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The little girl who penned the letter that convinced President Obama to visit her hometown of Flint, Mich. said she was moved to send the note to make sure the President understood the city’s water crisis.

Amariyanna Copeny, 8, who goes by Mari, told TIME on Wednesday that she plans to show the commander-in-chief how the city’s lead-contaminated water supply has changed her neighbors’ lives when he visits next Wednesday.

“I’m going to tell him that the water’s bad,” the third grader said. “I wanted him to know what was going on.”

Mari, who is known around town as “Little Miss Flint” after winning a beauty pageant last year, acknowledges in her letter that her request is a long shot given the President’s busy schedule. “My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things but… even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people’s spirits,” she writes.

The youngster said she pushed through anyway “because anything is possible.” “I could change the world,” she said. “I’m excited. I never got to meet President Obama before.”

Mari has scars on her arms from the tainted water and a few rashes that are less prominent, her mother LuLu Brezzell told TIME. The little girl has participated in several marches and protests to draw awareness to the public health crisis in her hometown after her mother filled her in on what happened.

“She’s a very, very smart kid. We don’t keep anything from her. She’s very aware of what’s going on,” Brezzell said. “A lot of people hide stuff from their kids. I’m like, ‘Eh, let her know.’ I don’t want her growing up thinking the world is perfect. I want her to see that there are good things that can come out of bad things.”

“I’m proud of her,” she added.

Mari said she plans to ask Obama how hard it is to work in the White House and how many bedrooms are in his home. As for the first thing she plans to do, the little girl said: “I’m going to give him a big hug.”


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Amariyanna's letter and the president's response can be read here.


CNN’s Carol Costello invited advocate and Bernie Sanders supporter YahNe Ndgo to Newsroom this morning, ostensibly to explain her support of the “Bernie or Bust” movement, although the discussion quickly felt less like an interview and more like an intervention.

Costello began bluntly: “It’s virtually impossible for Senator Sanders to win the nomination, so why is it Bernie or Bust for you?”

You know, a lot of people, they perceive the Bernie or Bust movement as being something that’s almost like a temper tantrum for people who support Bernie,” Ndgo explained. “I think it’s really important for people to understand that Bernie or Bust is really a representation of how we feel about Hillary Clinton. We don’t like Hillary Clinton and we can’t support her.”

Costello was joined by Emily Tisch Sussman, Campaign Director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Costello asked Sussman to “convince YahNe she’s wrong.”

Sussman said “There’s no question that Sanders brought forward a lot of issues that really tapped into what a lot of people are feeling in this country right now and want to be talking about. Income inequality, affordable college, he talked about free college, money in politics. But the reality is that these are issues that she actually had in her platform, have always been a part of her platform, and she talks about it increasingly more.”

Right around this point, Costello stopped Sussman, somewhat condescendingly saying “I want to see if any of this makes sense to YahNe.”

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I think sharing this is important because WOC like YahNe and millions of others are constantly erased by the public who insists to paint Bernie supporters -- especifically those who are behind the Bernie or Bust movement -- as privileged white males. Not only this is offensive to all of those who don't fit this narrow narrative, to say their issues with Hillary are related to their "privileged white lives" is obtuse to say the least.

(Start at 34:00 for his remarks)


Full speech transcript under the cutCollapse )

Transcript Source.

A quick glance at Twitter and it appears his supporters are loving this speech and are already doing victory laps - shocking!


Bernie Sanders’ campaign started letting hundreds of field staffers go on Wednesday, hours after five states in the Northeast voted and the Vermont senator fell further behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, five people familiar with the situation told POLITICO.

It's not the campaign’s first round of departures, but it's by far the most significant, coming at a time when Sanders is signaling that he is looking to shape the Democratic platform at the party’s convention, but also insisting he will remain in the race until then.

Sanders trails Clinton by well over 300 delegates.


Staffers who were working in states that voted Tuesday were told by campaign manager Jeff Weaver to look elsewhere for work rather than continue on to the next voting states, according to people close to the campaign. The news comes as Sanders looks to spend more time in California, which is set to vote in June.

While Sanders appears set for a handful of wins in May, his path to the nomination appears all but closed off after he lost Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut on Tuesday night.

"We're 80 percent of the way through the caucuses and primaries and we make adjustments as we go along. This is a process that we’ve done before of right-sizing the campaign as we move through the calendar," said Sanders' campaign communications director Michael Briggs.

Asked if the move was coming from a posture of weakness, Briggs said instead it was "coming from a posture of reality."

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A 13-year-old boy was shot by Baltimore Police officers in East Baltimore who said he was carrying a "replica" weapon, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday evening.

Police said two detectives saw the youth with what looked like a firearm and gave chase. One of the officers fired, wounding the boy. His injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said.

The crime scene was in the area of the 1100 block of E. Baltimore St., near the McKim youth center and basketball courts. The street is closed from Lloyd Street to N. Central Avenue.

Davis said he had "no reason to believe that these officers acted inappropriately in any way," saying the officers did not know whether the weapon was a gun or a replica.

Davis also confirmed that the boy's mother was taken in for questioning. He told reporters at the scene that "she knew" that he had left their home with the replica weapon.

The shooting occurred around 4:15pm., as an event was underway in West Baltimore with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to mark the one-year anniversary of the riot that followed the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of injuries sustained in police custody. Six officers have been charged in Gray's arrest and death.

