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Breaking: Handel Predicted to Beat Ossoff in Georgia Special Election

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CNN predicts Handel Wins Over Ossoff

Republican Karen Handel is projected to win Georgia’s special congressional election to fill the seat vacated by Tom Price, now Donald Trump’s HHS Secretary. But in a district Price won less than a year ago by a 68-31 margin, Handel’s slim win is a strong warning to the GOP. Democrats should take this result as proof that a good candidate, a strong focus, and a plan can dramatically improve chances in districts they once thought they could never even dream of winning.

At 10 PM Handel is about five points over Ossoff.

Democrats had hoped Jon Ossoff would win and the election would be seen as a clear rebuke of President Donald Trump’s policies, especially the Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Ossoff, 30, had almost won the first special election in April, garnering 48.1 percent of the vote. A majority was required, and on Tuesday he faced off against the former Republican Secretary of State.

Ossoff spoke to voters as a moderate while taking a strongly Democratic stance in the race for a seat that has been held by a Republican since 1979, including by by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

For example, on health care, Handel stood solidly against ObamaCare, saying “Congress needs to repeal and replace Obamacare before the entire program collapses, leaving tens of millions of us in jeopardy.” 

But Ossoff offered this position, appealing to health care consumers, and to business owners:

One, no American should suffer or die from preventable or treatable illness. Two, no one should go broke because they get sick. And three, no business should go under or lay off employees because it can’t keep up with health insurance premiums.”

The race drew national attention, and the cash poured in. Estimates say over $50 million will have been spent in the district of about 700,000 people, north of Atlanta.

Democrats were optimistic they could possibly win the Georgia 6th district because its residents are among the most-educated in the county, a demographic that generally votes Democratic. But historically it has for four decades voted Republican. The difference in 2016 is Trump won it by only one point. Previous GOP presidential candidates won the district by about 25 points or more.

The district is 71 percent white, and about 13 percent each Hispanic and Black.

Handel made several mistakes during the campaign, but likely she will be most remembered for proudly saying during a debate, as a defining issue between progressives and conservatives, “I do not support a livable wage.” 

Handel in 2012 almost single handedly ruined the reputation of breast cancer nonprofit Komen for the Cure when she tried to defund its support of Planned Parenthood. She later penned a book attacking Planned Parenthood, titled, Planned Bullyhood. In it, she calls Planned Parenthood a “schoolyard thug.”

Ossoff, a filmmaker who once interned for Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon from Georgia, has a masters from the from London School of Economics. Ossoff also served U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson as a a national security staffer.

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TRUMP LIES PEOPLE DIE

FDA Chief Cornered on CNN Over Trump’s False Claim That ’99 Percent of COVID Cases Are Completely Harmless’

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Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning, fill-in host Dana Bash put FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn on the hot seat as she confronted him with Donald Trump’s claim on Saturday night that 99 percent of the COVID-19 cases are harmless, telling the administration official that it was a provable lie.

The CNN host cut right to the chase in her interview, asking about Tump’s dismissive assertion that there is nothing for people to fear about getting the coronavirus.

Referring to the president’s claim, Bash asked, “99 percent of coronavirus cases are, quote, ‘completely harmless.’ No health expert that we have found can back that up, can you?”

“So, we know that cases are surging in the country, we’ve all seen the graphs associated with that. It’s too early and I’m not going to speculate on what the causation is there,” Hahn replied before moving on to telling Americans to follow CDC guidelines of health safety.

“Dr. Hahn, I think it’s important to stick to the question about the 99 percent that the president threw out there. I can tell you it’s not true, and that’s obviously not my opinion. It is fact-based on CDC estimates. Only a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. the WHO, World Health Organization says 20 percent of people who die of coronavirus need oxygen or hospital care,” the CNN host lectured. “This is really important, probably one of the most important misclaims or, frankly, lies the president has put out there. It really affects people’s health if they hear the president saying 99 percent of people are fine. They’re going to change their behavior, potentially get sick and infect other people. how does that make you feel as a member of his own task force?”

“I totally support the CDC and the information that they’re putting out with respect to this pandemic,” the doctor demurred. “I think it’s, again, really important. the guidelines that we’ve emphasized, the data that we have — again, it’s a rapidly evolving situation and we’re going to have more data.”

“Dr. Hahn, I realize this is not easy for you. You are working really hard to protect Americans. I have to ask you flatly to that end, to protect Americans, is the president wrong?” Bash pressed.

