“Once these girls lost their braces…, they became too old for Epstein.”

CNN posted an episode of  CNN Replay.

July 20, 2019

“Once these girls lost their braces…and they started becoming 16 years old or 17 years old, they became too old for him.”

Private investigator Michael Fisten shares disturbing details of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sexual crimes.

CNN’s Drew Griffin has more.

"Once these girls… started becoming 16 years old or 17 years old, they became too old for him." Fla. PI on Jeffrey Epstein

"Once these girls lost their braces…and they started becoming 16 years old or 17 years old, they became too old for him."Private investigator Michael Fisten shares disturbing details of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sexual crimes.CNN's Drew Griffin has more.https://cnn.it/2JSDk1B

Posted by CNN on Saturday, July 20, 2019

Where the term “Red Neck” originated.

Our IBEW shared a photo:
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July 19, 2019

the battle of blair mountain in west virginia was when a multi racial, multi gender coalition of miners and their families, unionized through UMW, took up arms against the US government, pinkertons and bosses in the biggest armed domestic conflict since the civil war. they wore red bandanas on their necks.

The term has its origins in the early 17th century and has oscillated in meaning from being a term to disparage working class and poor farmers to one of its earliest and most popular uses being its use by miners between 1912-1930’s. It was popularized largely after the events in Blair mountain which is the single largest labor insurrection in US history. Both uses are true. We should reclaim the term . There. Go bother someone else





The West Virginia mine wars, 1902-1922


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif regretts U.S. bullying!

CNN posted an episode of CNN Replay.

July 21, 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Fareed Zakaria that it is “regrettable” that the US is able to “bully important players in international markets to obey its rules against both international law and against their own interest.” cnn.it/2JWwVlX

Iran's foreign minister: Regrettable that US is able to bully other countries

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Fareed Zakaria that it is “regrettable” that the US is able to "bully important players in international markets to obey its rules against both international law and against their own interest." cnn.it/2JWwVlX

Posted by CNN on Sunday, July 21, 2019

Border agents shared ‘Photoshopped images of violent rape

USA Today

AOC to DHS chief: Border agents shared ‘Photoshopped images of my violent rape’ in secret Facebook group

Christal Hayes USA Today,             July 18, 2019


Rep. Ocasio-Cortez confronted Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan about images of her “violent rape” from a secret Facebook group. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – After a week fielding racist attacks from President Donald Trump, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.

The intense and personal line of questioning Thursday happened as McAleenan appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to testify about his role in separating migrant children from their families and worsening conditions at the migrant detention centers along the southern U.S. border.

He was also asked several times about a secret Facebook group of current and former Border Patrol agents that contained more than 10,000 members and included posts mocking migrants and the deaths of children in custody and suggesting harm to Democratic lawmakers. After the group’s existence was revealed by a ProPublica report, McAleenan announced DHS was investigating the “disturbing” and “inexcusable” posts.

“Did you see the posts planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar?” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., asked McAleenan. “Yes,” he answered. “And I directed an investigation within minutes of reading the article.”

“Did you see the images of officers circulating Photo-shopped images of my violent rape?” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “Yes I did,” McAleenan responded.

McAleenan did not specifically say whether those Border Patrol agents were still on the job after Ocasio-Cortez, a freshmen lawmaker known for her progressive policies and large following on social media questioned whether they were still “responsible for the safety of migrant women and children.”

He said several agents have been put on administrative duties while the investigation continues, saying “I don’t know which ones correspond to which posts and we’ve ordered cease and desist orders to dozens of more.”

McAleenan shot back after Ocasio-Cortez asked about whether the separating of children and families led to a “dehumanizing culture” within Customs and Border Protection. “We do not have a dehumanizing culture at CBP,” he said touting that the agency, “rescues 4,000 people a year” and is “committed to the well-being of everyone that they interact with.”

He said the posts were “unacceptable” but “I don’t think it’s fair to apply them to the entire organization or that even the members of that group believed or supported those posts.”

The hearing came after days of Trump attacking Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen Democratic lawmakers, all women of color who are critical of his administration and its policies.

President Trump says he “felt a little bit badly” about the chants of “send her back” that erupted at his North Carolina rally. USA TODAY

It started Sunday when Trump sent a series of tweets suggesting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., should “go back” to where they came from.

