May 232017
 

I have not posted in a while as I deal with my mother's passing and preparing her estate.  There is still much to do and it will get done eventually.  This week is very busy with numerous meetings all crammed into 4 days because yesterday was Victoria Day, a statutory holiday in most of Canada (Québec calls it Patriot's Day).  Today's big adventure is taking my 3 furbabes to the vet's for their annual checkup and shots.  They love their vet (he's their godfather) and he loves them.  By the time I get them home, the car and me will be covered in cat fur, literally!

Short Takes

CBC — A jawbone discovered by German troops in Athens during the Second World War could be evidence that apes and humans diverged 200,000 years earlier than the current theory says.

Chimpanzees and bonobos are the nearest known relatives to humans, sharing 99 per cent of our DNA. It's believed that we split between five and seven million years ago. 

However, researchers analyzing two fossils — a jawbone from a German museum and an upper premolar from a collection in Bulgaria — concluded their ages to be roughly 7.2 million years, and belonging to a pre-human.

But there's another significant finding: that human split occurred in the eastern Mediterranean and not Africa, as it is believed.

Well doesn't this just bite if you're an evangelical creationist who believes the earth was created only 6,000 years ago and that God created humans, and humans did not evolve from apes!  While the 7.2-million-year-old pre-human fossils might challenge current evolutionary theory, it certainly slams creationists.  Let's hear it for science!

Business Insider UK — For most in the hospitality industry, the odd bad review is part and parcel of the trade, but one venue appears to be determined to silence its critics.

According to The Mirror, Sarah Gardner, a 44-year-old mother and part-time nurse, has been threatened with legal action after posting a negative review on TripAdvisor of the Tunbridge Wells-based High Rocks restaurant and wedding reception venue.

The review posted on March 22 has since been taken down, but according to a screenshot obtained by the Daily Mail, it said: “Visited here with my family, been coming here for years. I have found the staff more and more rude each time."

“They have an arrogance that should not exist in a service industry, particularly the management. It’s as if they are doing you a favour, I found dealing with them frustrating and perplexing."

Click through for the rest.  Don't let Drumpf see this or he'll try to sue everyone and anyone who speaks negatively about him whether it comes under freedom or speech or not!

Washington Post — President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

How many ways are there to say "obstruction of justice"?  Drumpf keeps digging a bigger and bigger hole with no end in sight until he is actually impeached or he resigns.  I agree with those that say Drumpf thinks he is untouchable.  If he resigns the presidency as Richard Nixon did back in 1974 before he could be impeached, I understand that he could still face criminal charges.  I guess things are going to get worse before they get better.

YouTube —  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 5/21/17 : Stupid Watergate

John always has something to say and he does it with humour.  With the state of US politics right now, if we don't laugh on occasion, we might cry excessively!

US News and World Report — Like most things in politics, impeachment is not as simple as one might think.

The U.S. Constitution lays out impeachment powers for Congress, allowing the governing body to put certain government officials on trial and remove them from power. When an official is impeached, he or she isn't necessarily removed from office – that's a separate step in the procedure.

The process takes on the form of a trial, but the trial takes place in the House of Representatives and the Senate, not the courts.

The result is a blend of law and partisan politics in an often months-long process.

1. Who can be impeached?

According to the Constitution, at the federal level "the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States" can be removed from office. There have been 19 formal impeachment proceedings at the federal level in the U.S., which ended in seven acquittals, eight convictions, three dismissals and one resignation.

State legislatures can impeach state officials, including governors.

This is a very simple look at the impeachment process.  It is not as simple as "kick the bumb out!" no matter how we wish it to be.  Some of us remember the Richard Nixon resignation in 1974 when he thought he would be impeached.

YouTube — John Oliver – James Comey              

Need I comment further?  The Drumpf administration is the worst administration I can think of.  Nixon was bad, but Drumpf has him beat.

YouTube — The Young Turks — BREAKING: Eric Trump Is Staggeringly Stupid              

I have always felt that Eric Trump was on the clueless side.  From confirming his like of nepotism to his comments on Russian money in the family real estate business, he might actually be a prosecutor's best friend.  And Drumpf wanted a security clearance for this rube?

