Jun 252016
 

I have not been able to follow the Brexit news as closely as I wanted to, but felt dismayed to learn that the Brits have surrendered their prerogative to call Americans stupid, as Andy put it so well.  However there are a couple silver linings.  First, the UK Tory government is toast.  More important the secessionist seditious Republicans in Texas want to follow suit.  That’s the one really good thing for the US!

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They’re at it again. Sarah Palin was encouraged by the Brexit vote to call for the US to divorce the UN. But in Texas, they aim for something bigger.

Never mind that the United States Constitution forbids it: Inspired by Brexit, the Texas Nationalist Movement [Republican seditionists delinked] wants to #Texit. Just as Donald Trump failed to realize Scotland did not vote to leave the EU, Daniel Miller, president of the TNM, doesn’t seem to realize that not only do most Texans not want to leave the Union, but they couldn’t if they wanted to…

Miller irrelevantly lamented to news.com.au,

“The vast majority of the laws, rules and regulations that affect the people of Texas are created by the political class or unelected bureaucrats in Washington.”…

…Honestly, given how Texas is governed, it’s not surprising that the uneducated and poorly informed would think it’s the Federal Government and not their own Republican Party running their state down…

From <PoliticusUSA>

Republicans love the idea! Here’s a Republican fascist calling for Texit!!

Barf Bag Alert!!

There is one thing about this that boggles the mind.  If Texas secedes, they could make Rump Dump Trump correct about Mexico cooperating with the US in building a wall… a wall to surround Texas!

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Jun 252016
 

Yesterday the day started out well, removing the plaque under twilight anesthesia.  When I returned home I learned that the Otis Elevator Company had screwed up my life.  They came to fix the elevator and told the managers they would be done that day.  They disassembled the elevator, told the managers they needed a part that they could not get until Monday and left.  When I returned from surgery, nobody knew how to get me up to the third floor.  The manager called the Fire Department and asked for help.  They refused.  They suggested I go stay with a friend.  The one I could have stayed with ism in NJ.  Finally, they collected four husky guys, who work at other company buildings.  I put on George, and with my arms around the shoulders of two of the guys, I climbed up to the third floor.  Two more guys carried my chair.  That’s the first time I’ve climbed more than three steps.  I was thoroughly winded and sweat soaked.That was the last thing I was supposed to be doing the day of surgery.  Today I removed the patch from my eye for the first time, but I still need to wear it to sleep for protection.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:27 (7:41).  To do it click here.  How did you so?

Killer Dawg and Eye Update:

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Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the “most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots.”

“When our countrymen cast their votes yesterday, they didn’t realize they were destroying the most precious leisure activity this nation has ever known,” he said. “Wankers.”

Andy could not be more literal!

From Daily Kos: Look out, Sen. Richard Burr. Democrat Deborah Ross is nipping at your heels. From Public Policy Polling:

We continue to find him with just a narrow lead over Deborah Ross for reelection—40/37, with Libertarian Sean Haugh at 5%. The overall state of the race remains steady—Burr is unpopular, with only 30% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 40% who disapprove. That makes voters open to a change. But Ross is currently unknown with 62% of voters having no opinion about her one way or another. They’re open to the possibility of replacing Burr but don’t know enough about Ross yet to decide if they think she would be an upgrade.

“Richard Burr’s the most vulnerable Republican Senator that no one’s talking about,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “His numbers aren’t any better than those of folks like Pat Toomey and Rob Portman who are widely accepted to be facing tough reelections.”

That puts Ross within the 3.2 percent margin of error in this poll.

Here’s what I need to know about Ross. She isn’t Burr!!  Vote Blue!!

From Media Matters: A review of coverage of major speeches this week by presumptive presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finds that CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all devoted at least twice as much coverage directly before and after the speeches to commenting on Trump’s speech than they did Clinton’s two speeches combined.

Media Matters counted how much time the three networks spent discussing the speeches before and after they aired. Comparing how much attention the networks give to the speeches is a way of determining the relative importance they are assigned. In their coverage of this week’s speeches, the networks have treated Trump speaking as a major event worthy of substantial coverage both before and after he begins speaking. They did not afford the same status to Clinton.

0625clinton_trump2

And the Republican Reich calls MSNBC librul!

Cartoon:

0625Cartoon

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Jun 252016
 
furies

I have a couple of news items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. 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."

