Jan 062018
 

It’s a muggy sticky day, so humid that I had to change my undershorts in the middle of the night, even though I didn’t feel hot.  I hate sweating and feeling chilly at the same time.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  May the Holy Ellipsoid Orb bless your team, id they are still alive.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:00 (average 5:35).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Late Show Channel): Trump Adjusts To Life Without Sloppy Steve

 

Does Trump call Bannon Sloppy Steve, because Trump doesn’t get him until Putin is done? RESIST!!

From Politico: Responding to several days of speculation about his mental well being and fitness for office, President Donald Trump defended himself on Twitter on Saturday morning as "very smart" and "a stable genius" in the wake of allegations contained in an incendiary book about the Trump administration released this week.

“Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..” the president tweeted at 7:19 a.m., hours before he was scheduled to meet with congressional GOP leaders at Camp David.

Several minutes later, Trump added: “…Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star….. [emphasis added]

Nobody will ever accuse that moron of modesty! RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Donald J. Trump, legendary among U.S. Presidents for his aversion to reading, demanded on Thursday that members of his White House circle act out Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” in a command performance in the Oval Office.

According to those who witnessed the dramatic presentation, Jared Kushner played the role of Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump played the role of Ivanka Trump, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders played Steve Bannon.

Sources who sat through the private performance of “Fire and Fury” said that Sanders’s portrayal of Bannon was particularly impressive.

“Sarah’s a natural,” one source said. “At the end of the day, acting is just lying.”

But the performer who “stole the show,” according to one source, was Eric Trump, who was cast in the role of his father.

Dang, Andy!! I’m surprised he didn’t shoot them! RESIST!!

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Nov 202017
 

I continue to improve and am still trying to get as much rest as I can, so I don’t regress, as I usually do at this time of year.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:36 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Agony:

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They could have and should have won this one.  They beat themselves with their own mistakes.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Roy Moore “would not be the horse you would want to bet on first,” opined an anonymous source of Steve Bannon’s.  Bannon’s goal as self-appointed GOP kingmaker was to remake the party in his own image, starting with getting Roy Moore elected after a divisive and passionately fought primary against Luther Strange. Bannon saw Moore as being the first of many right wing candidates that he endorsed that would be victorious at the polls. Unfortunately, with Moore in disgrace and Democrat Doug Jones leading in Alabama, it’s all gotten topsy turvy in Bannon World and the campaign is starting to come off the rails. First and foremost, the RNC announced they were pulling funding for Moore’s campaign a few days ago and lo and behold GOP mega donors are jumping ship as well. Washington Post:

Early this month, GOP mega-donor Robert Mercer announced that he was stepping down as co-chief executive of his hedge fund and selling his stake in Breitbart to his daughters.

In doing so, he wrote a letter distancing himself from Bannon in which he expressed concern that he at times had been mischaracterized in the press as “a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group” and made clear that he would be making his own decisions about candidates to support financially.

A person familiar with Mercer’s thinking said in the past week that he does not plan to be “joined at the hip” with Bannon in his Senate efforts. In some cases, there could be overlap, but in other cases they could part ways, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak about private conversations.

Mercer’s not the only one to entertain second thoughts about this Senatorial make-over of Bannon’s creation.  Las Vegas casino tycoon and major GOP contributor Sheldon Adelson went on record last week as saying that he did not support Bannon’s efforts to recast the Senate and was instead, “supporting Mitch McConnell 100%.”

If the Plutocons and Corporacons are abandoning Bannon, the Theocons and the InsaniTEA wing of the party won’t be able to give him long-term control of the Republican Reich. RESIST!!

From Media Matters: "I think media activism is one of the most important parts of this whole resistance," Bill McKibben, influential climate activist and journalist, told Media Matters in a recent interview. His new novel, Radio Free Vermont, puts a spotlight on the importance of independent media.

"Just as we have got to go about the work of building a fundamentally healthy energy system, and a fundamentally healthy agriculture system, we have to go about the long, patient, crucial work of building a healthy information system again on this planet," he said.

McKibben has published more than a dozen nonfiction books, many of them about climate change and environmental issues, but Radio Free Vermont is his first foray into fiction. It features a band of activist pranksters in Vermont who find creative ways to fight against corporate control and the big retail chains that push out locally owned businesses. The novel’s protagonist, Vern Barclay, is spurred to become a rabble-rouser because the local radio station where he works is taken over by a corporation based in Oklahoma.

McKibben says this aspect of the book was partly inspired by a frightening event that happened in Minot, ND, in 2002. In the middle of the night, a train derailment caused a dangerous chemical release into the town’s air, ultimately killing one resident. When police tried to reach someone at the local radio station that was designated as the town’s emergency broadcaster, they couldn’t get ahold of anyone. Clear Channel Communications, a Texas-based conglomerate, owned that station and all five of the other commercial stations in Minot, and piped in prepackaged content from remote locations.

