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Sep 26, 2020, 09:39 AM
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 1 
 on: Today at 04:58 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

Lincoln Project likens Miss Lindsey 'i love being Trump's cumslut' Graham to an abused dog for being ‘violently out-fundraised’ in South Carolina re-election campaign

on September 25, 2020
Raw Story
By Bob Brigham

Sen. Miss Lindsey 'i love being Trump's cumslut'  Graham (R-SC) is facing a huge fundraising shortage — despite being an incumbent Republican senator running in South Carolina.

As she’s been trailing Democrat Jaime Harrison in fundraising, Graham has repeatedly gone on Fox News to beg for donations.

“My opponent will raise almost $100 million in the state of South Carolina,” https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/lindsey-graham-keeps-begging-fox-views-viewers-for-donations-theyre-me-moneywise/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Graham complained to Fox and Friends on Thursday.

“The most money ever spent in the state on a Senate race was by me in 2014 when I spent $13 million. She raised $6 million from the time Justice Ginsburg passed away, within 72 hours and God bless Justice Ginsburg. We’re celebrating her life. I appreciate waiting ’til Saturday to announce her replacement. But I am being killed financially,” she revealed. “This money is because they hate my guts.”

Later that same day, she repeated his appeals on Sean Hannity.

“I’m getting overwhelmed,” Graham noted. “Help me, they’re killing me money-wise.”

Graham’s fundraising woes were the focus of a new video by the Lincoln Project, the group of disgruntled former GOP strategists seeking to oust Trump and his defenders in the 2020 election.

They ad spoofs ads by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — complete with the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan.

The ad jocking asks for donations to save Graham from “being violently out-fundraised.”

    Every single hour in South Carolina,  Miss Lindsey 'i love being Trump's cumslut'  Graham is being violently out-fundraised.

    But you can help stop the suffering. pic.twitter.com/9rDS5naJ4V

    — The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) September 25, 2020

Watch: https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1309620608561414144

 2 
 on: Today at 04:36 AM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Rad
Hi All,

Here is the chart for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Sviatlana Heorhiyeuna Tsikhanouskaya or Svetlana Georgiyevna Tikhanovskaya (née Pilipchuk, Belarusian: Святла́на Гео́ргіеўна Ціхано́ўская (Піліпчук), [sʲvʲatˈɫanə ɣʲɪˈorɣʲɪiwnə t(s)ʲɪxɐnˈowskɐjə pʲɪlipˈt͡ɕuk], Russian: Светла́на Гео́ргиевна Тихано́вская (Пилипчу́к), [sʲvʲɪtˈɫanə ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪivnə tʲɪxɐnˈofskɐjə pʲɪlipˈt͡ɕuk]; born 11 September 1982) is a Belarusian human rights activist and politician who ran for the 2020 Belarusian presidential election as the main opposition candidate. She is married to activist Sergei Tikhanovsky, who was a candidate for the same election until his arrest on 29 May 2020; she subsequently announced her intention to run in his place.

The incumbent Alexander Lukashenko was officially declared the victor in a contest marred by allegations of widespread electoral fraud. Subsequently, Tsikhanouskaya claimed to have received between 60 and 70% of the vote and has appealed to Western countries to recognise her as the winner, although instead they called for a re-run and no longer recognise Lukashenko as President.

Biography

Before running for president, Tsikhanouskaya was an English teacher and interpreter. She spent many summers in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, as part of a programme for children affected by the Chernobyl disaster. She is married to YouTuber, blogger, and activist Sergei Tikhanovsky, who was arrested in May 2020. The couple have a son and a daughter.

2020 presidential campaign

After her husband's arrest on 29 May, Tsikhanouskaya announced her intention to run in his place. She registered as an Independent candidate on 14 July 2020. After registering, she was endorsed by the campaigns of Valery Tsepkalo and Viktar Babaryka, two prominent opposition politicians who were barred from registering, with one being arrested and the other fleeing the country. A photo of Tsikhanouskaya with Maria Kolesnikova, Babaryka's campaign chief, and Veronika Tsepkalo, Valery Tsepkalo's wife, has become a symbol of her campaign.

The night before the election, police detained senior staffers from Tsikhanouskaya's campaign and she chose to go into hiding in Minsk, before re-emerging on election day at a polling station.

Harassment

Before the presidential campaign, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko insisted the country was not ready for a female president. Her campaign comes as Amnesty International condemned Belarus's discriminatory treatment of women opposition activists, including threats of sexual violence and threats by authorities to take children away from opposition figures and send them to state-run orphanages. In response to the threats, Tsikhanouskaya sent her children abroad to live with their grandmother. She has said she has repeatedly been threatened, recounting a phone call saying, "We will put you behind bars and place your children in an orphanage." Tsikhanouskaya said she nevertheless decided to persevere in her campaign: "There must be a symbol of freedom."

Platform

Tsikhanouskaya said that she ran for president out of love, to free her husband from prison. She has vowed to free all political prisoners in Belarus, to introduce democratic reforms to the country, and to move away from the union treaty with Russia, which many Belarusian opposition figures view as an infringement on the country's sovereignty. She has also pledged to set a referendum on returning to the original draft of the 1994 Belarusian constitution, reinstating a limit of two terms for the president. She has said that her main goal is to establish free and fair elections. She views the current election as illegitimate due to the government's refusal to register Lukashenko's main political opponents as candidates. She has pledged to deliver a plan for transparent and accountable elections within six months of taking office.

Tsikhanouskaya's economic platform emphasizes increasing the importance of small and medium sized businesses in the Belarusian economy. She plans to offer interest free loans to small and medium sized businesses, cancel state inspections of private entities and provide legal protection for foreign investors. Tsikhanouskaya intends to allow profitable state owned enterprises to continue to operate, while requiring unprofitable state owned enterprises to get help from outside professionals.

Supporters

Though running as an independent, Tsikhanouskaya has attracted support from across the spectrum of Belarus's political opposition. Vital Rymašeŭski, co-leader of Belarusian Christian Democracy, announced his party's support, as did the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly), United Civic Party of Belarus and Belarusian Women's Party "Nadzieja". She has also received support from 2010 presidential candidate Mikola Statkevich. Ivonka Survilla, President of the Rada of the Belarusian People's Republic expressed her support for Tsikhanouskaya.

Rallies in support of Tsikhanouskaya and in opposition to Lukashenko have been the largest in the history of post-Soviet Belarus, attracting crowds of 20,000 in Brest and 60,000 in Minsk.

Official results

The official results published by the Central Election Commission of Belarus gave Tsikhanouskaya 588,622 votes, or 10.12% of the vote, to Lukashenko's 80.10%. However, allegations of wide-spread fraud were immediately made public, including a formal complaint to the Central Election Commission (CEC) by Tsikhanouskaya.

Election aftermath

After the elections, Tsikhanouskaya fled to Lithuania in fear of imprisonment. "Both she and the Belarusian authorities said she had not been forced to leave." On 11 August, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius announced that Tsikhanouskaya was "safe" in Lithuania while also acknowledging that she had "few options". The President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda spoke with her upon arrival in Lithuania.[citation needed] On 11 August, the KGB of Belarus announced that an attempt was being made on Tsikhanouskaya's life, saying that the protesters needed a "sacred sacrifice". Polish government has alloted a residence for Tsikhanouskaya and other members of the Belarusian opposition in the Praga-Południe district of Warsaw. She opened the residence along with the Belarusian House in Warsaw during a visit to Warsaw a couple days later where she met with Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki. Her fellow opposition activist Valery Tsepkalo has also moved to Poland from Ukraine.

