Open Thread – 5/18/2017

 Posted by at 12:16 pm  Personal, Politics
May 182017
 

The Comcast tech was on time, and I’m most pleased with the job he did here.  He worked for almost two hours setting up a network that is rated at 200 Mbps, but is actually performing at 298 Mbps, over three times the speed of the old modem.  He configured my computer, laptop, printer, phone, Kindle Fire, and Roku devices, and he tested them all.  He cancelled the $40.00 I had been charged for the setup because of my disabilities.  And for the time I had the old modem, he gave me 3 months of HBO.  I was surprised to receive such excellent service.  After I broke for lunch, Neighborhood House arrived.  I wish I had had the time to do research, considering all the scandalous news that Trump and the Republican Rectum Reich have caused lately.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:27 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: While Washington insiders and most of the American press are falling over themselves and each other trying to keep up with the latest Trump scandals (for the love of God, it’s only Tuesday), you might wonder how the nation’s worst major news network is handling the news that Donald Trump accidentally or on purpose leaked information to Russian diplomats that is considered so sensitive that no United States newspapers are willing to detail exactly what it is.

You needn’t wonder—because at newly Ailes-less, O’Reilly-free Fox News, it’s been business as usual.

While CNN and MSNBC provided wall to wall coverage of the breaking news, Fox News defended Trump before returning to coverage of such hard hitting stories as the “Romper for men,” Miss USA’s comments about healthcare, Michelle Obama’s comments about school lunches, “Media Hysteria,” and “leftists” on college campuses

What else would you expect from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise? RESIST!!

From Washington Post: A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy. [emphasis added]

Read the transcript here. Lyin’ Ryan and the Republican leadership knew about these crimes all along and instituted a cover-up! RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump’s four-month-old presidency.

The decision by the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, came after a cascade of damaging developments for Mr. Trump in recent days, including his abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the subsequent disclosure that Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to drop the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

Mr. Rosenstein had been under escalating pressure from Democrats, and even some Republicans, to appoint a special counsel after he wrote a memo that the White House initially cited as the rationale for Mr. Comey’s dismissal.

By appointing Mr. Mueller, a former federal prosecutor with an unblemished reputation, Mr. Rosenstein could alleviate uncertainty about the government’s ability to investigate the questions surrounding the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Frankly, I’m quite surprised that Rosenstein has done this. It was the only way to begin to repair his own credibility, after the ridiculous memo he signed on the reasons for firing Comey, since Trump threw him under the bus by bragging about the real reason. Remember, since a sitting President may not be charged with a crime, Muller’s only remedy is to refer his evidence to the House for possible impeachment. Will they impeach?  Also, the investigation will take months. If Republicans have decided not to save Trump, they will use the time strip the cupboard bare and create huge deficits providing welfare for billionaires.  RESIST!!

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May 142017
 

I’m trying to finish as much as I can early, because Wendy is due soon to de-stink the sticky TomCat and help with household tasks.  I’ll probably publish this shortly after Noon, about four hours from now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:58 (average 5:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (SNL Channel): Lester Holt Cold Open – SNL

 

Dang! I never expected SNL to do straight news, but it’s all so accurate! RESIST!!

From Mediaite: Per their report, Chaffetz has actually been telling his Republican colleagues he’s heading for the Donald Trump-approved universe of Fox News.

Here’s what Elaina Plott wrote:

According to two GOP lawmakers who have spoken to Chaffetz directly and four senior House Republican aides, Chaffetz has been telling people he’ll take on what one source calls a “substantial role” in on-air talent at Fox News Channel, possibly as early as July, amplifying whispers that Chaffetz will not finish out his current term.

What landing strip could be more appropriate than the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise, for the Republican coward, who ran from the House pseudo-investigation of Trump treason. RESIST!!

From NY Times: What do Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders think a president may say or do and still deserve their enthusiastic support? We offer this handy reference list in hopes of protecting them from charges of hypocrisy in the future. They can consult it should they ever feel tempted to insist on different standards for another president. So, herewith, the Congressional Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behavior.

If you are the president, you may freely:

attack private citizens on Twitter
delegitimize federal judges who rule against you
refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry
fire the F.B.I. chief in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates
accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense
employ top aides with financial and other connections to a hostile foreign power

I shared just the first six abominations. Click through for the other eleven. RESIST!!

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Everyday Erinyes #73

 Posted by at 11:23 am  Politics
May 062017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  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."

It has been a rough week, only slightly alleviated by the news that two law enforcement murderers (out of how many hundred?) will be facing, one a possible penalty (after a plea bargain), the other charges (and what else remains to be seen), for their crimes.  The passage of the AHCA (Abysmal Horrible Crap Act) has dominated the news, and, as fury-worthy as it is, there is really nothing to say about it that hasn't already been said, and that multiple times.

