|Home Front: Politix|
|Julián Castro's new animal rights plan takes on a favorite Donald Trump Jr. hobby|
|[NBCNEWS] Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro on Monday released a comprehensive animal welfare plan that includes a series of ambitious policy proposals, including making animal abuse a federal crime and cracking down on trophy hunting.|
style=background:#ffff99;font-family:arial,helvetica,sans;;color:MIDNIGHTBLUE;>I'm not sure any of this is within the purview of the federal govt, or why he thinks it is.
"Our plan to advance animal welfare is not only the right thing to do, but will improve people’s lives through responsible pet ownership and a more sustainable agricultural system," the former Housing secretary said in a statement unveiling unveiled what he called "The PAW Plan."
Other top proposals in the plan include working to end euthanizing of cats and dogs and expanding protected U.S. lands to 30 percent by 2030, with a goal of 50 percent by 2050. He proposed creating a $40 million grant program to expand spaying, neutering and vaccinations for low-income pet owners, strengthening the Endangered Species Act, banning use of federal land for fossil fuel exploration and ending the import of big-game trophies. style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Donald Trump'>Donald Trump
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'>...Oh, noze! Not him!...
Jr., the president's eldest son, is an infamous big-game hunter.
"Protecting these majestic animals must first start with repealing the Trump administration’s NRA loopholes that allow trophy hunting and enforcing strict penalties on the domestic ivory trade," the plan reads.
Castro said in his plan that his hometown, San Antonio, went from a place that killed the most pets per capita in the United States to no-kill status in less than a decade. Castro criticizes President Donald Trump and his administration in his plan, saying their response to climate change and ongoing declines in biodiversity has been to dramatically weaken the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
|Home Front: Politix|
|Sandoval apologizes for mock Trump assassination photo at political fundraiser|
|[WCIA] A series of pictures posted online after a Friday night political fundraising event for state Senator Martin Sandoval (D- style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Chicago'>reliably Democrat Chicago, aka The Windy City or Mobtown|
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'>...home of Al Capone, the Chicago Black Sox, a succession of Daleys, Barak Obama, and Rahm Emmanuel...
) show an event attendee pointing what appears to be a fake assault weapon at another person wearing a Mexican costume and a mask of President style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Donald Trump'>Donald Trump
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'>...The tack in the backside of the Democratic Party...
Donors paid a minimum of $250 to attend Sandoval’s golf outing at the Klein Creek Golf Club in west suburban Winfield. A woman who attended the event posted the photos to her Facebook page on Saturday and tagged Sandoval in them. Sandoval is pictured separately posing with the man who held the fake weapon, but it remains unclear if the Senator knew about the incident when it occurred.
The mock style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='assassination'>liquidation pose drew quick, bipartisan condemnation from Governor J.B. Pritzker, the Illinois Democratic Party, and from the Illinois Republican Party alike.
"As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong," Pritzker said Saturday night. "I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands."
"The tragedies in El Paso and Gilroy have demonstrated how hate-filled political rhetoric can fuel violence," Maura Possley, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Illinois, said. "These images are unacceptable and dangerous. The place to make our voices heard against Trump is at the ballot box."
Sandoval, a powerful state style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='lawmaker'>politician who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee and was a driving force behind the recent gas tax increase to fund the ’Rebuild Illinois’ capital plan, issued an apology in an emailed statement.
"The incident that took place is unacceptable," he said. "I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event."
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider called on Sandoval to fire the person in the photo if they were a staffer or volunteer.
"The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='assassination'>liquidation of President Trump is too little, too late," Schneider said via a style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='spokesman'>front man. "Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration. It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way. If the individual pictured is a staffer or volunteer, they should be terminated immediately."
Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to President Trump, said on Twitter Sunday night that other Democrats should be asked if they support or disavow the images.
|-Land of the Free|
|Planned Parenthood Refuses Title X Funding in Response to Trump Administration Restrictions|
|[NATIONALREVIEW] style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Planned Parenthood'> style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Planned Parenthood'>Planned Parenthood|
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'>...has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. It is sometimes described as the gynecololgical wing of the Democratic party.
will refuse all Title X funding rather than comply with the Trump administration’s restrictions governing the discussion of style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='abortion'>
Planned Parenthood decided to abandon Title X, which accounts for roughly 15 percent of its overall federal funding each year, in response to a Trump administration rule barring clinics that participate in the program from referring women to style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='abortion'>
"When you have an unethical rule that will limit what providers can tell our patients, it becomes really important that we not agree to be in the program. But to be clear we’re doing that because we’re being forced out," the group said in a Monday statement. "Trump’s administration is trying to force us to keep information from our patients. The gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it."
