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by Rayne

Breaking: ‘Capitol is Closed’ Announced in Madison WI

2:15 pm in Government by Rayne

FDL News’ David Dayen is on site at Wisconsin’s capitol building in Madison this afternoon. Reporting via Twitter, Dayen said that an announcement was made that “the Capitol is now closed” at 4:00 p.m. local time.

We’ve got live video from the building:

Bear with us if this goes out as the stream has been lost once and reconnected. We’ll keep trying to find live feed as necessary.

Please follow David Dayen on Twitter (@ddayen or at this link) for more live coverage as events unfold in Madison.

by Rayne

Solidarity with Wisconsin here at FDL and MyFDL

7:04 pm in Government, Politics by Rayne

graphic: Detlef.Schrempf via Flickr

It was a great day this Saturday for the friends and family at Firedoglake and its family of sites; we had attendees at solidarity rallies literally from coast to coast. On Sunday we’ll front page all the coverage our community members and contributors have submitted as we countdown to 4:00 p.m. CST when the capitol police in Wisconsin may attempt to shut down the capitol building.

Here’s the line up you can expect:

Nashville’s Solidarity With Wisconsin — Check out masaccio at Tennessee’s capitol with Mrs. masaccio; such a cute couple of “radicals.”

#WIUNION – Denver Solidarity Action — Community member Kelly Canfield attended the rally in Denver where it was sunny in more ways than one today.

NY Hearts Wisconsin — watertiger snaps great shots in NYC along with a choice LOL photo.

CA Unions & Others Demonstrate In Support Of WI Protestors @ Capital — Mary McCurnin rallied in Sacramento and took a lot of nice photos to share with us.

A Southeast Rally in Solidarity with Wisconsin — Community member Jim Hickey captures the energy of union workers rallying in Atlanta, Georgia; it’s a good sign in a state where only 4 percent of workers are union members.

You can read these already as they are published right now. Share them widely with friends and family since the mainstream corporate media decided that without crazy teabaggers, these demonstrations of free speech in action weren’t worth covering. Au contraire, mon freres — these events were extremely important and deserve wider coverage.

And don’t forget David Dayen’s coverage at the News page; David has been in Madison since Wednesday getting us live coverage from the capitol.

Did you attend a rally on Saturday? Write a diary and share it with us and we’ll try to promote it before 4:00 p.m. CST tomorrow.

Thanks to all of you who took to capital cities today to show your solidarity!

by Rayne

Video: Wisconsin State Police Join Protesters in Show of Solidarity

11:09 pm in Economy, Government, Politics by Rayne

Rainforest Action Network’s Jenn Breckenridge posted around 8:00 p.m. EST that the Wisconsin State Police had arrived at the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, joining the protesters in solidarity against Gov. Scott Walker and his attack on state employees’ collective bargaining.

The move may have come in response to an apparent order by the state’s assembly to close the capitol building at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. RAN’s Ryan Harvey said the state police are rejecting the order and are planning to sleep in the building along side the protesters.

The police officer says in this video,

“Let me tell you Mr. Walker, this is not your house, this is all our house.”

by Rayne

Wisconsin’s Anti-Union Budget Bill Passes Committee; Protesters Continue Rally [UPDATE]

6:25 am in Economy, Education, Government by Rayne

Wisconsin’s state Joint Finance Committee passed a highly controversial budget bill last night, voting along party lines 12-4 in favor of the bill which includes an amendment revoking workers’ right to collective bargaining for state employees. Although the committee’s Republicans had voted in favor of the bill, they had reversed some of Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to kill health insurance and retirement benefits for some state employees.

A number of the state’s school districts were canceling classes for today. Wisconsin Education Association Council president Mary Bell asked school employees to join in another day of protests in Madison — the third day in a row at the state capital.

The budget bill heads to the state senate today where it is expected to pass.

In the mean time, pressure mounts to recall Gov. Walker; at least one Facebook page and a watch-blog have launched efforts to discuss the recall process. The wrinkle, though, is that Wisconsin state law does not allow recall of the governor until after the first year in office (pdf):

No petition for recall of an officer may be offered for filing before the expiration of one year after commencement of the term of office for which the officer is elected. A petition may be circulated 60 days before the expiration of one year, but may not be offered for filing until after the officer has completed one year in office.

