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jon46 last won the day on March 24 2015

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  1. Now that Trump has won and is the president-elect, let's see in the coming months what he does for the disaffected-largely white workers in the "rust belt" and other places in America. That was his core message---of his help to bring back jobs, which is a departure from Republican orthodoxy. Will the rejection of TPP and the renegotiation of NAFTA do that or will he start a trade war with China? Below is Senator Elizabeth Warren's letter to her supporters. This wasn’t a pretty election. In fact, it was ugly, and we should not sugarcoat the reason why. Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down. He encouraged a toxic stew of hatred and fear. He attacked millions of Americans. And he regularly made statements that undermined core values of our democracy. And he won. He won – and now Latino and Muslim-American children are worried about what will happen to their families. LGBT couples are worried that their marriages could be dissolved by a Trump-Pence Supreme Court. Women are worried that their access to desperately needed health services will disappear. Millions of people in this country are worried, deeply worried. And they are right to be worried. Today, as President-Elect, Donald Trump has an opportunity to chart a different course: to govern for all Americans and to respect our institutions. In his victory speech, he pledged that he would be “President for all†of the American people. And when he takes the oath of office as the leader of our democracy and the leader of all Americans, I sincerely hope that he will fulfill that pledge with respect and concern for every single human being in this country, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what they believe, no matter whom they love. And that marks Democrats’ first job in this new era: We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans – on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever. But there are many millions of people who did not vote for Donald Trump because of the bigotry and hate that fueled his campaign rallies. They voted for him despite the hate. They voted for him out of frustration and anger – and also out of hope that he would bring change. If we have learned nothing else from the past two years of electioneering, we should hear the message loud and clear that the American people want Washington to change. It was clear in the Democratic Primaries. It was clear in the Republican Primaries. It was clear in the campaign and it was clear on Election Day. The final results may have divided us – but the entire electorate embraced deep, fundamental reform of our economic system and our political system. Working families across this country are deeply frustrated about an economy and a government that doesn’t work for them. Exit polling on Tuesday found that 72 percent of voters believe that "the American economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful." 72 percent of ALL voters – Democrats and Republicans. The polls were also made clear that the economy was the top issue on voters’ minds. Americans are angry about a federal government that works for the rich and powerful and that leaves everyone else in the dirt. Lobbyists and Washington insiders have spent years trying to convince themselves and each other that Americans don’t actually believe this. Now that the returns are in and the people have spoken, they’re already trying to wave their hands and dismiss these views as some sort of mass delusion. They are wrong – very wrong. The truth is that people are right to be angry. Angry that wages have been stagnant for a generation, while basic costs like housing, health care, and child care have skyrocketed. Angry that our political system is awash in barely legalized campaign bribery. Angry that Washington eagerly protects tax breaks for billionaires while it refuses to raise the minimum wage, or help the millions of Americans struggling with student loans, or enforce the law when the millionaire CEOs who fund our political campaigns break it. Angry that Washington pushes big corporate interests in trade deals, but won’t make the investments in infrastructure to create good jobs right here in America. Angry that Washington tilts the playing field for giant corporations – giving them special privileges, letting them amass enormous economic and political power. Angry that while Washington dithers and spins and does the backstroke in an ocean of money, while the American Dream moves further and further out of reach for too many families. Angry that working people are in debt. Angry that seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics. President-Elect Trump spoke to these issues. Republican elites hated him for it. But he didn’t care. He criticized Wall Street and big money’s dominance in Washington – straight up. He supported a new Glass-Steagall. He spoke of the need to reform our trade deals so they aren’t raw deals for the American people. He said he will not cut Social Security benefits. He talked about the need to address the rising cost of college and about helping working parents struggling with the high cost of child care. He spoke of the urgency of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and putting people back to work. He spoke to the very real sense of millions of Americans that their government and their economy has abandoned them. And he promised to rebuild our economy for working people. The deep worry that people feel over an America that does not work for them is not liberal or conservative worry. It is not Democratic or Republican worry. It is the deep worry that led even Americans with very deep reservations about Donald Trump’s temperament and fitness to vote for him anyway. So let me be 100% clear about this. When President-Elect Trump wants to take on these issues, when his goal is to increase the economic