May 272017
 

Yesterday, I was so tired that I actually thought it was Saturday.  I finally realized my error after lunch.  It's a good thing I did, or I would not have scheduled my follow up with Amanda (Prosthetist).  The too hot for May weather has returned.  I expect a high of 90°.  The Portland Rose Festival just began, waking me up last night with a fireworks display.  Historically, the Weather always turns to crap for the Rose Festival, but not this year.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:00 (average 4:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: This humorous bit takes only several seconds to watch, but the laughter/smile will most likely linger much longer. On Thursday, Jordan (@JordanUhl) posted a hilarious GIF clip on Twitter, adding:

I don't care if this is fake I'm pretending it's real

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Trump considers the Pope to be a soft liberal pussy. In the absence of absolute proof that it's fake, we have to conclude this is a real Trump attempt to grab a pussy. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Democratic defeat in a hard-fought special House election in Montana on Thursday highlighted the practical limitations on liberal opposition to President Trump and exposed a deepening rift between cautious party leaders, who want to pick their shots in battling for control of Congress in 2018, and more militant grass-roots activists who want to fight the Republicans everywhere.

Rob Quist, the Democratic nominee in Montana, staked his campaign on the Republican health care bill, but he still lost by six percentage points, even after his Republican opponent for the state’s lone House seat, Greg Gianforte, was charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election.

The margin in this race was relatively small in a state that Mr. Trump carried by more than 20 percentage points last year. But Mr. Quist’s defeat disappointed grass-roots Democrats who financed nearly his entire campaign while the national party declined to spend heavily on what it considered, from the outset, an all-but-lost cause in daunting political territory.

The DNC is dead wrong. Failure to fight Republicans anywhere gives moderate voters everywhere the impression that the Democratic Party does not care about them. On the other hand, we may have lost the Montana war, but we won enough of the battles to make it worthwhile. We made the Republican Party spend millions more than grass-roots Democrats did to defend a supposedly "absolutely safe" seat. Furthermore, the Gianforte body slam audio will be hung around the neck of Republican candidates everywhere, because that act actually increased Gianforte's support among Montana Republicans, who sent him $100,000 within 24 hours. RESIST!!

From Raw Story:

But Media Matters and others have been debunking Hannity’s fake news for years. Here are 5 of his more baseless theories:

1. CIA framed Russia for hacking the DNCFox News reported on Russia’s hacking the DNC as well as the January 6 Intel report. [Faux Noise delinked] Yet, less than 48 hours after a Wikileaks dump of the Vault 7 documents (March 7), Hannity began citing Breitbart’s reporting of the scoop: “WikiLeaks: CIA Uses ‘Stolen’ Malware To ‘Attribute’ Cyberattacks To Nations Like Russia.”

The Fox News host was joined on his show by retired 9/11-truther [Fascist delinked] and torture proponent Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Schaffer.

“Sean, we did it. Not me, but our guys, former members of NSA, retired intelligence officers used these tools to break in there and get the information out. That’s what the Democrats don’t want to talk about because it doesn’t fit their narrative,” Shaffer said.

“You’re telling me this whole Russian story that the media has been running with for months and months and months — that it was our people that did it, and they put the fingerprints of the Russians on it?” Hannity asked.

“That’s right,” Shaffer said, although he then admitted on-air he had no proof.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

What hogwash! I shared one. Click through for the other four.  RESIST!!

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May 252017
 

I have a short time to write before I have to break to dress for my Prosthetics appointment, and I shall append this before I return.

