Jul 092017

At the time when mother earth has never had a greater need for all her inhabitants to work together to minimize the effects of global climate change, Donald Trump, Resident of the United States and Fuhrer of the Republican Reich is doing everything in his power to destroy the earth.


A gathering of global economic powers concluded on Saturday with the United States standing alone as the sole country that declined to sign onto a communique addressing climate policy issues — confirming fears that, in the Trump era, the G20 will devolve into the G19 without the United States.

The 19 other members of the G20 all reaffirmed their commitment to combating climate change through the Paris climate agreement, which the United States withdrew from earlier this year, ignoring the position of the scientific community and nearly every other country in the world.

The joint summit statement acknowledges the United States’ decision to pull out of the agreement, but notes the rest of the countries at the summit still believe “the Paris Agreement is irreversible” and remain committed to doing their part to slow the effects of global warming.

From <Think Progress>
Photo Credit: Salon.com

Kudos to 18 the 19 nations who agreed to stay the course.  I omit Russia, because were it not for their attack against our election, we would not have the Fuhrer and would not have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.

When we were negotiating the agreement, I suggested that the other nations of the world should boycott the goods and services of any nation that refused to comply.  My compassion will not allow me to call for one now, knowing the suffering it would bring to my fellow citizens, most of whom did not even vote for this tyrant, in the midst of Republican class warfare, but were it to happen, I’m not so hypocritical that I would call it unjustified.

We must remove the Fuhrer and the entire Republican Rectum Reich from power.


Jun 282017

Yesterday the building had still not bled-off enough heat to be comfortable, but this morning, I could finally turn off the AC for the first time in days.  I did get some sleep, but I need more.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries this afternoon.  This evening Wendy is coming to de-stink the TomCat, who has stunk since an hour after my shower on Sunday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:24 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Why Are We Appeasing Trump? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann


I agree with Keith on everything he said, except for one thing. Overthrowing Trump will not stop the hatred or abuse of power. Trump is where he is for one reason. With very rare exceptions, Trump personifies the politicians in the Republican Party. Putting Pence or Ryan in the White House will be just as bad for America, as is having Trump there now. RESIST!!

From Washington Post: President Trump’s administration will revoke a rule that gives the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority over regulating the pollution of wetlands and tributaries that run into the nation’s largest rivers, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Tuesday.

Testifying before Congress, Pruitt — who earlier said he would recuse himself from working on active litigation related to the rule — said that the agency would “provide clarity” by “withdrawing” the rule and reverting standards to those adopted in 2008.

The earth is far too precious a ball to sacrifice it to Republicans that don’t have any. RESIST!!

From TPM: Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin filed suit against the New York Times Company on Tuesday, alleging defamation following a June 14 Times editorial that the paper later said incorrectly tied political violence to incitement.

Specifically, Palin alleged that the Times knowingly linked one of her political advertisements — which showed rifle crosshairs hovering over certain Democratically controlled congressional districts — to the 2011 shooting at an event held by one representative under a crosshair, Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ).

After a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice on June 14, which left Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) in critical condition, a Times editorial asserted that, in the case of the Giffords shooting, “the link to political incitement was clear.”

“Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs,” it added.

The Gray Lady did not link Palin to the Gaby Giffords shooting. Bloody Bullseye Barbie linked herself to it.




Jun 062017

It is Monday afternoon and I have word about TC.  After feeling so crappy by 4 June 2017, TC was taken to the hospital presumably by his friend Wendy and diagnosed with prancreatitis.  Additionally, he will be having surgery to remove his gallbladder.  We don't know the timing of all this but will try to keep you all apprised.  As I did a year and a half ago, I will publish OT's as often as possible, and I know that you will also see articles from JD (Joanne), Nameless and Lona.  Speaking for myself, I can't give you the expert coverage of the American political scene like TC does, but you won't go hungry either.  For now, prayers or good vibes for TC are appreciated.  And many, many thanks to Wendy for her care of TC.  She is most definitely a keeper!

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 5:24 (average 10:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?  I will not mask my feelings for this one — it's a real barn burner!

