May 062017
 

I got some sleep last night, and I must have been really tired as I napped again this morning.  Tomorrow Wendy will be here to de-stink the sticky TomCat and help with assorted chores, including the dreaded task, so please expect no more that a Personal Update or an Open Thread.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:08).  To di it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Jeff Merkley [D-OR]: In response to President Trump’s executive orders removing protections and moving to reopen risky offshore drilling, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today re-introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act, a major piece of legislation to permanently protect the Arctic from offshore drilling.

The legislation would prevent any new or renewed leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral in the Arctic Ocean planning area.

“Opening up new areas to oil exploration in the Arctic at a time when we are already dealing with the devastating impacts of climate change is the height of irresponsibility. The Trump administration’s reckless efforts to open a vast new source of carbon pollution would threaten local communities, resources and ecosystems, while exacerbating the climate change already damaging our economy and environment,” said Merkley. “The Arctic is much too fragile to withstand the type of oil spill that would be inevitable if drilling proceeds. In order to prevent environmental catastrophe, we must put the Arctic Ocean completely and permanently off limits to drilling.”

The Department of the Interior estimates that there is a 75 percent chance of a large oil spill, exceeding 42,000 gallons, should drilling leases in the Arctic be developed. The Arctic has one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, as well as some of the most extreme and dangerous navigational conditions, severely limiting ability to respond to an oil spill or accident. To date, there has not been a successful oil and gas operation in the Arctic Ocean. Shell’s initial 2012 venture into the Arctic resulted in an abandoned oil rig and a Coast Guard operation to save eight lives.

The Arctic is also home to endangered species such as bowhead whales, polar bears and ringed seals, as well as invaluable and fragile ecosystems that are critical to local fisheries, indigenous populations and subsistence hunters. Drilling operations in the Arctic Ocean will threaten these species and communities, all for oil that will set back efforts to transition to a clean energy economy.

Because of these costs and dangers, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management removed Arctic Ocean leases from its five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Additionally, former President Obama, in conjunction with actions by the Canadian government, moved to permanently protect large areas of the Arctic Ocean from offshore drilling. However, President Trump has already signaled a fossil-fuel focused energy plan and today explicitly pledged to increase offshore oil and gas drilling.

The truth is, we cannot afford to continue burning fossil fuels for decades upon decades if we want to maintain a safe environment for our children. The worst impacts of climate change will happen if we allow global warming to exceed 2 degrees Celsius, or almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The world must transition aggressively and rapidly away from conventional fossil fuels and toward the use of renewable energy, and we certainly cannot continue to push new, dangerous fossil fuel development.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Senator Merkley first introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act in July 2015. In June of that year, Senator Merkley led a group of Senators in authoring a letter to President Obama urging the administration to rescind Shell Oil Company’s conditional Exploration Permit in the Chukchi Sea. Senator Merkley wrote that new lease sales in the Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean are an unnecessary risk that threatens local communities, fragile ecosystems, and efforts at climate change mitigation.

A PDF of the Stop Arctic Drilling Act of 2017 is available here.

Support Jeff’s Stop Arctic Drilling Act of 2017. Call your Senator. Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From TPM: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said he would “consider” waiving some of the Affordable Care Act’s insurer mandates, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, as would be an option for states if a GOP Obamacare repeal bill that passed the House this week became law.

Republicans have been arguing that the waivers in RepubliCare do not matter, because no Republican governor would even consider waiving protections for those with preexisting conditions. The former Wisconsin isn’t even bright red, but the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan is just drooling to strip those folks of coverage, even though that would kill several.  RESIST!!

From Think Progress: On Wednesday, a customer service representative from the FDA’s Office of Facilities sent an email to staff informing them that TVs in a Silver Spring, Maryland office will now be exclusively turned to Fox News.

The email — a screencap of which was initially obtained and shared to Twitter by journalist Paul Thacker and later by BuzzFeed’s Julia Reinstein— was sent to “let everyone know” why TVs had been changed “from CNN to FOX.” It was sent to researchers at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the FDA branch that oversees medical products.

“A decision from the current administration administrative officials has requested that all monitors, under our control, on the White Oak Campus, display FOX news,” it says. “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I am unable to change any of the monitors to any other news source at this time.

Poor people! Fo9rdsing them to watch the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda is torture, and that’s against the law!!  RESIST!!

