July 2016
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Month July 2016

Trump teaming up with Russia against America?

An explosive article leads The Guardian: A key figure at the Republican national convention where Donald Trump was nominated for president has strong business ties with Ukraine, the Guardian has learned. The party platform, written at the convention in Cleveland last week, removed references to arming Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russia rebels, who have received material support from the Kremlin. Trump’s links to Russia are under scrutiny after a hack of Democratic national committee emails, allegedly by Russian agents. The coordinator of the Washington diplomatic corps for the Republicans in Cleveland was Frank Mermoud, a former state department official involved in business ventures in Ukraine via Cub Energy, a Black Sea-focused oil and gas company of which he is a director. He is also on the board of the US Ukraine Business Council. Mermoud has longstanding ties to Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who in 2010 helped pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych refashion his image and win a presidential election in Ukraine. Manafort was brought in earlier this year to oversee the convention operations and its staffing. And what about those hidden tax returns of Trump’s?

Photos I like from the DNC

I took a ton of photographs at the DNC – too many to include in a post.  Here’s a more or less random sampler of photos I like.  I’ll post a link to a bigger collection when I get them uploaded.  Hope you enjoy – and please let me know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see.

Chomsky on Lesser Evil Voting

I just came across this and don’t remember seeing it posted or discussed here, so thought I’d post it:   An Eight Point Brief for LEV (Lesser Evil Voting) By John Halle and Noam Chomsky JohnHalle.com, June 15, 2016 (Note: Professor Chomsky requests that he not be contacted with responses to this piece.) Preamble: Among the elements of the weak form of democracy enshrined in the constitution, presidential elections continue to pose a dilemma for the left in that any form of participation or non participation appears to impose a significant cost on our capacity to develop a serious opposition to the corporate agenda served by establishment politicians. The position outlined below is that which many regard as the most effective response to this quadrennial Hobson’s choice, namely the so-called “lesser evil” voting strategy or LEV. Simply put, LEV involves, where you can, i.e. in safe states, voting for the losing third party candidate you prefer, or not voting at all. In competitive “swing” states, where you must, one votes for the “lesser evil” Democrat. Before fielding objections, it will be useful to make certain background stipulations with respect to the points below. The first is to note that since […]

My quickie DNC interviews

Over the four days I was at the DNC, I asked some of the people I bumped into why they were there, in roughly 30 seconds.  Here are the folks I talked to, along with what they told me.  

Scenes from the DNC, from our photographer (part 2)

Here are more scenes taken by our photographer, Glenn Kulbako.  These are all inside the hall at the Wells Fargo Center.  You can click the images for a larger view.

Scenes from the DNC, from our photographer (part 1)

I was happy to be able to take Glenn Kulbako, a friend and professional photographer, along to the DNC with me.  He took much better quality pictures than I was able to.  Here’s some of what he saw outside the arena, and in the corridors.  Scenes from inside the hall are in a separate post.  You can click the images for a larger view. Outside the Wells Fargo Center

Baker Pays Off Political Debt With Petty Veto

“Listen, I run a bus company. We run an efficient bus company that’s headquartered in Springfield, Mass. When you’re looking at publicly subsidized rail service it absolutely can have an impact on our business.” –Peter Picknelly, CEO Peter Pan Bus Company Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts, has enjoyed popularity ratings inversely proportional to those of Donald Trump. He’s easily the most popular governor in the United States. Peter Picknelly, the owner of Peter Pan Bus Lines, is a good business man: he donates to both Republicans and Democrats; he donates to philanthropic causes; and he does his best to boost the down-and-out City of Springfield. Put them together and what do you get? A transparently, politically cheap move to keep the public good ignorant of the potential benefits of east-west rail service. Dan Glaun of Masslive has an outstanding, well-researched article on the subject: Massachusetts State Sen. Eric Lesser’s push to study expanded east-west rail service is facing pushback from Peter Picknelly, the Springfield business leader whose Peter Pan bus company is currently the main provider of mass transit from Springfield to Boston. Lesser’s (D-Longmeadow) proposal to launch a feasibility study of building higher speed rail across the state won approval […]

I met the guy who was dancing during Katy Perry

What is it about Katy Perry?  First Left Shark, and now this? Anyway, video of this gentleman dancing has been making the internet rounds. So, maybe you’d like to know who he is. Happily, I bumped into him on the floor of the convention, and we had a brief chat. His name is Walter Weeks, and here’s what he said:

Home run by Hillary

A great acceptance speech: responsibility delivered with passion. Plus, an evisceration of the Trumplet. I’m ready to work hard to raise money, build support, and elect this excellent candidate to the White House. Thoughts?

Solar Electric Power to the People

I like direct action, positive protest that has immediate, practical, social and economic use. That’s why I say, Solar IS Civil Defense – light, phone, battery can be supplied by a few square inches of solar electric panel. The solar bike lights on my backpack over the last decade have proven the concept to my satisfaction (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/30/352476/-). Light, phone, battery are also entry level electricity for the 1.4 billion or so of us around the world who don’t yet have access to reliable electric power. Emergency preparedness at home, entry level solar power to the people who’ve never had it is essentially the same thing. Bare minimum solar electricity for all, as long as the sun shines and the batteries hold out, is technically and practically feasible now. It is rapidly becoming affordable too. I know of one company that is reaching the price point of $1 per unit production costs for solar rechargeable lights (http://www.thriveenergy.co.in) and believe that there are others that are doing the same or better. That’s $1.4 in production costs (or less, given economies of scale) to supply everyone among the presently powerless or $200 million if we start with one solar lighting system per family […]