Jul 162017
 

Before I get very far with this, Wendy will be here to help with assorted tasks and fumigate the TomCat.  It’s just in time too, because the authorities were about to evacuate the Squatch north of the Arctic Circle for her own defense, if the wind had shifted.  Tomorrow will be my last day in the saddle, before my cataract surgery.  I hope to be back in the saddle on Thursday, but we’ll see how I see.  Later: Wendy has left and we have everything ready for Tuesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The former chief G W Bush speechwriter has a column in today’s Washington Post that shows the spreading impact of people processing the events since Saturday when the story of Trump Jr. , Kushner, and Manafort met with the Russian lawyer broke into the public consciousness.  Titled In Trump’s world, innocence is proved by guilt, it is very much shaped by the release of the email chain earlier this week.

Yes, it is true the Gerson was never a fan or supporter of Donald J. Trump, but this piece is very pointed, and given who reads Gerson likely to have an impact on a some of the “more reasonable” Republican officers.

Click through to read his take down. I’m sure I disagree with him on many other issues, but seeing a Republican express an ethical position is so rare, I have to applaud it, when I do. As for the rest of the Republican Reich… RESIST!!

From NY Times: A powerful rule finalized last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will allow consumers to join together in class-action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other lenders over price gouging, predatory lending, abusive loan terms and other mistreatment.

Some congressional Republicans have vowed to use special legislative procedures to repeal the rule, which could take effect next year. A quick kill would be of a piece with other efforts to weaken financial regulation and allow firms to operate without accountability to customers or judges.

It’s unclear whether a congressional majority will vote to overturn a rule of such obvious benefit to consumers. What is certain is that killing the rule would be an injustice.

Liz Warren’s CFPB may be the only thing Republicans hate as much as ObamaCare and voting rights. I suspect they will overturn the rules in short order. RESIST!!

From Commonwealth Fund:

 

AUS

CAN

FRA

GER

NETH

NZ

NOR

SWE

SWIZ

UK

US

OVERALL RANKING

2

9

10

8

3

4

4

6

6

1

11

Care Process+

2

6

9

8

4

3

10

11

7

1

5

Access+

4

10

9

2

1

7

5

6

8

3

11

Administrative Efficiency+

1

6

11

6

9

2

4

5

8

3

10

Equity+

7

9

10

6

2

8

5

3

4

1

11

Health Care Outcomes+

1

9

5

8

6

7

3

2

4

10

11

Click through to read the entire report. What better case could there be for Medicare for all? RESIST!!

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Republicans in Congress refuse to allow the residents any power to govern themselves.

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Feb 042017
 

It’s another busy day, and tomorrow will be more so.  It will be a Wendy day with not only the dreaded task, but also, assembling a floor lamp and replacing a broken table.  And it’s the highest Holy Day in the Church if the Ellipsoid Orb.  I shall be meditating.  Normally I would not care who wins, but given the New England Traitors’ affinity for Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten, I want a bird shit bonanza!  Go Falcons!!!  Then I need to rest, because Monday I need to be in the lobby by 7:30 AM to be sure to make my 9:20 appointment with Megan.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Trump tries rewriting history on disastrous raid’s planning

Colin Kahl, former national security adviser to Vice President Biden, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the Trump regime is distorting history in an attempt to shift the blame for a disastrous military raid onto the Obama administration.

 

Yesterday I told you Trump lied about how he murdered a Navy Seal and innocent women and children. Now you know what he did and how he lied about it. Where are all those Republican Benghazi bullshitters? RESIST!!

From The Last Word: What’s next for Trump’s travel ban?

President Trump’s executive order has been halted temporarily — but what does it mean long-term for visa holders? Lawrence discusses with constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe and ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

 

Now I wonder if the Fuhrer will even obey the court order. RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump on Friday moved to chisel away at the Obama administration’s legacy on financial regulation, announcing steps to revisit the rules enacted after the 2008 financial crisis and to back away from a measure intended to protect consumers from bad investment advice.

After a White House meeting with executives from Wall Street, Mr. Trump signed a directive aimed at the Dodd-Frank Act, crafted by the Obama administration and passed by Congress in response to the 2008 meltdown. He also signed a memorandum that paves the way for reversing a policy, known as the fiduciary rule, that requires brokers to act in a client’s best interest, rather than seek the highest profits for themselves, when providing retirement advice.

In short, when you hire a bank or equivalent in trust to represent YOUR interest, Republicans want to allow the bank to screw you to maximize their own profit.  We knew this was coming. RESIST!!