"That really struck me," said McKibben.

Clear Channel, now known as iHeartMedia, is the largest operator of radio stations in the U.S., with more than 850 in its control. Meanwhile, in the TV market, Sinclair Broadcast Group owns more stations than any company in the U.S. and is poised to acquire many more, which would enable it to squelch local voices and spread its right-wing messaging to the biggest media markets in the country.

We have far too much media concentrated in far too few and far too Republican hands. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Mr. Moore, long a controversial and polarizing figure, stands accused of molesting or making unwanted advances toward numerous young women and girls, one as young as 14, when he was in his 30s. That has rendered him radioactive for national Republicans and led The Birmingham News to bellow on Sunday’s front page: “Stand for Decency, Reject Roy Moore.”

And the Democratic candidate, Mr. Jones, is a respected former prosecutor best known for convicting two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, who was raising the possibility of a truly competitive race even before the accusations against Mr. Moore.

But opportunity has knocked on the door of a Democratic operation with the lights out. With a fairly anemic state party, there is little existing infrastructure for routine campaign activities like phone banks or canvassing drives. National Democrats, while helping to pour in money, are taking pains to keep the race at arm’s length, figuring their presence could hurt rather than help Mr. Jones. There are no beloved statewide officeholders or popular party elders to rally the troops.

“The Democratic Party is not behind him pushing him up the hill to victory, because they don’t have a wagon for him to ride in right now,” said Mark Kennedy, a former state Supreme Court justice and erstwhile chairman of the Democratic Party. “He’s got to do it all by himself.”

I agree that a strong national Democratic presence now could be self-defeating, because we have been AWOL for much too long. Grass-roots is the best we can do today, but we need to build a strong party infrastructure in all 50 states in time for 2018.  RESIST!!

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Sep 112017
 

Portland is back to 90° today.  Please let it be last time!  I’m in a bit of a rush, because I slept poorly last night, and I need a nap.  I’ll be up past my bedtime tonight meditating on the Ellipsoid Orb.  May it shed its holy light on my Broncos.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 6:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Fox News and other right-wing media outlets overhyped the threat of looting during their coverage of Hurricane Harvey last week. Some conservative blogs ran stories warning about looting that featured tweets from fake accounts, which have since been deleted. This coverage often had a racist element, either subtly or overtly accusing African-Americans of rampant criminal behavior.

In fact, looting has not been a widespread problem, according to law enforcement officials. Experts say the threat of looting is often exaggerated during disasters, and that appears to be the case with Harvey. "The Houston Police Department says very little looting occurred during the first week of flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey," Snopes reported on September 1. A spokesperson for the department told Snopes, "Looting is almost non existent in Houston. People have been cooperative not just with each other, but also with Houston PD. The weather is at its worst but Houstonians are at their best." Los Angeles Times correspondent Matt Pearce, who drove around Houston to report on Harvey, called claims of widespread looting "bullshit."

I have to wonder how many people, if any, were murdered by racist Republican vigilantes, their hatred piqued by the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: As part of its Nuclear Posture Review—the first since the 2010 review was completed—the Trump regime is said to be considering the building of a “mini-nuke,” a nuclear bomb with a low explosive yield. Advocates have long claimed this would improve U.S. deterrence. Approval of such a development would overturn the Obama administration’s policy of limiting reliance on nuclear arms and continuing to reduce the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Bryan Bender at Politico reports:

"The [nuclear review] has to credibly ask the military what they need to deter enemies," added another official who supports such a proposal, particularly to confront Russia, which has raised the prominence of tactical nuclear weapons in its battle plans in recent years, including as a first-strike weapon. "Are [current weapons] going to be useful in all the scenarios we see?" […]

"If the U.S. moves now to develop a new nuclear weapon, it will send exactly the wrong signal at a time when international efforts to discourage the spread of nuclear weapons are under severe challenge," said Steven Andreasen, a State Department official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush who served as the director of arms control on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration. "If the world’s greatest conventional and nuclear military power decides it cannot defend itself without new nuclear weapons, we will undermine our ability to prevent other nations from developing or enhancing their own nuclear capabilities and we will further deepen the divisions between the U.S. and other responsible countries.

The button loving Fuhrer is a Republican Ammosexual on steroids. RESIST!!

From Alternet: Bannon was concerned that Trump’s delay on DACA will result in a Republican “civil war” that could cost them the 2018 midterm elections.

While many pundits anticipate that Trump’s harsh anti-immigrant policies could hurt the party’s long-term prospects by further alienating Hispanic voters, Bannon had a different concern.