Here is a short film about her: https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000007331325/belarus-tikhanovskaya-opposition-leader.html?action=click&gtype=vhs&version=vhs-heading&module=vhs&region=title-area&cview=true&t=10

Here natal Lilith is 15 Taurus, N.Node is 2 Sagittarius, and the S.Node is 15 Cancer. Her natal Amazon is 10 Libra, the N.Node is 11 Gemini, and the S.Node is 9 Scorpio.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Goddess Bless, Rad

 3 
 on: Today at 04:17 AM 
Started by soleil - Last post by Rad
Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses

Raw Story
9/26/2020

President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.

Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be “stupid” to hand over power peacefully should he lose.

“We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat,” Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.

“That’s the only way we’re gonna lose is if there’s, uh, mischief,” he argued. “And it will have to be on a big scale.”

“And we do want a very friendly transition, but we don’t want to be cheated and be stupid and say, ‘oh, let’s transit — we’ll go and we’ll do a transition’ and we know that there were thousands and thousands of ballots that made the difference through cheating,” he said, repeating the debunked conspiracy theories.

“We’re not going to stand for it,” he vowed. “We’re not going to stand for it.”

Here’s how CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale described it:

    Trump just now in summary:
    – The only way we can lose is if they cheat
    – If they cheat, we're not going to have a friendly transition

    — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 26, 2020

    "We're not gonna lose this, expect if they cheat … that's the only way we're gonna lose" — Trump pic.twitter.com/RING2wOctz

    — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2020

 4 
 on: Today at 04:15 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Republicans will replace RBG but Democrats hold the trump cards – no, really

David Litt

Progressives should not worry about what will happen if they mimic McConnell’s constitutional hardball. Their representatives need only act with a little less restraint

Wed 26 Sep 2020 07.00 BST
Guardian

In 2005, while bragging about his history of sexual assault, a reality TV host laid out a simple theory of power. “When you’re a star,” Donald Trump explained to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, “they let you do it.”

Fifteen years later, Trump has gone from The Apprentice to the Oval Office, from grabbing women without their consent to picking a woman to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the supreme court. Yet his approach to power has remained quite consistent.

“When you have the Senate, when you have the votes, you can sort of do what you want,” he told Fox & Friends.

This is what political scientists call “constitutional hardball” and what the rest of us call “doing whatever you can get away with”. It is not a philosophy unique to Trump. In fact, it’s one reason why he and Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell, a man as dully calculating as Trump is garishly impulsive, have become such inseparable late-in-life partners. The majority leader has spent decades in Washington treating public service as a sport, going so far as to title his memoir The Long Game. In McConnell’s view, the purpose of politics is to accumulate as much power as possible by whatever means available. In Trump, he’s found a kindred spirit.

    If hardball must be played, there are plenty of reasons to think that Democrats will ultimately come out on top

Now, both men have the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to confirm a far-right justice to replace a liberal icon just weeks before election day. It’s hardly surprising that even cursory talk of principle or restraint has gone out the window. Politically speaking, Trump and McConnell are stars. We will, they assume, let them do it.

In the short term, they may be right. Unless four Republicans defect, they can install a deeply conservative justice in the waning days of the president’s first term. But in the long run, the great loser of McConnellism might turn out to be McConnell himself. No one should be rooting for constitutional hardball. But if hardball must be played, there are plenty of reasons to think that Democrats will ultimately come out on top. In fact, enraged Democrats don’t even have to embrace Donald Trump’s whatever-you-can-get-away with mentality to undo Mitch McConnell’s life’s work. All they have to do is exercise slightly less restraint.

For one thing, America’s political institutions are currently biased – in many cases quite aggressively – in favor of conservatives. Restrictive voting laws make casting a ballot disproportionately difficult for lower-income, non-white and young Americans. Unprecedented gerrymandering gives Republicans a built-in advantage in the race for the House, and according to FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, the Senate’s bias toward rural states makes the chamber about seven points redder than the nation as a whole. Thanks to the electoral college, two of the past five presidential elections have been won by Republicans who lost the popular vote – one reason why even before Justice Ginsburg’s death, 15 of the past 19 supreme court justices were appointed by GOP presidents.

The conservative movement, in other words, already had it pretty good. The average American disagrees with Republican orthodoxy on every major issue: healthcare, climate change, gun violence, immigration, taxes, Covid response. Yet thanks to the biases embedded in the American political process, Republicans have not just remained viable, but secured extraordinary amounts of power. We can’t know for certain who would benefit from upending the status quo that existed at the time of Justice Ginsburg’s death – but we do know which party has the most to lose.

What’s more, the GOP has not just benefited from the bias of the American political process – they’ve benefited from the fact that many Americans don’t realize such a bias exists. Despite some politicians increasing eagerness to erode our democracy, large majorities of Americans still believe in representative government. Among other things, they want to see higher turnout in elections; they want wealthy interests to have less influence in our politics; they oppose the electoral college; don’t want President Trump to rush through a judicial pick so close to an election; and were horrified when attorney general William Barr teargassed peaceful protesters earlier this year.

It’s possible that as fights over our political process become more high-stakes and more public, Americans will become less supportive of democracy. But it seems more likely that they’ll grow increasingly resentful of the party which views representative government as a threat.

McConnell and Trump may also not realize the extent to which they’ve benefited from a double standard in American politics. For decades, Republicans have broken norms whenever they believed they could. Democrats have broken norms whenever they believe they had no choice.

    The constitution gives Democrats plenty of ways to restore our democracy without resorting to McConnellism or Trumpism

This is not (or at least, not merely) because Democrats are more noble or virtuous than Republicans. In the 1970s, when the modern conservative movement began, an emerging liberal consensus left the right wing feeling it had little to lose by upending our system of government. Democrats, meanwhile, became the party of active government – and were naturally more wary of the possibility that, in an effort to reform institutions, we might erode their legitimacy instead. More recently, the Senate’s rural skew has meant that red-state, moderate Democrats have more clout than than blue-state Republicans. At the same time the Democratic coalition of young and non-white voters was growing, giving them hope that doing nothing would still give them the advantage over the long term.

If Trump and McConnell rush through the confirmation of an extremist, partisan judge, cementing a 6-3 majority, the calculation for Democrats will change completely. Even moderate members of the party are likely to conclude that they simply don’t have much to lose by acting more aggressively.

Unless they never again win the House, Senate and White House simultaneously, the constitution gives Democrats plenty of ways to restore our democracy even without resorting to McConnellism or Trumpism. They can expand the electorate by restoring the Voting Rights Act, making voter registration universal, and passing comprehensive immigration reform. They can blunt (if not entirely offset) the GOP’s Senate advantage by granting statehood, and two senators apiece, to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. They can undo the effects of McConnell’s court-packing by expanding the bench – not just the supreme court, but lower courts as well.

What’s notable about all of these positions is that they stop far short of what the constitution allows. They don’t involve granting voting rights to recent immigrants, splitting California into seven states, restricting the supreme court’s right to review most cases, or any other long-shot scheme. In other words, should Democrats ever regain power in Washington, they won’t have to choose between ambition and caution. They can exercise both – and thanks to favorable demographic trends and the overall popularity of much of their policy agenda, they can be confident that they can maintain power by reflecting, rather than ignoring, the people’s will.