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Apr 222017
 

It’s another day with lots of pain, but enough sleep.  There has been a small demonstration, marching under my window.  Some chanted "What do we want? Educated science! When do we want it?  After peer review!"  Others chanted, "Science says, ‘Dump Trump!’"  A small group of Republican hecklers marched and chanted, "Science trumps niggers!  Trump trumps niggers!"  I apologize for using that hateful word, but I consider accurately condemning Republican racism more important political correctness.  Please expect no more than a personal update tomorrow.  It’s a Wendy day, and there is much to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  Hpw did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Happy Earth Day from MoveOn.org!

 

What Republicans are doing to the earth is unBEARable. RESIST!!

From Sen. Jeff Merkley: Keep It in the Ground

Climate change is already wreaking havoc on our farming, fishing and forests—and without dramatic action in the near future, it will get much worse. Our society is still dependent on fossil fuels, but affordable and reliable technology exists to gradually transition to clean energy and clean transportation. Making that transition happen smoothly should be a central priority of the federal government.

A key starting point is to stop the expansion of fossil fuel production on our public lands and waters. Rather than serving coal, oil, and gas companies, our public lands should serve the public and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a cleaner energy future.

Learn more about Keep It in the Ground

The Keep It in the Ground Act is one step we can take to slow the pace of climate change and prevent some of its most serious consequences. Click here to learn more about Keep It in the Ground and click here to download a short summary of the bill.

To see the full text of the bill, click here.

To download a copy of our Keep It in the Ground PDF pamphlet, click here.

Sign Up for Jeff’s Climate Updates

To sign up for Jeff’s climate change updates and the latest Keep It in the Ground Act news, sign up here.

 

Please Support Jeff’s Keep It in the Ground Bill, It won’t pass during a Republican Reich, but it shows voters that Democrats are superior stewards of our world. I could not be more proud of Jeff. Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump wants nothing more in the world than to build that "big, beautiful" nativist status symbol he promised at every campaign stop from the moment he announced his candidacy. Yes, indeedy, that border wall is emerging as so very important to the popular vote loser that his minions are willing to risk it all.

Despite the fact that Republicans have no path to securing enough GOP votes alone to pass Trump’s budget priorities—funding the wall, increased defense spending, and adding more border agents—the White House is preparing to wage what amounts to a game of chicken with Democrats in advance of the April 28 deadline, writes Politico:

With almost uniform Democratic opposition to nearly all of the Trump administration’s spending proposals, the fight could lead to a government shutdown next Friday — the day government spending expires, and right before the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. Officials could also strike a one-week compromise, giving them more time for a broader agreement.

I warned that this was coming. As painful as it might be, Democrats cannot bow to Republican blackmail using the American people as hostages. There is only one response. RESIST!!

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A dark day!

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Apr 142017
 

Today is the best I’ve felt in weeks, and I napped this morning, so I’m publishing and sharing links, expending the minimum effort to do so.  I doubt that I can tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;’s took me 3:06 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Oregonian: Portland and Multnomah County’s top elected leaders committed Monday to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2050.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and County Chair Deborah Kafoury made the announcement at the June Key Delta Community Center in North Portland, a one-time gas station that’s been converted into a green building.

Wheeler, just a few months into his mayoral term, says he has no illusions the energy goal will come easily. "They will be difficult to achieve," he said of the push to meet all electricity needs from renewable sources by 2035, and to transition away from all remaining dirty energy sources, primarily fossil fuels in the transportation sector, by 2050.

"We’re actually going to have to make deliberate steps, and deliberate investments, and deliberate policy changes in order for this to become a reality," he said, "and I’m committed to that."

Good news is just so very rare. Oregon leads the way. RESIST!!

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): ELIZABETH WARREN: The Cover-Up In Trump’s Taxes

 

I fully endorse the marches and marchers tomorrow. Find a march near you. RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show: British intel agency reported Trump campaign Russia ties: Report

Rachel Maddow reports on the latest developments in the investigation into connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia, including a report by The Guardian that British intelligence agency GCHQ first raised concerns as far back as late 2015.

 

Did I see this coming? You all know. Where there’s smoke… and the room keeps filling with more and more smoke. RESIST!!

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Feb 242017
 

I’m struggling through another very busy day.  It’s not so much that I have more to do than I did a year ago, as it is that my vision makes everything I do take much longer.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Donald Trump Must Go | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

I’ve never seen anyone present evidence so much like a machine gun.  I’ll summarize in two words. Amen!! RESIST!!

