[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Overnight, White House communications director Tony “Mooch” Scaramucci threatened to sic the FBI on chief of staff Reince Priebus for supposedly stealing documents that turned out to be in the public domain. That kind of royal screw up might be expected to produce a bit of contrition, but that would be back in the world where people still have some modicum of dignity or some scrap of humility.

Instead, when Scaramucci learned that Donald Trump’s dining arrangements had appeared on the internet, he went … insane seems too kind. As told by Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker, Scaramucci called him up to demand the scalp of whoever leaked this vital information.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. ... “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

Again, the contents of this “major catastrophe” were the names of Trump’s dinner companions. But Scaramucci wasn’t done. Not by a long shot.

“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said.

Scaramucci still wasn’t done. And his attack on Priebus came with Donald Trump’s approval.

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_20292672_10155605929792708_6373236653220527571_n

On July 6, a 12-year-old Snow Leopard named Helen gave birth to a female cub at Woodland Park Zoo.

The new cub is the first offspring for mom and her 12-year-old mate, Dhirin (pronounced as dir-in). Helen has given birth to two previous litters, with a different mate.

The mom and cub are currently in an off-view maternity den, to allow bonding and proper nursing, in a quieter setting. Zoo staff has been monitoring the mother and cub through a closed-circuit system to watch for normal behaviors.

The Zoo anticipates putting the cub and mom in the outdoor exhibit in late September. Woodland Park Zoo will be providing updates about the cub and will host a public naming via their blog and Facebook page.

As part of the exemplary animal care and health program for the Zoo’s thousand-plus animals, animal health staff performed a neonatal exam on July 20, the first time the newborn cub was handled. At that time, the cub weighed 2.6 pounds.

“Our overall assessment is the cub appears to be healthy. Her eyelids are beginning to open—one eye is already open and one remains closed—the eyelids normally open around two weeks. Her belly was full of milk, which means the cub is nursing and being nourished,” said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health.

Veterinarians will perform health check-ups every couple of weeks for weight monitoring, vaccinations, and critical blood and fecal sampling.

“Helen’s track record of providing excellent maternal skills to her past cubs continues with this cub. She’s nurturing her cub very well, they’re bonding and the cub appears to be progressing normally,” said Deanna DeBo, an animal collection manager at Woodland Park Zoo.

2_20292667_10155605929777708_3588059852179432380_n

3_2017_07_20 snow leopard kitten-1wm

4_2017_07_20 snow leopard kitten-5wmPhoto Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The cub’s parents, Helen and Dhirin, were paired under the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of Snow Leopards. Helen has lived at Woodland Park Zoo since 2008, and Dhirin arrived from Oklahoma City Zoo in 2014.

Cubs are born helpless, with their eyes closed; for several weeks they rely on their mothers for nutrition. To minimize disturbance, staff have minimal physical contact with the new family. Since Snow Leopards are solitary animals in the wild, the father lives separately from the cub; guests can see Dhirin in the Snow Leopard Exhibit.

Snow Leopards are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. The species is a moderately large cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, including in Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. According to the Seattle-based Snow Leopard Trust, the population of these endangered big cats in the wild is estimated to be between 3,920 and 6,390.

Woodland Park Zoo has long been a conservation partner with the Snow Leopard Trust; the two organizations are partnering with Kyrgyzstan's State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry to protect the Snow Leopards of the Tian Shan Mountains. Research cameras set up in the Sarychat Ertash reserve allow researchers to monitor the area's Snow Leopard population, which they estimate to be around 18 cats.

Woodland Park Zoo has been caring for Snow Leopards since the zoo’s first Snow Leopards arrived in 1972 from the USSR. Under the Snow Leopard SSP, 35 cubs have been born at the Zoo and have helped diversify the genetic pool of the managed population.

“This is a significant birth for Snow Leopards in zoos in North America and around the world. These majestic cats are important conservation ambassadors for their species in the wild. By experiencing these cats here, zoo guests and the community can become emotionally connected and become inspired to learn more about how to save this endangered cat that is struggling to survive in its range countries,” said Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, a curator at Woodland Park Zoo.

To help ensure the future of Snow Leopards in their native range, the zoo asks the community to support the zoo and the Snow Leopard Trust, and pledge never to buy or sell illegal animal products on the black market.

