight, we’re deepening our organizing efforts with an eye toward registering and mobilizing poor voters and building moral knowledge and political power in our communities from the bottom up. We plan on executing massive voter registration efforts in addition to a series of town halls aimed at highlighting the true face of poverty in the US. We believe by empowering often forgotten communities and driving those voters to the polls, the poor and disenfranchised can be a game changer in this election and the years to come. The Poor People’s Campaign has built organizing committees in 40 states, including in every state of the former Confederacy, which will form the backbone of this next phase of our campaign. Those committees are composed of poor people, clergy and advocates who will recruit new leaders in each state to engage tens of thousands of poor and low-income people around the issues that affect their lives.[...] TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES TWEET OF THE DAY xI have a soul-deep belief that women will continue to rise. I see it in my mother, my sisters, my nieces.I see it in the women I have helped elect, in the business leaders whose work I have invested in & supported. And I see it for Georgia.https://t.co/Q2xi5MZUL4 #gapol— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) September 22, 2018 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2002—Difficulties of urban warfare: Military planners continue to shudder at the thought of a street-to-street battle in Baghdad. The US is working on new small-unit tactics to counter the urban defender's natural advantages, but those new tactics are still not ready for primetime: The Marines put some of their ideas to the test in a recent exercise on a shuttered Air Force base in southern California. In it, a battalion of 1,100 troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, tried to capture base housing from a simulated enemy force, played by 200 eager reservists. A hundred «extras» were hired from a temp agency to play civilian refugees. In taking the city, about 100 of the attackers were killed — about 10 percent losses, a huge number compared with recent American military deaths in single battles. Several helicopters also went down before the Marines captured the town, and more were killed as the defending forces began using truck bombs and other guerrilla activities, Sullivan said. And remember that in an urban center, US air power means little. It is difficult to call in air strikes on roving bands of urban defenders. Helicopter gunships are vulnerable to rocket propelled grenades. And as Grozny taught us, defenders can just as easily fire from behind rubble as from standing buildings. Once again, given the weakness of Bush's case against Hussein, are we really willing to risk hundreds, if not thousands, of US casualties? Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

New app will allow Hawaii students to anonymously report bullying

Bullying is still a problem in America’s schools and its impact on a student’s education and well-being must be taken seriously. After a federal investigation that revealed widespread bullying, the Hawaii Department of Education is taking measures to cu
Daily Kos

New app will allow Hawaii students to anonymously report bullying

Bullying is still a problem in America’s schools and its impact on a student’s education and well-being must be taken seriously. After a federal investigation that revealed widespread bullying, the Hawaii Department of Education is taking measures to curb it. The latest effort will come in the form of an app that will allow students to report bullying anonymously. They announced that it will be released in the near future. Earlier this year, a report revealed that one in three public school students in Hawaii faced bullying and the results are disturbing. The statewide bullying survey, conducted during the 2014-15 school year, included nearly 70,000 Hawaii students. It found: Nearly 40 percent of students said incidents of bullying they'd experienced or witnessed made them feel unsafe at school. The majority of students who reported being bullied at school said that they were harassed based on race, national origin, sex or because of a disability.   More than half of bullying incidents were reported to a teacher or other school employee. Schools took no action to stop the bullying in 15 percent of cases. And over half of students who said they reported bullying or harassment were victimized again after the initial incident. Hawaii’s Education Department has had a busy year in its attempts to curtail bullying. It’s hired more compliance officers and rolled out trainings to encourage students to report any incidents.

'This is what the future looks like': Dolores Huerta talks activism and celebrating women of color

The name and story of Dolores Huerta should be taught in every school across America. A civil rights activist and labor leader for more than 50 years, Huerta has dedicated her entire life to equal justice for workers, immigrants, women, and people of color. S
Daily Kos

'This is what the future looks like': Dolores Huerta talks activism and celebrating women of color

The name and story of Dolores Huerta should be taught in every school across America. A civil rights activist and labor leader for more than 50 years, Huerta has dedicated her entire life to equal justice for workers, immigrants, women, and people of color. She is most known for her work with César Chávez as a co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the labor union known as the United Farm Workers (UFW). Even those that aren’t familiar with her work and activism have most likely heard her famous phrase, “Sí se puede! (Yes, we can!),” which was the motto of the UFW, has been used in countless social justice campaigns over the years, and was the slogan of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.  At 88 years old, Huerta remains just as engaged in social justice work as she was in the 1960s and shows no signs of slowing down. Through her foundation, she advocates for equity in education, civic engagement, youth development, and LGBTQ rights. She has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump and a supporter of recent social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March. She has much to say about how we teach the history of the labor movement in schools and the need for current movements to come together and stand as one.   I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Huerta at She the People, a summit in San Francisco dedicated to celebrating the leadership and activism of women of color and recognizing the ways they are transforming American society and political life. In our conversation, she expressed an urgency around the organizing and political work that need to be done, but also hope and optimism about what’s next and the opportunities that lie ahead. “To think that so many of these movements are being led by women … and women of color … I think that’s very exciting! And I think that the next march on Washington should be all of our movements together.” Watch what Huerta had to say about what keeps her going in today’s political climate, the advice she has for young people today, and what excites her about different social justice movements coming together. She also gave some love to Daily Kos, saying that she loves and appreciates it for keeping people informed about what’s happening! x x YouTube Video And to hear Huerta’s speech at She the People, click here.  Click here to celebrate the leadership of women in politics and contribute to the incredible array of Democratic women candidates running in races across the country!