Will Wisconsin’s residents be too numb ten months from now to finish the recall process? Perhaps the Green Bay Packers can help by encouraging petition signings at tailgate events this fall, now that they’ve come out against the anti-union budget bill.

UPDATE — 10:45 a.m. EST — If you’re a Twitter user, you might want to watch these: — Progressive blogger who lives near the capitol, live tweeting events. — Wisconsin’s state equivalent to C-SPAN, will be covering the vote in state senate today (website URL:

Search these hashtags for latest: #notmywi #wiunion #solidarityWI

blue cheddar posted that a UW Madison student and teacher assistant walk out was to begin at 9:15 a.m. local time (10:15 a.m. EST).

by Rayne

Obama Speaks at Northern Michigan University, Proposes Nationwide Wireless Expansion

10:51 am in Executive Branch, Government, Internet, Science and Technology by Rayne

Following are the remarks prepared for delivery today by President Obama on the topic of a Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative; he’s delivering this speech now at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.


Hello, Marquette! It is good to be in the U.P. It is good to be at Northern Michigan University!

So, I have to say, I think some folks on my staff have it out for me. Not because it’s 10 degrees here – I can handle that. It’s because for the second time in two weeks, not long after my Bears went down, they’ve sent me to a town with a bunch of Green Bay Packer fans, even if we are in Michigan. But I congratulate all the fans here, and we’ll see the Packers at the White House.

Of course, I haven’t come to Marquette to talk about winning the Super Bowl. I’ve come here because it’s towns like this where the jobs and businesses of tomorrow will take root. It’s towns like this where our economic future will be won.

In the short-term, the best thing we can do to speed up economic growth is to make sure families and businesses have more money to spend. And that’s exactly what the tax cuts we passed in December are doing. Because Democrats and Republicans came together, Americans’ paychecks will be a little bigger this year. Businesses will be able to write off their investments. Companies will grow and add workers.

But we have to do more. Our measure of success has to be whether every American who wants a job can find one; whether this country is still the place where you can make it if you try. In a world that’s more connected and more competitive, other nations look at this as their moment – their turn to win the jobs and industries of our time. I see things differently. I see this as America’s moment to win the future.

To do this, though, we have to up our game. To attract the best jobs and newest industries, we’ve got to out-innovate, out-educate, out-build and out-hustle the rest of the world. That means investing in cutting-edge research and technology, like the new advanced battery manufacturing industry that’s taking root right here in Michigan. It means investing in the skills and training of our people. It means investing in transportation and communication networks that move goods and information as fast as possible.

And to make room for these investments, we have to cut whatever spending we can do without. That’s why I’ve proposed that we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years, which would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and bring that spending to the lowest share of our economy since Eisenhower was President.

Government has to start doing what American families do every day: we have to live within our means. But even as we do so, we cannot sacrifice our future. If you’re trying to cut back, you might decide not to go out to dinner or take a vacation. But you wouldn’t stop saving for your kids’ college or your retirement. The same is true with our country. Even as we cut out the things we can afford to do without, we have a responsibility to invest in those areas that will have the biggest impact our future – innovation, education, and infrastructure.

That last area – infrastructure – is why I’ve come here today.

Connecting a country of our size has never been easy. Just imagine what Americans experienced when they fanned out from thirteen colonies to settle a continent. If you wanted to get from one coast to the other, it would take you months and cost you a small fortune. If you settled in the heartland, you were an island, with no real market to sell your goods or buy what you needed.

So we decided to build a railroad to span a continent – one that would blast through mountains of granite, use thousands of miles of steel, and put to work an army of citizens and immigrants. It was an endeavor that would also require support from our government. As General William T. Sherman said, “Uncle Sam is the only giant I know who can grapple the subject.”

Even as President Lincoln tried to hold together North and South, he was determined to see this railroad unite East and West. Private companies joined the charge, racing one another to meet in the middle. And eventually, a telegraph operator sent out a simple message to the cheers of a waiting nation: “DONE.” If he knew we’d still be talking about it today, he might have come up with something more inspiring.

