Mar 172017
 

Happy St Paddy's Day

Well tomorrow is St Paddy's Day and the green beer and blarney will be overflowing.  You certainly should be familiar with blarney after listening to Drumpfenfarten and his minions.  So dust off your dancing shoes because tomorrow it is time for an Irish jig!

Jig Zone Puzzle — It took me 4:43 (average 7:27).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

I enjoy doing these puzzles so much that I thought I'd throw one in from time to time.  I will be choosing a puzzle that we haven't, to the best of my memory, had before.

Short Takes

The New Yorker — Notching the first major achievement of his Presidency, Donald Trump has broken the world record for unconstitutional travel bans, the White House confirmed on Wednesday.

In an official statement announcing the new world record, the White House called Trump’s second unconstitutional ban “especially impressive” because it came only thirty-eight days after his first.

PHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIER DOULIERY / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY

“In addition to the world record for unconstitutional travel bans, President Trump has also smashed the speed record for signing them,” the statement read.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, touted the new world record in a press briefing that sometimes resembled a victory lap.

“After the first unconstitutional travel ban, a lot of people questioned whether the President could follow it up with another unconstitutional one so quickly,” a gloating Spicer said. “I think he silenced a lot of doubters today.”

Does Drumpf do anything that is not unconstitutional!  This smells a lot like straight reporting Andy!

OtherWords.org —

Khalil Bendib/ OtherWords.org

Having only recently discovered Khalil Bendib's work, I find it quite good and as JD remarked on the last one, worth more than a thousand words.

Common Dreams — Just as his unverified wiretapping claims were seemingly dispelled, President Donald Trump stuck his foot further in the mire and is now facing accusations he may have let slip highly classified information during a televised interview Wednesday evening.

When asked by Fox News host Tucker Carlson why he hasn't gone to the agencies he is "in charge of," to "gather evidence" to support his claim that President Barack Obama tapped Trump Tower, Trump said: "Because I don't want to do anything that's going to violate any strength of an agency. You know we have enough problems. And, by the way, the CIA—I just want people to know—the CIA was hacked and a lot of things taken. That was during the Obama years. That was not during us."

That information, it appears, was not for the public.

On Thursday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, which has asked the administration to provide evidence of the alleged tap, accused Trump of "leaking" classified information.

Click through for the rest of the read.  Drumpfenfarten would argue red is green, and green is red.  He hasn't a clue what he is talking about.  Evidence?  I doubt there is any that is credible, and the ravings of a twitterhead should not be considered credible.  Even members of his own party are calling him out.

Huffington Post — A presidential budget isn’t so much a policy proposal as a statement of an administration’s moral vision for the country. The budget presented by President Donald Trump on Thursday is a document fundamentally unconcerned with the government’s role in improving the plight of its most vulnerable citizens.

That message is clear in the budget’s topline proposals and its deeper details. Trump calls for a $54 billion boost in defense spending and immigration enforcement. More border patrol agents, more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, more fighter jets that don’t work, and a border wall with Mexico. To offset those fresh expenses, he wants to take an ax to a host of anti-poverty programs ― everything from public housing to food programs helping elderly people with disabilities.

This was an ideological choice. When explaining why it would eliminate a $35 million affordable housing program, the administration declared the endeavor simply wasn’t the government’s business: “This program is duplicative of efforts funded by philanthropy and other more flexible private sector investments.”  …

That Trump’s budget is devoid of even modest nods to social welfare is not something that the administration is trying to hide. Instead, they’ve turned the argument on its head. At a press briefing Thursday afternoon, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was asked how he could justify cutting programs for the elderly and the poor while ramping up spending in other areas. In response, he insisted that, on the contrary, taking food from the mouths of hungry children should be seen as an act of “compassion." 

“I think it’s one of the most compassionate things we can do,” Mulvaney said, referring to reducing anti-poverty spending. The government, he declared, has an urgent moral priority to ensure that “the single mom of two in Detroit” doesn’t pay for programs that don’t serve “a proper function.”

For a so called moral document, this budget is very immoral!  Since when does taking food from hungry children constitute compassion?  And Meals on Wheels benefits the elderly and those with disabilities who cannot get out. It is also a social lifeline and contributes to better health outcomes.  This administration is morally bankrupt and the budget proposal proves it.  I wonder if the Republican Congress will  rubber stampthe proposal.  There are indications that not all are onboard the Drumpfenfarten train.

 

 

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Mar 142017
 

Well here I am . . . another rainy day in Lotus Land!  At least there is no snow here in Metro Vancouver and the temperature is 10 C (50 F).  Back in Ontario where my brother lives, they are digging out.  And this house, just south of them on the shores of Lake Ontario in NY state gives new meaning to ice.

