Cover for No Agenda Show 1133: No Apology
April 28th, 2019 • 2h 58m

1133: No Apology


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Biden special meet & greet invite
How Democrats Should Handle 'Boston Bomber' Questions - The Atlantic
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:01
Don't answer the question you wish you were asked. Answer the question that really matters.
6:00 AM ET Best-selling author of Thanks, Obama: My Hopey-Changey White House Years'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹
Lucas Jackson / ReutersIn a week during which, among other things, the White House defied multiple congressional subpoenas, the commander in chief threatened armed conflict with Mexico, and we learned that the number of Americans breathing unsafe air is at an all-time high, presidential politics was largely consumed by the following question: Should the Boston Marathon bomber be allowed to vote from jail? The odds of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev swinging an election from death row are approximately zero. But if Democrats aren't careful, the odds of these inconsequential controversies dominating election season are dismayingly high.
Outlier hypotheticals have, of course, been around for quite a while. The most famous example came at the beginning of an October 1988 debate between the presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and George H. W. Bush. ''If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered,'' CNN's Bernard Shaw asked the Massachusetts governor, ''Would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?''
It was highly unlikely, to say the least, that Dukakis would find himself avenging his wife's death. He wasn't running for mayor of Gotham City. But by focusing on a hypothetical problem affecting one person rather than a real issue affecting the entire country'--the immorality of capital punishment'--the question put the governor in a bind. If he stuck to his principles, he was a robot. If he let his emotions rule, he was a hypocrite. (Dukakis chose robot. Watching with the sound off, you'd think he was discussing an infrastructure plan rather than a loved one's grisly death.)
It says something about our politics, and the media that cover it, that we've largely forgotten the criticism Shaw received. It later emerged that his three co-moderators'--all women'--had tried to talk him out of asking such a gory and personal question. For her part, Kitty Dukakis called the moment ''outrageous'' and denounced it as ''theater.''
Decades later, however, the media consensus appears to be that Shaw's immoderate moderating was not just appropriate, but epic. Writing for Politico in 2007, Roger Simon called Shaw ''one tough customer'' and retold the story of the killer question in awed tones. CNN included the question on its 2012 list of ''10 Debate Moments That Mattered.'' In modern campaign reporting, where politics is often covered as a sport, journalists always look for surprise and controversy; asking about outlier cases rather than typical ones is an excellent way to create both.
Presidential candidates should expect more of these Dukakis questions than ever. For this, they can blame not just the media, but Donald Trump. This is a president who loves outliers. He appears at his happiest while discussing some gruesome act perpetrated by an immigrant, despite the fact that U.S. citizens commit violent crimes at higher rates than newcomers. And he has abandoned any pretense of moderation, either in tone or in policy. As the election draws closer, his argument is roughly this: I may be extreme, but Democrats are even worse. Reporters, not entirely unreasonably, feel a responsibility to test that theory by seeing exactly how far his would-be challengers will go.
Which brings us back to this week and a question that, while eagerly amplified by journalists, was first asked by a Harvard junior. ''You've said that you believe that people with felony records should be allowed to vote while in prison,'' the student asked Senator Bernie Sanders at a CNN town hall. ''Does this mean that you would support enfranchising people like the Boston Marathon bomber?''
The three candidates who addressed the question have all proved themselves to be highly skilled campaigners. But none of them handled the moment particularly well.
Sanders enthusiastically embraced Tsarnaev's right to vote. While voting rights in general are quite popular, opposition to Tsarnaev's somehow united both Lindsey Graham and Cher in opposition.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued that some criminals should have their voting rights deprived as ''punishment,'' and that you should be able to vote only once you've paid your debt to society. It's an argument that conveniently keeps the Boston bomber off the rolls. Less conveniently, it's the same argument used by Florida Republicans, who this week passed a bill disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens who were formerly, but are not currently, incarcerated.
Senator Kamala Harris said the issue was worth a conversation. Then, in a press conference a day later, she said that it was complicated and that she would talk to experts before making up her mind. This is the political equivalent of saying you're in a tunnel before making static noises and hanging up the phone.
Each candidate addressed the question in a different way, but none of them managed to refocus the conversation on something they would actually have to deal with as president.
And that's a real problem. People frequently assume that political candidates try to convince voters to agree with their answers. But just as often, in my experience, they try to convince voters to agree with their questions. I saw this sleight of hand as a junior speechwriter for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign. We knew that if voters asked themselves, ''Am I happy with how quickly the economy has recovered?'' Obama would have an uphill road to reelection. But if people asked instead, ''Who would I want in charge going forward?'' they would pick the incumbent. In the end, enough voters asked the right questions, and Obama won a second term.
As a president, Trump couldn't be more different, but he faces a similar challenge as he mounts his reelection bid. If Americans are focused on health care, taxes, or climate change, he's likely to lose. If they're focused on something controversial but fundamentally unimportant, like, say, the democratic liberties afforded to a single particularly heinous citizen, the president has a fighting chance.
Which is why Democrats need to get better at answering Dukakis questions, and quickly. It's fine to start by engaging the emotional content. There's no need to be a robot. After that, however, it's not just acceptable but necessary to get a little meta. They shouldn't dodge the question'--instead, they should evaluate it. If a candidate doesn't think something is relevant to the job of being president, he or she should say so.
The adage in politics is ''Answer the question you wish you were asked.'' But perhaps a better, more intellectually honest approach is this: ''Answer the question that really matters.''
In the case of voting rights, there is certainly a question that needs answering. There are 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States, and 2.199999 million of them are not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The problem is not the number of Boston bombers who can vote. It's the millions of Americans, a wildly disproportionate number of them black or brown, who cannot. In this country, mass incarceration has been turned into a tool for mass disenfranchisement. That's the real crisis the next president will face. And how best to face it is the kind of debate worth having.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to
David Litt is a former speechwriter for President Obama and the best-selling author of
Thanks, Obama: My Hopey-Changey White House Years.
Felons voting LOL
Fyi, the State of California never stopped sending me
ballots, so she forwarded them to me while on Vacation and I proudly mailed it
from Taft with my vote. Thought you’d find that funny given the
discussion yesterday about voting.
Fine People
The "Charlottesville Hoax" Hoax - The Bulwark
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 13:47
I recently lamented that the Democratic party's embrace of antisemitism was helping Donald Trump get off the hook for referring to white nationalists rioting in Charlottesville as ''very fine people.'' I expected, and received, furious replies from Trump supporters who deny that the president ever said any such thing.
This has become official dogma on the Trump-supporting right and has solidified into a name, the ''Charlottesville Hoax.'' Steve Cortes recently called it that, drumming the message home by calling it a ''damnable lie,'' a ''calumny,'' and a ''willful deception.'' I was not surprised to see the Federalist's Mollie Hemingway link to this approvingly and pontificate, ''I have personally witnessed how difficult it is for smart, thoughtful people to accept what Trump actually said, instead of what they 'remember' him saying, but it's really important that we speak accurately here and criticize for real things, not fake.''
Personally, I found this deeply ironic, because I watched in disbelief over a period of about a year as my then-colleagues at the Federalist did precisely that: rewrite this story in their minds to create a more palatable version that would fit comfortably with their support for Trump.
Hemingway has accused the media of ''gaslighting'' the public. But that's exactly what she's doing here, trying to make us think we are suffering from some kind of False Memory Syndrome when it comes to Trump's Charlottesville comments.
So let's do what Trump's apologists keep asking us to do and look at what he actually did say.
Trump's defenders point to his insistence in his August 15, 2017, Trump Tower news conference that when he said ''very fine people'' he was ''not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.'' Case closed, right?
The problem is that Trump is not a very reliable source on what he is and is not talking about, and he had in fact just been talking about white nationalists. Let's take a closer look at that transcript and see exactly who he was referring to when he was talking about ''very fine people.''
Here's the actual ''very fine people'' comment:
You have some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group'--excuse me, excuse me'--I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
So when he says ''very fine people'' he is referring to a specific group of protesters, and not only does he keep emphasizing this, but he gets more specific about them.
But not all of those people were Neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee. So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you all'--you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? But they were there to protest'--excuse me. You take a look, the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.
And later in the press conference:
There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people'--neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know'--I don't know if you know, they had a permit.
He keeps going back to this idea that there was a separate group of protesters that weekend in Charlottesville, ordinary people who merely opposed the removal of Lee's statue, and he keeps giving that group a specific time and place: in Charlottesville ''the night before,'' that is, the night of Friday, August 11.
Cortes claims that ''Trump's 'fine people on both sides' observation clearly related to those on both sides of the Confederate monument debate.'' In other words, it was just a vague, general observation that good people can disagree on the issue. But as we've just seen, that's not what Trump was saying. He was referring to a specific group of protesters present in Charlottesville on the night of August 11. And this was the context in which Trump denied that he was talking about white nationalists.
And you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.
All right, so who are these people who were just there to protest the removal of the statues? Who was the group protesting ''the night before''?
Well, here they are:
That's right. The people marching in Charlottesville the night before were the guys with torches chanting ''blood and soil'' and ''Jews will not replace us.''
So you can see where the mainstream view of this statement comes from. Cortes describes Trump's words as ''unambiguous'' but his actual words are the very definition of ambiguity: He is denouncing the Nazis out of one side of his mouth, then calling them ''very fine people'' out of the other. He is saying, in effect, that he condemns the white nationalists but also that the people marching with torches and shouting at the Jews were very fine people. Do you find that a convincing ''condemnation''? Would you find it convincing if any other politician said it?
What if there really was another group of protesters there that day, and that's who Trump was referring to? Well, there's the problem. No such group exists. This mythical second group of protesters is like the ''second shooter'' in conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination. I've found people who insist to me that such a group was there because the ''Charlottesville Hoax'' mythology requires it to exist'--but I haven't found a single shred of actual confirmation. It's almost as if they have adopted a false memory.
That's what originally set me off about this Trump claim. I live in the Charlottesville area, and I know very fine people who oppose the removal of the monuments based on high-minded notions about preserving history. I'm one of them. So I know that we weren't there that night. Only the white nationalists were there.
If you're counting, we've already busted two parts of the ''Charlottesville Hoax'' myth. Trump was not talking generally about people on both sides of the statue controversy, he was talking about a specific group'--and there was no specific group other than the white nationalists present at the events Trump was referring to.
At this point, the only argument in Trump's defense is one that I would regard as fairly plausible: Trump was, once again, blustering about a subject he didn't understand, while insisting that he knew it better than anyone else. (You can see why this defense is not widely employed, because it doesn't serve the purpose of making people feel more comfortable about the man in the White House.)
There's also the fact that Trump repeatedly insisted in his Trump Tower press conference that he had painstakingly gathered the facts. ''When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts.'' He repeated, ''unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.''
But what really gives the game away is when Trump insists that the ''very fine people'' who were there to protest ''had a permit.'' There was only one protest permit issued that weekend, and it was well documented because there was a court battle over it. That wasn't for the Friday night's tiki-torch Nuremberg, which was unannounced, but for the ''Unite the Right'' rally on Saturday. So were there ''fine people on both sides'' of the permitted rally? Let's take a look at which parts of the ''right'' this rally was supposed to unite. One source describes them as ''the alt-right, neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and various militias'''--in other words, different variations on the theme of white nationalism. If you think that's an unfair summary, check out the poster for the event and notice that the headline speaker was prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer.
So this was not some kind of big-tent rally for supporters of the monuments that just happened to be hijacked by white nationalists. It was a rally organized specifically by, and for, white nationalists. Which is why the Virginia ACLU had to go to bat for their right to protest.
The best'--the very best'--one could say about Trump's comments on Charlottesville is that he did not intend to praise Nazis but merely blundered into a statement that ended up being disastrously ambiguous. Yet this was hardly the first time. The Trump Tower press conference was his third public statement about Charlottesville, which was necessary because he had already bungled the first two. His wishy-washy first statement, in which he blamed the violence in Charlottesville on ''hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides,'' had set the tone.
We all know that a president who was basically competent and gave a damn could have delivered an unambiguous condemnation of white nationalism and appealed to unifying American values. We know because we've seen it before.
The fact that Trump couldn't do this implies to me that he didn't really care all that much about the subject. In fact, throughout his whole Trump Tower press conference, he kept begging the reporters to ask him questions about infrastructure spending. He clearly wanted to talk about something, anything, else.
That's why Trump's Charlottesville statement deserves to be remembered as a dangerous sign. It shows the corruption in Trump's outlook on the world that makes him unwilling to deal with a clear threat to American values'--and, in the coiled obfuscations of the ''Charlottesville Hoax'' myth, it shows how he corrupts the minds and values of his apologists.
Trump tries to re-write his own history on Charlottesville and 'both sides' - The Washington Post
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 13:30

Aaron BlakeSenior political reporter, writing for The Fix
April 26 at 10:27 AM
Trump tries to defend his Charlottesville response by praising Robert E. Lee.He claims the 'very fine people' remark was about people who "felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee. A great general, whether you like it or not."
Via Politico
'-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 26, 2019This post has been updated.
Joe Biden's presidential launch has again cast a spotlight on President Trump's comments about the 2017 tragedy in Charlottesville. And in doing so, it has unearthed a surprising amount of revisionist history from Trump's supporters.
And now from Trump himself, too.
In his announcement video, Biden prominently featured scenes from the August 2017 ''Unite the Right'' rally that resulted in an avowed neo-Nazi killing a woman and injuring dozens of other by driving into a crowd of counterprotesters. Trump would soon condemn what happened ''on many sides'' and later argue there were ''very fine people on both sides'' of the scenes that weekend.
That led to an instant backlash, including by some in the White House, who felt Trump was downplaying the racism on display on that tragic day.
But some Trump supporters '-- and now Trump himself '-- have argued that he was taken out of context. They say he wasn't referring to neo-Nazis, white supremacists and white nationalists when he referred to ''very fine people'' on both sides, but rather some other people who shared their cause of saving a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
''If you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly,'' Trump said Friday. ''I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee '-- a great general, whether you like it or not."
The argument makes little sense when you consider the facts on the ground, and it ignores Trump's regular use of dog whistles.
Let's recap what happened.
After the death of Heather Heyer, Trump on Aug. 12 condemned ''in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence '-- on many sides.'' He then repeated ''on many sides,'' apparently emphasizing that the counterprotesters (which included many who were peaceful and some who weren't) needed to be condemned, as well.
After an outcry, Trump on Aug. 13 offered a more forceful denunciation of the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and white nationalists who had rallied in Charlottesville. But then, on Aug. 15, he again returned to the ''both sides'' commentary, saying there was both ''blame'' and ''very fine people'' on each side that day.
Contained in that third set of comments is a quote that Trump supporters, including Trump surrogate Steve Cortes and Breitbart News, have argued is exculpatory, They note that Trump, at one point, explicitly excluded neo-Nazis and white nationalists from his ''very fine people'' formulation.
Here's a brief transcript (key parts bolded):
REPORTER: You said there was hatred and violence on both sides '--
TRUMP: Well, I do think there's blame, yes, I think there's blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it. And you don't have any doubt about it either. And, and if you reported it accurately, you would say it.
TRUMP: Excuse me. You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group, excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park, from Robert E. Lee to another name.
George Washington was a slave-owner. Was George Washington a slave-owner? So will George Washington now lose his status '-- are we going to take down '-- excuse me. Are we going to take down statues of George Washington? How 'bout Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Ok, good. Are we going to take down the statue because he was a major slave-owner? Now we're going to take down his statue. So you know what, it's fine. You're changing history, you're changing culture. And you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis or the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, ok? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.
As you can see, Trump does say those groups should be ''condemned totally.'' This is the basis for what some call the ''Charlottesville hoax.''
But it leads to the question: Which ''very fine people'' was he talking about? The ''Unite the Right'' rally was partly organized by a well-known white nationalist, Richard Spencer, and included both neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups. Former Ku Klux Klan head David Duke was a scheduled speaker. The cause they were protesting '-- the removal of Lee's statue '-- is one supported by many nonwhite supremacists and nonwhite nationalists, but this rally was clearly not one for your average supporter of Confederate monuments.
And indeed, if you look at what Trump says next, it seems that he totally misconstrues who was actually protesting in Charlottesville. Here's the next part:
REPORTER: You said the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?
TRUMP: No. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before, if you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people '-- neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest. Because I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit. So I only tell you this, there are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country. A horrible moment. But there are two sides.
There was indeed another protest the night before the deadly rally, but it could hardly be described as ''very quiet'' or ''fine people.'' Here's how The Post described the scene:
At their Friday night rally at the University of Virginia, the white nationalists brandished torches and chanted anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans, including ''blood and soil'' (an English rendering of the Nazi ''blut und boden'') and ''Jews will not replace us'' '-- all crafted to cast Jews as foreign interlopers who need to be expunged. The attendees proudly displayed giant swastikas and wore shirts emblazoned with quotes from Adolf Hitler. One banner read, ''Jews are Satan's children.''
Vice News has footage of these Friday-night protesters chanting ''Jews will not replace us'' and ''blood and soil'':
For the Trump defense to make any sense, there would have had to be some other group of people who didn't subscribe to these awful ideals but for some reason decided to march in common cause with neo-Nazis, white supremacists and white nationalists. It's theoretically possible there might have been some such people there, but you would think they'd quickly become pretty uncomfortable marching next to people chanting ''Jews will not replace us'' '-- and people who appeared prepared for violence, even donning helmets.
And even if such people were somehow there, the overwhelming thrust of the rally was clearly not so innocuous. It was organized by well-known figures in those movements, and the turnout seemed to follow accordingly.
Trump does this a lot. He will say something suggestive '-- in this case, suggestive that the violence in Charlottesville wasn't really such a clear-cut result of resurgent racism '-- and then he will later say something else to give himself plausible deniability. But the plausibility here is basically nil. Trump seemed to find something redeeming in a group of protesters that was clearly full of racists. And even though a person in this group actually killed someone, he decided the blame needed to be shared with another group that wasn't nearly so monolithic or hateful '-- and didn't kill anyone.
Oh, and even if you think the media has oversold these comments in some way, Biden's summary was careful. Here's how he portrayed it:
Charlottesville is also home to a defining moment for this nation in the last few years. It was there on August of 2017 we saw Klansmen and white supremacists and neo-Nazis come out in the open, their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging and bearing the fangs of racism. Chanting the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the '30s. And they were met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensued and a brave young woman lost her life.
And that's when we heard the words from the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were some very fine people on both sides. Very fine people on both sides?
With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.
Biden correctly described who was marching that day, and then he correctly characterized Trump's comments. The idea that he's launching his campaign on the ''Charlottesville hoax'' or the ''Charlottesville lie'' is a rather amazing contention.
Measles in a bar from Producer
Just thought I'd give you a heads up about how the hysteria
is unfolding on the streets here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Williamsburg is the
center of the Orthodox Jewish enclave that is refusing to vaccinate, and De
Blasio mandated that they must or face 1k fines. My workplace is literally just
a few blocks down the street from their main neighborhood.
We just received a call tonight from the NY State Health
Dept, informing us that we had a customer last Thursday for an event who has
tested positive for measles. They requested a list of every employee and
customer that was there that night, as well as their phone numbers. They
provided access to an online portal with information regarding what to do if an
employee shows symptoms or is unvaccinated, as well as the excel sheet they
want us to fill out and send back. It will automatically add all names and
numbers to a database of possibly exposed individuals.
Of course, I already expressed that I would like to opt out
of this information collection, and am waiting to make sure that request is
acted upon. I'll update further if anything else develops from this.
Anonymous Slave Vaccine Info
Enjoying your vaccine best on No Agenda! After studying this
specific field on the clinical side at school and working with big pharma on
the marketing side, I’d consider myself a “semi-vaxxer” as well. Thought I’d
offer some context and clarifications on the subject matter knowledge in case
it helps. Feel free to quote/paraphrase - anonymously of course - or just use
to guide research.
Injecting attenuated and/or killed virus is one (and the oldest)
vaccine mechanism, and the one in the MMR vaccine. Another mechanism is to
inject parts of the germ so that the immune system can develop antibodies to
recognize and fight the germ if infected. Nicely distilled summary here:
At the end of the day, all these vaccines rely on the patient’s
immune system “learning” to raise antibodies so they can fight off the disease
if they come in contact. That memory can be “lost” as immune cells die, hence
the booster shots. The booster shot requirement does tend to vary by vaccine/disease.
I don’t think the industry has established why.
