A Major Heil from the Fuhrer

 Posted by at 1:21 pm  Politics
Aug 162017
 

All along, Republicans have been saying that Trump is not a racist, not a Nazi, and not a white supremacist.  Confronted with the flood of hate speech he has spewed from early in his campaign to the present, Republican pundits say that he really doesn’t believe that.  He’s just saying what segments of the base needd to hear.  Yesterday, he removed all doubt.  He clicked his heels, raised his arm, and screamed "Heil!"  The Alt-right Nazi Republicans and KKK Republicans loved it.

TrumpNazi2

President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations — equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

Never has he gone as far in defending their actions as he did during a wild, street-corner shouting match of a news conference in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower, angrily asserting that so-called alt-left activists were just as responsible for the bloody confrontation as marchers brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, anti-Semitic banners and “Trump/Pence” signs.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth,” David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, wrote in a Twitter post [KKK Republican delinked] shortly after Mr. Trump spoke.

Richard B. Spencer, a white nationalist leader who participated in the weekend’s demonstrations and vowed to flood Charlottesville with similar protests in the coming weeks, was equally encouraged. “Trump’s statement was fair and down to earth,” Mr. Spencer tweeted [Nazi Republican delinked]…

From <NY Times>

Even to a monster like Trump, that level of hatred just does not come naturally.  It has to be learned.  And that begs the question, "Where did Trump learn it?"  Last night, Rachel Maddow addressed that issue.

Normally, one would say, the apple does not fall far from the tree, but in Trump’s case, the tree took a big dump, and that bad apple was Trump.

RESIST!!

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Aug 162017
 

It’s another busy day with temps in the 80°s and high humidity.  Store to Door delivered groceries, and I just finished putting them away.  In half an hour, I’ll break for lunch.  Boo Hoo!  I intended to have dawg, but that Sasquatch took it.  I have a haircut scheduled at Noon.  Then I finish writing, do some paperwork, and take a nap.  Finally, Wendy is coming to de-stink the TomCat!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:15 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): More Moral Than Trump: The Red Wings and the Torch Maker | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

The explanation is obvious. Unlike Trump, neither the Red Wings nor Tiki are Nazis. RESIST!!

From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Michele Bachmann Is Now Skyline’s Pastor To The United Nations

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

AprilFools

Is Batshit just like a bad penny, as evidenced by my 2012 April Fools graphic, or what?  RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans would gladly work for Robert Mueller for free if that would help speed things up, a new poll finds.

According to the survey, a substantial number of Americans would leave their jobs, their homes, and even their families to join the special counsel’s team if doing so would help bring this nightmare to a swifter conclusion.

A spokesperson for the special counsel confirmed that his office has been receiving thousands of résumés a day from Americans begging to do anything to help Mueller “move things along.”

Dang Andy! Where do I sign up? RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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Aug 152017
 

Well finally we have some tolerable weather here in Metro Vancouver.  It is currently 22 C (72 F) with 53% humidity, bright sunshine and winds at 9 km/hour.  This is good and the furbabes are loving it too!  This is a busy week for me with lots of paperwork and appointments.  At the end of next week, my little girl will have her 9th birthday.  I plan for a fresh roasted chick breast for the 3 of them to share.  I will be more popular than ever!

CBC — U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out at the growing number of corporate executives who are distancing themselves from his administration after his response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that led to the death of one counter-protester last weekend.

A day after a number of high-profile CEOs started to resign from his business advisory council, the U.S. president lashed out.

“For every CEO that drops out of the manufacturing council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”

 

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier’s

Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO,  Kenneth Frazier, Merck CEO, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. And in February, Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick left the president’s side over his executive order curtailing immigration. Kalanick said the order was “hurting people in communities all across America.”

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

Click through and listen to the video with Ed Rensi, the former CEO of McDonald’s USA.  He has some direct and sound advice for Trump and it is well worth the eight minutes.  We may not all agree with everything these executives do in their businesses, but they all are taking principled stands and no doubt there will be more.  As for Trump, Rensi said “It was childish, unprofessional and below the dignity of the guy holding that office. … shame on him …”  And on politics, he went on to say “In my opinion today, there is a ruling, imperial elite.  They make rules to keep themselves entrenched in government and now they’re going to pay the price because they have a president who is a wild card now.”  

AlterNet — Go home; leave the state; you’re not welcome.

That was Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s message to white supremacists who came to Charlottesville to show America that white rage is real and is coming out of the shadows.

But wait a second. Where are these domestic terrorists supposed to go back to? One of the first four people arrested was from Virginia. The others were from Ohio, Florida and Tennessee. Each of these states has been dominated by white Republicans this decade, who have methodically implemented racist election laws that gave them majority rule in state legislatures and their U.S. House delegations.

Election data geeks have looked at the results of 2016 and found it was one of the most anti-democratic elections in a century. As David Wasserman, U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report, recently wrote, “In 2016, Trump lost the national popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, but Republicans won the median House seat by 3.4 points and median Senate seat by 3.6 points—that’s the widest Senate gap in at least a century.”  …

The white mobs rampaging in Charlottesville may want more privilege, segregation and wealth, but whether they know it or not—most probably they don’t—their Republican allies have been rewriting the rules of politics and elections to favor them for years.