The Snow Leopard Trust was created in 1981 by late Woodland Park Zoo staff member, Helen Freeman. She is also the namesake of Helen, the mother of the newborn cub. Through innovative programs, effective partnerships, and the latest science, the SLT is saving these endangered cats and improving the lives of people who live in the snow leopard countries of Central Asia.

5_2017_07_20 snow leopard kitten-2wm

6_2017_07_20 snow leopard kitten-4wm

Field camera shots of Snow Leopards in Tian Shan Mountains/Kyrgyzstan :

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8_Kyrgyzstan-Cat-Web-2017-2

[syndicated profile] anitaborg_feed

Posted by jessicap

When Susan Fowler revealed that Uber failed to properly address her claims of sexual harassment, more people began realize the need to address the toxic work culture within the tech industry. Elizabeth Ames, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Alliances, and Programs at the Anita Borg Institute, discusses how companies can create more diverse and inclusive workplaces in her article “Widespread Sexual Harassment Allegations — Time for the Tech Industry to Shape Up.”

“The tech industry lives and dies by innovation and disruption, and it’s about time we applied the same philosophy to the culture as we do to the product,” she writes. She discusses the benefits of a diverse workforce, and offers solutions such as the Anita Borg Institute’s Gender Partnership program, which helps companies address gender bias.

Read the full article on TriplePundit.

The post It’s Time to Disrupt the Tech Industry’s Culture appeared first on Anita Borg Institute.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

With old and busted things like the rollback of LGBT rights and voter suppression becoming all the GOP rage lately (and even federal-level Democrats gathering in a small Virginia town that’s changed precious little since my dad’s childhood there in the 1950s-’60s to deliver a new party message), July 2017 is beginning to feel like a one big rift in the space-time continuum.

But there’s always new hotness to be had in statehouses. And don’t worry—it’ll all make sense. I’m a professional.

Quantum Leap in the Granite State: On Tuesday, Democrats scored yet another special election victory. Holding a seat—even one as swingy as New Hampshire Senate District 16—isn’t as sexy as flipping one (or two, or four), but the Republican registration advantage, the fact that the seat favored Clinton by under 100 votes and went for both Gov. Sununu and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte just last fall, and the GOP candidate’s name recognition all made this an uphill climb for Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh.

Campaign Action

Excellent fact! Cavanaugh’s win on Tuesday marks the first time a Democrat has won a state Senate special election in New Hampshire since 1984.

  • This Democratic special election win was the 21st out of 28 contested specials held since Trump’s election in November in which Democrats over-performed Clinton’s numbers in these same districts. 

Most triumphant! Check out why Tuesday’s Democratic victory should have Republicans nationwide very, very frightened.

I'm an Australian, born and bred

Jul. 28th, 2017 07:53 am
tielan: (aussie aussie aussie)
[personal profile] tielan
I have decided no more Ms. Nice Lady. I am an Australian born Australian, and if someone wants to know “where did you really come from?” I am going to ask them if they’re prepared to unload their history as an Australian-born child of immigrants, or else tell me about their Indigenous Australian ancestry.

I am done with microaggressions, even the unintentional ones.

No, you don’t get to ask me what’s my background and then say that yours is “Australian”. Mine is Australian. My mother is an Australian immigrant. My father is an Australian born. I am an Australian born.

I am an Australian-born Australian.

I am no more an immigrant than any white person in this damn country and I am going to FIGHT this definition all the way, calling people racist outright if necessary.
[syndicated profile] anitaborg_feed

Posted by jessicap

Wanting to start her own business, Fatima Yusuf quit her management consulting job and moved to New York City. She immersed herself in the design and tech scenes to co-found Tressle, a home furnishing and decor platform. Although she was successful with her startup, Fatima recognizes that many other women entrepreneurs face barriers such as a lack of support and funding. That’s why she promotes organizations that work to increase diversity in the tech field.

“I am a big fan of the Anita Borg Institute and the work they do to promote women in tech globally,” Fatima said. “Their studies and initiatives have been cited regularly to demonstrate the impact of diverse teams on innovation and overall organizational performance.”

Learn more about how you can get involved with the Anita Borg Institute.

Read the full AlleyWatch article.

Image credit: AlleyWatch

The post From Creating a Startup to Promoting Diversity appeared first on Anita Borg Institute.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ_, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) all really, really don't want the skinny Trumpcare bill they are going to vote on in the coming hours to become law. They really, really hate it. They just held a press conference to say so.
 