Overnight, the transcontinental railroad laid the way for a nationwide economy. A cross-country trip was cut from months to days. The cost to move goods and mail plummeted. Cowboys drove cattle to railcars that whisked them East. Entrepreneurs could sell anything, anywhere.

After the railroad was completed, a newspaper proclaimed: “We are the youngest of peoples. But we are teaching the world to march forward.”

That’s who we are – a nation that has always been built to compete. That’s why, decades later, FDR set up the Rural Electrification Administration – to help bring power to vast swaths of America that were still in darkness. Companies said that building lines to rural areas would be too costly. So Americans in these towns simply went without refrigeration or running water. If you wanted a glimpse of the larger world, your town might run a movie off a small diesel engine – but it might not even last for the full film.

Once power lines were laid down, electricity flowed to farms across the country and transformed millions of lives. When a Texas family returned home the first night their farmhouse was hooked up, a woman thought it was on fire. “No mama,” said her daughter, “the lights are on.”

Years later, as our nation grew by leaps and bounds, we realized that a patchwork system of back roads and dirt paths couldn’t handle the biggest economy in the world. So President Eisenhower helped make possible an Interstate Highway System that transformed the nation as much as the railways had. Finally, we could ship goods and services to places that railroads didn’t reach. We could live apart from where we worked. We could travel and see America.

These achievements…none of them just happened. We chose to do them. We chose to do big things. And every American benefited – not just from new conveniences. Not just from the jobs created by laying down new lines or tracks or pavement. We benefited from new economic growth – from the scores of new businesses that opened near each town’s new train station, new power lines, or new off-ramp.

But this is a new century. And we cannot expect tomorrow’s economy to take root along yesterday’s infrastructure. New companies are going to seek out the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – whether they’re in Shanghai or Chicago. And so if we want new jobs and businesses in America, we have to have the best transportation and communication networks in the world. Just like the movie, Field of Dreams: if we build it, they will come.

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a national project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. And I have I proposed redoubling these efforts. We want to put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. And within five years, we want to make it possible for businesses to put high-speed wireless services in reach of virtually every American.

That last part is why I chose to come to Northern Michigan University today. Today, more than 90 percent of homes in South Korea subscribe to high-speed broadband. Meanwhile, in America, the nation that created the internet, only 65 percent of households can say the same. When it comes to high-speed internet, the lights are still off in one-third of our households. For millions of Americans, the railway hasn’t come yet.

For our families and businesses, high-speed wireless service is the next train station; the next off-ramp. It’s how we’ll spark new innovation, new investments, and new jobs.

You already know this here at Northern Michigan. For a decade now, this university has given a new laptop to every incoming student. WiFi stretched across campus. But if you lived off-campus, like most students and teachers here, you were largely out of luck. Broadband was often too expensive to afford. And if you lived a bit further out of town, you were completely out of luck – broadband providers often won’t build networks where it’s not profitable.

So this university tried something new. You partnered with various companies to build a high-speed, next-generation wireless network. And you managed to install it with six people in only four days – without raising tuition. Today, this is one of America’s most connected universities, and enrollment is near the highest it’s been in 30 years.

What’s more, you told nearby towns that if they allowed you to retrofit their towers with new equipment to expand your network, then their schools, first responders, and city governments could use it too. As a result, police officers can access crime databases in their cars. Firefighters can download blueprints on the way to a burning building. Public works officials can save money by monitoring pumps and equipment remotely.

And you’ve created new online learning opportunities for K-12 students as far as 30 miles away, some of whom can’t always make it to school in a place that averages 200 inches of snow a year. Now, I’m sure some of the students don’t exactly see the end of snow days as an opportunity. But it’s good for their education, and it’s good for our economy. In fact, I’ve just come from a demonstration of online learning in action.

For local businesses, broadband access is helping them grow, prosper, and compete in a global economy. In fact, Marquette has been rated one of the top five “eCities” in Michigan for entrepreneurship. Consider Getz’s Clothiers, a third-generation, family-owned Marquette institution. They’ve occupied the same downtown store for more than a century – but with the help of broadband, they were recently listed as one of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Online sales make up more than two-thirds of its annual revenue. It can process more than 1,000 orders a day, and its workforce has more than doubled. Today Getz’s is a local business with a global footprint.

