ONTD Political

650-year-old Polish oak is Tree of the Year

An ancient tree in Poland named the Oak Józef is the 2017 winner of the European Tree of the Year award.

The competition, started in 2011 as a way to highlight the significance of old trees, this year featured candidates from 16 countries and the participation of hundreds of thousands of people. The final vote in particular was a hard-fought campaign, with the Oak Józef narrowly beating out the beloved 500-year-old Brimmon Oak located in Wales.

Ironically, the United Kingdom, which has a seemingly unending list of beautiful ancient trees, has never won the top prize.

As for the Oak Józef, this majestic English oak has been a symbol of pride in Poland for generations; even currency from the early 20th century bears its image.

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mod am trying to re-submit for whatever reason it is working for me? wonder what is wrong
First Robot to Become President Will Break Glass Ceiling.

Black Americans Are Working More—With Little to Show for It
Despite working more every year, earnings gaps aren’t improving.

The discrepancies in earnings, wealth and other markers of financial success between black and white Americans are stark. Black Americans, for instance hold much less wealth and have higher rates of unemployment. But perhaps more unsettling than the gaps themselves is the fact that even as many black Americans make progress that should help bridge the divide, such as by working more hours, they have yet to see tangible or enduring economic advancement.
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How Many Jobs Do Robots Destroy? Answers Emerge

But this isn’t the industrial revolution.

How many jobs do robots – whether mechanical robots or software – destroy? Do these destroyed jobs get replaced by the Great American Economy with better jobs? That’s the big discussion these days.
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Robots v experts: are any human professions safe from automation?
Technology already outperforms humans in many areas, but surely we would never accept machines as teachers, doctors or judges? Don’t be so sure

The main themes of our book, The Future of the Professions, can be put simply: machines are becoming increasingly capable and so are taking on more and more tasks.
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BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- An otter was released into the wild in Barrington on Monday after it was implanted with a chip that allows for its activities and behavior to be tracked.

While otters have not been seen in the Chicago area for more than 100 years, this otter is significant because he is the third otter found in Illinois in the last year.

"It's an indication that the habitat has improved and that our environment is going in the right direction," said Chris Anchor, a wildlife biologist with the Cook County Forest Preserve.

The otter - a North American river otter -- was released at Crabtree Nature Center in northwest suburban Barrington where it was recently captured. Veterinarians at the Brookfield Zoo implanted the monitoring chip.

Source has video and slide show.

Sorry about all the edits. I was trying to do this on my tablet, and it wasn't working, so I'm on the computer now. *Crossing my fingers!*
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has apologized for his website’s role in spreading a fake news story that inspired an armed man to storm a pizzeria in search of abused children in December.

Jones, who operates the website Infowars, had suggested that Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C., was hiding child sex slaves in its basement as part of a pedophilia ring supported by top Democratic politicians.

No evidence ever emerged that such activities took place — the restaurant doesn’t even have a basement, as gunman Edgar Welch found out when he searched the premises. Jones cited government emails released by WikiLeaks that some people suggested contained “code words for human trafficking and/or pedophilia.”Read more...Collapse )


I hope there is some legal recourse for this restaurant owner. Posting that lame ass apology doesn't begin to make up for the behavior of that disgusting pos (Jones), and he shouldn't be able to just walk away from the whole thing scot free.

ETA: Just to add an extra twist to this, I found out that a close relative of mine is one of the people who has been instrumental in spreading this crap (along with other fake news, like Hillary Clinton having Parkinson's). He was on 60 Minutes last night talking about/defending his actions. I am so ashamed! I wish there was a way to have all the DNA extracted from my chromosomes that matches his, because I do NOT want to be related to this person. UGH.
After a contentious start to Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination hearings, Senate Democrats are struggling with what the New York Times calls “two options: Get out of the way or get run over.”

But Democrats have a third option, one that should attract moderate or “centrist” Democrats as well as more liberal senators: Fight.

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, received some criticism for introducing Gorsuch to the Senate at the start of today’s hearing. Bennet’s action was defensible: in normal times, it’s Senate protocol for senators to introduce nominees from their home state. Colorado’s other senator, Republican Cory Gardner, also introduced Gorsuch.