Ultimately, what is at stake in the fight over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement is not merely who will serve on the nation’s highest court. Instead, it’s an idea laid out in one of the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, right after the part about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

It’s no surprise that Donald Trump wants to govern without consent. But the constitution is clear: we don’t have to let him do it.

 5 
 on: Today at 04:13 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
 Donald Trump jokes about staying in power for '12 more years' at Atlanta rally – video

Donald Trump made light of fears he will not accept the result of the election if he loses to Joe Biden in November. 'Will we be president in 10 years?' he asked, before claiming he was joking.

Guardian
9/26/2020

'You know, you can't joke,' he told supporters in Atlanta. '[The media] always cut it before the laugh so they think he's serious.'

The crowd then chanted '12 more years!' to laughter from the president.

Watch: https://youtu.be/ClOEtIxESpA

************

Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses

Raw Story
9/26/2020

President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.

Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be “stupid” to hand over power peacefully should he lose.

“We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat,” Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.

“That’s the only way we’re gonna lose is if there’s, uh, mischief,” he argued. “And it will have to be on a big scale.”

“And we do want a very friendly transition, but we don’t want to be cheated and be stupid and say, ‘oh, let’s transit — we’ll go and we’ll do a transition’ and we know that there were thousands and thousands of ballots that made the difference through cheating,” he said, repeating the debunked conspiracy theories.

“We’re not going to stand for it,” he vowed. “We’re not going to stand for it.”

Here’s how CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale described it:

    Trump just now in summary:
    – The only way we can lose is if they cheat
    – If they cheat, we're not going to have a friendly transition

    — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 26, 2020

    "We're not gonna lose this, expect if they cheat … that's the only way we're gonna lose" — Trump pic.twitter.com/RING2wOctz

    — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2020

***********

Bill Barr stunt was an ‘in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign’ by DOJ: election law expert

Raw Story
9/26/2020

The scandal over the Department of Justice hyping 9 ballots in Pennsylvania as proof of Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about voting by mail was an Bill Barr stunt was an “in-kind contribution” an election law expert explained in the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

UC Irvine law and political science professor Rick Hasen explained the scandal in Pennsylvania in a new op-ed.

“The controversy that bubbled up on Thursday over nine mishandled ballots in Luzerne County, Pa., illustrates the danger ahead. Even before the Department of Justice issued its announcement, President Trump and his team were complaining that mail-in ballots from military voters cast for him were being thrown into the trash, a claim fitting into his narrative — unsupported by the facts — that massive voter fraud will be used to take a November victory away from him. ABC News reported that Atty. Gen. William Barr briefed Trump on the case before it was publicly announced,” Hasen explained.
Defend democracy. Click to invest in courageous progressive journalism today.

“The Justice Department bungled the facts with premature announcements. Nine Trump votes were not tossed. That news release was rescinded and replaced: Seven of the ballots had been marked for Trump; two were unopened. Then came yet more information: A memo from Luzerne County that suggested there was no criminal activity related to the ballots, just administrative error. A temporary contract election worker on the job for only three days may have believed the envelopes contained applications for absentee ballots, not votes. The worker was fired when the error was discovered,” he continued.

The facts did not matter once conservative media began to fan the flames of their conspiracy theories.

The clarifications did not stop a flood of conservative media stories blowing up the situation as some kind of evidence of a massive conspiracy to throw the election. The Luzerne County story is troubling, but not because it showed deliberate tampering. Instead it showed how political operatives — this time acting through the Justice Department — could try to give mistakes the aura of a stolen election for political gain. Whatever one thinks about the department announcing an ongoing political investigation in the midst of the election season (which goes against the DOJ’s own standards and practices), there is no non-political reason for releasing information about how the ballots were marked. This was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign by the Justice Department,” Hasen charged.

    My new @latimes Op-Ed: Don't fall for claims of voter fraud. Error is more likely the case, and errors don't swing elections
    Exhibit A: How Trump and Barr treated those 9 ballots in Pennsylvaniahttps://t.co/xirvJlD13U

    — Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) September 25, 2020

*************

The 9 discarded ballots were tossed because Republicans won their lawsuit requiring them to not be counted: report

on September 26, 2020
By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

Major news is coming in over the “case” of the nine “discarded” ballots from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania that President Donald Trump revealed to Fox News Radio on Thursday.

Here’s what appears to have happened, and we’re going to bullet point this so it’s easy to follow.

    The ballots were discarded by a temporary, or “contract” worker assigned to sort the mail who appears to have been following direction.
    They ballots were military ballots, not absentee or other by-mail ballots.
    The county immediately reported what happened to federal officials, who appear to have immediately politicized the issue.
    “Because these ballots were returned in envelopes similar to absentee ballot requests, elections officials opened them,” The Washington Post reports. “If the ballots weren’t then enclosed in another envelope which shielded the actual vote being cast, they may have been considered ‘naked ballots,’ a term used to describe mail ballots returned without the voter’s intent being protected.
    The Trump campaign and the Pennsylvania GOP in a lawsuit argued that “naked ballots” should not be counted. They won that lawsuit. These nine ballots appear to be “naked ballots,” and that appears to be the reason they were thrown out.

Here’s how MSNBC’s Chris Hayes sums it up: It’s the GOP’s fault.

    TL:DR the discarded Trump ballots were discarded because…Trump and GOP lawyers won a lawsuit requiring them to not be counted!!! https://t.co/NE5s90GJDq

    — Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 25, 2020
More.

    The contract worker has been told to not return.
    Buzzfeed adds it appears the DOJ violated its own policy by issuing a press release about the “discarded” ballots, and even worse, suggesting this is a case of election fraud, and even worse than that, suggesting one candidate over another was favored.
    MSNBC adds that county officials were not aware of who the ballots were for until the DOJ’s press release was issued.
    Attorney General Bill Barr personally briefed President Trump about the discarded ballots. Trump and his White House press secretary then politicized the event.
    The county elections supervisor was exceedingly thorough. “Garbage from the Elections Bureau from September 14 through September 16, the time the independent contractor was on County property, was put in a dumpster and secured by County staff,” a local Pennsylvania news report states. “The trash was then searched by the FBI, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police and county staff. All contents relating to the matter were taken by the FBI.”

**********

GOP senator proposes ‘Orwellian’ bill nullifying all mail-in ballots not counted with-in 48 hours: report

on September 26, 2020
By Common Dreams

A new bill proposed by Republican Sen. Rick Scott is “entirely unworkable,” Slate reported Thursday evening, but demonstrates the GOP’s intense desire to make sure millions of votes aren’t counted in the general election by severely restricting the time frame during which they can be tallied.

The Orwellian-named “Help America Vote Act of 2020,” which Scott proposed Thursday, would help to codify President Donald Trump’s desire, stated last week, to ensure that the preliminary tally of votes on Election Day will count as the final vote count in the election.

The preliminary count would leave out absentee ballots and a record number of mail-in ballots, which nearly half of voters plan to either send to election officials or place in a drop box before Election Day, according to a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll conducted earlier this month.

The proposal, as Slate’s Jeremy Stahl explains:

would require that mail-in ballots be counted within 24 hours of when voting closes on Election Day. Scott’s proposed legislation would also prevent mail-in ballots received prior to Election Day from being processed and counted until the morning of Nov. 3, contradicting state election statutes across the country including one that he signed when he was governor of Florida. Basically, the bill would move back the date by which votes can start to be counted and move up the date by which the count must end. This would limit the count to a single less-than-48-hour window, shortening the count in some cases by weeks.

