Monday, July 22, 2019

Plants a moisture

second round of debates

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Next Round of Debates" went up Sunday.  Today on NPR's MORNING EDITION there was an interesting story:

Much of the country is cooler today after a scorching heat wave. Some places across the middle and eastern U.S. have suffered record high temperatures. Cities and suburbs are some of the hottest places because of what is called the urban heat island effect. But there are ways to mitigate that, as Brett Dahlberg of member station WXXI in Rochester reports.

BRETT DAHLBERG, BYLINE: When it's really, really hot out, the last place you probably want to be is in the middle of a mall parking lot.


DAHLBERG: But that's exactly where I am with Karl Korfmacher. He's a professor of environmental science at the nearby Rochester Institute of Technology.

KARL KORFMACHER: There's a large expanse of asphalt. And if you look out here, you'll see very little vegetation.

DAHLBERG: Where's the nearest tree?

KORFMACHER: Yeah. That's a long way.

DAHLBERG: Cities and suburbs in the U.S. have lots of this kind of space - expansive blacktops with precious little shade. Korfmacher says these areas are basically big outdoor warming ovens, and that makes hot days even hotter. It heightens the risk for people who are vulnerable to heat-related health problems, like older populations and people who don't have air conditioning at home. And for everyone else, it makes the heat waves even more unbearable. But Korfmacher says it doesn't have to be this way. Even in this desolate parking lot, there's an example of how developers can reduce the effects of urban heat islands.


DAHLBERG: So we're walking over to - what? What is this?

KORFMACHER: It's just a little vegetation island in the parking lot. You can already see on this that there's moisture, right? Put your hand on it.

DAHLBERG: It's surprisingly cool, actually (laughter).


DAHLBERG: Korfmacher says it's the moisture in the plants that keeps this space cooler than the asphalt. And for more examples of how developers can learn from nature, he leads me down to a quiet spot by the Genesee River, which flows through Rochester. 

That made me think of Rebecca's "summertime post" -- which you should read if you haven't already.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, July 22, 2019.  The past continues to rebuke Joe Biden.

Next week, the Democratic Party holds their second round of debates for their presidential candidates (on July 30th and July 31st).  Right now, one of the 20 who made the cut seems determined to embarrass himself.

Yes, we're talking about War Hawk Joe.  Status quo Joe.  He voted for the Iraq War.  He sold the Iraq War before and after it started.  He wants to talk about Iraq . . . provided he can start the conversation after he's Vice President (2009) and end it at the end of 2011.  Salvador Rizzo (WASHINGTON POST) fact checks Joe on his Iraq withdrawal claims and comments:

Although Bush set the 2011 withdrawal time frame, the Obama administration had to figure out the logistics and details, and much of that work fell to Biden and his committee. The drawdown proceeded in phases, with U.S. forces dropping from 150,000 to 50,000 to almost zero during Obama’s first term.

However, the United States kept several thousand military contractors in Iraq throughout this time and after 2011. And although Obama promised to end the Iraq War as a candidate, there were bumps along the road that complicate Biden’s neatly wrapped-up story.
Before withdrawing forces in 2011, Obama’s administration tried to persuade Iraqi political leaders to allow a residual force of about 3,500 U.S. troops to remain. Some high-level officials in the Obama administration argued that a total withdrawal would open up a power vacuum in Iraq and erase the gains secured by U.S. forces and international allies.
“It was clear to me — and many others — that withdrawing all our forces would endanger the fragile stability then barely holding Iraq together,” Leon Panetta, who was Obama’s CIA director from 2009 to 2011 and defense secretary from 2011 to 2013, wrote in his memoir, “Worthy Fights.”

In 2011, the United States was seeking legal immunity for U.S. troops as part of an agreement for a continued military presence in Iraq. But there was no support in the Iraqi parliament for that, Biden’s advisers said.
[. . .]
Biden had a big hand in withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq during Obama’s first term. It was a sensitive role and one Biden relished, by many accounts. But he was still the vice president during Obama’s second term, when thousands of U.S. troops returned to the country. It’s puzzling to see him leave that out of his remarks on the campaign trail and in the debate.
The Biden camp argues that these are two very different conflicts and that the troop levels were much higher pre-2011 and much lower post-2014. However, as top Obama administration officials have said in public, the two conflicts are inextricably linked. The Islamic State gained a foothold in Iraq in large part because U.S. forces had withdrawn.
Biden told half the story, so he gets Two Pinocchios.

Two Pinocchios.  Liar, liar pants on fire.  The Iraq War never ended.

Joe Biden isn't just wrong on almost every burning contemporary political issue in the United States. He also worked closely with George W. Bush to enthusiastically lead the charge to invade Iraq.