But these are not normal times, and Democrats need to recognize that. Donald Trump, and the Republican Party in general, have succeeded by ignoring “normal” behavior and the protocols of the past.

Nobody’s suggesting that Democrats should behave like Republicans, but it’s no longer “moderate” to pretend that the rules haven’t changed. In today’s world, a vote for Gorsuch is a vote for extremism over moderation.

Here are five reasons why all Democrats should vote against this nomination.Read more...Collapse )

Source: HuffPost

With the hearings over and Schumer calling for a filibuster, things should get interesting this week. After reading this article (and some of the links), I'm more opposed to this dude getting confirmed than I was already. Whatever one may think about the filibuster idea or the likelihood of blocking Gorsuch's appointment, I think it's good to be aware of all the reasons why he would be a very bad addition to the scotus.
Invisible Hand Found in Bed with Slave-masters. Shocks Helpless Corporate Overlods. Powerless Corporations Promise Not to Do It Again.

What do slaveholders think?
It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?

I liked Aanan as soon as I met him. My field notes read: ‘What a nice guy, you can just see from his face.’ Open-faced and conversational, he was enthusiastic about the explosive growth in his quarry operations and excited to show me around. Together, we toured the open mines where his workers carve into the earth, producing boulders that are broken down into gravel by smaller labourers, often women and children. Together with his workers, Aanan laughed at my efforts to repeat the process for myself, the sledge held high over my head before arcing down, momentarily disappearing into shards and dust.
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Judge Tosses Nestlé Suit Over Child Slavery In Africa

A federal judge in California dismissed a long-running lawsuit against Nestlé over claims the global chocolate manufacturer facilitated the use of forced child labor in Africa, saying the case by foreign plaintiffs over foreign allegations didn't belong in a U.S. court.
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Ads Praising Obamacare Repeal Air Hours After GOP Bill Failed

Republicans were humiliated twice on Friday. Once, for failing to replace the Barack Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act. Then a second time, for bragging that they did on national television just hours after they failed.

Ads that aired that night during national basketball games showered a handful of congressional Republicans with praise for “keeping their promise” on replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In reality, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pulled their “American Health Care Act” just minutes before a scheduled vote.

“No more big government penalties or job killing mandates!” a narrator in the videos says. “New tax credits to make insurance cheaper, and real protections for people with preexisting conditions.”

The videos feature stock footage and upbeat music. The ads do not mention that 24 million people would have lost health care under Trump’s plan.

but how could president business be bad he makes everything including rigged voting WAITCollapse )

source is huffpuff the magic dragon

The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has launched an investigation into the Trump administration’s decision to pull ads encouraging people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act during the enrollment period. By shutting down such outreach, the action could be seen as a stealth way to starve the health plan without legislative authority, critics say.

President Donald Trump’s administration said the ads were a waste of money, but Democrats have characterized the action as sabotage.Read more...Collapse )

Source: HuffPost

Chuck Schumer is prepared to push the Senate into a nuclear confrontation over the Supreme Court.

In an extensive interview with POLITICO Thursday, the Senate minority leader made his most definitive statement to date that Democrats will deny Neil Gorsuch the 60 votes he needs to clear a Senate filibuster and ascend to the Supreme Court. Dismissing the notion of a deal to confirm Gorsuch floated by some members of his caucus this week, Schumer all but declared that Donald Trump's nominee will not receive the requisite eight Democratic votes — and that it will be up to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as to whether to try to blow up the filibuster to get Gorsuch through.

“There’s been an almost seismic shift in the caucus [against Gorsuch]," Schumer said as the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings wrapped up Thursday. "He did not win anybody over with his testimony.”Read more...Collapse )

Source: Politico

Okay, so who put all that starch in the Dems' backbones...or at least in Schumer's? Wherever it came from, I'm glad to see it. Think how delicious it would be if Gorsuch's confirmation goes down in flames right on the heels of the Trumpcare debacle? The orange hellbeast won't be able to stand it! Hey, GOP, this is what you get for refusing to even consider Garland's confirmation. Ain't karma a bitch?
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