Thursday 20th of June 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2019-06-17 05:44

Power has begun to trickle back into the grid after a massive blackout hit the South American countries of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, leaving tens of millions without power, authorities said.

Key points:

  • The blackout hit at 7am on Sunday, local time across all three countries
  • Power was starting to be restored more than five hours later to some major cities
  • Shops closed and traffic lights stopped working, creating chaos


Argentina's grid "collapsed" about 7:00am local time, leaving the entire country without power, Argentina's Energy Secretariat said in a statement.

The outage also cut electricity to swaths of neighbouring Uruguay and Paraguay.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total nearly 55 million, said power was being restored to major cities — including Montevideo and Buenos Aires after being without power for at least five hours.

Argentina's energy agency said in a statement it had begun investigating the causes of the outage, but had not provided further details.

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 19:47

Sarah Sanders had it coming. If she wanted the respect of the Washington press corps and a fat corporate job after leaving the White House, she should have worked for a Democrat.

But she chose to be the press secretary for the Worst Human Being Ever, so she deserves the mud bath she’s getting on her way out the door.

Go back to Arkansas, you hick, you lying Republican rube. Besides, as a woman and mother, how could you work for him?

That pretty much sums up the tone of the coverage that greeted Sanders’ announcement that she is leaving after two years on the firing line. There was neither fondness nor civility and none of the usual willingness to let bygones be bygones when the day is done.

This was personal and it was cruel.

Moments like this reveal how nasty and partisan the left-wing media has become. Their hatred of Trump knows no bounds, and many are using the departure of Sanders to engage in what the late Charles Krauthammer called “moral preening.”

Sanders, you see, is unforgiven and will never eat another expense- account lunch in the nation’s capital. The media enforcers are better than her and she is condemned for eternity.

Donny Deutsch, on MSNBC, said her legacy will be the “toxicity and the cancer that stays with” her. Joe Scarborough chimed in to say she would “have trouble” getting another Washington job for the rest of her life.

“She would claim to represent the truth on behalf of a president who lies,” columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote in The Washington Post. “She did it disrespectfully, and apparently without shame or an understanding of what the role of White House press secretary should be.”

Sullivan accused Sanders of lying with a “distinctive curled-lip disdain” and stopped her finger-wagging only long enough to bring in a wise man to put it all in historic ­perspective.

“Sanders failed at all aspects of the job,” said the wise man, one Joe Lockhart, a press secretary for … Bill Clinton.

Ah yes, the good old days, when lying to the press was commonly called spin. Media Democrats don’t mind being misled as long as it is by a fellow traveler.

We’re all on the same team, right?

Lockhart is prime proof that nothing succeeds like working for a corrupt, dishonest — and impeached — Democrat.

When he was promoted in October 1998 to replace Mike McCurry, Lockhart was welcomed with a series of puff pieces. None other than George Stephanopoulos — Clinton’s first press secretary and ever since an ABC anchor — dutifully praised him effusively. Stop the presses.

In its profile, The New York Times slobbered, then slobbered some more. “Mr. Lockhart is a Mets and Bruce Springsteen fan who comes across like a regular guy you would probably enjoy having a beer with,” it wrote, saying he “is inclined to fall back on humor as the scandal coverage continues.”

The article, like several others, quoted his wife, who like Lockhart was a former journalist, as saying she hoped he could still get home to read their daughter, Clare, her favorite bedtime story, “Little Bear.’”

Sarah Sanders, who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, has three young children. I bet you don’t know their names and their favorite bedtime stories.

When it came to defending a president who had sex with an intern in the Oval Office, “regular guy” Lockhart was a total warrior. On the day Clinton finally admitted it all under oath, Lockhart, speaking 20 years later, told the Times his attitude was “Well, we’ve just got to fight our way out of this.”

Last year, on CNN, where he is a paid commentator, he insisted his defense of Clinton was somehow different than Sanders’ defense of Trump. Presumably that covers the attempts to hide Monica Lewinsky in the Pentagon, the pardons-for-sale scandal, the renting out of the Lincoln Bedroom and many other deceptions.

Yet working for Clinton certainly didn’t damage Lockhart’s career, as he later scored top gigs at Facebook and the National Football League. When Barack and Michelle Obama left the White House, they leased Lockhart’s mansion in DC’s ritzy Kalorama district, then bought it for $8.1 million.