First, from Alabama comes another story of grudging attitudes catching a child in the middle.  (H/T JL)

A 3rd grader at Gardendale Elementary School in Gardendale, Alabama was recently sent home with a stamp on his arm reading, “I Need Lunch Money.” The message was intended for his parents, who are outraged the school didn’t alert them to the issue in a more discreet way.

The child's father states that the child's account was not in fact zeroed, but that seems to be a minor point for him.  What he is outraged about is that the school couldn't find a more civilized and discreet way to alert them.

Nez Calhoun, director of public information for Jefferson County Schools, told ThinkProgress that stamps of that sort are “pretty standard across the district.”

“They get a stamp to notify the parents,” Calhoun said. “We’ll call, write letters — whichever way — but all children get stamps when [their accounts] are at zero dollars to get awareness up.” …

Calhoun expressed regret that Bivens didn't first bring his concerns to Principal Ware. Instead, as he acknowledges, he contacted an AL.com reporter.

Yeah, I'll bet he regrets that.  I'll bet he deeply regrets that his school district has been caught acting like jerks.  Do I hear a Republican somewhere crying, "Well, if the parents would just pay, this wouldn't happen"?  Yeah.  And if the lunches were just free, the district would save a whole lot of money by not having to pay a whole lot of snoops.

Moving right along now, we come to Louisiana, where the state is currently facing a budget gap of $600 million.  This may not be as bad as Kansas (or ir may – I didn't check), but it is a large chunk of change.  Almost as much as they spend every year just on prisons.  They do incarcerate more people per capita than any other state – and considering where the US stands as a country on that statistic, it must mean they lock up A LOT of people.  (Disclaimer:  Picture does not show an actual Louisiana prison.)

As part of cutting costs, they have cut 62% off of the budget for public defenders, which was $16.5 million in 2014 and has been getting smaller every year.  The cuts are so drastic that the president of the American Bar Association felt impelled to write to the Governor of Louisiana to protest.

However, they are not trying to get all that money from public defenders (good thing).  Instead, one thing they are doing is trying to save money by getting out of putting air conditioning on Death Row in Angola (Prison).

You may have heard of Angola.  It's widely considered the worst prison in America.  Since Joe Arpaio's "jail" is in America, that's impressive.  And Louisiana desn't see why they should spend any money on putting in no stinkin' air conditioning just because a federal judge told them they had to.  In fact, they spent $1 million on court exoenses to get out of it.  Mostly on private attorneys and contractors.

The state has indicated they could probably put in mechanical air, fix the problem, close the case for – oh, about $1 million.  (Other estimates are considerably less.)

I wouldn't want you to think the state is doing nothing at all for the inmates.  They are allowed one cold shower per day, ice chests in their cells, and fans outside.

District Judge Brian Jackson, overseeing the case, has wondered aloud whether the state's position is based on prison management concerns, or on politics or ideology.  Ya think?

Megaera, you are the one on the line this week, although Tisiphone may see some revenge motives in Louisiana, and Alecto may well wonder whether this type of behavior will ever stop.    Ummm – it's pretty warm in both states.  Maybe you should take your own cooling systems.

The Furies and I will be back.

Posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3994915

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Jun 242016
 

I had a relatively quiet day doing a few loads of laundry.  Lucia called early this morning to cancel our session so time opened up.  The babes spent the day sleeping and trying to follow me to the laundry in the basement.  They are not allowed down there because they won't help folding and they leave fur all over the clean laundry.  The weekend looks quiet too.

Short Takes

The New Yorker — Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the “most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots.”

“When our countrymen cast their votes yesterday, they didn’t realize they were destroying the most precious leisure activity this nation has ever known,” he said. “Wankers.”

In the face of this startling display of national idiocy, Dorrinson still mustered some of the resilience for which the British people are known. “This is a dark day,” he said. “But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.”

Oh Andy!  And here I thought that English football (soccer) was the most precious leisure activity.  Although now that I think about it, football is a calling . . . almost a religion!  Let's hope that the final British wish does not come true.

Alternet — In a stunning and historic move, citizens of the United Kingdom voted Thursday to leave the European Union—a decision colloquially dubbed the "Brexit"—making the U.K. the first country to voluntarily withdraw from the 28-member political and economic bloc.