My Universe — In the video, which was posted to Youtube by Vancouver’s Michael Fujiwara, the sea lion surfaces near the dock, and swims about looking harmless. No doubt it was drawn by the fish — this is an area, after all, that was once nicknamed Salmonopolis.

But after surveying the area and discovering no fish, the sea lion surprises everyone by approaching a young girl, then suddenly, biting down on her dress and dragging her backwards into the water. …

“The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl,” he said. “She and her family, I guess, they came, they started feeding the animal bread crumbs or whatever it was, and then I guess the animal got a little too comfortable.”

Fortunately, the young girl was pulled from the water immediately by a family member. The young girl was unharmed, albeit a little soggy, and with a newfound, healthy fear of sea lions.

This happened at the Steveston Wharf which is where many fish boats are docked, so it would be quite normal for seals and sea lions to be around the wharf area.  People need to respect wild creatures for the potential harm they can inflict.  Seals and their bigger cousins, sea lions, can be dangerous.  Nobody should be feeding any wild animal.  Here is an additional CBC article about the incident with a little more detail.  Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

 

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May 202017
 

I had another night with very little sleep.  The humidity is extreme, and it will take time to get used to the noisy AC again.  Tomorrow it will reach 85°, and on Monday, the day of my Oncologist appointment, 90°.  The last time I was out of my building, I was bundled up with a heavy shirt, a sweater and my hoodie.  I also have a Prosthetist appointment on Thursday, so I’ll be a bit scarce next week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Robert Mueller, the former F.B.I. director named to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, will have broad discretion to prosecute any crimes he uncovers. But an equally important part of his mandate is lesser known: his duty to write a report on his findings.

In this respect, Mueller, as a special counsel designated by the Justice Department, differs from other federal prosecutors. Most U.S. Attorneys operate by a rule of put up or shut up—that is, they either bring criminal prosecutions or say nothing at all.

Click through for much more. That’s one report I can’t wait to read! RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

He bragged about it to his owners. How little the fool knew. He’s under far more investigation now than before. RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show: How might Donald Trump try to end the special investigation?

Rachel Maddow looks at some ways by which Donald Trump could try to get in the way of the Trump-Russia special investigation or eliminate it entirely.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Stay tuned. RESIST!!

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Can science survive in the US?

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18 New Russian Contacts

 Posted by at 11:48 am  Politics
May 192017
 

Back in the old days, Pence put on his very best pseudo-Christian disguise and lied with pretended piety that there had been absolutely no contacts between the Trump Campaign and Russian operatives. It’s not so easy for him to tell that lie today, because example after example of both Russian contacts and Pence’s lies about them have surfaced. Jonathan Landay just reported eighteen new ones.

0519TrumpRussia

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said…

From <Reuters>
Photo credit: politico

Rachel Maddow covered the story in two segments.In the first she sets up the background, as only she can, and expands on Pence’s lies.

In the second, she discusses the Russian contacts with Jonathan Landay.

One thing is clear.  As the noose around the Trump Residency (He NEVER was or will be President) tightens, replacing him with coconspirators like pseudo-Christian Pence or Lyin’ Ryan is moving America out of the frying pan and into the fire.

RESIST!! 

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May 192017
 

I had almost no sleep last night.  The building overheated yesterday, and I had to turn on the AC.  The noise bothered me.  In addition, Stumpy had a severe bout of phantom nerve pain, so please accept my apology in advance for typos and brain farts.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: House Speaker Paul Ryan has set a Google News alert to notify him of the instant that Donald Trump becomes unpopular enough to turn against, Ryan revealed on Thursday.

The news alert, which Ryan said was set to the phrase “Trump approval rating falls below fifty per cent among Republican voters,” will inform the House Speaker of the precise moment “that I can bail on President Trump at no political cost to me,” Ryan explained.

“There’s this sense out there in the media that Washington is consumed by drama and nothing is getting done,” Ryan told reporters. “I think it’s important for people to know that important things are, in fact, getting done, and setting this Google News alert is one of those things.”