So, a vaccine may legitimately not be 100% effective if that
immune “training” doesn’t happen effectively (there’s no confirmation test done
to see that someone actually responded to the antigen) or, in the cases of
Gardasil and the yearly flu vaccines, it doesn’t address every strain of the
disease. And of course vaccine-resistant strains can always develop and thrive
because no one is inoculated against them.
Gardasil only innoculates against nine (when it was first pushed
on all of us, four) strains of HPV which the exalted peer-reviewed lit claims
accounts of 90% of the strains that can cause cervical cancers. ( -
abstract from NEJM, article written by Merck researchers) With the flu vaccine,
they have to guess every year what the dominant strains will be to throw into
the vaccine, and as you mentioned in the show they often get it very wrong.
None of all that would necessarily be so bad if it were
transparent, but it’s not, and the effectiveness and the weak severity of many
of these diseases is incongruous with the dogma created around the need to get
these vaccines.
Also, pharma is always looking for ways to diagnose more people
with stuff, which makes sense from a marketing perspective. Look into the
creation of “prediabetes” and the changing goalposts for diagnosing diabetes.
Plenty of other examples too. Chronic disease = customer for life! Shut up,
slave, it’s science!
Anonymous Slave
UCLA, Cal State LA To Quarantine Students Who Cannot Prove They Had Measles Vaccination '' CBS Los Angeles
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:39
April 25, 2019 at 12:50 pmLOS ANGELES (CBSLA) '' Health officials at UCLA and Cal State LA are working with county health officials to issue quarantine orders for students who cannot provide evidence of measles immunizations, officials announced Thursday.
As many as 100 students at UCLA and possibly some at CSULA may be ordered to remain in their residence from up to 21 days, according to a statement released by the L.A. County Department Of Public Health.
Any student who has been exposed to a confirmed case of measles who could not provide evidence of two doses of measles immunizations or lab verified immunity to measles will be issued a health officer order for quarantine, which mandates the exposed person to remain at their residence.
The quarantined person is also required to notify county health officials if they develop symptoms of measles, and to avoid contact with others until the end of their quarantine period or until they provide evidence of immunity.
Quarantine for measles can be up to 21 days from the date of last exposure, at which time the exposed person is no longer a risk for developing the disease and spreading measles to others.
''Both universities are assisting with the implementation of quarantine orders and determining how best to support students who must be quarantined and who live on campus,'' officials said.
State health officials say the number of measles cases is up in California this year and much of the increase is linked to overseas travel.
Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, says the state recorded 38 measles cases as of Thursday, versus 11 around the same time last year.
She says the state typically sees fewer than two dozen cases a year.
This year, California's cases stretch across 11 counties '' including five new cases in L.A. County '' and affect patients from 5 months to 55 years of age.
She says more than 76% of patients were not vaccinated or didn't receive the recommended two doses of vaccine.
Fourteen of those infected had traveled overseas to countries including Philippines, Thailand, India and Ukraine.
Measles symptoms include high fever, a cough and a rash.
This is a breaking news report. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Comments (2)
Any Collusion?
Breaking: Lovers Strzok and Page Were "Cultivating Sources" to Spy and Inform on President Trump (VIDEO)
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 03:33
Breaking: Lovers Strzok and Page Were ''Cultivating Sources'' to Spy and Inform on President Trump (VIDEO) by Jim Hoft April 25, 2019
New Evidence Shows Lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page Were ''Cultivating Sources'' to Spy and Inform on President TrumpFOX News reported on Thursday night that new text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page indicate they discussed using post election briefings to gather information on President Trump. The deep state lovers were hoping to identify people they could ''develop for potential relationships,'' track lines of questioning and ''assess'' changes in demeanor.
The GOP says this is ''more evidence'' of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.
Via Tucker Carlson Tonight:
Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller has more.
In a letter Thursday to Barr, Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin cite a series of text messages from Nov. 17, 2016 exchanged between then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and then-FBI attorney Lisa Page.
In the texts, Strzok makes a reference to using ''our CI guy'' to develop ''potential relationships'' with Trump transition team members. Strzok suggested using the ''CI guy'' '-- a likely reference to a counterintelligence official '-- to assess whether unidentified Trump officials expressed a ''different demeanor.''
Hillary Clinton: 'If That F-ing B*stard Trump Wins, We All Hang From Nooses' - Page 3 of 3 - Truth And Action
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 14:34
Journalist Matt Stiller shared in a recent report that during the 2016 presidential election Hillary Clinton was unhinged, and that various NBC insiders can substantiate his account.
According to Still, during last year's presidential campaign at the Commander-In-Chief Forum on September 7, 2016, moderator Matt Lauer went ''off script'' and asked Hillary about her using an illegal, private email-server when she was secretary of state.
According to Bill Still's source '-- an unnamed ''NBC associate producer of the forum'' '-- Hillary was so enraged that, after the forum, she went into a ballistic melt-down, screaming at her staff, including a racist rant at Donna Brazile, calling Brazile a ''buffalo'' and ''janitor''. Brazile recently turned against Hillary '-- now we know why.
This is what the NBC insider had to say. Scroll down to view the video!
''Hillary proceeded to pick up a full glass of water and throw it at the face of the assistant, and the screaming started.
She was in a full meltdown and no one on her staff dared speak with her '-- she went kind of manic and did not have any control over herself at that point. How these people work with this woman is amazing to me. She really didn't seem to care who heard any of it.
You really had to see this to believe it. She came apart '-- literally unglued. She is the most foul-mouthed woman I've ever heard. And that voice at screech level '-- awful!
She screamed she'd get that fucking Lauer fired for this. Referring to Donald Trump, Clinton said, 'If that fucking bastard wins, we all hang from nooses! Lauer's finished, and if I lose, it's all on your heads for screwing this up.'
Her dozen or more aides were visibly disturbed and tried to calm her down when she started shaking uncontrollably as she screamed to get an executive at Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal, on the phone. Then two rather large aides grabbed her and helped her walk to her car.''
And she wonders why she lost'...
Here is the video!
Source: Fellowship of the Minds
Image: Sparta Report
President Obama's 2016 Political Surveillance Coverup Had Two Parallel Tracks'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 21:42
Everything after March 9th, 2016, is a function of two intelligence units, the CIA and FBI, operating together to coverup prior political surveillance and spy operations.
Prior to March 9th, 2016, the surveillance and spy operation was using the NSA database to track and monitor their political opposition. However, once the NSA compliance officer began initiating an internal review of who was accessing the system, the CIA and FBI moved to create ex post facto justification for their endeavors. [Full Backstory]
The evidence for this is found in the documents attached to both operations; and bolsters the original statements by Congressman Devin Nunes as highlighted below.
'...The CIA track took place between March and July 2016, and consisted of using foreign intelligence allies in Italy, the U.K and Australia to create a background illusion of Russian involvement with the Trump campaign. This operation was based on earlier -more innocuous- contacts from various countries, weaponized and redeployed in what everyone calls ''spygate''. This track successfully culminated in Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
'...The FBI track was domestic-centric, albeit sub-contracted to Fusion GPS and later a former British intelligence officer, and took place between April and October 2016; also to create the illusion of Russian involvement. This operation is best known around the Steele Dossier and FISA warrant against U.S. person Carter Page. The FBI track continued with the Mueller investigation into 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In April of 2018 Devin Nunes noted:
[Transcript] ''So it took us a long time to actually get this, what's called the electronic communication, as we know it now for your viewers, what it is it's the original intelligence, original reasons that the counterintelligence was started.
Now this is really important to us because the counterintelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services that are not supposed to be used on American citizens. And we've long wanted to know: what intelligence did you have that actually led to this investigation? So what we've found now, after the investigators have reviewed it, is that in fact there was no intelligence.
So we have a traditional partnership with what's called the Five Eyes Agreement. Five Eyes Agreement involves our friends in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and of course, us. So long time processes and procedures in place where we move intelligence across.
We are not supposed to spy on each others' citizens. And it's worked well. And it continues to work well. And we know it's working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government.
And that's why we had to see that original communication. So now we're trying to figure out, as you know, we are investigating the State Department, we think there's some major irregularities in the State Department, and we're trying to figure out how this information about Mr. Papadopoulos of all people who was supposedly meeting with some folks in London, how that made it over across into the FBI's hands.'' (video link)
The direct evidence for what Devin Nunes is describing is found in two specific documents. Each of the documents is unique to their track. One track is the CIA the other track is the FBI. The merging point that binds them is the U.S. State Department.
'... First, we review the CIA track.The evidence for the CIA track is found in the Weissmann-Mueller report. More specifically, it is found in the intentional way the report tries to conflate two contact points.
This track is CIA Director John Brennan's work, with enlisted help from the FBI counterintelligence unit (Peter Strzok and Bill Priestap) as they travel to the U.K.
After western intelligence asset Joseph Mifsud (posed as a Russian) plants a story on George Papadopoulos about Russia having ''emails of Clinton'', the operation then needs Papadopoulos to share the information. That's where a joint network comes in. The network is the U.S. embassy in London; the Australian embassy in London; the Australian Ambassador to the U.K. Alexander Downer; and his top aide Erika Thompson.
Notice page #89 of the report; but read carefully and specifically notice the date Weissmann and Mueller use to frame the Russia story extraction from Papadopoulos:
The meeting on May 6th, was NOT a meeting with Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer. That meeting did not happen until May 10th. The recent release of documents from Australia confirm this timeline.
The meeting on May 6th was between George Papadopoulos and Downer's aide, Erika Thompson: '...''that the Trump campaign had received information from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.''
So, if the U.S. used the information from the May 6, 2016, meeting as conveyed on July 26th, 2016, it was the conversation with Erika Thompson that opened Crossfire Hurricane; not the meeting with Alexander Downer on May 10th. {Go Deep}
This subtle but important distinction in contact and communication reconciles the statement by Devin Nunes; because Thompson is also a reported intelligence operative (spy) and information from her would not be passing through ''Five Eyes'' official channels. However, for their intents and purposes, the U.S. operation needed to give the appearance of official channels, so the *inference* between the claim and the footnote *implies* Ambassador Downer. But you can see that's not actually what happened.
This is an example of Weissmann/Mueller disguising the actual origin in their report. They are giving cover to the reality that unofficial intelligence was the actual basis for the originating ''EC'' or two-page electronic communication from CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey. It was that 2-page EC, likely written by FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, that initiated ''Crossfire Hurricane''.
The page in the Weissmann/Mueller report is factually true but the inference is false. It is written in the way they intended, to give a false impression. It is quite subtle and sneaky.
What is outlined on Page #89 is also the CIA track that ran from March to July 31st, 2016.
The operation positioned Joseph Mifsud as a Russian spy; has him plant information on George Papadopoulos; then uses U.S. and AU operatives to withdraw the information; thereby giving the appearance that a Trump campaign official, Papadopoulos, was receiving and passing-on Russian intelligence. This is the CIA justification for creating the EC. This is the CIA cover story.
Now let's review the evidence of the FBI track and how it also connects to the U.S. State Department. This one is more brutally obvious because the document had to be less ambiguous in construct. This involves the FISA application on U.S. Person Carter Page.
'... The FBI Track '' The Steele Dossier, FISA Warrant and Carter Page.The second page of the FISA application used to gain a Title-1 surveillance warrant against U.S. Carter Page identifies where the material came from. Notice the direct attribution is to the State Department; not the DOJ or FBI, and certainly not Christopher Steele.
Applying hindsight to the backstory of the Clinton Campaign hiring Fusion GPS, and Fusion hiring Christopher Steele for the Dossier; and the dossier being passed on to the FBI and DOJ via various channels'... Question: why would the DOJ be citing the State Department for their claim?
The answer is simple. Carter Page was a known person to the FBI and DOJ. Carter Page was a subject witness from 2012 to 2016 in the Evgeny Buryakov case [DOJ March 2016]. How could the FBI claim Carter Page was ''an agent of a foreign power'' to the FISA court in October 2016, when they only finished using him as a cooperating subject witness in May of 2016? [DOJ May 2016]
The short answers are: (1) they couldn't; (2) they were in a big hurry; there was a sense of urgency; they needed the FISA and Steele Dossier as insurance policy; and (3) it wasn't safe for the DOJ/FBI to make the 'foreign agent' claim against their own prior witness if things went sideways.
Remember, this is all a coverup. Their efforts are about gaining position and appearances to justify a preceding action. Their efforts are not focused on an actual investigation. So they told the FISC the information came from the State Department and [Redacted]. Whichever source could give them the best legal justification to gain the FISA warrant was the leading point in the thought process.
Despite everything around the Steele Dossier primarily inbound from Fusion-GPS and Chris Steele to the DOJ and FBI, the people creating the FISA illusion needed to use the State Department as a valid reference for fraudulent claims they were making.
From the beginning Fusion-GPS was not hired to research Donald Trump; the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a plausible justification for already existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion created the dossier for them.
The FBI knew Carter Page. Essentially Carter Page was irrelevant, what they needed was the FISA warrant and the Dossier in the system {Go Deep} as their insurance policy.
So there we see two parallel tracks; one from the CIA, and one from the FBI. Both intended to provide a cover story for political surveillance and spy operations that preceded March 9, 2016. The CIA track created 'crossfire hurricane'. The FBI track created the Steele Dossier. Both had the same purpose.
Both tracks originated from 'unofficial channels' and then transferred into official status through the use of two documents. The CIA generated the two-page ''EC''; and the FBI generated the FISA application from the Steele Dossier.
Both tracks held the same coverup purpose; both tracks were insurance policies; and both tracks merged for intelligence exploitation after President Trump won the election. After the election the goal was shifted to remove the risk Trump represented.
Once they had the legal justifications for targeting Trump, albeit fraudulently obtained, the effort could move into phase three: by-the-book processes. The FBI track evolved into the Mueller probe; that's why the Dossier is so important to the validity of the special counsel.
Everything after March 9th, 2016, through today '' is covering for everything that happened before March 9th when ''contractors'' were allowed by the FBI and DOJ to have weaponized access to the NSA database for political surveillance and spy operations.
This two-track process and ultimate merging is what all of the documentary evidence supports. I suspect when the arc of the story concludes, this is where we will be.
The most important sentence in Judge Collyer's brief:
'...''many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.''..This Page #82 sentence specifically highlights that during the 2016 presidential campaign, those who had access to the NSA database were searching the same phone numbers, email addresses, electronic ''identifiers'', or people, repeatedly over different dates.
Specific people were being tracked/monitored.
Mueller Report '' Cover-up for Real Crimes | The Sleuth Journal
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 10:53
If onelistens to the Democrats or the mainstream media, the impression that is beingfed to the American public is that the Trump investigation will just intensify.The sacred Grand Inquisitor, RobertMueller once the darling of the witch hunt, is now a spinelesshangman who failed to topple the king. After this tortured process of the DeepState cover-up, the central concocted reason for finding collusion with someimaginary Russian plot to fix the 2016 presidential election never provided theevidence to prove this establishment narrative. Pray tell; no boot lickingtoady would ever admit that the U.S. imperial empire ever intervened or stagedsubversion into foreign elections or governmental overthrows.
Shortmemories are a hallmark of American denial. The example of overthrowing theUkraine government of President Viktor Yanukovych and placing into power aNeoCon friendly regime stands out as prime proof just who is the expert atfixing elections. How fitting that the recent Landslideelection victory thrusts Ukrainian comedian into limelight. Now thatBiden has announced his presidential run, let him explain the circumstancesof Joe Biden's son gets job with major Ukrainian natural gascompany under his and Obama's watch.
TheMueller Report attempts to smear President Trump with ever questionable andderogatory innuendo. All the Democrats have left to their deceitful campaign ofcharacter assassination is to push their political noir Hollywood script to thenext sequel. Somehow the desperate socialist villains are unable to admit thatthey owe Trump an apology for their false witness screenplay. However, theseradical Marxists will never admit the truth.
Thecontinuous and repetitive diatribes that inadequately passes as debate amonglawyers and bias pundits has wearied the public on continuous Trump bashing.The special counsel report avoided the real criminal offenses of HillaryClinton and the complicity in this concealment of real indictablecharges.
Mueller'steam of unethical prosecutors, in the mold of Andrew Weissmann, were committed to protect thecorrupt and bipartisan establishment and careerists. Trump, no matter what youthink of him was elected by the ordinary populist to clean out the crap houseof stench and disease that is the realm of the Beltway power elites.
Undeniably,the Trump experience has proven just how deep and expansive the establishmentis entrenched and powerfully it exerts control over the political agencies,legislatures and courts. The real offenses of this cabal will be safeguardingthe criminal syndicate so it can continue its pattern of domineering rule.
All thekudos over the adult, who is the new Attorney General, William Barr, may be alittle premature. No doubt Barr is professional, but potentially therelationship between William Barr And Robert Mueller Are 'Best Friends'?,highlights a natural concern.
''Breitbart reports that Barr and Mueller are close friends. So close, in fact, that Mueller attended the weddings of Barr's children. In addition, their wives attended Bible study together for years and are practically best friends.''
Itwould be nice to give AG Barr some space to see just how much he is devoted toseek a thoroughgoing and complete assessment of the actual felonies committedby the gang of FBI and DOJ Clinton loyalists. However, a more immediate testwill be shortly forthcoming with the DOJ Inspector General Preparing to 'Deeply Undermine'Anti-Trump Dossier Author's Credibility. ThePolitico article cited, Post-Mueller report likely to target Russia dossier authorSteele, provides the following:
''Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS in 2016 to research Trump's Russia ties, with funding from a law firm that represented the Democratic National Committee. He has become a villain to Trump allies who claim that anti-Trump Justice Department officials conspired to undo the results of the 2016 election, and conservatives have seized on Mueller's conclusion that no criminal conspiracy existed between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin as evidence that Steele's sensational dossier was a fraud.''
The IG,Michael Horowitz may well provide the evidence, which would lead to theissuance of warrants for arrest in this massive, systemic and coordinatedoperation to keep the Democrat Obama holdovers immune from prosecution. Thecoup to remove President Trump from office will continue through the nextelection. Yet, any honest person has the duty and responsibility to hold thelong list of the traitors behind the effort to neutralize the disrupter of thecareerist cabal by a President that true Patriots elected.
conspiratorssums up the necessary measures required to restore trust in government.
''Mueller's probe really was: a taxpayer-funded anti-Trump opposition research team hiding behind a veneer of official legitimacy.
For me, the most troubling part of this entire saga is that the Democrats who undermined the legitimacy of our democracy and the public's faith in our institutions in order to push their conspiracy theory almost got what they were really after.
This was never about achieving justice for Russian election interference or obstruction of justice. It wasn't about uncovering a grand Trump-Russia conspiracy that I doubt most Democratic politicians ever actually believed in. It was solely about weakening the president politically by whatever means necessary.''
RobertMueller is a cover-up artist and spent his entire public life in the service ofthe power elite. At this point, sincere Americans can hope that AG William Barrcan overcome his personal friendship and vigorously bring up charges againstMueller for his own culpability in the putsch plot.
Until thelong list of FBI and DOJ senior officials become defendants for their owncrimes, the law enforcement hoax will continue to get away with murder (SethRich). Until Hillary Clinton is exposed as an untouchable asset of thetyrannous intelligence community, the imperious Shadow Government will dictatetheir Totalitarian Collectivism upon our country. And until the American publicwakes up from its slumber, the most evil factions will continue destroying ournation.
The Operation Against General Flynn Started Long Before The Election | Frontpage Mag
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 11:59
Michael Ledeen is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Byron York seems baffled by the discovery in the Mueller report that the FBI was after General Michael Flynn long before the intercepts of his telephone conversations with Russian officials during the post-2016 election transition. By that time, Obama Administration higher-ups in the intelligence community were warning Trump that Flynn had suspicious intimate contacts with the Russians, possibly in violation of the Logan Act. As Byron writes:
Mueller strongly suggests something else was up. Obama administration intelligence officials "were surprised by Russia's decision not to retaliate in response to the sanctions," the report said. "When analyzing Russia's response, they became aware of Flynn's discussion of sanctions with Kislyak. Previously, the FBI had opened an investigation of Flynn based on his relationship with the Russian government. Flynn's contacts with Kislyak became a key component of that investigation.
Mueller attributed the information, which is on page 26 of Volume II of the report, to interviews with former Justice Department official Mary McCord, who was deeply involved in the Flynn case, and fired FBI Director James Comey.