The vote is seen as a referendum on globalization, combining the economic impact of EU trade regulations with the fearful refrain about immigration, which, for many pro-Brexiters, is bolstered by the Schengen visa agreement that allows those who have gained entry to an EU member state to move freely among other EU countries. Supporters of the Brexit cited the EU's onerous regulations, dissatisfaction with Britain's recovery after the 2008 recession and concerns over immigrant access to Britain's strained resources as their top reasons for leaving.  …

Brexit by age

For Britons, those perhaps most impacted by the Brexit vote are the people who wanted it the least (a trend paralleled in the United States as young voters overwhelmingly declare their hatred of Trump's nationalistic bloviating). An incredible majority of younger voters opted to stay in the EU. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 75 percent voted to remain, according to a YouGov poll, as did a majority of voters aged 25 to 49.

I have seen a number of petitions asking the British government to allow 16  and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum.  The younger groups of voters are the ones that will have to deal with the results of leaving the EU.  In a Think Progress article which I read earlier, those most affected by the Brexit decision will be the working class.  Yet it is to those same people that the leave side sold the idea of increasing fortunes after leaving the EU.

"Ultimately, the British economy has suffered alongside much of the E.U. over the course of the past few years, and those most affected have been blue collar workers. The 2008 financial crisis dealt a hard blow to working families, who still earn £40 less per week than they did before the crash. They have also faced growing obstacles to higher education and increasing challenges when eyeing upward mobility. Questions about the impact of globalization, single markets, and inequality are all fair and long overdue — but so far, it’s clear that Brexit was marketed to voters as something it is not."

Another point it made was that the leaders of the leave side, like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, are wealthy individuals, not working class.  The article is well worth reading.

Think Progress — As House Democrats fed up with Congress’ lack of response to America’s gun violence epidemic continued their #NoBillNoBreak sit-in into the wee hours of Wednesday night, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) came down to the House floor to confront them about what he perceives to be the real problem.

“We are talking about radical Islam! Radical Islam killed these people!” Gohmert shouted  …

Orlando aside, many recent mass shootings haven't involved Islam at all. In fact, a recent study found that Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than they are by a Muslim terrorist.

Thursday morning, Gohmert went on Fox News to talk about the House floor confrontation. Instead of discussing the role he believes radical Islam plays in American gun violence, he decried gun free zones and immigration, saying, "If this administration would protect us from people coming in, then we wouldn't have to worry" as much about terrorism. (None of the nearly 800,000 refugees settled in the United States since September 11, 2001 has been involved in plotting a credible terrorist attack.)

Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!           

I had originally thought to include this video in a dedicated story about gun control but given the fast moving events this week, I'll forego that article and put it here.  Sam Bee is always good to watch.  If you want to read the base article see Politico.

Why is it that Americans are so obsessed with guns?  After all the shootings such as Colorado, Orlando and Sandy Hook, just to name three of the many, there have been calls for action.  But lawmakers seem to be paralysed by fear of the NRA or their vision is clouded by other special interests and their money.  I watch with dismay as common sense gun control laws are tossed aside in favour of anyone having a gun at any time . . . or at least that's how it seems to this Canuck.  According to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 295 deaths and 707 wounded in US mass shootings thus far in 2016.  Do you think there is a problem here?  In Canada, where gun laws are stricter, a Conservative MP wants to see AR-15s removed from the restricted class of weapons.  Total lunacy!

My UniverseThis was a gift from the Napster (Lona) today.  These guys are just so cute! . . . and they remind me of how my 3 often sleep, although without the plant.  Thanks Lona!

batch_of_catnaps_zpszdm5op8k

 

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Jun 242016
 

This past week is one for the books – a week Democrats proudly asserted themselves by focusing attention on the travesty of our lax (virtually non-existent?) gun regulations (Thanks, NRA) with their sit-in in the House Chamber.

For some of us of a certain age, it brings back bittersweet memories of our protesting days of youth.  So before we let this moment fade, just a few photos.  And since there’s no doubt that many of you have seen many of them, I’ll try to find a few outliers.  But let’s begin with the iconic one, led by a true American icon.

Sit-In_Lewis-Group_2

The above will be familiar to almost everyone.  It’s Reps. John Lewis, Katherine Clark and Donna Edwards beginning the sit-in.  While Rep. John Lewis, whose Civil Rights bona fides make him a superb leader for the sit-in, it was actually Rep. Clark (D-MA-5) who had the idea to start the #NoBillNoBreak sit-in.

As the saying goesSit-In_Food-Buffet, an army travels on its stomach …

And it was Sen. Elizabeth Warren who brought Dunkin’ Donuts for dessert …

Sit-In_Warren-Donuts

And joined in the sit-it …

Sit-In_Warren-Selfie

And I love the note that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5) got from his Mom

Sit-In_Mom-Note_Keith-Ellison

Well, how could he refuse that?