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—avoid these mistakes

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow N
Daily Kos

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—avoid these mistakes

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. When this series first began, I ran a companion series “AARGH” about campaign mistakes. While we haven’t done an AARGH piece in a while, some of the advice within those diaries—about campaign mistakes—remains important and this week, we’re going to cover a few of the things that your small campaign needs to avoid in order to be successful. Mistakes during a campaign will happen, but keeping them small or minimizing the damage they can do is important. No campaign is flawless—we are all humans. But making sure minor problems don’t become big ones? That is one of the big keys that make a good campaign different than a bad campaign.

Senate panel & lawyers for Dr. Ford tentatively agree she'll testify about Kavanaugh Thursday

The New York Times reports that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will, tentatively, testify Thursday about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape her when they were teenagers: The Senate Judiciary Committee and lawyers for the woman wh
Daily Kos

Senate panel & lawyers for Dr. Ford tentatively agree she'll testify about Kavanaugh Thursday

The New York Times reports that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will, tentatively, testify Thursday about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape her when they were teenagers: The Senate Judiciary Committee and lawyers for the woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers reached a tentative agreement on Saturday for her to publicly testify on Thursday, an apparent breakthrough in halting negotiations. After a brief call late on Saturday, the lawyers and aides to Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, planned to talk again Sunday morning to continue negotiations over the conditions of the testimony, according to three people familiar with the call. Aides to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, were also involved. You can bet that the 12 white male senators that make up the entire Republican cohort on the Judiciary Committee have already planned how to undermine Dr. Ford with attacks on her character. It is, as feminists have said for decades, a standard approach.  In the wake of Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when she worked for him, Judith Lewis Herman wrote the book “Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror.” There she lays out what that standard approach is: “In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.”             

Canada looks at nationwide ban on handguns and assault weapons

This post was written and reported by contributor Bryant Telfer through our new Daily Kos freelance program. After a particularly dangerous summer of gun violence in Canada and two mass shootings sparking public outcry, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has d
Daily Kos

Canada looks at nationwide ban on handguns and assault weapons

This post was written and reported by contributor Bryant Telfer through our new Daily Kos freelance program. After a particularly dangerous summer of gun violence in Canada and two mass shootings sparking public outcry, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done something that would perhaps be unthinkable in America: he’s called on government officials to examine the impact of a full ban on handguns and assault weapons. Shootings in Toronto and Fredericton have been a flashpoint for an already growing urgency about the gun debate. On July 22, two people were killed and eight others wounded after a gunman fired into restaurants and patios packed with evening patrons on one of Toronto’s busiest streets. On Aug. 10, four people, including two police officers, were shot to death in an apartment complex by another resident for yet unknown reasons. The percentage of crimes involving handguns has grown by 30 percent over the past four years in Canada. In addition, a Canadian Press report this summer stated that more than 40 percent of weapons used in crimes in Canada are of domestic origin, bought by straw purchasers who are legally licensed and then sell the weapons illegally to others. That report has come under fire recently, as Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials failed to locate records to support the stated rise in domestically-sourced firearms in either their Ottawa or Edmonton archives, and Toronto Police officials released information that stated only 9 percent of weapons seized in 2017 originated in Canada. While an all-out ban on handguns and assault weapons is broadly supported by the majority of Canadians, it faces entrenched opposition from a number of groups and communities across the country, with the strongest divide along rural-urban lines.