From Politico: House Republicans next week plan to derail a Democratic resolution that would have forced disclosure of President Donald Trump’s potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest, according to multiple House sources.

Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called “resolution of inquiry” — a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right — Republicans will send proposal by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution.

Without committee action, obscure parliamentary procedures would allow Democrats to call the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full House. But rejection by the Judiciary panel all but assures the measure will never see a floor vote.

Here is a list of House Judiciary Committee members. If one is from your state, please demand approval. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party’s depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint has already been chosen for them — by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump.

Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how to handle Mr. Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise.

Now, spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents — and outraged themselves by Mr. Trump’s swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda — Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the Republican approach of the last eight years — the “party of no” — and wagering that brash obstruction will pay similar dividends.

To do otherwise would be suicidal. RESIST!!

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Feb 152017
 

Stumpy is behaving much better today, and mounted George without difficulty.  It’s a very busy day for me.  I took a brief nap this morning to be sure to be upright when Store to Door arrives with a large grocery order.  This evening, Wendy will be here to de-stink and polish the TomCat, to help with some light housework, and to have chili dogs for supper.  I didn’t tell her, because I did the last time we had chili.  She mentioned it at work, and her school cancelled classes the next day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:31 (average 4:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Trump is Beyond Reckless With Our National Security

 

Reckless is indeed an understatement!  RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show: DCCC weak contesting Georgia district Trump barely won

Rachel Maddow points out the opportunity for Democrats to take over Tom Price’s Georgia congressional as he moves to become Donald Trump’s HHS secretary and yet the DCCC seems half-hearted about taking advantage.

 

Contact the DCCC (202) 863-1500 and tell them to get off their asses!  RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Russian President Vladimir Putin is “starting to get concerned” that the puppets he installed in the executive branch of the U.S. government “might not be up to the task at hand,” sources confirmed on Tuesday.

According to the sources, the flameout of the national-security adviser Michael Flynn was only the most recent event that has caused Putin to wonder if the figureheads he propelled into office are “just too dim-witted” to serve the goals of the Russian Federation.

“When you choose a puppet, you’re looking for a sweet spot,” one source close to Putin said. “You want to choose someone who’s dumb enough to be manipulated, but not so dumb that he can’t find the light switches.”

“Increasingly, it looks like we missed that sweet spot,” the source said.

Spot on, Andy! Fortunately for Putin (R-RU), his puppet has a horde of other equally treacherous Republicans goose-stepping behind their Fuhrer to help him.  RESIST!!

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Jan 162017
 

Yesterday my day was thrown out of kilter, because a squatter escaped the cold outside and set up camp in the only bathroom with a handicapped shower that is properly set up for my use.  Not realizing it, we waited for half an hour, before knocking on the door and asking the occupant how long they might be.  The guy said soon, but sounded drunk.  Fifteen minutes later Wendy went back and explained through the door that she had a handicapped client that could not use any other shower.  Another fifteen minutes passed, we knocked again, and he wouldn’t answer at all.  I called management, and a manager came and opened the door.  They kicked out the squatter, but hew had trashed the bathroom so badly, that they had to clean the room, before it could be used.  By the time I was done, my half hour shower had consumed 2 1/2 hours of my Wendy time, and that’s why you got only a Personal Update yesterday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:06 (average 5:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (SNL Channel): Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open – SNL

 

Baldwin was …ummm… golden!  RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Trump’s plans for a triumphal Inauguration were upended over the weekend when a karaoke machine that had been engaged to perform at the event abruptly backed out.

In an official statement, the karaoke machine said that it was withdrawing because it “did not want my participation at the Inauguration to in any way be construed as an endorsement of Donald Trump.”

The President-elect wasted no time in lashing out at the karaoke machine, taking to Twitter in the early hours of the morning to call the entertainment device a “loser” and “sad.”

Dang Andy!! That machine is smarter than a bunch of people!  RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. attended a real estate conference, where he stated that

Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.

As it turns out, that may have been an understatement. Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a series of studies by the Financial Times to show how funds from Russian crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther [sic] bankruptcy. The conclusions are stark.

Among the powerful facts that DNI missed were a series of very deep studies published in the [Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade—the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. …

The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.

He was their man.

The article includes a petition to appoint a special prosecutor on Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. Please click through to sign it.  RESIST!!

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