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Today’s deep question: Will Icon’s “Filibuster Endurance” panties help Senate Dems stop Kavanaugh?

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Friends and family often ask me why I enjoy politics as much as I do. “It’s important,” I tell them, “and it’s a privilege,” which it is. But sometimes it’s also so silly that its entertainment value far exceeds films, television, or any other outlet.

Take, for instance, Thinx label Icon Undies’ somewhat uninformed and but legit hilarious attempt at self-promotion by latching onto the upcoming confirmation fight over Brett Kavanaugh. They sent care packages to the women in the US Senate in order to help sustain them through a filibuster. Er … who wants to tell them?

It’s no secret that Brett Kavanaugh’s election to the Supreme Court could mean an about-face for women’s personal agency over our oft-leaky bods. That’s why we sent filibuster Endurance Packages to our female senators (even though we know an actual filibuster is less than likely). Complete with our moderate-absorbency bikini undies in Spice, tote bags, Aloha protein bars, and bottled water, the packages are meant to help our reps withstand long stints on the senate floor (sans bathroom breaks) defending women’s access to comprehensive, affordable, and quality healthcare. Our gesture might sound silly, but our motivation stems from a genuine dedication to providing women around the world with accessible, quality health information and care. Simply put, women’s health and wellbeing shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

An actual filibuster isn’t just “less than likely,” it’s flat-out off the table. Why? Because in November 2013, Harry Reid got most of the women receiving these packages to support his “nuclear option” to prohibit filibusters on presidential appointments. Then the same women backed Chuck Schumer’s attempt to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation last year, prompting Mitch McConnell to go nuclear in return, prohibiting filibusters on Supreme Court nominations.

Had Democrats just, er, held their water on Gorsuch, these Filibuster Endurance Packages might have come in handy. Maybe Icon needs to come up with a male version of the same product line, right after they catch up to current Senate rules.

Michael Graham’s amused, but at least he helped Icon correct a grave injustice:

This is embarrassing…and on so many levels.

The feminist/activist underwear company Thinx, in an effort to oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, is sending ” filibuster Endurance Packages to our female senators,” they announced yesterday. …

Thinx lists all the women of the US Senate who’ll be receiving their anti-Kavanaugh care packages. Only one problem. There’s a name missing: NH’s Sen. Maggie Hassan.

Is this an oversight, or a statement about their view of Hassan’s feminist bona fides?

Icon sent a package off to Hassan shortly afterward, so she’s well prepared for a filibuster that will never take place. But at least Thinx and Icon got to demonstrate their product, right along with their ignorance. If there’s no such thing as bad publicity …

They’ll get a chance to use the products soon, too. Chuck Grassley says the Kavanaugh nomination will move to the floor in 70 days or less:

According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who will oversee the upcoming confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh should be fitted for his robe and confirmed to the Supreme Court within 70 days.

“Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected jurists in the country. He’s among the most qualified candidates to ever come before the Senate. I look forward to carefully reviewing his record,” Grassley said during a Committee business meeting Thursday morning. “Our process in the Senate Judiciary Committee will be thorough, modern, and efficient. We’ll use newer tools to review more material than we ever have before. All members of this committee will have far greater visibility into his record and judicial thinking than they have had with any previous nominee. And with this extra visibility, I can foresee no reason to stray from the timelines of previous high court nominations. We completed our work on the nomination of Justices Kagan and Gorsuch within 70 days. So, I expect to do the same in this case.”

Grassley wants to keep this process moving — and Democrats should as well. Obstructing the vote in any way that delays it to closer to Election Day will just remind Trump voters why they threw in with him two years earlier. That might turn out badly for Icon endurance-package recipients like Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill, who would be better off with Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the rear-view mirror.

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Previously Deported Illegal Alien Charged with Brutal Murder of Shakopee, MN Woman

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Minnesota officials charged Fraider Diaz-Carbajal from Mexico with the brutal murder of his former girlfriend in Shakopee, Minnesota earlier this month.

Fraider Diaz-Carbajal had been previously deported but told the court he has lived in the are for 18 years.
Fraider does not speak English and needed a translator.

He stabbed his former girlfriend several times before cutting his own neck.

SW News Media reported:

A 27-year-old woman who was killed in Shakopee on Aug. 12 has been identified as Enedelia Perez Garcia, 27, and today prosecutors charged Fraider Diaz-Carbajal, 35, 1279 Taylor St. Unit 6, with second-degree murder (not premeditated) in her death. Police say he was in the country illegally after being deported in 2014.

At about 4:02 p.m. on Aug. 12, Shakopee police were dispatched to a fight call involving a knife at 1279 Taylor St., No. 6., and while on the way to the Taylor Ridge Towhomes, they were told a male had a knife and a female was possibly dead.