“Any conflicting state laws would be preempted,” Chris Hartline, communications director for Scott, told Slate—including rules in the senator’s own home state of Florida, where the counting of votes can legally begin 22 days before Election Day.

Officials would have about 48 hours to tally all the votes, but Scott’s proposal includes no funding that would help states make this possible by hiring more poll workers or providing them with personal protective equipment. The bill would shorten the time during which officials generally have to count votes by several weeks, and would leave out many absentee voters, who made up more than 17% of voters in 2016 and more than 20% in previous years.

Tallying every vote within 24 hours of polls closing would be “impossible” in many states, legal scholar Richard L. Hasen told Slate.

Critics on social media expressed shock at Scott’s blatant attempt to leave millions of American voters out of the democratic process.

    It's just wild that they're introducing a bill like this in the light of day. https://t.co/V5sKHcZbds

    — Jim Newell (@jim_newell) September 25, 2020

    rick scott doesn’t want your vote to count. https://t.co/9hzTSHXivd

    — b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) September 25, 2020

    The proposal by Florida's own Rick Scott isn't intended to guarantee that all votes will be counted within 24 hours.

    It's actually intended to stop the counting and toss out any ballot not properly tallied within 24 hours.

    Sorry Florida. We saw this movie in 2000. Try again.

    — Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) September 24, 2020

    the primary action underway by the administration, Senate Republicans, and their allied operatives right now is (a) make it harder to count all the votes in a timely way (b) secure five SCOTUS votes to make this election-night cutoff a defacto constitutional requirement https://t.co/PfjHJVW9w9

    — Seth D. Michaels 🍂 (@sethdmichaels) September 25, 2020

“I’m hung up on this stuff not because I necessarily think they’ll succeed—the more people vote, the harder it will be for them to nullify—but because the attempt should be, in itself, completely disqualifying,” tweeted Seth D. Michaels, communications official for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Scott proposed the legislation on the same day that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in an interview with Fox News, dismissed the notion that Republicans would not allow for a peaceful transition of power, as Trump said this week, by saying he would accept whatever decision the U.S. Supreme Court—not the majority of U.S. voters—reached.

    this is insane, Graham just casually shredding any notion that 'voters' or 'the people' are the relevant body https://t.co/3SwhO42GgT pic.twitter.com/t1D4jEgFpo

    — Taniel (@Taniel) September 25, 2020

    Lindsey Graham, the Salacious Crumb of the Republican Party, is trial ballooning the Supreme Court overturning the decision of the electorate https://t.co/NIUmunvmT7

    — Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) September 25, 2020

Such sentiments “betray a lack of confidence in Trump’s ability to win,” tweeted journalist Adam Serwer. “No idea if they are right; but they wouldn’t be saying things like this if they thought he was in good shape.”

While Scott’s bill is a “nonstarter,” as Jeremy Stahl wrote at Slate, because of the Democratic-controlled House, “it shows you exactly where the GOP’s head is at with 40 days left to go before the last votes are cast.”

**************

Donald Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to supreme court, reports say

President expected to announce pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday, setting stage for rightward shift

Martin Pengelly in New York and Sam Levin in Oakland
Guardian
26 Sep 2020 23.45 BST

Donald Trump is planning to name Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the supreme court on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

Ginsburg died last Friday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. The president has trailed a Saturday afternoon announcement of his third pick for the court, a choice that with Republican support in the Senate would tilt the nine-member panel 6-3 to the right.

The New York Times, the Associated Press and CBS were among outlets on Friday citing anonymous sources in the administration and Congressional Republicans as saying the choice had been made, although CNN added a caveat.

“All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the president, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change,” the network said.

Trump told reporters Friday evening that he has made his decision, but said he would be withholding the news until the official announcement. He said it “could be anyone of them” and that “they’re all outstanding”, referring to five women he has been considering. Asked explicitly about Barrett, he said, “I haven’t said it is her.”

Coney Barrett sits on the US circuit court of appeals in Chicago. She served as a law clerk to supreme court justice Antonin Scalia, worked briefly as a private lawyer in DC and became a University of Notre Dame law school professor in 2002.

Coney Barrett, 48, is a strict conservative whose positions on immigration, health care and LGBTQ rights worry Democrats. Progressive groups are particularly concerned she’ll vote to approve additional restrictions on abortion access.

Democrats also charge that no new justice should be confirmed so close to a presidential election given that Republicans refused to grant Barack Obama’s supreme court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing in early 2016.

Public polling, including a new survey by the Washington Post and ABC News on Friday, has shown the public agrees, with consistent majority support for Ginsburg’s replacement being decided after 3 November.

But Republicans, under the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, have shown no such compunction, conjuring up the argument that in the Garland case they held the Senate while Democrats held the White House, but now unified control means a confirmation should proceed.

In fact, no such precedent exists.

Though the moderate senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have dissented, McConnell has the votes he needs to proceed.

“I’m confident Trump’s going to make an outstanding nomination,” the majority leader told Fox News, speaking before reports emerged that Coney Barrett would be the pick but after Trump had said he would choose a woman.

“The American people are going to take a look at this nominee and conclude, as we are likely to conclude, that she well deserves to be confirmed to the US supreme court.”

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate Democratic whip, said: “They’re hell-bent on getting this done as fast as possible. They think it helps Donald Trump get re-elected.”

The effect on the polls remains to be seen. Currently, Joe Biden leads in national and most swing state surveys.

Barrett is a rising conservative star. In 2018, when Trump named the conservative Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy, he reportedly told aides of Barrett: “I’m saving her for Ginsburg.”

When Barrett was confirmed as an appeals court judge, in 2017, the California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein told her: “The dogma lives loudly in you.”

Barrett said: “I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.”

Asked if Barrett’s affiliation with People of Praise, a strict religious community, might affect her decisions, Vice-President Mike Pence sprang to her defense.

“I must tell you the intolerance expressed during her last confirmation about her Catholic faith, I really think, was a disservice to the process and a disappointment to millions of Americans,” Pence, who has called himself an evangelical Catholic, told ABC.

Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban American from Florida, was also reported to be in contention, possibly a politically potent choice given Florida’s status as a key swing state. But it was also reported that Trump had not even met her.

Supreme court justices can serve for life and have the power to shape American society itself over a decades-long career. Barrett would be the youngest supreme court justice if confirmed.

*****************

Trump’s got his Supreme Court coup lined up — and Republicans will back his play

on September 26, 2020
By Heather Digby Parton, Salon
- Commentary

As I’ve watched the Trump era unfold, I have generally assumed that most elected Republicans were just cowards who hoped the Democrats would save them from the unpleasantness of reining Trump in. They could let the Democrats get rid of Trump in 2020 and then, after the smoke had cleared and his followers had licked their wounds and moved on, they could pretend that everything that had happened was all Trump’s fault. They could then return to playing the role of moral arbiters and upright patriots, which they spent years selling to the public, and hope that nobody remembered what sniveling invertebrates they really are.

It turns out they aren’t cowards at all. They are craven opportunists who have observed the way Trump has exposed the weaknesses in our system and showed them how liberating the simple act of blatant shamelessness can be. They see how easily power can be seized, and that if the opponent doesn’t have a countervailing institutional strength, there is nothing to stop them from keeping it.

On some level, many of them know this is dangerous. Just a little over four years ago party leaders were wringing their hands over the possibility that an ignorant brute like Trump could possibly win the Republican nomination.