Really, I don’t think that this will surprise anyone here.  Progressives need to get in at the ground floor and sweep it clean.  That means progressives from dog catcher on up; repealing discriminatory voting regulations, and redrawing voting districts so that they are fair.  No gerrymandered districts that slant the vote.  If the US wants to continue to be “the land of the free” then it must ensure that all its citizens can vote without undue restrictions like onerous voter ID.

YouTube — Stephen Colbert’s Monologue — Trump denounces white supremacists

I don’t think I have ever seen Colbert quite so serious.  Although there are a few lighter moments, clearly Trump has angered many, many people.  It is always a clear sign of anger when even comedians and political comics can’t make light.  Please do not misunderstand me, Trump’s behaviour over the past week is deplorable and well beneath the dignity of the office he inhabits.

 John Oliver — Charlottesville

I won’t repeat myself.  What I said about Colbert’s monologue applies to John Oliver’s piece.

Maclean’s — The escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea over the past two weeks have left many quite anxious, including those of us in Canada. President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” warning to Pyongyang, in particular, epitomized how quickly tensions could escalate in a matter of hours. It had an eerie doomsday-like tone commonly found in the propaganda materials of Pyongyang, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis rushed to downplay the severity of Trump’s message. Some began to wonder: Will Canada be within the target range of the ICBMs? If the United States was attacked, would Canada be called upon to help as a NATO member?

And of course, there has been an exchange of hostile rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, sparked by North Korea’s second test launch of Hwasong-14 on Jul. 28, its most potent Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed to date. In a rare moment of unity, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Aug. 5 to impose toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea. In return, Pyongyang promised to retaliate by a “thousand fold.” Trump and Kim then traded threats over nuclear warheads, a potential attack in Guam, and even a pre-emptive strike by the United States. Just earlier on Monday, South Korea’s recently installed president Moon Jae-In told Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, that “our top priority is the national interest … and our national interest lies in peace.”

As a Pacific nation, Canada also has an interest in peace on the Korean peninsula. Canada’s free trade agreement with South Korea, which came into force in 2015, is our first in the Asia-Pacific region. South Korea is Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner, and the two-way trade is valued at more than $12 billion. More than a million people travel between Canada and South Korea every year. We have an active and thriving community of Korean-Canadians across Canada. What happens on the Korean peninsula matters to Canadians, and there is a role that Canada can play to alleviate tensions: Canadian diplomatic work in Seoul, Pyongyang, Washington, Moscow, and Tokyo would give genuine substance to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s proclamation in 2015 that “Canada is back.”

It’s clear that other voices beyond America are needed. Part of what has made the latest crisis so confusing was the lack of any coherent American policy on North Korea, aside from Trump’s tweets. Those mixed signals from Washington, however, reflect a broader underlying problem which began long before the Trump era: the United States has failed in devising a consistent policy for dealing with North Korea, a failure that only gave the Kim regime more time to improve its military capabilities.  …

Having a constructive and independent Canadian foreign policy means standing up for our values and using our resources to fight for what’s right. Louis St. Laurent did it with NATO and Canada in Europe; Lester B. Pearson did it on Suez; John Diefenbaker did it on South Africa; Brian Mulroney did it on free trade and the “Open Skies” initiative; Paul Martin did it on the establishment of the G20.

Click through for the rest of the article.  One of the things that I am very proud of as a Canadian is Canada’s oft repeated role of peacekeeper.  We would rather use diplomatic channels first.  When the US invaded Iraq, PM Jean Chrétien declined to join the fight because the evidence of WMD just wasn’t there.  The UK joined the fight however.  In Afghanistan, Canada sent troops in but certainly towards the end of our involvement, Canadians were building roads, schools and helping with local housing.  Having spoken with Afghani acquaintances that now live in Canada, they confirmed that they very much appreciated what the Canadians did for and in partnership with them.  But while that is our preferred method of contribution, we can fight as well.  During WWI, Canadian troops proved their mettle at the second Battle of Ypres and then again at Passchendaele (third Battle of Ypres) but at a high cost.  During WWII, we were at Dunkirk among other places.  We served in Korea 1950-53, but we refused to go to war in Vietnam.  We were in Cyprus as peacekeepers and again in Rwanda as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.  While Australian PM Turnbull has said that Australia will go to war against North Korea if the US declares war,  I hope Canada will take up her traditional diplomatic role before that happens.  However, with a loose cannon like Trump in the US and Kim Jong-un in the Hermit Kingdom, who knows.

My Universe — Every time I sneeze or blow my nose, my three furbabes run away fast and furiously!  Seems the sound is distressing to them but it usually helps me!

 

 

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UBI?

 Posted by at 1:50 pm  Politics
Aug 152017
 

Way back when I was in college, I wrote a paper for my Economics class, in which I suggested that structural unemployment would increase to the extent that after fifty years, there would be far more job seekers than there are jobs.  I said the causes would be automation and the development of third world manufacturing.  That was fifty years ago.  I also determined that it would cause economic distress, because too many unemployed people would not have the income to buy those third world and automation products.  Does this sound familiar?  I suggested that since the needed jobs don’t exit, the solution is to change the manner in which we distribute wealth.  I’ve mentioned this over the years from time to time.  Other minds have fallen into the same ditch, and people are talking about it again.