Prior to its withdrawal, Planned Parenthood was receiving $60 million of the $286 million allocated annually through Title X. The organization will continue to receive roughly $500 million in annual Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government.
A federal appeals court ruled in July that the Trump administration’s rule change could take effect while a lawsuit, brought by Planned Parenthood and other groups in February, runs its course. The Department of Health and Human Services then gave Planned Parenthood until August 19 to submit a plan demonstrating that it would make "good faith efforts" to comply with the new rule. Planned Parenthood requested a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have delayed the rule-implementation deadline its legal challenge was resolved, but the court rejected that request.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Federal Judge Orders FBI to Search for More Christopher Steele Docs|
|[PJMEDIA] After years of legal wrangling, a federal judge has given the FBI 60 days to cough up records of their communications with former British spy style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Christopher Steele'>|
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch first sought FBI documents on Steele in May of 2017 through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The court initially sided with the FBI but reopened the case in 2018 when evidence emerged that Steele was an FBI informant. Judicial Watch again asked the FBI to search for their Steele records, but the FBI continued to stonewall, declining to confirm or deny that they even existed.
Now, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper has put an end to the cat-and-mouse game.
"Those records might either bolster or weaken Steele’s credibility as a source," Judge Cooper said in his ruling. "That information, in turn, could provide a basis on which to evaluate the FBI’s performance of its law-enforcement duties, including its judgment in selecting and relying on confidential sources, especially in connection with such a politically sensitive subject."
|Science & Technology|
|Dementia care: Doing this activity for longer than normal could be a sign of the disease|
|[Express] DEMENTIA is now the UK’s biggest killer among the elderly with someone developing the condition every three minutes. A person doing a certain activity longer than normal could be a sign of the disease. What is it?|
style=";background:silver;color:maroon;">Now where is that Burg link? Do I have to call Fred again ?
Dementia said on their website: "Dementia is usually caused by degeneration in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for thoughts, memories, actions, and personality.
"Death of brain cells in this region leads to the cognitive impairments that characterise dementia.
"Most disorders associated with dementia are progressive, degenerative, and irreversible. The two major degenerative causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia."
Symptoms vary between Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, but there are broad similarities between them all.
Alzheimer’s disease international said: "The most common signs are memory loss and the loss of practical abilities, which can lead to withdrawal form work or social activities.
A person with dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or appear to lose interest in hobbies."
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Portland Police: 'We Wish There Were Some Kind Of Organized, Armed Force That Could Fight Back Against Antifa'|
|[Babylon Bee] PORTLAND, OR‐In a press release earlier this week, Portland police chief Danielle Outlaw (her actual name), appearing somber and exhausted, said she just wishes there were some kind of group with the firepower and authority to fight back against Antifa.|
style=";background:silver;color:maroon;">Our hidden PCE-TC 28 meter indicates all objects in the graphic were stabilized at ambient temperature.
In a candid moment, Outlaw (seriously, her actual name) said there was just nothing the police could do, as they'd need to have some kind of organized, armed force specifically created to protect and serve the people.
"Like, what if we took money from everyone to fund a force that could then defend them in a time of need?" she pondered aloud. "They could have patrol cars, firearms, and attack dogs. Maybe even some tanks. That would be so frickin' rad. They could have a badge to show their authority. Then, when a rogue group like Antifa shows up to take over our city every weekend, they could be repelled using force if necessary."
"I know it sounds crazy, but a girl can dream, right?" she added wistfully.
Sadly, there is no such force in Portland, so citizens have been forced to turn to an even crazier idea: taking responsibility for their own safety and well-being, and maybe even buying a gun to protect themselves.
|Home Front: Culture Wars|
|'Fox has not changed': Bret Baier defends network against Trump attacks|
|[Washington Examiner] Anchor Bret Baier responded during his Monday show to President Trump's recent attack on Fox News, asserting the network "has not changed."|
style=";background:silver;color:maroon;">One picture worth a thousand words.