Johnson says "'virtually nothing we’re doing in any of these bills' are keeping their promise to fix the problems with health care." Graham called it a "fraud," "disaster," "pig in a poke" and also "half-assed." McCain, again, said they needed some bipartisanship here.

So they're all voting against it, right? Wrong.

This whole exercise was to say that they are going to vote for this bill just as long as House Speaker Paul Ryan promises he won't let it become law. They are demanding a bipartisan conference committee with input from all the governors. And what will they take as a promise?

x

Yeah. Here's the thing. The Senate has no, none, nada, zip control over what the House does. Not even John McCain gets to tell Paul Ryan what to do. His promise will be at least as empty as any promise ever made by Mitch McConnell. Emptier than the deepest black hole in heavens.

If they mean this, if they want to have input and they don’t want this bill to become law, they have only ONE option. Vote against the damned thing.

JAM THE PHONE LINES. Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121 and tell them repealing Obamacare is SICK, MEAN and CRUEL.  (After you call, please tell us how it went.)

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

As readers of Daily Kos Elections knew within less than two hours of the closing of the polls Tuesday night, Democrats denied the New Hampshire GOP a much-coveted victory in a special election for one of the state’s 24 Senate seats. Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh, a Manchester city alderman, scored an impressive 55-44 victory over David Boutin, who held this very seat for the Republicans from 2010 until his retirement in 2016. That win winnowed the GOP’s margin in the chamber back to a 14-10 advantage.

Republicans, eager to expand their Senate majority to a far safer 15-9 spread in advance of the 2018 midterms, managed to coax Boutin back into the political arena in the hopes that he could reclaim this seat, which went to the Democrats for the first time in decades last year on the strength of the candidacy of teacher/coach Scott McGilvray. 

On paper, this is the type of special election that the GOP should have claimed—indeed, it’s noteworthy that WMUR’s John DiStaso has described Cavanaugh’s win as “an upset,”  despite the fact that the race was nominally a “hold” for the Democrats. The district is swingy at the federal level (Romney claimed it by just a point in 2012, while Clinton claimed it by a fraction of a point in 2016). If anything, the 16th district tilts toward the GOP downballot.

If there was a special election that the Republicans could’ve yanked from the Democrats and offered a Kevin Bacon-esque “Remain calm … all is well!” moment for the red team, this was it. But it didn’t happen, and that should make Republicans very nervous.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

The good news inside the White House is that the efforts to defend rookie communications director Anthony Scaramucci from his own thick-headed stupidity come naturally to the rest of his new team. Kellyanne Conway, for example, has spent her entire Trump-attached career defending thickheaded stupidity in the White House. Adding the Mooch to her list of charges is not a great stretch for her.

"I think the most important part of Anthony's tweet was when he talked about FBI and DOJ. He's making clear that even though the documents are eventually procurable publicly, that somebody doesn't want him here, and somebody is trying to get in his way and scare him off from working here, which is a huge mistake.

Scaramucci spent last evening freaking out that his public financial disclosure had been made public and demanding the FBI investigate that. He is not a bright man, and by far the worst character on the show. Kellyanne Conway, however, wants you to know that Scaramucci was just trying to be proactive. He's not dumb, he's just paranoid beyond reason. You can see why Trump has taken a liking to him.

So, of course, the Mooch here saw the release of his own public financial disclosures (he should have been tipped off by the "public" and "disclosure" parts) as a Conspiracy Against Himself, Personally. But Conway wants you to know that the real problem here is: why do her fellow fascist fuckwits have to fill out paperwork at all?

Photos from Tuesday

Jul. 27th, 2017 05:03 pm
fadedwings: (Kate Hawkeye sunglasses)
[personal profile] fadedwings
I'm catching up on my backlog of photos to edit and post!

I heard and then saw a female downy woodpecker

woodpecker

there is another photo of her under the cut and then a few of a cute little tufted titmouse, another robin, and a squirrel on the move.Read more... )

All photos can be seen in a larger view if you click on them (on flickr).

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:05 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
Door number one: A class in restoration ecology!

Door number two: A class in creative writing and social justice!

Door number three: Take them both and try not to fall into an overworked panic!

... I feel like not taking that social justice class is a thing I'm going to regret, though. I wonder if I can still get a friend to drop it for me.

