Friday, November 10, 2017

Like a Virginian

Posting for the very first time!

(That's what I like about it; you can dance to it)

"Do Tuesday’s GOP losses prove Trump’s politics don’t work for everyone?" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  November 09, 2017

WASHINGTON — The hazards of Trump-inspired appeals to white nationalism were laid bare for Republicans this week in a closely watched Virginia election, exposing dangers for the GOP as it fights to extend control of Congress in 2018.

Ed Gillespie, an adviser in the George W. Bush White House and former chairman of the national party, was soundly defeated in the governor’s race after running a campaign that focused on protecting Confederate monuments and eliminating safe havens for undocumented immigrants.

Gillespie’s strategy shocked establishment Republicans but was seen as a grand experiment by some GOP strategists, testing whether President Trump’s playbook of explicit appeals to racial resentment could spell victory in a key swing state.

The result: Districts with higher-income, better-educated voters handily dispatched Gillespie in favor of the Democrat in the race, and turnout among nonwhites was significantly higher than expected.

The majority of Virginia voters, it turned out, had little appetite to be defined by attitudes that stoked the white supremacist rioting last summer in Charlottesville. They resoundingly swept Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, into office, 54 percent to Gillespie’s 45.

Looks like vote fraud to me.

The outcome could be a harbinger of bad news for Republicans defending Senate seats in the key battleground states of Arizona and Nevada. Hard-right primary candidates backed by Breitbart News chief — and former Trump adviser — Steve Bannon are stoking white identity and antiestablishment sentiments in those states in a struggle for the ideological heart of the Senate.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a strong critic of Trump, has already dropped out of his reelection battle, decrying extremism in the party. The most well-known Republican in the primary to replace him is Kelli Ward, who has a penchant for divisive rhetoric and has riled the Arizona GOP. She has received the endorsement of conservative media stars such as right-wing Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

In Nevada, establishment incumbent Senator Dean Heller is facing a Bannon-inspired challenge in the form of Danny Tarkanian, another pro-Trump candidate. Tarkanian has lost multiple statewide campaigns in Nevada, but he has energized the Trump base by demanding that Heller sign a pledge to replace Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. He was ahead of Heller in at least one recent primary poll.

“I am proud to stand with my friend Steve Bannon,’’ Tarkanian said after McConnell’s forces attacked Bannon.

There could even be danger for Republicans in Tennessee, which is seen as more reliably Republican. Andy Ogles, the former head of the ultra-conservative Americans For Prosperity in Tennessee, has announced he would run for the seat of retiring Senator Bob Corker and would rely on anti-immigrant pledges such as “build the wall.’’

Some GOP observers see the upcoming Senate races as a possible last stand for the issues-oriented conservatives who don’t wish to see their party become a silo for white voters — especially when America is increasingly diverse.

“This is one of those basic tectonic splits of the party,” said Charlie Sykes, the former conservative radio host and prominent Trump critic. “It really does pit people who believe the United States is a country based on an inclusive idea versus those who really do seem to lean on the ‘blood and soil’ approach to nationalism.”

Like Trump, the latter group thrives on a vision of nationalism that stokes cultural divides such as preserving Confederate statues and personally insulting football players kneeling to protest police brutality. They often use overtly anti-Muslim rhetoric and denounce economic “globalists,” a term with anti-Semitic undertones.

Traditional Republicans warn that a rejection of inclusive politics by the Bannon wing of the party will spell trouble down the road.

“The first commercial I ever made for George Bush was about opening a bridge between Mexico and Texas, and now all the talk is about a wall,” said Stuart Stevens, a former Mitt Romney campaign adviser and lifelong Republican who has been vocally opposed to Trump.

He compared Trump’s and Bannon’s style of politics to that of George Wallace, the former Alabama governor and infamous segregationist.

“This is all part of this tremendous hijacking, in my view, of what conservatism was about and what the Republican Party is about,” Stevens said. “This is straight out of the George Wallace playbook. . . . There’s a real ugliness to it.”

Ana Navarro, the Republican strategist and frequent Trump critic who has denounced her party’s nativist swing, said, “It is feeling increasingly lonely on Sane Republican Survivor Island.”

“The retirements of traditional Republicans means we’ll see more nativist Republicans coming out of primaries,” Navarro said. “The ‘Trumpublicans’ will exert a bigger influence on the image and tone and claim a bigger piece of the pie of the party.”

In Washington, the signs of the growing split between — as Navarro called them — “Trumpublicans’’ and Republicans are becoming more evident after a year in which intraparty differences were often papered over.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a fund-raising group closely tied to McConnell, has started targeting Bannon directly in tweets and press releases, attempting to link him to white nationalism.