If you can do this in the snowy wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, we can do this all across America. In fact, many places already are. In Wagner, South Dakota, patients can receive high-quality, life-saving medical care from a Sioux Falls specialist who can monitor their EKG and listen to their breathing – from 100 miles away. In Ten Sleep, Wyoming, a town of about 300 people, a fiber-optic network allowed a company to employ several hundred teachers who teach English to students in Asia over the internet, 24 hours a day. You’ve all heard about outsourcing. Well this is what we call “insourcing” – where overseas work is done right here in America.

We want to multiply these stories – and yours – all over the country. We want to invest in the next-generation of high-speed wireless coverage for 98 percent of Americans.

This isn’t just about a faster internet or being able to friend someone on Facebook. It’s about connecting every corner of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers can monitor weather across the state and markets across the globe. It’s about an entrepreneur on Main Street with a great idea she hopes to sell to the big city. It’s about every young person who no longer has to leave his hometown to seek new opportunity – because it’s right at his fingertips.

To make this happen, we’ll invest in research and development of emerging technologies and applications. We’ll accelerate breakthroughs in health, education, and transportation; and deploy a new nationwide, interoperable wireless network for first responders – making sure they have the funding and the frequencies that they were promised and that they need to keep us safe. And by selling private companies the rights to these airwaves, we won’t just encourage private investment and expand wireless access; we’ll actually bring in revenues that lower our deficits.

Now, access to high-speed internet by itself won’t make a business more successful, or a student smarter, or a citizen more informed. That takes hard work. It takes those late nights. It takes that quintessentially American drive to be the best. But we have always believed that we have a responsibility to guarantee all our people every tool necessary for them to meet their full potential. And in a 21st century economy, that has never been more important. Every American deserves access to the world’s information. Every American deserves access to the global economy. We have promised this for fifteen years. It is time we delivered on that promise.

Connecting our people. Competing with the rest of the world. Living within our means without sacrificing what’s required to win the future. We can do all this. We have done it before.

In 1960, at the height of his presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy came to Michigan. It was a moment not unlike this one, when other nations were doing their best to take our place at the top. And here, he made it clear that if we wanted to keep from being knocked off, then there could only be one goal for the United States, and it could be summed up in one word: “first.”

“I do not mean first, but,” he said. “I do not mean first, when. I do not mean first, if. I mean first – period.”

“The real question now,” he continued, “is whether we are up to the task – whether each and every one of us is willing to face the facts, to bear the burdens, to provide the risks, [and] to meet our dangers.”

Marquette, we were up to the task then. We are up to the task today. Time and time again, whether westward or skyward, with each rail and road we’ve laid, in every community we’ve connected with our own science and imagination, we have forged anew our faith that we can do anything. We do big things. That’s who we are. That’s who we must be once more – that young nation that teaches the world to march forward.

That’s what you’re doing here at Northern Michigan University, and that’s what all of us are going to do together in the months and years to come. Thank you, God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America.


by Rayne

Police Brutality Alive and Well in Houston: Teen Battered [Video]

9:22 am in Government by Rayne

The following video depicts actual violence and may be unsuitable for some viewers.

A friend sent me a link to this video last night to ask me what I thought.

I don’t have words to describe this; anything I can choke out is inadequate. Even what I write here will not adequately do justice.

This is a child — a 15-year-old youth only a little older than my youngest and a little younger than my oldest. And Houston’s so-called finest are kicking him while he is down on the ground, kicking him in the head, near his kidneys, his groin after nearly running him down with their car.

This is a child who at the time of this battery was suspected of being involved in a home burglary along with three other suspects. The other three had been under surveillance; Holley was seen exiting a townhome with two of the suspects. When the police gave chase, Holley ran — and what appears in this video is the outcome of that chase.

The police did not take fingerprints at the townhome; they didn’t fingerprint the stolen goods. There’s apparently nothing in the way of evidence to tie Holley to a burglary, only association with others suspected of burglary.

