Trump doubles down on wrong Dorian information : MSNBC

The president on Sunday tweeted out wrong information about Hurricane Dorian, saying the storm could hit Alabama. The tweet was then refuted by the National Weather Service, and then Trump again took to Twitter to comment.


Source: Trump doubles down on wrong Dorian information : MSNBC

A rail network for everyone | New Economics Foundation

This report looks in considerable detail at the economic and strategic case that underlies the planned construction of new high-speed rail lines between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds (HS2). It also looks at how the benefits of investing in the nation’s rail network could be shared more widely across the UK. However, in the debate about HS2, there is only one set of questions that is commonly asked: Should HS2 proceed, be postponed, be cancelled, or at least be re-routed?

The New Economics Foundation’s answer is linked to the evidence. Though HS2 is alluring as a project and enjoys cross-party support, the strategic case that underpins it is unconvincing and leaves the scheme looking like an expensive answer in search of a question.

It is impossible to ignore the reality: Contracts for phase 1 are soon to be let and the government may have already spent more than £4 billion on the project. Furthermore, judging HS2’s efficacy is made more difficult in the absence of a wider rail, transport, or economic strategy, and against a backdrop of poor management and coordination across the network. There is also a lack of available detailed data about passenger movements because it is collected by private enterprises and therefore ​commercially confidential’.

It is also important that the starting point of any debate about HS2 be the right one. Too often reports arguing against HS2 have started from the principle that it is too expensive and that it would be better to invest in cheaper infrastructure or not invest at all. This is the wrong point of departure as our railways suffer from massive under-investment in every UK nation and region. Putting that right will cost very significant sums of government capital. But in a time when the government needs to rediscover its fiscal role and invest more in productive assets, such as transport, that should not be a major barrier.

The problem with HS2, however, is that it is the product of decades of government retrenchment from the fiscal realm and strategic planning, and of a fragmented rail network, with multiple private sector and public stakeholders. It is also the product of an economy in crisis, an economy desperately trying to unhook itself from London-centricity and all its malcontents, but actually compounding the problem by starting the project in London.

Following a shambolic 18 months on the railways, with disastrous timetable changes, the wrong kind of weather, and the cancellation of planned electrification schemes, the government has launched a ​root and branch’ review. However, the review is missing some key roots and branches, two of them being HS2 and the latest package of maintenance and upgrades agreed with Network Rail. These have been deemed out of scope but should be included.

There are two fundamental problems with the railways in the UK that, in the interests of ensuring immediate and long-term value for public money, need addressing before the much-needed major investment is committed. The first is the absence of an overarching rail or transport strategy, which leaves HS2 looking like the solution to a problem that has not yet been defined. It is what many in the rail industry call an engineering-led project rather than something that enjoys strong strategic or economic justification. The second fundamental problem is the chaotic ownership and management structures that will almost certainly lead to the squandering of investment capital.


Source: A rail network for everyone | New Economics Foundation

Rudy G. Drives Bus over Trump Campaigners, and They Noticed. Now it’s Circular-Firing-Squad-Time : Daily Kos

The habit of pitting his employees against each other, has been a dog-eared page in Donald Trump’s playbook for decades.  He has bragged about using this tactic to find out who’s loyal to him, and who isn’t.

Plus, he’s a bit of a sadist at heart.  He appears to enjoy hurting people.  Putting them in their place.  Making them into losers.  And………….watching them hurt each other.

Trouble is, this tactic doesn’t pan out so well, when you’re all being investigated by a Special Counsel’s Office of the United States Department of Justice.

When that’s happening, it’s every man, woman, and toddler for themselves.

And Rudy Giuliani just poured a gasoline tanker full of flammables onto the situation yesterday

Last night Rudy Giuliani dramatically shifted his defense of the President, claiming that he’d never denied there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. That’s obviously false. He claimed it a million times. The point though is what he’s now claiming, or rather unwilling to claim. Giuliani now only claims that the President himself did not collude with Russia. Indeed, he makes a further, related claim that the only potential crime would be if President Trump was personally involved in the hacking of DNC servers and email accounts or paid those who did.


Source: Rudy G. Drives Bus over Trump Campaigners, and They Noticed. Now it’s Circular-Firing-Squad-Time : Daily Kos

Catholic Nun Explains Pro-Life In A Way That Will Stun Many (Especially Republican Lawmakers) : Daily Kos

In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of many in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers who continue to introduce/pass restrictive misogynist laws against woman’s reproductive rights. At the same time, the GOP works to shut down women’s health clinics, with a special vengeance towards Planned Parenthood (#StandWithPP). You don’t see these Right Wing anti-choice extremists adopting children from unplanned pregnancies or putting funds into sex education.


Source: Catholic Nun Explains Pro-Life In A Way That Will Stun Many (Especially Republican Lawmakers) : Daily Kos

Trump Told Soldier’s Widow He Knew ‘What He Signed Up For,’ Congresswoman Says – NBC News

Family members of a U.S. service member killed in Niger were “astonished” by the president’s remarks, according to a Florida congresswoman.

Source: Trump Told Soldier’s Widow He Knew ‘What He Signed Up For,’ Congresswoman Says – NBC News

A Muslim activist referenced jihad and the right freaked out because they don’t know what it means

Right-wing bloggers and writers are up in arms over recent comments made by Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, saying she called for a “jihad” against the Trump administration.

Her detractors, however, don’t appear to understand what jihad means.

The controversy began on Thursday after news broke that Sarsour, who gained national recognition for helping organizing the Women’s March on Washington, delivered a speech to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) over the weekend. When describing how she plans to resist Donald Trump’s administration and attacks on the Islamic community, she articulated her activist work in religious terms — using the word jihad.

Below is a transcript of the comments in question, provided for full context.

You can count on me every single day to use my voice to stand up, not only to people outside our community who are oppressing our communities, but those inside our community who aid and abet the oppressors outside our community.

There is a man who once asked our beloved prophet … has said to him, “What is the best form of jihad or struggle?”

And our beloved prophet … said to him, “A word of truth in front of a tyrant or leader, that is the best form of jihad.” I hope, that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts us as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or the other side of the world, but here in the United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reining in the White House.

Sarsour was clearly using the term jihad to promote speaking truth to power. But within hours of the speech, conservative outlets such as Fox News Insider, Conservative Review, and Breitbart began reporting on the speechusing headlines that did not contextualize the term, such as “Linda Sarsour calls for Muslims to wage ‘jihad’ against Trump.” Fox News Insider did explain her use of the term

Source: A Muslim activist referenced jihad and the right freaked out because they don’t know what it means

My Aspergers Child: Helping Kids on the Autism Spectrum to “Fit-In” with Their Peer Group

Young people with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger’s (AS) usually want to fit-in and have relationships with friends and classmates, but they just don’t know how to do so effectively. They lack an understanding of conventional social rules and often “appear” to lack empathy. In order to improve socialization, these “special needs” kids need to learn and focus on socialization from an “intellectual” standpoint. Things that come naturally for children without autism need concentration by those with it.
The ability to navigate everyday social interactions presents significant challenges for kids on the autism spectrum. Social situations that present difficulties can range from the fairly simple (e.g., engaging in a conversation with a peer) to the extremely complex (e.g., determining whether a peer who seems friendly is actually harmful in some way).
Examples of important social skills to be taught to HFA and AS children include (but are not limited to):



Source: My Aspergers Child: Helping Kids on the Autism Spectrum to “Fit-In” with Their Peer Group