In one tweet, the fund referenced allegations by Bannon’s ex-wife that he made anti-Semitic statements about “whiny brat” Jews — an assertion that Bannon has previously denied. Another tweet highlighted Breitbart News’ declining Internet traffic.

There are even open whispers among lawmakers. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse recently told a conservative radio host that “a new kind of identity politics” was overtaking conservatives, which Sasse described as a “white grievance backlash.”

What this means, according to political experts, is that there is some understanding within the “old guard” of the party that Bannon’s and Trump’s brand of white identity politics is currently on the ascendancy.

She just undercut her entire article of slander and insult.

“In any parliamentary system across Europe, these two sides wouldn’t even be in the same party, and in many cases, they wouldn’t even be a part of the same coalition of governance,” said Justin Gest, a George Mason University professor and author of “The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality.”

“Because of the United States electoral system,” Gest said, “these two have to be bedfellows or they yield a Democratic majority for the next generation.’’

It is what they call forming public opinion before the actual rigging, 'er, results.



"Two years after his 24-year-old girlfriend was killed on live TV, a Virginia Democrat on Tuesday defeated an rival who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association for a seat in the Legislature. Chris Hurst, a former news anchor whose girlfriend and colleague, Alison Parker, was killed on air, overtook Joseph Yost to win the seat. He will be one of two Democrats to represent the state’s conservative southwest region in the House....."

Can you really believe the results you see on TV and in the newspaper?

"Democrat Danica Roem, a former reporter who sings in a metal band in her spare time, defeated long-time Republican Bob Marshall, winning 54 percent of the votes in the northern Virginia House of Delegates district. Working as a reporter taught her how to listen and understand people, Roem said on her campaign website. Her opponent was a lightning rod for controversy, sponsoring a bill that would have restricted which bathrooms transgender people could use. Marshall also authored a now-void constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between one man and one woman and sponsored a bill banning gay people from serving openly in the Virginia National Guard. Minneapolis elected Andrea Jenkins, a black transgender woman, to its City Council. Victory Fund said she was the first openly transgender woman elected to a city council of a major US city. Tyler Titus, who is also transgender, won a seat on a western Pennsylvania school board....."

Also see:

Violence against transgender people is on the rise, advocates say

Three candidates targeted by racist ads win seats

Candidate who was angered by pol’s put-down of Women’s March defeats him

Women channel political angst into election success

You know what happens when women are allowed to drive, right?

Key Takeaways From Tuesday’s Elections

It's the NYT's take, while the Globe is calling it a Democratic tsunami and a glimmer of good news for the Democratic Party.

Boston City Council makes history with the election of six women

Next step, mayor!

Now get to work!


"Trump Tightens Cuba Embargo, Restricting Access to Hotels and Businesses" by Gardiner Harris New York Times   November 09, 2017

WASHINGTON — While the rules will discourage some travel and business dealings between the countries, they do not ban them. Indeed, much of President Obama’s opening to Cuba remains in place, including diplomatic ties.

In a conference call with reporters, senior administration officials said the new rules were intended to direct money and economic activity away from the Cuban military and security services and toward businesses controlled by regular Cuban citizens. Officials said the widespread practice of renting rooms and eating meals in private homes in Cuba would continue to be allowed, as would renting cars from private citizens.

Among the hotels left off the banned list was Marriott International’s Four Points Havana Hotel, owned by the Cuban government, while a competitor operated by a foreign rival, the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, is on the banned list.

Last month, Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats in the wake of mysterious afflictions that have stricken two dozen US Embassy personnel in Havana, casting a Cold War chill over ties between the countries. Last week, Bruno Rodriguez, the Cuban foreign minister, said reports of attacks on American diplomats in Havana were “deliberate lies” intended to roll back warmer ties.

Obama had sought to end the hostility and mistrust that had long characterized relations between countries 90 miles from each other. Obama argued that nearly a half-century of hostility had done little to change Cuba and much to tarnish the United States’ image in Latin America. but opposition to the reconciliation was fierce among parts of the Cuban émigré community in Florida, and Trump’s promise to undo the policy may have contributed to his victory over Hillary Clinton in Florida, a crucial part of his electoral win.

Trump has warmly embraced such autocrats as King Salman of Saudi Arabia and praised the lethal antidrug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, in addition to embracing President Xi Jinping of China, but in June the president promised in a speech that “we will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer” in Cuba.....


