I have stayed true to my promise to be good to myself and I have been relaxing this Victoria Day long weekend. The sinusitus is definitely almost gone! Woo Hoo!!! It has been cloudy today with temperatures around 14 C (58 F) and intermittent rain. This week is another busy one so I'll have to remind myself not to do anything stupid to re-aggravate the sinusitis. The babies have been napping around me all day, but as soon as I announce "bikkies", they will be fully awake and running downstairs to their food dish. I can smell my neighbour's bar-be-que, probably fired up for steaks, which is making me hungry. Chicken and salad for me tonight. Enjoy the rest of your week.
Daily Beast — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for $120,000 worth of campaign donations from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang. …
Wang, the individual at the center of the investigation, also contributed $2 million to the Clinton Foundation. The investigation is ongoing.
This investigation along with the SCOTUS decision on gerrymandering in Virginia has brought Virginia into the fore. It will be interesting to see what happens with the DOJ investigation and how it impacts Democrats in this federal election year. Also of concern is the perceived influence of Wang Wenliang, a Chinese businessman, on Hillary Clinton with his contribution to the Clinton Foundation. I hope this does not turn normally blue voters away from the polls in November.
NYTimes — Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees on Wednesday as part of an effort to quell concerns that he would not select conservative jurists.
The unusual move comes as Mr. Trump is looking to unify the Republican Party behind him and win over critics who remain skeptical about his candidacy. While some Republicans who oppose Mr. Trump have considered supporting Hillary Clinton or sitting out the election, he has regularly reminded them that the future of the Supreme Court is at stake. …
… but Mr. Trump has previously said that he was seeking guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
Mr. Trump’s selections consisted of six federal appeals court judges appointed by President George W. Bush and five state supreme court justices appointed by Republican governors. All are white, and eight of the 11 are men.
"All are white, and eight of the 11 are men." Indeed, the future of the Supreme Court is at stake. A decidedly conservative court would affect generations to come, and not in a positive way. Along with a Republican White House and Congress, the US will regress socially and economically.
Politico — … President Barack Obama on Monday signed the dissolution of the nearly 50-year embargo on selling arms to Vietnam, ending one of the last vestiges of the Vietnam War.
But what Obama had to say and do about open democracy here was as sparse as the turnout in polling places here just hours before Air Force One landed — despite, of course, government numbers putting nationwide turnout for the National Assembly elections at 98.77 percent.
Suspicious election results don’t usually come together with presidential visits, especially within hours, and especially when the president is arriving with a huge and much desired gift in the form of opening up arms trade.
Hanoi had been pushing Washington for years, as both a point of pride and out of desire for American weapons. The change is potentially huge for American interests, empowering pro-Western forces internally and sending a very charged signal to China, long Vietnam's regional adversary. …
"I made it clear that the United States does not seek to impose our form of government on Vietnam or any nation … at the same time, we will continue to speak out on human rights.”
It seems that there is a contradiction here . . . selling weapons to Vietnam while at the same time speaking out about human rights. In a time when the world should be coming together, weapons only serve to divide and destroy. And the US, like all countries, has troubles with its own human rights record.
ThinkProgress — Donald Trump vowed to get rid of “gun free zones” during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Louisville Friday, going a step further than his frequent promise to allow guns in schools and military bases.
Despite the fact that many Trump hotels and the convention center where he spoke on Friday are all gun-free zones, the presumptive nominee said he went off his telepromter to promise the NRA members in attendance that he would eliminate gun-free zones altogether. Trump also earned the NRA’s endorsement at the event.
“The Second Amendment is under a threat like never before,” Trump said, repeating the NRA leadership’s claim that Hillary Clinton will dismantle the Second Amendment. …
This is the most basic human right of all, and Hillary Clinton wants to strip it away,” Trump said. “I’m going to guarantee that law-abiding citizens have the right to self defense, 100 percent.”
Amazing how many times Trump flip-flops on his positions . . . pro choice now pro life; pro gun-free zones now eliminate gun-free zones; irreligious now religious; and there are more. Trump is an opportunist, changing his stance to suit his goal of becoming POTUS. I believe the expression is "whatever it takes" or the end justifies the means".
CBC — "I want to be out. I want, want, want, want — please God! — let us be out."
This is Yvonne Stevens, a local councillor for the U.K. Independence Party or UKIP. Its roots date back to the 1990s and British opposition to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty enshrining key tenets of European integration.
It's also a party that's played heavily on anti-immigrant sentiment, and immigration is one of the key issues motivating those who want Britain to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23. Stevens is no exception.
"Let's say, 'No, let's stop,'" says Stevens, referring to unfettered immigration of EU citizens entitled to live and work in any EU country of their choosing.
The discussion of UK membership in the EU is known as "Brexit". Whether the UK stays within the EU or opts out, there will be global repercussions. In another CBCreport, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has urged the UK to remain within the EU. He said
"More unity is a path toward greater prosperity. We have a great relationship with a strong and united Europe and certainly hope that that continues," Trudeau said in an interview with Reuters. "Britain is always going to have clout, it's just obviously amplified by its strength as part of the EU."
You can read a short history of the UK's participation in the EU at "Brexit".
My Universe —