The House passed a resolution condemning the racist comments on Tuesday as the president faced widespread criticism over the remarks, which he doubled down on at the White House and on Twitter throughout the week.

He singled out the four women Wednesday evening during a rally in North Carolina and his supporters started chanting “send her back” as the president brought up Rep. Omar, who is originally from Somalia and became one of the first two Muslim women in Congress when she was elected in the 2018 midterms. Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Trump distanced himself from the chants on Thursday, saying, “I disagree with it” and “I wasn’t happy with that message.”

Longest-Serving Republican in the Iowa Legislature Switches Parties

Andy McKean, right, the longest-serving Republican in the Iowa legislature, announced that he's becoming a Democrat during a news conference on April 23, 2019.
Andy McKean (right), the longest-serving Republican in the Iowa legislature, announced that he’s becoming a Democrat during a news conference on April 23, 2019.DAVID PITT / AP.

I was first elected to the Iowa legislature in 1978, when I was still in my late 20’s. I served for seven terms in the House and another three terms in the Senate. I worked on passing nonpartisan redistricting legislation, creating REAP (a program enhancing and protecting Iowa’s natural resources), developing sentencing-reform legislation, protecting the elderly from abuse, and floor-managing one of the toughest drunk-driving laws in the nation.

But after 24 years in the legislature, I made the decision to return to Jones County to serve as a county supervisor. My four children were in or approaching their teenage years, and I felt I was needed at home. I had missed some important moments in my children’s lives—school concerts, parent-teacher conferences, sport events—and wished to make up for the time I had lost. And with college expenses on the horizon, I also needed to put more time into my law practice.

Fifteen years later, after my kids were grown and I retired from my law practice, I decided to return to the state capitol. I wasn’t quite ready for retirement and felt that I had more to contribute. What I found, however, was very different from the legislative body I had once served in.The legislature is considerably more partisan and regimented than it used to be. I believe the increased partisanship often stands in the way of good legislation, and I’m also deeply concerned by the growing influence that big money exerts on the legislative process.I also found a very changed Republican caucus. While I have great respect and personal regard for my Republican colleagues, I found myself more and more uncomfortable with the stance of my party on the majority of high-profile issues, such as gutting Iowa’s collective-bargaining law and politicizing our method of selecting judges. I worked for changes to improve legislation that I had concerns about, but also voted against many of these priorities.

I might have limped along—attempting to work within my caucus for what I felt was best for the people I represent—if it hadn’t been for another factor. With the 2020 presidential election looming on the horizon, I felt, as a Republican, that I needed to be able to support the standard-bearer of the party. Unfortunately, that is something I’m unable to do.

I believe that it is just a matter of time before our country pays a heavy price for President Donald Trump’s reckless spending and shortsighted financial policies; his erratic, destabilizing foreign policy; and his disdain and disregard for environmental concerns.

Furthermore, he sets a poor example for the nation and our children. He delivers personal insults, often in a crude and juvenile fashion, to those who disagree with him, and is a bully at a time when we’re attempting to discourage bullying, on- and offline.

In addition, he frequently disregards the truth and displays a willingness to ridicule or marginalize people for their appearance, ethnicity, and disability.

I believe that his actions have coarsened political discourse, contributing to unprecedented polarization and creating a breeding ground for hateful rhetoric and actions.

Some would excuse this behavior, claiming Trump is just telling it like it is—and that this is the new normal. If this is the new normal, I want no part of it. Unacceptable behavior should be called out for what it is—and Americans of all parties should insist on something far better from the man holding the highest office in the land.

All of which is to say that my decision to switch political parties has been a very difficult decision for me and has only come after considerable reflection, much prayer, and many restless nights. I had been a registered Republican for close to half a century, a Republican officeholder for 35 years, and the longest-serving Republican currently in the Iowa legislature. I am proud of many good things that the Republican Party has accomplished over the years.

I want the people I represent in Jones, Jackson, and Dubuque Counties to know that I’m still the same Andy McKean today that they knew yesterday. We still share the same basic values, are proud of our families and our communities, and want to make Iowa an even better place. I’ll continue to work for the same goals and priorities that I always have during my years in public service.I look forward to continuing my service in the Iowa House and bringing people together to improve the quality of life for all Iowans.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Andy McKean is a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, representing District 58.