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Dec 122016
 

Last night I slept very poorly.  City street cleaning equipment was scraping the asphalt6 and making such a terrible racket that it awakened me shortly after midnight, and I could not get back to sleep.  OGIM!!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 7:51).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The AP has a story about a Trump voter that lost her property due to foreclosure by Mnuchin.  As I predicted yesterday.  Those foreclosures screwed a lot of people including many Trump voters.  Perhaps they will learn not to vote against their own interests.  Will this be the first of many such stories?  I can hope.  How might one get a list of people foreclosed by OneWest, reportedly thousands, to find more examples of this buyers remorse?

When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

The buyers’ remorse is just starting, but don’t feel sorry for Colebrook. Feel sorry for the millions her stupidity is helping to destroy.

From NY Times: President-elect Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns during the campaign and there is no sign that he will, ever. He broke longstanding tradition and set a terrible precedent for future presidential candidates.

Good government groups have been wringing their hands about what to do. Now comes an excellent idea from a New York State senator, Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan, that would could force candidates to disclose their tax returns by making it a requirement for getting on the ballot.

Mr. Hoylman says that he plans to introduce a bill that would require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to disclose up to five years of their tax returns 50 days before the general election. The state’s Board of Elections would publish the returns on its website.

Candidates who fail to provide the documents would not appear on the state ballot and the state’s Electoral College electors could not vote for them. This is a smart proposal not just for New York but for other states as well. Even if a handful of states imposed the requirement, all major party nominees would have to disclose their tax returns.

This is an excellent idea and I fully support it. I could certainly prove useful, if the US has elections in the future.

From Washington Post: Donald Trump is talking about Taiwan again — and so is China in angry and mocking comments Monday that questioned whether the president-elect grasps a core element of relations between the world’s top economic powers.

In an interview broadcast Sunday, Trump said the United States would not necessarily be bound by the One China policy — the diplomatic understanding that underpins ties between Washington and Beijing, and leaves China’s rival Taiwan on the diplomatic sidelines with the United States.

Trump suggested the policy could be revisited unless America could “make a deal,” potentially on trade between the two countries.

The remark elicited an sharp response from Beijing, with the Foreign Ministry expressing “serious concern” and a party-controlled newspaper calling the president-elect “as ignorant as a child.” By appearing to treat Taiwan as just a bargaining chip for trade deals, he may also have irked Taipei, experts said.

If I start selling NBC suits, I could make a fortune from this Republican deplorable diplomacy.

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Now we know what Teabag Thomas and co-Fuhrer Putin have in common.

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Dec 032016
 

I’m quite pleased that the start of month rush is past.  I think I can safely say that the summer heat waves are also over, at least until February, and I need to adjust my thermostat, something that requires a long, difficult reach, even with George on.  The low is forecast at 25° F on Tuesday  night.  I have no appointments scheduled next week, so I’m looking forward to a restful time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:10 (average 6:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A once-prominent political career came to a shocking end on Friday as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was arrested for keying the limo of President-elect Donald J. Trump.

The incident, which rocked political circles in Trenton and Washington, happened in full view of the midtown-Manhattan crowds outside of Trump Tower, where the vandalized limo had been parked.

“Suddenly, this guy broke through security, whipped out his keys, and made a gigantic gash along the side of the limo,” said Harland Dorrinson, a tourist from Missouri who witnessed the incident. “Police started wrestling him to the ground, and I was, like, ‘Holy crap, that’s Chris Christie.’ ”

Fellow-Republicans reacted to Christie’s arrest with sadness and sympathy. “This whole transition period has been tough on a lot of folks,” former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said.

Sorry Andy! You can’t fool us into believing that PIGnocchio has the cojones to do such a gutsy thing.

From Daily Kos:

Trump knows very well about voter fraud. His people and the party he represents work diligently on suppressing the vote, while also engaging in some voter fraud themselves. Case in point: Brandon Michael Hall. The 27-year-old Trump supporter was convicted yesterday on 10 counts of election law fraud.

The 27-year-old Grand Haven resident, author of the West Michigan Politics blog and self-admitted political junkie, said the verdict wasn’t a surprise. Hall said that he had resigned himself to that possibility after the Michigan Supreme Court, during this past summer, determined his case should be tried as a felony.

In 2012, Hall forged signatures on a bunch of petitions in the hopes of placing a judicial candidate—Chris Houghtaling—on the ballot for Ottawa County District Court judge. Hall was done in when his cohort in the fraud Zachary Savage was granted immunity and agreed to spill the beans in court. Hall has a history of being a low-level corrupt little individual.

Hall had previous dealings with the law when he was convicted in 2010 for stealing from a school fundraiser while he was a member of the Grand Haven school board. He served two years of probation and performed 60 hours of community service.