The Democrat-media industrial complex was a major feature of both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Jay Carney, Obama’s second press secretary, was Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief and his wife is a reporter at ABC.

Carney was on duty when PolitiFact named Obama’s line that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013.

There were no media calls for Carney to resign in protest over Obama’s lie, and his loyalty earned him a very nice afterlife. He, too, moved to CNN, then became Amazon’s senior vice president for global corporate affairs.

Sanders, just 36, will never be a member of that elite boys club. Journalists might have at least recognized her for being just the third woman to hold the job, but that would mean giving Trump credit and excusing her decision to work for him.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 18:19
June 4

John A. Burtka IV is the executive director of the American Conservative magazine. 

Political movements need a villain if they are going to hold together diverse, often contradictory coalitions. For Democrats, their latest villain rode down an escalator in Midtown Manhattan on a mid-June day four years ago. Republicans, by contrast, have been searching for a new villain ever since the end of the Cold War.

The impeachable Bill Clinton, Islamist terrorism and Obamacare all served as targets for the conservative movement, but none of these villains was able to galvanize the coalition the way that communism did during the 1980s. Even with Donald Trump in the White House, Reagan nostalgia has not yet subsided as conservatives struggle to integrate their new working-class constituency into a party previously committed to free trade and marginal tax cuts. That is all about to change. 

According to many critics, conservatism has been in danger of falling into the state that literary critic Lionel Trilling ascribed to it in 1950, espousing “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.” There is no glue holding the coalition together, let alone any discernible policy agenda. 

Enter Big Tech and the rise of China. There is consensus growing among conservatives in Washington and around the country that the biggest threats to American liberty come not from extremists in the Middle East or Democratic power grabs but from the behemoths in Silicon Valley and Beijing.

Conservatives have complained about liberal media bias for decades, but the threats posed by Big Tech and the accompanying phenomenon of “woke” capitalism and “surveillance” capitalism have combined to create a bias against conservatives that would have been hard to imagine even five years ago. Not only have Big Tech companies escalated their attempts to ban or censorconservative pundits, functioning as de facto editors of the digital public square, but they have also used their sizable economic clout, as Netflix has, to threaten states that pass socially conservative legislation. 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson cut to the heart of the matter last fall, ahead of the midterms, when he asked, “What could Google be doing this election cycle to support its preferred candidates? What could they do in 2020 is a question almost nobody in Washington seems interested in even asking. They ought to be interested.”

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China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Turkey, foreign gas... electric cars, windmills, you name it... plenty of nemesis... and toadies to eradicate...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 16:14

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said that if elected, he would leave the Justice Department to operate independently of the White House during any potential criminal investigations into President Donald Trump.

"Nobody is above the law and prosecution decisions should have nothing to do with politics and should come from the DOJ itself, not from the Oval Office," Buttigieg told CNN's Jake Tapper in a preview of an interview to be aired Sunday.

Buttigieg's remark comes in contrast with his Democratic rival Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who said if she was elected the Justice Department would have "no choice" but to charge Trump with obstruction of justice if he were to finish his term without being impeached. Harris, a former California attorney general, told NPR that former special counsel Robert Mueller had essentially set the stage for criminal charges against Trump, and only a Justice Department policy barring prosecuting sitting presidents got in the way.

Harris, along with a chorus of other candidates from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, has called for Trump's impeachment. Buttigieg has also advocated for impeachment inquiries, but focuses more on beating Trump in 2020.

Buttigieg has also called for criminal inquiries into Trump if he finishes his term in 2021 without impeachment, but the South Bend, Ind., mayor did not go so far as to dictate what the conclusion of those inquiries would be. He also told The Atlantic that he would be hesitant to order his attorney general to directly pursue charges against Trump.

"I would want any credible allegation of criminal behavior to be investigated to the fullest,” Buttigieg told The Atlantic on Wednesday.

Trump has also recently come under fire for telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that if a foreign agent were to offer him dirt on an opponent, he would hear it out. Buttigieg told CBS' Margaret Brennan in an interview segment published Saturday that any American who receives foreign election help should "just call the FBI".

"And by the way, this isn't hypothetical. This isn't theoretical," Buttigieg said, referring to Russian offers of opposition information to members of Trump's inner circle in 2016.