Sit-In_Lewis_Keith-Ellison

But it’s the words of Rep. Lewis addressed to Rep. Paul Ryan (R) demanding a debate and vote on gun control measures that sends chills down my spine:

“We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent and the concern of our nation.  We are blind to a crisis. 

“Mr. Speaker, where is the heart of this body? Where is the soul? Where is our moral leadership? Where is our courage?”

(To which the republicans replied: "Where are our NRA checks?  Where are the tax cuts for gun manufacturers?  Where are OUR photo-ops?  Where are our talking points?")

And yet Rep. Ryan had the unmitigated gall to call this sit-in just a “publicity stunt”.

No, Mr. Ryan – THIS photo-op of yours while running with Mitt Romney was a publicity stunt …

Paul-Ryan_Weightlifting-Stunt_02

To help you out, this sit-in, led by Civil Rights icon Rep. Lewis who was beaten in Selma on Bloody Sunday, is a protest …

John-Lewis_Bloody-Sunday_Selma_02

And Paul, back when you forced yours and your family’s way into a soup kitchen in Youngstown, OH while campaigning for VP – JUST so you could have a photo-op of you washing pots and pans THAT WERE ALREADY SPOTLESS (sort of your ode to your idol, Ayn Rand, as “Atlas Scrubbed”) –  now THAT is a publicity stunt …

Paul-Ryan_Wash-Clean-Pots-Pans_02

But THIS was a protest, led by someone who knows protests …

John-Lewis_Bloody-Sunday_Selma_03

See the difference, Paul?  You're a political hukster – Rep. John Lewis is an American hero …

Sit-In_Lewis-Waves

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Jun 242016
 

The First Nations people of North America have had to endure subjugation by white Europeans since they first showed up on this continent — the decimation of their culture, their religious practices, their laws.  Finally there is some movement in the First Nations' court system in the US.

This week, a Supreme Court decision affirmed the sovereignty of Native American tribal courts and emphasized the importance of addressing domestic violence against Native women. In United States v. Bryant,the court unanimously upheld the federal conviction of Michael Bryant, Jr. as a habitual domestic assault offender, overruling a previous court’s decision.

“The Bryant case is a victory. It’s not a victory where we won ground—it’s a victory where we didn’t lose ground,” said Rebecca Nagle, an anti-rape activist and an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. “But, what’s really awesome about the decision is … the Supreme Court is very clear about the crisis of sexual violence and domestic violence against Native women and the need for tribal jurisdiction within the crisis, which could set precedence for other cases.”  …

The Supreme Court will also rule on another case regarding tribal sovereignty in the near future. This lawsuit involves a thirteen-year-old boy who says he was sexually assaulted by his manager at Dollar General. Although the manager is non-Native, the boy is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the store sits on tribal land. After the federal government declined to try the case, the boy’s family sued the manager and Dollar General in tribal court. Dollar General, however, has contested the tribe’s jurisdiction to try the case.

From Think Progress

Here is Sam Bee's take on tribal courts.

One thing that I find egregious is the comparison of tribal courts to Sharia law by one of her "guests", Elaine Willman, Director of Tribal Affairs.

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Jun 242016
 

It has been a relatively quiet day.  I overdid things yesterday as far as my knee goes and so spent the night in some pain courtesy of swelling.  Now things are good after staying with my leg elevated much of today.  And thanks to Lona for the nap!  It came in handy today.  My second ESL student made me an Iranian dish for dinner yesterday — an excellent stew-like dinner of lamb, leeks, spinach, onion, red beans and dried lemons served over saffron rice.  I had some last night and the remainder tonight.  It was soooooooo good!  Tomorrow I will see little Simon while I work with Lucia, his mother.

Short Takes

Alternet — The Court’s 4-4 ruling, which will elevate the issue of immigration reform and the need to fill a high court vacancy on the presidential campaign trail, came as a simple nine-word sentence: “The [lower-court] judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”

With that split, the controlling law is a November 2015 decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and ruled against the administration. That ruling was from a judge who showed hostility to the White House's executive orders and the Justice Department's defense, according to legal scholars.  …

The case centered on the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. After years of lobbying from pro-immigrant activists, President Obama created the program by executive order in November 2014.

Texas and 25 other states, all led by Republican governors, immediately challenged the program—even though the percentage of undocumented immigrants affected was the same as under executive orders issued by former Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

This isn't the first decision, nor the last, to be rendered as what I will call a non decision.  It is past time that the Senate undertake confirmation hearings for Judge Merrick Garland to bring SCOTUS to full strength and thereby avoid split decisions.  Of course that is no guarantee that the court would rule in favour of the government.  At least this decision does not set a precedent.