He hasn’t changed in the ensuing four years. They have. They’ve been seduced by the knowledge that they can get away with anything as long as they have the institutional power to do it. This week we learned that may includes denying the people their choice for the next president by openly manipulating the election.

They know that mail-in votes are perfectly legitimate. And they know that because their leader is so incompetent that the deadly pandemic is still raging in the country, many people would like to use that method to vote. They don’t care. Their actions this week have shown that they are going to go along with Donald Trump’s blatant plan to steal an election he almost certainly cannot win legitimately.

Rushing through a Supreme Court nominee, as I wrote on Wednesday, is simply a ploy to ensure that the lawsuits they already plan to file will end up before a court that has with five justices ready to install Trump for a second term. They probably don’t need the sixth, but they have the opportunity to give themselves a cushion and they’re taking it. That flagrant power play is part of a strategy meant to demonstrate that the millions of Americans who are watching all this unfold with a growing sense horror can’t do anything about it. (Recall Trump’s words to all 50 state governors in the wake of the protests over the George Floyd killing: “You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time….” )

Trump was asked this week if he would agree to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the November election. As nearly everyone on the planet now knows. here’s what he said:

It’s a shocking statement, of course, and Trump was a fool to say that out loud, raising all kinds of fears that he wouldn’t agree to leave if he loses. But despite some mainstream media buying into Republican “assurances” that there will of course be a peaceful transition, they largely missed what’s really happening, as Dan Froomkin of Salon and Press Watch has pointed out.

Trump plans to “win.” As I noted on Wednesday, Trump told his rally audience this last weekend:

    Now we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins — not where the votes are going to be counted a week later, two weeks later.

Later in the week, he said this:

    This is where we are. Will any Republican stand up? https://t.co/K2Lh2hmp6d

    — Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 23, 2020

He was even more explicit on Tuesday:

    I think this will end up in the Supreme Court. And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices. This scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court. And I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation, if you get that. I don’t know that you’d get that. I think it should be 8-0 or 9-0. But just in case it would be more political than it should be, I think it’s very important to have a ninth justice.

He couldn’t be any clearer about what he expects of his latest appointee if he put it in neon lights on the front of Trump Tower. He wants this election to end up before the Supreme Court and wants them to reappoint him on the basis of his bogus allegations of mail-in voting fraud. And his Republican accomplices did not contradict him.

Sure, they said there would be a peaceful transfer of power. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was weirdly specific about the date of the election in his comment, saying “the winner of the Nov. 3 election will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.” Considering that the alleged disputes are going to be all about counting mail-in ballots after Nov. 3, this isn’t the definitive statement many in the press took it for.

Indeed, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced a bill on Thursday that would require all votes to be counted within the 48 hours around Election Day. Any votes not counted by then would be thrown out. Scott certainly knows no such bill will pass, which makes it all the more interesting that he would put that out there in the middle of this contentious campaign.

Many senators said that of course there would be a “peaceful transition,” but none of them questioned the idea that the president was planning in advance on having the Supreme Court decide the election. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., reassuringly said that “Republicans will stand up if he loses and refuses to leave,” as if that were the only question. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, expressed his dismay, but he is either too thick or too cynical to admit that his willingness to install a new justice right before the election is the mechanism by which Trump plans to illegitimately seize another term.

But leave it to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to put the new conventional wisdom about how this election will be decided right out there: “If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Joe Biden, I will accept that result.” He later emphasized that “we need a full court” — and we know what that means.

All these Republicans know they could afford to wait until after the election is decided — in fact, under the normal terms of political self-interest, that would probably be smarter. But they are ready and willing to install a new Supreme Court justice before the election for the express purpose of handing Donald Trump a second term. If they succeed in doing so, they will irreparably destroy the legitimacy of the court, and quite possibly the legitimacy of our democratic system altogether.

But they don’t care about that. After all, “legitimacy” is unnecessary if raw power is the only currency that matters. It’s a shiny new American autocracy, and they’re here for it.

 6 
 on: Today at 03:53 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Belarus opposition lawyer fined, freed

AFP
9/26/2020

KYIV, Ukraine (AFP) — A lawyer representing a top opposition activist was freed after a court imposed a fine Friday, a day after she was detained by police, and three journalists who have covered weeks of mass protests against the country's authoritarian president were sentenced to about two weeks in jail.(

The lawyer, Lyudmila Kazak, went missing Thursday, with police confirming later in the day that she had been detained. On Friday, she was found guilty of failing to obey police and fined 675 rubles ($260).

Kazak has defended Maria Kolesnikova, a key member of a council Belarus' political opposition set up to push for a new presidential election in the wake of the Aug. 9 vote that officials said gave President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in office; opponents and some poll workers claim the results were manipulated.

Kolesnikova is facing charges of undermining state security that could bring a five-year prison term if she is convicted. Kazak relayed several messages Kolsenikova sent from jail, including allegations that law enforcement officers threatened to kill Kolesnikova and encouragement for protesters to continue anti-government rallies that have rocked Belarus for nearly seven weeks.

“Freedom is worth fighting for. Do not be afraid to be free,” one such message said. “I do not regret anything and would do the same again.” Kolsenikova has said Belarusian security forces drove her to the border with Ukraine to try to make her leave the country, but that she tore up her passport.

Her lawyer's detention followed the arrest of Yegor Martinovich, chief editor of popular independent news outlet Nasha Niva. Martinovich is accused of slander against a government official and faces up to three years in prison.

On Friday, two journalists of the Polish-funded Belsat TV channel that covers Belarus were sentenced to 12 days in jail and fined 810 rubles ($310) for working without accreditation and a Belarusian video journalist was sentenced to 15 days for involvement in mass disorder, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. Both opposition members and some poll workers say the vote was rigged, and the United States and the European Union condemned the election as neither free nor fair. Many European countries refused to recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate leader after his unexpected inauguration earlier this week.

The EU has been weighing sanctions against the Belarusian leadership but failed to agree on imposing them this week. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Thursday that Britain would prepare targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights abuses in Belarus.

The Baltic nations — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — expanded their own sanctions list on Friday, adding 98 more Belarusian officials, including judges and law enforcement officers, that are considered responsible for vote-rigging and violence against peaceful protesters. Officials on the list aren't allowed to enter the three countries.

Anti-Lukashenko protests have rocked the country for almost seven weeks, with the largest rallies in Minsk attracting up to 200,000 people. During the first days after the election, police used tear gas, truncheons and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Several protesters died, many were injured and nearly 7,000 were detained.

The response to street demonstrators intensified again this week, with police detaining hundreds and injuring many. Despite the crackdown, protests continued in Minsk on Friday, with groups of people in different parts of the capital forming human chains of solidarity and singing songs.

Opposition blogs on the Telegram messaging app have called for a big rally in Minsk and other cities Sunday, referring to it as “the people's inauguration of the real president," Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

In a video statement released on Friday, Tsikhanouskaya said she supports “everyone who will take to the streets of their cities this Sunday." “Together, we'll be able to achieve our goal: a new fair election. And as a result, an official, lawful inauguration,” Tsikhanoskaya said.

Daria Litvinova and Jim Heintz in Moscow, and Liudas Dapkus in Vilnius, Lithuania, contributed to this report.