President Trump leveled a broadside against the network on Sunday, arguing its polls were not fair and some of its pundits were lackluster. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be. I can tell you that," he said, singling out Juan Williams and former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile in particular.
Trump went on to criticize their recent polls: "Fox has changed, and my worst polls have always been from Fox. There’s something going on at Fox. I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it."
"OK, well, Fox has not changed," Baier said after airing the president's comments. "We have a news side and an opinion side. Opinion folks express their opinions. We do polls. Our latest poll had the Democratic candidates head to head, several of them ahead of President Trump, and this poll tracks exactly what the RealClearPolitics average of polls ‐ even a little the other way ‐ and this poll matches what we are seeing out there."
|Home Front: Politix|
|Rep. Pete King off the reservation again, this time about firearms|
|Rep. Pete King (R-NY) is supporting the Democrats’ "assault weapons" ban in order to get rid of what he refers to as "weapons of mass slaughter."|
The New York Daily News quoted King saying, "They are weapons of mass slaughter." He added, "I don’t see any need for them in everyday society."
The Democrats’ "assault weapons" ban is sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), and has the support of nearly 200 Democrat Representatives.
On August 14, Breitbart News reported that the "assault weapons" push became central for Democrats after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signaled his willingness to take up gun control when the Senate reconvenes in September. McConnell said that universal background checks will probably "lead the discussion," but he also said an "assault weapons" ban would be front and center.
King has been focused on background checks but recent events renewed his focus for an "assault weapons" bill. He said, "I think the assault weapons ban is timely now, especially in view of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton."
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|56 shot in Chicago over the weekend not the problem - Ex-FBI official sez right-wing extremism is biggest challenge|
|[The Hill] A former FBI intelligence officer said Thursday that combating right-wing extremism and white nationalism poses a serious challenge for security officials going into 2020.|
"If you want intelligence to be good on the current wave of domestic terrorism ‐ what people call right-wing extremism, Neo-Nazi extremism ‐ I don’t think people realize how tough that target is," Philip Mudd, who is now a counterterrorism analyst, told Hill.TV in response to a question about how security officials should prepare for the future.
"It’s dispersed, that’s people in every state, but it’s also a civil liberties issue," he added.
Mudd said the first step towards combating white nationalist-fueled violence is re-evaluating the nation's political rhetoric.
"Either side of the political spectrum, you cannot validate their anger," he said in reference to members who identify as part of the Neo-Nazi movement.
"You can’t even get close to saying it’s appropriate to look at a foreigner in this country or an immigrant or an asylum seeker and say that person is less than you," he added. "It’s not a political statement, it’s what I saw with Al-Qaeda."
Mudd also said lawmakers need to take congressional action against homegrown hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
"That means laws that say, ’hey, groups that committed acts of violence ‐ how about the KKK, you want to go after them? They’ve committed acts of violence for political reasons ‐ that’s terrorism," he said. "The politicians have to provide cover."
The mass shooting in El Paso, Texas has renewed calls to address the rise of domestic terror attacks. Federal authorities believe the suspected shooter, who killed 22 people, was motivated by hatred of Hispanics and immigrants.
style=";background:silver;color:maroon;">Related: CBS - 56 people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, including four fatally
|Great White North|
|Pro PRChina demostrators bully worshippers in Canada|
|[SCMP] Canadian police escorted worshippers out of a Vancouver church on Sunday, after flag-waving pro-China protesters surrounded the building while the Christians attended a prayer meeting for Hong Kong...|
Chris Chiu said the incident at the Tenth Church, on a leafy street in the Westside area, had left him shaken and fearing...
style=background-color:YELLOW;>The PRC brought its troops to the Hong Kong Border more than 2 weeks ago. This failed to intimidate HK. Now the PRC is fighting a PR war world wide and losing (even if they have Joe Biden and sons and Google to help them). If you are the PRC leadership it is getting very uncomfortable about now.
|Home Front: Politix|
|Chicago Teachers Union group's trip to Venezuela, praise of socialist leader slammed as ‘propaganda tour'|
| [Chicago Trib] style=";background:#ccffcc;color:BLACK;">Any doubts as to what is being |
The four travelers, who crowdfunded the July trip under the banner of the CTU, met with Venezuelan government officials and educators, visited a commune and were featured in local media.