CBC — Britain entered uncharted waters Friday after the country voted to leave the European Union, according to a projection by all main U.K. broadcasters. The decision shatters the stability of the project in continental unity forged after the Second World War in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

The decision raises the likelihood of years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with what will become a 27-nation bloc. In essence the vote marks the start — rather than the end — of a process that could take decades to unwind.

Results released early Friday show the Leave side prevailed 52 per cent to 48 per cent in Thursday's vote as tallied by British broadcasters, with a Remain win a mathematical impossibility.

The vote had a turnout of 72 per cent of the more than 46 million registered voters.

The vote is in and Britons have elected to leave the EU under article 50.  It won't be a quick exit.  Markets have already reacted with a decline in stocks and the value of the pound.  The effects will be felt to varying degrees globally.  There may also be ramifications for NATO and consequences for dealing with Russia.  I guess it is a wait and see for now.

Rawstory — Rep. Alan Grayson (D-WI) ripped House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for dismissing Democrats’ sit-in protest as “a publicity stunt.”

“To people who don’t know how to legislate, any effort looks like a publicity stunt,” Grayson said in a brief interview with TMZ. “That doesn’t make it so.”

Grayson was part of the group of Democratic legislators who sat on the House floor while calling for a vote on a measure that would expand background checks on gun sales, as well as a proposal to bar anyone on the federal “no fly” list from being able to buy a firearm.

Ryan responded by calling the protest “nothing more than a publicity stunt” and adding, “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention." 

Note: Rep Alan Grayson is (D-FL) not Wisconsin.  I sent a correction in to the publisher.

I'll say it again, compare the Dem sit-in against the Republican government shutdown.  Shame on Lyin' Ryan for calling the sit-in a publicity stunt when his own party shut down the government for their own petty reasons, reasons not rooted in the public good.

My Universe

In our house, bananas are highly prized edibles by the four leggers, my cats.

 

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Jun 232016
 

I can get this today and maybe tomorrow, but I’ll definitely need the Squatch to do it Saturday and possibly Sunday.  I’m still hurting. Second surgery is tomorrow.  Hugs to all!!  This is my only article today:

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:44 (average 5:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Julie will kill me for this:

IMG_0167

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: When Pastor Roger Jimenez’s hateful rant against the LGBT community went viral, there was (and continues to be) a well-deserved backlash from people such as myself who don’t worry too much about what people love what people, as long as they love one another. Pastor Roger Jimenez has a pastor buddy down in Texas whose name is Donnie Romero. Pastor Donnie Romero spends his waking hours thinking about men kissing men and touching their penises together and it drives him mad. This “madness” makes him think and say terrible terrible things and like most narcissists, he must blame everybody else for making him think and feel these terrible things. After opening with how his son loves the lion in the Bible (and we all love Narnia!), he goes into saying that he agrees with Pastor Jimenez’s homophobia “100 percent.”

These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, and they are the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now," Romero said in his sermon. "And I’ll take it a step further, because I heard on the news today, that there are still several dozen of these queers in ICU and intensive care. And I will pray to God like I did this morning, I will do it tonight, I’ll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell

Yet another view of how Republican Supply pseudo-Christians express "love".

From The New Yorker: In what some are calling a sign of its desperation to raise cash, the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump is auctioning off New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the popular e-commerce site eBay, campaign officials have confirmed.

Christie, who is described on the site as being in lightly used but good condition, is believed to be the first sitting governor ever to be auctioned on the Internet.

Andy, he might get a better deal selling PIGnocchio by the pound.

From Alternet: On Foreign Policy

“It all started with her bad judgment in supporting the war in Iraq in the first place. Though I was not in government service, I was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war, and yes, even before the war ever started. But Hillary Clinton learned nothing from Iraq, because when she got into power, she couldn’t wait to rush us off to war in Libya.”

This claim has been debunked time and time again. While Clinton certainly voted to authorize the war in Iraq, there is no evidence that Trump criticized it “before the war ever started.” In 2002, Trump offered tepid support for the war in an interview with radio host Howard Stern. Immediately after the invasion again, Trump told Fox’s Neil Cavuto the war “looks like a tremendous success” from a military standpoint.

