Friday, May 31, 2019
Why Trump is envious
From the pen of Dave Granlund
Fixed It !
I got me elected
Spinning in the wind
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Ten Wheel Drive
He tries to belong
What Bill Barr missed
Mitch comes out
Honest after death
When cheating and dishonesty becomes the mainstay of a political party's success, there is little they do than stays within the spirit of the law. But it is seldom that any actual evidence of malice is revealed. Such a reveal occurred after the death of a notorious Republican gerrymanderer when his political files were made public.
Thomas B. Hofeller achieved near-mythic status in the Republican Party as the Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps that cemented the party’s dominance across the country.Perhaps even more than the pending abortion cases, this case will illuminate the success of the Republican Activist Judge strategy. To rule in favor of the Commerce Dept. would require a torture of the law that only a Clarence Thomas could love.
But after he died last summer, his estranged daughter discovered hard drives in her father’s home that revealed something else: Mr. Hofeller had played a crucial role in the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats. And months after urging President Trump’s transition team to tack the question onto the census, he wrote the key portion of a draft Justice Department letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act — the rationale the administration later used to justify its decision.
Those documents, cited in a federal court filing Thursday by opponents seeking to block the citizenship question, have emerged only weeks before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of the citizenship question. Critics say adding the question would deter many immigrants from being counted and shift political power to Republican areas.
The disclosures represent the most explicit evidence to date that the Trump administration added the question to the 2020 census to advance Republican Party interests.
In Supreme Court arguments in April over the legality of the decision, the Trump administration argued that the benefits of obtaining more accurate citizenship data offset any damage stemming from the likely depressed response to the census by minority groups and noncitizens. And it dismissed charges that the Commerce Department had simply invented a justification for adding the question to the census as unsupported by the evidence.
Opponents said that the Justice Department’s rationale for seeking to add a citizenship question to the census was baldly contrived, a conclusion shared by federal judges in all three lawsuits opposing the administration’s action.
But a majority of the Supreme Court justices seemed inclined to accept the department’s explanation the question was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, and appeared ready to uphold the administration’s authority to alter census questions as it sees fit. The justices are expected to issue a final ruling before the court’s term ends in late June.
In nearly 230 years, the census has never asked all respondents whether they are American citizens. But while adding such a question might appear uncontroversial on its face, opponents have argued that it is actually central to a Republican strategy to skew political boundaries to their advantage when redistricting begins in 2021.
Are you one?
After much speculation
The Founding Fathers nightmare
More wrinkles than a box of prunes
Before he sold out to Mammon
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Inner City Blues
Good for teething too
And you thought he was a builder
Such a comedian
No sleep tonight, again
The NRA isn't paying for it
A new report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, focusing on the cost of gun violence in South Carolina, pegs the annual cost to taxpayers over $293,000,000 yearly.
South Carolina has the 12th highest death rate in the country due to gun violence — and it’s costing the state’s taxpayers more than $293 million a year.How sweet of the governor to stick with the failed policies of the past and not upset the NRA. And the state still has a ways to go to reach Number 1.
This is according to a new report prepared by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a national policy organization that advocates for stricter gun control measures.
The findings of the report, shared first with McClatchy, are sobering. In studies of statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina had an annual average of 309 gun-related homicides, 495 gun-related suicides and “thousands” of nonfatal shootings from 2010 to 2014. The Giffords Law Center found that between 2014 and 2017, gun homicides across the state increased by more than 25 percent.
Including the cost to S.C. taxpayers, the overall annual cost of gun violence in South Carolina is $1.5 billion, or roughly $915 per person — the 10th highest per-person cost of gun violence in the United States, according to the authors of the report.
“People don’t think about gun violence in a way that would impact them on a day-to-day basis, unless, of course, they are more involved or someone who has been a victim,” said Robin Lloyd, managing director of Giffords, the larger advocacy group that houses the Giffords Law Center.
Lloyd said that the new, state-specific report was designed to “make sure that people understand that, while they may not feel the gun violence that’s occurring in South Carolina on a day-to-day basis, there’s this other cost affiliated with it.” She said she hopes the report will “really start a conversation about what can be done.”
In the two-page report, the organization makes three suggestions for possible legislative responses: Requiring background checks for all firearm purchases, implementing “evidence-based violence intervention strategies” to combat street violence and allowing courts to temporarily revoke guns from people who present threats to themselves or others.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is currently working on legislation that would give grants to states that pass laws allowing judges to grant “extreme risk protection orders.” But the chances the Republican-controlled South Carolina Legislature will consider such a measure — or any measure to restrict gun access — are slim, especially when an organization with an agenda is making the recommendations.
In reviewing some of the Giffords Law Center’s main findings, Brian Symmes, spokesman for S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, indicated there would not be decisive action as a result of the study.
