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A Dem win in the House will make a big difference here.


As Democrats plan for a potential future in which they have control of the U.S. House, lawmakers, candidates and outside groups close to the party are quietly preparing a new push against the overlooked war in Afghanistan.

The last time the party controlled the lower chamber of Congress, the U.S. had close to 50,000 troops in Afghanistan. Today that number is 15,000 — but it’s been eight years, and there’s still no clarity about when the longest war in American history will actually come to an end. President Donald Trump’s stated policy is that the U.S. presence has no time limit.

So Democrats are considering long-discussed proposals to torpedo the war’s entire legal justification — the sweeping post-9/11 congressional authorization that has been used to support U.S. military action well beyond Afghan borders — and tie funding for the campaign to clearly outlined strategic goals and troop reductions. There’s also talk of using new oversight powers to hold top officials, military commanders, defense contractors and foreign partners accountable for accusations of human rights violations, corruption and political posturing at the cost of human lives. And while party leaders are loath to commit to a particular course, they feel certain this is an issue their colleagues and their political base see as a priority.

A dramatic but now largely forgotten vote in June 2017 underscored why this is a natural fight for Democrats. House Appropriations Committee lawmakers from both parties voted for the first time for a measure long pushed by war critic Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that would repeal the authorization. GOP leadership quashed the effort, but it clearly signaled that, after years of worrying about being seen as too dovish, Democrats have reached a moment when even the other party and its voters can seriously consider serious antiwar action.

“We’ve come a long way… from just one vote in opposition [when the authorization came up in 2001] to a widespread recognition among members of Congress that this was an overly-broad authorization that set the stage for perpetual war,” Lee wrote in an email to HuffPost. She sees Democratic unity on the issue today: “There’s a lot of common ground across the caucus around holding this debate and vote.”

Democrats hope to move by December against a different war: a U.S. campaign of aerial refueling, intelligence support and arms sales for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are jointly fighting a militant group supported by Iran in Yemen. It’s a dry run of sorts for the Afghanistan fight.

The Yemen war, which began after the pro-Iran Houthi movement seized the capital from a Saudi-backed government, has produced the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and bipartisan outrage in Congress reflected in increasingly tight votes on arms sales.

Now Sanders, Khanna and others want the House and Senate to vote up or down on bills that would end U.S. support for the Saudi-UAE coalition altogether ― and with United Nations warnings about the risk of famine growing more dire and outrage about U.S.-Saudi relations after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, they feel the time is ripe.

A Democratic aide involved in the measure pointed to the support of the No. 2 House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Smith of the Armed Services Committee, powerful Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and scores of others, including some notable Republicans. In the Senate, Sanders and his allies had managed to win over more than half the chamber in the spring.

Asked why not wait, particularly if the House does swing blue, the aide noted the fears of widespread starvation in Yemen and the belief that a vote against the war might send an important signal, putting the ball in Trump’s court and setting Democrats up to press him in the new Congress.


oh please dear gods.




To the extent this represents incremental progress away from the Empire, good. A vote on ending US support for the Yemen tragedy would be a very good indicator of who is an ally for peace vs a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

But I remain extremely skeptical of conservative Dem cooperation on revocation of the 2001 AUMF.


Of course this is outrageous but unsurprising

The show on stage might well have been called Fox & Friend. As President Trump wrapped up the midterm election cycle with a late-night rally in southwest Missouri on Monday, he was joined by a trio of conservative media rock stars.

Introducing the president as he stumped for Republican candidates was Rush Limbaugh, the radio host who was born and raised in Cape Girardeau. Then after Mr. Trump took the microphone, he invited two Fox News personalities, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, to join him on stage, where each also delivered a short speech backing the president.

The line between the Trump White House and Fox has always been a little blurry, but in that moment at least, the fusion of president and network seemed complete.


SW Missouri is the buckle of the Bible Belt. Or one of them, at least. Extremely red, redneck, and loathsome. I am always amazed that they keep having Skepticon there.



Ok just did some googling, am now wondering if the next Skepticon will discuss the Harvard paper being promoted on CNN this morning in which the authors make a very interesting suggestion about the object that was nicknamed Oumuamua:

A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.

Cigar-shaped interstellar object may have been an alien probe, Harvard paper claims

“‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization,” they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.



Oddly that was the belief among the conspiracy crowd but for an actual scientist to make such a claim is embarrassing. It could have just as well been the scat from a giant planet eating worm, but unless it made some changes in its direction that showed it was autonomous in some way,there is no reason not to think it was just a large rock traveling between interstellar space.


I did a double take when I saw the headline!


i want to believe.


“The Truth is out there” just not in DC 🙂


Unless it can be connected to religion, I doubt the Skeptics are interested in space junk. Skepticon’s an atheist convention held annually in Springfield, MO.


NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Hannity spoke from the stage of President Donald Trump’s last midterm election rally on Monday, after Fox News Channel and its most popular personality had insisted all day that he wouldn’t.

Hannity appeared on the podium in a Missouri arena after being called to the stage by Trump. Another Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, also appeared onstage with the president.

It was an extraordinary scene after the news network had worked Monday to establish distance between Hannity and the campaign. Trump’s campaign had billed Hannity as a “special guest” at the rally, but Fox had said that wasn’t so. Hannity himself had tweeted: “To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president. I am covering final rally for the show.”

