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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Charlotte, NC
Member since: Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 14,934

Journal Archives

Ethiopia Says It Planted Over 350 Million Trees in a Day, a Record

LONDON — Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has been getting his hands dirty this summer, and this week he got much of the nation to join him.

Students, farmers, urban professionals, foreign dignitaries, environmentalists and government officials planted millions of seedlings on Monday, in what the government said was the largest one-day tree-planting effort in history.It was part of Mr. Ahmed’s campaign to plant four billion trees in Ethiopia before the fall to combat deforestation and global warming.

Many schools and government offices were closed for the day, as students and civil servants were urged to take part in the program, which was supported by several international aid groups.

The aim was to put at least 200 million seedlings in the ground a day, and by day’s end, government officials said that more than 350 million had been planted.


Was anti-Putin activist Alexei Navalny poisoned?

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny was hospitalized Wednesday for an "allergic reaction," following his arrest during mass protests against election authorities in Moscow, according to his spokeswoman. Navalny's personal doctor later wrote on Facebook that she does not believe he is suffering from an allergic reaction, but the effects of "undefined chemical substances."

Why it matters: Navalny is an anti-corruption lawyer whose fierce opposition to Vladimir Putin has caused him to be arrested and jailed by Russian authorities a number of times. Navalny's spokeswoman says he has never had an allergic reaction in his life, raising questions about whether his illness could in fact be the product of political retaliation. Putin has been accused of poisoning or having political opponents assassinated in the past.

Police reportedly did not want Navalny to be transported to the hospital, and relented only when the ambulance crew threatened to make a scene, according to Navalny's spokeswoman.

About 20 journalists who showed up at the hospital where Navalny is being treated have been detained by police, according to Russian media.



Navalny's doctor managed to take hair and a shirt from him when she briefly saw him at the hospital, and said she would try to send them to Europe for analysis.

Welcome to the international shitshow!


Two of the longest running democracies have devolved into total dumpster fires. What a disaster.

Charlotte City Council is looking into breaking the RNC 2020 contract

Doesn't look like they'll be able to do it. The City Council is majority Democrat and our Mayor, Vi Lyles, is also a Democrat. Despite most of the city being against it, they wanted the money that the convention would bring in. Looks like it's too late now.


City Attorney Patrick Baker: If city broke #RNC2020 contract, not only would city be sued, but one or more other parties could seek a court order enjoining city from continuing to breach contract—IOW, force the city to host the convention. Die’s cast, it appears. #cltcc

Bad news: Harder-Charging Patrick Pizzella Takes Labor Reins From Acosta

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s exit paves the way for longtime GOP government official and management ally Patrick Pizzella to become acting labor secretary.Pizzella, a former lobbying partner of disgraced business lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is seen by associates on Capitol Hill as a harder-charging advocate for industry interests and someone who is more inclined than the cautious Acosta to rapidly reverse Obama-era policies that favored certain workers and unions.

“I think we will see a quicker pace of change, and I am more confident that the Wage and Hour Division will complete its work on the overtime exemption, regular rate, and joint employment regulations,” said Tammy McCutchen, a former GOP Wage and Hour chief and current attorney for businesses. She’s referring to a trio of recently issued proposed rules that are a high priority for businesses. The rules would clarify who’s eligible for overtime pay, what types of compensation qualify for overtime time-and-a-half wages, and would narrow corporations’ shared liability with affiliated businesses for pay violations.

Acosta, a veteran government lawyer who faced criticism for stalling business-favored policies by diving into the weeds on the department’s legal matters, now passes the baton to Pizzella to lead a sprawling agency with a $12 billion budget. The Labor Department is responsible for overseeing job training programs, auditing labor union finances, enforcing worker pay and safety laws, and combating forced labor. Pizzella was a senior DOL official for nearly all eight years of the George W. Bush presidency.

Pizzella arrives at a critical juncture for the Labor Department, which is trying to finalize a number of regulatory initiatives before the end of President Trump’s first term. The Trump administration and business community lobbyists want those agenda items finished by early next year, so that they’re harder to undo if a Democrat unseats Trump in 2020.


