Apr 022017
 

I’m feeling quite tired, so I’ll be brief.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, I plan to publish most days this week, but if the forecast holds, I may make a bank run on Tuesday afternoon.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:01 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Who would Jesus starve? Step aside Pope Francis, because this Texas Republican seems know exactly who:

One lawmaker is citing a godly reference to justify changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.) recently quoted the New Testament to question the strength of current work requirements. […]

House Republicans have historically cited the verse — “if a man will not work, he shall not eat” — as justification for cutting some adults’ SNAP benefits. Arrington referenced the verse in a discussion about increasing the work requirements for unemployed adults on the food stamp program. But critics say that advances a pernicious myth about the unemployed who receive SNAP.

The verse in question applies specifically to people who can work or otherwise contribute to society but choose not to, said theologians from several denominations who spoke to The Post. There is a perception, among some voters and lawmakers, that many adult SNAP recipients are exactly this sort of “freeloader.”

But policy experts say that is not the case. Many unemployed adults on SNAP simply cannot work, they say. Those include the mentally ill, the borderline disabled and veterans.

Remember that these Republican Supply Side pseudo-Christians and authentic Christians have nothing whatsoever in common. Christians emulate the care for others that Jesus said, thought, and did. Republican pseudo-Christians do not and, therefore, are not Christians. RESIST!!

From YouTube: The facts on climate change — and what to do about it

 

Once upon a time, one could be pro-science, pro-earth, and pro-wildlife from a nonpartisan perspective. If they can help educate the Republican rank and file, more power to them, but I see no way forward without opposition to the Republican Reich, because they are anti-science, anti-earth and anti-wildlife, except for Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten’s wild life in Russian hotel rooms. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Trump administration is considered the wealthiest in United States history. Here is a look at the value of assets held by some top officials at the time they joined the administration, based on financial disclosure filings.

 

 

Value of assets

 

 

Name

Bottom estimate

Top estimate

 

Betsy DeVos Secretary of Education

$579,783,484

unknown

 

Wilbur L. Ross Secretary of Commerce

$326,224,177

unknown

 

Gary D. Cohn Director of the National Economic Council

$252,952,172

unknown

 

Jared Kushner Senior adviser to the president for strategic planning

$241,037,233

unknown

 

Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State

$239,488,353

unknown

 

Reed Cordish Special assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives

$197,281,047

unknown

 

Steven T. Mnuchin Secretary of the Treasury

$154,137,166

unknown

This is the face of fascist plutocracy. Click through for the rest. RESIST!!

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Mar 312017
 

I wasn’t planning to write today, but my appointment did not take much time, and I wanted to tackle the news.  Megan refused to refill the Prednisone without seeing me, and I opted not to go in.  The stretching it takes to put on George is the worst thing I could do for my chest muscles, and having to spend three hours waiting for will-call lift rides would elevate my stress level.  And since I had already spent the night waiting for her front office to get her the message, and I am in not as much pain as I feared, albeit far moré than I’d hoped, I’m rolling the dice that I van get through the weekend without it.  Tomorrow will definitely be a short day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:19 (average 5:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Now that the White House realizes it’s bound to a suicide vest known as the "Freedom Caucus," Donald Trump’s aides are on the hunt for Democrats who will help the popular vote loser bring his legislative agenda to fruition.

Under normal circumstances, building a relationship with a Republican president in order to influence legislation might make sense. But these are not normal times. To negotiate with Trump would be to lend credibility to someone who is quite possibly an illegitimate occupant of the Oval Office, has stacked his cabinet with unqualified hacks intended to undercut the very foundation of the federal government, tests the Constitutional limitations of his office at every turn, and who, as our own Laura Clawson pointed out, can’t go two sentences without expelling a lie.

Fat chance!! In the Senate, I think there are only two or three DINOS cowardly enough to goose=step with this Fuhrer. Miserable Manchin [DINO-WV] and Horrid Heitkamp [DINO-ND] even plan to vote FOR Whoresuch. If either is yours, tear them a new one. RESIST!!

From Politico: The road to a Democratic Senate majority in 2018 runs through Texas — yes, Texas.