Short Takes

Quartz — US president Donald Trump just announced he will withdraw the country from the international Paris agreement on climate change. He says he wants a better “deal” for the US, and that the country will begin renegotiating the terms of the agreement immediately after exiting it.

“We will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fair,” Trump said at a press conference today (June 1).

The statement is a stark example of the president’s zero-sum thinking, and it’s wholly inaccurate. The reality is the US did not have to withdraw from the Paris agreement to renegotiate how it will participate. In fact, once it with withdraws, it legally cannot renegotiate the terms of its participation. It also cannot withdraw immediately.

Here are comments from Hardball's Chris Matthews.

Also, The Washington Post has this short video presentation "Why Trump's Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement Is So Controversial" which is both interesting and informative.

Just incase you have not seen this petition, here is one from Daily Kos — Sign if you are outraged Trump pulled us out of the Paris climate agreement.  The text of the petition follows.

The Paris Climate deal was the most comprehensive international accord to fight climate change yet. It was signed by all but two countries (Syria and Nicaragua), and hailed as an historic effort to save our planet.

So of course, President Trump decided the United States would withdraw. This would mean the United States ditches crucial environmental regulations that can make all the difference in saving our planet.

By exiting from the Paris agreement, Trump ignored advice from the Pope, foreign leaders and even business leaders like Exxon. He is even rebuffing pleas from his own daughter, and from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

All to spite President Obama, who worked hard to craft the Paris climate agreement.

Sign if you are outraged the United States pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, and that we must do everything we can to fight this.

It can easily be said that Drumpf has "just shot himself in the foot" with his own ignorance about the Paris climate agreement.  So is there anything new in that?  Not really.  He displays his ignorance on a wide range of things daily.

Resist and Persist!!!

Daily Kos — The journalistic fraud that is Fox News is well known. It's a network that was contrived as a right-wing spin factory, but dishonestly marketed as being "fair and balanced." They have a revolving cast of scripted characters who alternately play politicians and pundits. Often the same person in both roles. Their commitment to partisan deceit is rooted deeply in the foul culture nurtured by its founders Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.

However, a new investigation proves that ideological fraud is not the only unethical practice employed by Fox News. Following the scandal-driven departures of Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, a new cretin was crowned as the top Foxie. Tucker Carlson was awarded O'Reilly's prized time slot that anchors the network's primetime lineup. 

The Center for Media and Democracy conducted an exhaustive investigation into the stewardship of his website, The Daily Caller (TDC). Carlson launched the site six years ago and it quickly became a staple of wingnut propaganda. The Washington Post published CMD's findings with this summary of the scam:

"Most of the roughly 50 journalists who produce content for the Daily Caller actually work for the Daily Caller News Foundation, a tax-exempt organization with 501(c)(3) status that is ostensibly separate from DailyCaller.com. The two entities share the same floor of the same Washington office, however, and virtually everything produced by the foundation — which accepted $3 million in donations in 2015, according to an IRS filing — appears on the for-profit website, which sells advertising on the articles.

In short, TDC takes in tax-free donations to finance their for-profit newsroom. Then they use the articles written by foundation authors to populate a commercial website that receives advertising revenue. The Post cites legal experts that describe this an obvious tax dodge:

"'It's a huge rip-off for taxpayers if the Daily Caller News Foundation is receiving revenue that it doesn't pay taxes on, to produce stories that are used by the for-profit enterprise, which then makes money on the stories through ads,' said Lisa Graves, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration who now serves as executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy."

Read the rest of the article . . . there is more.  We already know that much of the right wing news media is anything but "fair and balanced", but add onto that being a factory for alternative facts and extreme partisanship.  I knew that the Daily Caller was a right wing "rag", but what I did not know was that it was started and is still run by Tucker Carlson.  He received help from conservative multi-millionaire Foster Friess.  You may remember him from the 2012 presidential campaign when he said "…they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly."  With his oh so pseudo Christian values, Carlson is committing fraud by registering TDC as a charity.  In essence, it means that all taxpayers are subsidising right wing propaganda which needs to be stopped.

Resist and Persist!!!

Alternet — It doesn’t make rational sense for Trump to pull out of the Paris accord. Even Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has argued against withdrawal, as has Tillerson’s former company, Exxon Mobil. The traditional reasons for conservative opposition to cleaner energy — protecting energy profits — don’t hold up as well as they used to. So why is Trump doing this?