This week in the war on workers: Nope, the Republican tax scam isn't helping workers

Not that we needed much more evidence to show what a scam the Republican “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was, but the evidence doesn’t care—it just keeps coming. The $0.03 per hour (inflation-adjusted) bump in bonuses between the fourth quarter of 2018 [sic
Daily Kos

This week in the war on workers: Nope, the Republican tax scam isn't helping workers

Not that we needed much more evidence to show what a scam the Republican “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was, but the evidence doesn’t care—it just keeps coming. The $0.03 per hour (inflation-adjusted) bump in bonuses between the fourth quarter of 2018 [sic] and the second quarter of 2018 is very small and not necessarily attributable to the tax cuts rather than employer efforts to recruit workers in a continued low unemployment environment. [...] The $0.03 increase in inflation-adjusted bonuses per hour over the last two quarters came as W-2 wages (defined as direct wages plus wages for paid leave and supplementary pay) actually fell $0.25 and overall compensation rose just $0.07. Looking over the last year we see a rise in bonuses of $0.09 per hour accounting for nearly all of the very small increase in W-2 wages of $0.12 while overall compensation did not grow at all. So Republicans are looking for a do-over. But of course, they don’t want to do it over to make changes that benefit working people, they want to do it over to double down.

Candidate who could be 1st Native woman in Congress will 'speak up for the folks who have struggled'

If you haven’t heard of Deb Haaland, you might just be living under a rock, and we welcome you back to the sunshine. She, alongside Sharice Davids of Kansas, could very well become the first Native American women ever elected to Congress in November. Th
Daily Kos

Candidate who could be 1st Native woman in Congress will 'speak up for the folks who have struggled'

If you haven’t heard of Deb Haaland, you might just be living under a rock, and we welcome you back to the sunshine. She, alongside Sharice Davids of Kansas, could very well become the first Native American women ever elected to Congress in November. The New Mexico attorney and former state Democratic Party chair has long been fighting to advance progressive values—both in and out of the Native community. At the first-ever She the People Summit in San Francisco, a unique convening of women of color who are determined to transform political representation as we know it, Haaland took a few minutes to chat with Daily Kos guest reporter Iara Peng, former COO of Solidaire Network. It was an absolute honor to discuss Haaland’s bright future (and storied past) within the Democratic party, where the Pueblo of Laguna tribe member first got her start as a volunteer. As a single mother who has faced the realities of living paycheck to paycheck, Haaland is uniquely positioned to challenge the constant right-wing efforts to make life even harder for the bulk of Americans. In fact, those lived experiences are what make Haaland certain that she, and folks like her, are best qualified to shape our nation’s policies. “When I think about the folks who are in charge now making decisions—like kicking people off of their SNAP benefits and implementing work requirements for Medicaid—those are folks who have likely never had to struggle a day in their lives. We need someone to speak up for the folks who have struggled—who know what it’s like to apply for food stamps, and have to put groceries back at the checkout line because you don’t have enough money to pay for it, or struggle between paying your rent, or buying food. (W)e need more people like that to speak up.” Take three minutes to watch the full interview below, and you’ll find her as powerful as we did. x YouTube Video It’s beyond time for women to be involved in the leadership of this country. Click here to support our stunning slate of women candidates running across the country!

Spotlight on green news & views: Will Exxon ever be brought to justice? FL's 'Red Tide Rick'

This is the 573rd edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the September 8 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Daily Kos

Spotlight on green news & views: Will Exxon ever be brought to justice? FL's 'Red Tide Rick'

This is the 573rd edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the September 8 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it. OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES Now you see it. OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket - now you see it … “Saw this grasshopper yesterday late afternoon. I’ve seen others like it at this site, a dirt road by a field. They’ve either been parked on the ground or darting around looking like a butterfly — all colorful and flitty. This time it flitted its wings as if it was flying, but didn’t lift off. Not sure what that was about. But it gave me an opportunity to look at it more closely, and even identify it. It’s a Carolina grasshopper or locust, Dissosteira carolina. In spite of the name, this species is native to the whole US. These grasshoppers are quite large. Now you don’t. They eat grasses mostly, and are not considered bad crop pests. Typical habitat is weedy disturbed sites. While resting on the ground with wings folded the grasshopper is nearly invisible, exactly the color of the ground, a mix of dirt and dried grass. Wings open, it exposes not just its dark brown hind wings margined yellow with a pretty pattern in the corners, but brilliant metallic blue highlights on its thorax and abdomen. Completely obscured by the forewings at rest.” Desert Scientist writes—The Destruction of La Frontera: “I grew up along the border, La Frontera, and I spent over 50 years of my life there, living first in Arizona and then New Mexico, with occasional visits to southern Texas and California, as well as a number of forays into Mexico itself from the Mexican border states of Baja California Norte to Tamaulipas and further south. In some ways, although I was not born there, it is more my home than any place I have lived. Unfortunately it is being threatened by political maneuvering and drug wars and may never be the same. It was always a bit dangerous, but not as much so for many years as it has been in recent times. You have to go back to the days of Pancho Villa to get the same level of danger, at least from my impression. However I still love the area and its people and am very saddened by how immigrants, both legal and illegal, and the environment are now being treated.”