When it comes to election fraud, Republicans are not only doing all the complaining about it, but also, committing all the fraud.

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): Donald Trump Voter Lost Her Home, Blames Trump’s Pick For Treasury Secretary

 

I’m sorry she lost her home, but what a fool she is, just like everyone who believes the Fuhrer will help poor and middle class Americans!

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): Bernie Sanders On Donald Trump’s Filthy Rich Cabinet

 

As always, Bernie hit the nail on the head.

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Dec 022016
 

Once again it’s TGIF day, and I’m ready for a restful weekend.  My shoulder is improving slightly, but I did have to cancel my appointment yesterday with Courtney, my physical terrorist.  There is no way I could have stood up to her loving abuse.  I hope you enjoy one of your last weekends living in a democratic republic.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Exposed by CMD: Theocracy: She Has Pushed for Vouchers and More to Get Tax Money to Support Christian Schools

DeVos has approached the issue of education as a religious issue for her personally and as an area which she wants to change the law to reflect her personal views. A long-time partisan activist, she got involved in education “reform” in the early 1990s, around the time that her husband ran for a seat on the Michigan state Board of Education.

After he stepped down from that post, in 1993 she and her husband took on the “Education Freedom Fund,” which, she has said, “I would define as ultimately Christian in its nature because in excess of 90% of the parents who receive these scholarships choose Christian schools to go to.” EFF provides private funding for private school tuition, and is supported with significant donations from the DeVos family.

Why did she and here husband choose to get involved in the political battles over public education even though they did not send their kids to public schools and they financially support private Christian schools?

In a joint interview for “The Gathering,” a group focused on advancing Christian ideology through philanthropy, she and her husband said they decided to focus on reforming public education and funding for private education because the “Lord led us there” and “God led us.”

At that meeting, they were asked if it would not have been simpler to fund Christian schools directly rather than fund political efforts like vouchers to get more tax dollars to fund Christian schools, and she replied: “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education versus what is spent every year on education in this country… So, our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom,” adding that they want “to impact our culture [in ways] that may have great Kingdom gain in the long-run by changing the way we approach things.”

Her husband added: “We are working …. to allow for our Christian worldview, which for us comes from a Calvinist tradition, and to provide for a more expanded opportunity someday for all parents to be able to educate their children in a school that reflects their world view and not each day sending their child to a school that may be reflecting a world view that may be quite antithetical to the worldview they hold in their families.”

When asked if they are “against public education,” they have denied that charge while trying to reframe the conversation.

Betsy DeVos responded: “No, we are for good education and for having every child have an opportunity for a good education. And having grown up in families that are in the business world, we both believe that competition and choices make everyone better, and that ultimately if the system that prevails in the United States today had more competition, if there were other choices for people to make freely that all of the schools would become better as a result and that excellence would be sought in every setting. So we are very strong proponents of fundamentally changing the way we approach education … because there are hundreds of thousands and millions of children that are forced to go every day to a school that is not meeting their needs and it’s not right.”

Her husband added that they are for “public education” but that’s not the same as “public schools.” He said public funding for education of all kinds is a “laudable concept” that should not be forced to operate through “government-run schools.”

He also stated: “In my opinion, the Church has sadly retrenched from its central role in our community, to where now as we look at many communities in our country the church which ought to be in our view far more central to the life in our community has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity the center for what goes on the community….”

He added, “it is certainly our hope that churches would continue no matter what the environment whether there is government funding someday through vouchers or tax credits or some other mechanism…that more and more churches will get more and more active and engaged in education. We just can think of no better way to rebuild our families and our communities than to have that circle of church, school, and family much more tightly focused and being built on a consistent world view.”

Betsy DeVos did not disagree with this statement of their shared goals and responded: “If I can just add to that very quickly, I think for many years the church in general has felt that it is important for the children of the congregation to be in the schools to make a difference but in fact I think what has happened in many cases for the last couple of decades is that the schools have impacted the kids more than the kids have impacted the schools. The young children need to have a pretty solid foundation to be able to combat the kind of influences that they are presented with on a daily basis.”

(All quotes above are transcribed from their hour-long interview for “The Gathering,” available here.)

This is just one of five things listed that you need to know about Barf Bag Betsy DeVos, the fascist sycophant Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten has tasked with destroying Public Education in America. Click through for the other four.

From ABC: President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday night that he will "appoint" retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to be his secretary of defense. The two met in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November for an hour, after which Trump called Mattis the “real deal.”

Under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, certain federal positions appointed by the president — including secretary of defense -– require confirmation of the U.S. Senate.