 7 
 on: Today at 03:50 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Brexit: Brussels punctures optimism that deal is in sight

EU sources fear Boris Johnson hasn’t yet got backing for compromises on state aid to business

Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin in Brussels and Lisa O'Carroll in London
Fri 26 Sep 2020 17.44 BST
Guardian

Brussels has sought to puncture an outbreak of optimism over an imminent Brexit deal, amid fears Boris Johnson has not secured the backing of key advisers and his party for the compromises needed in the final stretch of negotiations.

With the UK government yet to offer a way forward on the most contentious issues, and trust in Downing Street at a low ebb, senior EU officials treated with scepticism reports that the UK could see a way to secure a deal.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told ministers from the 27 member states this week that there was “a more open atmosphere at the negotiating table”, according to diplomatic sources in Brussels. But he had also emphasised that “substantial differences of opinion remain, particularly on a level playing field” – the issue of state aid to businesses.

While Downing Street is keen to move into intensive “tunnel” negotiations to allow both sides to be creative before emerging at the leaders’ summit on 15 October with a solution to the most intransigent problems, Brussels is not convinced the prime minister yet has the support of his colleagues to commit to what might emerge.

“We cannot trust this prime minister’s word, so the EU member states are not yet willing to go blind into a tunnel negotiation and see what happens,” said one source. “It will take more than David Frost [the UK’s chief negotiator] telling us Johnson wants a deal.”

When the next round of negotiations opens next week, the EU is hoping Frost will present a compromise proposal on the key issue of control of state aid to businesses. “There is better mood music but no substance yet from London to justify it,” one diplomatic source said.

The UK has insisted it will not go beyond the World Trade Organisation provisions on state aid, which would allow either side to take counter measures where trade had been unfairly distorted – a position that the EU does not believe offers sufficient assurances of fair competition.

Barnier had told the EU affairs ministers this week that “recent developments compel us to be more vigilant on enforcement and dispute resolution” in the trade and security deal, according to a senior diplomat.

The European council president, Charles Michel, tweeted on Friday: “From now on, we will better enforce the level playing field, in a market open to those who respect its standards. Whether they leave our union or want to move closer to it.”

EU leaders will meet at the end of next week to discuss foreign policy issues and to be briefed by Barnier. But sources downplayed any suggestion that the heads of state and government would make a decisive intervention.

EU officials were on Friday unsure how to read an article by the political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth, which said Downing Street could see “a deal is coming into view” and extolling the benefits for Johnson’s premiership.

A UK government official rejected the hope of an imminent breakthrough saying “there remains a lot of work to do and either outcome is still possible” warning the EU had to be “realistic” in the coming days.

The official said the “differences on fisheries and the level playing field remain significant … if the gaps in these areas are to be bridged, the EU’s more constructive attitude will need to be translated into more realistic policy positions in the days to come.”

“Is this them preparing the way for a deal, or to blame the EU for a lack of flexibility,” asked one EU official. “There hasn’t been any major progress in the last informal talks. Maybe there will be a breakthrough but there isn’t anything there yet.”

EU officials have suggested that a deal on the further difficult issue of access by European fishing fleets to UK waters would, however, follow if agreement on state aid could be found before the leaders’ summit on 15 October.

One of the key indicators of the progress of the talks will be the future timetabling of the internal market bill and the promised finance bill, which has yet to be tabled.

The government intends to publish plans for the progress of the internal market bill, which threatens to override parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, through parliament at the end of next week. If progress of the bill is slowed down it will be seen as a temporary “removal of the gun from the table”, given the EU has threatened legal action if it has not been stood down by the end of next week, one insider suggested.

It is understood that “good progress” was being made regarding checks in the Irish Sea before the internal market bill blew talks off course. If a meeting between the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, and his EU counterpart on Monday is successful, it could be used by the UK as a chance to claim “victory” over the EU and row back on the offensive elements of the internal market bill.

But the UK is keeping a further card in reserve in the form of the finance bill, which a source said “could look worse than the internal market bill” in terms of the withdrawal agreement’s Northern Ireland protocol, and potentially destabilise the trade and security negotiations. “Whether or not that is published soon will feed into the escalation or the de-escalation, of talks,” said the source.

 8 
 on: Today at 03:47 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Global Covid report: Rio cancels Carnival for first time in a century as global deaths near 1m

Landmark event scrapped as Brazil suffers; EU warns pandemic worse now than in March peak for some; Israel further toughens restrictions

Helen Sullivan and agencies
9/26/2020

As the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide looked set to pass a million within days, Rio de Janeiro delayed its annual Carnival parade for the first time in a century because of Brazil’s continued vulnerability in the pandemic.

The global death toll passed 980,000 on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. With the number of deaths confirmed daily averaging more than 5,000, it looks likely the toll will pass 1 million within days. There are 32m cases worldwide.

Earlier in the week, death toll in the United States, which has suffered more coronavirus-related deaths than any other country, passed 200,000. The number of cases is nearing 7m.

Brazil, which has the second-worst death toll worldwide with 139,000, and the third-most cases, with 4.6m, cancelled its carnival parade, which usually takes place in February, for the first time in 100 years. Rio’s League of Samba Schools, LIESA, announced that the spread of the coronavirus had made it impossible to safely hold the traditional event.

Rio’s authorities are yet to announce a decision about the carnival street parties that also take place across the city. But its tourism promotion agency said in a statement to the Associated Press on 17 September that without a coronavirus vaccine, it was uncertain when large public events could resume.

Brazil’s first case was confirmed on 26 February, one day after this year’s carnival ended. As the number of infections grew, the samba schools that participate in the glitzy annual parade halted preparations for the 2021 event. Thursday’s announcement removed the cloud of uncertainty that has hung over the city, one of worst hit in Brazil.

In Europe, the pandemic is worse now than at the March peak in several member countries, the European Union warned, as governments reimpose drastic measures.

New infections are soaring once again, prompting the bloc’s disease control agency to flag seven countries of “high concern”. The EU’s health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said in “some member states, the situation is now even worse than during the peak in March”.

Israel, which a week ago became the first country to re-enter a strict national lockdown, further toughened its measures on Thursday after existing restrictions failed to bring down the infection rate. The country has 212,115 cases out of a population of just under 9 million: roughly equivalent to one case per 23 people.

The new rules will close the vast majority of workplaces, shutter markets and further limit prayers and demonstrations.

Other key developments include:

    France set a new record for daily new cases. Health authorities reported 16,096 new confirmed cases on Thursday, a significant increase on the previous record of 13,498 and setting a fourth all-time high of daily additional infections in eight days.

    The virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic, according to new research, with experts believing it is probably becoming more contagious. The study did not find that mutations of the virus had made it more lethal or changed its effects.

    Victoria, Australia’s coronavirus hot spot, on Friday reported eight deaths in the past 24 hours and 14 new infections as the state looks set to ease restrictions over the weekend. The two-week average of new infections in Melbourne dropped below 26, well below the 30-50 level which the state has set as a precondition to relax its strict curbs.

 9 
 on: Today at 03:45 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Back to Venus: Upstart company wants to beat NASA in search for life

on September 26, 2020
By Agence France-Presse

Can a small American aerospace company get to Venus before NASA returns to our superheated planetary neighbor?

That’s what Peter Beck, the CEO of Rocket Lab, is hoping as he sets his sights on launching a low-cost probe in 2023.

Over the past decade his company has become very good at putting satellites in to orbit — and his dream of taking the next step, an interplanetary mission, has received a shot of adrenaline recently with the surprising discovery of a gas linked to living organisms in Venus’s corrosive, sulfuric atmosphere.