'It Could Have Been Any of Us': Disdain for Trump Runs Among Ambassadors

Ask members of the Washington diplomatic corps about the cables that Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador who resigned Wednesday, wrote to London describing the dysfunction and chaos of the Trump administration, and their response is uniform: We wrote the same stuff.

“Yes, yes, everyone does,” Gérard Araud, who retired this spring as the French ambassador, said on Wednesday morning of his own missives from Washington. “But fortunately I knew that nothing would remain secret, so I sent them in a most confidential manner

With a few exceptions — including the ambassadors from Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who have supported Mr. Trump’s every move — foreign diplomats in Washington these days describe living in something of a black hole.

Decisions that directly affect their nations’ trade relationships or troops are delivered with no notice. Their contacts inside the State Department, the Treasury and Congress freely tell them they have little idea what decisions Mr. Trump may make, or what he may reverse.


With 16 Months to go, Negative Partisanship Predicts the 2020 Presidential Election

In July of 2018, I raised eyebrows by predicting some four months before the midterm election that Democrats would pick up 42 seats in the House of Representatives. In hindsight, that may not seem such a bold prediction, but when my forecast was released, election Twitter was still having a robust debate as to whether the Blue Wave would be large enough for Democrats to pick up the 23 seats they needed to take control of the House of Representatives and return the Speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi.

Based on its 2018 performance, my model, , seem well poised to tackle the 2020 presidential election – 16 months out. I’ll serve up that result below, but first let’s set the table by reviewing my model’s 2018 forecasting success.

Not only did I predict that they would gain nearly double the seats they needed, but I also identified a specific list of Republican seats Democrats would flip, including some, such as , that were listed as “Lean Republican” by the majority of race raters at the time. At a time when other analysts coded even the most competitive House races for Democrats as Lean or Tilt Democrat, I identified 13 Republican-held districts as “Will Flips,” 12 as “Likely to Flip,” and 6 as “Lean Democrat.” I also identified a large list of “Toss Ups,” from which I would later identify the remaining “flippers.” In addition, I identified some “long-shot toss-up” districts that could be viable flips under some turnout scenarios. Of the original 25 districts I identified as definitely or highly likely to flip, all but one, Colorado CD3, did so, possibly because the party failed to invest in their nominee there.

The post-election diagnostics of my forecasting model, which departs significantly from the approaches used in conventional election forecasting models, such as those used by , reveal just how powerful my model was at identifying the House districts and Senate races capable of producing Blue Wave effects powered by Trump backlash in the electorate. Indeed, the places I went astray in my final, “handicapped” predictions are races where I ignored the clear signals of my model, such as Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which my model was quite clear about flipping, and Kentucky’s 6th, which my model was quite clear couldn’t. Still, in other races, my manual handicapping was necessary, and correct, because despite its overall accuracy, my model underpredicts the Democrats’ two-party vote share in Utah’s 4th district.

Looking ahead to the 2020 Electoral College map, my model delivers on two of the most critical elements of election forecasting: , that is, simplicity. It’s probably not lost on you, dear reader, that I am offering a forecast not for the presidential primary election, itself still in its infancy, but for the November 2020 general election that is some 16 months away. And I am offering a forecast free from all the trappings you are used to. There are no poll aggregators, no daily or weekly updates, no simple versus deluxe versions. Right now, there is not even a nominee! By and large, I don’t expect that the specific nominee the Democratic electorate chooses will matter all that much unless it ends up being a disruptor like Bernie Sanders.

Barring a shock to the system, Democrats recapture the presidency. The leaking of the Trump campaign’s internal polling has somewhat softened the blow of this forecast, as that polling reaffirms what my model already knew: Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate. And that is really bad news for Donald Trump because the Blue Wall of the Midwest was then, and is now, the ONLY viable path for Trump to win the White House.

I can't copy and paste the graphics but her electoral vote prediction is Dems: 278 Reps: 197

Her graphic has the breakdown of electoral votes by state.


Here's some good news for Buttigieg supporters


Pete Buttigieg raised $24.8 million from 294,000 people in the second quarter of 2019, his campaign said in an email, a massive haul for a candidate that was largely unknown six months ago


Kamala Harris grabbed debate headlines. But Buttigieg also appealed. The next day, Charlie Cook told 300 finance professionals on a conference call that he was the “most presidential” candidate on stage either night.

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