"Trump’s Mar-A-Lago gets approval to hire 70 foreign workers" by Terry Spencer Associated Press  November 09, 2017

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — President Trump’s upscale Mar-a-Lago club received permission from the federal government to temporarily hire 70 foreign housekeepers, waiters, and cooks to fill out its staff during its upcoming busy season, with its managers attesting there aren’t enough Americans qualified, willing and available to do the work.

No training needed? They hit the ground running.

The workers are hired under the H-2B visa program.

Peter Ricci, director of Florida Atlantic University’s hospitality and tourism program, said most foreign workers hired by Palm Beach County resorts are students from Ireland, South Africa, Portugal, and the Netherlands who are fulfilling a graduation requirement. Ricci, who has studied and worked with the local resort industry, said most American hospitality students don’t want to work as servers but want to get into a management trainee program, while the foreign students see high-end waiter and service jobs as possible careers and are eager to take them.

‘‘The more upscale the type of venue, the more difficult it is to hire the type of (American) server or employee that we need,’’ Ricci said. ‘‘With their culture from their home countries, (the foreign recruits) come with a more dedicated attitude for service that the recruiters just can’t find enough of locally.’’

Or they are not looking because they don't want you.


I'm tired of getting kicked around like a pos, how about you?

"This show of support from Republicans, including some from competitive House districts, reflects a political shift......"

And a Democrat majority in the House and Senate next year. 

Read it here first!

Senate GOP leader says Roy Moore should exit race if claims are true 

All the guys (McConnell) who didn't want him are piling on to these out of nowhere allegations one month before the election. El Stinko. 

I guess they just forgot, huh?

Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor pleads not guilty in attack

Looks like someone got to Liz Warren, too.

More than 600,000 sign up for Obamacare, despite Trump efforts to sabotage it

Because it's the law.

"A Senate hearing on nominees for two top environmental posts on Wednesday quickly turned testy over the Trump administration’s ambivalence on climate change science. “Your positions are so far out of the mainstream, they are not just outliers, they are outrageous,” said Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. “You have a fringe voice that denies science, economics, and reality.”

Yeah, never mind the snowstorm in Seattle, Ed (with winter 6 weeks away)!

"William Wehrum previously served as a regulator at the EPA under President George W. Bush....."

So the political squall is really smoke, sound, and fury?

"Maine group apologizes for ‘Hunt for the Indian’ event meant to promote local businesses" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  November 08, 2017

A business group in Maine has apologized and scrapped plans for a promotional holiday shopping event called “Hunt for the Indian” following backlash from the community.

The Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce, in Skowhegan, a town about two hours north of Portland, was set to launch the scavenger hunt-like game, which would have encouraged participants to track down a Native American figurine hidden inside local shops to earn holiday discounts, starting after Thanksgiving.

In a post on Facebook Sunday, members of the chamber said the aim was to support business owners while engaging residents in the area and said it was not their “intention to offend anyone.”

When news about the the ill-conceived holiday promotion made its way around social media, the reaction was swift.

“The use of the ‘Indian’ and the horrific game of ‘Hunt the Indian’ goes beyond cultural appropriation and is just violently racist, plain and simple,” one person wrote on the chamber’s Facebook page.

Jason Gayne, the chamber’s executive director, said in a telephone interview that the group wanted to celebrate the town’s heritage and that the nine-member board that came up with the event “didn’t mean any harm by it, by any means.”

“We canceled it completely,” he said.

Gayne said as a result of the public outcry, the chamber will host one or more community discussions addressing the town’s history, Native American history, and “the culture of our area.”

Skowhegan is home to a large Native American statue called the “Skowhegan Indian monument,” a 62-foot-tall wooden figure built by Maine artist Bernard Langlais and dedicated to “the Maine Indians.” The figurine that was going to be used for the giveaway is a miniature version of that statue.

In its statement on Facebook over the weekend, the chamber said it understood it “created a bigger problem” when it failed to see what the promotional event looked like from an outside perspective, especially given local and national protests in recent years calling for a ban on sports mascots with Native American themes.

In 2015, several groups, including the Greater Bangor Area NAACP, asked school officials in Skowhegan to stop using “Indians” as a name and logo for the town’s high school sports teams, according to the Associated Press. The district’s school board later voted to keep the name, the Bangor Daily News reported....


Yeah, it's not just Virginia that sent a message to Trump.


Baker investigating why trooper was ordered to change police report

She is of top concern.

"Police fatally shoot man, wound woman on I-95 in Providence" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  November 09, 2017

Police in Providence fatally shot a man and wounded a woman Thursday morning during a harrowing encounter on Interstate 95 near Providence Place Mall, roughly two hours after a handcuffed suspect stole a State Police cruiser.