security of middle class families, then count me in. I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal. I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort. If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I and so are a lot of other people—Democrats and Republicans. But let’s also be clear about what rebuilding our economy does not mean. • It does not mean handing the keys to our economy over to Wall Street so they can run it for themselves. Americans want to hold the big banks accountable. That will not happen if we gut Dodd-Frank and fire the cops responsible for watching over those banks, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If Trump and the Republican Party try to turn loose the big banks and financial institutions so they can once again gamble with our economy and bring it all crashing down, then we will fight them every step of the way. • It does not mean crippling our economy and ripping working families apart by rounding up and deporting millions of our coworkers, our friends and neighbors, our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters. And if Republicans choose that path, we will fight them every single step of the way. • Americans want reform to Obamacare – Democrats included. We must bring down the costs of health insurance and the cost of health care. But if the Republicans want to strip away health insurance from 20 million Americans, if they want to let cancer survivors get kicked to the curb, if they want to throw 24-year-olds off their parents’ health insurance, then we will fight them every step of the way. • Americans want to close tax loopholes that benefit the very rich, and Donald Trump claimed to support closing the carried interest loophole and other loopholes. We need a fairer tax system, but if Republicans want to force through massive tax breaks that blow a hole in our deficit and tilt the playing field even further toward the wealthy and big corporations, then we will fight them every step of the way. The American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – have been clear about what economic policies they want Washington to pursue. Two-thirds of people support raising the federal minimum wage. Three-quarters of Americans want the federal government to increase its infrastructure investments. Over 70 percent of people believe students should have a chance at a debt-free education. Nearly three-quarters support expanding Social Security. These are the kinds of policies that will help level the playing field for working families and address the frustrations felt by millions of people across the country. The American people sent one more message as well. Economic reform requires political reform. Why has the federal government worked so long only for those at the top? The answer is money – and they want this system changed. The American people are sick of politicians wallowing in the campaign contributions and dark money. They are revolted by influence peddling by wealthy people and giant corporations. When Bernie Sanders proved his independence by running a campaign based on small dollar contributions and when Donald Trump promised to spend his own money, both were sending an important message that they could not be bought. And once again, if Donald Trump is ready to make good on his promise to get corruption out of politics, to end dark money and pay-to-play, count me in. I will work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can to end the influence of big money and return democracy to the people. Donald Trump won the Presidency under a Republican flag. But Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress – and their way of doing business – were rejected – rejected by their own primary voters, rejected during the campaign, and rejected in Tuesday’s election. Regardless of political party, working families are disgusted by a Washington that works for the rich and powerful and leaves everyone else behind. The American people have called out loudly for economic and political reform. For years, too many Republicans and too many Democrats have refused to hear their demands. The majority of Americans voted against Donald Trump. Democrats picked up seats in both the House and the Senate. And yet, here we are. Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. And that makes our job clear. As the loyal opposition we will fight harder, we will fight longer and we will fight more passionately than ever for the rights of every human being in this country to be treated with respect and dignity. We will fight for economic opportunity, not just for some of our children, but for all of our children. We do not control the tools of government, but make no mistake, we know what we stand for, the sun will keep rising, and we will keep fighting – each day, every day, we will fight for the people of this country. The time for ignoring the American people is over. It’s time for us to come together to work on America’s agenda. Democracy demands that we do so, and we are ready.
  2. In five states Sanders won where exit polling data is available — Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. I doubt that Sanders if he ran against Trump, he would win in Indiana (Trump's running mate, Pence is the governor of that state), Oklahoma and West Virginia....all "red" states. I agree Sanders has a better chance than Clinton in Michigan and Wisconsin...both states went to Trump! As a side note, Trump's home state...New York went to Clinton by a 1.5 million vote margin. In Manhattan, more than 500,000 votes went to Clinton vs. 58,000 for Trump. In terms of the popular vote, nationally, Clinton beat Trump by over 200,000 votes! I believe the final vote tallies will be out in the coming days!
  3. Assault Rifle (AR-15) should be banned but the powerful NRA successful lobby to Republicans prevents any legislative from passing. I hope the filibuster by the Democrats will have some positive effect on the upcoming vote in the Senate.