And yet the police tried to run him down with their car; he was stomped, kicked and beaten by at least five officers although he was already down on the ground. At no point in any of the coverage of this story does it appear that the officers believed Holley was an adult, or that Holley might have a weapon, offering little excuse for the battery show in this video. It’s cruel and unusual extra-judicial punishment without any due process.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

by Rayne

Snow Day Pointers for Mayor Wannabes

5:23 pm in Elections, Government, Politics by Rayne

Hey you. The candidate running for office in some midwest municipality, the kind of locale which gets nailed and hard by snow at least once a year. Not the four to six inches of snow kind of mess — the blizzard kind of mess which locks up your municipality for at least a day.

We know you’re under pressure to be all “Cory Booker, Super Mayor” after Booker’s heroic efforts to dig out his city while using social media. We’ll cut you some slack and acknowledge that Booker might be a one-off kind of guy, able to leap mounds of snow and dispense diapers to shut-in parents in a single bound. You don’t have to do all that, especially being a mere candidate.

But for all that is holy, be authentic at whatever you decide to do. Judges used to sitting in cushy offices might not be able to see through you, but voters can, and that’s what really matters. Here’s some pointers for you, laid out as simply as possible in terms you’ll understand:

1. Get a shovel. — A real snow fucking shovel. Not one of these OMFG-I-Forgot-To-Get-A-Shovel last-minute/last- shovel-left things. Christ, this thing looks like the toy snow shovel I gave my kid when they were four.

2. Dress for success, will you? — Are you fucking kidding me? Dockers with cuffs in the snow? Dude, this is so not Casual Friday at the office. Wear jeans with some long underwear, or some Goretex pants over these damned things. Act like you’re from the Midwest and know how to dress for the snow, eh?

3. Those. Are. Not. The. Right. Boots. — Just, no. No working stiff would wear nubuck workboots in slush and snow, even if they’re waterproof. And what the hell are those anyhow? They don’t look like Carhartt, Redwing, Caterpillar, Dickies, or Timberland boots — wait, unless they’re the Timberland boots at Nordstrom’s, which as we all know is every working Joe’s favorite place to shop for sturdy work boots. Not.

By the way, your mouth is going more than the shovel is in this photo. Less talking, more shoveling.

4. Use your head. – While you and what ever campaign staffer following you were probably thinking what a great shot this would be, showing how you put your shoulder to the wheel and all to help the municipality’s finest, it’s also not a flattering shot for them. The cop who got stuck is probably embarrassed and his peeps are going to rag on him for becoming your photo bitch. Think about it before you pose, poser.

4. Use your head, Part 2 — Um, there’s no snow in here, and the folks pictured aren’t going out in the snow and therefore don’t need your help. Get your ass outside and shovel.

4. Use your head, Part 3 — Really, we’re covering the same ground here. This is not getting the snow shoveled. It’s getting in the way of the sanitation folks featured in this photo who actually do make the snow go away. Read the body language here; the guy at the left is chuckling at a joke, which may or may not be you, and the guy closest to you looks like he’s caught a whiff of some serious bullshit. Get the fuck out and go shovel.

5. The Cory Booker Factor — Okay, after analysis and pointers provided so far, it’s clear we need to look at the Booker example after all. You know why Booker got rave reviews? Because he got shit done AND he didn’t use the snow for fucking photo ops. You see any pictures of Booker digging people out? Let me know, because I can’t find any. But we’ve heard from many people who gave testimony to Booker living his personal values large and just plain making it happen.

You might think about that last point very carefully. You do have personal values, right?


by Rayne

Special FDL Book Salon Preview: Chat with FCIC’s Byron Georgiou about FCIC’s Report

3:39 pm in Economy, FDL Book Salon, Financial Crisis, Government by Rayne

FCIC Commissioner Byron Georgiou

Join us for a special FDL Book Salon tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET when FDL’s Ed Walker will host a live chat with Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissioner Byron Georgiou. They’ll be discussing the FCIC’s financial crisis report and take your questions on the same.

From Mr. Georgiou’s biography at FCIC’s website:

Byron Georgiou has had a long career in the private and public sector in business, law and government service.