My appointment with Amanda went quite well.  She adjusted George and took an impression of my foot for new diabetic shoes.  I'll set an appointment to return in about three weeks.  TriMet, on the other hand, was horrible.  The got me to my appointment an hour early, so i had a long wait.  My return driver went to the wrong location and reported that I was not there.  At the end of my window, I called to see where my ride was.  Dispatch implied that I was not being truthful that I was there, and told me I had to wait several hours for another ride.  I asked for customer service to complain.  She was skeptical, but said they have software that takes a picture of every no show, and she would download the picture.  When she came back, she had changed her tune, because the picture proved me right.  She said that the software almost always proves the driver was right and apologized.  She sent a free to pick me up at their expense, but I still returned home over two hours late.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 4:31 (average 5:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): 40 Shady Things We Now Know About Trump and Russia | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

We know enough to realize that there is treason afoot. The problem is that Republicans have become the Know Nothing Party. RESIST!!

From Fox News: …Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte's face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

I bet you never thought I would ever post a Faux Noise piece, but they were the only ones there.  It clearly demonstrates that Gianforte's version of what happened is a lie. He said, they said? If anyone would be biased in favor of the Republican, it's Faux. Furthermore, on the air, Faux is hyping Gianforte's lies and ignoring their own reporters. The pig has been charged with assault. Republicans love violence. RESIST!!

From Think Progress: Israel is altering how it shares intelligence with the United States after President Donald Trump shared classified information with Russia in the Oval Office two weeks ago.

Trump, who was meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, told both men about a believed threat from ISIS involving bombs buried inside of laptops. That information, the New York Times reported, came from Israel — something that was unconfirmed officially until Trump himself seemingly let it slip while speaking in Israel on Monday, ironically while attempting to defend himself on the issue to the media.

“I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel’. Never mentioned during that conversation,” Trump said. “They’re all saying I did, so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word ‘Israel.’”

But Israeli officials seem concerned less about being named as the intelligence source and more about the information leaking in general. Intelligence officials reportedly shouted at their U.S. counterparts over the leak, worried that a vital source might have been compromised to Russia — notably an ally of Israel’s regional foe, Iran. Now, the country is taking steps to ensure that the problem doesn’t happen in future.

This is a terrible development for US intelligence. As much as I have opposed Israel's horrid policies toward Palestinians and shall continue to do so, Israel has been our best source of middle eastern intelligence. Where we have only SigInt, Israel has HumInt. Trump has made us all less safe. RESIST.

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May 232017
 

It’s another hot humid day, and I did not get much sleep last night.  Tomorrow and Wednesday will be cooler, but it will take a day or too for the excess heat in the interior hallways and bathrooms of the building to moderate.  After my morning Trump making on the throne at 5:45 AM, I had to change my shirt, as the one I had on was wet.  I have a reason for not covering the Manchester Arena attack.  I had MSNBC on for three hours last night through Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, and none of them covered any other news.  They repeated mostly the same information over and over and over again.  I would never downplay the tragic loss suffered by the dead, the injured, the traumatized and their families.  They have been in my thoughts and prayers.  However the losses from that one incident cannot begin to compare to the tragic losses of both life and human suffering that the policies Republicans have wanted for many years will bring.  Therefore, I’ll cover other things that need covering.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:07 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): This is How Low the Trump Apologists Will Stoop | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Republicans could not be more desperate to project their Fuhrer’s treason away. One cannot stoop lower than fronting the story with Scumbag Sean and Newtered. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Because he never stops being an entitled jackass:

President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits …

… The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps …

Every penny spent to provide for the needs of sick seniors or hungry children is a penny Republicans can’t give to a billionaire. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose the names of former lobbyists who have been granted waivers to work in the White House or federal agencies.

The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.

Mr. Shaub returned a scalding, 10-page response to the White House late Monday, unlike just about any correspondence in the history of the office, created after the Nixon Watergate scandal.

“O.G.E. declines your request to suspend its ethics inquiry and reiterates its expectation that agencies will fully comply with its directive,” Mr. Shaub wrote in a letter he also sent to every federal agency ethics officer, six members of Congress who oversee government operations and the inspector generals from agencies governmentwide. “Public confidence in the integrity of government decision making demands no less.”

Kudos to Schaub and O.G.E. RESIST!!

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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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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!!

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