  4. Coming to Bangkok (Thailand) for over 25 years, I have noticed that prices are higher but still inexpensive compared to US standards like living in NYC or San Francisco. On my first visit to Bangkok on business, I stayed at the Intercontinental hotel, got taken to the "NO HANDS" restaurant and to a massage place....all paid by my company or by the host. At the massage place, the host did not pay for a "happy ending" which the girl noted was an extra 500 baht. Back in those days and as a "handsome" man, I did not believe in paying for sex and I declined paying...even though the girl saw my excited physical condition! lol I took the girl from the "NO HANDS" back to my hotel and we had a good time. To this day, I regret not "tipping" her. I was young and did not know what was expected from me. Nevertheless, I visited the restaurant again and the girl did not seem to mind me not paying her as she was very friendly. Over the years, prices have gone up...drinks at Patpong, Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy are high and prices paid to take girls are even higher, making me think twice before accepting the girl's invitation to bring them out. I now frequent freelance places more often than Nana Plaza/Soi Cowboy. If you know where to go, a short time girl can be had for 700 baht. Massages are only 200 baht for 2 hours. I find that there are a two tier price system...one for the tourists/expats and the other for locals. If you live like a local, then things are still very much affordable. A simple but very tasty street food meal can be had for under 80 baht. A large beer at the local 7-11 costs around 75 baht. Buses are relatively cheap and the baht buses are even cheaper at 7 baht for short distances and they come more frequently and stop anywhere along their route. On my last visit to Bangkok (in Feb 2016), I got a haircut at a local place for 80 baht, including a shave. The girl asked me in Thai what I wanted and I pointed to the guy who had his haircut before me and she understood. I am glad the guy did not get a crew cut...lol. Hotels range from over 100 US $ to 20 something. I stayed in a hotel paying $25 a night. You can not find a $25 hotel in the US. Housing (apt rentals) are affordable compared cities in the US, especially NY/SF. I have thought abut living in Thailand full time in the near future but ruled it out due to the weather, I visit Bangkok only during the dry/cool season which is from Nov to early Feb. I find the other months (like April which temperatures are as high as 41C) just too hot for me.
  5. Can someone recommend the best and an inexpensive place to repair an electric (Philips) shaver. I believe I shorted out when I tried to replace the battery. Here in the states, the repair cost usually exceeds the value of getting a new shaver. I know there are shops (phones) at MBK and at Pantip Plaza (computers) but not a place specifically for small electrical items. I plan to visit Bangkok in Nov/Dec so any help will be appreciated.
  6. Trickery and False Promises in Thailand By THE EDITORIAL BOARDAPRIL 10, 2015 [i think it might be best to read the article on the New York Times site rather than here - KS]
  7. I remembered going to that restaurant and it was billed as the world's largest restaurant with employees travelling on skates! Another restaurant that is gone is the "No Hands" restaurant! On my first trip to Bangkok which was a business trip, my host took me there and his girl was the most beautiful person I ever saw. She was quite popular going from one room to another by customer requests. Food was very good. I ended up taking my girl to the Intercontinental hotel. Days later when I checked out, an extra charge appeared for having a guest which I protested and got the manager to take the charge off from my bill!
  8. allow me to make a suggestion...there should be a program on each aircraft that prevents a person from "crashing the airplane" such as flying into a mountain!
  9. fyi... The best selling book about Steve Jobs indicated that as a young man, he would be without shoes and to clean his feet, he would put them in the toilet bowl. Last week, during the day time, I drove on the highway and I saw a guy who pulled over and rather than hide behind a tree, he took a piss for all to see! And this is America with Americans doing uncivilized things?