“The best way to curb violence of any kind is to continue to invest in the men and women of our law enforcement community who put their lives on the line every day to protect us,” Symmes said in a statement. “That’s why Gov. McMaster has advocated for a trained law enforcement officer in every school, along with making a mental health counselor available to every student in the state.”
As Bob Mueller made so clear
Best advice ever
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Midnight At The Oasis
Monday, May 27, 2019
Who knows where the time goes
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Friday, May 24, 2019
Darling Be Home Soon
Tedeschi Trucks Banks
Thursday, May 23, 2019
I Will Always Love You
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Makes sense in a GOP way
This would be good
She's on ICE in a safe place, know what I mean?
And making a few bucks along the way
The Killer In Town
Bad enough that combat troops have to beware of enemy fire and friendly fire in combat, accidental deaths from the tools of their trade and suicides from lack of proper support when they get home, now there is a new killer appearing on the scene, cancer.
Coleen’s husband, Army Sgt. Maj. Robert Bowman, 44, was an Army Ranger who deployed to Iraq in 2004 with Recon platoon of the Fort Lewis, Washington-based 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment. His armored Stryker was hit by enemy fire at least 13 times during his 12 months overseas. Each time, depleted uranium in the Stryker’s armor would absorb the attack.For certain this administration will do nothing to determine if there is a problem. But perhaps the real problem is the boy wonder who thought that depleted uranium was safe to use. Lord knows we have acquired a huge pile over the years but there is a big difference between no longer usable for nuclear purposes and no longer radioactive. And the dust is small enough to go all kinds of oplaces it shouldn't be. Maybe now someone will make sense of what is now anecdotal and get the proper measures and treatments in place sooner that usual.
In retrospect, Coleen wonders what harmful particles shook loose in those blasts, what her husband breathed in. Bowman went back to Iraq in 2007 for another 15 months.
Once home, he started to feel ill. Visits to doctors suggested he had the flu. Finally, in 2011 Bowman got the diagnosis: cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer. It is a rare cancer in the general population, and very rare for someone as young as Rob.
But it’s not unusual to see rare cancers in younger service members anymore.
“It just was more and more families coming forward with exactly the same story,” Carroll said. “Stories of young service members who went into deployed areas perfectly healthy, and then came home and at a young age who were suddenly Stage 4 with very rare cancers.”
The stories don’t surprise Coleen. Her husband was a respected senior enlisted leader who was very close to his platoon. She has stayed in touch with the majority of them. Many of them are ill.
“Over a third of them had something wrong with them or have passed away,” Coleen Bowman said. She’s heard of several cases of brain tumors and other “strange tumors that they don’t even know what it is.”
For now, most of the data is anecdotal. It is stories passed from one spouse to another or by veterans in online forums or private support groups. The various databases run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense Department that track cancer-related entries for health care are unwieldy or inaccessible for compiling trends.
There are also government registries where service members can self-report. But getting holistic, specific information on what units may have been exposed to, what illnesses its members are suffering from, and tying those illnesses to military service is difficult.
Not everyone is a fox hound
Texas - A Hotbed of The Stupid
The Lesser American Chicken Hawk
It worked the last time
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Namoli Brennet & Amy Protscher
Can't Have That
Nothing New Here
Financial Wisdom from a Loser
Donny is projecting again
They aren't rich enough for clean water
They do work hard enough to put a plethora of good nutritious food on the tables of America and elsewhere but when they get home they can't drink the water. California's agricultural valleys have a new twist on an old problem.
But the debate in Sacramento feels far away in East Orosi, a farmworker community of about 500 nestled along the foot of the Sierra Nevada that is surrounded by fields of oranges. There, residents complain of conditions that resemble the developing world, not the richest state in the nation. Fears of nitrate exposure in the tap water — which numerous studies have linked to an increased risk of infant death, and at high levels, an elevated risk of cancer in adults — compound other difficult realities like faraway grocery stores and doctors, grueling work conditions, and a lack of political clout.But not unique in all ways. In Flint the people on the receiving end of the disaster are black, in California the are largely Hispanic. The results are the same and the monied crowd isn't about to do anything until it shows up on their dinner plate.
Veronica Corrales, the president of the East Orosi water board, wonders why more people are not outraged that, in 2019, people living in a state as wealthy as California lack such a fundamental necessity.
“Everyone is saying ‘America First,’ but what about us?” she said.
Many factors have led to the groundwater contamination reflected in the state’s data, but public health experts say the region’s agriculture industry has played an outsize role. Chemical fertilizers and dairy manure seep into the ground and cause nitrate contamination, like the kind plaguing East Orosi. Such contamination, which is common throughout the valley, takes years to materialize and even longer to clear up.