A Powerful Message on Racism


July 6, 2019

Oprah totally knew what she was doing too!

This Bizarre Experiment Oprah Did On Her Audience Has A Powerful Message

Oprah totally knew what she was doing too!

Posted by Nostalgia on Friday, July 5, 2019

Revisiting ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s under-appreciated ‘UHF’

Yahoo – Music

By Lyndsey Parker,Yahoo Music            July 19, 2019

Trump’s deportation plan has unintended consequences.

As many as 11,800 military families face deportation issues, group says


As many as 11,800 currently serving in the U.S. military are dealing with a spouse or family member who is facing deportation, a national immigration advocacy group announced Friday.

No previous estimate, official or unofficial, has been available on just how many of the 1 million married military members currently on active duty, National Guard or Reserve status may be dealing with the stress of having a spouse, dependent or parent deported.

It’s also not a number that can be easily checked, or verified, because neither DoD, the Department of Homeland Security nor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tracks military status in immigration proceedings.

American Families United, a non-profit immigration advocacy group, calculated the estimate using 2011 U.S. Census statistics, which found that 6.3 percent of the 129 million married Americans are married to foreign-born spouses. The Pew Research Center found that one in four of those foreign-born spouses are in the country illegally. About 75 percent of that population comes from countries like Mexico, where if they entered illegally, they have a harder time obtaining legal status, as opposed to a person from Europe who might have overstayed a visa, said American Families United President Randall Emery.

“So we derived the total of military (active and reserves) married to people with inadmissibility-type immigration issues by taking the total (1 million), multiplying by the national percentage of foreign-born (6.3 percent, so 63,000 current U.S. military are married to immigrants), and then the 25 percent of the total which have problems with immigration law: 15,750. Of that, Pew’s data indicates 75 percent are from sources characterized by entry without inspection and similar issues, that would be about 11,800,” Emery said.

While it may not be exact, AFU generated the military estimate to “create awareness and get some of these legislators who say they support the military to actually act on it” and recognize that this is a bigger military problem than previously thought, said Nancy Kuznetsov, the group’s military liaison.

That’s become more important in the last year, both Emery and Kuznetsov said, as President Donald Trump’s administration has taken a harder line on immigration enforcement.

“It used to be veterans we’d see more frequently,” Kuznetsov said. “We’re now seeing an uptick in active-duty people.”

While the active duty members themselves are protected — because in order to enlist a service member has to show proof that they are in the country legally — their undocumented spouses are not.

An earlier “parole in place” program that was previously championed by Vice President Mike Pence to give relief to military families is no longer being utilized due to stricter enforcement of deportation proceedings under Trump.

That’s meant more military families calling the group for assistance, Emery said.

“Recently, we’ve seen an increase in cases of both active-duty personnel and veterans who have been failed by immigration law,” Emery said. “These estimates give us perspective on the problem.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 61,094 people in fiscal year 2017, compared with 44,512 in fiscal year 2016, a 37 percent increase, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

Military Times has spoken to more than a dozen military families who reached out after hearing about 7th Special Forces Group veteran Bob Crawford and his wife Elia, who was facing deportation. After intense media interest, DHS dropped removal proceedings against her.

When asked, neither DoD, DHS nor ICE could say how many military families are facing deportation proceedings, because it’s not data they track or report,

While an ICE official said the agency “respects the service and sacrifice of those in military service, and is very deliberate in its review of cases involving U.S. military veterans,” the agency does not track military status in its removal statistics, the official said.

ICE referred queries on how many military families were facing removal proceedings to the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.

But that court “does not track military status among respondents or their spouses,” when prosecuting immigration cases, said spokesman Devin O’Malley, so there’s no way to know how many military family members were among those persons removed last year.


The Rachel Maddow Show / The MaddowBlog

With a straight face, GOP leader says party was ‘respectful’ of Obama

By Steve Benen       July 17, 2019

President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn to board Marine One as he departs the White House, on Sept. 13 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty)
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn to board Marine One as he departs the White House, on Sept. 13 2016, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty.