I think I'll take the rain, thank you!  I'm off to a meeting very shortly and will send links when I get back.

Short Takes

Politico — … House Republican leaders plunged into damage control mode Monday after a brutal budgetary assessment of their Obamacare replacement threatened to upend Senate GOP support and armed their critics on the left.

Speaker Paul Ryan’s team quickly pinpointed rosier elements of the report by the Congressional Budget Office, from cost savings to lower premiums. But the bottom line — that the number of uninsured Americans would climb by 24 million within a decade — threatened to upend the GOP leadership’s fragile efforts to unite congressional Republicans around the plan.  …

"After reviewing this legislation and receiving the Congressional Budget Office score today, it is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand," he [Rep Rob Wittmann (R-VA) said in a statement. "I do not think this bill will do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians and therefore, I must oppose it." …

“Every single House Republican owns this catastrophic bill and should be prepared for backlash at the ballot box, particularly given the anticipated loss of coverage for 14 million people as early as next year,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law.

One might think that the new Republicare bill is a 'hail Mary' attempt at healthcare reform.  But House Republicans are divided on the subject, and Democrats are opposed.  The CBO analysis indicates that an additional 24 million people will be without health insurance, and the death rate will increase.

As Shakespeare said in Hamlet's solioquy in Act III Scene I "Aye, there's the rub.".  Do Republicans do what will help get them re-elected in 2018, or do they stand firm with this ideological piece of crap legislation that will result in the deaths of tens of thousands of citizens who will not be able to afford health insurance?

Daily Kos — In a presidency largely defined by lies, one pants-on-fire whopper now stands out as Donald Trump’s biggest — and deadliest — yet.

Conservative politicians, pundits and people across the nation loved parroting one of the biggest lies of the Obama era, that — all together now — “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

On the campaign trail in the fall of 2015, Trump promised to “take care of everybody.”

“Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now,” the billionaire businessman told CBS News. “The government’s gonna pay for it,” he said, raising right-wing eyebrows and ire, as he did when he rightfully praised Canada’s superior universal health care system.  …

Enter the American Health Care Act, which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said was the product of Republicans keeping their promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare, but which critics from both sides of the political aisle are calling a disaster. Yes, even Republicans — especially Republicans — have been blasting the proposed bill, with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) calling it “Obamacare 2.0,” former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin slamming it as “socialized medicine” and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) even warning the bill might cost Republicans their House majority come the 2018 midterm elections.  …

…people will die. A lot of people will die.

Need I say more?  Republicans don't care about anybody but themselves and money . . . the more money that can go to the 1%, the better.

YouTube — Gutting Health Care Will Kill Americans | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ              

There is a petition on Care2 that anybody can sign.  I urge you to tell Congress: Reject Trump's New Health Care Plan!

Amen Keith!

My Universe

Have your volume turned down for part of this.  There are some industrial cat fits!  Nameless, is your furbabe this noisy when he has to go in his carrier?

 

 

 

 

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Mar 132017
 

Well, here I am again.  It's TC's birthday and you may have seen the cartoon on his personal update which says "Crappy Birthday!"  He is still under the weather and is curled up in his cat bed where he belongs right now.  That means  you're stuck with me.  Today has been very rainy.  I'm in the living room with one cat on the ottoman draped over my feet and my little girl curled up in the rocking chair.  I think my other boy is upstairs in bed, his favourite snuggling place.

Short Takes

Second Nexus — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau further won the hearts of feminists and liberals by pledging $650 million of the national budget to sexual and reproductive health and rights initiatives. The funding would support contraception, reproductive health, legal abortion, sexuality education, and advocacy work worldwide, and it aims to make up for the loss of U.S. leadership and financial support in the wake of President Donald Trump’s global gag order.

The plan, proposed on March 8, International Women’s Day, could use advocacy funds to fight for abortion rights in the 125 countries where abortion is illegal, according to The Globe and Mail.  …

Trudeau was clear in his statement announcing the Canadian plan:

“Like men, women should be able to choose when they want to start a family, how big their family should be, and who they want to start that family with. When women have equal power and equal weight and equal leadership influence, the kinds of decisions are better.”

This came in an e-mail from George Takei.  There sure won't be a bromance between Trudeau and Drumpfenfarten!  Trudeau is far from perfect, but I am proud of him for standing up to this insanity called Drumpf's global gag order.  Kudos Mr Prime Minister!

Distractify — … there's a good chance that some people are being a little too overly sensitive about Donald Trump's St. Patrick's edition, "Make America Great Again" hats.  But then again, considering his overly critical and oftentimes hypocritical speech, can you really blame people?