But Trump called him to the stage after saying, “they’re very special, they’ve done an incredible job for us. They’ve been with us from the beginning.”




Triumph the Insult Comic Dog mocked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to his face at a recent campaign rally, joking that President Trump neutered him.

In footage aired on “The Late Show” on Monday night, the puppet, who is voiced by Stephen Colbert’s former colleague, Robert Smigel, was sent to Texas to cover campaign rallies for Cruz and his Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

“I love the way you are anybody but Ted Cruz,” Triumph told O’Rourke before asking him: “What does Ted Cruz have that you don’t have, besides the ability to regenerate his tail?”

“Just remember: It wasn’t the Republicans, it was the Democrats that took you into the vet to get fixed and there is freedom on the other side,” Cruz also joked during the confrontation.

“I support spaying and neutering, just like Trump did to you!” Triumph responded.

The puppet then got his supporters to chant Cruz was the “Lion of the Senate” before changing it to “Lyin Ted.”


Spoiler Alert!

Stickers: “I’m pretty sure I voted.” “I think I voted.” LOL.


Randy says Vote Blue!


lol. :O) great singing.

plus i want the glasses.


Loved it! Never heard of him, but he’s brilliant.


Dems lead now in Florida early voting. Florida independents skew young and polls show they decidedly favor Dems, so Gillum and Nelson most likely go into Election Day with a lead.


Election day in Florida dawned with Democrats clinging to a slight overall advantage in early ballots cast. As polls opened across the state, Florida headed toward an all-time record for votes cast in a midterm election.

As mail ballots continued to arrive at elections offices across the state, the vote tally reached 5.2 million overnight.

Democrats maintained a small advantage, 40.5 percent to 40.1 percent, or about 22,000 ballots cast. The independent and minor party share of the overall turnout reached 19.4 percent.


Power to the People IF they get off their apathetic/brainwashed arses, get informed. and. VOTE! Drinking my cuppas and then getting cleaned up and hiking down to the Unitarian Church to vote. I’m wearing my Dumbya is a mistake shirt. It’s clear and hot here today. Here’s to us good guys/gals starting the destruction of the fascist FRightwingnut cabals who have done tremendous damage to our country. T and R to the usual excellent TPW suspects!!


have fun orl! hope to see a post-report. :O)


Bernie comments on The Onion piece:

“I can’t fill in for every worker today. Election Day must become a national holiday so that everyone has a chance to get to the polls and participate in democracy.”



Haha, good one!


Amazon to Split Locations of Second HQ

The company is nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions. Amazon is also close to a deal to move to the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb, one of the people said. Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and the Bay Area.

Amazon executives met two weeks ago with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the governor’s Manhattan office, said one of the people briefed on the process, adding that the state had offered potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies. Executives met separately with Mayor Bill de Blasio, a person briefed on that discussion said. Long Island City is a short subway ride across the East River from Midtown Manhattan.

“I am doing everything I can,” Governor Cuomo told reporters when asked Monday about the state’s efforts to lure the company. “We have a great incentive package,” he said.

I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes,” Governor Cuomo said. “Because it would be a great economic boost.”

The Benny couple just returned yesterday from staying in LIC. LIC would be a good place for it. But what’s unfortunate is that now the rents and home prices will be out of sight and taxpayers are paying most costs–no matter what.



In the face of a coordinated, corporate-funded assault on their very existence by President Donald Trump, Republicans at the federal and state level, and the right-wing Supreme Court, labor unions nationwide have mobilized massive numbers of struggling workers to turn out for Tuesday’s critical midterms with the goal of defeating anti-union candidates and electing politicians willing to fight for progressive policies that benefit the working class like Medicare for All, a higher minimum wage, and the fundamental right to organize.


A wee bit O/T, but exciting news!!


I clearly recall hearing my NASA parents discuss the ozone layer 50+ years ago. This is just plain terrific!! We need to hear this stuff more often.


I’m listening to the book-on-CD right now called The Botany of Desire, originally published in 2001 (which, so far, has been excellent!) and I literally just heard the author, Michael Pollan, mention the ozone hole in it on my commute home last night!

It made me wonder if the restoration of the ozone layer that I’d heard might be happening was still happening. So your news is not only extremely good but incredibly prescient from my POV!

It looks like it still has a ways to go but:

Over the northern half of the world, the layer should be completely repaired by the 2030s, the report said. The good news is due to decades of worldwide cooperation to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals.

“If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects. We stopped that,” Newman said. If nothing had been done to stop the thinning, the world would have destroyed two-thirds of its ozone layer by 2065, he said.

The infamous ozone hole over Antarctica is also recovering, although it will continue to occur each year until the 2060s. (Ozone will take longer to heal in the southern half of the world.)

This is the caption for the pic that I attached a screenshot of:

A pair of images show areas of low ozone above Antarctica on September 2000, left, and September 2018. The purple and blue colors are where there is the least ozone, and the yellows and reds are where there is more ozone. A United Nations report released on Nov. 5, 2018 says Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing after aerosol sprays and coolants ate away at it.(Photo: NASA via AP)


Yay! Now can we join hands again for climate chaos? Please?


Just got back from running errands and the 4 polling places that I drove past were packed. I’m going to go vote at 1 pm. Same time I did for the primary. So I can gage turnout.


yay! let us know


Just got back from voting Good turnout so far. I was # 274 for the primary, today I was # 455.

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