(It's full, but I know one or two people who are thinking of dropping.)
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

The wheels are falling off this thing we call Congress over Trumpcare, and it's all going to come down to whether anyone can trust Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Which means we, as a nation, are fucked. At the lunch today in which Senate Republicans were supposed to be writing the next iteration of the bill—the one that leadership said would pass tonight—the discussion instead was "focused on whether they can be assured House won't pass skinny, will conference. Senate doesn't want it to become law."

Just let that sink in: they don't want the bill they are about to pass—the bill that they promised was coming for the last fucking seven years—to become law. From what it looks like, McConnell made that promise to them.

x

Other senators are making big noises about making sure that the bill they all apparently intend to pass does not become law. Sen. Lindsey Graham  says he'll work with the House Freedom Caucus to make sure that it doesn't happen—because he trusts the House maniacs more than McConnell (and as if the maniacs would ever, ever work in good faith with Lindsey Graham). Arizona Sen. John McCain says he needs more than a promise from the House, which is pretty meaningless. If McConnell "promises" him anything, McCain will go along with it just so they can get to his pet project, the defense authorization bill. McConnell will make and break that promise without a single look back. They all know it, but they're all pretending otherwise.

Meanwhile, the House is preparing to—guess what—pass the bill that the Senate is expected to send to them in the next few days.

x

When you're talking about the House, "martial law" means the Speaker has the power to move a bill from the Rules Committee to the House floor on the same day. That sure doesn't sound like a House leadership planning on going to conference. And it sure sounds like McConnell is leading his idiot sheep to the slaughter.

JAM THE PHONE LINES. Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121 and tell them repealing Obamacare is SICK, MEAN and CRUEL.  (After you call, please tell us how it went.)

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Many college students work during the summer for extra cash. Marlin Gipson, of Houston, Texas, is no exception. The 20-year-old student has a side business mowing lawns in his neighborhood. Now, as anyone who owns their own business can attest to, advertising is key to getting customers. So Gipson was with his brother, working on building his client base by placing his business card in the doors of homes when he was stopped by a police officer. That’s when he was harassed by the officer, which he caught on tape.

In the video he uploaded to the Internet, the deputy can be seen asking for Gipson's ID and asking what he was doing in the neighborhood. Gipson is heard telling the deputy he did not have ID. He then gives his name, stating he was 19 years old and born in 1999. In reality, Gipson is 20 and born in 1996.

According to Texas law, what Gipson did is not an offense. What is considered an offense is to refuse to give your name, date of birth, and address when you are under arrest. He was not under arrest at the time. And how is it a crime to place your business card in the door of a home when you are trying to solicit business—especially when you have actual business cards on you to back up your story?

At best, if the police officer thought they were suspicious, he could have told Gipson and his brother to stop what they were doing and keep it moving. But the officer wasn’t satisfied—especially after Gipson asked for his name. That’s when the situation escalated, and ended at Gipson’s home with him under arrest. 

Important reading

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:44 pm
filkerdave: (oh good god)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Kameron Hurley wrote a piece about the very real anger and fear she feels about the current Republican effort to destroy the ACA.

It's called A Open Letter to All My Bullshit Relatives Cheering on My Impending Death.

I highly recommend that you read it, especially if you're a GOP or Trump voter.
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

So the bigger the hole the White House is in, the shorter the briefings get. Wednesday's Q&A portion with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lasted all of about 16 minutes, almost exactly the same as Thursday's.

Perhaps the most newsy piece of information from the session was Sanders siding by default with communications director Anthony Scaramucci over chief of staff  Reince Priebus in the Cain and Abel clash of the White House "brothers." TPM writes:

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday would not say whether President Donald Trump has confidence in White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. 

“Look, I think I’ve addressed this question when it comes to staffing and personnel many times, that if the President doesn’t, then he’ll make that decision,” Sanders said during an on-camera White House press briefing.

Sanders characterized White House staffers as having "a lot of different perspectives" and bragged that they weren't burdened by "group think"—or what some people might otherwise think of as discipline or singleness of purpose.

If there was an overarching theme to this short look behind the curtain of Trump's great Oz, it was a deep desire by reporters to learn whether the pr*sident is "aware" of certain things that, frankly, shouldn't even be in question.

Photos from Yesterday

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:19 pm
fadedwings: a squirrel sitting on a fence post (squirrel!!!)
[personal profile] fadedwings
These are not my cats. They are two of the four cats that I see routinely around the yards here.

ocat1
black and white cat standing of the roof of a stand alone garage

more under the cut Read more... )

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