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Amy Klobuchar's masterful response to Ted Cruz's SCOTUS nomination argument is a must see

The recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg not only marked the end of an illustrious life of service to law and country, but the beginning of an unprecedented judicial nomination process. While Ginsburg's spot on the Supreme Court sits open, politicians and regular Americans alike argue over whether or not it should be filled immediately, basing their arguments on past practices and partisan points.

When a Supreme Court vacancy came up in February of 2016, nine months before the election, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell refused to even take up a hearing to consider President Obama's pick for the seat, arguing that it was an election year and the people should have a say in who that seat goes to.

Four years later, a mere six weeks before the election, that reasoning has gone out the window as Senate Republicans race to get a nominee pushed through the approval process prior to election day. Now, they claim, because the Senate majority and President are of the same party, it makes sense to proceed with the nomination.


It's a stunning display of hypocrisy, even by the political world's standards.

In a recent Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Senator Ted Cruz (TX-R) attempted to paint the Democrats' objections to pushing through a SCOTUS nominee as "political theater." But Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN-D) wasn't having it. In a nine-and-a-half minute speech, Klobuchar laid out exactly why this SCOTUS nomination goes beyond political theater—and she did so with an authentic eloquence that earned her viral status.

The full transcript of her speech shared on Senator Klobuchar's website:

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I sit in a position on this committee where I often follow Senator Cruz and I often have to throw out my entire plan for what I was going to say because of what he said. But I have never had an experience quite like this one. I could choose to start by taking on his interpretation of history because of the fact that the only other time that we have had a justice die this close to an election was when Abraham Lincoln—a wise wise leader—was president. What did he do?

He waited until after the election.

What is unique in your words, Senator Cruz, about this situation? People are voting right now. Democracy is happening right now and we in this room are supposed to be stewards of this democracy. What else is unique in your words about this situation? It is the precedent that was set just a few years ago by the very people sitting here, by the very leader who is still the leader of the Republican Party.

He said this—Mitch McConnell—the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. Those are the facts that you live with. But to me, none of those arguments even compare to what I just heard and what I must respond to. Our democracy, what's happening right now.

What this President said yesterday and Joe Biden has said he will abide by the results of this election. It is this president, President Trump who refuses to commit to make sure there is a peaceful transfer of power after the election if he is not re-elected. Instead, as he has done for months, just yesterday, he again worked to undermine confidence in our election.

He has repeatedly told people, the citizens of this country that it's not safe to vote by mail. That there's something wrong with it, except for in Florida where he has voted by mail. This is what he says almost every single day. And to have the chairman of this committee lead this discussion on this solemn day, when tomorrow the first woman in the history of the nation will lie in state and raise the fact that yes, this may end up in court and then to hear you, Senator Cruz talk about how this is because of some war game that you're talking about that I've never even heard about that this can end up in court.

Well, guess what, I will not concede that this is going to end up in court. You know why? Because the people are voting in droves right now. They are voting all over this country because President Trump is behind in states, in red states that no one even thought he could be behind in. Why? Because the people of this country are fighting back because they know what's on the line. Do I think this is a tragic death at this moment? Yes, it's tragic because we lost this woman who is an icon way ahead of her time, someone who opened doors for women at a time when so many insisted on keeping them shut.

Well, we are not keeping our democracy shut this year. This was a woman who would never as Senator Durbin explained would not take no for an answer. She literally applied for law school when there were no women hardly in her law school, when she had to go to a dinner with the dean of Harvard Law School. And he had each woman explain why they were allowing a man to be taking this seat, taking the chair of a man and taking it away from a man.

She then goes on to Columbia and graduates, number one in her class. She then comes up with theories that no one had even conjured up before to argue that women should have equal protection under the law. And when they say a man should argue it, she goes and does it herself. And she wins five out of six times setting landmark law for this country.

She then goes to the Supreme Court, is respected across the land, becomes a cultural icon with her own hashtag—Notorious RBG—in her 80s. She never gave up and I am not going to give up on this democracy. Despite these false lies about the Democratic candidate for president. It is President Trump who chose to clear out peaceful protesters and wave a Bible in front of a church.

It is President Trump who after Charlottesville said there are two sides. Well, there's not two sides when one side is the Ku Klux Klan. It is President Trump who has put out there that military and soldiers should be at the voting places in a pure attempt to suppress the vote. So don't go telling the people this committee who know better, who is the divisive person, who is the one that has been inciting violence in this election.

And even if they don't believe us in this room, the American people have seen through it. That's why just today you saw nearly 500 military leaders join together—former military leaders—and civilian national security leaders, Republicans, Democrats and independents to say that they did not support this president, because they were afraid of what was happening to our country and our democracy.

So this hearing that we are about to have is about that very democracy. And so I don't think people really care about the fights we've had about this before. I think we missed a really important ingredient in what I've been hearing my colleagues say from across the aisle and that is people are voting right now.

They are voting on health care right now. The fact that we have a court case out of Texas that is coming up for oral argument on November 10th, in which yes, pre existing conditions are on the line because the argument was made that the whole Affordable Care Act should be thrown out. You cannot just fix that when you haven't been able to even take up the Heroes Act to do something about the pandemic. Yet, in fact, we see that we've got time to ram through a Supreme Court hearing in two weeks instead of spending those two weeks to actually take up the Heroes Act and hope the people of this country.

What else is on the line? Well, civil rights is on the line when you look at the decisions and all the money that has flowed into our politics from the outside as a result of this current court's decision that is dominated by nominees put forward by Republican presidents.

Women's rights. Oh, yeah, they are on the line and as those fires were blazing on the West Coast of our country, even the right to regulate our environment and do something to protect our air and water, that is on the line. So this hearing will not be divorced from what is happening right now because this president has put it right in the middle of a political campaign.

That's his choice, not our choice.

So, I don't see this as theater as you describe, Senator Cruz. I see this as the real world. I see this deeply personally because I know that we have a President in place that knew that this virus was deadly. He knew that it was airborne and yet my family, we were just trying to clean off the surfaces all the time and wash our hands. And then my husband ends up in the hospital with COVID on oxygen because this President didn't share with us the information he had at the time. All of that is going to be on the line.

So we will look at this nominee and we will look carefully at this nominee that is our job, but we cannot get away from the fact that the process that puts her before us will be one that is not respecting the democracy that we are supposed to cherish.

So I just—I have listened to this for too long and I think the American people see through this raw use of political power. That is why they're voting in droves. So if you think you can get away from this just by trying to get this nominee through and no one's going to notice what she stands for or what her views are and how that's going to play into decisions that are made that affect people's lives. They already know. They're voting now.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman."

Senator Klobuchar Has Had Enoughyoutu.be

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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