Gotta love centrist dems. You literally attack Bernie unprovoked and when you get the slightest push back on your BS you compare ppl to trump lol. Also whats bidens best legislation? Locking up black ppl? Voting against bussing? Voting for the Iraq war or siding with CC companies

Replying to 
I'm Joe Biden, I pushed a healthcare plan contrived by the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank. Vote for me and I'll pass more corporate friendly policies. Iraq War? You got it. NAFTA? Sounds great. Wall Street bailout? No problem! Vote for me, I'm Joe Biden.

The press told you Joe Biden was inevitable and unbeatable.  Now he's double digit lead is over and, in some polls. he ahead of Senator Elizabeth Warren by 6% or less.  And it's only July.  Meaning?  Joe will tank further when the fall semester begins.  Joe has no youth support.  It's like a Young Republican circa 1968, they really don't exist and the few that are around tend to be pointed to and giggled over.

Joe is the past.  He offers no vision of the future.  He promises you he'll bring back the Obama Era -- the one that refused to do what was needed on climate change?  I saw that ridiculous interview with that woman who can no longer sing.  She spends 80% of her days in denial, she said, and 20% trying to do something.  And she thinks young people should lead because they know how serious the threat to the environment is.

That would be the same threat that existed in 2008.  And the singer -- who still had a voice then -- couldn't call out the inaction on climate change from 2009 through the start of 2017.  I'm remembering what Mick Jagger called the woman's autobiography -- AND A C**T TO SING WITH -- and starting to really grasp why.

That's the hypocrisy the youth will have to push past.  And it doesn't help Joe Biden.

Nothing does.

The reality is that Barack had eight years to do something serious about climate change and he offered meaningless and symbolic actions only.

Joe may have the luxury of returning to that era but neither the US nor the world has that luxury.

Joe normalized the Iraqi government.  Is anyone going to question him on that?

This would be the same government that still can't get it together.  Human Rights Watch notes today:

Iraqi authorities have failed to ensure for almost 30 years that Basra residents have sufficient safe drinking water, resulting in on-going health concerns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The situation culminated in an acute water crisis that sent at least 118,000 people to hospital in 2018 and led to violent protests. 
The 128-page report, “Basra is Thirsty: Iraq’s Failure to Manage the Water Crisis,” found that the crisis is a result of complex factors that if left unaddressed will most likely result in future water-borne disease outbreaks and continued economic hardship. The authorities at the local and federal level have done little to address the underlying conditions causing the situation.
“Shortsighted politicians are citing increased rainfall as the reason they do not need to urgently deal with Basra’s persistent crisis,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But Basra will continue to face acute water shortages and pollution crises in the coming years, with serious consequences, if the government doesn’t invest now in targeted, long-term, and badly needed improvements.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed 58 Basra residents, workers at private and public water facilities, and healthcare professionals, and reviewed water sample tests from the Shatt al-Arab river, treatment plants, and taps in homes. Human Rights Watch also interviewed representatives from Basra’s provincial council, governor’s office, and the Ministries of Water Resources, Municipalities and Public Works’ water and sewage departments, Health and Environment, and Agriculture, and analyzed academic and public health data and over 20 years of scientific and commercial satellite imagery of the region to substantiate many of the findings.
Basra’s primary water sources are the Shatt al-Arab river and its freshwater canals. Human Rights Watch found that Iraqi authorities have failed to properly manage and regulate Iraq’s water resources, depriving people in southern Iraq’s Basra governorate – four million people – of their right to safe drinking water for decades, including during the period of occupation by the US- and UK-led Coalition Provisional Authority. But multiple government failures since the 1980s, including poor management of upstream water sources, inadequate regulation of pollution and sewage, and chronic neglect and mismanagement of water infrastructure, have caused the quality of these waterways to deteriorate.

To cope with water pollution and shortages, Basra residents have had to rely on purchasing water. The high cost, especially during the crisis, falls hardest on poorer residents, and makes them particularly vulnerable to exposure to unsafe tap water.

There is no progress in Iraq.  ISIS is back on the rise as well.

Joe Biden is a part of that history.  He is not the path to a future the US needs -- or one that the world can afford.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Next Round of Debates" went up yesterday.  New content at THIRD:

Friday, July 19, 2019

Responding to an e-mail re: Epstein

First off, here's NPR on Jeffrey Epstein being denied bail:

 The defense had requested that Epstein be allowed to self-finance a comfortable stay in his Upper East Side mansion, wearing an ankle bracelet and even paying for a private security force to guard him. But Judge Berman has ruled in the past that a deal like that would unfairly favor the extremely wealthy. The prosecution called it a gilded cage.