As part of the defense of Donald Trump’s racist criticisms of four Democratic congresswomen of color, the president’s Republican allies have tried to argue that the congresswomen in question are worthy of Trump’s ire – in part because of their ideology, and in part because they’re big meanies toward the president.

Here, for example, was House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) yesterday, talking to reporters during a Capitol Hill press conference about the difference between how Republicans treated Barack Obama and Democrats treat Donald Trump.

“Look, we disagreed with Barack Obama on a lot of things that he did, the policies. As our conference chair laid out, there are a lot of policies that we had disagreements on with Speaker Pelosi and her socialist Democrats, just like we had disagreements with a lot of Barack Obama’s policies, but we never disrespected the office. […]

“We expressed our disagreements in a respectful, respectful way.”

There’s video of the Louisianan’s comments. In case there were any doubts, Scalise did not appear to be kidding.

Which is a shame because it suggests the Republican congressman – the #2 member of the House GOP leadership – genuinely believes that he and his party were nothing but responsible and measured when expressing their disagreements with Barack Obama during his presidency. Republicans, in Scalise’s mind, set a high bar when it came to political decorum. Obama could take comfort in knowing that his GOP opponents took great care to treat him and his office with respect and decency.


I know better than to try to summarize an eight-year period in which Republicans disrespected the Obama presidency on a nearly daily basis, but one need not have an encyclopedic memory to recall incidents that disprove Scalise’s bizarre boast.

Remember the time a House Republican heckled Obama during a speech to a joint session? How about the years in which GOP officials tolerated – and at times, perpetuated – the racist birther conspiracy theory? Or incidents such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) vowing to send the Democratic president “home to Kenya or wherever it is”?

Or maybe the point at which 44 Senate Republicans demonstrated their “respect” for the office of the presidency by writing a letter to Iran, telling our enemy not to trust Obama or his word?

To bolster his point, Scalise added, “If [Obama] asked [Republicans] to go meet with him at the White House, we went.” That wasn’t true, either.

If GOP lawmakers want to defend Trump, fine. If they’re eager to attack Democrats who dare to criticize Trump, that’s OK, too. But if we’re going to look back at the Republican campaign against the Obama presidency, perhaps we can put down the rose-colored glasses?

Republican congressman defends Trump’s Racism

Washington Post

Republican congressman defends Trump, says, ‘I’m a person of color. I’m white.’

By Colby Itkowitz          July 17, 2019

Ahead of the House vote Tuesday to condemn President Trump’s racist tweets about four female Democratic lawmakers of color, a Republican congressman dismissed the outrage by claiming that he’s white and, therefore, a “person of color” as well.

“I think we’re going way beyond the pale right now. They talk about people of color. I’m a person of color. I’m white. I’m an Anglo-Saxon,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) told Vice News in a brief exchange on Capitol Hill.

“Has anybody ever told you to go back to your country?” the reporter asked.

“Yeah, they have actually. With a name like Mike Kelly, you can’t be from any place else but Ireland,” Kelly said, adding that it didn’t offend him because he has “thicker skin.”

On Wednesday, Kelly expanded on what he meant.

“My broader point in the five-minute long exchange was apparently lost, so let me say it again,” Kelly said in a statement provided to The Washington Post. “It’s time to stop fixating on our differences — particularly our superficial ones — and focus on what unites us. Attempts by Democrats and the media to divide and define us by race are harmful to our nation’s strength. We need to elevate our level of discussion, and I believe most Americans agree.”

Trump said Sunday that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), who he said hated America, should “go back” to the countries they came from and fix the problems there. All four women are U.S. citizens, and all but Omar were born in the United States.

The House passed the resolution condemning those tweets, with all Democrats, just four Republicans and the lone independent supporting it.

Kelly defended Trump, saying that the president gets attacked no matter what he says or does and that he is more concerned with what Trump has accomplished than how he talks.

“He’s not a politician, he’s pretty much a guy I grew up with. People would say what’s on their mind at the time,” Kelly told Vice News . “I don’t make my day reading his tweets. He does not offend me. Were people offended? Sure. But people are offended no matter what he says. If he says, ‘Good morning,’ they’re not happy.”