The likely answer is, I’m afraid, a disheartening one: Trump’s anti-environmentalism is ultimately not about the gross but rational pursuit of profit, so much as it’s the result of a nihilistic anti-conservationist ideology that has been fomented for years on the far right. It’s an ideology concerned more with hating liberalism and undermining former President Barack Obama’s legacy [emphasis added] than with petty matters like peace or prosperity. 

… But a lot of what motivates him [Utah Rep Rob Bishop] appears to be a deeply rooted unwillingness to have his state be home to anything that could be considered an Obama accomplishment.

Weiss pointed out that a similar fight, fueled by blind hatred of Obama, is going on in Maine. The founder of Burt’s Bees donated 87,500 acres to the federal government, and Obama designated it the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. But the Trumpian governor of Maine, Republican Paul LePage, is so angry about the monument’s existence that he has refused to let the state post road signs telling people where it is. The Katahdin Woods monument is also included in Trump’s executive order to review such designations. 

Weiss pointed out that a similar fight, fueled by blind hatred of Obama, is going on in Maine. The founder of Burt’s Bees donated 87,500 acres to the federal government, and Obama designated it the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. But the Trumpian governor of Maine, Republican Paul LePage, is so angry about the monument’s existence that he has refused to let the state post road signs telling people where it is. The Katahdin Woods monument is also included in Trump’s executive order to review such designations.

This abject hatred of all things Obama is no doubt brought on by the fact that Obama dared to be Black while president.  Republicans are so predictable in their hatred.

Resist and Persist!!!

CBC — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced a plan to increase the provincial minimum wage to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019. 

The increase would be phased in over the next 18 months, rising to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018, and then to $15 the following January. 

After that, it will rise annually with inflation.

Among the proposed changes are the requirement that after five years with the same employer, the minimum vacation entitlement for workers would rise to three weeks per year.

All workers would also be given 10 personal emergency leave days a year, and a minimum of two of those days must be paid. (Currently, only employees of large companies are entitled to this.) 

Employers would not be allowed to request a sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave. 

Many of the changes address shift work in particular. The proposed legislation says employers would be required to pay three hours of wages to an employee whose shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice, and that employees would be able to refuse shifts without repercussion if given less than four days notice.

The proposed legislation also says: 

  • Equal pay would be mandated for part-time workers doing the same job as a full-time workers.
  • Employers would be prohibited from misclassifying employees as "independent contractors."
  • Rules for creating a union would be modernized, including the extension of card-based certification to temporary workers, building services workers and community care workers.  

The act also lays out a plan to hire 175 more employment standards officers, and launch an education program for employees and business owners to help them learn about their rights and responsibilities.

minimum wage graphic

Read the rest of the article for a few more details of the legislation.  This is only in Ontario which has the largest workforce in Canada.  Alberta was the first province to put legislation in place.  I am hopeful that British Columbia will tackle this issue next now that the election is over.  Here the ruling Liberal party (not the same as the federal Liberal party) did not win the election, 43 seats, nobody really did.  However, the New Democrats (41 seats) and the Green Party (3 seats) have formed a coalition and presented their agreement to the Lieutenant Governor for approval.  Minimum wage is a topic for both the NDP and Greens.

My Universe

The magic motivator . . . food!



Jun 022017


It has been no secret that Trump is a climate change denier, and that was fully borne out by his announcement that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement. 

From Alternet

President Trump announced Thursday that he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, signed by nearly 200 nations to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

In his exit, Trump has likely put the accord into jeopardy, as the U.S. is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world next to China. Per capita, the U.S. is the seventh biggest emitter, after major oil- and coal-burning nations like Qatar and Australia. But cumulatively speaking, the U.S. is the country that has pumped the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the decades.

These facts, environmentalists argue, mean that the U.S. should shoulder the biggest responsibility for mitigating the effects of climate change. But Trump has shirked that responsibility, a move that could weaken other nations' commitment: If the world leader in carbon emissions won't curb its own, why should other countries, which emit far less? 

The response from supporters of the agreement was harsh and swift.