"Police officers don't take days off," Davis said when asked about the shooting occurring on the anniversary of the unrest.

This article will be updated.

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Sounds too familiar.

1

Hastert told the court that he was "deeply ashamed".
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Trigger warning: child sexual abuse...Collapse )
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OP:

"Many of his former Republican colleagues had appealed to the judge for leniency."

Of course they did. Fuckers.

This is just horrible.


Presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) intends to name former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate if he succeeds in winning the GOP nomination, multiple sources reported Wednesday.

Cruz’s move is seen as a last-minute gambit in hopes of shaking up the race and blocking front-runner Donald Trump, who easily swept five primary states across the Northeast on Tuesday.

Fiorina, who herself ran for president as a Republican earlier this cycle before suspending her campaign and endorsing Cruz, has been a visible surrogate for the Texas conservative on the campaign trail. She has targeted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, often trotting out topics, like former President Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs, that Cruz himself has not mentioned.

Fiorina was spotted in Indianapolis on Wednesday, hours before a scheduled Cruz campaign rally there.

Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe earlier this week sought to snuff out speculation about a possible vice presidential pick, tweeting that the campaign had simply “narrowed” things down to a short list. Cruz followed suit, stating that his campaign had just begun the process of vetting potential candidates. A serious vetting process, however, involves months of work to properly scrutinize a candidate’s history and background in preparation for the general election.

Gary Aminoff, a member of Cruz’s California “leadership team,” tweeted on Wednesday that the senator was tapping Fiorina as his running mate. Josh McElveen, political director at WMUR, a New Hampshire news organization, also tweeted Wednesday that “sources confirm“ Cruz intends to run alongside Fiorina if he gets the party’s nod. Politico reported the information shortly after.

The timing of the news, a day after more resounding primary victories for Trump, suggests a last-ditch effort to wrest the narrative from the real estate mogul ahead of the Indiana primary. The May 3 contest is seen as one of the final opportunities to deny Trump the delegates he needs to secure the nomination.

It remains to be seen whether Fiorina, a California businesswoman who already failed once to win over GOP primary voters, can tip the scales enough for Cruz to dominate in Indiana and secure most or all of its 57 delegates. Trump has committed major resources and campaign staff there, reflecting the significance of the primary. A recent CBS/YouGov poll showed Trump leading Cruz by five points, 40 percent to 35 percent.

Fiorina, who has never held public office, badly lost in 2010 to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in a Senate race after a barrage of negative press due to her role at the helm of tech giant HP, from which she was fired in 2005. During her tenure at the company, HP laid off nearly 30,000 employees and stock prices fell some 42 percent.

Last year, while still a candidate for the GOP nomination, Fiorina sparred with Trump after he mocked her physical appearance. She has also gone after Trump for mocking a reporter with a congenital joint condition.

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Donald Trump finally broke through the crass ceiling.

Trump’s campaign is in turmoil, oh, and he’s groping for a grown-up message. Trump trails in every single head-to-head matchup against every single Democrat. Trump won’t read a briefing paper, won’t pass up an opportunity to heckle a chump, won’t use decent grammar, a competent hairdresser or a polysyllabic speechwriter.

Yet the Tangerine Tornado keeps winning and winning, by huger and huger margins – shattering the Never-Trump army and making mockery of the shotgun marriage between chastened foes Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Whether he’ll hit the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before Cleveland, nobody knows, but the developer-reality-star-frontrunner did something in five big races Tuesday night that he’s never done before: He consolidated the GOP base behind him with a succession of slam-dunk wins that will make it hard for his opponents to argue he’s not the party’s legit choice.

In most of his previous wins, he struggled to break 50 percent – on Tuesday he won with 60 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, a semi-battleground in November that he’ll need to win if he’s to avoid the loserland fates of Goldwater, Mondale and McGovern.

Oh, and Hillary Clinton did pretty well too. Here are five takeaways.

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Bob McDonnell's strange bedfellows

The Supreme Court showdown over the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has done something quite rare in Washington these days: enticed Republican and Democratic politicians to make common cause.
As the justices prepare to hear McDonnell’s appeal on Wednesday, lawmakers, activists and advocates from across the spectrum have rallied to the former Republican governor’s defense, warning that federal prosecutors are wielding outsize control over the political system and seeking to criminalize the kind of routine meetings and perks that have long been arranged for donors.

The optics of McDonnell’s case are simply dreadful. He and his wife, Maureen, accepted more than $175,000 in gifts from businessman Jonnie Williams as he was seeking state help to promote a dietary supplement. Jurors who convicted McDonnell saw photos of the governor showing off a Rolex watch from the businessman and looking relaxed while cruising around in a Ferrari borrowed from Williams.

Despite all that, McDonnell has mustered an impressive and broad phalanx of support, ranging from former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig to John Ashcroft and Michael Mukasey, who served as attorneys general under former President George W. Bush. Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) is on board with ex-Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), as are a slew of state lawmakers from both parties. Also in McDonnell’s camp are longtime political figures who see eye to eye on almost nothing, such as former NAACP chief Benjamin Jealous and former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

whhut do you mean we shouldn"t get cool stuff?Collapse )

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/strange-bedfellows-in-mcdonnell-case-222445

cry me a damn river about your "gifts" and "friends" while you sit in your ivory tower
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