Dec 022016
 

Once again it’s TGIF day, and I’m ready for a restful weekend.  My shoulder is improving slightly, but I did have to cancel my appointment yesterday with Courtney, my physical terrorist.  There is no way I could have stood up to her loving abuse.  I hope you enjoy one of your last weekends living in a democratic republic.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Exposed by CMD: Theocracy: She Has Pushed for Vouchers and More to Get Tax Money to Support Christian Schools

DeVos has approached the issue of education as a religious issue for her personally and as an area which she wants to change the law to reflect her personal views. A long-time partisan activist, she got involved in education “reform” in the early 1990s, around the time that her husband ran for a seat on the Michigan state Board of Education.

After he stepped down from that post, in 1993 she and her husband took on the “Education Freedom Fund,” which, she has said, “I would define as ultimately Christian in its nature because in excess of 90% of the parents who receive these scholarships choose Christian schools to go to.” EFF provides private funding for private school tuition, and is supported with significant donations from the DeVos family.

Why did she and here husband choose to get involved in the political battles over public education even though they did not send their kids to public schools and they financially support private Christian schools?

In a joint interview for “The Gathering,” a group focused on advancing Christian ideology through philanthropy, she and her husband said they decided to focus on reforming public education and funding for private education because the “Lord led us there” and “God led us.”

At that meeting, they were asked if it would not have been simpler to fund Christian schools directly rather than fund political efforts like vouchers to get more tax dollars to fund Christian schools, and she replied: “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education versus what is spent every year on education in this country… So, our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom,” adding that they want “to impact our culture [in ways] that may have great Kingdom gain in the long-run by changing the way we approach things.”

Her husband added: “We are working …. to allow for our Christian worldview, which for us comes from a Calvinist tradition, and to provide for a more expanded opportunity someday for all parents to be able to educate their children in a school that reflects their world view and not each day sending their child to a school that may be reflecting a world view that may be quite antithetical to the worldview they hold in their families.”

When asked if they are “against public education,” they have denied that charge while trying to reframe the conversation.

Betsy DeVos responded: “No, we are for good education and for having every child have an opportunity for a good education. And having grown up in families that are in the business world, we both believe that competition and choices make everyone better, and that ultimately if the system that prevails in the United States today had more competition, if there were other choices for people to make freely that all of the schools would become better as a result and that excellence would be sought in every setting. So we are very strong proponents of fundamentally changing the way we approach education … because there are hundreds of thousands and millions of children that are forced to go every day to a school that is not meeting their needs and it’s not right.”

Her husband added that they are for “public education” but that’s not the same as “public schools.” He said public funding for education of all kinds is a “laudable concept” that should not be forced to operate through “government-run schools.”

He also stated: “In my opinion, the Church has sadly retrenched from its central role in our community, to where now as we look at many communities in our country the church which ought to be in our view far more central to the life in our community has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity the center for what goes on the community….”

He added, “it is certainly our hope that churches would continue no matter what the environment whether there is government funding someday through vouchers or tax credits or some other mechanism…that more and more churches will get more and more active and engaged in education. We just can think of no better way to rebuild our families and our communities than to have that circle of church, school, and family much more tightly focused and being built on a consistent world view.”

Betsy DeVos did not disagree with this statement of their shared goals and responded: “If I can just add to that very quickly, I think for many years the church in general has felt that it is important for the children of the congregation to be in the schools to make a difference but in fact I think what has happened in many cases for the last couple of decades is that the schools have impacted the kids more than the kids have impacted the schools. The young children need to have a pretty solid foundation to be able to combat the kind of influences that they are presented with on a daily basis.”

(All quotes above are transcribed from their hour-long interview for “The Gathering,” available here.)

This is just one of five things listed that you need to know about Barf Bag Betsy DeVos, the fascist sycophant Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten has tasked with destroying Public Education in America. Click through for the other four.

From ABC: President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday night that he will "appoint" retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to be his secretary of defense. The two met in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November for an hour, after which Trump called Mattis the “real deal.”

Under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, certain federal positions appointed by the president — including secretary of defense -– require confirmation of the U.S. Senate.

Mattis most recently served as the head of U.S. Central Command. A lifelong bachelor, he is known as the “warrior monk” for his knowledge of ancient and military history.

The four-star general is revered by many for his leadership and also known for his blunt words…

"Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.”

That quote tells us why the Fuhrer, aka the Rectum of Rage, likes Mad Dog. However, he is forbidden by law to serve as Defense Secretary, until he has been separated from military service for seven years.