"President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord is a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet’s future," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "In walking away from this agreement, the president is denying scientific truths, removing safeguards that protect our health and our environment, protecting polluters and their dirty energy agenda, and threatening our national and global security."

"By abandoning the Paris Agreement, Trump continues on a reckless path of pretending that the dire threat posed by climate change is no more lasting than a tweet," said Sachs. "It’s one thing to campaign on a know-nothing platform on climate change that denies scientific reality, and another altogether to govern that way. If ever there was a moment for Donald Trump to listen to the consensus of scientists and 195 parties to the Paris Agreement, this was it, and he failed."

Here from Daily Kos is Trump's announcement from the Rose Garden.

Barf Bag Alert!

Some Reactions

From The Independant on msn.com

Barack Obama has accused Donald Trump of “rejecting the future” by pulling out of the Paris climate deal.

The former U.S. President said those nations that remained signed up to the accord would “reap the benefits in jobs and industries created.”

But he added: “This Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future.”

Mr. Obama’s administration played a key role in negotiating the deal.

Speaking after Mr. Trump announced America was withdrawing from the agreement, the former President argued the U.S. “should be at the front of the pack” when it came to lowering emissions and developing green technology.

From CBC  The Canadian Reaction

"We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris agreement," Trudeau said in the statement. "Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth. Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate."

"This is about an ambitious and unshakable desire to leave a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet for our kids and for generations to come," Trudeau said.

"The clean-growth economy is where the world is going and Canada is going to be part of it," McKenna said on Parliament Hill following Thursday's White House news conference.

"Canada wants to create good jobs, and wants to grow our economy and create opportunities for business. We want to be there, we want to be providing solutions for the world. We know where we're going." 

From YouTube French Reaction


I can hardly wait to see what the other European nations have to say, especially after dealing with Drumpf at the G7 and NATO summits last week.  I remember reading quite some time ago that many countries in Europe had made significant strides in clean energy.  Below is a map showing the relative percentage of green energy as part of the total energy consumption as noted in WikipediaAs you can see, the Scandanavian countries are out front with Iceland and Norway having over 60% of total energy consumption in green renewables.


By User:Murraybuckley, User:Jklamo, User:Elekhh – based on File:European-union-renewables-fr.svg Data source for EU-member states and Norway Eurostat – Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (2004–2013, as of April 2015) Data source for other countries: Iceland (2010, source needed) Turkey (2010, source needed) Switzerland (2013, 21.1%), SFOE, renewable energy statistics 2013, page 5, Public Domain, Link

So if Europe can make significant changes, why can't other countries like the US and Canada?  Canada is trying.  With Trump's climate change denier status, and a Republican Congress that follows suit, the country is turning back the clock and putting its citizens in danger as well as the rest of the world.  With Trump and Republicans it's profits first and only.  Let's hope that this decision of Trump's has a severe political price for Trump and the Republicans.

May 082017

I slept well last night, and although I’m still hurting whenever I breathe, it’s rarely excruciating, so I’m going to return to medical mayhem next week.  I have such a huge backlog of appointments put on hold, that I may be quite scarce at times.  I’m debating buttoning up the Cat Box and turning on the AC.  It’s only 65°, but when the sun hits my outside wall, the wall radiates heat.  OGIM!  (Oh God It’s Monday!)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:11 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (PBS Channel): Yates testifying on ousted national security adviser Flynn


I’m anticipating Yates’ testimony. Have you ever seen a TomCat drool? RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: On Sunday, the people of France annoyingly retained their traditional right to claim intellectual superiority over Americans, as millions of French citizens paused to enjoy just how much smarter they were than their allies across the Atlantic.

In bars and cafés across France, voters breathed a sigh of relief in the knowledge that arrogantly comparing themselves to the U.S. population, a longtime favorite pastime of the French people, would remain viable for the foreseeable future.

Pierre Grimange, a Parisian café-goer, sipped on a glass of Bordeaux and toasted his nation “for not being so dumb as the United States after all.”

Andy, that’s what I said yesterday. Great minds fall in the same ditch. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research.

A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire.

Putting this more realistically, the foxes are now in charge of hen house protection. RESIST!!



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!!