The FBI investigation of General Flynn goes back several years, perhaps as far back as 2015. This was undoubtedly because the intelligence community didn't like Flynn, who had changed the way intelligence was collected and analyzed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, taking it away from Washington military and intel officials and relocating it in theater. His methods worked well, but they greatly irritated the Washington-based intelligence crowd. When Flynn was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), it became known that he intended to audit decades of covert budgets, checking to see if the funding, especially for CIA, actually went to the intended recipients for the approved missions. If you ask me, the campaign against Flynn that so surprised Byron York is best explained by the intel community's eagerness to lock him out of their system. It was reinforced when Flynn criticized Obama's Afghanistan policy in sworn testimony to Congress.
I suspect that if there is ever a proper inquiry into the operation, we'll find that the CIA and FBI placed trusted informers inside Flynn's offices at DIA. It was clearly very important to them, as we see when Comey overrode his own officers to push the claim that Flynn had misled them.
Still earlier, the intelligence community invented a romantic relationship between Flynn and Russian historian Svetlana Lokhova. This was one of the false tales that came to us courtesy of British intelligence, most famously the Steele Dossier, and undoubtedly involved the CIA.
When Flynn became Trump's favorite national security adviser, it became even more urgent for the Dark State to take him out. Having already organized the operation even before Trump became the Republican nominee, it was a relatively simple task to expand it, and as we know the FBI trapped him, as they had with Scooter Libby and others.
Full credit goes to Byron York for spotting the confirmation of the long-standing anti-Flynn operation, and for asking what it was all about. I believe I have written about the operation more than half a dozen times, but I never expected it to be documented in Mueller's report. I hope it will be more fully explored when Mueller is questioned.
I also hope that President Trump will soon do the right thing, and pardon General Flynn. The government conjured a phony case against him. Now it's time to turn him loose. Finally.
Measles outbreak: Quarantine issued at UCLA, Cal State LA for hundreds of students and staff - The Washington Post
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:57
A quarantine order was issued Thursday for hundreds of students and staff at two Los Angeles universities who may have been exposed to measles and either have not been vaccinated or can't verify that they have immunity. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)Hundreds of students, staff and faculty at two Los Angeles universities will be quarantined after being exposed to measles, according to Los Angeles County health officials, the latest development in a resurgence of the highly contagious disease that was declared eliminated in 2000.
The University of California at Los Angeles said Thursday that a student infected with measles attended classes at two campus buildings on April 2, 4 and 9. He did not enter any other buildings while on campus, but the school determined that more than 500 students and staff may have been exposed or come into contact with the sick student.
While many of those individuals were cleared, the university said it is awaiting medical records from 82 faculty members and students who will remain quarantined until proof of immunity is established. The students will live on campus while quarantined, which for some could last up to seven days.
Officials at California State University at Los Angeles also alerted its students and staff of a potential measles exposure that took place at a campus library on April 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those at the library during that time were asked to provide immunization records or be checked for immunity at the health center, California State said in a statement Thursday.
Thus far, 127 staff employees and 71 student employees have been instructed to stay at home and avoid contact with others under quarantine orders, according to the university.
"For those exposed to a confirmed case of measles who could not provide evidence of two doses of measles immunizations or lab verified immunity to measles, a Health Officer Order for quarantine is being issued,'' the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement. Quarantined students and staff are asked to stay at their residences and notify the department if they develop symptoms.
The quarantines could last for up to 21 days, the department said. The announcement comes just days after public health officials declared a measles outbreak in the county.
[How does measles spread? Do I need another MMR vaccine shot? How dangerous is measles? FAQ on the outbreaks.]
The orders come amid a surge of measles outbreaks across the country '-- a reported 695 cases overall spanning 22 states '-- the highest number in a single year since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.
In a statement late Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the United States is seeing ''a resurgence of measles, a disease that had once been effectively eliminated from our country. .'‰.'‰. Measles is not a harmless childhood illness, but a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening disease.''
The CDC cited misinformation about the safety of the measles vaccine as a contributing factor to the uptick in places such as New York. However, the Los Angeles Times notes that high vaccination rates in California have prevented small outbreaks from proliferating.
Lena H. Sun contributed to this report.
This story has been updated.
Read more:
Measles cases break record since disease was eliminated in United States in 2000
Unaware he had measles, a man traveled from New York to Michigan, infecting 39 people
Parents of 3 NYC children face $1,000 penalty for violating measles order
Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "....Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good ''pal'' of low ratings Shepard Smith."
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:10
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Ben Rhodes (White House staffer) - Wikipedia
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:23
Benjamin J. Rhodes (born November 14, 1977) is a writer and political commentator. With Jake Sullivan, he is the co-chair of National Security Action, a political NGO.[1] He contributes to NBC News and MSNBC regularly as a political commentator.[2] He is also a Crooked Media contributor, and co-host of the foreign policy podcast Pod Save the World.[3]
In 2018, Random House published Rhodes's memoir, The World as It Is, a New York Times bestseller and revelatory behind-the-scenes account of Barack Obama's presidency. George Packer in the New Yorker called the book "the closest view of Obama we're likely to get until he publishes his own memoir."[4] In the New York Times, Joe Klein wrote, "His achievement is rare for a political memoir: He has written a humane and honorable book."[5] Rhodes has written opinion articles for newspapers and magazines including the New York Times and The Atlantic.[6][7]
During the Obama administration, Rhodes led the secret negotiations with Cuba that resulted in the December 17, 2014 announcement by President Obama and Raºl Castro that the two countries would normalize relations. Rhodes traveled to Canada and the Vatican for talks with Cuba about a prisoner exchange that led to the release of Alan Gross and a U.S. intelligence asset, along with the decision to re-establish diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S.[8] In his book, Rhodes revealed that his negotiating counterpart was Alejandro Castro, the son of Raºl. Rhodes was the U.S. government representative at the funeral for Fidel Castro in 2016.[9] Rhodes has been critical of the Trump administration's approach to Cuba.[10]
Rhodes was featured in the HBO documentary The Final Year, along with John Kerry, Samantha Power and Susan Rice. The documentary portrays the events of Obama's final year in office, with a focus on his foreign policy team.[11]
Early life and education [ edit ] Rhodes was born in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan He is the son of an Episcopalian father from Texas and a Jewish mother from New York.[12][13] He attended the Collegiate School, graduating in 1996.[14][15] Rhodes then attended Rice University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 2000 with majors in English and political science.[13] He then moved back to New York, attending New York University and graduating in 2002 with an MFA in creative writing.[16] His brother, David Rhodes, is a former President of CBS News.[17][18]
Career [ edit ] In the summer of 1997, Rhodes volunteered with the Rudy Giuliani mayoral campaign.[13] In the summer of 2001, he worked on the New York City Council campaign of Diana Reyna.[19] In 2002, James Gibney, editor of Foreign Policy, introduced Rhodes to Lee Hamilton, former member of the House of Representatives and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was looking for a speechwriter.[15] Rhodes then spent five years as an assistant to Hamilton, helping to draft the Iraq Study Group Report and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.[20][21]
In 2007, Rhodes began working as a speechwriter for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.[22]
Rhodes wrote Obama's 2009 Cairo speech "A New Beginning".[23] Rhodes was the adviser who counseled Obama to withdraw support from Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak,[13] becoming a key adviser during the 2011 Arab Spring.[12][18]
Rhodes was instrumental in the conversations that led to Obama reestablishing the United States' diplomatic relations with Cuba,[24] which had been cut off since 1961. The New York Times reported that Rhodes spent "more than a year sneaking off to secret negotiations in Canada and finally at the Vatican" in advance of the official announcement in December 2014.[25]
After leaving the Obama administration, Rhodes began working as a commentator.[26] He wrote The World as It Is and began contributing to Crooked Media, NBC News and MSNBC. In 2018, he co-founded National Security Action.[27]
Rhodes has criticized U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[28][29] He wrote of the war in Yemen, "Looking back, I wonder what we might have done differently, particularly if we'd somehow known that Obama was going to be succeeded by a President Trump."[28]
Controversies [ edit ] In a controversial profile in The New York Times Magazine, Rhodes was quoted "deriding the D.C. press corps and boasting of how he created an 'echo chamber' to market the administration's foreign policy", including the international nuclear agreement with Iran.[16][17][18] The piece was criticized by numerous journalism outlets for its lack of journalistic integrity and biases against the Iran deal.[30][31][32]
In 2017, it was alleged that Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube attempted to manufacture incriminating or embarrassing information about Rhodes and his wife, as well as fellow former National Security Council staffer Colin Kahl, in an apparent effort to undermine supporters of the Iran nuclear deal. Rhodes said of the incident, "This just eviscerates any norm of how governments should operate or treat their predecessors and their families. It crosses a dangerous line."[21]
Awards and honors [ edit ] In 2011, Rhodes was on Time magazine's "40 Under 40" list of powerful and prominent young professionals.[33] Rhodes was number 13 on Fortune magazine's "40 Under 40" list of the most influential young people in business in 2014.[34]
In 2015, Rhodes was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers.[35]
Books [ edit ] Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission. (co-authored by Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton) Vintage Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-30727-663-6.The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. Random House, 2018, ISBN 978-0525509356.Personal life [ edit ] Rhodes is married to Ann Norris, who was chief foreign policy adviser to former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). They have two daughters.[36][37]
References [ edit ] ^ Gearan, Anne (February 27, 2018). "Democrats marshal strike force to counter Trump on national security in 2018, 2020 elections". Washington Post . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ "Former Obama Adviser Ben Rhodes Joins NBC News and MSNBC". . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ "Crooked Media Announces New Site, Pod, Store, and Network of Very Fine People on Both Sides". Crooked Media . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Packer, George (June 18, 2018). "Witnessing the Obama Presidency, from Start to Finish". New Yorker. ^ Klein, Joe (June 5, 2018). "Deep Inside the Obama White House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Rhodes, Ben; Sullivan, Jake (November 25, 2018). "Opinion | How to Check Trump and Repair America's Image". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Rhodes, Ben (October 12, 2018). "A Fatal Abandonment of American Leadership". The Atlantic . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ LeoGrande, William. "Fidel Castro has died. Here's an inside look at Cuba's crazy back-channel negotiations with Obama". Mother Jones . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Harris, Gardiner (November 29, 2016). "Obama to Send Aide to Fidel Castro's Funeral". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Rhodes, Ben (June 16, 2017). "Trump's Cuba Policy Will Fail". The Atlantic . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Glasser, Susan B. "How Does Obama's Foreign Policy Look a Year Into Trump?". POLITICO Magazine . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ a b Landler, Mark (March 16, 2013). "Worldly at 35, and Shaping Obama's Voice". New York Times. ^ a b c d Fields, Sarah (October 22, 2018). Summary: Ben Rhodes' The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. HSP via PublishDrive. ^ "Election 2008: Ben Rhodes '96, Speechwriter and Advisor to Barack Obama". Collegiate School. October 27, 2008 . Retrieved September 24, 2013 . ^ a b Jason Horowitz (January 12, 2010). "Obama speechwriter pens a different script for the world stage". Washington Post . Retrieved September 24, 2013 . ^ "Election 2008: Ben Rhodes '96, Speechwriter and Advisor to Barack Obama". Collegiate School. October 27, 2008 . Retrieved September 24, 2013 . ^ Brian Steinberg (November 20, 2014). "David Rhodes To Take Over CBS News As Jeff Fager Steps Down". Variety . Retrieved May 29, 2015 . ^ a b Landler, Mark (March 15, 2013). "Worldly at 35, and Shaping Obama's Voice". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved January 15, 2019 . ^ Jason Horowitz (January 12, 2010). "Obama speechwriter pens a different script for the world stage". Washington Post . Retrieved September 24, 2013 . ^ "White House Profile: Ben Rhodes" . Retrieved September 23, 2013 . ^ Samuels, David (May 5, 2016). "The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama's Foreign-Policy Guru". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved January 15, 2019 . ^ Samuels, David (May 5, 2016). "The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama's Foreign-Policy Guru". The New York Times Magazine. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved November 30, 2016 . ^ "Who Wrote Obama's Cairo Speech?". June 5, 2009. ^ De Young, Karen (November 16, 2016). "How Obama's Trip to Havana finally ended the cold war". Washington Post . Retrieved January 15, 2019 . ^ Davis, Julie Hirschfeld; Baker, Peter (August 13, 2015). "A Secretive Path to Raising U.S. Flag in Cuba". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved November 30, 2016 . ^ Rhodes, Ben (October 12, 2018). "A Fatal Abandonment of American Leadership". The Atlantic . Retrieved January 15, 2019 . ^ "National Security Action '-- WHO WE ARE". National Security Action . Retrieved January 15, 2019 . ^ a b "A Fatal Abandonment of American Leadership". The Atlantic. October 12, 2018. ^ "When Will Obama Aides Come Clean About U.S.-Saudi War Crimes?". In These Times. October 22, 2018. ^ "How the NYT Magazine botched its story on Iran & Ben Rhodes". POLITICO Magazine . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Lozada, Carlos (May 6, 2016). "Why the Ben Rhodes profile in the New York Times Magazine is just gross". Washington Post . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Levitz, Eric (May 10, 2016). "10 Problems With That New York Times Magazine Profile of White House Aide Ben Rhodes". New York Inteligencer . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ "Ben Rhodes: 40 Under 40". TIME. October 14, 2010 . Retrieved April 9, 2012 . ^ "Ben Rhodes". Fortune. October 9, 2014 . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ "The Leading Global Thinkers of 2015 - Foreign Policy". . Retrieved December 10, 2018 . ^ Jack Shafer (March 18, 2013). "Beat sweetener: The Benjamin J. Rhodes edition". . Retrieved May 17, 2016 . ^ Julian Borger (January 13, 2017). "Ben Rhodes: 'Obama has a serenity that I don't. I get more exercised ' ". The Guardian . Retrieved February 17, 2018 . External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ben Rhodes.Ben Rhodes on TwitterAppearances on C-SPAN Office Name Term Office Name Term White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel 2009''10 National Security Advisor James L. Jones 2009''10 Pete Rouse 2010''11 Thomas E. Donilon 2010''13 William M. Daley 2011''12 Susan Rice 2013''17 Jack Lew 2012''13 Deputy National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon 2009''10 Denis McDonough 2013''17 Denis McDonough 2010''13 White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Mona Sutphen 2009''11 Tony Blinken 2013''14 Nancy-Ann DeParle 2011''13 Avril Haines 2015''17 Rob Nabors 2013''15 Dep. National Security Advisor, Homeland Security John O. Brennan 2009''13 White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Jim Messina 2009''11 Lisa Monaco 2013''17 Alyssa Mastromonaco 2011''14 Dep. National Security Advisor, Iraq and Afghanistan Douglas Lute' 2009''13 Anita Decker Breckenridge 2014''17 Dep. National Security Advisor, Strategic Comm. Ben Rhodes 2009''17 White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning Mark B. Childress 2012''14 Dep. National Security Advisor, Chief of Staff Mark Lippert 2009 Kristie Canegallo 2014''17 Denis McDonough 2009''10 Counselor to the President Pete Rouse 2011''13 Brooke D. Anderson 2011''12 John Podesta 2014''15 White House Communications Director Ellen Moran 2009 Senior Advisor to the President David Axelrod 2009''11 Anita Dunn 2009 David Plouffe 2011''13 Daniel Pfeiffer 2009''13 Daniel Pfeiffer 2013''15 Jennifer Palmieri 2013''15 Shailagh Murray 2015''17 Jen Psaki 2015''17 Senior Advisor to the President Pete Rouse 2009''10 Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki 2009''11 Brian Deese 2015''17 Jennifer Palmieri 2011''14 Senior Advisor to the President and Valerie Jarrett 2009''17 Amy Brundage 2014''16 Assistant to the President for Liz Allen 2016''17 Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs 2009''11 Director, Public Engagement Tina Tchen 2009''11 Jay Carney 2011''13 Jon Carson 2011''13 Josh Earnest 2013''17 Paulette L. Aniskoff 2013''17 Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton 2009''11 Director, Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Mu±oz 2009''12 Josh Earnest 2011''13 David Agnew 2012''14 Eric Schultz 2014''17 Jerry Abramson 2014''17 Director of Special Projects Stephanie Cutter 2010''11 Director, National Economic Council Lawrence Summers 2009''10 Director, Speechwriting Jon Favreau 2009''13 Gene Sperling 2011''14 Cody Keenan 2013''17 Jeffrey Zients 2014''17 Director, Digital Strategy Macon Phillips 2009''13 Chair, Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer 2009''10 Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldman 2015''17 Austan Goolsbee 2010''13 Director, Legislative Affairs Phil Schiliro 2009''11 Jason Furman 2013''17 Rob Nabors 2011''13 Chair, Economic Recovery Advisory Board Paul Volcker 2009''11 Katie Beirne Fallon 2013''16 Chair, Council on Jobs and Competitiveness Jeff Immelt 2011''13 Miguel Rodriguez 2016 Director, Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes 2009''12 Amy Rosenbaum 2016''17 Cecilia Mu±oz 2012''17 Director, Political Affairs Patrick Gaspard 2009''11 Director, Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois 2009''13 David Simas 2014''17 Melissa Rogers 2013''17 Director, Presidential Personnel Nancy Hogan 2009''13 Director, Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle 2009''11 Johnathan D. McBride 2013''14 Director, Office of National AIDS Policy Jeffrey Crowley 2009''11 Valerie E. Green 2014''15 Grant N. Colfax 2011''13 Rodin A. Mehrbani 2016''17 Douglas M. Brooks 2013''17 White House Staff Secretary Lisa Brown 2009''11 Director, Office of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carri"n Jr. 2009''10 Rajesh De 2011''12 Racquel S. Russell 2010''14 Douglas Kramer 2012''13 Roy Austin Jr. 2014''17 Joani Walsh 2014''17 Director, Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner 2009''11 Director, Management and Administration Bradley J. Kiley 2009''11 White House Counsel Greg Craig 2009''10 Katy A. Kale 2011''15 Bob Bauer 2010''11 Maju S. Varghese 2016''17 Kathryn Ruemmler 2011''14 Director, Scheduling and Advance Alyssa Mastromonaco 2009''11 Neil Eggleston 2014''17 Danielle Crutchfield 2011''14 White House Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu 2009''13 Chase Cushman 2014''17 Danielle C. Gray 2013''14 Director, White House Information Technology David Recordon 2015''17 Broderick D. Johnson 2014''17 Director, Office of Administration Cameron Moody 2009''11 Personal Aide to the President Reggie Love 2009''11 Beth Jones 2011''15 Brian Mosteller 2011''12 Cathy Solomon 2015''17 Marvin D. Nicholson 2012''17 Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren 2009''17 Director, Oval Office Operations Brian Mosteller 2012''17 Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra 2009''12 Personal Secretary to the President Katie Johnson 2009''11 Todd Park 2012''14 Anita Decker Breckenridge 2011''14 Megan Smith 2014''17 Ferial Govashiri 2014''17 Director, Office of Management and Budget Peter R. Orszag 2009''10 Chief of Staff to the First Lady Jackie Norris 2009 Jack Lew 2010''12 Susan Sher 2009''11 Jeffrey Zients 2012''13 Tina Tchen 2011''17 Sylvia Mathews Burwell 2013''14 White House Social Secretary Desir(C)e Rogers 2009''10 Brian Deese 2014 Julianna Smoot 2010''11 Shaun Donovan 2014''17 Jeremy Bernard 2011''15 Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra 2009''11 Deesha Dyer 2015''17 Steven VanRoekel 2011''14 Chief of Staff to the Vice President Ron Klain 2009''11 Tony Scott 2015''17 Bruce Reed 2011''13 United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk 2009''13 Steve Ricchetti 2013''17 Michael Froman 2013''17 White House Chief Usher Stephen W. Rochon' 2009''11 Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske 2009''14 Angella Reid 2011''17 Michael Botticelli 2014''17 Director, White House Military Office George Mulligan 2009''13 Chair, Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley 2009''14 Emmett Beliveau 2013''15 Michael Boots 2014''15 Dabney Kern 2016''17 Christy Goldfuss 2015''17
Notre Dame
Report: French Government Forbids State Architects From Giving Interviews About Notre Dame '' Summit News
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 15:35
An architecture expert has called for Notre Dame's fallen spire to be replaced with an Islamic minaret as an apology to Algerian Muslims killed by French police.
Writing in Domus, Tom Wilkinson, history editor of the Architectural Review, argues that the rebuild is an opportunity to communicate a message of political correctness.
''I can't say I ever thought it the most beautiful cathedral in the world,'' writes Wilkinson, before going on to slam Eug¨ne Viollet-le-Duc, the cathedral's 19th century restorer, accusing him of ''utterly unforgettable fantasies of structural engineering''.
