Jan 102018
 

It’s another busy, sticky day here in the CatBox.  I finally got over that awful Republicosis early yesterday evening and slept well last night.  I’m not completely over my upper respiratory bug and malaise, but I continue to improve.  Store to Door delivered my groceries on time, and I have put them away.  Wendy comes this evening to de-stink the sticky TomCat and help with chores.  I got her a gift of two lbs. of fresh cherries.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:47 (average 6:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Full Frontal Channel): Announcing Full Frontal’s Apology Race

 

I bet Squatch favors Allana! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: In a highly anticipated report due to be released on Wednesday, congressional Democrats are expected to raise renewed concerns over mounting evidence of Russian interference in at least 19 European nations, according to the Associated Press, which obtained an advance copy.

The 200-plus pages report, commissioned by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, directly targets President Trump for failing to respond to the threat, even as other nations in Europe have taken much stronger measures to counter Russian efforts in the region. “Never before has a U.S. president so clearly ignored such a grave and growing threat to U.S. national security,” the report warns, according to AP.

Were the Fuhrer to acknowledge Russian interference in any election anywhere, he would be risking not only that it would draw attention to his own criminal conspiracy, but also, that it would piss off Putin enough to put the Pee-Pee Tape on RT.  RESIST!!

From NY Times: A panel of federal judges struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, condemning it as unconstitutional because Republicans had drawn the map seeking a political advantage.

The ruling was the first time that a federal court had blocked a congressional map because of a partisan gerrymander, and it instantly endangered Republican seats in the coming elections.

Judge James A. Wynn Jr., in a biting 191-page opinion, said that Republicans in North Carolina’s Legislature had been “motivated by invidious partisan intent” as they carried out their obligation in 2016 to divide the state into 13 congressional districts, 10 of which are held by Republicans. The result, Judge Wynn wrote, violated the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

Woooo Hoooo!! Kudos to the judge, who is obviously not a Trump appointee. RESIST!!

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Dec 142017
 

I’m hurrying to finish, so that I can get some rest this afternoon, because this evening is a holy night in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are playing the Colts on Thursday Night Football, and it is televised here.  Could it happen again?  Fantasy players,  there are Saturday games this week.  I received a call from the alternate food delivery guy I found for the two weeks Store to Door will be closed.  He has to go out of town.  So I’ll have to use Amazon Prime Now.  They are pricey.  Their offerings are incomplete.  Their user interface for groceries is a horrid disjointed maze.  But there is no waiting, and they are reliable.  I got my test results back from my stool sample.  My cat box is now a certified source of A-1 prime high octane kitty shit!  I just heard that Net Neutrality is dead.  The vote was 3-2.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Huffington Post: An ethics watchdog group is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) violated federal conflict of interest laws by promoting a column he was paid for during a meeting with President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity, a panel on which he is a top official.

Kobach has written 14 columns for Breitbart since June, and he told the Kansas City Star he gets paid by the outlet for his work. On Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Department of Justice to probe whether Kobach broke the law when he wrote a paid column alleging widespread voter fraud could have changed the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in New Hampshire and then introduced the piece for discussion at the September meeting.

CREW alleges Kobach was using his official position on the commission to advance his financial interest, something prohibited by federal law. Kobach’s columns all have a note at the bottom noting Kobach’s position as vice chair of the commission, which is formally called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Kudos to CREW! Kobitch needs a Saguaro suppository! RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama’s special election means that the Texas senator Ted Cruz will easily retain his status as the most despised person in the United States Senate, congressional insiders confirmed on Wednesday.

According to those insiders, Cruz had been secretly hoping that Moore’s election would displace him from his unenviable position as the most vilified pariah in the upper chamber.

“Cruz was praying that, if Moore got in, that might change the daily conversation around here from ‘Who has to sit next to Ted?’ ” one Republican colleague said.

Cruz, whom colleagues deem even more insufferable than such other senatorial ass-clowns as Mitch McConnell and Tom Cotton, was reportedly “distraught” upon learning that Moore would not be joining him in the U.S. Senate.

What do you think poor Ted will do, Andy? I think he’ll seek comfort from his TRUS. RESIST!!

From Robert Reich: Common sense and decency have prevailed in Alabama. It was a vote not just against sexual abuse but also against racism and against those who would ride roughshod over our democratic institutions.