Trump did speak out against the war in July 2004—a full 16 months after the war began. Pressed on these facts by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump promised to provide evidence of opposition to the war, saying:

“No, no, but I was against it from before it started. And if you go back and look at that interview, and I’ll get it for you if you want, but that interview was substantially before the war started. It was the first time I was ever asked the question. And even that, it wasn’t like, oh yeah, we should go in. It was a very, like yeah, maybe.”

Tapper told Trump he’d “love” to see evidence of Trump’s vocal opposition to the war. So far, that wish seems to remain unfulfilled.

1st of 5 Biggest Lies in Trump’s Hillary-Attack Speech.  Click through for the other four.

Cartoon:

0623Cartoon

Factory is in China

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Jun 232016
 

It is late, very late, and I am just finishing off the Open Thread for today.  And yes, my computer is still acting up, although either I am becoming accustomed to its antics, or it isn't happening as much.  It has been a very busy day with 2.5 hours of physio and an extended teaching session helping my student ready herself for an English test on Friday.  It has rained a bit late this afternoon but we are scheduled for thunder storms tonight and Thursday.  Last week we were told that our local reservoirs were at 91% of capacity and that the snow pack had not made it down from the mountains yet.  We are looking good for water this year but we still have water restrictions in place.  Summer is here and it is a long time until the cooler temperatures of autumn.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

The New Yorker In what some are calling a sign of its desperation to raise cash, the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump is auctioning off New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the popular e-commerce site eBay, campaign officials have confirmed.

Christie, who is described on the site as being in lightly used but good condition, is believed to be the first sitting governor ever to be auctioned on the Internet.

According to the description of Christie on eBay, the governor can perform a full range of escort duties and has “extensive experience in chauffeuring, door-opening, umbrella-holding, reflexive clapping, and soothing end-of-the-day foot massages.”

Speaking at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, the presumptive Republican nominee said that he was still considering financing his general-election campaign himself, but he added, “First I wanted to see what I could get for Chris.”

I think Drumpf is in for a surprise — Christie is damaged goods and not likely to bring in much even from the staunchest Republicans!

Daily Kos — Georgia Rep. Rep. John Lewis, the heart, the soul of congressional Democrats, is leading his colleagues in a sit-in for a vote on gun safety legislation. You won't see it televised, because the Republicans controlling the House also control the cameras. C-SPAN, however, is replaying the speeches of Democrats leading up to the action.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who led the talking filibuster to force the votes in the Senate earlier this week is on the House floor in solidarity.

 

This courtesy of Raw Story

As I travelled about today, I kept hearing news of the Democratic sit-in in the House of Representatives over bringing gun control bills up for a vote.  The Republicans, who control the House, attempted to bring order but ended up shutting off the cameras and calling a recess.(Raw Story)  According to a story in Politico, when Paul Ryan slammed his gavel, Democrats started chanting.  Members of the public in the gallery joined Democrats in the chanting.  According to some sources, 80% of Americans favour some common sense gun control measures but Republicans continue to obstruct.  The people's House?

CBC — Contagious cancers are a scary idea to begin with, but scientists have made some startling new discoveries about them – they are likely more common in nature than originally thought, and some can even spread between species.

A new study has found a contagious, leukemia-like disease appears to be widespread among shellfish with hinged shells, called bivalves, such as clams, mussels and cockles. And, for the first time, researchers have found evidence of the cancer spreading from one species to another.

Spanish scientists collected cockles (Cerastoderma edule) in the ria of Arousa in Galicia, Spain. Contagious leukemia was found in cockles, mussels and golden carpet shell clams.

Mussels living off the coast of British Columbia, along with cockles and golden carpet shell clams in Spain, are all prone to the contagious cancer, similar to one that has devastated soft-shell clam farming operations in P.E.I., the Canadian, U.S. and Spanish scientists reported Wednesday in Nature.

"It may be more widespread in nature than we know," said Jim Sherry, an Environment Canada scientist based in Burlington, Ont., who co-authored the study.

Because cancers originate from the mutated cells of an individual and are genetically similar to that individual, genetic analysis of the cancer cells allows scientists to figure out their origin.

I thought it would be appropriate to have a short break from US politics — one can only take so much Drumpf!  This contagious cancer  crossing between species is interesting, and presents the possibilities of cancer cell transfer with other species.

My Universe — OK, so I figured I'd have to give some page time to dawgs!  From Petcha.com

The dogs take turns scoring the ice and making it hail all over the kitchen floor. The video is called Ice Cube Jackpot, and that’s exactly what it looks like.

 

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