He goes on to call for the rebuild to reflect ''a more up-to-date form of political truth,'' which could include ''transforming Notre-Dame into a memorial to the generations of peasants who were exploited to fund it.''
According to Wilkinson, it could also include replacing the church's perished 200 year old spire with an Islamic minaret.
My Modest Proposal for the spire of Notre Dame: replace it with a minaret
'-- Tom Wilkinson (@TMOWilkinson) April 18, 2019
''What about the approximately 100 Algerians who were killed by the French police while protesting the Algerian War in 1961, many of them thrown into the Seine at the foot of Notre-Dame?'' he writes.
''These victims of the state could be memorialised by replacing Viollet-le-Duc's fl¨che with '' why not? '' a graceful minaret.''
A minaret is a tower built next to a mosque that is normally used to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer.
As I document in the video below, while Wilkinson's proposal is unlikely to be taken seriously, top architects and President Macron himself have called for the rebuild of Notre Dame to reflect the country's new ''diversity''.
The favorite to secure the rebuilding contract, Foster + Partners, has been responsible for some of western architecture's most hideous eyesores, including the new 'Tulip' tower in London, which critics say reminds them of a giant dildo.
Those who prayed for Notre Dame to be rescued from the fires that nearly destroyed it should keep praying because the threat posed by modernist architects may be substantially greater.
This is Paul Joseph Watson with a special message to my supporters. Big Tech wants to stop us from communicating. Don't let them. Get the inside track and bypass the censorship by signing up for the Summit newsletter right here.
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Green new Deal
New NC Bill Would Require Hybrid Owners To Pay Extra Fees To Offset Gas They Don't Use - Charlotte Stories
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 21:05
NC State Legislators have just introduced a new bill that would require hybrid and electric vehicle owners to pay an extra annual fee to offset the gas taxes they aren't paying since their vehicles don't use as much gas as non-hybrid vehicles.
According to the new Senate Bill 446, electric owners would be required to pay almost 2 times what they already pay in annual registration fees (currently $130 per year). By the year 2022, it would rise to $275, higher than any other state in the nation (there are currently 19 other states that require additional fees for hybrid and electric owners).
Hybrid vehicle owners would also be required to pay an extra annual fee for the first time, which would start at $87.50 in 2020 and rise to $137.50 by 2022.
The NC State Transportation Committee approved the bill on Wednesday and it's now being sent to the finance committee, if passed, it will move onto the floor for a vote.
What do you think about the new bill?
Comments comments
Washington passes bill to become first state to compost human bodies - The Washington Post
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 11:28
''We're making about a cubic yard of soil per person,'' the founder of the company Recompose said. Finished materials from the human-body composting process. (Washington State University) Ben GuarinoReporter covering the practice and culture of science
April 26 at 7:48 PMIt may soon be legal for the dead to push daisies, or any other flower, in backyard gardens across Washington state. The state legislature recently passed a bill that, if signed by the governor, allows human bodies to be composted '-- and used for mulch.
As the nation ages, U.S. funeral practices are changing. Rates of cremation surpassed 50 percent in 2016, overtaking burials as the most popular choice. The Census Bureau, in a 2017 report, predicted a death boom: 1 million more Americans are projected to die in 2037 than they did in 2015. Human composting, its supporters say, is an eco-friendly option that can meet this growing demand. A Seattle-based company called Recompose plans to offer a service called ''natural organic reduction'' (it has two patents pending) that uses microbes to transform the departed '-- skin, bones and all.
''We have this one universal human experience, of death, and technology has not changed what we do in any meaningful way,'' said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D), who introduced the bill, which passed with bipartisan support on April 19. ''There are significant environmental problems'' with burying and burning bodies, he said.
Joshua Trey Barnett, an expert on ecological communication at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, listed the flaws in conventional burials: ''We embalm bodies with toxic solutions, bury them in expensive caskets made of precious woods and metals and then indefinitely commit them to a plot of land.'' Though incineration has a smaller ecological footprint, estimates suggest the average cremated body emits roughly 40 pounds of carbon and requires nearly 30 gallons of fuel to burn.
The bill awaits Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who placed climate change at the center of the presidential bid he announced in March. ''The bill passed the legislature with bipartisan support and appears to be eco-friendly,'' said Tara Lee, a spokeswoman in Inslee's office. Inslee has 20 days to review the bill, which arrived on his desk Thursday. ''He has not stated how he will act on this,'' Lee said.
Burial practices are largely matters of state, not federal, law. The bill, which would take effect on May 1, 2020, also would legalize alkaline hydrolysis. That method turns bodies to liquid using a base such as lye. In the past decade, more than a dozen states have approved it.
Pedersen said he would be ''shocked, frankly,'' if the governor did not sign the bill into law.
Recompose founder Katrina Spade met Pedersen in a Seattle coffee shop last year and pitched the idea of legalizing human composting. The company's system, she said, is a souped-up version of natural microbial decomposition. ''It is actually the same process happening on the forest floor as leaf litter, chipmunks and tree branches decompose and turn into topsoil,'' Spade said.
The company's service, which would include a funeral ceremony, will cost about $5,500, she said (more than the average cremation but less than burial in a casket). Microbes go to work within a large vessel, about eight feet tall and four feet wide, that fits a single body along with alfalfa, straw and wood chips. Over the course of 30 days, as temperatures in the vessel rise to 150 degrees, decomposition destroys the body, along with most pathogens and pharmaceuticals, Spade said.
Pacemakers would be removed beforehand; artificial joints or other implants sifted out afterward. ''We're making about a cubic yard of soil per person,'' Spade said. Families would be allowed to take the compost home, or, because it's a lot of soil, donate it to conservation groups in the Puget Sound region. Restrictions on where the soil could be applied would mirror rules for scattering ashes '-- broadly speaking, only on land with an owner's permission.
The decomposition technique ''is now a fairly common procedure'' used to dispose of livestock carcasses, said Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, a soil scientist at Washington State University and an adviser to Recompose. During an outbreak of avian flu, Carpenter-Boggs helped farmers implement a similar method to destroy potentially infected poultry.
Carpenter-Boggs recently oversaw a pilot study in which Recompose composted six donated cadavers. The results are still unpublished, but Recompose claimed in a news release the soil met safety thresholds set by the state's ecology department.
''The material we had, at the end, was really lovely,'' Carpenter-Boggs said. ''I'd be happy to have it in my yard.''
Barnett said the media often inflates the ''ick factor'' of human composting. ''Very few people I talk with have this response,'' he said. He added: ''If most folks knew the ins and outs of embalming, I suspect they would find it much ickier in fact than composting.''
Spade said she has been deluged by emails from those who want to be composted, with particularly enthusiastic correspondents from California, Colorado and Vermont, and overseas from Brazil, the Netherlands and Australia.
''I have a few friends at some of the assisted-living facilities here in Seattle,'' Spade said, ''and these folks are in their mid-80s saying: 'Look, we want these options. '... We care about the last gesture we leave on this earth.' ''
Read more:
Want to scatter a Catholic's ashes? Nope, says the Vatican.
As cremations soar, demand for scatter gardens grows
Now you can scatter your ashes into the stratosphere
Corbyn launches bid to declare a national climate emergency | Environment | The Guardian
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:14
Labour will this week force a vote in parliament to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency as confidential documents show the government has spent only a fraction of a £100m fund allocated in 2015 to support clean air projects.
Jeremy Corbyn's party will demand on Wednesday that the country wakes up to the threat and acts with urgency to avoid more than 1.5°C of warming, which will require global emissions to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ''net zero'' before 2050.
The move will place Conservative MPs under pressure to back the plan, or explain why they refuse to do so, now fears over the combined problems of air pollution and climate change have risen to the top of the political agenda.
On Saturday night Corbyn said the recent wave of protests were ''a massive and necessary wake-up call'' that demanded ''rapid and dramatic action, which only concerted government action and a green industrial revolution can deliver.'' He said that if parliament backed the move and became the first national legislature to declare a climate emergency it would ''trigger a wave of action from governments around the world''.
The motion was welcomed by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has criticised the inaction of the world's politicians. ''It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority,'' she said. ''We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. ''I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament '' and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.''
The motion will call for new targets on the mass rollout of renewable and low carbon energy and transport, proper funding of environmental protection, reversing species decline and developing plans to move towards a zero waste economy.
The plan comes as confidential minutes of a government advisory group obtained by the Observer show how all but a small proportion of a £100m pot allocated to Highways England to combat air pollution ''on and near our roads'' in 2015 has not been spent, despite a 2020 deadline.
Minutes of a meeting of the Highways England designated funds advisory group from last December and marked ''Sensitivity - Official'', reveal concerns at the highest level that the money may not be spent within the defined timetable. Highways England is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England's motorways and major A roads. The minutes state that a ''key risk remains of fully investing all remaining air quality designated funding by the end of March 2020. By the end of October 2018 just £2.82m had been invested.''
A Highways England spokesperson said on Saturday night that the total spent was now £7.7m: ''We aim to deliver £75m of investment, as set out in the government's road investment strategy.
''Since 2015 we have been doing the necessary investigation to find meaningful and effective measures to improve air quality alongside our network; to date we have spent £7.7m, of the air quality funds, including support for the electric van demonstration centre in Leeds, which is being delivered in partnership with Leeds city council, and electric charging points. We are also progressing the rollout of the national air quality barrier programme, and continue to support local authorities with the delivery of their clean air zones.''
Polly Billington, director of UK100, a network that campaigns for clean air, said on Saturday night: ''This is scandalous. Ministers and quangos have sat on funding that should be used to clean up toxic fumes from our major roads and motorways 700 people in the UK die every week from diseases related to air pollution, 20 times the number of deaths in road accidents. No more dithering or delays '' government must deliver this funding urgently to prevent more needless illness and deaths.''
UK100 has written to the transport secretary Chris Grayling and the chief executive of Highways England, Jim O'Sullivan, to demand a comprehensive action plan to use the remaining funding, including a major expansion of electric vehicle charging points. As of January 2019, there are just under 16,000 electric charging points in England.
This week, Pascal Lamy, the World Trade Organisation's former director general, will add to the pressure on the government, warning a London audience that Brexit risks damaging the UK's leadership on climate change. Lamy's intervention accompanies new research from leading lawyers showing that existing preparations would not prevent damaging roll-backs on key climate change and environmental protections. It comes just days before the Committee on Climate Change publishes advice to the government on long-term climate change targets.
Lamy will say: ''It is vital that any new trade deal or environment treaty between the UK and EU protects the region's global leadership position on climate change. Without safeguardsto ensure strong continued cooperation and alignment, Brexit could destroy environmental protections '' well beyond allowing chlorinated chicken imports.''
Writing in Sunday's Observer shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey says: ''Unless we take rapid action to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we are releasing into the atmosphere, we face total catastrophe.''
Delingpole: the Netflix/Attenborough #Walrusgate Scandal Gets Worse
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:42
Did wildlife filmmakers from the $25 million Netflix series Our Planet accidentally drive a herd of walruses to their deaths '' then lie about the incident afterwards in order to defend their preferred narrative that the creatures were tragic victims of climate change?From the perspective of a climate change sceptic like myself, sick to death of the relentless propaganda pumped up by green activists, it seems like a story just too good '' and too darkly hilarious '' to be true.
But the evidence seems to be pointing that way. Thanks to research from a crack team of maverick bloggers, we can now be all but certain that Our Planet misrepresented the facts in the now-infamous, widely publicised ''tragedy porn'' sequence of walruses plunging to their deaths over a cliff.
Delingpole: Walrusgate '' Attenborough Nature Doc Accused of Fake News 'Tragedy Porn'
'-- Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 10, 2019
According to Attenborough's voiceover, the walruses died because of climate change. Prematurely melting sea-ice '' the result of global warming '' had disrupted their feeding and had forced them to retreat further ashore where they met their untimely end.
Thousands of viewers were suckered by this junk-scientific line, leading to a mass outpouring of grief on social media.
But the 'walruses killed by global warming' claim, it has since emerged, is nonsense.
As the Global Warming Policy Forum notes, it falls down for at least two reasons:
1. Long before global warming could have been a factor, walruses hauled out on shore every year at the same location where falling walruses were filmed by the Netflix team.
2. Many or even most of the walruses that fell were reportedly driven over the cliffs by polar bears. There is a contemporaneous news report of hundreds of walruses being driven over the cliffs at the same location a few days before the film crew arrived.
The Netflix film makes no mention of the presence of polar bears, and the producers have denied that they played a part, despite their own ''Behind the Scenes'' video showing that they were still in close proximity at the time of the filming.
The sleuthing on this scandal was done by polar bear expert Susan Crockford (who spotted the polar bear connection); by Andrew Montford (who confirmed the geographical location and introduced the possibility that the Netflix crew may have contributed to the disaster); by ecologist Jim Steele, who has noted that walrus 'haul-outs' (ie retreats from the sea) are common and have nothing to do with 'climate change'; and by the indefatigable Paul Homewood, who has pulled all the strands together in a series of damning posts here, here and here.
Homewood floats the disturbing possibility that besides the polar bears, it may have been the filmmakers' drones which caused the walruses to stampede to their deaths:
There is however another rather more sinister possible explanation for the stampede. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS):
Walruses often flee haulouts en masse in response to the sight, sound, and especially odours from humans and machines.
So it is perfectly possible that it was the filmmakers themselves who caused the stampede up the cliffs.
Indeed, as this aerial shot showed, there must have been some sort of helicopter or drone flying immediately above the walrus, which seems to me to be an utterly irresponsible thing to do.
So far, the documentary makers have defiantly stuck by their version of events '' even to the point of denying the presence of polar bears who it is quite clear from their own footage that there were polar bears prowling nearby.
Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, has called on Attenborough to come clean about the footage:
''Did Sir David know about the reported attack by polar bears? Did he know that polar bears were in close proximity during the filming? Did he know that walrus haul-outs have been documented at the same location long before the advent of global warming?
''The story that Netflix are telling the public is mostly fantasy. He should disown the script that was put in front of him''.
Walrusgate is a scandal which deserves to rank high among all the other scandals exposing the mendacity and skullduggery of green propagandists, from Amazongate and Glaciergate, to the mother of them all, Climategate.
It matters because it exposes once again just how brazen and shameless the green movement is in promoting its #fakenews narrative about man-made environmental doom.
This dishonesty has massive consequences. One of the reasons that London has been brought to a halt for the last few days by the hard-left protest organisation Extinction Rebellion is that many people '' from grassroots supporters to government ministers like Claire Perry '' actually believe the green narrative about imminent, man-made environmental disaster.
What these well-meaning fools don't realise is the degree to which environmental campaigners simply make stuff up. (Here's one example from the Extinction Rebellion website: an outright lie about puffin numbers)
These useful idiots of the Watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) watch an expensively produced documentary series like Our Planet, presented by a trusted 'expert' like Sir David Attenborough, and assume not unreasonably that the 'facts' presented in the series must be trustworthy.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Planet '' like so many of its equivalents on the BBC and across the mainstream broadcast media '' is green propaganda masquerading as entertainment.
Enjoy the spectacular photography. But don't believe a word of the narration. It's #fakenews all the way.
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:40
Greta Thunberg is an 'ignorant brainwashed child being abused by adults', says Corbyn's brother | Metro News
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:44
Schoolgirl environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been described as suffering 'mental abuse by manipulative adults' by Jeremy Corbyn's brother.
Piers Corbyn, 72, is a climate change denier and adds that listening to Miss Thunberg, 16, was 'deranged' describing her as an 'ignorant brainwashed child'.
He tweeted a BBC News article about the teenager's visit to the UK telling MPs they need to 'listen to climate scientists'.
He said: 'Listening to an ignorant brainwashed child is deranged. I am an actual scientist of physics Meteorology, astrophysics and climate and say @GretaThunberg is wrong and suffers mental abuse by manipulative adults.'
Piers has previously claimed that climate change is a cover up to push up fuel prices and says global warming is a hoax.
He called Extinction Rebellion protesters on Waterloo Bridge 'deranged' and staged a counter-protest with a banner calling carbon dioxide a 'gas of life'.
Listening to an ignorant brainwashed child is deranged.I am an actual scientist of physics Meteorology, astrophysics and climate and say @GretaThunberg is wrong and suffers mental abuse by manipulative adults.Facts:#Scientists4truth RT
'-- Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) April 23, 2019
Speaking at the scene he said: 'This is disrupting traffic and stopping people going to work, the police should have moved them on ages ago.'
The Swedish Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who has sparked a wave of youth climate protests around the world, told MPs: 'We just want people to listen to the science.'
She met Piers' brother Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat Sir Vince Cable, Green MP Caroline Lucas and the Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts.
Miss Thunberg told them: 'We probably don't even have a future any more.
'That future has been sold so that a small number of people can make unimaginable amounts of money.
'It was stolen from us every time you said ''the sky is the limit'' and ''you only live once''.'
Miss Thunberg spoke alongside a panel of MPs, including Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Green MP Caroline Lucas, former Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem MP Layla Moran.
The schoolgirl said she knew politicians did not want to listen, as she started to experience microphone problems.
She asked: 'Is this microphone on? Can anybody hear me? Is my English OK? I am starting to wonder.'
She added: 'The basic problem is the same everywhere and the basic problem is that nothing is being done.
'You don't listen to the science because you are only interested in the answers that will allow you to carry on as if nothing has happened.'
Environment Secretary Michael Gove assured Miss Thunberg she had been heard as he admitted 'we have not done nearly enough'.
He said: 'Suddenly in the past few years it has become inescapable that we have to act.
'The time to act is now, the challenge could not be clearer '' Greta you have been heard.'
Before her speech, Miss Thunberg had held a roundtable with party leaders, where Prime Minister Theresa May was empty-chaired after she declined to attend.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met the young activist and tweeted an image of himself with her in front of a portrait of Tony Benn.
He wrote: 'It was a pleasure welcoming UK youth climate strikers and @GretaThunberg to parliament.
'Young people will be the most affected by climate change '' seeing them take charge of their future is inspiring.
'Labour's committed to working with young people campaigning to save our planet.'
After her speech, Miss Thunberg was asked what she would say to US President Donald Trump to steer him away from climate change denial.
But the schoolgirl said there was nothing she could say as he would not listen.
She said: 'If I were to speak to Donald Trump today I don't think there is much I could say to make him change his mind.
'Obviously he must have scientists coming to talk to him all the time, so he is obviously not listening to the scientists. There is nothing I could say.'
Transition scenarios of power generation in China under global 2 °C and 1.5 °C targets - ScienceDirect
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 14:19
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RELX Group
Unusual spring storm blankets Chicago in snow - 2 inches fell for first time in over a century -- Earth Changes --
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:12
(C) Fox News Late April storm dumps record snow across Chicago.
With only a mere four days until May, north-central United States residents witnessed an unusual sight as more than 2 inches of snow fell in Chicago for the first time in more than a century.
"The last time 2 inches of snow fell this late was back in 1910, so it is very uncommon for this late in the year," AccuWeather Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
The highest snowfall total as of Sunday evening is in Beloit, Illinois, which saw 4 inches of snow.
A winter storm warning was in effect on Saturday for northern Chicago areas as a mix of snow and rain continues into the evening.
"With it being April, we can still see some snowfall in the city, but most of the snow for April falls early in the month," Reppert said.
In order for snow to accumulate in late April outside of high-elevation areas, it must come down at a fast pace.
"As the sun sets, we could see some of this snow start to accumulate on roadways and make for slick travel. The latest inch of snow was on May 3, 1907, and the latest trace of snow is May 26, 1889," Reppert said.
The snow in Chicago led to more than 700 canceled flights at the city's O'Hare International and Midway International airports on Saturday, according to FlightAware.
The baseball game scheduled for Saturday between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers was postponed due to inclement weather.
Yellow Vests
Ruptly on Twitter: "Clashes as #YellowVest protesters march on EU parliament in #Strasbourg #France'... "
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 22:17
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Dogs are People Too
From My Old Building
Dear Northshore Dog Owners,
It has been brought to our attention that several dog owners are not following
the guidelines and policies set forth in having a dog in the community.We want
all residents to enjoy their home, but not at the expense of others.
There has been an over-abundance of pet urine in the hallways, elevators, pool
area, parking garage and front entrance to the building. None of these
locations are listed as appropriate areas for dogs to relieve themselves. Pet
urine is a health hazard, and causes the hallways to smell. As a pet owner,
it's your responsibility to pick up after your animal. If your animal has an
accident in the hallway or elevator, then it is also your responsibility to
clean up the mess.
We allow access to many different dog walkers, which allows your animal to
relieve themselves outside where it's appropriate and not inside the community.