This Week In Space: Japan's asteroid success, Delta II goes home, and another weird space drive

BBC: Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sends probes to the surface of asteroid Ryugu On Friday, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe moved closer to the asteroid Ryugu and released two small probes to the surface. The miniscule gravity of the 1 kilometer asteroid means that the tw
Daily Kos

This Week In Space: Japan's asteroid success, Delta II goes home, and another weird space drive

BBC: Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sends probes to the surface of asteroid Ryugu On Friday, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe moved closer to the asteroid Ryugu and released two small probes to the surface. The miniscule gravity of the 1 kilometer asteroid means that the two “rovers” won’t roll across the surface, but will “hop” from place to place on stubby legs. The landers are now taking measurements and images of the surface while the main probe snaps shots from only a few hundred meters above. And the mission is far from over. Next week, Hayabusa will release another lander, called “Mascot” — a joint French and German device. And then three weeks later Hayabusa itself slowly land, collect samples, and lift off again. It will return these samples to Earth. Japan previously visited a different asteroid with the original Hayabusa probe, but this is the first any nation has managed to land rovers onto an asteroid. This is really a showcase mission — four different vehicles, conducting four landings on an asteroid, maneuvering around in very low gravity, and sample return. So far, Hayabusa 2 has been an amazing success. The probe will hang around Ryugu after collect samples until  December, then it will begin the flight back to Earth. Samples should be delivered in 2020. Hayabusa hovering just 60 meters above Ryugu, the shadow of the probe is visible JAXA simulation of the two rovers landing on Ryugu

North Carolina's factory farms are harming state residents even when they're not underwater

It is at this point commonly understood that poor Americans suffer from industrial pollution at rates far higher than more wealthy Americans. The effect by which this happens is also well understood: heavy industry and «industrial»-scale farming i
Daily Kos

North Carolina's factory farms are harming state residents even when they're not underwater

It is at this point commonly understood that poor Americans suffer from industrial pollution at rates far higher than more wealthy Americans. The effect by which this happens is also well understood: heavy industry and «industrial»-scale farming is concentrated where the land is cheapest; places where the land is cheapest are commonly places in which poverty is high and job opportunities are low; a heavily polluting industrial site proposed in a more wealthy neighborhood would, even aside from land costs, be met with a flurry of lawsuits from neighbors more financially able to mount an effective opposition and with a flurry of new laws and regulations from wealthier towns and counties meant to either discourage construction or, at the least, require expensive mitigation efforts. It stands to reason, then, that the massive North Carolina hog and poultry farms thrust into the spotlight after Hurricane Florence drowned a still-unknown of animals and flooded industrial-sized containment ponds of pig excrement would be located in the poorest (and least white) rural portions of the state. And a new study attempts to detail the effects of those industrial farms on surrounding Americans even when a hurricane isn't passing overhead. The new study also found worse health outcomes in the hog counties than in the control—rates were higher for all-cause mortality, infant mortality, mortality from anemia, kidney disease, tuberculosis, as well as hospital admissions for low birth-weight infants. They also showed Group 2 rates for these conditions are significantly higher than national and state averages. To control for overall racial health disparities in the US population, they identified zip codes in the control area that had similar racial, age, and income characteristics similar to those of Group 2, the most hog-intensive regions. Again, Group 2’s metrics generally came out worse than their hog-free peers. They also found a direct relationship between proximity and bad health outcomes—the closer you live to a big hog operation, the more likely you are to die or be hospitalized for kidney disease, have a low-birth-weight baby, and suffer from other maladies. Communities suing the farms over health effects now have a bit more evidence to back their claims up; living near an industrial-sized hog or poultry farm doesn't just smell bad when the wind blows your way. It can be bad for your health.

This week at progressive state blogs: VA could become offshore wind hub; Kavanaugh the zealot

This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Here is the September 15 edition. Inclusion of a blog post does not necessarily indicate my agreement with—o
Daily Kos

This week at progressive state blogs: VA could become offshore wind hub; Kavanaugh the zealot