Yes, the margin was small, and Roy Moore was the worst candidate Republicans could possibly have dredged up. But remember, this is Alabama – where Democrats are hated, where minority votes are suppressed, where Trump won overwhelmingly last November.

In the most Trumpian of all states, Trump has been delivered the most powerful repudiation to date. First it was Virginia; now, Alabama. I’d like to think this is a precursor of what’s to come next November – the beginning of the end of the nightmare.

The Reich on the left is right. RESIST!!

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Proof of Conspiracy

 Posted by at 12:07 pm  Politics
Dec 032017
 

Ever since it became evident that Michael Flynn, the main Republican facilitator between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the Republican Reich has claimed that Flynn was a rogue player, doing things without authorization from or report to the Reich.  Now we have have proof that the Reich was in the loop on Flynn’s discussion of quid pro quo with Russia.

1203Conspiracy

When President Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions.

But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia.

While Mr. Trump has disparaged as a Democratic “hoax” any claims that he or his aides had unusual interactions with Russian officials, the records suggest that the Trump transition team was intensely focused on improving relations with Moscow and was willing to intervene to pursue that goal despite a request from the Obama administration that it not sow confusion about official American policy before Mr. Trump took office.

On Dec. 29, a transition adviser to Mr. Trump, K. T. McFarland, wrote in an email to a colleague that sanctions announced hours before by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russian election meddling were aimed at discrediting Mr. Trump’s victory. The sanctions could also make it much harder for Mr. Trump to ease tensions with Russia, “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him,” she wrote in the emails obtained by The Times… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

What the Times missed is the fact that puts the final nail in the coffin.  KT McFarland’s email was shared with Reince Priebus, Trump’s then chief of staff; Steve Bannon, Trump’s then-senior strategist; Sean Spicer, Trump’s future press secretary; and others.  While Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten was not on the list himself, I find it inconceivable that he would not have known what was clearly common knowledge to the senior transition officials.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Boycott Facebook

 Posted by at 1:02 pm  Politics
Sep 072017
 

I cannot quit Facebook.  I resigned many years ago, for several reasons.  Changes in their privacy policy, their association with Goldman Sachs, seeing fine bloggers succumb to entertaining but meaningless pursuits, and seeing myself wasting far too much time there all contributed to my decision.  Now I’m convinced that Facebook actively colluded with Russia (and possibly the Trump campaign) to interfere in our 2016 election.

0907Facebook

Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings.

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

A small portion of the ads, which began in the summer of 2015, directly named Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the people said, although they declined to say which candidate the ads favored…

Inserted from <Washington Post>

There is actually far more to this story than meets the eye.  In fact, it takes Rachel Maddow almost twenty minutes to explain it.

In short, Facebook would not have engaged in months of denials, were they not covering up their own collusion and betraying our nation for profit.  The only way to punish them is by taking away their business.  I recommend pulling the plug.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Everyday Erinyes #82

 Posted by at 9:03 am  Politics
Jul 082017
 

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.”

Now, I don’t want to be picking on Canada to start here.  In fact, I have to doubt whether, if this had happened in the US, the family could have gotten anywhere near as quick action as this gentleman’s family did.  But it is horrifying nonetheless.

Georges Karam, 89, a resident in the Garry A. Armstrong long term care home for the last two years or so, kept suffering unexplained injuries, which concerned the family.  So his grandson, an attorney, obtained permission to install a video monitor camera in his room.  it was not a secret; besides being perfectly obvious and installed openly, the staff of the home was notified of it.  And then the video in this story was captured.

I admit I haven’t watched it.  The screen captures were more than enough for me.  And I won’t embed it, for that reason, and for copyright reasons (it is the property of DNG Nassrallah Law Offices.)  And I haven’t used a screen capture here, but instead, a picture from a happier occasion.  But those who have seen the video say that it shows the support worker, Jie Xiao, yanking Mr. Karam back and forth while removing his diaper.  Mr. Karam, apparently agitated, is seen taking “a couple of swipes” at Xiao while the diaper is being changed.

A third swipe, which came near Xiao’s face, apparently moved Xiao to grab one of Mr. Karam’s arm with his right hand, while, with his gloved left hand, he began to punch Mr. Karam’s face.  The sound of the fist making contact with the face is clearly audible.  “Gloved,” of course, refers to a disposable medical glove, not a padded glove which might protect a patient’s face.

Eleven punches were recorded in a period of 28 seconds.