If this issue continues, we will begin to assess fines to those residents who
are abusing the privilege to have an animal here.
Pets Becoming Fake Service Dogs Is Starting to Be an Issue
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 14:16
Service dogs can help humans in countless ways, but fake service dogs are becoming a very serious problem. Generally you can identify service dogs by the fact that they wear a service dog vest, and sometimes an ID tag. But thanks to a rising trend that has begun online, it's possible that you may see more and more fake service dogs in public areas.
True service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for humans. Service dogs help disabled people in countless ways, from providing balance and support while walking to fetching dropped objects or even opening doors to even alerting their owners to oncoming seizures. Service dogs undergo very specialized training to teach them how to perform these behaviors. The training also teaches dogs important behavioral expectations, such as not barking, not jumping on people, and how to stay focused on their owner rather than being distracted by their surroundings.
Because service dogs perform essential tasks to help people, they are allowed to go in most public places, including into stores and on airplanes. Business owners can question service dog owners, but they can only ask two specific questions: Is that a service dog, and what service does this dog provide? Store owners are not allowed to ask the service dog's owner about what their disability is under federal law.
The problem is, some people are passing off pet dogs as service animals and getting your dog certified as an emotional support animal is getting easier and easier. Take a look at this video for more information.
Fake service dogs are not good news for society. They can put real service dogs in danger, since these untrained dogs may attack service dogs, which are trained to be submissive. Additionally, fake service dogs may exhibit negative behaviors in public, including barking, jumping up on people, and even being aggressive.
If you need a legitimate service dog, there are many ways to go about getting one. Some programs are willing to train an existing pet, but be aware of the fact that the rigorous training can take years and your pet dog won't necessarily make a good service dog. Other programs train service dogs and then match applicants with dogs best suited to fulfill their needs. Your doctor can provide you with additional resources and advice on getting a trained service dog.
While emotional support dogs also perform tasks for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses, there are different requirements and benefits for pet owners. Learn more about the difference here.
Visit the American Disabilities Act (ADA) website for more information.
Have you been seeing more and more fake service animals? Tell us in the comments below.
WATCH NOW: Pets Lead to Good Health
oembed rumble video here
Build the Wall
'Trolling Trump'? Pope donates $500k to help migrants trying to reach US '-- RT World News
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:55
In a move that many have interpreted as a shot across the bow of US President Donald Trump, Pope Francis has donated $500,000 to help Central American migrants stranded in Mexico as they try to reach America.
The aid is specifically intended to assist 75,000 people who arrived in Mexico last year as part of six migrant caravans.
The donation will be taken from the Catholic Church's Peter's Pence fund, from church collections around the world. Peter's Pence said in a statement that aid to migrants by governments and private individuals has dropped as global media coverage of the crisis decreased.
''All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood,'' Peter's Pence said. ''The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in hotels within the dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing.''
Also on Trump cuts all aid to Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador The US has heaped pressure on Mexico to stop the flow of migrants from Central America moving towards the US border. Last month, Trump cut all aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, accusing the Central American countries of not doing ''a thing for us.''
Many have interpreted the Pope's donation as a rebuke of Trump's policies towards migrants and some are even saying that the US president is being ''trolled'' by the pontiff.
However, not everyone is happy that this is how the Pope chose to use the funds.
'-- Joan Shelton '­'­'­ (@Joanie513) April 28, 2019How nice of him. $500,OO0 of who's money. "Pope Francis donates $500,000 to migrants at US border - ABC News - via @ABC "
'-- America is back! (@nancylee2016) April 27, 2019Pope Francis recently spoke out against governments that build walls to keep out migrants, saying: ''Those who build walls will become prisoners of the walls they put up.''
Many of the migrants attempting to reach the US say they are escaping violence, persecution and poverty in their home countries.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Ministry of Truthiness
''I felt like it was a betrayal, and we had raised funds on false pretense'': The Correspondent's first U.S. employee speaks out >> Nieman Journalism Lab
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 12:01
April 26, 2019, 2:57 p.m.
''They're really good at the PR thing, and it really feels like gaslighting. They were like, 'Well, we never promised a U.S. newsroom.' I was like: Wait, did I just imagine all this?''
Last July, ahead of its
planned launch in the United States,
The Correspondent made its first U.S. hire:
Zainab Shah, who'd previously been global lead for strategy and operations at BuzzFeed.
Ernst Pfauth '-- CEO of
De Correspondent, the Dutch site for which
The Correspondent was to be a new sibling '--
wrote that, as the new site's operations lead, Shah would bring their ''sustainable, ad-free model for journalism to the U.S. and beyond.''
Her hiring was supposed to be just the beginning of The Correspondent's expansion into the U.S.: The next addition to the team, Pfauth wrote, would be a managing editor ''to develop The Correspondent's editorial strategy, and to help build and run a diverse team of correspondents from our headquarters in New York City'' '-- all beginning before The Correspondent's planned crowdfunding campaign at the end of the year.
And months later, thanks to a timely ''Daily Show'' appearance, the crowdfunding campaign was successful: The Correspondent raised $2.6 million to run its new site for a year.
But that managing editor had never been hired, and on March 15, Shah tweeted that she was leaving the company.
After much thought, I've decided to move on from @the_corres. Today is my last day. I'm glad I was able to contribute to & learn from a record-breaking $2.5M crowdfunder, & that I met the uber-talented @jessicabest87 & @alexaportia. I'm very excited for what's next '-- more soon!
'-- Zainab Shah (@zainabshah) March 15, 2019
thanks so much for making The Correspondent a reality Zainab! We will miss you here, and are excited about your next steps!
'-- Ernst Pfauth (@ejpfauth) March 20, 2019
A couple of weeks later, the news
trickled out that The Correspondent would not be opening a New York office after all '-- and that what many members had taken to be a U.S. version of the Dutch site would really be only a small move into English-language content. The Correspondent would instead use the crowdfunded money (
46 percent of new members were Americans) to continue to operate from Amsterdam. It would hire a handful of new correspondents, a couple of whom would likely be based somewhere in the United States, reporting to editors back in the Netherlands.
In other words, what some had been sold as a multi-million-dollar effort to '''unbreak' U.S. news'' would end up hiring roughly two reporters in America. A lot of people were unhappy about this.
As the pushback grew, I spoke with Rob Wijnberg, the editor-in-chief of De Correspondent, about the messaging around the company's U.S. launch. Wijnberg acknowledged that they could have been more clear about what they were pitching to potential members, but also said they'd been consistent in talking about launching an English-language site, not an American one.
Toward the end of our conversation, he questioned why I was even writing a story over something that only ''a couple'' of people, or ''nine people who were confused on Twitter,'' or ''12, 13, 14 people'' cared about. ''If you make a story out of it, then you're kind of, how do you say this, legitimizing the confusion,'' he said to me.
But one of those people who was confused '-- and who thought the confusion was legitimate '-- was Zainab Shah, The Correspondent's first hire.
I spoke with Shah over a couple of weeks. At first, she didn't want to go on the record; she feared hurting the Dutch employees of De Correspondent, feared negative consequences of speaking out about an initiative with influential backers, and worried that by telling her story, she might make it more difficult for future innovative journalism initiatives to get funding.
''I wouldn't normally do this,'' she told me after she ultimately agreed to go on the record and attach her name to this story. ''But I do think the way I publicly supported the organization and wrote about why I joined, it would only make sense to let people know why I no longer work there. I think I have an ethical obligation to explain my leaving to people who may have joined after reading my essay, or after seeing I was on board with this. Ultimately, though, I'm invested in the industry and seeing new and innovative models succeed, and perhaps this is why I'm feeling a bit disappointed.''
''When I joined [The Correspondent], the question wasn't, 'Where will we have an office?''' Shah said. ''I wouldn't have left my full-time job at BuzzFeed, doing strategy and operations for global growth, if I had known there was a chance that '-- even if we made the fundraising goal '-- we wouldn't have a U.S. office. It would just have been a really stupid decision on my part.''
She joined an early-stage startup because, she said, she was confident that she could help it reach its crowdfunding goal, and she was excited to be its first U.S. employee. ''I'd have a role building out the team of journalists to launch this really awesome new thing,'' she said. ''That's why I joined.'' She received an allowance to purchase health insurance and a 401(k) allowance.
In the lead-up to the crowdfunding campaign, Shah and an intern who'd moved to New York for the position worked with The Correspondent's team to build press. And in that process, the tension between an ''American'' newsroom and an ''English-language'' one began to surface.
''Everyone was publishing that we were 'coming to the U.S.,''' Shah said. ''But then, during the campaign, the founders were like: 'Oh, we should probably not say 'the U.S.' We should probably just say: 'expanding to the English language.' I asked them why, and they said, 'When you say the U.S., people think we're only for the U.S., but we want to let people know that we're for the whole world.'
''It wasn't: 'We should say ''the English language'' because we might not have an office here.' It was like: 'We should say ''English language'' because that's much broader than just the U.S.'''
It wasn't until December '-- while the crowdfunding campaign was ongoing '-- that a Dutch employee told Shah that De Correspondent's founders had decided to keep the office in Amsterdam.
Pfauth and Wijnberg declined to speak to me by phone for this story, but Pfauth agreed to answer a list of questions via email. He said that Dutch employees of De Correspondent didn't know The Correspondent wouldn't have a New York office until January.
Pfauth has said that they ''did think for a while'' that they wanted a New York newsroom, but mentioned it only before the campaign launched, not during. But Shah isn't as certain. The campaign was focused squarely on the United States, including a special Correspondent van traveling to photogenic American locales and a team of ''ambassadors'' who were overwhelmingly American.
''I do sometimes wonder if there was never a plan to launch in the U.S.,'' Shah said. ''I think they had to sell the U.S. launch to ambassadors. I don't think that kind of high-profile ambassador would have come on board if they hadn't said 'We're launching a U.S. office.'''
The Correspondent raised about $1.8 million in ''runway funding'' '-- money that would ''allow us to set up a global membership campaign and hit the ground running soon after,'' Pfauth explained in a May 2018 post. $950,000 of that came from Omidyar Network, to help support ''an English-language headquarters in New York City.'' (Omidyar Network did not respond to requests for comment.) Another '‚¬600,000 ($673,000) came from the Dutch Democracy and Media Foundation '-- half as a grant, half as a loan. (''We are eager to see them flourish in the English-speaking world from New York.'') And Craig Newmark Philanthropies gave $100,000, which was supposed to be used to hire an editor-in-chief for the U.S. launch. (''We're grateful for the trust these organizations have placed in us and for their support of our journalistic mission. We feel very welcome in the US!'') Newmark Philanthropies did not respond to request for comment.
That money was on top of $515,000 in grants from the Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund that made Pfauth and Wijnberg's ''year of preliminary research'' in New York with Jay Rosen possible, as part of ''setting up the research project and paving the way for The Correspondent's US office.'' (Knight said they were funding De Correspondent ''expansion to the U.S. market.'') In the post announcing that funding, Pfauth and Wijnberg explicitly said why they'd chosen to base The Correspondent in the United States:
We've chosen the US as The Correspondent's home base for three reasons: that's where our network is strongest, the business climate is conducive to new endeavors, and the country is in many respects a frontrunner in digital innovation.
(Wijnberg also separately received an Eisenhower Fellowship for travel in the U.S. in 2018.)
At BuzzFeed, Shah had managed a budget of more than $1 million, and before the crowdfunding campaign began, she asked to see the budget for the $1.8 million in runway funding, in part so that she could make sure it was being spent wisely in New York. But the founders were ''very cagey,'' she recalled. She says she was told that she '-- the company's operations lead '-- couldn't help with the budget, and was only shown a version of it that had been updated in April 2018, seven months before the crowdfunding campaign began, and included estimated, not actual, spending. She says she never got to see an updated version.
''I never had real insight into how much money exactly we had for the campaign, what we were spending it on, and how these decisions around spending money on campaign materials were being made,'' Shah said. ''I really wanted them to be more transparent about what the campaign funds were spent on, exactly, and how much.'' (''Just as in the Netherlands, financial transparency will be a key feature of The Correspondent'...If readers like and trust our business choices, they are more likely to either become a member or renew their membership.'')
She wanted to know, for instance, how much of the $1.8 million was going to the digital agency Blue State Digital and to Momkai, the Dutch design firm whose cofounders, Harald Dunnink and Sebastian Kersten, are also cofounders of De Correspondent. (''The red and blue are a subtle nod to the American color scheme,'' Dunnink told NRC about the promotional booklets he designed for The Correspondent. ''That makes it feel less foreign to them.'')
Shah recalled that the $1.8 million in funding '-- for a campaign aiming to raise $2.5 million '-- was described as a ''shoestring budget.'' And a former Momkai employee told me that, during the campaign, it became clear that money hadn't been budgeted properly and that the team had overspent, so planned marketing materials had to be cut back.
Can you tell how nervous we are? And grateful! Thanks so much for all your support!
We are *super close* to the finish line with The Correspondent.
Help us get the remaining $65,000 via
'-- Ernst Pfauth (@ejpfauth) December 13, 2018
Pfauth wouldn't tell me how the campaign money was allocated and whether they'd spent more than their budget. To both, he wrote that ''the books of 2018 haven't closed yet, so we can't give you the specific numbers. As a company, we lean towards sharing as much as we can when accounting is complete. Generally speaking, we mostly spent it on our staff, advisors, and the design and development of our membership campaign site and fundraising tool.'' He said that questions about how much of the $1.8 million went to Blue State Digital and Momkai ''should be directed to them '-- since we can't share competitive information about our strategic partners.''
One specific budget reallocation was that $100,000 grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies that was to be used to hire an editor-in-chief. In November 2017, Pfauth had written that ''the $100,000 contribution will help us take the first steps towards building a diverse team, including hiring an editor in chief. That editor in chief will be charged with bringing together a team that incorporates a wide range of voices from around the world. Our philosophy is not to correct for diversity after launch, but to build it in from the start.''
By July 2018, however, no new editor-in-chief had been hired, and Wijnberg had taken over the role.
A job listing for a managing editor was posted (''to help build and run a diverse team of correspondents from our headquarters in New York City''). Applications poured in; over the summer, Shah also sourced people for the role, providing management with a list of possible names of people to reach out to.
''Rob was just like: 'No, no one's good enough. We probably shouldn't hire a managing editor right now.' This was three or four months before the campaign.''
Pfauth wrote over email that the New York-based managing editor hadn't been hired because it's ''hard to ask promising candidates for a managing editor position to quit their jobs for a crowdfunding campaign that might not succeed.'' That's despite the job posting listing specific pre-campaign responsibilities the managing editor would be asked to perform, including building a ''comprehensive hiring plan that can kick into gear when the campaign is successful.'' The listing also says the managing editor would be ''one of the few public faces of the campaign. You will give interviews and attend events to share The Correspondent's mission and vision.''
Shah suspected the reason was different. ''I think the reason they cancelled hiring a managing editor was because they'd already maybe started thinking they might not have a U.S. office,'' she said. ''If you hire a managing editor in the U.S., if they quit their [previous] job, like I did, that would be much more problematic later on.''
Pfauth wrote that Newmark's $100,000 ''was used where it was needed most,'' and the reallocation was done ''with his knowledge and agreement.'' Pfaust said the company still plans to hire an English-language managing editor; Wijnberg will remain The Correspondent's editor-in-chief.
Since the Newmark grant had been announced with the understanding that The Correspondent would build a diverse team from the start, I asked Pfauth if he thought that goal had been met and how it would be met without a team in the U.S. ''Our diversity strategy hasn't changed,'' he wrote. ''We seek global diversity in our team. We want to collaborate with correspondents and members from all over the world '-- including the U.S. '-- to cover the greatest challenges of our time.''
In December 2018, with the fundraising campaign successfully completed, the company's founders returned to Amsterdam. After New Year's, Shah came back to work in New York on January 4. ''I started working on a hiring policy, and building a list of people we could reach out to,'' she said. The Correspondent had received 1,400 applications in its open call for correspondents, and most of the applicants were based in the United States.
But in February, the founders told staff that The Correspondent would not have a New York office after all. Right before that announcement, Pfauth had called Shah to give her the news. ''I was like, I understand how the money will go further if the HQ is in Amsterdam,'' she said. ''But my main question was '-- why, if you were just going to expand the [Amsterdam] office into publishing in English, was there such a need to come to New York to fundraise?''
Pfauth told Shah that, even though there wasn't going to be a New York office, there could still be a role for her at the company. ''The role they offered me was recruiting,'' she said. ''They said, you can recruit the correspondents in the U.S., and help us recruit correspondents other places. When I asked them how many correspondents I would be responsible for recruiting, they said 1 to 2 in the U.S, and a total of five to seven globally.'' Shah was also asked to represent The Correspondent at U.S. conferences and events.
None of that '-- including recruiting just a handful of people '-- was very appealing to her. ''I'd come from managing operations for international offices,'' she said. ''I also did not feel comfortable representing them after everything that had happened. I didn't know if I wanted to put my name and my reputation on the line any further after everything that had happened.
''I was like, if I'm not part of the newsroom that you're building in Amsterdam, how am I going to speak to the processes or practices there? Even in terms of innovating in this space with membership, I can't really talk to what we're doing and what we're accomplishing if I'm not embedded in the newsroom. I just didn't feel comfortable representing them further and working at an organization that was doing this. I honestly felt like it was a betrayal, and we had raised funds on false pretense.''
She declined the role and started looking for new jobs.
''They're really good at the PR thing, and it really feels like gaslighting,'' Shah said. ''They were like, 'Well, we never promised a U.S. newsroom.' I was like: Wait, did I just imagine all this?''
This week, Pfauth wrote to me that '-- after this years-long process, $1.8 million raised from foundations, $2.6 million raised from individuals, a Daily Show appearance '-- The Correspondent now plans to hire ''around five'' full-time English-language correspondents. I asked how many of those would be in the U.S.; he didn't specifically answer.
After taxes, design and development costs and hiring crucial supporting staff, we have the budget to hire around five English-language correspondents who will work for us full-time and will be on staff and receive benefits (if we raised $5.2 million instead of $2.6 million it would be 10 reporters). We also want to work with freelance correspondents who will contribute incidentally (such as columnists). Our new correspondents will be based in different places all over the world, including the U.S. The call for correspondents is coming soon and will include a call asking members who they'd suggest The Correspondent hire. Earlier we asked members for input on themes, which led to great ideas.
''If you're going to have 5 to 7 correspondents who work remote,'' Shah said, ''you don't need $2.5 million.''
In the days after word broke that there would not be a New York office, there were dozens of tweets from members who felt misled, with Wijnberg and Pfauth responding to many. One theme was that most of the fault for people thinking The Correspondent would be a U.S. news organization lied in those in the press who'd written about the campaign.
It would be bold and admirable if they hadn't let just about every piece of news coverage of their fundraiser paint it as the launch of a "US-based" operation, and I'd love to know what percentage decided to join based on that spin.
'-- linds ðŸ'… (@styrovor) March 26, 2019
20% of the answer is that we weren't clear enough about it. 80% of the answer is that it truly didn't matter how many times I / we emphasized we weren't expanding to the the US but to the English language, journalists just wrote the former.
'-- Rob Wijnberg (@robwijnberg) March 26, 2019
''That's why it's really difficult to buy this story of 'The journalists wrote what they wanted, we never said we would have a U.S. office,''' Shah said. ''Because everything they do has been really deliberate. They go out of their way to correct people. They really care about their reputation. They address every single tweet that might come their way that might be a little bit throwing doubt or shade on something they've done.''
For her part, Shah won't be working, remotely or not, for the next iteration of The Correspondent, which is scheduled to launch on September 30, with ''at least one new story every day.''
''At no point in time did they ever say to me that, once we make our fundraising goal, we have to decide where the office is going to be. There were nights that I worked until 4 in the morning because I was like: My future job depends on this. If we don't make our goal, I'll be out of a job.''
Trump, US media in open war on annual dinner date
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:04
1 / 4
US President Donald Trump has transformed the relationship with the media and is boycotting the annual White House correspondents' dinner (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)
Washington (AFP) - It's meant to be the annual Washington love-in, a dinner where White House journalists and the president yuk it up in a hotel ballroom. But this Saturday, President Donald Trump stood up his dates.
Members of the White House Correspondents' Association, or WHCA, were decked out in bow ties and gowns at the downtown Washington Hilton.
Trump, however, was 685 miles (1100 kilometers) away in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a rally with his baseball cap-wearing supporters.
As usual, he devoted portions of his speech -- like most of his speeches -- to haranguing the "fake news media" or "enemy of the people."