According to the charging documents, officers found a bloody scene in the upstairs bedroom: Diaz-Carbajal was lying with his head resting on the stomach and chest of a woman who was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall and did not appear to be breathing. Diaz-Carbajal’s throat was cut with a 6 to 8-inch-long laceration and there were several stab wounds in his abdomen. He was “taking occasional breaths and moving” and a large, bloody knife was at his left side.

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Can AI produce fine art?

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We don’t normally cover the fine art beat here for obvious reasons, but there was a sale of a painting to a French collector in February which drew some attention. Another work by the same artist is going on sale at Christie’s presently. They works are going for some impressive amounts of money, but that’s not what makes the story interesting. The artist is an Artificial Intelligence program from a company named Obvious. (Time)

Hanging inside a gold frame on a pristine white wall in Christie’s Central London Gallery is a dark, moody portrait of a man in Puritan-style black clothes—the work, it seems, of some Old Master. But scrawled in the bottom right corner, there’s an unexpected signature: a mathematical equation.

This is Edmond de Belamy by French art collective Obvious—or, more accurately, by an algorithm designed by Obvious.

“The whole process is about humans having as little input as possible in the finished piece,” says Gauthier Vernier, one of three 25 year-old French men who started Obvious in April 2017 out of their apartment in Paris. Since then, by teaching a computer about art history and showing it how to make its own work, Obvious have produced 11 artworks with the help of artificial intelligence.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the technical particulars behind this since you can read them all at the article and at the Obvious Art website if you wish. The short version is that they developed an algorithm that scanned a vast number of paintings taken from classical art. It uses something called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) which randomly generate images meeting certain criteria (a face has two eyes, one nose, one mouth, etc.) and the program “tests” each image itself to see if it can tell whether it’s original art or a computer generation. The results do indeed resemble portraits.

Here’s the real question: Is this art? Allow me to offer the definitive answers (plural) because it works both ways.

First… Yes. This is art.

But that answer comes with a caveat. Anything can be art because art is in the eye of the beholder. You can walk down the beach, find a particularly interesting looking piece of driftwood, take it home, clean it up and mount it on a wooden base. If you find it attractive, if it brings you pleasure, if your friends come over and compliment you on it… it’s art. And that’s only good art I’m talking about. Some of the crap put out by human beings as “modern art” is total garbage. If a crucifix in a jar of urine or three basketballs shoved into a broken fish tank (I actually saw that one in a gallery in New York City some years ago) qualify as art, then anything this robot spits out can certainly bear the name.

Second… No. This is definitely not art.

What they are presenting is a painting. But it didn’t come from an original thought or moment of inspiration in a mind, human or otherwise. They fed a bunch of examples into a program and had it randomly place zeros and ones corresponding to random colors until it generated something which matched certain test criteria that the programmers defined as being “art.” There was no feeling, no intent nor even any knowledge in the “mind” of the program of what it was doing. It was solving a math problem by randomly guessing combinations until it arrived at some solutions which met those design criteria.

It also wasn’t “painted” in any way that requires effort, training or involves risk of messing up a brush stroke. I had to search for a while to find out how the actual, physical paintings are created, but the AI only generates an image file. It’s then fed into a fancy laserjet printer which is set up to print on canvas instead of paper. Then a human being took it out and mounted it in a frame. An artist could never reproduce one of their painting precisely by hand. There would always be at least minute differences. Obvious could crank out the same portrait a thousand times and they would all be the same.

This isn’t even artificial intelligence as near as I can see. And it’s certainly not fine art. You could switch out the canvas for paper and it would be making interesting posters. If some rich collector wants to go to Christie’s and lay out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for one of these creations, that’s up to them. But save up your money, because Obvious can produce thousands more for you in no time at all.

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President Trump Responds to Manafort Conviction “Nothing to do With Russian Collusion” (VIDEO)

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“NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIAN COLLUSION” – President Trump

President Trump responded Tuesday afternoon after a jury found his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on 8 felony counts.

The President spoke to the press shortly after he landed in Charleston, West Virginia as he headed to his rally.

“It doesn’t involve me but I still feel really sad…you know it’s a very sad thing that happened. This has nothing to do with Russian collusion. This started as Russian collusion…this has absolutely nothing to do…this is a witch hunt and it’s a disgrace,” Trump said.

President Trump also said that he feels very bad for Paul Manafort. “He worked for Bob Dole, he worked for Ronald Reagan…” Trump continued.

The President didn’t answer any questions about his former lawyer Michael Cohen who just pleaded guilty to 8 counts; his plea deal includes 3-5 years jail time.

VIDEO:


After four days of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict on 8 counts and could not make a decision on 10 counts in the tax evasion and bank fraud case against Paul Manafort.

Judge Ellis declared a mistrial on 10 counts. The jury found Manafort guilty on 8 counts.

Both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort were hunted down by Mueller and his thugs because of their association with Donald Trump.

We currently have a two-tiered justice system because AG Sessions is AWOL.

One set of laws for Trump and his supporters and another set of laws for Democrats and Clinton-Deep State cronies.

H/T: Zero Hedge

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