Asked by a reporter when he anticipated turning on Trump, Ryan dismissed that as a hypothetical question, adding, “There is no timetable for my inevitable betrayal of him. Once I receive that Google News alert, it will most likely happen a split second after that.”

Dang Andy! That sounds like you know Lyin’ Ryan personally! RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump called the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, weeks after he took office and asked him when federal authorities were going to put out word that Mr. Trump was not personally under investigation, according to two people briefed on the call.

Mr. Comey told the president that if he wanted to know details about the bureau’s investigations, he should not contact him directly but instead follow the proper procedures and have the White House counsel send any inquiries to the Justice Department, according to those people.

After explaining to Mr. Trump how communications with the F.B.I. should work, Mr. Comey believed he had effectively drawn the line after a series of encounters he had with the president and other White House officials that he felt jeopardized the F.B.I.’s independence. At the time, Mr. Comey was overseeing the investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Those interactions included a dinner in which associates of Mr. Comey say Mr. Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty and a meeting in the Oval Office at which Mr. Trump told him he hoped Mr. Comey would shut down an investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Trump has denied making the request.

The day after the Flynn conversation, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, asked Mr. Comey to help push back on reports in the news media that Mr. Trump’s associates had been in contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign.

More kudos to Mike Schmidt!  Drip… Drip… Drip… RESIST!!

From CNN: There are people in Washington who would be happy to see Joe Lieberman return to public life. They just don’t happen to be members of the party that once nominated him for the second highest office in the land.

That’s what happens when you commit partisan treason.Lieberman, a longtime Democratic senator, became a pariah in his own party in 2008 when he not only endorsed the presidential bid of his GOP buddy, John McCain, but lambasted his own party’s nominee, Barack Obama, during a speech at the Republican Convention.

Now, it’s Republicans, rather than Democrats, who are welcoming the news that President Donald Trump might nominate Lieberman to head the FBI. And it is Republican senators, and possibly a smattering of Democrats, who would most likely vote to confirm him.

OMFG!! LIEberscum?!!? AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! RESIST!!

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More Obstruction of Justice

 Posted by at 2:16 pm  Politics
May 172017
 

I had no doubt that Putin’s Puppet, Fuhrer Donald Trump, was obstructing justice, when he fired Sally Yates to stop her investigation into his treason.  It became even more clear when he fired James Comey for the same reason.  When admitted that it was because of "the Russia thing", he removed all doubt.  Nut now, it is so obvious that even some Republicans are taking notice.

TrumpPuppet

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.\

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter… [emphasis added]

From <NY Times>

Here is Rachel Maddow interviewing Mike Schmidt the reporter who broke the story in the above article.

If Republicans don’t take action, and I still seriously doubt that they will, their failure to do so, given the existence of clear documentation, may just be the final gasp of the Republican Party.  If they Dump Trump now, it will put the kibosh on the Republican tax agenda.  They are way too greedy to risk that.

RESIST!!

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May 162017
 

It’s another day, and I was busy this morning with paper work.  I also composed my grocery order in time for Store to Door to call for it.  As usual, another day in the Republican Rectum Reich has brought a new scandal.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 4:50 (average 6:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Here’s How Trump Could Already Be Prosecuted | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Nixon was impeached and almost charged for covering up corruption and a 3rd rate burglary. Slick Willie was impeached and almost charged for covering up a BJ. What does Trump deserve for covering up high treason? That’s right, but Republicans refuse to obey the law.  RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Three men alleged to be prominent Russian spies inexplicably gained access to the Oval Office last week and held a high-level meeting there, according to reports.

Eyewitnesses to the meeting said that the three Russian agents spoke at length and shared sensitive intelligence material, at times laughing uproariously.

After approximately an hour, the meeting broke up, with two of the spies leaving the Oval Office and the third remaining behind.

News that agents of the Russian Federation had somehow eluded the Secret Service in order to hold a meeting in the Oval Office sent shock waves through Washington on Monday evening.

Andy, there is no satire there. RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday.

The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.

Is this why Russian press was allowed in, but US press was not?  Were it not his right to declassify, this would be high treason. After this, no sane leader will share intelligence with the US again . RESIST!!

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