  10. It is not just Chinese tourists that Thailand is wooing: China is a top trading partner. The government has sought to strengthen ties with Beijing since some Western countries downgraded diplomatic ties when the military seized power last year. Raising revenue from tourism is a government priority to compensate for weak exports, said Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the country's deputy government spokesman. Thailand, therefore, has to tolerate bad behavior for the sake of its vital tourist industry, he said. "We have to endure because having tourists is better than having no tourists at all," Sansern told Reuters. "Our exports are dependent on the economic situations of other countries. So we are focusing on tourism. This is something we can control." At the Erawan shrine in the heart of bustling downtown Bangkok, Kanlaya Yimpreeda, 29, a garland vendor, reels off a list of complaints about Chinese visitors. "I recently saw a Chinese couple take their kids' underwear off so he could pee near the shrine," she said, a look of horror on her face. "Right there in the corner next to one of Bangkok's holiest places." Tourism took a hammering during months of protests last year that saw parts of Bangkok shut down. Many countries issued warnings against non-essential travel to Thailand. The Chinese market was one of the first to bounce back, said Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Executive Director of East Asia Region at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). TAT has Chinese-language specialists manning its official account on Chinese microblogging site Weibo around the clock to communicate with Chinese travelers, Srisuda said. Over 560,000 Chinese tourists visited Thailand in January, accounting for over a fifth of tourist arrivals, according to the tourism ministry. That was up nearly 60 percent on the year. Korn Ornprasert, a veteran tour guide, said he preferred guiding visitors from elsewhere. "They have no discipline. They throw cigarette butts and spit in public," said Korn. "I would rather give a tour to other nationalities than to mainland Chinese." China's Mei Zhang, 39, who was on a five-day tour of Thailand, said she was unperturbed by the way her countrymen are perceived. "We have a bad reputation abroad but people probably said the same thing about Japanese and, before them, Americans. When there are many tourists coming from one country it is easy to criticize," she said. China is acutely aware of its tourists' image abroad and in January started work on a national database to help rein in some of its unruly sightseers and monitor the behavior of habitual offenders. Sansern said both countries needed to be flexible. "We as the housekeeper have to adapt and our house guests have to adapt."
  11. BANGKOK (Reuters) - Drying underwear at a temple and defecating in public, kicking a bell at a sacred shrine and washing feet in a public restroom: that's a sample from a litany of complaints about the behavior of Chinese tourists in Thailand. Public outrage forced the Thai government to issue thousands of Chinese-language etiquette manuals last month in an effort to ensure sightseers behave themselves. Feathers were ruffled anew in March when a Thai model posted a video on Facebook accusing Chinese tourists of jumping the line at an airport, prompting heated debate from Thai and Chinese bloggers. But with Thailand struggling to revive a stagnant economy after a military coup ended months of political unrest last year, tour operators in the 'Land of Smiles' say they have no choice but to grin and bear it. Tourism accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country's economic output and Chinese holidaymakers are Thailand's largest group of overseas visitors.
  12. The news also reported that the pilot had 6,000 hrs of flying on the Airbus 320 while the co-pilot started the job in 2013 and had only 630 hrs of flying time. It is a good thing that the voice recorder was recovered while the data recorder has yet to be located. The information that one of the pilots was locked out is very troubling. While it is very early to know all the facts, I now believe evidence strongly points to the pilot behind the control caused the crash.
  13. "Patagonian toothfish", aka snow fish...is also known in the US as Chilean Sea bass and is still available in the states. I have had it in the past and I must say it is delicious. Too bad, it is overfished. I am not sure if the trendy restaurants in the states are still serving it. Also here in the states, California and NY have outlawed "shark fins soup".
  14. In January the junta forced a German foundation to cancel a forum on press freedom saying Thailand was at a sensitive juncture. Since taking power, the junta has made full use of martial law, which also bans all political gatherings. Prayuth was particularly critical of the Thai-language Matichon daily newspaper, accusing the paper of siding with ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies. "Don't think I don't know that your writing is pro the previous administration," he told a Matichon reporter shortly before boarding a plane to Brunei. "The previous Interior Ministry bought many advertising spaces from you." Since the army toppled Thaksin, Yingluck's brother, in a previous coup in 2006, Thailand has been sharply divided. Thaksin support comes largely from the rural and urban working class, but traditional establishment in the capital and the south loathe Thaksin and accuse him of nepotism, cronyism and republican leanings, accusations he denies. Shortly after taking power Prayuth launched a year-long road map aimed at reconciling
  15. BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha lashed out at journalists on Wednesday, saying he would "probably just execute" those who did "not report the truth", in the latest outburst aimed at Thailand's media. Last month Prayuth said he had the power to shut down news outlets. On Wednesday, he took an even harsher line. "We'll probably just execute them," said Prayuth, without a trace of a smile, when asked by reporters how the government would deal with those that do not adhere to the official line. "You don't have to support the government, but you should report the truth," the former army chief said, telling reporters to write in a way that bolsters national reconciliation in the kingdom. Prayuth, who is also prime minister, heads the ruling junta or National Council for Peace and Order. He toppled the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a coup last May, that followed months of protests aimed at ousting Yingluck.
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