Speaking with Tapper, Buttigieg specified that that criminal investigation would be conducted by an independent Justice Department without micromanaging presidential oversight.



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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 16:04

From afar it looks like pure, untouched paradise — and for the most part it is.

Key points:

  • The owners of Banubanu Wilderness Retreat say the plastic trash washing up on the shores of isolated Bremer Island is worse than ever
  • Turtles on the island are being impacted by the influx of waste, with signs that they're being forced to change their nesting habits
  • The NT's Indonesian consul said he hoped to visit some of the remote rubbish-hit beaches in July


But a luxury tourism retreat on the edge of East Arnhem Land is facing an uphill battle as wave after wave of plastic trash wash upon its shores, forcing owners to do everything they can to try to limit the environmental impact, and stem the loss of tourists.

Indigenous rangers have been working tirelessly to remove the rubbish. Schoolkids have camped on the island to help out.

But still the tides of endless trash refuse to abate, plaguing this paradise with an ugly eyesore and potentially long-lasting toxic threat.

"It is getting worse — it's overwhelming to the point where you feel 'what can we do? How can we deal with this?'," Helen Martin, co-owner of Banubanu Wilderness Retreat's co-owner, said.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 15:35

hard hats


Priests wear hard hats at Notre-Dame

The first Mass has been held at Notre-Dame cathedral since the devastating fire in April.

There were fears the 800-year-old cathedral could be completely destroyed during the fierce blaze.

Firefighters managed to save the structure and much of its interior.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 15:21

U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid



  • As Washington’s strategy shifts to offense, officials say, it is placing malware inside Russia’s system with a new aggressiveness.
The move is both a warning and a push to be prepared to conduct cyberstrikes if conflict were to break out with Moscow.

    President Donald Trump lashed out at The New York Times on Saturday for a report that the United States has been increasing its cyber intrusions into Russia, escalating tensions between the two countries.

    The Times reported that the United States has increased measures to penetrate Russia's power grid as a message to Moscow to stay out of American cyber infrastructure. The efforts lay an aggressive groundwork for an attack on the Russian grid on an unprecedented scale if the two countries were to enter into conflict, the Times reported.

    The escalation has prompted fears of overheating tensions with Russia, the Times reported. Exactly how deeply the U.S. has penetrated Russian systems remains classified. 

    Citing administration officials, the Times also reported Trump was not briefed in detail on the program out of fear that he would spill secrets to Russians as he did with classified information to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister during an Oval Office meeting in 2017. That incident, first uncovered by The Washington Post, reportedly put a vital source on ISIS at risk.

    Trump flatly rejected the Times' Saturday story, calling it "a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country."

    "Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!" Trump tweeted.

    The Times story follows U.S. intelligence reports of Russian penetration into American cyber infrastructure including of nuclear power plants. Already, the United States has imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections through a number of cyber attacks, from misinformation campaigns to hacking the Democratic National Committee's network.


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    Of course The Donald is upset the NYT has let the cat out of the bag...

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 15:05
Indonesia said it won’t become yet another “dumping ground” of the world and returned five containers of waste back to US, joining the growing number of Asian nations that have recently been turning back Western ‘recyclables.’

The waste arrived in Indonesia from Seattle back in March. The cargo, shipped by a Canadian company, was supposed to contain paper recycling material, but the Environment and Forestry Ministry discovered multiple “impurities” inside five containers and ordered them to be “re-exported.

The containers were filled with “significant amounts” of various plastic waste and shoes, in addition to other rubbish such as wood scraps, fabrics and even diapers. “Although the containers were originally from Canada, the country of departure was the US,” said Waste and Hazardous Waste Management Directorate general secretary Sayid Muhadhar.

This is not appropriate and we don't want to be a dumping ground.

Indonesia, which has a very limited capacity to recycle even its own plastic, has a decree banning the import of consumer plastic waste. Production waste in the form of clean paper and plastic scraps can still enter the country, if the Trade Ministry grants import license.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-06-16 11:26

The debate will be broadcast in prime time on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo and be streamed online for free on a variety of digital and social platforms. 

Here are the participants: 

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado 

Former Vice President Joe Biden 

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey 

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio 

Former Representative John Delaney of Maryland 

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York 

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Former Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado 

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington 

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota 

Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas 

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio 

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont 

Representative Eric Swalwell of California 

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts 

Author Marianne Williamson 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang


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