"They are fakers," he said of the media to a typically boisterous crowd. "I'll tell you, you know what sucks? Their ratings suck because people don't believe them."
Back in Washington, the WHCA's president Olivier Knox told attendees he did not want to dwell on Trump -- but called for a rejection of the president's rhetoric.
"Fake news and enemies of the people are not punchlines, pet names or presidential. And we should reject politically expedient assaults on the men and women whose hard work makes it possible to hold the powerful to account," he said.
Although there's nothing obligatory about attending WHCA dinners, presidents have usually done so at some point during their time in office since the inaugural version in 1921.
Ronald Reagan was the last absentee in 1981 and he had a decent excuse: being recently shot in an assassination attempt.
Trump, however, has boycotted what he calls the "boring" and "negative" party for three years in a row -- his entire presidency so far.
The gala used to be a glamorous affair where hundreds of journalists, Hollywood celebrities and the president were entertained by a top-drawer comedian or other talent.
Now the celebs have drained away and this year even the comedian was missing.
A presidential historian, Ron Chernow, delivered the main speech instead, in which he criticized what he described as an "insidious" and "relentless campaign against the very credibility of the news media."
Acknowledging that his speech was a shift from traditional headliners at the dinner, Chernow said: "We need them (comedians) now more than ever, during this surreal interlude in American life."
- 'Insulting, confrontational' -
Underlining the snub, Trump ordered staff, including chief press secretary Sarah Sanders -- who appeared onstage in Wisconsin -- to also refuse invitations.
It's the latest shot in what the president sees as his war against a media machine refusing to give him fair coverage.
Trump's main weapon is Twitter, which he uses daily to reach some 60 million followers. Millions more follow him on other platforms.
The other main way of bypassing potentially critical outlets is his extraordinary relationship with Fox News, the Rupert Murdoch-owned network which has been criticized for coming to resemble state television.
Even if many of its news journalists maintain their independence, some of the most prominent anchors and hosts show nothing but loyalty to Trump. They're rewarded with exclusive access to administration officials and to the president himself.
Meanwhile, other outlets are mostly kept at arm's length.
The press briefing room in the White House, which used to see nearly daily Q&A sessions under previous presidents, has been all but abandoned.
Trump is unusually accessible, but mostly through often chaotic, informal gatherings, while Saturday marks the 48th day since Sanders held a full briefing.
When they are not being ignored, White House journalists can expect to hear abuse. Trump's rallies invariably include segments where he encourages the crowd to boo the reporters covering the event.
- Sense of humor failure -
For years, WHCA dinners were a chance to let the hair down in a notoriously serious town. Past performers include Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand.
Since the 1980s, comedians have provided entertainment, making gentle and not-so-gentle fun, or "roasting," the centerpiece of the dinner.
Presidents were expected to give as good as they got. A standout moment was Obama's riff in 2011, when one of his comic targets in the VIP-packed audience was none other than Donald Trump.
Last year, though, the jokes fell flat with organizers.
Featured comedian Michelle Wolf tore into Sanders and caused as much offense as laughter. Even the WHCA thought it had gone too far, calling her routine "not in the spirit" of the occasion.
Wolf called the WHCA "cowards."
''Executives Are Very Worried Fox & Friends Will Be Next'': After Taking Over Fox, Lachlan Murdoch Is in a Trump Trap - Vanity Fair
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 20:23
One evening not long after he was appointed Fox Corp. C.E.O., Lachlan Murdoch invited Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan for dinner at Giorgio's, in Santa Monica. Murdoch was trying to quell a nascent rebellion. Levitan, whose Emmy Award-winning sitcom is produced by Fox's entertainment division and has been the longest-running comedy series on ABC, had joined Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Ghostbusters director Paul Feig in publicly denouncing Fox News's cheerleading of Trump's immigration policies. ''I'm disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews. This bullshit is the opposite of what #ModernFamily stands for,'' Levitan wrote on June 18, in response to Fox News host Laura Ingraham's calling migrant-children detention facilities along the Mexican border ''essentially summer camps.''
Like many in the media business, Levitan hoped that the ascension of the younger generation of Murdochs would usher in more moderate politics at Fox News'--glasnost, at long last. Levitan told Lachlan that Fox News was destroying America and implored him to control Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson, a person briefed on the conversation told me. But Lachlan quickly dashed that dream. According to the source, Lachlan told Levitan that he wasn't embarrassed by Fox News.He reminded Levitan that the Murdochs had never censored shows like his or The Simpsons or Family Guy, so why couldn't Levitan live with a few conservative voices on one cable-news network?
For Lachlan, at the time, the call was easy enough. The Murdochs were in the process of divesting themselves of Levitan's show, along with the rest of the family's entertainment business, in a $71 billion deal with Disney. The Trump-hostile assets would be gone; peace would reign in Murdoch world. But for Lachlan and Fox, the Trump dissonance didn't end post-Disney deal'--in some ways, it's even gotten worse. The network has never been more powerful'--and at the same time so vulnerable. Fox programs influence Trump daily, but that has opened the network up to charges that it is State TV. Inside Fox, a long-running cold war between the network's journalists and right-wing, prime-time hosts has turned hot. Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro. ''Reporters are telling management that we're being defined by the worst people on our air,'' a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me last month. News staffers are feeling emboldened to go after Trump in increasingly visible ways. Fox's opinion hosts, meanwhile, have made the case that the prime-time lineup not only reflects the audience's worldview but is responsible for the majority of the network's advertising revenue and fees paid by cable companies that carry Fox. ''We make the money,'' an anchor close to Hannity told me. According to a source, prime-time staff complained to Fox management in March when a Muslim producer on Bret Baier's staff tweeted criticism of Jeanine Pirro. ''You can't have a producer attacking talent. [Roger] Ailes would never have allowed that,'' a prime-time staffer said. While Fox's prime-time shows generate the lion's share of the network's ratings and ad revenues, there have been increasing issues with lost advertising. Many blue-chip companies don't want to buy time on those shows because of the divisive pro-Trump content. ''Executives are very worried Fox & Friends will be next. If advertisers start bailing on them, they're screwed,'' an insider said. (Marianne Gambelli, Fox's president of ad sales, responded: ''Advertisers know the value of our loyal and engaged audience and we expect no change in our business going forward.'')
Going forward, though, Lachlan is in a trap. He can't simply issue a directive to temper the pro-Trump coverage to win back advertisers and calm restive reporters, because he would risk antagonizing the network's most important viewer: Trump. That happened in March when Fox suspended Jeanine Pirro for delivering an offensive monologue questioning Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar's patriotism. Trump quickly criticized Fox and lashed out at Fox journalists, tweeting: ''Were @FoxNews weekend anchors, @ArthelNeville and @LelandVittert, trained by CNN prior to their ratings collapse? In any event, that's where they should be working, along with their lowest rated anchor, Shepard Smith!'' He implored Fox to ''keep fighting for Tucker'''--Media Matters had uncovered a series of offensive statements Tucker Carlson had made while calling in to Bubba the Love Sponge's radio show'--''and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine.''
Trains Good Planes Bad
How California's high-speed rail project was 'captured' by costly consultants - Los Angeles Times
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:37
When California shifted its bullet train plan into high gear in 2008, it had just 10 employees to manage and oversee design of the largest public construction project in state history.
Consultants assured the state there was little reason to hire hundreds or thousands of in-house engineers and rail experts, because the consultants could handle the heavy work themselves and save California money. It would take them only 12 years to bore under mountains, bridge rivers and build 520 miles of rail bed '-- all at a cost of just $33 billion.
State officials followed that advice, and for the next several years, development of the nation's first high-speed rail line was overseen by a minuscule government staff.
Now, more than a decade later, that decision has proved to be a foundational error in the project's execution '-- a miscalculation that has resulted in the California High-Speed Rail Authority being overly reliant on a network of high-cost consultants who have consistently underestimated the difficulty of the task.
Today, these consultants manage nearly every aspect of the job: They direct day-to-day construction work in the Central Valley and negotiate with farmers to buy land. They assess the geological conditions in the San Gabriel Mountains and estimate how many people will ride the future system. They produce tens of thousands of pages of reports and attend community meetings. They even oversee other consultants.
But significant portions of this work have been flawed or mismanaged, according to records reviewed by The Times and interviews with dozens of people involved in the project. Despite repeated warnings since 2010 about weaknesses in its staffing, the rail authority believed it could reduce overall costs by relying on consultants and avoiding a large permanent workforce. But that strategy has failed to keep project costs from soaring. Ten years after voters approved it, the project is $44 billion over budget and 13 years behind schedule.
A reckoning may be coming very soon, however.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently told The Times that he would be taking aim at the consultants when the rail authority sends a major project update to the Legislature on May 1, including a detailed plan on building a partial operating system from Bakersfield to Merced for $16 billion to $18 billion.
The bullet train project, seen above in Fresno, is $44 billion over budget and 13 years behind schedule. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
"I'm getting rid of a lot of consultants,'' Newsom said. ''How did we get away with this?"
But actually reducing the role of consultants will be problematic because they have become cemented into place.
When state rail authority employees go to their Sacramento headquarters, they work in offices rented by a consultant. When they turn on their computers, much of their data is stored on servers owned by consultants. The software they use to help manage the project is the property of a consultant.
The rail authority's consultants are hardly household names, but they are politically powerful and made major contributions to support the 2008 political campaign for the bullet train bond. They have staffed their ranks with former high-level bureaucrats, and their former executives have occupied key government posts.
They include such firms as WSP, Project Finance Advisory, Cambridge Systematics, Arup, T.Y. Lin, HNTB, PGH Wong Engineering, Harris & Associates, Arcadis, STV, Sener Engineering and Systems, Parsons Transportation and many others.
To be sure, consultants are a routine part of many state construction projects. In California, however, high-speed rail is in a league of its own when it comes to reliance on outside staffing.
Experts in high-speed rail and mega-projects in general say it is crucial to have a balance between outside help and a strong government staff that can make independent judgments about the advice it is getting.
''If you depend on consultants to know what you are doing, then you are in real trouble,'' said Bent Flyvbjerg, an Oxford University professor who has studied high-speed rail projects around the world. ''A good balance is where the owner is not outsourcing all the knowledge. A bad balance guarantees a bad outcome.''
Brian Kelly, chief executive of the rail authority, acknowledges that ''the balance needs to be remedied.''
The consultants, he said, share in the responsibility for the problems, but ''it is the [rail] authority that brought in the consultants and is ultimately responsible to the public.''
WSP, a Montreal-based international engineering firm, leads the state's main consulting operation, Rail Delivery Partner.
Workers tie rebar on a support structure as construction continues in Fresno on the California high-speed rail project. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Formerly known as Parsons Brinckerhoff, WSP has been involved in many giant engineering works, some of which won awards and others that went far over budget and past deadline, including Boston's troubled Big Dig, the Honolulu light rail project and a transit system in St. Louis.
It is WSP that holds the lease on much of the office space at rail authority headquarters, supplies proprietary software that the authority uses and provides servers that store the project's data. The firm also helps oversee three other consulting ventures that monitor construction teams '-- Wong-Harris for the Fresno area, Arcadis for Kings County and HNTB for Tulare County. (Each of those three consultants have teams of subconsultants who work under them.)
In 2008, WSP developed the estimate that the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco line would cost $33 billion and take 12 years to build. In the same year, voters approved a $9-billion bond that was supposed to fund one-third of the project.
''We listened to their estimates,'' said Quentin Kopp, who was chairman of the rail board in 2008 but has since become an ardent critic. ''They were clearly wrong.''
Given the enormity of building a 520-mile rail system, the 10-member rail authority team that existed in the early years amounted to a ''cheer squad,'' Kopp said.
In millions of dollars
Company Contract Amount CompanyWSP State rail authority main consultant, oversees the work of regional consultants and subconsultants $666.4 CompanyHNTB San Francisco to San Jose/San Jose to Merced $75.6 CompanyParsons Transportation (PTG) Central Valley Wye intersection $80.0 CompanyAecom Merced to Fresno $68.2 CompanyHatch Mott MacDonald/URS/Arup Fresno to Bakersfield $157.7 CompanyT.Y. Lin International Bakersfield to Palmdale $72.7 CompanySener Engineering and Systems Palmdale to Burbank $65.0 CompanySTV Burbank to Anaheim $63.5 CompanyArcadis Construction management, Kings County area $65.8 CompanyErnst & Young Financial advisor $10.0 CompanyKleinfelder Geological consultant $18.0 CompanyKPMG Financial advisor $39.0 CompanyProject Finance Advisory/Anrab Funding plan review $4.0 CompanyRealty Property Management Property services $5.0 CompanyTowill Engineering and survey support $4.0 CompanyUniversal Field Services Right of way and property management services $7.3 CompanyVolpe National Transportation Systems Center Environmental document review $2.5 CompanyWong-Harris Construction management, Fresno County area $69.8 Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority
WSP has stayed on the job for about a quarter of a century. It was given a new $700-million contract in 2015, despite warning signs that the project was headed for major cost overruns and had encountered serious delays.
Gregory Kelly, CEO of WSP USA, a New York City-based unit of the firm, defends the company's role in the project and says it brings world-class engineering, project management and environmental know-how that the state could not possibly duplicate. It would be ''wildly inefficient for the state to staff up'' to replace the role of consultants, he said in an interview in Los Angeles.
As for the problems, Kelly acknowledges some responsibility. ''I am not here to say the client was wrong and we have no involvement,'' Kelly said. ''We are all part of the team.''
WSP alone has about 470 employees on the project, and many hundreds of other consultants are spread out at offices across Sacramento, Fresno and San Francisco.
By comparison, the rail authority now has 180 employees, but it has more than 40 vacant positions and is actually smaller than a year ago, according to a March financial report. Kelly, the rail authority CEO, said the vacancy rate is higher than he would like.
''Candidly, we have some difficulty bringing people in when it is unclear what the future of the project is,'' he said. ''That's a real challenge we have to deal with.''
Other state agencies that build infrastructure and manage technical regulations employ far more staffers. The California Department of Transportation alone said it has a staff of more than 7,000 engineers. The Department of Water Resources, which builds and maintains dams, said it has 1,519 engineers, scientists and technicians on its staff. The Air Resources Board has nearly 1,000.
Professional Engineers in California Government, a union that has 13,000 engineers at state agencies, has long argued that the rail authority is making a grave error by relying so heavily on outside consultants.
''They became a consultant-captured organization,'' said Ted Toppin, executive director of the union. ''This is an entity run entirely by engineering consultants for engineering consultants.''
Toppin provided state budget documents from 2010 that showed the rail authority's contracts with consultants averaged $427,000 per engineer, compared with the rail authority's state in-house costs of $131,000 per engineer. The counterargument made by consultants is that those numbers do not reflect differences in efficiency or quality of work.
State Auditor Elaine Howle released a scathing assessment of the project in November, citing the role of consultants 81 times. Consultants, the audit said, ''may not always have the state's best interests as their primary motivation.''
Howle and others say it hasn't helped matters that the rail authority still relies on consultants to manage and oversee other consultants '-- an arrangement that has resulted in the appearance of a conflict of interest in at least one case and poor oversight of project work in general.
The rail authority, she said, has become dependent on WSP staff to fill jobs in its contract management and support offices, which have ''performed only weak and inconsistent oversight'' of the project work.
The audit examined nine sample contracts and found ''significant problems'' in reviewing invoices and documenting that work had actually been completed. In one example, the rail authority staffed a new office intended to improve contract management with seven consultants.
WSP executives said it was a ''stretch'' to allege that any problems they caused were responsible for billions of dollars in cost increases.
A state audit found "significant problems" in sample contracts with consultants on the high-speed rail project, seen above south of downtown Fresno. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Several rail authority employees said in interviews that the audit correctly identified the confused relationship between state employees and consultants. In some cases, they said, state employees report to consultants, rather than the other way around.
''The underlying problem is that you have an organization that is broken,'' said one manager at the rail authority who was not authorized to talk to the news media and requested anonymity. ''You have managers brought in as promotions by their friends. They haven't defined who does what.''
In some instances, the consultants have provided flawed advice, as well.
At one time, Cambridge Systematics, the consultant that developed ridership models, estimated that more than 90 million people would ride the trains every year, based on an overly optimistic assumption that 90% of motorists along the route would switch to trains, said David Brownstone, a UC Irvine economics professor who reviewed the work of consultants that provided ridership estimates.
''Once we pointed out all the problems, they lowered it to 25 million and characterized it as a minor change,'' he said. ''Calling that a minor adjustment was a flat-out lie. The mistakes were obvious and crude.''
In Brownstone's opinion, the rail authority didn't question the calculations because high ridership estimates supported its revenue projections.
''Some of these consultants will tell you whatever you want to hear for a fee,'' Brownstone said.
Cambridge Systematics declined to comment.
It is also the consultants who write the project's environmental impact statements and reports, among the most voluminous undertakings in the history of environmental regulation in California. The body of work includes dozens of reports covering 11 geographic sectors, nine years of business plans and numerous ridership studies.
A Times data analysis of the reports completed so far, involving more than 3,000 environmental statements, business documents and other reports, found they contained 152,000 pages that consultants largely generated. The Times could not locate anybody who claimed to have read all of the documents.
The consultants, however, have played a key role in the political success of the project. Along with labor unions, consultants helped fund the campaign for the $9-billion bond that is paying everybody's salaries, including their own.
Engineering and construction firms contributed $837,000 to the bond campaign, second only to the $1.6 million spent by various unions, according to a Times review of campaign filings. WSP put $107,000 into the campaign. There was no organized opposition to the bond measure. It passed with 52.7% support, but its popularity has dropped in public opinion polls ever since.
The consultants continue to provide political muscle for the project. A revolving door provides lucrative job opportunities for state and federal officials to enter higher-paying private jobs.
The rail authority in May 2012 hired as its chief executive Jeff Morales, who had worked at WSP since 2004. Morales took a hiatus from WSP to work on President Obama's transition team for the Department of Transportation, giving him key access to the administration's future rail policies.
At the time he was hired by the rail authority, some legislators were worried about the potential conflicts of interest that Morales could bring, but rail authority Chairman Dan Richard said his board was ''deeply impressed by his extensive experience in large and complex transportation issues and projects.''
We All Work for Facebook
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:01
Carol Yepes / Getty, Illustration by
HomesteadLivia Gershon | Longreads | April 2019 | 9 minutes (2,270 words)
When I was a kid, in the pre-internet days of the 1980s, my screen time was all about Nickelodeon. My favorite show was ''You Can't Do That on Television.'' It was a kind of sketch show; the most common punchline was a bucket of green slime being dropped on characters' heads. It was pretty dumb. It was also created by professional writers, actors, and crew, who were decently paid; many of them belonged to unions.
Today, my kids don't have much interest in that sort of show. For them, TV mostly means YouTube. Their preferred channels collect memes and jokes from various corners of the internet. In a typical show, a host puts on goofy voices to read posts from r/ChoosingBeggars, a Reddit message board devoted to customers who make absurd demands of Etsy vendors. It's significantly funnier than ''You Can't Do That on Television,'' I admit. It also involves no unionized professionals.
The production of the shows my kids enjoy goes something like this: Unpaid redditors post original material to amuse their online friends. Unpaid moderators keep the subreddit functioning by cleaning out spam and abuse. Reddit gets a little money from ads posted on the subreddit. Then a YouTube channel called Sorrow TV'--apparently a one-man operation run by a 20-something guy'--harvests the best posts and creates the video. YouTube, which is part of Google, runs more ads, while collecting valuable data about the viewing patterns of users like my kids. YouTube shares some of the money it makes with SorrowTV, based on a formula that Google controls and can alter at any time.
Today's media is ruled by a handful of corporations with enormous market power. One thing that makes these companies so valuable is how few people they employ, relatively speaking, for each dollar earned. A New York Times analysis last year found that Facebook makes just a hair under $635,000 in profit for each of its 25,000 employees. Alphabet, Google's parent company, makes about $158,000 per worker. (At Walmart, it's $4,288.) These calculations often get spun as representing a victory for automation and algorithms'--machines, rather than humans, creating value. But the truth is, these media companies have billions of people working for them'--they're just not on staff. Whenever you post a photo on Instagram, write an Amazon review, or skim through complaints about potholes on your neighborhood's Facebook group, you're helping generate profit for the world's richest corporations. A growing movement is making the case that you ought to get paid for it.