“My fear is that with this six months down range, if we have another huge– if this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013,” Bannon told Rose. “And to me, doing that in the springboard of primary season for 2018 is extremely unwise.”

This is only the fourth of eight lowlights from Steve "Trump’s Breitfart Nazi Barf" Bannon’s interview on 60 Minutes last night. Click through for the other seven. RESIST!!

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Rachel on Bannon

 Posted by at 1:55 pm  Politics
Aug 192017
 

Yesterday we learned that Steve Bannon, Trumps touchstone on all things Nazi, got the boot, apparently because he wanted more attention than his Fuhrer could stomach sharing.  I’ve been trying to learn more about the situation and what to expect from now on, where both Bannon and Trump are concerned.  I learned more from three segments on the Rachel Maddow Show, than from all other sources combined.  Here they are.

Bannon uniquely odd among Trump’s many weird staff choices

Rachel Maddow reviews some of Donald Trump’s weird staff picks, many of whom, it turns out, are united by a connection to Russia, but Steve Bannon, though also a weird choice, has a different explanation for how he got there.

 

Billionaire behind Trump, Bannon, Breitbart plans next move

Jane Mayer, staff writer for The New Yorker, talks with Rachel Maddow about the role of Robert Mercer in funding Donald Trump and Breitbart, and what he might do next with Steve Bannon out of the white House.

 

Bannon leaves Trump, takes important constituency with him

Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian, talks with Rachel Maddow about Steve Bannon’s unusual role in the Trump White House, from his job title to "nationalist" constituency he commands that could seriously sap Trump’s base.

 

In short, Trump is still Trump, and none of his hate, greed, and sociopathic behavior will change one iota.  Bannon is still a Nazi with plans to deconstruct America in every way he can, and with virtually unlimited funding from Mercer, he may have even more influence, especially with the TEAbaggers.  We are no better off than before.

RESIST!!

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Jan 302017
 

Since the unholy advent of the Republican Rectum Reich, the term OGIM! has taken on an unprecedented air of putrefaction.  Every week brings the question: to what new level of evil will the Nectarine Nincompoop Nazi take us this week?  Am I the only one shuddering at the thought?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:01 (average 8:18).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Robert Reich: Donald Trump has reorganized the National Security Council – elevating his chief political strategist Steve Bannon, and demoting the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Bannon will join the NSC’s principals committee, the top inter-agency group advising the President on national security.

Meanwhile, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now attend meetings only when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed,” according to the presidential memorandum issued Saturday.

Political strategists have never before participated in National Security Council principals meetings because the NSC is supposed to give presidents nonpartisan, factual advice.

But forget facts. Forget analysis. This is the Trump administration.

And what does Bannon have to bring to the table?

In case you forgot, before joining Donald Trump’s inner circle Bannon headed Breitbart News, a far-right media outlet that has promoted conspiracy theories and is a platform for the alt-right movement, which espouses white nationalism.

This is truly scary.

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice calls the move “stone cold crazy.” Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also served under George W. Bush, says the demotions are a “big mistake.”

Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told CBS News, "I am worried about the National Security Council. … The appointment of Mr. Bannon is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history.” McCain added that the “one person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view.”

Here’s the big worry. Trump is unhinged and ignorant. Bannon is nuts and malicious. If not supervised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, their decisions could endanger the world… [emphasis added]

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right. The Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is insane. Unterfartenfuhrer Bannon is a Nazi.  RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Calling it a “medical mystery of the first order,” scientists are baffled by the ability of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to stand upright without the benefit of spines.

Doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical School, who have been studying the skeletal structures of both Republicans for months, believe that their ability to stand, walk, and even break into a brisk trot when confronted by reporters’ questions is “virtually inexplicable.”

“The fact that they can do these things without the aid of spines makes McConnell and Ryan anomalies in the animal kingdom,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon. “According to everything medical science teaches us, their bodies should be collapsing to the ground in two heaps.”

Spot-in, Andy!! In toilet trout fishing terms, Bought Bitch Mitch and Lyin’ Ryan are boneless browns!! RESIST!!

From Think Progress: Donald Trump’s executive order, which blocked all citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations and refugees from any nation from entering the United States, has drawn widespread criticism from the corporate world.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called Trump’s order “unAmerican” and said it would “make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe.” Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield called Trump’s actions “gratuitously evil.” EBay CEO Devin Wenig said the executive order “fundamentally contradicts our company’s values and America’s values.”

Starbucks, however, is taking things a step further.

In an open letter, CEO Howard Schultz announced that, in response to Trump, Starbucks would hire 10,000 refugees.

Kudos to all these, and especially to Schultz of Starbucks. Let us remind each other, in this time that encourages unthinking knee jerking, that not all corporations, as well as all billionaires, are evil.

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