Although, perhaps I can come up with some words that have not been seen – at least not nationally – the lamebrain in question probably sent them to the local papers, but I don't know whether anyone bothered to publish them, as predictable and vapid as they are.  The Congressman for CO-05, Douglas Lamborn, my Congressman, sent out this statement in an email:

"I have kept my promise to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered plan that reduces government control, lowers costs, and increases the health care choices available to the American people. The AHCA has improved over the last month. The Freedom Caucus has worked with the moderate Tuesday Group to forge a compromise that will lower premiums and increase the flexibility of individual states to manage their health care decisions. Additionally, I personally negotiated with House Leadership to fix an error that locked veterans into the VA health system and prevented them from accessing the benefits of the AHCA. Securing this important victory for our veterans allowed me to support the bill.

With this vote, we have ended the individual mandate, blocked federal funding from going to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, phased out Medicaid expansion, reduced regulations and taxes, and gutted Obamacare. I hope that the Senate is able to build upon the good work done by the House and deliver a strong bill to the President. By standing with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Health and Human Services Secretary Price, I have voted to move us forward to a future of improved health care access and affordability for all Americans."

(It is also on his website, but we don't link to websites of this nature here.)  I am sure it is now obvious to everyone here, if it wasn't already, why I make a point of remaining on good terms with Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone.

Just for good measure, though, on the National Day of Prayer this week, Shouty McShoutface signed an executive order regarding "Religious Liberty."  Naturally it was one of those documents that promulgate and support making it legal for those calling themselves "Christians" to discriminate against anyone not calling him or herself Christian – or, calling him or herself Christian, but not looking exactly like the "Christian" doing the discriminating.  And, of course, Congressman CO-05 had on opinion on that too:

"I want to commend President Trump for signing today's Executive Order on Religious Liberty, defending the liberties enshrined in our founding documents, and making good on campaign promises to preserve and protect religious freedom. Along with other Members of Congress, I urged the President to act quickly on this order, to restore to people of faith the freedoms that have been being encroached upon in recent years. Under the Obama Administration, men and women faced crippling penalties for simply living out their faith in everyday lives.

The United States of America has a long and rich history of being a bastion of freedom for those persecuted for living out their religious beliefs. I am grateful for the efforts of this administration to return to those values by reining in the culture of government intimidation and unfair punishments of those seeking to faithfully live out their deeply held convictions. No one should ever be forced to decide between giving up their deeply held convictions or facing the threat of unfair government punishment through crippling fines. Religious liberty takes nothing away from American citizens, but merely underscores the value and right of religious expression for the many millions of Americans who hold to a particular faith."

(The picture shows him accepting the "True Blue" arard from the Family Research Council.  No comment.) Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, dealing, as you generally do, directly with prime movers of evil, you may think I want you to go after this guy, and, in a way, you would not be wrong.  However, this Congressional District is laid out in such a way that if you took him out, he would most likely be replaced by someone worse.  I can't even call that a gerrymander.  It became like this when far right Christianist and Dominionist groups all more or less simultaneously decided that Colorado Springs was a wonderful place to headquarter. 

So what I really would like to happen is a change to the hearts and minds of the voters of CO-05 so that we can elect an actual human being to Congress.  I know that's a tall order.  And timeconsuming.  It might not happen in my lifetime.  It may not happen before the earth burns to a crisp.  But I do think it is worth attempting.  Dear ladies, thanks.  And good luck.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4051167

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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 192017
 

Wendy just left having destinked the foul TomCat, helped with the dreaded task and some light housework, and received a back rub with Icy-Hot, because she tweaked it in the bar last night.  That was the high point of my day.  She also had fried eggs and potatoes for brunch.  Now I have some catching up to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:36 (average 6:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Ex-convict and white supremacist Benjamin McDowell, 28, was arrested after buying a handgun and ammunition from an FBI agent for $109.

McDowell had complained on facebook that fellow white supremacists were all talk and no action: "All they wanne (sic) do is stay loaded on drugs the Jews put here to destroy white man and they feast on the drugs. they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline" he wrote, also citing Dylan Roof, the white mass murderer sentenced to death for the murder of a group of black churchgoers.

Authorities began investigating McDowell in December after he posted threats to a synagogue on Facebook.

Since President Trump was sworn in, vowing to keep America safe from terrorism, and issuing a travel ban against Muslim countries that was later blocked by the courts, this is the third white American to be investigated for a terrorist plot.

Click through for more terrorism by Trump Republicans.  It’s a good thing the FBI got this one before the Nectarine Nazi gave him Flynn’s job. RESIST!!