“What we’re looking for on Mars is signs of previous life,” Beck explains.

“Whereas Venus, it’s signs of potential life now.”

With its hellish landscape, Venus has been largely neglected by the major space agencies since the 1980s in favor of the Solar System’s more distant bodies.

Dozens of missions have notably been sent to Mars seeking signs of ancient microbes.

But the discovery by Earth-based radio telescopes of a gas called phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere, reported on September 14, sparked a new wave of enthusiasm among scientists who had for years defended the hypothesis that tiny organisms could live in the planet’s clouds.

Phosphine isn’t definitive proof of life. But it is possible its presence is linked to living organisms, as it is on our planet.

The finding led NASA to declare it was time to once more prioritize Venus.

Beck, however, has always been in the pro-Venus camp, and for two years has been contemplating sending an entirely privately-funded probe there, he said.

He calculated, with the help of a PhD student, that a small satellite called “Photon” that Rocket Lab developed in-house could be adapted into a spacecraft for an interplanetary voyage.

Such bids have historically been the domain of national space agencies, given the enormous costs involved — but Beck thinks he has developed a budget solution.

“I would expect a mission to Venus to be sort of $30 million,” he told AFP by video from Auckland, New Zealand.

“When you can measure interplanetary missions in tens of millions of dollars instead of billions, and months instead of decades, the opportunity for discovery is just incredible,” he said.

– Free-falling –

Rocket Lab’s specialty is sending small satellites into Earth orbit with its small 18-meter high rocket — a highly lucrative market in recent years as demand for microsatellites has exploded.

The company’s Venus probe will be very small, weighing around 80 pounds (37 kilograms) and just a foot (30 centimeters) in diameter.

The trip from Earth will take 160 days, then Photon will launch the probe into Venus’ clouds, where it will take readings as it falls, without a parachute, at almost 25,000 miles per hour (11 kilometers per second).

The probe will have between just 270 and 300 seconds to analyze an atmosphere that is almost a hundred times denser than Earth’s before it disintegrates or crashes on the planet’s fiery surface, where temperatures are hot enough to melt lead (900 degrees Fahrenheit, or 480 degrees Celsius).

The hardest part is deciding on the scientific instrument: what molecules should it look for?

Miniaturization is another problem. The probe will need to weigh seven pounds (three kilograms), which some experts doubt is possible, but Beck disagrees.

Rocket Lab will need help from leading scientists, and has already recruited MIT astronomer and planetary scientist Sara Seager.

The adventure is the latest chapter in a new era of space exploration fuelled not by governments but by individual curiosity and ambition, one that so far has been best symbolized by Elon Musk, the iconoclastic founder of SpaceX.

SpaceX revolutionized the sector through its reusable rockets that have now sent astronauts to the International Space Station, and has its sights set on colonizing Mars.

NASA is no longer afraid to subcontract missions to privateers, and Rocket Lab will be paid $10 million to send a microsatellite into lunar orbit in 2021.

As for Venus, Beck would like to offer his services to NASA.

The space agency is considering returning to Venus, but not until 2026 at the earliest. Its last Venus orbiter was Magellan, which arrived in 1990, but other vessels have made fly-bys since then.

“We want to do many, many missions a year,” said the young CEO.

© 2020 AFP

 10 
 on: Today at 03:41 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
All,

We had to take down the thread we had on animals because of being notified by the Guardian newspaper out of England that we had to do so because we had been posting article from their website. Anyway, I am a great lover of animals, and a champion for their well being. So I want to start up a new thread that will not post articles from the Guardian. Hopefully, what I do post from whatever source will just let us be because, in the end, it is about doing whatever we can to help our animal friends.

God Bless, Rad

*******************************************************************************

Symbolically Adopt a Polar Bear

Polar bears depend on sea ice to survive. But as temperatures rise, their sea ice melts more every year. They need our help now.

Will you help us protect polar bears and vulnerable wildlife and wild places around the world? Symbolically adopt a polar bear today.

Monthly gifts provide WWF with the dependable stream of support we so critically need for our global conservation efforts.

When you donate at least $8 a month, you can receive a symbolic polar bear adoption kit as our way of saying thank you.

https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Donation2?df_id=15093&15093.donation=form1&s_src=AWS2006RQ19260A03701CX&utm_campaign=drtv&utm_medium=video&utm_source=television&utm_content=wwfprotects.org

************

All friends of animals,

I would like to direct your attention to a world wide organization who is doing all it can for our animals friends. They really need all the support and help possible, including donations of money. Please visit their website at http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/ to learn more about all that they do, and how you can donate to them if you feel so inclined. Below is just some of the incredibly important things that they are doing. Please help them if you can.

God Bless, Rad

                                          World Animal Protection


We move the world to protect animals.

Animals in communities: We move the world to protect the one billion animals that live in communities.
We move the world to protect the one billion animals that live in communities

Animals in farming: We move the world to protect the 70 billion animals farmed each year.

Animals in disasters: We move the world to protect and rescue animals in disaster zones. Animals in disasters

We move the world to protect and rescue animals in disaster zones

Animals in the wild: We move the world to protect wild animals – and keep them in the wild.

Global animal protection: We move the world to put animal protection at the heart of global thinking.

Education: We move the world to teach students and vets that animal protection is vital.

                                                 **************

                                                Hope For Paws

Here is another outfit called Hope For Paws that is just doing incredible work for animals that need help that really needs financial support to help them keep doing what they do. Here is there web address so you can see what they do: https://www.hopeforpaws.org/. And here their address do donate: https://www.hopeforpaws.org/donationrecurring. And here is an example of what they do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q3PDuU17P4

Hope for Paws is a 501 C-3 non-profit animal rescue organization (E.I.N: 26-2869386). We rescue dogs, cats and other types of animals suffering on the streets or neglected in the wild. Through rescue and education, Hope For Paws works to raise awareness for abandoned animals.
Hope For Paws was founded on June 11, 2008 by Eldad Hagar.

For eight years, Eldad volunteered with other rescue organizations in the Los Angeles area. Because he gravitated towards the most challenging rescues, often saving animals with the most pressing and complex medical conditions, rescue organizations need thousands of dollars to care for the new animals. At one point, Eldad started to feel like a burden on the main organization where he was volunteering and decided it was time to be responsible for his own fundraising. Eldad spent a few hours thinking about a name for the new rescue organization, and came up with Hope For Paws.
When and why did you decide to start posting videos on YouTube?

A friend of Eldad's mentioned one day: "If I didn't personally know you, I would have never believed the stories you're always sharing with me".  She continued to say "Why don't you take a camera with you, and show me... take me with you on a rescue journey".  YouTube was a fairly new platform, and the first video uploaded by Hope For Paws was seen 14 times (10 of the views were from Eldad's Mom).  The channel has grown significantly since that first video in 2009, and as of today, Hope For Paws has almost 3 million subscribers and over 660,000,000 views!

Please help these folks and the animals they rescue.

                                               *****************

                                                Howl Of A Dog

Howl Of A Dog is a small nonprofit animal rescue organization located in Romania.

We rescue abandoned, neglected, injured and abused animals from the streets and from over-crowded shelters, we offer them the medical care they need and find them loving forever homes.

To help reduce dog overpopulation which is a huge problem in our country and to prevent abandonment, we provide free neuter/spay programs and we also support and help low-income families pay for veterinary care and lifesaving medical treatment for their dogs.