The green MAGA hat features Reagan's campaign quote that Trump appropriated on the front, and a four-leaf clover on the back.  There's only one problem.

The three-leafed shamrock is the official symbol of St. Patrick's Day.  Four-leaf clovers have nothing to do with Ireland.

This too came in an e-mail from George Takei.  So much for Drumpfenfarten making America great again, eh!  Not only did he steal Reagan's slogan, but he screwed up the shamrock!  I wonder if that is anything like breaking a mirror . . . seven years of bad luck?  LMAO!!!

The New Yorker — The middle-school student who wrote the Republican health-care bill that was unveiled earlier in the week complained on Friday that he still has not been paid for his work.

Kevin Tenco, a seventh grader from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s congressional district, in Wisconsin, said that Ryan hired him two weeks ago to write the American Health Care Act with the promise that it “wouldn’t be too much work” and that he would be paid handsomely for his effort.

“He said I would get paid, like, five hundred dollars, and I could buy a Nintendo Switch,” Tenco said.

Taking Ryan at his word, the thirteen-year-old, from Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, “pulled several all-nighters” to complete the health-care bill in time for its Monday unveiling.

“I basically went to the Wikipedia page for Obamacare, cut and pasted a bunch of stuff and then threw in some tax cuts and whatnot,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but I was super tired by the end of it.”

Given the rancour and rush over the American Health Care Act just within the Republican party alone, it would seem to have been written by a 13 year old.

Daily KosHouse Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) just nailed the Republican Party with another example of their blatant ACA v. Wealthcare hypocrisy.

In 2009 and 2010, when President Obama and Democrats were seeking the passage of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, Republicans including Paul Ryan viciously accused Democrats of trying to ram the healthcare plan through — without any participation from the public. Oh!

Fast forward to the present. The newly elected Maryland Congressman Raskin presents the truth with facts — something America is starving for right now and can’t seem to get from Trump-loving Republicans.

Another Republican lie debunked!  Kudos to Jamie Raskin (D-MD)!

Think Progress — During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump said he would turn down any salary as President. Then, in his first big interview as President-elect in November, he again insisted, “No, I’m not gonna take the salary. I’m not taking it.” Instead of accepting the $400,000 presidents get paid each year, Trump would take just $1 a year.

Well, it’s been almost two months and President Trump has received at least one paycheck — and he kept it.

Part of his struggle to keep his promise is that the Constitution gets in his way. It requires the president to receive compensation and prohibits the amount from being changed (in either direction) during the course of a presidential term.

In light of this, the White House tweaked the promise in February, with spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders explaining to Politifact, “He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to (the) treasury or donating.”

But there has been no evidence to support this claim, and this week the White House refused to provide NBC News with any documentation that he’s taken such actions.

Even I, as a Canadian, know that Drumpfenfarten is restrained by the Constitution from doing anything with the presidential salary other than donating it to charity after the fact.  But I'm not holding my breath on this "promise"!  As my momma would say, he lies like a rug!  Mind, in 7 weeks as POTUS, when ever did an insignificant thing like the Constitution ever stop Drumpfenfarten from doing what he wanted? 

 

Resist and Persist!!!

My Universe

Happy Birthday TC

Happy Birthday Uncle TC

from the Squance kids + 2 friends

Happy Birthday TC

from all of us!

 

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Feb 282017
 

The worst February in human history is about to end with a rancid fart, as it escapes the vile maw of Putin’s Pervert, as he addresses a joint session of Congress this evening.  I have not yet decided whether or not I can watch and stay sane.

Yesterday Christine set up my prospective glasses prescription, had me look one eye at a time, and told me that’s what I can expect without cataract surgery.  When I told her that was not good enough, she agreed and said that my cataracts are worse than the average for which she recommends the surgery.  She has her scheduling specialist jumping through all the Medicare Advantage hoops now.  They will do my right eye in April or May, and my left, one to two months later.  Then she will send me to al Ocular Plastic surgeon to bob my eyelids.  Then I will have a surgery to correct the double vision.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:14 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): It’s Time for a Grand Jury on Trump and Russia | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

As a former volunteer firefighter, there are so many smoking guns that we need SCBA just to breathe! RESIST!!

From YouTube (TYT Channel): Trump’s Lavish Lifestyle Is Costing Taxpayers A Fortune

 

Do we pay for Russian hookers too?  Republicans salivate over taking food out of the mouths of poor children, but have no problems paying for their Fuhrer’s recreational follies. What hypocrites! RESIST!!

From All In: ‘Massive pro-Trump demonstrations’ not so massive

Just hundreds of people showed up for what was billed as a massive day of rallies nationwide in support of President Trump.