They were unable to save him.

Initial media reports had suggested the cruiser theft and later shootings were linked, but Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré told reporters at an afternoon press briefing that the two incidents did not appear to be related.

The man who stole the cruiser remained at large Thursday afternoon.

Police had pursued the man and woman before opening fire, but the reasons for the chase and the use of force were not explained.

A 79-second video clip posted to the website of the Providence Journal captured bursts of gunfire on a busy ramp to I-95 near a white pickup truck and several officers who were on foot.

Paré did not say if investigators recovered a weapon from the truck.

Nor did he identify the man who was killed or the woman, who he said remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon. Her condition was not known.....



Looks like they mistook this pair for the escapee, and the biggest mob out there is the authorities.

Also see:

"More than 100 law enforcement officers swept into Brockton around 5 a.m. Thursday for a major drug bust that resulted in the arrests of 14 suspects, as well as the seizure of suspected heroin, fentanyl, cash, and a gun, authorities said. The raid was the culmination of “a lengthy investigation into a drug distribution operation in the city,” the Plymouth District Attorney’s office said in a statement. “The investigation is ongoing.”

They also cleared the camp in Vermont.


Time for today's breakfast:

Starbucks offering early holiday gift

"You may see more of Amazon inside Whole Foods soon: The online retailer, which has been already been selling its voice-activated Echos at Whole Foods, will start to sell Kindles, Fire tablets, and other Amazon devices at its grocery stores. The move gives Amazon, which bought Whole Foods this summer, another place where shoppers can touch or try out its gadgets during the holiday shopping season. Amazon has been expanding its brick-and-mortar presence: It recently opened shops inside some Kohl’s department stores and it has opened a dozen brick-and-mortar bookstores....."

"Another quarter, another drop in sales for Macy’s. Despite the falloff, Macy’s said it had managed to increase profit for the quarter....."

"The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week. Meanwhile, the four-week average fell to a fresh 44-year low, evidence that the job market remains healthy....."

They keep edging up and yet dropping!


Heather Unruh once delivered the news. Now, she makes it

‘All The Money in the World’ can't save the career of Kevin Spacey.


"The Massachusetts native’s controversial new movie is about a TV comedy writer (played by Louis C.K.) who becomes outraged when his spoiled 17-year-old daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz) becomes besotted with a 60-something filmmaking legend, played by John Malkovich. C.K.’s new film has stirred some controversy, in light of the allegations of sexual misconduct engulfing some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey....."

They are still being verified, but masturbating in front of them really crossed the line!

Harvey Weinstein is why all-male boards are a bad idea

Just keep your eyes to yourself before you get tripped up.

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman says team doctor sexually assaulted her

It's like a death in the family.

Now back to your seat on the bench.

SJC rules teenage killers not being treated fairly by Department of Correction

And what about the victims?

Mass. House approves bill that ensures free birth control

Mass. Senate approves sweeping health care bill

They were able to midwife both of them through.

"New book alleges gay sex in Vatican dorm, shady banking" Associated Press  November 10, 2017

ROME — The Italian journalist who was put on trial by the Vatican for publishing confidential documents has written a new book alleging a host of Catholic sins, including gay sex in the Vatican’s youth seminary.

Gianluigi Nuzzi’s ‘‘Original Sin’’ went on sale Thursday. Nuzzi said his lawyers had hand-delivered a copy to the Vatican’s criminal prosecutor, saying at least one of the seminarians was a minor at the time of the alleged escapades.

The Vatican didn’t immediately comment.

The book gathers together years of exposes into the gay subculture of the Vatican. The new claims concern the Vatican’s St. Pius X preseminary for middle and high schoolers who are considering a possible vocation to the priesthood.

Nuzzi reproduces a letter and testimony from a gay former seminarian who recounted how an adult, now a priest, used to come into his dorm room and have oral sex with his roommate.



"Pope Francis is saying ‘‘Just Say No’’ to cigarettes. The Vatican announced Thursday that it would no longer sell cigarettes to employees in its duty-free shop and supermarket — giving up an estimated $11 million a year in profit. Francis made the decision because ‘‘the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people,’’ the Vatican said....."

Yeah, they don't mind you smoking some pipe though, as if that didn't effect your health. 

Not only that, without the cigarettes to smoke some pooper-pumping priests are sure to be on edge (maybe the marijuana could help remove it, provided there is no drought?).

Also seeBoston Globe hit by denial of service attacks

Why waste the time?