Facing a grim midterm map, Democrats are desperately trying to put enough GOP-held seats in play to take advantage of Donald Trump’s unpopularity and carve a credible path back to Senate control. The odds are so long that Democrats must pin their hopes on taking out Ted Cruz in the reliably conservative bastion of Texas.

Their first ray of hope is the entry of three-term Rep. Beto O’Rourke — a 44-year-old former hard rock musician and internet entrepreneur who speaks fluent Spanish — into the race on Friday. Though Cruz is universally known, Democrats insist he’s not invincible, pointing to the first-term Republican’s poor polling numbers and prolonged focus on running for president.

And they say O’Rourke is formidable enough that they can make a case to donors that they actually have a shot at winning the state — and the Senate overall.

If Democrats challenge TRUS Pervert Cruse by opposing him with a Howler howls off key, has mange, body odor, and halitosis, that masturbates continuously, and that throws feces at all in range… support the monkey! RESIST!!

From Think Progress1. The Trump family’s apparent kleptocracy

Chaffetz told Coppins that he is unconcerned with issues like Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway using her position to urge people to buy Trump’s daughter’s line of jewelry or questions about his son-in-law’s investments.

“I don’t see how that affects the average American and their taxpayer dollars. Just the fact that a staff person’s family is making money? It’s not enough,” he explained. “These other little intrigues about a wealthy family making money is a bit of a sideshow.”

This is the first of five Trump crimes that the House Oversight Committee Chair does not consider worth investigating. Click through for the other four. RESIST!!

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Mar 222017
 

Another day, another nickel!  I am still feeling a little lost time wise since my mother passed.  I know things will right themselves before too long, if no other reason than I have taxes to do for the end of April, and of course I still have my mother's estate to prepare.  I am running into a few bumps in the road estate wise, but nothing I can't handle.  The rest of the week is busy but I hope to be back with another OT.

Short Takes

YouTube — Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – World War Trump (HBO) March 15, 2017              

The Atlantic — As it turns out, this was only a warm-up for the dual press conference the two leaders held later Friday afternoon, during which Merkel stood beside Trump as he ridiculed a German reporter, lied about his statements on his baseless conspiracy theory that President Obama surveilled him, and refused to back down on claims that have set off a diplomatic incident with the United Kingdom.

The fact that it might be a tense conversation was clear from the two leaders’ opening statements. Trump, during his, once again complained about the cost of NATO. “I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost defense,” he said. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe.”

As for Merkel, she used her own statement to issue a veiled scolding for Trump, who previously said she was “ruining” Germany with a “catastrophic mistake” of an open-door refugee policy. “I've always said it's much, much better to talk to one another and not about one another, and I think our conversation proved this,” Merkel said.  …

During the press conference, the American journalist Mark Halperin asked Merkel a question about whether she thought Trump’s “different style” than past president was good for the world. The chancellor gamely tried to answer.

“For Germany I can say, well people are different, people have different abilities, different traits of character, have different origins, have found their way into politics along different pathways,” she said through a translator. “Which, well, that is diversity, which is good! Sometimes it’s difficult to find compromises, but that’s what we’ve been elected for.”

The fact that Merkel had to work hard to say something diplomatic in response to such a softball question said a great deal about the press conference. But give the chancellor credit for effort—Trump didn’t even bother to try diplomacy.

Drumpf knows nothing of diplomacy.  He is like the proverbial "bull in a china shop" and it is quite obvious that he doesn't care.  The National Post ran an article in which it recorded the following,

President Donald Trump said Saturday that Germany owes "vast sums of money" to NATO and the U.S. "must be paid more" for providing defence, reiterating his stance that European allies need to end their part of the bargain if they are to continue benefiting from the military alliance."

It is quite clear that Drumpf does not know or understand the funding formula that was agreed upon in previous years.  The NATO agreement was signed on 4 April 1949 and constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.  I probably know more about NATO than Drumpf does, and that can't be good.  In the picture, this handshake is the most awkward looking handshake.  Drumpf looks like a downright nasty beast.

msn.com (USA Today) — The Pleasant Run Elementary students had just won a robotics challenge at Plainfield High School, and the students — new to bot competition this year — were one step closer to the Vex IQ State Championship.

