Feb 242018
 

For the last several days, the political news has been dominated by measures our nation should take, since the MAGA massacre in which a Trump supporter murdered seventeen students.  In addition, many have been distracted by the Winter Olympics.  Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten and his Republican Reich have been pleased with both, because they have distracted everyone from his criminal conspiracy with the Russians.  Therefore, let me remind you.

0224TrumpBlackmailed

The editor-at-large for CNBC debunked the latest defenses coming from the White House during a Saturday appearance with Alex Witt on MSNBC.

“What do the recent developments tell you about how [Robert] Mueller is putting all the pieces together in this puzzle?” Witt asked John Harwood.

“Well Alex, we don’t know as a legal matter about collusion, but what we do know is that you had a campaign chairman who had been indirectly on Russia’s payroll through his work for Yanukovych in Ukraine. We know that the Trump organization itself has said that it was dependent on Russian money itself before the campaign started. We’ve got the National Security Adviser to the president having pled guilty and cooperating, and we have a president who has declined to implement sanctions that Congress passed against Russia, who has consistently declined to criticize Russia,” Harwood noted. “And we know that Russian hacking helped him win the election.”

“So the pieces are pretty clear that the Russians helped Donald Trump; Donald Trump is pursuing policies favorable to Russia,” Harwood continued. “There’s a steadily increasing amount of pressure, as Jill [Colvin] was just saying, that renders what the White House is saying as nonsense.”

The panel also discussed White House senior advisor Jared Kushner’s inability to get a permanent security clearance… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>
Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

Here’s video:

Drip…, Drip…, Drip….  I can’t wait for the SPLAT!!

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Feb 242018
 

I have some wonderful news.  Over the years, I’ve written nine letters to the Oregon Parole Board testifying that Steve, one of my guys in prison, should be released.  Here, on more than one occasion, I have expressed frustration that Steve,  the person among my guys, who most deserved a chance at freedom, had been rejected once again.  Yesterday, Steve walked free. I wanted be there, but my volunteer co-workers and I agreed that repeatedly loading and unloading me in my chair in icy conditions was too hazardous and time consuming.  Sandi sent me some pics, one of which I shall share after getting permission from Steve to do so.  Having Steve released is the high point of my volunteer career.  I actually had to open my window again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:13 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Oregonian Channel): Oregon lawmakers pass gun control bill aimed at domestic abusers

 

More than one of my guys in prison, for whom I do volunteer work, had fights with their partners, and having domestic violence histories and no impulse control, shot and killed them. Two have told me they wished someone had taken away their guns before they did. Kudos to the Oregon Legislature. Oregon leads the way. RESIST!!

From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Center For Security Policy’s CPAC Panel Discusses How To Get Muslims To Leave The U.S.

 

A prime topic at CPUKE is Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hatred. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Sheldon G. Adelson, one of the most hawkish supporters of Israel among American Jews, has offered to help fund the construction of a new American Embassy in Jerusalem, according to the State Department, which on Friday said it was reviewing whether it could legally accept the donation.

The total price tag to build the new embassy to replace the current one in Tel Aviv is estimated at around $500 million, according to one former State Department official. While private donors have previously paid for renovations to American ambassadors’ overseas residences, Mr. Adelson’s contribution would be likely to far surpass those gifts — and could further strain American diplomacy in the Middle East.

Before the embassy is built, the Trump administration plans to open a temporary one in Jerusalem. On Friday, it said that it was accelerating the projected opening in time to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel on May 14.

Adelson gas already assured Trump’s support for Butcher Bibi with $200 million spent on his campaign. Now he wants to rush a fascist one-state non-solution, before the either the US or the Trump Reich implodes, one of which will happen.  RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0224Cartoon

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Everyday Erinyes #112

 Posted by at 10:07 am  Politics
Feb 242018
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into
normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These
incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come
and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more
which I can’t include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there
were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone.
These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”

TomCat has written more than once about exploding oil trains, and I think I have
posted a site through which one can determine just how close one lives to the rails on which these trains move. Through it, I learned that my home is indeed in the ‘blast zone,” so that if a train were to explode just by my street, I would be toast, literally.