At the same time, our efforts aim to build a more compassionate and responsible society. We want to raise awareness and show the world how amazing all animals are and how their unconditional love, loyalty and friendship can bring joy and happiness and improve the lives of their human companions.

Through the stories of our rescued animals we are trying to inspire and help humans learn to respect and protect the lives of other species we share this planet with, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities.

Many of the dogs we rescue are seniors or dogs with special needs that would otherwise have very few chances of surviving by themselves on the streets and would be usually scheduled for almost immediate euthanasia in over-crowded shelters from Romania. Being unfairly considered “less-adoptable” because they are old, blind, abused, traumatized or injured, these dogs wait for a home much longer than the average adoptable pet does, sometimes even years. For some of them, we may even be the only family they will ever have.

While waiting for their forever families, our rescued animals are provided with everything they need, from veterinary care and adequate nutrition to basic training and lots of affection. They even have their own parties, on Christmas and other special occasions!

All the animals we rescue are being fostered by us, at our house. They are accommodated in a very nice, clean and cozy facility that we built specially for them and they have a play yard and a large fenced-in area, with grass and trees where they can run and play safely. And of course, they also have full access to our house. They live with us as part of our family and are considered and treated as family members, being given all the love and attention they need to be happy.

Our commitment is to find the most suitable adoptive homes for the animals we save, where they will live happily, being loved and cherished. We also facilitate international adoptions and many of our rescue dogs found forever homes in the USA, Canada and Europe.

Howl Of A Dog does not receive any government funding, our life saving work relies entirely on the support and generosity of compassionate animals lovers like you.

Thank you for helping us give neglected animals the chance to live a better and happier life!

Diana Badescu, Co-Founder
Catalin Stancu, Co-Founder

Howl Of A Dog Organization
Registration Number 33570458, Romania
E-mail: contact@howlofadog.org
Website: www.HowlOfADog.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HowlOfADog
YouTube: www.youtube.com/HowlOfADog
Instagram: www.instagram.com/howlofadog
Twitter: twitter.com/HowlOfADog

Please help these folks by donating here: https://www.howlofadog.org/make-a-donation/

Some of there rescue videos can be viewed here: https://www.howlofadog.org/howl-of-a-dog-rescue-videos/

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      Pegasus Society: rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of horses and donkeys in Israel

The Pegasus Society was founded by Zvika Tamuz of "Moked Hai" ("Living Hotline"), who has been rescuing animals since 1993.

Zvika has been taking care of horses for over twenty years. In 2004 he became aware of how prevalent the abuse of equestrian animals in Israel had become. Different animal welfare organizations began referring him cases involving these animals, knowing that he had the know-how as well as facility to care for them. News that somebody is actually rescuing and caring for neglected and abused horses and donkeys spread quickly. The National Traffic Police, the National Roads Association and municipal vets, who did not know how to help these animals, also started calling Zvika whenever they encountered a stray horse or donkey wandering alone in a place where they were endangering themselves and others (such as on busy roads).

With the price of iron going up, many residents of the occupied territories began scouring the border area of the Sharon plain, collecting (and quite often stealing) scrap iron. That process marked a new era in terms of the numbers of horses and donkeys in very poor physical condition working in the area. An influx of calls was received from people from Kfar Saba, Ra'anana, Hod HaSharon etc. – appalled by the sight of these emaciated and injured animals pulling carts piled high with very large and heavy loads of scrap iron, beaten mercilessly by their owners to keep them going, many of which simply collapsed on the street, unable to go on. The different animal welfare societies who received these calls referred them to Zvika Tamuz.

In August of 2006 Ms. Eti Altman, spokesperson of the "Let the Animals Live" organization, wrote to several government and state agencies, alerting them to the grave hardships endured by horses and donkeys in Israel and demanding that the government will take responsibility for the rescue operations and, for the expensive upkeep of these animals which, up until then, was being paid for by Zvika Tamuz out of his own pocket.

As a result of this effort, the Ministry for Environmental Protection began funding the rescue operations of donkeys and horses, but there still remained the problem of keeping and caring for them during the long rehabilitation periods they required. There was an urgent need for an organization that would take responsibility of these animals in Israel. Dozens of horses and donkeys were rescued by Zvika, at all hours of the day and night, seven days a week. No report of a horse or a donkey in distress was left unattended to. The fear that the owners would try stealing them back or harming them in any way prevented Zvika from making public the rescue stories, and he emphatically requested that the police would never divulge his name or address.

In May of 2007 a team of the International WAP (formerly WSPA) came to Israel on a visit and was taken by Ms. Rivi Meier, founder of The Society for Cats in Israel, to visit Zvika Tamuz's ranch. This surprise visit provided the basis for the founding the Pegasus Society.

In collaboration with WAP the Pegasus Society started on a new path with a clear vision of establishing an educational center and a visitors center that would convey the message of the plight of these animals and supply the tools that would enable the general public to recognize states of distress in horses and donkeys.

In the 'Susita' sanctuary run by the Pegasus Society these horses and donkeys are being rehabilitated both physically and mentally. Some of them remain at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives and become permanent residents.

One of the upcoming projects the Pegasus Society intends to launch in the near future is an educational program, in the Jewish and Arab sectors alike, with the intention of passing on the message of compassion and caring for animals to the younger generation.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyQvabcygSU

Here is there homepage: https://www.pegasus-israel.org/en/home

And to donate: https://www.pegasus-israel.org/en/home#!88

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                                                       WOLF HAVEN

Wolf Haven International is a nationally recognized wolf sanctuary that has rescued and provided a lifetime home for 250 displaced, captive-born animals since 1982. Guided 50-minute walking visits offer guests a rare, close-up view of wolves. Wolf Haven provides a variety of educational programs, participates in multi-agency Species Survival Plan programs for critically endangered wolves and advocates for wolves in the wild.

Main website: https://wolfhaven.org/

To Donate: http://store.wolfhaven.org/donate.asp

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                                                  ANIMAL AID UNLIMITED

Animal Aid Unlimited is a life-changing place for both people and animals in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Founded in 2002, our mission is to rescue and treat the un-owned street animals of Udaipur, Rajasthan, who have become ill or injured. Through their rescue we inspire the community to protect and defend the lives of all animals.

Animal Aid’s hospital has approximately 370 animals of different species with us under treatment on any given day, and our sanctuary is home to 150 animals.

Our work focuses on the vital moment when a resident of Udaipur sees an animal who needs help, and stops to help. Taking action is the pivotal experience that can change everything for good.

By providing a phone number someone can call and a shelter and hospital, we are inspiring action in the community. Action that though small at first, maybe just a phone call on our helpline, is the first step for someone on the road of becoming the person that animals desperately need.
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Our ultimate goal is equality and protection of all animals and a complete end to the use and abuse of animals. We are working for the day that every dog, donkey, cow, pig, fish and mouse can live their lives in freedom.

Based out of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, our emergency rescue team responds to calls on our help-line reporting sick or wounded animals in need of help throughout the day, every day. Animal Aid is the life-line for thousands of animals who otherwise wouldn’t stand a chance.

With the involvement of thousands of Udaipur residents who have become aware of street animal’s needs, we have rescued more than 90,000 injured or ill dogs, cows, donkeys, birds and cats to date.

Website: https://animalaidunlimited.org/what-we-do/attachment/street-animal-rescue/

To Donate: https://animalaidunlimited.org/how-to-help/donate/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnimalAidUnlimited?&ytbChannel=null

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