The team is made up of 9- and 10-year-olds. Two are African American and three are Latino.

As the group, called the Pleasant Run PantherBots, and their parents left the challenge last month in Plainfield, Ind., competing students from other Indianapolis-area schools and their parents were waiting for them in the parking lot.

“Go back to Mexico!” two or three kids screamed at their brown-skin peers and their parents, according to some who were there.

More despicable behaviour as a result of Drumpf's targeting of minorities.  What well adjusted young people that are putting the hate behind them and enjoying the learning experience and the competition.

Washington Post — On the 60th day of his presidency came the hardest truth for Donald Trump.

He was wrong.

James B. Comey — the FBI director whom Trump celebrated on the campaign trail as a gutsy and honorable “Crooked Hillary” truth-teller — testified under oath Monday what many Americans had already assumed: Trump had falsely accused his predecessor of wiretapping his headquarters during last year’s campaign.

Trump did not merely allege that former president Barack Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower, of course. He asserted it as fact, and then reasserted it, and then insisted that forthcoming evidence would prove him right.

But in Monday’s remarkable, marathon hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey said there was no such evidence. Trump’s claim, first made in a series of tweets on March 4 at a moment when associates said he was feeling under siege and stewing over the struggles of his young presidency, remains unfounded.  

Comey did not stop there. He confirmed publicly that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and associates with Russia, part of an extraordinary effort by an adversary to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election in Trump’s favor.

I'll bet that "He was wrong." was hard to swallow for narcissistic Drumpf!  . . . or did he really hear and understand it?  Will he demand Comey's resignation?  Who knows.  My bet says he will bring it up again.  . . . and again . . . and again.  He doesn't know when to quit!  After all the Monday drama, in dire need of some adulation to feed his narcissistic soul, Drumpf headed out to Missouri for yet another rally that is nothing more than a love fest so his supporters thinking he is looking after them.  Or should I say to fleece his flock?! 

YouTube — The Most Telling Thing About the FBI’s Probe into Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ  

Keith hits it out of the park, doesn't he!

YouTube — The Only True Surprise? Trump’s an Idiot | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ              

Another fine piece by Keith.  "These people are idiots!"  Truer words have not been spoken!

 

Resist and Persist!!!

 

My Universe — This gives new meaning to going postal!

 

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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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Mar 042017
 

I’m running a bit behind schedule as I had several tasks this morning, and everything takes so long to do.  For example, restocking my pill caddy with all my meds for one week, except Advair, just took me 45 minutes.  But now I can orient myself to desphincterizing the White House and unreichifying everywhere else.

Please remember Lynn Squance in prayer or however you connect to the infinite.  Today is her mother’s memorial service.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:08 (average 5:10). To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Why Trump is Refusing to Confront Reality | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Our voices must continue to dissent as long as we have breath. RESIST!!

From Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR]: Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ failure to disclose his 2016 contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as reported by the Washington Post last night:

“The Attorney General concealed from Congress during his testimony under oath the contacts he had with the Russian government during the campaign. An ‘I don’t recall’ defense is wholly inadequate, especially for the nation’s top law enforcement officer. The only way for him to restore the American people’s faith in our Justice Department is to resign.

“This latest unraveling of the cover-up only reinforces the fact that there are many more questions than answers about the Trump campaign’s knowledge of and possible coordination with Russian activities during the 2016 campaign. To get to the truth, we need a fully empowered, totally independent special prosecutor to thoroughly investigate this matter — as soon as possible.”

Amen Jeff! I worked to help him get that seat and have been proud of him ever since. Oregon Leads the way. RESIST!!

From Reuters: A photo of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton glancing at a newspaper headline about U.S. Vice President Mike Pence using private email has gone viral on social media, with thousands of people commenting on it.

Pence and others involved in the Republican presidential campaign last year criticized Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as U.S. Secretary of State.

Clinton was on an airplane traveling from Boston to New York on Friday when a fellow passenger snapped a photo of her glancing down at Friday’s USA Today newspaper front page headline "Pence used personal email in office".

0304Penceemail

On a hypocrisy scale of 1 – 10, Pence gets a 537. RESIST!!

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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

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