But, as the EPA prepares to further destroy our air, our water, our land, our oceans, and all living things contained therein, this risk begins to shrink to a relatively minor consideration. To take me out, an oil train would have to explode opposite my street, plus or minus about a mile either way, and I would have to be home at the time (that of course is fairly probable, but not certain.) But there is another risk which not too many people know about, partly because information on it given to the public was deliberately faked and knowingly used by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under the leadership, at the time, of Kathleen Hartnett White. That issue the issue of radiation in public tap water. Ms. Hartnett White, incidentally, was recently nominated by Trump (the nomination has since been withdrawn) to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Radiation in drinking water affects not just people who live within certain small radii, but everyone who lives within a system where the water is radioactive. It doesn’t kill as fast or as certainly as being consumed in a puff of flame, but it does kill over time. And one doesn’t have to be “at home when it happens,” because it is happening constantly, and anyone who drinks water is subject to its effects.

AlterNet recently covered this story with material from Environmental Working Group, including links to their Tap Water Database (which contains information on pretty well every contaminant you can think of as well as some you have never heard of), and their interactive map, which just locates radium (which is the most common radioactive element found in water.) Either will also link you further to information on filters that work and how costly they are. You can limit your search based on the kind of filter you are interested in and based on the contaminant or contaminants you are concerned about.

I wouldn’t look up everyone’s water department for you, even if I had all your addresses, because I’m sure you wouldn’t want them published. So I’m showing, as I did for the blast zone, my own. But the map’s not that tough to use. Bigger dots serve more customers. Darker dots have more radium. If you can’t get the mouse to give you the right pointer, you can put your Zip code in instead of clicking.

Bear in mind that

[F]ederal drinking water standards are based on the cost and feasibility of removing contaminants, not scientific determinations of what is necessary to fully protect human health. And like many EPA tap water standards, the radium limits are based on decades-old research rather than the latest science.

EWG prefers the guidelines set by the California Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment to the Federal guidelines. Although not legally enforceable, they are at least calculated based on actual cancer risks. California looks at two isotopes of radium separately, which the EPA does not. It looks to me, however, like the radium from my water utility is running somewhere between twenty and a hundred times what California recommends. I have a household reverse osmosis filter, though, and even though it comes in already filtered, I run it through the refrigerator filter anyway if I plan to drink it. Or cook with it.

I’m not going to point any finger at any states over this – all fifty states have water systems with radium. Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone, and staff, you will have plenty to do. If you should get bored, however, you can always look at lead.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Feb 232018
 

Here is the one hundred tenth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. He is so honored for his Republican conspiracy theories, invented to continue the Republican tradition of trading children’s lives for gun profits.

0223NAZI_Rifle_AssociationThe head of the biggest gun lobby in the US has accused Democrats of pushing a "socialist" agenda to deprive gun owners of their weapons, in an uncompromising speech just a week after 17 people died in the Florida school shooting.

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, made no attempt to moderate his message a day after survivors of the Parkland shooting faced down lawmakers in a CNN debate and the President at the White House. Instead, he told conservative activists that voters should be "frightened" of any future Democrat election victories, and accused Democrats of exploiting the deaths in an effort to destroy the Second Amendment.

"Socialism is a movement that loves a smear," he said.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservatives outside Washington, LaPierre warned Democrats would use the tragedy to push an agenda that went beyond gun control. "What they want is more restrictions on the law-abiding," LaPierre said. "They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security."

Staring out into the audience, LaPierre told them "you should be anxious and you should be frightened" about the potential of another Democratic takeover of the House, Senate and White House.

"If they seize power … our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever," he said. "The first to go will be the Second Amendment."…

Inserted from <WRAL>
Graphic credit: zaxtor.net

Here’s video:

Bullshit Bag Alert!!

Is that projection or what?  No Democrats want the things he claims.  The common sense items I favor are closing the gun show loophole, requiring a better background check.  I also favor requiring certification of proficiency in gun handling and safety, and requiring special permits for assault weapons.  It’s having different classes of firearms licenses the way we have different classes of motor vehicle licenses.  Like virtually all other Democrats, the only people, whose guns I want to take away, are those people shouldn’t have guns for cause.  Nobody is talking about taking guns from law abiding citizens, except Republican conspiracy theorists.

I’ve written about LaPierre at least a dozen times over the years, and I’m shocked that I’ve never given him a parade before.  God knows he deserves it!