The defense had argued that since his plea deal to soliciting prostitution in Florida, Epstein has, quote, "a spotless 14-year record of walking the straight and narrow." They noted that he's registered as a sex offender. Again, the judge sided with the prosecution, citing a collection of what law enforcement officials say may be child pornography seized at Epstein's home last week. Judge Berman today said, in that same raid, officials found a safe containing a fake passport and $70,000 in cash, along with diamonds.

Second, I have an e-mail slamming me for referring to Epstein as a pedophile.  The e-mail informs me that Epstein has yet to be convicted.

With the current arrest, yes, however, he's been convicted in the past:

In June 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a state charge (one of two) of procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18 ,[54] he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Instead of being sent to state prison as are the majority of sex offenders convicted in Florida, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County Jail. He was able to hire his own security detail and was allowed "work release" to his downtown office for up to 12 hours a day six days a week.[55] Despite a rule forbidding work release for sex offenders, he was given such privileges by the Palm Beach Sheriff on the pretext that he had not yet registered as a sex offender. He served 13 months before being released for a year of probation. While on probation he was allowed numerous trips on his corporate jet to his residences in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[56]
At release, he was registered in New York State as a level three (high risk of repeat offense) sex offender, a lifelong designation.[57][58] Epstein has been a registered sex offender since 2008.[2]

He's a registered offender.  He's been convicted. 

I appreciate that you support innocent until proven guilty; however, the current trial isn't Epstein's first time in court.  He's a pedophile.

Let's please dispense with calling Jeffrey Epstein's victims "prostitutes." Giving a child money after sexually abusing her does not make her a prostitute.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, July 19, 2019. Since when is an endorsement from a disgraced general a good thing?

US House Rep and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton has gotten an endorsement.   Zach Budryk (THE HILL) reports,  "Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorsed Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) for president Thursday, citing his 'character' and 'competence'."

Character and competence?  Time to question Andrea Mitchell's for having the disgraced general on as someone to be listened to.  In 2010, Stanley ended his career as a result of his remarks reported in ROLLING STONE by Michael Hastings.  For those who never read "The Runaway General," Stanley's choice may be surprising.  But those of us who read it knew, for example, that Stanley would never endorse Joe Biden -- who he ripped apart in 2010 interviews with Michael Hastings.

At the hear of Stanley's bitching was that he didn't like civilian oversight of the military -- which would suggest he's better suited to a junta.  Tough for Stanley, that's not the way it is in the US.  Again, shame on Andrea Mitchell for trotting this embarrassment out on TV.

Retired General McChrystal endorses Seth Moulton’s presidential bid

NEW: Retired US Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorses Seth Moulton for president; Moulton, a decorated Marine veteran and congressman, has not drawn enough support to make the first 2 Democratic debates.
0:06 / 0:56

Seth looks fat and sweaty in every picture these days.

The disgraced general endorsed him and Seth was thrilled to have it -- which does not speak well of Seth.  Again, Stanley's forced resignation resulted from his attacks on Joe Biden and other civilians providing oversight of the US military.  Stanley couldn't take that.

Seth's either incredibly desperate or he shares Stanley's hated of civilian oversight.

In the end, it doesn't matter.  Seth's campaign is over.  America has rejected him.  They've rejected him so much, in fact, that late night clown Samantha Bee is now making jokes about him.

. didn't make the next Democratic debate, but that doesn't mean he can't be on TV that night!

Once again, Seth has failed to qualify for the debates.  July 30th and July 31st, the Democrats will offer ten candidates a night debating as they attempt to convince voters that they are the candidate who should be president.  Seth failed to make the June debates and he's now failed to make the July debates.

The candidates who made the debate?  From Mike's "Tulsi made the second debates!!!" last night: "The first night, July 30th,  will be Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney and Steve Bullock.  The second night, July 31st, will be Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gilibrand, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Mike DeBlasio and Joe Biden."

Seth's campaign is over.  His insults of Pete Buttigieg probably didn't help him.

Replying to 
This is why Seth Moulton is getting 0% in the Dem primary

Seth Moulton on Pete Buttigieg (🙄)

I don't know what's funnier -- Seth thinking a winning strategy was playing the bully jock or thinking that as fat as he is today he could still pull off a jock pose.

But he's history even if he can't grasp that.

If you are a sitting member of Congress, he is, and you can't make it on to the debate stage, it's over for you.  This is twice in a row.  His campaign has failed to ignite or inspire.

Maybe he should go on Samantha Bee's show -- it might suggest he's a good sport.

25 people are seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Only 20 of them made the cut for July's debates.