This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Here is the September 15 edition. Inclusion of a blog post does not necessarily indicate my agreement with—or endorsement of—its contents. lowkell at Blue Virginia writes—Landmark Report Charts a Course for Virginia to Become Industry Hub for Offshore Wind Within the Next Decade: See below for a press release on a “new report released today by BVG Associates shows that Virginia’s key decisionmakers can help position the Commonwealth as a national leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry during the next decade.” As the press release states, “By developing 2 GW of offshore wind during the next decade, Virginia can reduce its reliance on out-of-state electricity by 30%, create thousands of local jobs, and build healthier and safer communities across the state by eliminating 3 million tons of carbon pollution each year, the equivalent of removing 650,000 cars from the road.” Is this a no-brainer or what? Oh, by the way, developing Virginia’s massive offshore wind power resources – combined with energy efficiency improvements, preferably – means we don’t need any new fracked-gas pipelines or other fossil fuel infrastructure. Again, an absolute no-brainer…except for Dominion Energy and its bought-and-paid-for servants in the government of Virginia. A new report released today by BVG Associates shows that Virginia’s key decisionmakers can help position the Commonwealth as a national leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry during the next decade. The “Vision for Virginia Offshore Wind” report points to the Commonwealth’s unique infrastructure and geographical advantages as keys to developing 2 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind – enough to power 500,000 homes – by 2028. The report comes on the heels of recent legislation setting a statewide goal of building 5 GW of renewable energy by 2028.

Christine Blasey Ford to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Kavanaugh assault

The Washington Post reports that Christine Blasey Ford has accepted the invitation from the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify. Dr. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers. The details of thi
Daily Kos

Christine Blasey Ford to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Kavanaugh assault

The Washington Post reports that Christine Blasey Ford has accepted the invitation from the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify. Dr. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers. The details of this acceptance are not yet available. But the wording of the acceptance makes it seem likely that Dr. Ford will appear in person before the Judiciary panel. Committee chair Chuck Grassley had demanded an answer from Dr. Ford by this afternoon.  Earlier today, Grassley staffer and Republican strategist Garrett Ventry resigned as head of communications for the Senate committee after it was revealed that he had been fired from a previous job over charges of sexual harassment. Blasey Ford and her family have been subject to death threats and right wing media attacks since she came forward to reveal her experience with Kavanaugh.

Saturday midday open thread: Owners may vote not to finish GA nukes; octopuses react to 'ecstasy'

45 days remain until the November midterms • What’s coming up on Sunday Kos … Women are angry, by Susan Grigsby The ‘unthinkable’ may soon be inevitable: impeachment, removal, indictment and conviction, by Frank Vyan Walton Let's s
Daily Kos

Saturday midday open thread: Owners may vote not to finish GA nukes; octopuses react to 'ecstasy'

45 days remain until the November midterms • What’s coming up on Sunday Kos … Women are angry, by Susan Grigsby The ‘unthinkable’ may soon be inevitable: impeachment, removal, indictment and conviction, by Frank Vyan Walton Let's sharpen and embolden the progressive narrative (and the counter-narrative, too), by Egberto Willies Voting gender gap may become a chasm if GOP rams Kavanaugh in despite sexual assault allegation, by Sher Watts Spooner Brett Kavanaugh has no credibility, and Senate Republicans do not care, by Laurence Lewis Focus on 'winning' and 'losing' puts the country's best interests in the back seat, by Mark E Andersen When it comes to Hispanic Heritage Month, Trump is an incredible hypocrite, by Denise Oliver Velez Hurricane Florence won't stop Trump's march to undo Obama's environmental protections. Only we can, by Ian Reifowitz • Ruling it unconstitutional, federal judge temporarily blocks NC law barring farmworkers from joining unions.  • FEMA stops paying for hotels of displaced Puerto Ricans, making some of them homeless: It’s been a year since Hurricane Maria upended Jennyfer Ortiz’s life. The single mother fled Puerto Rico with her two children after their house in the mountain town of Orocovis lost power. They have been using a government-funded program to pay for a hotel in the Bronx, but that ended last week, forcing Ortiz, her 20-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter into a homeless shelter. “Maria changed our lives—ruined our lives—and left us with nothing. After 18 hours of horror, we woke up the next day and had lost everything,” Ortiz said. The 46-year-old hasn’t been able to work since they’ve been in New York City—she has diabetes and hypertension, takes 14 medications a day and uses a walker. Her son works full time at a grocery store, but doesn’t make enough to pay for their own place. MIDDAY TWEET • Duke Energy downplays power plant dam breach at old coal ash dump: Flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence breached the dam in three places Friday at the L.V. Sutton Power Station in North Carolina. There were no environmental regulators at the site Friday or early Saturday. Duke officials said the breaches of the dam that held back water in 1,100-acre Sutton Lake do not pose danger of more flooding to nearby communities. They also said it was unclear whether toxic coal ash had been released into the Cape Fear River from the breaches. But Earthjustice, an advocacy group focused on legal remedies to environmental problems, noted that local activists known as riverkeepers are “pulling wildlife covered in coal ash out of the river” and posted a photo to prove it. The group said that’s not the only place ash may be spilling into waterways. The ash is the residue left behind when coal is burned to generate electricity. It typically contains mercury, lead, arsenic and other heavy metals. There are about 400,000 cubic yards of the stuff at the Sutton site. Duke has been fined in the past for coal ash spills, and made a $3 million clean-up settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency after a huge 2014 spill into the Dan River. But there are an estimated 110 million tons of coal ash in unlined pits around the state that Duke says will cost some $5 billion to excavate and move to new locations away from rivers and lakes • Octopuses dosed with “ecstasy” become more social in their interactions, just like humans: By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or «ecstasy,» scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree. • Florida power company wants out of deal it made to buy nuclear-generated electricity as owners of uncompleted reactors ponder ending construction: The Jacksonville Electric Authority hopes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will decide it has authority help JEA get out of a 2008 agreement to buy electricity from the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia. Currently, two reactors are being built next to the two already operating on the site. The reactors, Westinghouse AP1000s that were meant, together with two in South Carolina,  to be the leading edge of a revival of the U.S. nuclear power industry. The units are supposed to be modular, cookie-cutter designs that require much less time to build. But after delays and gigantic cost overruns, construction on the Carolina reactors was terminated when they was only 40 percent complete. The Vogtle nukes were originally estimated to cost $7.3 billion. But a multitude of problems have delayed the project and sent the estimated finished cost soaring to $27 billion. JEA’s concern is that it will be on the hook for as much as $3 billion. As a municipal utility, JEA is exempt from FERC rules, but it hopes to convince the agency that there’s no way the 10-year-old agreement would have been approved if the Feds had vetted it. On Monday, the co-owners of the Vogtle plant will vote on whether to pull the plug on the two new reactors, both about half completed.  • 103-year-old last American survivor of 1942 Doolittle raid on Tokyo still telling his stories. LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”