0815basic_income

Is the idea of cash handouts for everyone, no strings attached, a breakthrough solution for unemployment and social inequality, or a road to profligacy and idleness? Attracting left, right, and center, the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is the perfect Rorschach test in the public debate over “the future of work.” For Americans, the universal benefits just might outweigh the universal costs.

The UBI model is radically simple: a basic payment designed to cover basic expenses. After giving to each according to need, people are freer to give according to ability. UBIvangelists argue that automatically providing for basic nutritional and shelter needs liberates people to ascend the hierarchy of needs and focus on more valuable activities, like developing social relationships and civic and cultural engagement. Others hope a UBI would foster a more harmonious, cooperative post-work society simply by countering scarcity and selfishness.

The idea of free cash has inherent public appeal. Surveys by the Economic Security project show that 46 percent of respondents favored giving every individual “a base income,” especially among youth and people of color, while 35 percent were opposed…

From <The Nation>

For more, you can visit basicincome.org. And think of all the activism this could enable.

I was surprised to learn today that someone I respect has also been playing with this idea.

Wooo Hooo!  The Reich on the left is right!

There is a whole article without one single mention of you know who. Now…

RESIST!!

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Aug 152017
 

Yesterday’s eye appointment was completely successful.  My right eye is 20/20, and my left eye is scheduled for cataract surgery on 7/28.  The only bad news is that I’ll need to wait six months before a plastic surgeon can correct the excessive droop in my eyelids, and three months after that before my left eye can be surgically repaired to point straight.  So it will be spring before the long process of seeing right again is finally done.  The temperatures are back in the 80°s, so I’m back on AC, but at least it isn’t murderous!  I hope you’re having a great day!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:43 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

Lefty Blog Friends has a new team.  Welcome the Country Raiderettes.  It’s Wendy!

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Trump And Charlottesville: Too Little, Too Late | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Keith says what we have all been saying, buy more of it. However, calling Trump filth insults filth. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: A disturbing hostage video surfaced on Monday showing an American man woodenly reciting words that were not his own.

The video, which was broadcast on all the major news networks, raised concerns for the man, whose robotic performance indicated that he was reading a prepared statement under duress.

While the man appeared well fed and, to a certain extent, healthy, his facial expressions and body language convinced experts that the act of reciting the prepared text was an extraordinary ordeal for him.

Harland Dorrinson, a forensic psychologist, compared the man’s performance with hours of earlier footage of him and said that the man had “never expressed these sentiments before.”

Dang Andy! That’s NOT satire! RESIST!!

From NY Times: The white supremacists and right-wing extremists who came together over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., are now headed home, many of them ready and energized, they said, to set their sights on bigger prizes.

Some were making arrangements to appear at future marches. Some were planning to run for public office. Others, taking a cue from the Charlottesville event — a protest, nominally, of the removal of a Confederate-era statue — were organizing efforts to preserve white heritage symbols in their home regions.

Calling it “an opportune time,” Preston Wiginton, a Texas-based white nationalist, declared on Saturday that he planned to hold a “White Lives Matter” march on Sept. 11 on the campus of Texas A&M — with a keynote speaker, Richard B. Spencer, who was featured at the Charlottesville event.

These Republican Alt-Right Nazis are emboldened because they literally got away with murder with the tacit support of the US Resident. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0815Cartoon

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Aug 152017
 

We have not heard a lot about Robert Mueller’s investigation into “Russia-gate” or whatever one chooses to call Trump and the Trump campaign’s association with Russia in the past few days.  Trump’s response, or better put, a lack of appropriate response, to the Charlottesville tragedy has taken over.  Is his “response” to the Charlottesville tragedy meant as a distraction from Mueller’s investigation?

AlterNet — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spent the opening of her Friday show doing a deep dive into the “extraordinary flim-flammery” of President Donald Trump’s past financial dealings.

As it turns out, the president once short-changed New York City to the tune of $2.8 million in a deal designed to avoid paying upwards of $150 million in property taxes.

Rachel Maddow presents a very interesting backstory as to a very possible motivation for why Trump did not want to release his tax returns like previous presidential candidates have done.

The second video explores the issue with journalist David Cay Johnston founder of DCReports.org .

I think both Rachel and David Cay Johnston make a very good argument as to why Trump does not want his financial records available for scrutiny by Mueller or anyone else for that matter.  And what about Trump’s ability to pardon himself or anyone else involved in criminal dealings with Russia or Russians?  The US Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 states in part (Wikipedia) “…  and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”  So Trump could pardon his kids or anyone else if they are convicted of a crime but he could not pardon himself if he is impeached.  However, were he to be impeached, he would be succeeded by VP Pence who likely would pardon him.  This is what happened with Richard Nixon . . . Gerald Ford, who succeeded Nixon as president, pardoned Nixon on 08 September 1974.  What are your thoughts? 

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