From Think Progress: Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort — which he refers to as “the Winter White House” — will bring in millions of dollars in membership fees each year while allowing members to have the ear of the president.

According to a New York Times piece published on Saturday, Trump’s son Eric told the newspaper that Mar-a-Lago admits about 20 to 40 new members each year. Considering that Mar-a-Lago raised its initiation fees to $200,0000 after Trump’s presidential inauguration, that’s up to $8 million dollars coming in from new members per year. And that doesn’t include taxes or the $14,000 charge for each member’s annual dues.

While clearly criminal, the likelihood that Beauregard will investigate, let alone indict him is nil. RESIST!!

From Raw Story: Almost all congressional Republicans are scared of facing voters in town hall meetings over the long President’s Day weekend. Only 19 representatives and senators—a tiny number—will hold town meetings during the first recess of the current session of Congress, according to the Town Hall Project. But the group’s listing of these democratic mainstays barely tells the story.

According to an eye-opening Washington Post account, Republican officeholders have been cancelling planned town halls because they don’t want to face critics upset that they may soon lose their health insurance or see an increase in costs as the GOP plans to undermine Obamacare. Even worse, they don’t want organized progressive groups to show up with posters and video camera and determination to challenge them in public and post the confrontations on YouTube.

“According to the Town Hall Project, which collates information about public town halls, there are no availabilities in Utah—where every federal officeholder is a Republican—over the coming week,” WaPo wrote. “That’s not a fluke. Just 19 Republican members of Congress have scheduled traditional town halls over the weeklong recess. Several more, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have listed ticketed events or “office hours;” a few more have announced tele-town halls, which allow constituents to lob questions without risking a “YouTube moment.”

This cowardly response is nothing new from immoderate Republicans; it’s in line with their partisan ethic that “anything goes” to win, except playing fair. They cannot win in many states without gerrymandering federal and state districts, which allowed them to seize power after the 2010 Census. They cannot win widely in high turnout elections, hence their efforts to limit participation by creating barriers like new voter ID laws or restricting voting options favored by critics, like early voting on weekends.

The bottom line here is this. Republicans don’t want to know what YOU think, because, unless you are a Nazi, a Misogynist, a pseudo-Christian, a Russian, or a billionaire, Republicans do not represent YOU! RESIST!!

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Dec 292016
 

News is still in short supply, unless one wishes to repeat the same stories, day after day, where only the individual identities of the targets of hatred from the Fuhrer and Republican Rectum Reich are new.  Nevertheless, I’m back in the saddle.  Yesterday’s bank run proved most interesting.  In the shower, Stumpy had bee3n hanging down without a shrinker, causing him to expand, and the hot water made it worse, so as I dressed to go out, Stumpy would not fit into George.  Thankfully, Wendy accompanied me to the bank, and in return, I treated her to burritos from a neighborhood food cart.  Fortunately George popped on without difficulty today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: As the Republican Congress prepares to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, gutting Social Security benefits for seniors and the disabled, and other measures to please their billionaire donor base, they are apparently deathly afraid of the American public seeing them do it, and even more afraid of allowing the public to see the Democrats’ response:

House members could be fined and referred to the Ethics Committee if they break rules governing electronic video and pictures in the House chamber under a new rule proposed by House Republicans more than six months after the Democrats’ guerrilla sit-in over gun control.

"Any subsequent offense will be assessed at the higher amount, regardless of whether it is connected to any other offense by time or proximity," part of the proposal reads.

The “fine" would be $500 for the "first offense" of photographing or videotaping, with $2500 for every "subsequent offense," according to the proposed Rule.

In addition, the new Republican rule would ban anyone from seeing organized protests by the opposition, because sit-ins in the House well will be banned as well.

The First Amendment is suspended for the Republican Rectum Reich.  RESIST!!

From Robert Reich: [Resident]-elect Donald Trump is accusing President Obama of putting up “roadblocks” to a smooth transition.

In reality, I think President Obama has been too cooperative with Trump.

In the waning days of his administration, I’d recommend Obama take the following last stands:

1. Name Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill any vacancy during the recess of the Senate. The Supreme Court is no exception: Justice William Brennan began his Court tenure with a recess appointment in 1956. Any appointments made this way expire at the end of the next Senate session. So if Obama appointed Garland on January 3, the appointment would last until December 2017, the end of the first session of the 115th Congress.

The Reich on the left is right. I shared one. Click through for the other six. I particularly like number three.  RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show:

Taking credit where credit is NOT dueVice President Biden’s Former Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein talks to Ari Melber about how Trump is trying to take credit for job growth when his policies could very well undermine his constituents.

 

You can be sure that, as soon as the Pumpkin Plutocrat is responsible for any economic developments, he will give "credit" for them to Democrats.  RESIST!!

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