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Feb 232018
 

Here at the CatBox, the outside temperature got down to 23° this morning, setting another record.  After today, it should start to warm up.  I hope you all have a wonderful, Republican-free weekend!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:12 (average 5:27).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Media Matters Channel): How conspiracy theories about Parkland shooting survivors spread

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

As usual, the Republican Reich has earned a PhD (pilled higher and deeper) in Bullshitology! RESIST!!

From YouTube (CNN Channel): Trump considers pulling ICE agents to punish California

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

If Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten pulled ICE from CA, wouldn’t most Californians call that a blessing, not a punishment? RESIST!!

From NY Times: The only armed sheriff’s deputy at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed took cover outside rather than charging into the building when the massacre began, the Broward County sheriff said on Thursday. The sheriff also acknowledged that his office received 23 calls related to the suspect going back a decade, including one last year that said he was collecting knives and guns, but may not have adequately followed up.

The deputy, Scot Peterson, resigned on Thursday after being suspended without pay after Sheriff Scott Israel reviewed surveillance video.

“He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said in a news conference. He said the video showed Deputy Peterson doing “nothing.”

“There are no words,” said Sheriff Israel, who described himself as “devastated, sick to my stomach.”

Two other deputies were placed on restricted duty on Thursday because they may have mishandled tips called in to the sheriff’s office over the past two years warning that the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, appeared intent on becoming a school shooter, Sheriff Israel said.

The revelations added to a growing list of failures and missed signs by the authorities that might have helped prevent one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.

Peterson should not be allowed to retire. His pension should be stripped, and he should be fired. The GOP/NRA "good guys with guns" mantra is hogwash! On the missed signs and mishandled reports, incompetence just what foolish voters get, when they elect Republicans. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Donald J. Trump was reportedly “furious” on Wednesday morning after a purge of right-wing bots by Twitter left him with a total of fourteen remaining followers, aides have confirmed.

Rising at 3 a.m. to engage in one of his trademark early-morning tweetstorms, Trump was incensed to discover that his Twitter following had plummeted from more than forty-eight million to a little more than a dozen.

At Twitter headquarters, in San Francisco, a company spokesman confirmed that Trump had indeed lost 48,076,920 followers in the bot purge. “It turned out that over forty-six million of the President’s followers came from a single troll farm in Macedonia,” the spokesman said.

As of Wednesday, Trump’s fourteen remaining Twitter followers included his daughter Ivanka; his sons Eric and Donald, Jr.; several White House aides; and someone named Heinrich Himmler III.

Dang Andy! LOL!! I’m sure not surprised. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0223Cartoon

I’ve used this on this date for five years now.  It’s perennially relevant.

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Feb 232018
 

Unfortunately I just have too much on my plate right now.

I’ll be heading back to Illinois to

[1] Meet w/ Mom’s accountant to do her 2017 taxes – and begin work on a final estate tax form (w/e that is)

[2] Help the auction site we’ve used to sell the farmhouse, farm land and most of Mom’s belongings when she moved into Assisted Living empty out her apartment.  Fortunately there’s not that much since we worked so hard to sort & purge when she moved her into the apartment

[3] File the Will w/ the County Circuit Clerk & begin that paperwork.  Fortunately almost everything was either POD (Payable on Death) or had named beneficiaries – so looks like we’ll be able to avoid Probate.

But had another bump in the road.  My brother, who’s been having a series of serious medical issues, flew back to Florida a week ago last Wednesday (14th).  I drove back on the 15th – and when I got home there were a number of urgent messages on the voicemail.

That morning his cleaning lady found him unconscious on the floor.  Thank God it was her day to do the cleaning!

So back into the hospital he went for even more tests.  They found that he had 90% blockage of his left carotid artery.  So on Wednesday he had a endarterectomy done, and got to go home (which he was chomping at the bit to do) last night.

He has a special-needs kitty cat whose legs are almost paralyzed – so he has to put her in the litterbox and then take her out; take her to the food/water bowl; etc.  He has two other normal cats that he also dearly missed.  Since his wife passed last Labor Day weekend, the cats have become even more important to him.

At any rate, I hope that I’ll be able to do something next week.  Although I have my own taxes staring me in the face when I get back.  And this year I’ll have to start taking my RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) from my IRAs.  Just beginning to learn the ins-and-outs of how that works.

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