Typically, we don't think of social media use as labor. Finding your way with Google Maps seems (particularly to those of us old enough to remember planning a trip with paper maps) like a luxurious free service. Keeping up with distant friends on Facebook feels like recreation. Answering questions on Yelp about whether the library you just visited has a wheelchair ramp is like a tiny public service.
But, of course, these companies aren't providing anything for free. In Radical Markets (2017), Eric A. Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, and E. Glen Weyl, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research and visiting scholar at Princeton University, make the case that companies should pay for the information they collect from us. They point to Big Tech's use of our data, not just to choose what ads we'll see'--or to sell to questionable political targeting operations'--but also to create new technology. Facebook and Instagram (a Facebook property) use the images and videos we upload to power machine learning. That's where new artificial intelligence products like face recognition and automated video editing come from. Translating a photo caption for your friends helps teach Google Translate how languages work. When you click the boxes on ReCAPTCHA, the ubiquitous anti-spam tool owned by Google, it helps computers learn to digitize text and'--probably'--improves self-driving car technology.
A growing movement is making the case that you ought to get paid for your social media posts.
How big a deal this is for the economy depends on how successful artificial intelligence will be in replacing workers over the coming decades. ''As the digital sector grows, it could wind up being very large,'' Weyl told me. In fact, he said, treating data as labor could help AI technology develop faster'--companies would be able to explicitly ask us for the information they need rather than trick us into providing it. But that would mean that they'd have to divvy up the spoils. ''These companies have addicted themselves so much to being labor light,'' Weyl said. ''It's impacting AI's ability to make a broad impact on the economy.''
Writing in the Harvard Business Review with Jaron Lanier, a prominent critic of social media, Weyl argues that if Americans were paid for our data, many would make $500 to $1,000 a year the way things stand now (an estimate that the authors believe is low). If AI were to grow to represent 10 percent of the U.S. economy, Weyl and Lanier add, that amount could rise to $20,000 for an average family of four'--though in that information economy, we'd all pay a little more for the services we use.
Even absent economically powerful machine learning, companies benefit in a variety of ways from the work we do for free online'--including in the least profit-driven settings. Dorothy Howard, a Ph.D. student and digital labor scholar at the University of California San Diego, became interested in digital labor while volunteering for Wikipedia. ''I was spending a lot of time editing and moderating and helping to solve disputes, and then also doing some diversity work, organizing around Wikipedia's gender gap,'' she said. ''I developed some burnout. I felt really exhausted.''
Howard began researching burnout among activists and volunteers and soon ran into feminist critiques of traditionally unpaid women's work. Howard pointed me to ''Wages for Facebook,'' a project created in 2014 by Laurel Ptak, a curator and visual artist. The project's name is a twist on Wages for Housework, a radical 1970s feminist assault on the idea of housework as an extension of natural, nurturing womanhood. More than a practical demand for payment, Wages for Housework tried to recast domestic life as unpaid, unacknowledged labor that contributed to capitalism by making men's paid work possible.
Echoing ''Wages Against Housework,'' a classic 1975 essay by Silvia Federici, a feminist theorist, Ptak designed a website, Wages for Facebook, with bold, all-caps text that scrolls down readers' screens. ''By denying our Facebook time a wage while profiting directly from the data it generates and transforming it into an act of friendship, capital has killed many birds with one stone,'' it reads. ''First of all, it has got a hell of a lot of work almost for free, and it has made sure that we, far from struggling against it, would seek that work as the best thing online.''
Wikipedia is a nonprofit, and a much-cited example of the utopian promise of collective online work. Still, Howard argues, anything produced online serves to the advantage of big tech companies. ''Wikipedia seeds the Google knowledge engine,'' she told me. ''Licensing is so open, contributing to Wikipedia also means you're creating this knowledge that could be used in a number of other settings.''
That's also true of many other voluntary and collective online enterprises, including open source software projects. The most significant of these is probably Linux, a slightly modified version of which helps power Google's Android operating system, the core of Amazon Web Services, and servers that host the vast majority of the world's websites. ''The project itself is really committed to the politics of making code freely available for anyone to use, and the volunteers are committed to that,'' Howard said. ''That creates resources for companies to use.''
Entertainment companies take advantage of another type of free labor: the work of fans. Producers of movies, TV shows, and other projects often lean heavily on fans to act as vast, informal focus groups, and to promote their products. ''Paid advertisements used to fill that sort of role,'' Mel Stanfill, a digital media scholar at the University of Southern Florida and the author of Exploiting Fandom (2019), told me. ''To whatever extent that's been pulled back, that's monetary gain.''
Devoted fans are more likely than casual social media users to think of their efforts as real work. But Stanfill said that they still don't necessarily want wages. For them, creating interesting stories, videos, or memes'--or promoting and supporting others' work'--is a source of status. ''There's two economies happening at the same time,'' Stanfill explained. ''There's the market economy where these activities are valuable labor, but there's also what people refer to as the gift economy where people are producing things as expressions of love.''
Sometimes the two economies clash dramatically, as in the case of ''Serenity,'' a science fiction movie from 2005 based on ''Firefly,'' a cult TV show. Universal Studios unleashed a marketing campaign that revolved around fans' work'--enthusiasts organized viewing sessions, posted about the movie online, and created art using the official movie logo. A year later, however, Universal turned on fan artists, in one case threatening the owner of a Caf(C) Press store selling ''Serenity''-themed merchandise with a retroactive $8,750 licensing fee and statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work. Fans responded by drawing up an invoice covering the hours they had spent promoting the movie. The figure they came up with, for some 28,000 hours, was more than $2.1 million.
The fans acknowledged in their statement that they weren't really expecting to collect cash. ''We just believe that there is a point to be made,'' they wrote. The development and enforcement of copyright law consistently favors wealthy companies over individuals. Still, Stanfill told me, ''It's a huge power imbalance that has to be resolved somehow.''
Fans drew up an invoice covering the time they had spent promoting the movie: 28,000 hours for $2.1 million.
Fans are trying to gain recognition. A prominent example is the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), a fan-run nonprofit that was founded in 2007. One of its projects, An Archive of Our Own, recently received a Hugo Award nomination for its work hosting nearly five million pieces of fan fiction and art, catering to the needs of fans rather than entertainment companies. OTW also does legal advocacy, defending fans' interests in cases regarding copyright and fair use, and lobbying for more favorable laws.
Digital labor rights, like any labor rights, depend on workers' ability to organize in pursuit of their interests. The idea of demanding pay for data depends on internet users coming together in something like a labor union or a craft guild, bargaining with data buyers and using strike threats to win contracts. Skilled translators or people with a specific medical condition might band together based on their knowledge of the value that their data could provide. Weyl suggested to me that users start with Wikipedia, since it has its own complicated, semi-democratic governance system.
''They should try to bargain,'' he said. ''And government should give them the power to bargain: 'We're going to stop you from using our content in some kind of way if you don't offer some shared value to support our community.''' In the case of fan labor, Stanfill added, a union might be less interested in money than in shared credit and the right to remix commercial products in fan communities.
Recently, Instagram memers announced the formation of their own union, IG Meme Union 69-420, with actually-serious demands for better communication with the company, a more transparent appeals process for account bans, and protection from other users stealing and monetizing creators' content.
Digital labor rights, like any labor rights, depend on workers' ability to organize.
Users might also seek to collectively own their own data. Trebor Scholz, a culture and media scholar at The New School who writes about paid and unpaid digital labor, points to MIDATA, a Switzerland-based nonprofit cooperative that collects data on everything from blood tests to debit card usage, and then allows people to determine how their own information used. Members can actively choose to share selected parts of their data with others, like medical researchers. Scholz envisions extending that kind of model to other applications, like ''smart cities,'' where sensors and mobile apps gather data on traffic jams, water supply, and library needs. Big tech companies frequently propose organizing these kinds of projects, but are met by local communities with well-justified skepticism, since it's easy to glean information on individuals from collections of supposedly anonymous data. Scholz suggests that a better plan would be a cooperatively run, locally governed organization that collaborates with companies like Google and Facebook to help collect information without letting them run the show.
''The cooperative could govern and own the raw data, essentially encrypt it,'' Scholz said. ''They can then pass on data models to those companies. That means that they are able to financialize the data, but not the raw data. They could never identify a person.''
Ultimately, any fight for digital workers' rights depends partly on action by government, on the municipal to the national and international levels'--to affirm rights to personal data, force companies to improve their terms of service, change copyright law, and grant labor protections for data creators. Some people despair at pitting government bureaucrats against rich, fast-moving tech giants. But Howard thinks we shouldn't. ''Government should not operate on the model that science is always going to outpace our ability to regulate it, that somehow science moves faster than law can,'' she said. ''But that is a very useful argument for science.'' What is crucial'--whether we're Wikipedians, fan fiction writers, or just occasional Facebook users'--is to push governments for better regulations and appeal directly to media companies to acknowledge the value we're providing for them. And that means recognizing that we're all digital laborers.
Livia Gershon is a freelance journalist based in New Hampshire. She has written for the Guardian, the Boston Globe, HuffPost, Aeon and other places.
Editor: Betsy Morais
Fact-checker: Ethan Chiel
Putting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer - The New York Times
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:31
By raising levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, our phone time may also be threatening our long-term health.
Image Credit Credit Raºl Soria If you're like many people, you may have decided that you want to spend less time staring at your phone.
It's a good idea: an increasing body of evidence suggests that the time we spend on our smartphones is interfering with our sleep, self-esteem, relationships, memory, attention spans, creativity, productivity and problem-solving and decision-making skills.
But there is another reason for us to rethink our relationships with our devices. By chronically raising levels of cortisol, the body's main stress hormone, our phones may be threatening our health and shortening our lives.
Until now, most discussions of phones' biochemical effects have focused on dopamine, a brain chemical that helps us form habits '-- and addictions. Like slot machines, smartphones and apps are explicitly designed to trigger dopamine's release, with the goal of making our devices difficult to put down.
This manipulation of our dopamine systems is why many experts believe that we are developing behavioral addictions to our phones. But our phones' effects on cortisol are potentially even more alarming.
Cortisol is our primary fight-or-flight hormone. Its release triggers physiological changes, such as spikes in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, that help us react to and survive acute physical threats.
These effects can be lifesaving if you are actually in physical danger '-- like, say, you're being charged by a bull. But our bodies also release cortisol in response to emotional stressors where an increased heart rate isn't going to do much good, such as checking your phone to find an angry email from your boss.
4 Hours a DayIf they happened only occasionally, phone-induced cortisol spikes might not matter. But the average American spends four hours a day staring at their smartphone and keeps it within arm's reach nearly all the time, according to a tracking app called Moment. The result, as Google has noted in a report, is that ''mobile devices loaded with social media, email and news apps'' create ''a constant sense of obligation, generating unintended personal stress.''
''Your cortisol levels are elevated when your phone is in sight or nearby, or when you hear it or even think you hear it,'' says David Greenfield, professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. ''It's a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body's natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away.''
But while doing so might soothe you for a second, it probably will make things worse in the long run. Any time you check your phone, you're likely to find something else stressful waiting for you, leading to another spike in cortisol and another craving to check your phone to make your anxiety go away. This cycle, when continuously reinforced, leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels.
And chronically elevated cortisol levels have been tied to an increased risk of serious health problems, including depression, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, fertility issues, high blood pressure, heart attack, dementia and stroke.
''Every chronic disease we know of is exacerbated by stress,'' says Dr. Robert Lustig, emeritus professor in pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of ''The Hacking of the American Mind.'' ''And our phones are absolutely contributing to this.''
Smartphone StressIn addition to its potential long-term health consequences, smartphone-induced stress affects us in more immediately life-threatening ways.
Elevated cortisol levels impair the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain critical for decision-making and rational thought. ''The prefrontal cortex is the brain's Jiminy Cricket,'' says Dr. Lustig. ''It keeps us from doing stupid things.''
Impairment of the prefrontal cortex decreases self-control. When coupled with a powerful desire to allay our anxiety, this can lead us to do things that may be stress-relieving in the moment but are potentially fatal, such as texting while driving.
The effects of stress can be amplified even further if we are constantly worrying that something bad is about to happen, whether it's a physical attack or an infuriating comment on social media. (In the case of phones, this state of hypervigilance sometimes manifests as ''phantom vibrations,'' in which people feel their phone vibrating in their pocket when their phone isn't even there.)
''Everything that we do, everything we experience, can influence our physiology and change circuits in our brain in ways that make us more or less reactive to stress,'' says Bruce McEwen, head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University.
Dr. McEwen also notes that our baseline cortisol levels ebb and flow in a regular 24-hour cycle that is thrown out of whack if we get less than seven to eight hours of sleep a night, which is all too easy to do if you're in the habit of checking your phone before bed. This in turn leaves our bodies less resilient to stress and increases our risk of all the stress-related health conditions mentioned above.
Put this all together, and the hours we spend compulsively checking our phones may add up to much more than a waste of time.
Breaking the CycleThe good news is that if we break this anxiety-driven cycle, we can reduce our cortisol levels, which in turn may both improve our short-term judgment and lower our risks for long-term stress-related health problems. Over time, says Dr. McEwen, it's even possible to retrain our brains so that our stress responses are no longer on such a hair-trigger to begin with.
To make your phone less stressful, start by turning off all notifications except for the ones you actually want to receive.
Next, pay attention to how individual apps make you feel when you use them. Which do you check out of anxiety? Which leave you feeling stressed? Hide these apps in a folder off your home screen. Or, better yet, delete them for a few days and see how it feels.
And while you're at it, start paying attention to how individual apps affect you physically, too. ''If we're not aware of our physical sensations, we're not going to change our behaviors,'' says Dr. Judson Brewer, director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and author of ''The Craving Mind.'' According to Dr. Brewer, stress and anxiety often manifest as a feeling of contraction in the chest.
Regular breaks can also be an effective way to rebalance your body's chemistry and regain your sense of control. A 24-hour ''digital Sabbath'' can be surprisingly soothing (once the initial twitchiness subsides), but even just leaving your phone behind when you get lunch is a step in the right direction.
Also, try to notice what anxiety-induced phone cravings feel like in your brain and body '-- without immediately giving in to them. ''If you practice noticing what is happening inside yourself, you will realize that you can choose how to respond,'' says Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. ''We don't have to be at the mercy of algorithms that are promoting the fear of missing out.''
Unfortunately, it isn't easy to create healthy boundaries with devices that are deliberately designed to discourage them. But by reducing our stress levels, doing so won't just make us feel better day-to-day. It might actually lengthen our lives.
Catherine Price (@catherine_price) is the author of ''How to Break Up With Your Phone'' and creator of Screen/Life Balance.
VIDEO - Rush Limbaugh Show Full Video 04/25/2019 - YouTube
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 14:09
VIDEO - He Used To Be Trans'--Here's What He Wants Everyone To Know - YouTube
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:11
VIDEO - Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Not 'Lucid' Enough To Make Decision About Resignation, Attorney Says '' CBS Baltimore
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:04
BALTIMORE (WJZ) '-- Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh continued to stay out of the spotlight Thursday, as federal agents raided her homes and several businesses.
Pugh was home at the time the FBI and IRS began their raid around 7 a.m. After the feds left, Pugh met with her legal team.
An earlier report said she may have been trying to get out of town, but attorney Steve Silverman spoke to WJZ outside her home Thursday and said the mayor is physically ill and emotionally saddened. He said she apologized for letting down the people of Baltimore with any appearance of wrongdoing.
However Silverman did not address whether Pugh would resign, only saying he was discussing her options with her.
According to Silverman, Pugh is not mentally or physically able to make any decisions.
''She just needs to be physically and mentally sound and lucid enough to make appropriate decisions,'' he said.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's House, City Hall Raided By FBI And IRSTIMELINE: Mayor Catherine Pugh's Healthy Holly ScandalHere Are The 5 Places The Feds Raided In BaltimoreMayor Catherine Pugh's Lawyer Says She's Not 'Lucid' Enough To Make Decision About ResignationCalls For Resignations IncreaseOnline Petitions Calling For Pugh's Resignation As Several Top Mayoral Aides Placed On LeaveNeighbors tell WJZ they haven't seen her in weeks. They believe she splits her time between two homes in Baltimore.
Michelle Hopkins is from Park Heights, where the Maryland Center for Adult Training was raided by FBI agents Thursday morning.
''Until you get regular people in there that's gonna do their job the right way, then that's when our city is gonna get it right.
This is Michelle Hopkins from Park Heights. She is fed up with the headlines at City Hall and, in her words, devastated by the news of today's FBI raids. #WJZ
'-- Devin Bartolotta (@WJZDevin) April 25, 2019
They joined several city and state officials to call for her resignation.
''I'm glad she's gone, I hope she do go,'' said Penn North resident Marcus Alston.
''I think she should resign,'' said Libby Cole.
The city is now into the fourth week of Pugh on indefinite leave and silence is surrounding Baltimore's top offices. Pugh's aides have gone silent on status updates, declining to comment on her health this week- as questions linger on when, or if, she plans to return to work.
Meanwhile, dominos continue to fall inside Baltimore City Hall on Tuesday, as acting Mayor Jack Young stayed tight-lipped on his recent decision to place a seventh Pugh staffer on leave of absence.
''I'm committed to stabilizing the city and moving forward, and any changes I need to make, I will make them,'' Young said.
The move heightens questions still surrounding Mayor Pugh's lucrative Healthy Holly book deals with UMMS that coincided with her own indefinite leave as she battles pneumonia.
In an interview with WYPR on Tuesday, the acting mayor Jack Young said, ''I haven't spoken to her in two and a half weeks. I haven't heard from her. I have no idea other than what I read in the paper,''
Two online petitions also pressure Pugh to step down, including one led by state Republican Party official Tony Campbell.
Young has not said whether he thinks Mayor Pugh should resign.
''It is embarrassing for the city of Baltimore, it's embarrassing we're on the national news for this whole episode I would call it,'' Young said Thursday.
The City Council passed new ethics laws Monday night, including one that deals with financial disclosures.
Devin Bartolotta Comments (20)
VIDEO - Joe Biden's son's firm linked to Chinese government: New book - YouTube
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 12:26
VIDEO - Over 1,000 quarantined in measles scare at LA universities
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 11:43
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- More than 1,000 students and staff members at two Los Angeles universities were quarantined on campus or sent home this week in one of the most sweeping efforts yet by public health authorities to contain the spread of measles in the U.S., where cases have reached a 25-year high .
By Friday afternoon, two days after Los Angeles County ordered the precautions, about 325 of those affected had been cleared to return after proving their immunity to the disease, through either medical records or tests, health officials said.
The action at the University of University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles '-- which together have more than 65,000 students '-- reflected the seriousness with which public health officials are taking the nation's outbreak.
''Measles actually kills people, so we have to take that really seriously,'' said Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.
Those under the quarantine were instructed to stay at home and avoid contact with others. They also were barred from traveling by public transportation, including planes, trains, buses or taxis. If they must travel for an emergency, they were told to notify public health officials first.
''This is a legally binding order,'' the county's public health director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, told reporters.
Anyone who violates it could be prosecuted, she said, but added that it appears everyone is cooperating so far. She didn't describe what penalties those who don't could face.
The number of measles cases in the U.S. has climbed to nearly 700 this year, including five in Los Angeles County and 38 altogether in California. The surge is blamed largely on parents not getting their children vaccinated because of misinformation about the supposed dangers.
Still, several students at Cal State-LA were shocked that their campus could be hit by a measles outbreak.
''When they were like measles, I was like, 'What? Where did that come from,''' said Sergio Dula, a communications major.
Eden Guerra, a kinesiology major, was surprised classes weren't canceled, noting, ''This is like serious, like it's life, you know.''
Cal State-LA reported 875 students, staff, faculty and visitors were placed under quarantine after possibly being exposed to measles earlier this month. About 250 had been cleared by Friday after proving they are immune to the disease.
At UCLA, 129 students and faculty were quarantined. All but 46 had been cleared by Friday.
Cal State-LA is primarily a commuter school, while many UCLA students live on campus. Some UCLA students were provided a quarantine area to stay in, university officials said, though they gave no details. Only one person remained there Friday.
Those covered by the quarantine were singled out based on their possible exposure to either an infected UCLA student who had attended classes in two buildings on three days earlier this month, or a person with measles who visited a Cal State-LA library on April 11, officials said.
Those possibly exposed at Cal State-LA were located by tracking the records of people working in the library and those who logged on to its computers during the four hours the infected student was there.
Given the amount of time a person can remain contagious, officials said the quarantine would end at UCLA on Tuesday and at Cal State-LA on Thursday.
Around the country, lawmakers in California, New York, Washington state and Oregon have responded to the outbreak by moving to crack down on exemptions to vaccinating children. On Friday, President Donald Trump urged everyone to get vaccinated.