 

On the day of the women’s march there were thousands right here in Portland. This pro-Trump rally here was in Lake Oswego, a rich suburb.  It had about a dozen. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Justice Department on Monday dropped a crucial objection to Texas’ strict voter-identification law, signaling a significant change from the Obama administration on voting-rights issues.

The Republican-led Texas Legislature passed one of the toughest voter ID laws in the country in 2011, requiring voters to show a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot.

The Obama administration’s Justice Department sued Texas to block the law in 2013 and scored a major victory last year after a federal appeals court ruled that the law needed to be softened because it discriminated against minority voters who lacked the required IDs.

Opponents of the law said Republican lawmakers selected IDs that were most advantageous for Republican-leaning white voters and discarded IDs that were beneficial to Democratic-leaning minority voters. For example, legislators included licenses to carry concealed handguns, which are predominantly carried by whites, and excluded government employee IDs and public university IDs, which are more likely to be used by blacks, Hispanics and Democratic-leaning younger voters.

But the Justice Department under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a judge on Monday that it was withdrawing its claim that Texas enacted the law with a discriminatory intent… [emphasis added]

It is my hope that the courts will not be influenced by KKK Beauregard’s Republican Racism. RESIST

Cartoon:

0228Cartoon

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Feb 222017
 

I’m feeling a bit better today.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to arrive.  Depending on which driver comes, they  will either get here soon or in about 2 1/2 hours.  Wendy is coming this evening to fleece and degrease the sweaty TomCat and to dine on chili dogs… That was sooner than I thought.  Store to Door has come and gone, and I have my groceries stowed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:49 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel):  The Mistake Trump Can’t Ever Walk Back | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Trump is already attacking all the other freedoms listed in the First Amendment. Keith’s questions must be thrown in Republican politicians’ and pundits’ faces at least hourly. RESIST!

From Daily Kos: All those everyday working stiffs who think they have a friend in Trump need to spend a minute listening to him talk to the $200k a seat members of his club.

“So, this is my real group,” Trump said at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, on November 18, according to the audiotape. “These are the people that came here in the beginning, when nobody knew what this monster was gonna turn out to be, right?”

And for his “real group” Trump makes some special invitations that he wasn’t handing out to the small crowd he gathered at a Florida airport.

"We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything,” Trump told the crowd, according to an audiotape of his closed-to-the-press remarks, obtained by POLITICO from a source in the room. “You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government."

Come on down! Watch us play National Security Advisor Apprentice! It’ll be fun!

These billionaires and Alt-Right Nazis are who the Fuhrer represents. RESIST!!

From AL.com: The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee will begin preparing for a possible impeachment trial of Gov. Robert Bentley in the Senate, Chairman Cam Ward said today.

Ward said he planned to appoint two Democrats and two Republicans to a subcommittee on Wednesday to write a draft set of rules for how the Senate would conduct an impeachment trial.

Ward said he does not expect the House to impeach Bentley.

"We need to make sure we’re organized and prepared to deal with whatever happens," he said.

The subcommittee’s draft would be subject to approval by the Judiciary Committee, and then would go to the full Senate for approval.

If they impeach the corrupt Love Gov., Luther Strange, the criminal AG that traded favoritism to Bentley for his Senate seat, will probably lose his post too. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0222Cartoon

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Reich v. Reich on Tax Plan

 Posted by at 1:24 pm  Politics
Feb 202017
 

The Republican Reich has a new "populist" tax plan, which they claim is designed to keep and create more jobs in the US.  To someone, who has not dug down and considered the actual effects, it even looks fairly good.  But once I considered what the plan will really do, I felt amazed at just how sneaky-evil  Republicans can be.  Fortunately, you don't have to trust me.  Robert Reich takes on the Republican Reich for us.

reich

Watch your wallets. Republicans are pushing a new corporate tax plan that will end up costing most of you a bundle. Here’s what you should know about the so-called “border adjustment tax."

The U.S. imports about $2.7 trillion worth of goods a year. Many imports are cheap because labor costs are much lower in places like Southeast Asia.

Our current tax code taxes corporations on their profits. So, for example, when Wal-Mart buys t-shirts from Vietnam for $10 and sells them for $13, Wal-Mart is only taxed on that $3 of profit.

But under the new Republican tax plan, Wal-Mart would be taxed on the full price of imported items, so in this case the full $13 sale price of that t-shirt. As a result of this tax, Wall Street analysts expect retail prices in the U.S. to rise as much as 15 percent…

From <Robert Reich>

 

In short, poor and middle class shoppers pay more for their goods, and the tax is distributed to billionaires, who use it to increase automation for exports, increasing their own wealth, but creating few, if any jobs.  Republicans plan to tax YOU for welfare for billionaires.

RESIST!!

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