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!
Quartz — US
“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.
The magic motivator . . . food!