Mattis most recently served as the head of U.S. Central Command. A lifelong bachelor, he is known as the “warrior monk” for his knowledge of ancient and military history.

The four-star general is revered by many for his leadership and also known for his blunt words…

"Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.”

That quote tells us why the Fuhrer, aka the Rectum of Rage, likes Mad Dog. However, he is forbidden by law to serve as Defense Secretary, until he has been separated from military service for seven years.

From TPM: Some Senate Democrats were harshly critical of Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, the latest in a line of financial elites tapped for his cabinet who they say betrays the President-elect’s promise to “drain the swamp” of insiders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Steve Mnuchin “the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis” in a statement Tuesday, referencing Munchin’s two-decade-long tenure at Goldman Sachs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“His selection as Treasury secretary should send shivers down the spine of every American who got hit hard by the financial crisis, and is the latest sign that Donald Trump has no intention of draining the swamp and every intention of running Washington to benefit himself and his rich buddies," she said, as quoted by the newspaper.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) also took aim at Mnuchin’s time leading the bank OneWest, known for its aggressive foreclosure practices.

“Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities," he said in a statement.

Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten is just a Republican that reflects all the hate of the Theocons, Alt-Right Nazis and KKK and all the greed of the Billionaires, Banksters, Corporate Criminals and Vulture Capitalists.

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1202Cartoon

May it survive to see its 50th anniversary.

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Nov 162016
 

It’s not only a cold muggy day, but also very busy.  I’m waiting for a grocery delivery, and will have to put everything away, when it arrives.  Later Wendy is coming to scour the stinky TomCat, and do some light housework.  I’ll feed her chili dawgs.  Sleep is still slow in coming.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:47 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: In the wake of the 2016 election, one thing has become increasingly clear: there is a huge problem with the news that tens of millions of Americans get from Facebook.

According to a recent Pew poll, 62% of Americans now get news on social media, with Facebook overwhelmingly being the most popular platform. And yet too often it was not news that Americans found on Facebook, but rather fake stories dressed up as the news.

Evidence shows that Facebook is riddled with lies. One report even found that teenagers in Macedonia were able to game Facebook and get their Trump propaganda posts shared into the news feeds of millions.

Earlier this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg sat down with conservatives who complained that right-wing news was suppressed on Facebook. It was after that meeting that Facebook fired their human editors and replaced them all with algorithms. This decision further unleashed fake news on Facebook.

A new bombshell report revealed that Facebook knew about the fake news problem and had the ability to do something about it, but declined to fix the issue out of fear that the right-wing would complain.

If we have learned anything from the past two decades, it is that it is crucial not to cave to right-wing bullying and manipulations.

Despite overwhelming data and insider reporters, Mark Zuckerberg refuses to even acknowledge the problem publicly. (Which is odd given that he was willing to sit down with discredited right-wing misinformers over totally unsubstantiated cries of bias)

Join us in asking Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to take two concrete steps:

  1. Acknowledge the problem of the proliferation of fake news on Facebook.
  2. Commit to taking action to fix the problem.

It’s high time that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook fix their fake news problem and address the fever swamp/cesspool of misinformation that Facebook has become.

If that hurts liberals, so be it. If that hurts conservatives, so be it. If that hurts teenagers publishing fake news in Macedonia, so be it. Let the chips fall where they may.

It’s time for the truth to have its day. That’s all we’re asking for.

I am sharing the entire article, because Media Matters want'[s it shared.  Considering that Facebook, which I quit many years ago, is owned by a collection of Billionaires, Banksters, and Vulture Capitalists, is this any surprise? Please click through and sign the petition.

From Daily Kos: Share this article

That didn’t take long. Not even a week has passed, and the president elect’s team is already warning Trump critics to be "careful" about the way they criticize Trump.

[Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid] on Friday had said that "the election of Donald Trump has emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America" and that "white nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear." […]

Then, she added: "He should be very careful about characterizing somebody in a legal sense. He thinks — he thinks he’s just being some kind of political pundit there, but I would say be very careful about the way you characterize it."

Donald Trump’s minions seem to be confused about this, so let’s fill them in on something they’re going to need to know going forward: The President of the United States has the least legal protection against criticism or libel of anyone in the country. As the ultimate public figure, courts are obliged to grant public citizens wide leeway. This is why, for example, elected public officials, private citizens, and the Fox News channel have been repeatedly able to peddle 100% false information about Barack Obama for a decade with absolutely no repercussions.

With the takeover of SCOTUS by SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) virtually guaranteed, that is likely to change.

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Should We Give Donald Trump a Chance? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Amen!

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