Words did not do justice to Fabian’s performance

In an earlier post, I described how Department of Justice lawyer Sarah Fabian tried to defend the awful conditions that detained migrant children were being kept in, being denied soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, showers, beds, and cloth blankets tin very cold rooms with the lights permanently on, to an incredulous panel of three justice in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. There is now video of her exchanges with the justices and it is well worth watching as she tries to escape from the close questioning of the justices as to what children in captivity are entitled to.
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Musings on the first Democratic debate

I watched the first of the two debates involving ten of the twenty people who qualified for it. Given the large number, the two-hour time allowed for an average of about ten minutes per candidate and each was given just one minute to respond to questions. So it was unreasonable to expect a detailed examination of candidate positions since they all largely agreed on how to respond to the issues that were raised, with the possible exception of John Delaney who seemed more like a Republican, touting his credentials as a businessman.
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When video and audio do not match

I recently watched an old French film with English subtitles. But the timing was very slightly off in that the English words appeared a beat or two after they were spoken. If there were gaps in the dialogue, then one could keep the recently disappeared video image in mind while waiting for the translation to appear. But in quick exchanges, the words that one character spoke would appear when the other person was responding. It was extraordinary how this very slight time lag made it very difficult to follow. My brain found it very difficult to make the rapid adjustments necessary to restore continuity.
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Another upset victory over the Democratic establishment

After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a shock primary victory over long-time Democratic establishment incumbent Joe Crowley for the congressional seat in Queens, NY, the party leaders were determined not to let themselves be blindsided again. So when Tiffany Cabán, described as a “31 year old, Democratic Socialist, queer, Latinx public defender”, challenged the party machine candidate Melinda Katz for the position of district attorney on a progressive platform, they pulled out all the stops. And yet yesterday, Cabán won.
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“Suffer little children” does not mean what the Trump administration thinks it means

Yet another damning report has been issued by a group of layers and doctors who had visited a large detention facility for children run by the CBP and described what they saw.

A two-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.

Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the two-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.
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Rich white men play by different rules

Over in the UK Boris Johnson, the man strongly favored to win the contest for the Conservative party leadership and thus take over from Theresa May as prime minister, has found himself in an awkward situation when neighbors called the police because they heard angry words and loud noises from the apartment where his girlfriend was living. Johnson is apparently estranged from his wife and was staying with her. The police came and then left without taking any action after being reassured that everything was fine.
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Get a job, you wastrels!

Once again, we see an example of the British royal family living high off the hog at taxpayer expense.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are under attack for extravagance on Tuesday after the annual publication of the royal accounts showed they have already spent £2.4m ($3m) of public money renovating their new home, Frogmore Cottage—and work on the property is still not complete.

Courtiers have moved to defend the spending, saying that a significant portion of the money would have needed to be spent anyway to preserve what is, they argue, an important part of the country’s built heritage.

However, critics dismissed this argument, saying the house, which was previously divided up into five individual staff flats, was only converted at such huge expense into a single home because Harry and Meghan turned their noses up at the prospect of living in Kate and William’s shadow at Kensington Palace.

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A good idea from Beto O’Rourke

The knock against this candidate for the Democratic nomination has been that he lacks substance and a proven record and that he is merely coasting on his narrow loss to Ted Cruz in the Texas senate race. But he recently put forward on interesting idea and one that should be pushed even further than he envisages.

Beto O’Rourke on Monday called for Congress to enact a “war tax” any time the country goes to war, with the proceeds going to care for veterans of the conflict.

If elected, O’Rourke said he would push Congress to enact a law creating a new trust fund for veterans’ health care for every war the U.S. fights. Each fund would be paired with a war tax, which O’Rourke’s campaign said would be “implemented on a progressive basis.”

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TV review: Black Mirror: Season 5 (no spoilers)

Netflix recently released the three episodes of season 5 of the acclaimed series Black Mirror. As people who have seen earlier seasons know, this show takes a somewhat dark look at the impact of technology on our lives. It is usually set a little in the future and imagines advances on current technology that on the surface seem benign and even a boon to people but turn out to have unexpected negative consequences. In particular it focuses on the kind of technology that is ubiquitous, such as social media and AI.
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