From TPM: Some Senate Democrats were harshly critical of Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, the latest in a line of financial elites tapped for his cabinet who they say betrays the President-elect’s promise to “drain the swamp” of insiders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Steve Mnuchin “the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis” in a statement Tuesday, referencing Munchin’s two-decade-long tenure at Goldman Sachs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“His selection as Treasury secretary should send shivers down the spine of every American who got hit hard by the financial crisis, and is the latest sign that Donald Trump has no intention of draining the swamp and every intention of running Washington to benefit himself and his rich buddies," she said, as quoted by the newspaper.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) also took aim at Mnuchin’s time leading the bank OneWest, known for its aggressive foreclosure practices.

“Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities," he said in a statement.

Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten is just a Republican that reflects all the hate of the Theocons, Alt-Right Nazis and KKK and all the greed of the Billionaires, Banksters, Corporate Criminals and Vulture Capitalists.

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May it survive to see its 50th anniversary.

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Dec 012016
 

The beginning of the last full month of even partial sanity in the US has been an incredibly busy day.  In addition to my normal first of month record keeping tasks, I have changed the poll and collected all the data for and made all the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, so I’m getting a late start here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:58 (average 5:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Government-Backed Attackers” May Have Hacked My Account | The Closer with Keith Olbermann

 

Shit!!  What else is there to say?

From Daily Kos: Trying hard not to roll my eyes too much.

People in poverty-stricken Clay County [Kentucky] worry about what will happen to their health care if Gov. Matt Bevin’s and President-elect Trump’s ambitions to overhaul Medicaid proceed.

In Clay County, 60 percent of residents are covered by Medicaid. They voted for Republican Matt Bevin 71-27, and for Donald Trump 86-11. Neither Bevin, nor Trump, made their opposition to Obamacare secret.

As much as I hate to say it, I’m not sympathetic to the plight of people who did not oppose Trump and will suffer because of his evil Republican policies. At least they will be suffering the consequences of their own idiocy, unlike the plurality of Americans, who knew better, voted responsibly, and will still share equally in those sufferings. Responsible deserve relief first.

From The New Yorker: President-elect Donald J. Trump will no longer have day-to-day responsibility for driving his businesses into bankruptcy and will instead focus on bankrupting the country, one of his leading surrogates said on Wednesday.

Appearing on Fox News, Kellyanne Conway said that while Trump no doubt could “plunge both his businesses and the country into bankruptcy at the same time,” he feels that he “owes it to the American people to put them first.”

Acknowledging that Trump has no government experience, Conway said that his years of bankrupting a variety of companies would prove “invaluable” as he does the same to the United States.

Dang Andy! You’ve hit on a skill at which Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten will surely excel.

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Nov 272016
 

There has been considerable controversy about the fake news stories that spread from user to user on Facebook, and that companies unwillingness co control the fake news there.  But from where did all that fake news come?  Apparently  over two hundred websites have been parroting Russian propaganda regularly to help elect Putin’s dog, our Fuhrer.

1127Fake-NewsA sophisticated Russian propaganda effort helped fuel the spread of fake news during the election cycle, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Two groups of independent researchers found that Russia employed thousands of botnets, human internet “trolls” and networks of Web sites and social media accounts to inject false content into online political talk and amplify posts from right-wing sites

“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who co-authored a report about Russian propaganda. “This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”

A similar report from PropOrNot, provided to the Post, identifies more than 200 websites that routinely pushed Russian propaganda to at least 15 million Americans, and found that false stories pushed on Facebook were viewed more than 213 million times

Some stories originated from RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that are more akin to traditional news sites but sometimes include false or misleading articles.

The coverage was overwhelmingly favorable to Donald Trump, and some of the most notable examples of fake news garnering major traffic online centered on Hillary Clinton’s health, protesters that were allegedly paid to interrupt Trump events, and fears about vote tampering.

“The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” said the executive director of PropOrNot,…

From <Daily Kos>

If you want to take a look, here’s the list of websites that have regularly repeated Russian Propaganda.  Several are sites I’ve been familiar with for a long time, that I do not consider intentional purveyors of Russian propaganda.  Instead, I consider them useful fools that have long been popular with the wing-nut fringes. of both left and right. The best none site on the list is Wikileaks.  While I can’s say with certainty that Assange sold out to the dark side, but at the very least, he echoed reams of material that he obtained from Russian s-called hackers without checking its authenticity.

That said, the biggest culprits of this fiasco are the Main Stream Media.  If they were doing their job, Americans would not be s hungry for authentic news, that they were duped by Putin and Republican tolls.

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Nov 232016
 

I’m hurrying this morning, because I’m hoping for time for a nap, before Wendy and her niece arrive for early Thanksgiving dinner.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From Daily Kos: Oh, national "news" media. What the hell are you even for?

On November 19, The New York Times reported that Trump “still maintains the routine that sustained him during the campaign,” which includes “often seek[ing] out” advice from [MSNBC host Joe Scarborough]. CNN media reporter Brian Stelter referenced the Times report on the November 20 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, stating that Scarborough has been giving Trump advice.” Scarborough failed to address the allegations during the November 21 edition of Morning Joe.