Karam’s grandson, Daniel Nassrallah, an Ottawa lawyer who set up the camera, said he couldn’t believe what he was seeing when he first viewed the video just after 10 p.m. on the day of the assault. Nassrallah had set up the camera — which is about the size of a baseball, lights up in the dark and had wires running from it — on the wall so he could watch the video remotely over the internet.

“I literally stood up and fell down, my legs gave way because I didn’t know how to respond to this,” he said.

“We have a camera on him, and even that doesn’t deter him. To me, that’s mind blowing.”

Incidentally, Xiao has been arraigned and entered a guilty plea.

(In the States, our battle over healthcare in general has screened the fact that a rule change adopted in October 2016 designed to prevent Medicare and Medicaid residence providers from requiring agreement to arbitration as a condition of admission, which was being contested in court, has now been dropped by the current regime and will not go into effect.)

Megaera, I’m sure that the families of long-term-care residents in city-run homes (of whom there are about 700 in Ottowa) would appreciate any help you can give them.  Not to mention the roughly 6,800 who are in homes not run by the city, and the 3,500 more on waiting lists.

Meanwhile, in Florida, someone (probably several someones, and I’d go out on a limb and guess they wear a lot of sheets) is out to get the president of the Alachua County chapter of the NAACP.

The head of a Florida chapter of the NAACP found a Confederate flag on her lawn after receiving a series of late-night death threats from callers claiming ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Evelyn Foxx woke up Monday morning to go for a walk with her friend, and found the flag lying outside in front of her home, reported The Gainesville Sun.

The 66-year-old Foxx, chapter president of the Alachua County NAACP, and her friend at first thought it was an American flag and walked over to pick it up — but they called police after realizing it was a Confederate battle flag.

While a piece of cloth may seem tame next to guns and bombs and even ropes, we should consider this in the context of the phone calls she has been receiving since November  – in fact, since the election.  They usually come around one or two in the morning, and the callers say they are members of the KKK – and the calls are death threats.

I’d call the police too.  And the FBI, which she also did.  But I’m not sure I’d have much faith in them, in Florida, even if my BFF was married to a County Commissioner, as is the case with Ms. Foxx.  Commissioner Robert Hutchinson ised his Facebook page to call attention to the incident and to state, “There should be no doubt about the Confederate battle flag’s usage as a symbol of divisiveness, bigotry, and hatred, or that racists live among us who still cling nostalgically to their culture of tyranny and intimidation.”

Tisiphone, Please help.  Let us know what you need from us.

Living as we are under a regime such that many of us say at least daily, “How the he** did we get HERE?”, it may help to pay a bit of attention to others who are asking more specific questions designed to elicit essentially the same information.  Such a one is Ernest A. Canning, who writes for The BRAD BLOG, and one of whose articles has been picked up by truthout.  The title of the article is “What Will It Take for Americans to Understand the Basics of Election Integrity?”  Seems to me a darned good question.

Here’s a brief list:

1.  ALL electronically stored and/or processed data are vulnerable to malicious cyber intrusions.

2.  Vulnerability is not confined to external hackers.  Election insider manipulation is a separate vulnerability.

3.  Paper registration forms, poll books, and hand marked paper ballots are not vulnerable to electronic manipulation.

4.  The only way to ensure a transparent and verifiable count is to deploy hand-marked paper ballots, publicly hand counted.

5.  The core issue of election integrity is not fraud, but whether election officials have complied with procedures designed to ensure integrity.

He goes on to discuss some court cases in disputed elections, and how, in his opinion, the court have not just been looking at the evidence wrongly, but have been looking at the wrong kind of evidence.  I won’t go into detail on this, except to say in passing that it helps no one to discuss what went wrong with a candidate’s platform or personability and how a different plank, or a different candidate, might have changed the result, when the fact is we really don’t even know the result.

As a former election judge (poll worker) who has actually counted paper ballots (including once a judge of absentee votes – that was interesting), and a resident of a state which now has all mail balloting, I would point out that all-mail balloting IS done with paper ballots which are hand marked.  They present custody issues, but so do ballots which are voted at a polling place, and all mail ballots are IMO superior from a privacy standpoint.

Alecto, you have been familiar with elections since the ballots were ὄστρακα.  Please hang around to be helping those who want elections fair and with large participation, and hauling off to Hades those who want the opposite.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4060701

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