Most of the cases are centered in two ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in New York '-- one in Brooklyn, the other in suburban Rockland County.
In Rockland County, officials declared a state of emergency and at one point tried to bar unvaccinated children from schools and other public places, but a judge overturned the order.
Authorities ordered mandatory vaccinations earlier their month in the affected Brooklyn neighborhoods and threatened fines of $1,000. City officials said earlier this week that 12 people had been issued summonses.
Measles usually causes fever, runny nose and an all-over rash but in a small number of cases can lead to deadly complications such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for everyone over a year old, except for people who had the disease as children. Those who have had measles are immune.
Health officials at a news conference repeatedly urged people who haven't been exposed to measles to get vaccinated, saying the vaccine is safe and effective.
''Ninety percent of people who are not immunized or haven't had measles before, when they're exposed to measles are likely to get measles,'' Ferrer said.
Associated Press Writers Krysta Fauria and John Antczak contributed to this report.
VIDEO - John Whitehouse on Twitter: "Fox guest on the rise of anti-Semitism since the election of Trump: "'Jews will not replace us' was the chant in Charlottesville" in August 2017, and just the other day the president essentially said they were fair" Fo
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 11:09
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VIDEO - Sharpton Wrongly Hints Trump Made Up General Lee Angle to Cover Himself
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 11:05
As MSNBC host Al Sharpton appeared as a guest on MSNBC Live with Alex Witt on Saturday afternoon to discuss President Donald Trump's recent defense of his Charlottesville comments from 2017, Sharpton and fill-in host Phillip Menas both hinted that President Trump only recently made up the issue of demonstrators having legitimate concerns about statues of General Robert E. Lee even though video proves that the President previously discussed the issue of General Lee and other historical statues being targeted for removal.
At 12:18 p.m. Eastern, a clip was shown of President Trump recalling: "I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee -- a great general, whether you like it or not."
Menas recalled that the President was responding to a video released by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that referenced President Trump's reaction to the Charlottesville white nationalist violence from August 2017 in which he referred to some of the people who showed up as "very fine people."
As if it were the first time he had heard the President discuss General Lee with regard to Charlottesville, Sharpton declared that Trump's recent praise of the Confederate historical figure was even "more offensive" than the President's original comments, even though those were, in fact, roughly contained in the President's original comments. Sharpton:
I think that as offended as many of us including myself was two years ago, he even was more offensive, what he said yesterday. To say that Robert E. Lee -- who was the general of the Confederate army that fought to keep blacks enslaved -- keep blacks as property -- was a great general -- and if you continue hearing his comment that generals have told this White House that they admired him -- you admired a man that led an attempted coup against the United States government?
He's the President of the United States praising the man who tried to overthrow the government of the United States and defend slavery. That is as offensive or more than when he said there were kind people or good people on both sides, referring to some that were marching for that statue to honor this man because we're talking about a man that tried to overthrow the government to keep slavery in.
Instead of consulting the videotape to find out what President Trump discussed in August 2017, Sharpton and Menas then suggested that Trump had only just made up this issue. Menas commented: "He did, and I don't remember him mentioning anything about Robert E. Lee the first time around when that happened."
Sharpton agreed:
No, he didn't. He did not mention Robert E. Lee, in my memory, the first time. He talked about good people on both sides, which is atrocious because you have people marching the night before talking about "Jews will not replace us" and "blood and soil," which is a Nazi slogan. But now he comes back and doubles down with a Confederate general.
In fact, video of Trump's statements from August 2017 clearly show that he brought up people who supported keeping General Lee's statue in place, and argued that some of those people were "very fine people" as he also condemned Nazis and explicitly stated that he was not praising Nazis and white nationalists.
It also happens that polling suggests most Americans oppose the removal of Confederate monuments by a 2-1 margin while even a plurality of blacks opposed statue removal (44 percent against, 40 percent in favor).
VIDEO - Trump cheers economy, criticizes Democratic presidential opponents and Jussie Smollett at rally in Wisconsin - Chicago Tribune
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:50
President Donald Trump boasted of a strong economy and criticized his Democratic presidential opponents Saturday night as he rallied supporters with familiar themes.
Trump pointed to the economy's 3.2% growth in the first quarter before drawing even more applause by citing gains in employment and reductions in family poverty in Wisconsin. The state helped propel Trump's 2016 victory, and Democrats are focused on reclaiming its electoral votes in 2020.
Turning to presidential politics, the president had a suggestion for members of the Democratic Party.
"They should change that to the Radical Left Democrat Party," he told a crowd that nearly filled the 10,500-seat Risch Center in Green Bay. "It's crazy what's going on with them. Oh, do I look forward to running against them."
It was a signal that what the president and Republicans have been saying about Democrats for months could be a lasting part of his reelection campaign story. Trump, who loves branding opponents, pointed to the Green New Deal, abortion rights policy and the self-described socialism of prominent Democrats to paint the whole party as radical.
In contrast, he said, "The Republican Party is the party of all Americans. And common sense," he said, eliciting cheers and chants of "USA!"
Trump also referenced his nicknames for two of the leading Democratic presidential contenders '-- "Sleepy Joe" Biden and "Crazy Bernie" Sanders '-- and predicted that Elizabeth Warren's candidacy was already over.
Turning to his nickname for Warren, a critic of Trump and a frequent target of the president, Trump said: "I think Pocahontas, she's finished, she's out."
Trump warned his supporters that Democrats would take away their guns, promised anew to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and pledged to come up with a plan for health care after the next election.
Trump also talked about "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, calling him "a third-rate actor in Chicago."
"That case in Chicago is a disgrace to our nation."
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had shared their love of golf with a quick round on the president's course in Northern Virginia earlier in the day. No announcement of concrete advances in U.S.-Japan trade relations followed the meeting, though Trump told his rally audience that Japan was investing $40 billion in the American auto industry.
Trump scheduled the mid-evening rally at the same time members of the White House Correspondents' Association gathered for their annual dinner. He refused the association's invitation for the third straight time, a break from past practice by the president.
"Is there any place that's more fun than a Trump rally?" he asked, having assured them there was no one he'd rather be with.
In Washington, Olivier Knox, the association's president, voiced concerns about Trump's attacks on the press. He said he's received death threats, including one this week, and that he's had to warn his family not to touch packages on the stoop.
"It shouldn't need to be said in a room full of people who understand the power of words that 'fake news' and 'enemies of the people' are not pet names, punchlines or presidential," Knox said.
Historian Ron Chernow, the dinner's featured speaker, said the Founding Fathers had severe differences with the press and came under vicious criticism on occasion. He said President George Washington felt maligned and misunderstood by the press but never generalized that into a vendetta.
"Relations between presidents and the press are inevitably tough, almost always adversarial, but they don't need to be steeped in venom," Chernow said.
Also skipping the correspondents' dinner to attend the rally was press secretary Sarah Sanders. In rare public praise for his chief spokeswoman, Trump called Sanders to the stage to say a few words.
"I'm so proud to work for the president," Sanders said, and noted that she received a very different reception during the event she attended last year '-- the correspondents' dinner in which the evening's comedian lampooned her.
Trump joked that Sanders "is becoming too popular," then riffed on his signature reality TV line. "I'm telling you, Sarah, you're fired!" The crowd chuckled.
The president opened the rally on a somber note, offering his condolences for the victims of a synagogue shooting near San Diego. He said America stands with the victims, denounced anti-Semitism and praised the law enforcement response.
"Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidary with the Jewish community," he said.
Trump singled out an off-duty Border Patrol agent who fired back at the suspected shooter. The agent, who was not identified, was working as a security guard at the synagogue. He fired as the suspect fled but only hit his car.
The agent "helped disrupt the attack and saved so many lives," Trump said.
Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
About '' Ubermedia
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:40
Founded by prolific entrepreneur Bill Gross, UberMedia® acquired four popular social apps and began mobile data ingestion. These apps still provide UberMedia with a rich supply of first party data.
Launched an innovative mobile DSP featuring machine learning powered optimization. Then UberMedia developed its mobile intelligence engine, built to maximize thevisitation effect of advertising.
Became a pioneer in location intelligence thanks to an expansion of the mobile intelligence engine to include mobile location data.
With a passionate commitment to being industry leaders, UberMedia's executive team combines decades of experience in technology with entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking.
Gladys Kong Chief Executive Officer
John FaietaChief Financial Officer
Eric AledortChief Business Development Officer
Michael RadfordChief Technology Officer
Kerry PearceChief Product Officer & SVP Engineering
Jayson AyersSVP, Mobile Partnerships
UberMedia provides the highest quality mobile data solutions trusted by businesses to creatively solve their persistent challenges. The company's diverse suite of products process billions of social, demographic, and location signals daily for Fortune 500 companies across retail, automotive, and entertainment to better understand and influence modern consumers with the most accurate business decision science. Recognized as a pioneer in targeted mobile location intelligence, UberMedia was listed as Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies,'' The Wall Street Journal's Top ''50 startups,'' Entrepreneur Magazine's ''Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America,'' and as one of Advertising Age's ''Best Places to Work.''
Retailers Are Tracking Where You Shop -- and Where You Sleep - Bloomberg
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:37
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Poway shooting: Trump denounces anti-Semitism during Green Bay speech - Vox
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:31
Hours after a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in suburban San Diego, killing one person and injuring three more before he was arrested, President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitism during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
''Tonight, America's heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in Poway, California '-- just happened,'' Trump said at the start of his speech. ''Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded, and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated.''
The gunman, whom authorities identified as 19-year-old John Earnest, reportedly posted an anti-Semitic letter hours before the shooting in Poway.
Trump went on to praise law enforcement officials who responded to the scene of the shooting and vowed, ''we will get to the bottom of it. We're gonna get to the bottom of a lot of things happening in this country.''
The president then proceeded with a campaign-style speech in which he referred to FBI and DOJ agents that have been forced out of government during his tenure as ''scum,'' basked in ''lock her up!'' chants directed toward Hillary Clinton, and falsely accused Democrats of supporting the execution of babies.
Trump begins by saying that "America's heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in Poway, California." One day after defending neo-Nazis, he condemns anti-Semitism.
'-- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 28, 2019Trump's Saturday night rally was meant as counter-programming to the White House Correspondents' Dinner back in Washington, DC. One year after she was memorably roasted at the annual dinner, Sarah Sanders appeared onstage with Trump.
''Last year this night I was at a slightly different event, not quite the best welcome,'' Sanders said. ''So this is an amazing honor.''
Trump, for his past, blasted the media that was in Green Bay to cover his speech as ''sick people.''
Trump defended white supremacists one day before he denounced themTrump's denunciation of anti-Semitism at the rally came a day after he went out of his way to again defend the white supremacists who marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 '-- a weekend that resulted in the murder of a counter-demonstrator named Heather Heyer.
During a question-and-answer session with reporters on Friday, Trump was asked if he still thinks there were ''very fine people'' on both sides of the Charlottesville rallies '-- a question prompted by a video released Thursday by Joe Biden announcing his presidential bid that was centered around Trump's comments.
Trump responded to the question by defending the widely denounced false equivalency he drew between white supremacists and people who were in Charlottesville protesting white supremacy.
''I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general,'' Trump said. ''Whether you like it or not he was one of the great generals... People were there protesting the taking down of the monument.''
Asked if he still thinks there were "very fine people" on both sides of the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Trump says, "I was talking about people that went b/c they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E Lee. A great general, whether you like it or not"
'-- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 26, 2019While it may have been the case that some people were in Charlottesville demonstrating that weekend merely because they felt aggrieved about a Confederate monument being taken down, many others walked through the streets chanting ''Jews will not replace us.'' And as my colleague Jane Coaston explained on Friday, what ''Unite the Right'' was really about was never in doubt.
Unite the Right was explicitly organized and branded as a far-right, racist, and white supremacist event by far-right racist white supremacists. This was clear for months before the march actually occurred. So by casting the rally instead as a sort of spontaneous outpouring from Confederate statue enthusiasts, Trump is rewriting history.
The Poway shooter reportedly used an AR-15 style weapon to carry out his attack. In a news conference after the shooting, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore told reporters that ''there's indications that his gun might've malfunctioned after firing numerous rounds.'' But during Trump's speech on Saturday '-- one that came a day after he addressed the NRA '-- the president stoked fears about Democrats wanting ''to take your guns away.''
Hours after a gunman opened fire with an AR-15-style weapon at a synagogue, Trump fear-mongers about Democrats wanting "to take your guns away."
'-- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 28, 2019The Poway shooting came on the last day of Passover, and exactly six months after a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11.
According to NBC, the Poway shooter's manifesto indicates he does not support Trump, citing Trump's support of Israel.
Correction: An earlier version of this piece mentioned that Fox News, during a news segment about the shooting, cut off a guest who criticized President Trump for his comments about Charlottesville. The interview with the guest in fact continued later during the program.
The news moves fast. To stay updated, follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox's policy and politics coverage.
VIDEO - WHCA President: My Crying Son Asked, Will Trump 'Put You In Prison?'
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 10:18
Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, decried President Donald Trump's criticism of the establishment media in his remarks at the annual event and recalled an episode in which his worried son asked if the president will imprison him.Knox said Saturday evening of President Trump.:
I don't want to dwell on the president. This is not his dinner. It's ours, and it should stay ours. But I do want to say this. In nearly 23 years as a reporter, I've been physically assaulted by Republicans and Democrats, spat on, shoved, had crap thrown at me. I've been told by senior administration officials of both major parties that I will never work in Washington again.
And yet, I still separate my career into the period before February 2017 and what came after. That's because February 2017 is when the President of the United States called us the 'enemies of the people.' A few days later I was driving my then-11-year-old son somewhere, probably soccer practice, when he burst into tears and asked me, 'Is Donald Trump going to put you in prison?' At the end of a family trip to Mexico he mused if the president tried to keep me out of the country, at 'least Uncle Josh is a good lawyer and will get you home.'
He then said the terms ''fake news'' and ''enemy of the people'' are not ''pet names, punch lines, or presidential,'' before adding, ''We should reject politically expedient assaults on men and women whose hard work helps make it possible to hold the power to account.''
The remarks came at the organization's annual Washington dinner on Saturday night. President Trump and members of his staff, including Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, skipped the dinner to attend a Greenbay, Wisconsin rally. Sanders was the target of several attacks during last year's speech by comedian Michelle Wolf.
Instead of a comic, historian and author Ron Chernow was the main speaker at the dinner.
Knox also read aloud a letter from Austin Tice's family urging dinner guests to advocate for his release. Tice is a freelance journalist who was kidnapped while reporting in Syria in 2012.
The AP contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Arthur Schwartz on Twitter: "Robert Francis O'Rourke likens immigration laws to slavery; says illegal immigrants live in ''modern day bondage'' in the US.'..."
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:29
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VIDEO - RockPrincess on Twitter: "Here's Ben Rhodes...melting down that him and Obozo are going to jail. Slamming the table to make the point they didn't know anything !! Beat red face ! He's fricked !"
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:18
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VIDEO - Ezra Levant 🍁 on Twitter: "To get just the perfect photo op in a disaster zone, Trudeau's entourage blocked real volunteers for half an hour. When a man complained, Trudeau called him un-neighborly. Trudeau actually called him names. https://
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:08
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VIDEO - Genophilia on Twitter: "How dare a country want to count only its legal citizens in its census, therefore making sure that only legal citizens are represented."
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:04
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VIDEO - that's true - YouTube
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 21:56
VIDEO - WWII-Era Northrop N9M Flying Wing Crashes in Prison Yard |
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 21:44
24 Apr 2019 | By Flanker41
A pilot operating the world's only 1944 Northrop N9M Flying Wing plane is reportedly deceased after the aircraft crashed on the grounds of a prison in Norco, Calif. Authorities are responding to a plane crash in the prison yard of a facility in Riverside County, according to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration. Larry Welk reports from Sky5 for the KTLA 5 News at 1 on April 22, 2019. Read more.
VIDEO - Liz Wheeler on Twitter: "If you don't think this is hilarious, I don't know how to talk to you. 🤣"
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 20:33
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VIDEO - 'ŽHere's The Thing with Alec Baldwin: A Visit to Barbra's Place on Apple Podcasts
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 20:20
Barbra Streisand has had multiplatinum albums every decade going back to the 60s. She's got Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, and a Tony. She's as big as a star gets, and she's gotten there not despite but because of the fact that she's remained distinctly Barbra -- the working-class Jewish girl from Brooklyn unwilling to compromise herself or her work. That Barbra is on full display in this intimate conversation with Here's the Thing host Alec Baldwin. Inside her Malibu home, the two friends range over wide conversational terrain, touching on Barbra's childhood, how the communist government in Czechoslovakia offered up the Czech Jewish community to be extras in Yentl, and the relief of getting behind the camera after years in front of it: ''you never have to raise your voice, because everybody's finally listening.'' And of course, old friends can't meet over an empty table: food runs throughout the conversation.
VIDEO - '–¶ Lone Woof! by NoAgendaTrax
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 14:20
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VIDEO - New Rule: Crime and No Punishment | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) - YouTube
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 14:10
VIDEO - Chris Abraham on Twitter: "@adamcurry this is a month old but it's the first time I've seen it. It's priceless! Featuring Jennifer Lawrence"
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 12:48
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VIDEO - Tulsi Gabbard Deleted Tweet Video - YouTube
Sat, 27 Apr 2019 12:37
VIDEO - *** Q DROP *** Adm Mike Rogers #TrueHero #TheTablesTurn on #HillaryTheHypocrite - YouTube
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 14:23
VIDEO - Mike Huckabee Joe Digenova Rudy Giuliani Robert Ray on The Ingraham Angle 04/24/2019 - YouTube
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 13:44
VIDEO - Mueller Report finds NO COLLUSION! Media Disagrees - YouTube
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 11:47
VIDEO - Kyle Griffin on Twitter: "Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano: "When the president asked Corey Lewandowski ... to get Mueller fired, that's obstruction of justice. When the president asked his then-White House counsel to get Mueller
Fri, 26 Apr 2019 11:22
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VIDEO - He Used To Be Trans'--Here's What He Wants Everyone To Know - YouTube
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:43

Clips & Documents

All Clips
Abby Disney speaks out DN.mp3
Baltimore city mayor in toruble with merck buying her childrens books.mp3
bernies new black campaign person previosu clips.mp3
BETO at SEIU-Wearing a Suit-immigration is slavey wtf.mp3
biden catch phrase ISO.mp3
Biden doing an after the state of union address.mp3
biden promoted by ABC.mp3
Coachella Festival brings the Gift of Herpes to Attendees.m4a
evan mcmullen cia stooge slamming trump.mp3
Gordon Chang on Sri Lanka Port-china debt trap-Podcast.mp3
Hong Kong Protesters go to trial.mp3
Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government-New book.mp3
Joe Digenova-frmr US Atrny-2-FISC already knows who the 4 FBI contracters are and Barr has all the info.mp3
Joe Digenova-frmr US Atrny-4 years of spying by FBI contracters.mp3
Judge Napalitano on Trumps obstruction cahrges-That's True.mp3
Nicholas Ballasy interviews Ben Rhodes.mp3
oliver knox at correspondnets dinner bitching.mp3
Phil_Mudd_proud Shitholer-ISO.m4a
Ron Chewnow correspondents dinner.mp3
San diego shooting PBS early.mp3
sri lanaka update.mp3
The Patsies Strock and Page-Tammy Bruce reports.mp3
Trudeau Press Op hinders actual distater sand bagging help-Lots of Hand On.mp3
Trump on Biden vs His age-young and vibrant.mp3
Trump on LA measles shots.mp3
View biden charlottsville.mp3
VIEW BIDEN empahty clips.mp3
view biden end of episode GAFFE.mp3
view biden masher two.mp3
View biden no apology.mp3
View Biden opening malarky.mp3
View Biden predicting the future.mp3
view biden uses phse on being a masher.mp3
Walt Heyer Trans Kids-1-Intro and Credentials.mp3
Walt Heyer Trans Kids-2-purple dress grandma-no psychotherapy.mp3
Walt Heyer Trans Kids-3-manufacturing trans kids through affirmation.mp3
Walt Heyer Trans Kids-4-back to affirmaton and manufacturing of trans kids.mp3
Walt Heyer Trans Kids-5-Yes trans condition exists-autogynophilia-but also sexual abuse is often the cause.mp3
WHCD- WHCA President Olivier Knowx-Daddy will DT arrest you.mp3
White Collar drug lords busted DN.mp3
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