  • The Declaration of Independence is America’s mission statement; part of our problem is that our generation has failed to emotionally and psychologically bond with it. Its principles are dead if they’re not alive in our hearts. Read it and reread it. It will change you.
  • Important we consider that question because it’s not the way we function now. Much govt policy does NOT respect the equality of all & does NOT support everyone’s pursuit of happiness. According to Dec of Ind, if govt fails to do its job it’s the right of the people to alter it.
  • The US is having an identity crisis, our generation forced to decide: will we or will we not choose to stand on the principles bequeathed to us: the equality of all; God-given inalienable rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness; & govt. existing to secure those rights.
  • Asking for a friend, will be our next president?

    Marianne Williamson made the cut.  In fact, all six women made the cut.

    All six are running unique campaigns and appealing to a variety of voters.  They each stand out.  Too many of the male candidates -- including some who will be on the debate stage have failed to stand out in any way at all.  They're just a blur.

  • “I am blunt.” Fact-check: True.
    WATCH: Sen. Klobuchar discusses actions for her first 100 days if elected president.
  • It's official! I'll be on the debate stage on July 30. I look forward to another opportunity to share an optimistic, economic agenda with millions of Americans. Will you help get the word out by hosting a neighborhood debate watch party?

    Senator Amy Klobuchar will be on the stage.  Following the last debates, the press refused to report what happened and were intent upon creating their own narratives.  One of the most laughable, you may remember, was that Julian Castro was now a breakout star that he would be at the top of the polls and . . . he didn't budge a bit.  He's still a nobody.  Focusing on predictions, instead of what took place, allowed many to miss that Amy did what she needed to do last time, she was pointed when needed and she was also laid back and humorous.  She's established that side and it will be interesting to see whether she digs in deeper with that at the end of the month or if she offers something different.

  • I’m very glad that & our state leaders will continue to allow transgender Americans to serve in the MA National Guard. Our Commonwealth is safer when we allow everyone who can handle the job to serve.
    We need to close the loopholes that have allowed Wall Street to profit from private prisons & detention centers, dirty fossil fuels, retail bankruptcies & predatory payday loans. We’re proud to support this bill from to .
    New private equity reform bill from , , would help investors fully understand PE and other private funds, and protect workers, customers, and other stakeholders and businesses, says.
    A predatory private equity firm shut down Wisconsin stores and nearly 3,000 Shopko workers lost their jobs. When thousands of Wisconsin workers get laid off, I’m going to take action to prevent it from happening again. Today we introduced a reform to

    Senator Elizabeth Warren will be on stage with, among others, Senator Bernie Sanders.  They may be able to strongly reject attempts to shut down Medicare For All.

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was not served well by the MSNBC monitors/moderators last time.  Let's hope CNN does not rush to shut down women and that when they tell a Joe Biden, for example, that his time is us, that they enforce it instead of letting every man prattle on as happened with last month's debate.

  • Whether it's "send her back" or "lock her up," "there has to be some form of punishment" or "grab her by the p***y"—the throughline is contempt for women and anyone who threatens this president's fragile ego. He should be afraid. We are his worst nightmare. And we will beat him.
    We just found out: I can't wait to take the debate stage on Wednesday, July 31! I'll be at that podium because of grassroots supporters—but my spot for the fall could be in jeopardy. If you value my voice in these debates, help send me to the next round:
    "The passion that she communicated her positions today has left everybody in this room a Senator Gillibrand fan."
    When you speak, I listen. I take notes. And then I do something about it. That's how public service is supposed to work. In this democracy, your voice should be just as important as the Koch brothers'. In my administration, it will be.

    Senator Kamala Harris made the cut.

  • It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won't share it here. It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.
    Let's reject those who are trying to sow hate and division among us and agree we've got to bring our country together.
    Cooking goals.
    Excited to take the stage again for the second Democratic debate on Wednesday, July 31 on . I’m ready to share our vision on how we can give American’s a raise, pay our teachers their value, keep guns out of the wrong hands, and fight .

    She will again share the stage with Joe Biden.  Hopefully, this go round, the press won't feel the need to lecture and hector her.  It was sexist and everyone should be ashamed of themselves -- especially a certain USA TODAY columnist.

    And US House Rep and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard made the cut as well.

  • Want a president who will put your interests ahead of the rich and powerful? Meet Tulsi Gabbard -->
    Thanks to all of our supporters who made this possible. Tune in July 31 !
    Hawaii and Puerto Rico share many of the same experiences and stories. I stand with Puerto Ricans demanding change, who have had enough of government corruption, and who deserve a government of, by, and FOR the people. El pueblo unido jamás será vencido.

    From the beginning, many commentators dismissed her -- some even ridiculed her.  She's still in the race and she's made both debates.  She's run on issues and has provided a common sense approach.  She came across strong in the last debate and she'll probably consolidate that this go round.

    Again, all six women qualified.  They are six different women with six different visions for the future.

    Applause to them all.

    We'll do a Saturday Iraq snapshot to cover Turkey's latest attack on the KRG and more.

    The following sites updated: