1. #31276
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    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wire...rally-79192668

    AUSTIN, Texas -- Country music legend Willie Nelson led more than a thousand spectators in singing “vote them out” Saturday from the steps of the Texas Capitol during a rally wrapping up a four-day march in support of Democratic state legislators who bolted for Washington two weeks ago to block GOP-backed voting restrictions.

    Families with lawn chairs spread out across the sprawling Capitol greens in Austin. Clergy, politicians, constituents and musicians all spoke out about the proposals to impose voter ID requirements, limit ballot drop boxes and mail voting, and strip local officials of their election authority.

    “If you don’t like who's in there, vote them out,” Nelson sang, inviting he crowd to join him in singing lyrics he'd previously written about taking a stand at the ballot box.

    “I felt like I needed to be here. It is a history-making event that is so necessary right now,” said Brenda Hanson, 75, of Austin. “I am a descendant of slavery and I am not interested in moving back, I want to see this country go forward. I have lived well over three quarters of a century and I have never seen us go backwards like this before.”

    Hanson said she is disabled but otherwise would have participated in the nearly 30-mile walk. Instead, she hoped to make a statement with her presence as she sat chanting in support on a bench under a tree.

  2. #31277
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Already Distorting Jan. 6, G.O.P. Now Concocts Entire Counternarrative

    Just go on Fox News and admit your guilt and get it over with.
    Alternative facts, yo! Thing is, Qpublicans don't think they are guilty, they're all too willing to go all in on the big lie because if they don't, they lose the support of Trump's rabid base.
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    Senator Calls Out ‘Inconsistency’ Among GOP on Infrastructure

    A GOP senator criticized the “inconsistency” of Republicans who were all-in for President Donald Trump’s infrastructure ideas but aren’t supporting the $550 billion bipartisan deal reached this week.

    “President Donald Trump recommended a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. Republicans were all on board,” Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican who was part of the group that negotiated the current package, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “If Republicans were on board for former President Trump, we are one-third the cost and have it paid for, it seems like something that should be acceptable.”
    The infrastructure package to upgrade transportation systems and power transmission has divided Senate Republicans, despite it being an area that has been seen for many years as one area of mutual interest for both parties to work together. Several Republican senators, including Rick Scott of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, blasted the overall price tag and said they would oppose the bill.
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    A Fight Over Zoning Tests Charlottesville’s Progress on Race

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In early July, crews showed up downtown for some long-delayed evictions. After years of protest, litigation and even violence, the statues of two Confederate generals, Lee and Jackson, were finally carted out of city parks, expelled by the city’s drive to right its past wrongs.

    Now the really hard work awaits.

    Charlottesville’s planning commission is considering a proposal to roll back some of the city’s zoning restrictions in an effort to encourage construction of more affordable housing, a plan that has drawn reaction ranging from fervent opposition to disappointment that it does not go further.

    But there has been a particular disquiet, said Lyle Solla-Yates, a member of the planning commission, among a certain part of the population: “smart, educated” white residents who are neither poor nor very wealthy, and who live in charming neighborhoods with a history of discriminating against Black people that they had known nothing about. Now they imagine multi-story apartment buildings going up on their streets.
    “There’s fear and anger at being targeted,” he said. “They don’t feel centered in this process. And they are correct.”
    For months, residents and city officials have been considering a draft land use map that sketches out what kind of buildings would be allowed where in the years to come.

    Propelled by research showing that single-family zoning restrictions have roots in discrimination and consequences in soaring housing prices and more segregated neighborhoods, Charlottesville is joining communities across the country in debating whether to ease these restrictions. Several Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 pledged to encourage the loosening of zoning rules, and President Biden’s infrastructure bill includes grants for cites that do so.
    In a sign of just how much the political ground has shifted in recent years, the chief argument of the plan’s opponents is that it would actually be bad for the poor, a giveaway to greedy developers. Some have compared the plan to the razing of Black neighborhoods in decades past, and comment threads on the Nextdoor app have crackled with debates about whether the proposal would simply yield a city full of high-end apartments and whether genuinely “horrible injustices” from the past would really be rectified by “destroying neighborhoods in the present.”
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    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Was Cassidy naive, or what? The reason for that "inconsistency" is plain: Qpublicans don't want to give Biden a victory, because anything that helps the Democrats doesn't help the GQP. Nothing more complicated than that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    Was Cassidy naive, or what? The reason for that "inconsistency" is plain: Qpublicans don't want to give Biden a victory, because anything that helps the Democrats doesn't help the GQP. Nothing more complicated than that.
    They also knew that Trump's "infrastructure" ideas were never going to happen, so they would never have to put their money where their mouths were. So to speak.
    Last edited by Malvolio; 08-01-2021 at 04:22 PM.
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    Africa's most populous city is battling floods and rising seas. It may soon be unlivable, experts warn

    Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Cars and houses submerged in water, commuters wading through buses knee-high in floods, and homeowners counting the cost of destroyed properties.

    Welcome to Lagos during rainy season.

    Residents of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, are used to the yearly floods that engulf the coastal city during the months of March to November. In mid-July, however, the major business district of Lagos Island experienced one of its worst floods in recent years.

    "It was very bad, and unusual," Eselebor Oseluonamhen, 32 told CNN.

    "I drove out of my house ... I didn't realize it had rained so much ... There was heavy traffic on my route because of the flood. The more we went, the higher the water level. The water kept rising until it covered the bumper of my car ... then there was water flowing inside my car," Oseluonamhen, who runs a media firm on the Lagos mainland, recalled.
    Home to more than 24 million people, Lagos, a low-lying city on Nigeria's Atlantic coast, may become uninhabitable by the end of this century as sea levels rise due to climate change, scientific projections suggest.

    The problem is exacerbated by "inadequate and poorly maintained drainage systems and uncontrolled urban growth," among others, according to a study led by the Institute of Development Studies.

    Nigeria's hydrological agency NIHSA has predicted more catastrophic flooding in September, usually the peak of the rainy season.
    Eroding coastline

    Lagos is partly built on the mainland and a string of islands.

    It is grappling with an eroding coastline that makes the city vulnerable to flooding, which Nigerian environmentalist Seyifunmi Adebote says is attributable to global warming and "human-induced action over a prolonged period."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malvolio View Post
    They also knew that Trump's "infrastructure" ideas were never going to happen, so they would never have to put their money where their mouths were. So to speak.
    I wish I was telepathic enough to read the minds of GOP Senators and members of Congress when Trump was putzing around like a child inside fire trucks and honking horns like he was a very big boy during his third "Infrastructure Week".
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    "This was always the plan. Undermine vaccine roll out then blame Biden. They don’t care if Americans die or get sick. They were always betting that the “wrong” people were the ones who would suffer. The game is to score points. The players are our children’s lives."
    ---Fred Wellman
    https://twitter.com/FPWellman/status...14696777297921
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    She was right on the verge of talking some sense into her own self there...

  11. #31286
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    Dozens of legislators from other states to join Texas lawmakers in D.C. to lobby for voting bills

    More than 100 state legislators from across the country will converge in Washington on Monday to join their Texas counterparts in pushing the Senate and President Biden to take action on voting reform legislation.

    The lawmakers represent more than 20 states, including some in which Republican-led legislatures have passed or are considering new voting restrictions, and will urge senators to pass the For the People Act, or at least show progress on a federal voting law, before their summer recess. They are scheduled to rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday and press their case during other public events and private meetings.

    The For the People Act, which would set voting standards and overhaul campaign finance and ethics rules, has stalled in the 50-50 Senate because it can’t get the support of 60 members needed to pass most legislation there. And at least two Democratic senators — Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) — have resisted calls to eliminate that filibuster rule, or make an exception for the bill, and allow it to pass with a simple majority.
    Florida state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D) said she hopes to impress upon those senators the importance of counteracting measures such as the ones passed recently in her state, which she said affect voting by mail and voter registration.

    “I really want to make sure they understand what we’re going through in Florida. If we don’t get this Congress to act, and the Biden administration to put pressure on voting rights, then I’m very worried about the ability of everyday Floridians to have their voices heard in the election process,” Eskamani, whose district in based in the Orlando area, said in an interview. She said “a federal firewall from these state voter suppression activities” is needed.
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    The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy

    Here is what you probably don’t imagine: an affable, self-made midwesterner, one of those goofy businessmen who makes his own infomercials. A recovered crack addict, no less, who laughs good-naturedly when jokes are made at his expense. A man who will talk to anyone willing to listen (and to many who aren’t). A philanthropist. A good boss. A patriot—or so he says—who may well be doing more damage to American democracy than anyone since Jefferson Davis.
    I met Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, in the recording studio that occupies the basement of Steve Bannon’s stately Capitol Hill townhouse, a few blocks from the Supreme Court—the same Supreme Court that will, according to Lindell, decide “9–0” in favor of reinstating Donald Trump to the presidency sometime in August, or possibly September. I made it through the entirety of the Trump presidency without once having to meet Bannon but here he was, recording his War Room podcast with Lindell. Bannon has been decomposing in front of our eyes for some years now, and I can report that this process continues to take its course. I walked in during a break and the two men immediately gestured to me to join the conversation, sit at the table with them, listen in on headphones. I demurred. “Anne Applebaum … hmm,” Bannon said. “Should’ve stuck to writing books. Gulag was a great book. How long did it take you to write it?”
    And now Lindell is spending on more than just advertising. Last January—on the 9th, he says carefully, placing the date after the 6th—a group of still-unidentified concerned citizens brought him some computer data. These were, allegedly, packet captures, intercepted data proving that the Chinese Communist Party altered electoral results … in all 50 states. This is a conspiracy theory more elaborate than the purported Venezuelan manipulation of voting machines, more improbable than the allegation that millions of supposedly fake ballots were mailed in, more baroque than the belief that thousands of dead people voted. This one has potentially profound geopolitical implications.
    That’s why Lindell has spent money—a lot of it, “tens of millions,” he told me—“validating” the packets, and it’s why he is planning to spend a lot more. Starting on August 10, he is holding a three-day symposium in Sioux Falls (because he admires South Dakota’s gun-toting governor, Kristi Noem), where the validators, whoever they may be, will present their results publicly. He has invited all interested computer scientists, university professors, elected federal officials, foreign officials, reporters, and editors to the symposium. He has booked, he says variously, “1,000 hotel rooms” or “all the hotel rooms in the city” to accommodate them. (As of Wednesday, Booking.com was still showing plenty of rooms available in Sioux Falls.)
    Wacky though it seems for a businessman to invest so much in a conspiracy theory, there are important historical precedents. Think of Olof Aschberg, the Swedish banker who helped finance the Bolshevik revolution, allegedly melting down the bars of gold that Lenin’s comrades stole in train robberies and reselling them, unmarked, on European exchanges. Or Henry Ford, whose infamous anti-Semitic tract, The International Jew, was widely read in Nazi Germany, including by Hitler himself. Plenty of successful, wealthy people think that their knowledge of production technology or private equity gives them clairvoyant insight into politics. But Aschberg, Ford, and Lindell represent the extreme edge of that phenomenon: Their business success gives them the confidence to promote malevolent conspiracy theories, and the means to reach wide audiences.
    --

    An historian had lunch with the MyPillow Guy, and we are basically doomed
    Last edited by Tami; 08-02-2021 at 08:07 AM.
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    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    The whole damn thing with Lindell is insane. I mean, it used to be he was just another wacky TV pitchman who got rich hawking pillows (which AIN'T all that great, I used to have one), but after the election, Lindell flat out lost his mind. Was he THAT devoted to Trumpism that he committed business suicide while torching his public reputation, and for what? White supremacy? Racism? Owning the libs? All of the above? I just don't get it.
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  14. #31289
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    The whole damn thing with Lindell is insane. I mean, it used to be he was just another wacky TV pitchman who got rich hawking pillows (which AIN'T all that great, I used to have one), but after the election, Lindell flat out lost his mind. Was he THAT devoted to Trumpism that he committed business suicide while torching his public reputation, and for what? White supremacy? Racism? Owning the libs? All of the above? I just don't get it.
    He is a former crack addict who believes he can see into the future though his dreams and sees his business success as a sign that he is a chosen one (kind of like an apostle, only dangerously crazy). He believes that he was given proof that China rigged the election and that he has set August 10 as the date to release this information that supposedly would turn the country upside down and return Trump tot he Presidency and return White Christian People to power in the US.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    The whole damn thing with Lindell is insane. I mean, it used to be he was just another wacky TV pitchman who got rich hawking pillows (which AIN'T all that great, I used to have one), but after the election, Lindell flat out lost his mind. Was he THAT devoted to Trumpism that he committed business suicide while torching his public reputation, and for what? White supremacy? Racism? Owning the libs? All of the above? I just don't get it.
    I’m guessing he’s a true believer who sincerely believes he’s fighting for the country’s future (if this level of personal sacrifice is anything to go by).

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