View from the Left: Republican men remind us how repugnant their treatment of women really is

I'm not a big fan of name calling and generally try to avoid leaning on it even when writing about things that are clearly outrageous. It feels intellectually lazy and there's usually more clever and even respectable ways to roast someone if you have the tim
Daily Kos

View from the Left: Republican men remind us how repugnant their treatment of women really is

I'm not a big fan of name calling and generally try to avoid leaning on it even when writing about things that are clearly outrageous. It feels intellectually lazy and there's usually more clever and even respectable ways to roast someone if you have the time and energy to devote to it. But just two days into watching the male-dominated GOP harass a woman who was clearly traumatized by an event she's been trying to forget for 30 years, I found myself writing lines like, «That’s just plain bullshit» as they tried to ram a hearing down the throat of the accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh without even so much as consulting her. From the very moment Dr. Christine Blasey Ford attached her name to the sexual assault accusation swirling around Kavanaugh from when the two were in high school, the Republican response has been nothing short of repugnant. At first, their instinct was to try to brush past the revelation without even giving it a hearing, as if confirming a potential sexual abuser to sit on the highest court in the land without lifting a finger to investigate the claim was perfectly acceptable. But objections to that head-in-the-sand approach from just two of fully 51 GOP Senators—namely, Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins—forced Republican leadership to at least make a show of trying to get more information on the incident that allegedly occurred in the 80s when Kavanaugh was 17 and Dr. Blasey Ford was 15. Naturally, Republicans set up the sham hearing like an ambush right from the start. On Monday evening, they announced the hearing would occur the following Monday without ever consulting Dr. Blasey Ford. They declined to hear from any other third-party witnesses even though Dr. Blasey Ford had placed a third person in the room, a friend of Kavanaugh's named Mark Judge. Republicans also declined to enlist the FBI to do what it does for all presidential nominees, an investigative background check, given the new information. In other words, they set up Dr. Blasey Ford to testify against Kavanaugh in a setting where he, as a political creature of Washington, would be at an incomprehensible advantage based on his familiarity with the setting, the players, the spotlight and the millennia of misogyny and sexism that would follow both witnesses into the room. Dr. Blasey Ford, who, again, hadn't been so much as been consulted on the timing, let alone the circumstances of the hearing, balked. Anyone with a brain, not to mention a 30-year-old history of trauma, would have. And any lawyer working in their client's best interests never in a million years would have let their client walk into that ambush. And when Dr. Blasey Ford blinked at the GOP's attempt to railroad her into an unfair, unsafe, and uninformed hearing, Republican men immediately felt emboldened and took the opportunity to skewer her integrity. And this is the point in the week in which I wanted to start name calling based on the inner rage I felt about the treatment of this sexual assault survivor, who originally wanted her story to remain confidential, got dragged into the spotlight, finally stepped bravely forward to attach her name to the allegation, then received death threats that forced her and her family to relocate from their home and contract with a private security firm for protection.

Abbreviated Science Round-up: Science of science, progress by death, molecular machines

I’m starting with a bit on “metascience” this afternoon, because in a sense it’s what we’re doing. By being here, by spotlighting some articles over others, by reading these articles, I, you … we are affecting the reach and impact of the researc
Daily Kos

Abbreviated Science Round-up: Science of science, progress by death, molecular machines

I’m starting with a bit on “metascience” this afternoon, because in a sense it’s what we’re doing. By being here, by spotlighting some articles over others, by reading these articles, I, you … we are affecting the reach and impact of the research contained in these articles. Right here, right now, I’m acting as a filter, as an amplifier and as an interpreter. That means an article about the expression of adenosine receptors isn’t here because I found it both challenging to read and difficult to express in relatable terms, even though that article is directly connected to basic research on breast cancer. It means that an article on an ancient group of creatures known as the Ediacaran and a biochemical analysis of one of their fossils is here, because I’ve long had an interest in the area and find the latest news exciting. While I’m trying to select a broad range of articles each week, I invariably grab those related to issues that I think will have broad interest, or generate the most excitement. In doing so, I’m mimicking the process that turns “journal science” into “popular science.” That adenosine receptors article? It’s also not in the New York Times this week. Or Discover Magazine. That puzzling ancient fossil, esoteric as it may seem, can be found across a broad spectrum of media. And of course I’m not just bringing forward articles, I’m putting my own — often clumsy — spin on them. Even when not intentionally bringing forward something that supports a position I already hold, I’m interpreting these articles through the lens of my own bias and (very) limited knowledge. That’s a very big deal. The consequences of selecting the wrong article to support and giving it the wrong spin can result in wholesale changes in people’s diets that are counter to good health. It can result in thousands of kids dying because their parents became convinced that vaccines can’t be trusted. So I’m trying to be careful, to be catholic in my selections, and to be more careful in my interpretations. I encourage you to do the same. Go back to the original sources. Bring in articles that I missed. Lend your own expertise to the conversation. And most of all, call me out when you think I’m wrong, dead wrong, or simply bullshitting. Because, seriously, I appreciate it. Science: The growing number of researchers researching research Given the billions of dollars the world invests in science each year, it's surprising how few researchers study science itself. But their number is growing rapidly, driven in part by the realization that science isn't always the rigorous, objective search for knowledge it is supposed to be. Editors of medical journals, embarrassed by the quality of the papers they were publishing, began to turn the lens of science on their own profession decades ago, creating a new field now called “journalology.” More recently, psychologists have taken the lead, plagued by existential doubts after many results proved irreproducible. Other fields are following suit, and metaresearch, or research on research, is now blossoming as a scientific field of its own.

Trump administration to cut Head Start, cancer research to fund their child detention camps

The Trump administration's devotion to white nationalism comes with a steep price tag. It's not cheap to hold refugee children in detention camps, and it's not cheap to build new child detention camps as the old ones fill up. So HHS Secretary Alex Azar has in
Daily Kos

Trump administration to cut Head Start, cancer research to fund their child detention camps

The Trump administration's devotion to white nationalism comes with a steep price tag. It's not cheap to hold refugee children in detention camps, and it's not cheap to build new child detention camps as the old ones fill up. So HHS Secretary Alex Azar has informed the Senate that he plans to shuffle over a quarter billion dollars from other HHS programs to cover it. In addition to slashing other programs for refugees, Azar and the administration are taking the axe to education, health services, and cancer research. The rest is being taken from other programs, including $16.7 million from Head Start, $5.7 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program and $13.3 million from the National Cancer Institute. Money is also being diverted from programs dedicated to mental and maternal health, women’s shelters and substance abuse. This is being done solely to support the Trump administration's insistence that we put refugee children in prison camps. Over 13,000 children are currently being held, and current facilities are already near capacity. So they're going to build more. All of this to serve a white nationalist agenda that insists that refugee children pose such a threat to the American way of life that we cannot tolerate their presence. It was that or fight cancer, and Trump's Republican toadies made their choice.

Clinton: 'American democracy is in crisis,' and it's not because of both sides, or even just Trump

The winner of the popular vote in the last U.S. presidential election has once again invited the condemnation of the pundit class by daring to speak out, in this case about the damage being done by the winner of the Electoral College vote. Yes, Hillary Clinto
Daily Kos

Clinton: 'American democracy is in crisis,' and it's not because of both sides, or even just Trump