They wrote online about wanting to connect with Venezuelan teachers, students and unionists, criticized U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation and wrote admiringly of its socialism, its communes and high literacy rates.
But critics say the group glossed over Venezuela's ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolás Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of "grave" human rights violations and violence against dissenters.
"I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour," said Karen Moody, a teacher and union member.
And though the four travelers regularly called themselves a "CTU delegation" online, the union representing close to 25,000 people has sought to distance itself from the trip, stating the CTU did not endorse, sponsor or fund the trip.
Asked on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" last week about "some controversy" surrounding the excursion, union President Jesse Sharkey said: "Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela."
Yet, the official CTU Twitter account retweeted some of the group's updates, including a blog post titled "Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela."
CTU also retweeted another post by teacher Sarah Chambers, one of the travelers and a member of the CTU executive board, which read: "While staying in #Venezuela, we didn't see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless... This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention."
|Iraq has executed 100 since January, 8,000 on death row: official|
|[Rudaw] More than 100 individuals have been executed in Iraq since January, with a staggering 8,000 more on death row, according to Iraq's UN-approved style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='human rights'>human rights|
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'> ...which are usually open to widely divergent definitions...
The execution figures came from Iraqi Ministry of Justice data that was reviewed by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, according to one commission member.
"According to the data of the Iraqi Justice Ministry that have been reviewed by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, over 100 people have been executed in Iraq," Hemin Bajalan told Rudaw English on Sunday. "There are 8,022 prisoners in Iraq convicted with execution."
Iraq has one of the highest rates of execution in the world, and is ranked in the top four along with Iran, style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Saudi Arabia'>Soddy Arabia
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'>...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
and China, according to Human Rights Watch's 2019 report, which documented the year prior.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government has not made public the number of executions it carried out this year, according to the watchdog.
"Iraqi authorities handed down hundreds of style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='death sentence'>death sentence
style='color:black;font-size:10pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:courier,"Courier New","Courier 10 Pitch",serif;background:#FFFB99'>...the barbaric practice of sentencing a murderer to be punished for as long as his/her/its victim is dead...
s to those convicted under counterterrorism legislation and carried out executions without publicizing any official numbers or sharing this information with international actors," Human Rights Watch report read.
The trials were also rushed and were sometimes based on a single confession or missing victims' testimonies, according to the report.
The 100 plus figure marks a big increase in Iraqi executions. In 2018, more than 52 recorded executions took place in Iraq, according to a report from style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='Amnesty International'>
The more than 8,000 people with death sentences is also a striking increase from 2018. At the end of that year, Amnesty reported that there were more than 285 people with death sentence.
There are 26 prisons throughout Iraq that contain at least 37,113 prisoners. Of those, 18,306 are imprisoned on terrorism charges, according to an August report by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights.
Two officials from the Iraqi Ministry of Justice Rudaw spoke to declined to discuss the execution figures.
In the Kurdistan Region, Sulaimani authorities confirmed in May that they executed an ISIS style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title=' militant'> bad boy from Baghdad after he was detained in Kirkuk in May.
At present, there is not enough room in the Iraqi penal system to accommodate all those locked up, according to Bajalan.
"Due to the bad conditions prisons in Iraq are facing, the prisoners are finding it difficult to fit into one prison," he said. "For that reason, Iraq should deliver more facilities to the prisons."
Other observers have noted poor conditions in Iraqi prisons as well. According to a July report also by Human Rights Watch, prisons in the Nineveh province feature overcrowding and "degrading conditions." Some of the prisons in Nineveh are supposed to house a maximum capacity of 2,500 people, but are holding around 4,500 prisoners and detainees. Women and children are among those in the prisons, according to the organization.
Nineveh police have denied inhumane conditions in the prisons and rejected the Human Rights Watch report, calling it "not true."
Iraqi style='border-bottom-width:1px;border-bottom-style:dotted;border-bottom-color:gray;' title='lawmaker'>politicians visited the prisons in July, and described the overcrowding and conditions there as "tragic" and "catastrophic."