Scarborough has repeatedly attacked those who claimed he was supporting Trump on-air. In November, Scarborough lashed out at the “really disgusting” people who suggested he favored Trump, adding that he doesn’t want viewers to believe “that anybody [on Morning Joe] is rooting for Donald Trump because we’re not.”

Outstanding. Just outstanding. So Joe Scarborough has been giving Trump regular advice, and the MSNBC appendage has nothing to say about this beyond his past attacks on people who would suggest such things.

As I have said, while MSNBC is the most balanced cable news network, it is anything but liberal. The Fuhrer’s goose-stepping shill, Joe Scarborough and Joe’s ersatz liberal punching bag, Mika Brzezinski, control the three hour breakfast time slot on the network, and get as much air time as Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell combined.

From YouTube (GQ Channel): The Surprisingly Easy Way to Get Rid of Donald Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

As much as I love Keith, I disagree. The only difference between Trump and Pence is that Pence dog-whistles what Trump says.. Furthermore, Republicans are too foul for enough of them to take those actions.

From San Francisco Chronicle (Hat Tip JL A): Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch’s company fought for years to hold on to millions of dollars in profit from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. That battle just paid off.

Koch Industries and dozens of other former Madoff customers are expected to keep as much as $2 billion they made from the con man’s bogus securities transactions after U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stuart Bernstein in Manhattan ruled the cash is out of reach of a trustee recovering money for victims.

The ruling on Monday underscores that even eight years after the collapse of the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, the litigation stemming from the scam is still being defined by which Madoff customers profited at the expense of others. Many are still waiting for their principal.

Koch Industries and defendants in about 100 other suits argued the profit was beyond U.S. jurisdiction because it had been transferred — usually from offshore feeder funds to foreign banks — in the years before Madoff’s December 2008 arrest.

In short, thousands lost their homes, their pensions and their life savings, and they will recover nothing, because the Koch Brothers and other Vulture Capitalists hid their ill-gotten in secret offshore accounts, co the courts cant make them return it, the judge says.

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TC will chow down tonight!!

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Nov 192016
 

I did manage to get a little sleep yesterday, but I’m still behind the curve.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but my Broncos are taking the day off.  To honor the LGBT community, they have a bi week.  May the Divine Orb shine it’s blessed light on your team.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:13 (average 6:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Rachel Maddow Show: Trump makes extreme choice in Flynn for NSA

Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump naming Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor and why he thinks Flynn is not well-suited for the job.

With want other politician does this extremist wing-nut share a love of Putin’s propaganda network, RT? Flynn reminds me of General Ripper in Doctor Strangelove.

From YouTube (Media Matters Channel): Trump’s Election And The Power Of Fear

 

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. (Hos. 8:7 KJV) That’s only half right. We have ALL reaped the Republican whirlwind.

From International Business Times: The election may be over and president-elect Donald Trump may be wavering on whether he wants a special prosecutor to investigate former rival Hillary Clinton, but that hasn’t cooled the ardor of congressional Republicans who want to investigate her private email server.

Five House and Senate panels may be planning to continue probing Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as secretary of state even though the FBI concluded her actions didn’t rise to the level of criminal conduct.

Why are Republicans so anxious to twist the knife, even though Hillary’s political career is effectively over? There are two reasons. Republicans politicians are hateful and vicious, and it detracts from the crimes they have never stopped committing regularly.

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White House? Alt-Right House!!

 Posted by at 11:58 am  Politics
Nov 152016
 

The Republican Reich is moving at full speed to consolidate power as the Fuhrer makes appointees to its cabinet.  I’ve covered Bannon’s Nazi views before, but there a lot more you ought to know about him.  The position he will be occupying is the same one held by the infamous Karl Rove in the GW Bush Reich.  OMG!  I’m going to miss Rove Rat!

1115BannonTrump

Anyone holding out hope that Donald Trump would govern as a uniter — that the racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and nativism of his campaign were just poses to pick up votes — should think again.

In an ominous sign of what the Trump presidency will actually look like, the president-elect on Sunday appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor, an enormously influential post.

Many if not most Americans had never heard of Mr. Bannon before this weekend, and for good reason: He has kept a low profile, even after taking over Mr. Trump’s campaign in August. Before that, he worked as the executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, parent company of the far-right website Breitbart News [Breitfart delinked], which under Mr. Bannon became what the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

Mr. Bannon himself seems fine with that description, telling Mother Jones last summer that Breitbart was now “the platform for the alt-right,” a loosely organized group of mostly young men who believe in white supremacy; oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism; and delight in harassing Jews, Muslims and other vulnerable groups by spewing shocking insults on social media…

From <NY Times>

The Gray Lady as barely scratched the surface.  Rachel Maddow dissects his hateful background for us in horrifying detail!

I have only one word sufficiently vile for me to describe this evil monster.  Bannon is a Republican.

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