The winner of the popular vote in the last U.S. presidential election has once again invited the condemnation of the pundit class by daring to speak out, in this case about the damage being done by the winner of the Electoral College vote. Yes, Hillary Clinton, despite being a woman and a Democrat and therefore not allowed to continue to express opinions a la the late John McCain, has written an essay in The Atlantic titled “American democracy is in crisis.”  Clinton lays out “five main fronts of this assault on our democracy”: ”First, there is Donald Trump’s assault on the rule of law.” ”Second, the legitimacy of our elections is in doubt.” ”Third, the president is waging war on truth and reason.” ”Fourth, there’s Trump’s breathtaking corruption.” ”Fifth, Trump undermines the national unity that makes democracy possible.” It should not surprise you to learn that she has receipts on all of these. Don’t we all? But Clinton takes a key next step, from laying out the damage Trump has done and continues to do to connecting it to “hyperpolarization,” to the big-spending Republican billionaires who’ve “used their money and influence to capture our political system, impose a right-wing agenda, and disenfranchise millions of Americans,” and to the Republican Party itself: There is a tendency, when talking about these things, to wring our hands about “both sides.” But the truth is that this is not a symmetrical problem. We should be clear about this: The increasing radicalism and irresponsibility of the Republican Party, including decades of demeaning government, demonizing Democrats, and debasing norms, is what gave us Donald Trump. Whether it was abusing the filibuster and stealing a Supreme Court seat, gerrymandering congressional districts to disenfranchise African Americans, or muzzling government climate scientists, Republicans were undermining American democracy long before Trump made it to the Oval Office. She’s not wrong—and all of that, and the degree to which Republicans have bullied the media into hand-wringing about both sides rather than honest reporting on who’s doing what, has created the environment in which a very occasional public statement from the popular vote winner of the last presidential election is seen as some illegitimate imposition on the body politic. Hillary Clinton was right about Donald Trump. She was right, but the media spent more time on cheap attacks on her than it did on investigating so many things about Trump that were in plain sight, let alone the ones that were and maybe still are hidden. Now we have a historic fight on our hands to claw our way back to something that looks almost like democracy. November's elections are the next big step. Can you give $1 to each Daily Kos-endorsed candidate to help win back the House and the Senate?

Grassley staffer promoting Kavanaugh resigns after his own history of sexual harassment is revealed

A top staffer for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is leaving his position with the Senate Judiciary Committee after it was discovered that he was fired from a previous job over charges of sexual harassment. Garrett Ventry was fired from his position as soc
Daily Kos

Grassley staffer promoting Kavanaugh resigns after his own history of sexual harassment is revealed

A top staffer for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is leaving his position with the Senate Judiciary Committee after it was discovered that he was fired from a previous job over charges of sexual harassment. Garrett Ventry was fired from his position as social media adviser for the North Carolina House Majority Leader in 2017. He was then hired by Chuck Grassley as a communications aide and given charge over communications for the Judiciary Committee. Ventry has been the point man for Grassley in fielding questions about Kavanaugh. Ventry’s history was surfaced by Heidi Przybyla at NBC News. He denied the charges of sexual misconduct, but would not discuss the reasons for his firing. Republicans connected with the effort to confirm Kavanaugh insist that Ventry is leaving out of concerns that he “could not be an effective spokesman.” On Friday, Ventry denied that Grassley was connected to the blame-someone-else scheme published on Twitter by Republican insider Ed Whelan. Ventry has appeared on Fox News to express disdain for the charges against Kavanaugh and Democratic insistence that there be an investigation.

The latest anti-gay ruling proves the GOP's judges aren't even pretending anymore

It’s now indisputable: There’s a Trump effect. Judges Alice Batchelder, a George H.W. Bush appointee, and Joan Larsen, a Trump appointee who appeared on his Supreme Court shortlist, just ruled for anti-gay protestors and against the city of Nashville. Th
Daily Kos

The latest anti-gay ruling proves the GOP's judges aren't even pretending anymore

It’s now indisputable: There’s a Trump effect. Judges Alice Batchelder, a George H.W. Bush appointee, and Joan Larsen, a Trump appointee who appeared on his Supreme Court shortlist, just ruled for anti-gay protestors and against the city of Nashville. The decision, as dissenter Judge Karen Nelson Moore, a Clinton appointee, politely points out, should have been an open-and-shut First Amendment win for Nashville based on, well, everything. Two men and a group of followers were disrupting an LGBTQ pride event from the sidewalk directly in front of the event venue, a park, using bullhorns. They’d been warned in advance by the police department that they’d have to stay on the other side of the road, but ignored that instruction. (The majority omitted the prior communication, strangely.) When told to relocate, they objected but ultimately complied. Afterwards they sued, claiming they were discriminated against based on the content of their speech under the First Amendment, a big no-no. There’s a well-established framework for tackling First Amendment claims like these. Here, the big issue became whether the city was acting based on the content of speech versus enforcing a content-neutral regulation. The first is almost impossible to justify; the second is ubiquitous. 

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