“So, I’m not going to get into who is right and who is wrong,” Hahn replied. “What I’ve going to say, Dana, is what I’ve said before. It’s a serious problem that we have, we’ve seen the surge in cases, we must do something to stem the tied tide, and we have this in our power to do this by following the guidance from the task force and the CDC.”

Watch below:

 

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'BUCKLE UP'

U.S. government vividly shows the danger of fireworks in literally mind-blowing video

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Fireworks safety video, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

It’s the Fourth of July, American Independence Day, a holiday where Americans buy nearly $1 billion worth of fireworks (literally tens of thousands of tons of explosive material) to light up the night sky in a celebration-slash-commemoration of the firearms our colonizers gleefully discharged in open revolt against the Brits who first sent them there.

While our resentments against the British have (mostly) receded, the danger of explosives hasn’t entirely. That’s why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released this literally head-exploding video demonstrating the numerous ways that fireworks can blow your brain, children and limbs to bits.

Luckily, the video uses mannequins, but it gets its message across quite vividly.

They’ve even published this following list of helpful firework safety tips:

– Never allow young children to play with, or ignite, fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.

– Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.

– Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.

– Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.

– Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

– Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.

– After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

– Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

Happy Fourth, everyone!

 

 

 

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'DANGEROUS FOOLS'

Trump is making a move to endanger LGBTQ and civil rights activists around the world

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The Open Technology Fund (OTF), “a U.S. government-funded nonprofit that provides encryption technologies to journalists and activists living under repressive regimes,” is under threat from Michael Pack, an appointee of President Donald Trump who now heads the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), the group that oversees the OTF.

Pack is pressuring the OTF to change its funding allocation in a way that could endanger LGBTQ activists and others strategizing for civil rights in countries like China, Russia, Iran and Turkey, leaving them subject harassment, arrest, violence, and death.

According to Vice News, Pack has packed USAGM’s board with Trump loyalists who are working to funnel tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to closed-source technologies. Closed-source technologies are privately developed apps that could contain backdoor and security vulnerabilities allowing repressive regimes to track users and monitor their online communications.

Pack’s shift to closed-source technology is a fundamental change to the OTF’s long-running investment in “open-source technology,” tech whose publicly available source code can be studied and tested to ensure others can’t access user data.

Pack’s USAGM is currently pushing for OTF to invest in Freegate and Ultrasurf, two closed-source apps that purport to get around the Great Firewall of China, a censorious and domestically controlled internet that blocks activists from any sites critical of the Chinese government.

Open-source software experts that spoke to Vice said, “[Ultrasurf’s] code is out of date, dangerously vulnerable to compromise, and lacks the user base to allow it to effectively scale even if they secured government funding.”

Laura Cunningham and Libby Liu, who very recently served as OTF’s president and CEO respectively, told Vice News that in March 2020 (shortly after Trump installed Pack), Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation Human Rights and Justice (one of the groups pushing Ultrasurf) threatened them to fund the app or else risk being ousted by Pack and his board.

On June 13, 2020, Michael Horowitz, former director of the Project for International Religious Liberty (another group pushing Ultrasurf), then went on the radio show of white supremacist-enabler and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and called for Pack to fire Liu — four days later, he did. A day later, Pack fired Cunningham without providing any reason whatsoever.

Current and former OTF staff members told Vice they’re worried about the OTF’s direction under Pack. Longtime open-source technology advocate Cory Doctorow summed up the worry in a Twitter thread that linked to a petition urging Congress to intervene:

The Trump admin wants to nuke the OTF and give all its money to a bunch of grifty, closed-source privacy and firewall-circumvention tools. These tools are NOT auditable, and the companied that make them stand to make BANK from the move… If i was a Uyghur in Xinjiang or a dissident in Tehran, I would NOT trust my life to these tools. No goddamned way.

OTF’s ironclad rule of funding open, free code isn’t just a way to allay suspicions about the tools’ true purpose – it’s also a preventative against corruption, because the projects OTF funds CAN’T insert spy code without being caught right away… Based on this administration’s track record, I’m about 70-30 that this is just a bro deal that lets some cronies suck up millions in corporate welfare while hanging out tools used by vulnerable people around the world to dry.

Remember, Congress allocated this money for the OTF, not as pork for a bunch of connected insiders. This money built the tools that #BlackLivesMatter protesters use, to say nothing of the #HongKongProtests and many other movements around the world.

It will be a genuine, deep, widespread tragedy if this move isn’t stopped.

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