Arsenic is naturally occurring in some areas but can become worse with exhaustive groundwater pumping, which has been a longstanding problem in the valley and accelerated during the drought between 2012 and 2016.
For years, Martha Sanchez and her husband, Jose — who live in East Orosi and make their living filling crates with oranges or picking cherries — have received notices from the local water system that their taps are unsafe to drink from because of contamination. The family spends at least $60 a month for tap water they can’t use, Ms. Sanchez estimates, which is factored into the rent. To cook and wash dishes, Ms. Sanchez ladles bottled water into pots and pans from heavy blue jugs kept in the kitchen. She and her children shower using the water from the pipes, but she says it makes their skin itch.
“Some people around here drink it,” Ms. Sanchez said. “Here at home, I don’t use it at all for cooking, not even for beans.”
Ms. Sanchez’s family is given five free five-gallon jugs of water every two weeks, funded by a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board that was secured by Self-Help Enterprises, a community organization. But, Ms. Sanchez says, it is never enough to hold the family over, and they buy an additional four gallons.
These problems are not new. The failing infrastructure at the heart of the potable water crisis in these communities is tinged with the legacy of rural redlining, said Camille Pannu, the director of the Aoki Water Justice Clinic at the University of California, Davis, who likened the situation in the valley to the one in Flint, Mich. “Flint is everywhere here,” she said.
“The fact that more than a million Californians in 2019 have been left behind is really appalling,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. “I’ll never forget talking to people in Imperial and Coachella Valley who are like, ‘You know what, it’s amazing when we go back to Mexico, the water is better.’”
Mr. Blumenfeld said the “vast majority” of water systems with unsafe water are in small communities where there are too few customers to cover the cost of water treatment and maintenance. Laying even short distances of pipe can cost millions of dollars, which is sometimes feasible when costs are spread out among many people but not so for individual families, or when towns are especially remote.
“I’ve never seen as many small drinking water systems in any other state. California is unique in that way,” Mr. Blumenfeld said.
I Hope Not
Seth Meyers takes a Closer Look at the Bolton's War on Iraq.
After you die
John Oliver looks at who looks at you
Will he get a gold watch ?
A little sciencing
All we will get fom it
And Chinese leaders know what they are doing
Monday, May 20, 2019
The Wailin' Jennies
Uncle Chicken Hawk
That would be bad
Tom Tomorrow shows us the marvelous reasonings why despite what you may think, you are a second class citizen.
An exceptional effect
One of these days
A Turn Away Kinda Guy
Sunday, May 19, 2019
The Best Spreader Ever!
From the pen of Steve Sack
Moving next door
Too much deadweight, we hope
Money Talks, Compliance Walks
All banks have some mechanism in place to watch for illegal transactions and maintain compliance with the laws. The larger the bank, the more people in place to watch. But as the Deutche Bank experience with Trump & Co illustrates, big profits can get in the way.
Suspicious activity reports are at the heart of the federal government’s efforts to identify criminal activity like money laundering and sanctions violations. But government regulations give banks leeway in selecting which transactions to report to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.Needless to say, all the perps have denied any wrong doing. Private Bankers can have an oversized influence on bank management because they generally bring in yuge profits. And the US regulators don't have a great track record of effective punishment to financial corporate wrong doers. But this is a lot of smoke at a bank that had already been burned big time by the Trumpian 'Business Genius'.
Lenders typically use a layered approach to detect improper activity. The first step is filtering thousands of transactions using computer programs, which send the ones considered potentially suspicious to midlevel employees for a detailed review. Those employees can decide whether to draft a suspicious activity report, but a final ruling on whether to submit it to the Treasury Department is often made by more senior managers.
In the summer of 2016, Deutsche Bank’s software flagged a series of transactions involving the real estate company of Mr. Kushner, now a senior White House adviser.
Ms. McFadden, a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville office, said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government — in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.
Ms. McFadden drafted a suspicious activity report and compiled a small bundle of documents to back up her decision.
Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated — in this case, the private-banking division — according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.
That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden’s concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.
Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division’s strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.
After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.
Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump’s limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.
Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.
Mr. Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank spans two decades. During a period when most Wall Street banks had stopped doing business with him after his repeated defaults, Deutsche Bank lent Mr. Trump and his companies a total of more than $2.5 billion. Projects financed through the private-banking division include Mr. Trump’s Doral golf resort near Miami and his transformation of Washington’s Old Post Office Building into a luxury hotel.
When he became president, he owed Deutsche Bank well over $300 million. That made the German institution Mr. Trump’s biggest creditor — and put the bank in a bind.
I'd tell them to kiss my ENTIRE ass!
Leslie Jones on Weekend Update
Easy to understand
A hagiography that doubles as toilet paper as needed
Never wrestled his conscience
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]