He currently oversees Georgiou Enterprises, with wide ranging interests including the manufacture of a broad range of lithium ion iron phosphate all electric powered vehicles. [...]

Mr. Georgiou has served since 2005 on the advisory board of the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance which hosts the world’s leading blog on corporate governance and financial regulation.

Since 2000, Mr. Georgiou has been affiliated Of Counsel to the national law firm of Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd, the world’s largest plaintiffs’ securities practice, and has spent much of the last decade investigating and civilly prosecuting financial fraud, with leadership roles in the historic litigations on behalf of victimized investors at Enron, WorldCom, Dynegy, AOLTimeWarner, and UnitedHealth.

Mr. Georgiou serves on the FCIC along with Phil Angelides (chairman), Bill Thomas (vice chairman), Brooksley Born, Bob Graham, Keith Hennessey, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Heather Murren, John W. Thompson, and Peter J. Wallison.

You can read a copy of the FCIC’s published conclusions at this link (pdf).

Add this event to your calendar and join us for what should be an enlightening discussion — 2:00 p.m. tomorrow ET at

by Rayne

Holding Our Breath: Sunday Morning in Egypt Brings Rumors, Departures

6:19 am in Countries in Conflict, Executive Branch, Foreign Policy, Government by Rayne

Rallies supporting the Egyptian uprising are spreading, including this one in Australia today. (photo: Takver via Flickr)

This won’t be a big sweeping post about events unfolding in Egypt; it’ll be just enough to help you catch up this morning.

Rumors began after 1:00 a.m. EST that Hosni Mubarak had already fled to Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula; rumors followed shortly thereafter that the Egyptian Army had moved into Sharm el-Sheikh as well. Such a move without the express consent of Israel would be a breach of the Camp David accords.

Al Jazeera Arabic’s license has been annulled and their coverage of events blocked by Nile TV satellite.

Egypt’s outgoing information minister had earlier “ordered the closure of all activities by Al Jazeera in the Arab republic of Egypt, and the annulment of its licenses, as well as withdrawing the press cards of all its employees,” the official MENA news agency said.

Al Jazeera’s Dan Nolan indicates they will continue to provide coverage anyhow as their Cairo bureau packs up. It remains to be seen how the White House will respond to this additional suppression of speech.

As you can see from the photo inset, rallies are popping up all over in support of the people’s uprising in Egypt. Sizable rallies happened in the U.S. yesterday, including one in front of the White House, this one about 14 hours ago in Boston and this one about 18 hours ago in San Francisco.

More immediate ominous signs of things to come:

Preparations are being made by the U.S. and Turkey as well as other middle eastern countries to evacuate their citizens in Egypt to other locations in Europe.

Reports are popping up across Twitter that fighter jets are now flying over Tahir Square in Cairo.

We’ll have more coverage throughout the day.

Oh, forgot to add this bit of goodness: Seems the Guardian-UK must not have an editor watching traffic of articles publishing over the weekend, given this piece which published yesterday promoting Cairo as a vacation destination. We hear it’s warm there this time of year.

by Rayne

Egypt after Midnight: ‘Angry Friday’ Stretches into Saturday

3:45 pm in Countries in Conflict, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics by Rayne

Analysis of Egypt’s unrest and potential transition from Al Jazeera-English reveals how much more nuanced the geo-politics involved than American media conveys, and how understanding the Middle East has been of America’s national interests.

The unrest is spreading elsewhere, as Al Jazeera notes that Egyptian protesters have taken to the streets in Dublin, Ireland as well.

The developments have been of personal interest to our MyFDL team as one of our editors has been traveling in the middle east and Europe this week. Ruth Calvo wrote this morning that the leg of her trip to Egypt scheduled for Friday had been canceled due to the upheaval; she also shared,

Have seen only sympathetic agreement with Egyptian populace wherever I’ve been. No one thought the government there was going anywhere but more into the wrong direction. Will talk more with Turkish folks tomorrow, but generally, they’re rooting for the crowd.

We’re looking forward to hearing more from her on her return and hope the rest of her trip is uneventful and educational.