Jun 122017
 

Well the Cat is back!  Although he posted two pieces today, he has to remember to pace himself lest he end up in trouble again.  As he said, he is still in some pain and no doubt a little tired from lying around in a hospital bed.  TC has medical appointments and eye surgery coming up, so while I will back off a little now, I will be back.  Today was a relaxing day for me, such is not the case for the rest of the week.  I ate all that good cheese/herb and garlic fococcia so now I don't have any for supper . . . but oh it was sooooooooo good!  I have to go out tomorrow so I'll be at Cob's Bakery to get some more.  I may not keep my friends but I'll have a happy tummy!

Short Takes

The HillLegislation introduced in the House on Monday would prevent President Trump from receiving federally subsidized flood insurance amid warnings that the effects of climate change could cause parts of his Mar-a-Lago resort and other south Florida properties to be underwater in coming years.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) bill – titled the Prohibiting Aid for Recipients Ignoring Science (PARIS) Act – would ensure properties owned by a president or family members can’t have access to subsidized insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.

An analysis by Coastal Risk Consulting found that the Mar-a-Lago grounds in Palm Beach, Fla., could be under at least a foot of water for 210 days a year because of tidal flooding.

To quote Jackie Gleason, "How sweet it is!"  Love the acronym —PARIS!  Oregon leads the way?!  While I applaud this, it will go nowhere with a Republican Congress.

CBC — Canada's longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court will retire from the bench on Dec. 15, 2017.

In a statement sent to reporters Monday, Beverley McLachlin said she would leave the court after serving for 28 years, including 17 years as the presiding judge.

The 73-year-old jurist was appointed by former prime minister Brian Mulroney in 1989. She became the first woman to hold the top job on the country's highest court after she was elevated to chief justice by former prime minister Jean Chrétien in 2000.

"It has been a great privilege to serve as a justice of the court, and later its chief justice, for so many years. I have had the good fortune of working with several generations of Canada's finest judges and best lawyers. I have enjoyed the work and the people I have worked with enormously," McLachlin said.  …

Moreover, McLachlin, the daughter of prairie farmers, encouraged the court's nine justices to come to a consensus, which resulted in a rate of unanimity substantially higher than that of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mulroney said Monday his appointee has "performed so well under difficult circumstances," and dismissed criticism from some Conservatives that she has been too activistic in her approach. "She was just doing what the constitutional amendment of 1982 told her to do," he said, speaking of the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"I think her greatest achievement probably wasn't a particular case, rather it was that she provided such strong leadership, in a collegial and widely admired fashion across Canada by lawyers, judges and many politicians," he said in an interview Monday on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, adding McLachlin has played a strong leadership role in the "evolution of Canada."

A sad day for the country, but I am sure a good day for McLachlin.   I mention this because the Supreme Court of Canada performs quite well, especially when contrasted to SCOTUS.  McLachlin was appointed by a Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, and elevated to Chief Justice by a Liberal Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien.

The HillRep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) unveiled a proposed article of impeachment Monday against President Trump for allegedly obstructing justice in a federal investigation.

The legislative text argues that Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure since-fired FBI Director James Comey to drop the agency’s investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn amounts to obstruction of justice.

“In all of this, Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” the proposed article of impeachment states.  …

“As the investigations move forward, additional evidence supporting additional Articles of Impeachment may emerge. However, as to Obstruction of Justice … the evidence we have is sufficient to move forward now. And the national interest requires that we do so,” Sherman wrote. 

It should be noted that the Democratic leadership thinks it is premature.  In a related article, The Hill notes

"We’re still very early in the investigative process.”

Rep. Linda Sánchez (Calif.), vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Schiff’s view reflects the “overwhelming sentiment” among the Democrats.

“A majority of the Caucus is of the belief that we ought to allow the investigation to continue to its logical conclusion before making any determination,” she told reporters in the Capitol.

From a Reuters piece concerning Preet Bhahara, the fired US Attorney for the Southern District of New York,  

Bharara stopped short of saying whether he thought Trump had obstructed justice in his conversations and subsequent firing of Comey.

However, he said he thought there was "absolutely evidence to begin a case" into the matter.

Some caution is warranted.  The ducks need to be properly lined up so as not to interfere with any investigation.  One thing though, the Democrats have to be united in their actions or suffer the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" as Shakespeare would say.

YouTube — Comey's Testimony – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I have removed the original video and replaced it with this shorter version.  This part is contained in the original.  John Oliver offers his take on Comey's testimony with his usual humour.

My Universe

This is especially for Nameless who has trouble getting his puddy into the carrier.

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Jun 112017
 

Well, the nurses at Providence Portland Medical Centre are sick and tired of having a mangy, grumpy old TomCat lying about so they are shipping him home Saturday afternoon.  He still needs more recovery time, after all, one does not donate their gallbladder to science without feeling a bit tired.  Your continued healing thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

Alternet — This week Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel faced off in their first Special Election Debate for Georgia’s District 06 seat. Handel has been running scared for some time—since running as a Republican these days is like wearing a gasoline body spray at a factory that only produces sparks. At one point, the candidates were allowed to ask one another a question. Handel, having virtually nothing worthwhile to stand on as a candidate herself, decided to try to push the Republican narrative that Jon Ossoff is some carpet-bagging elitist who is going to turn your kids into musical theatre dancers with newfangled iPhones and solar energy lust.

As the subheading to the article says, "Karen Handel stepped on a land mine during Georgia's special election debate Wednesday" and it went KABOOM!!!.  That Georgia Peach is sour  . . . as sour as can be!  For those that don't remember her, Handel was involved with the Susan G Komen Foundation and the controversy from a few years back.  On special election day 20 June 2017, let's make that Georgia Peach fall right off the tree!

Think Progress — For most politically active, progressive 16-year-olds, participating in the democratic process might involve volunteering for a campaign or joining a high school young Democrats club. Tahseen Chowdhury has a different idea.

Though he isn’t old enough to vote, the junior at Manhattan’s Stuyvesant High School launched his campaign last month for New York state senate. Chowdhury will be challenging Sen. Jose Peralta (D) in Queens’ District 13 in September 2018.

Chowdhury is unconcerned that he’s not a known politician. He said he’s counting on two phenomena emerging in 2017 to bolster his campaign: The growing number of first-time politicians deciding to take a stab at politics and voters’ anger toward President Trump, which is also being directed toward local lawmakers.

“If people don’t trust their representatives on the federal level, they have to make sure they’re represented adequately in the state and local level,” he told ThinkProgress by phone from his high school office. “And they’re not being represented well.”

Click through to see what motivates this teen.  I predict good things from this young man in the coming years.  With the Labour gains in the recent UK election, the rejection of Marine LePen in France, and the protests against Drumpf and Republicans in the US, young voters are saying enough to false promises and austerity.

Daily Kos — On Thursday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) praised the recent Islamic State attack in Tehran as a “good thing” and suggested that maybe the United States should work with the militant organization.  …

"We have recently seen an attack on Iran, and the Iranian government, the mullahs, believe that Sunni forces have attacked them. This may signal a ratcheting up of certain commitments by the United States of America. As far as I’m concerned, I just want to make this point and see what you think, isn’t it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us? Isn’t that a good thing? And if so, maybe this is a Trump — maybe it’s a Trump strategy of actually supporting one group against another, considering that you have two terrorist organizations.”

How do these idiots like Rohrabacher get elected?  Of course he is a Republican!  Saints preserve us!!!

 

Resist and Persist!!!

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Jun 092017
 

It has been a busy week and next week looks the same.  It rained most of yesterday and a bit last night, but today has been dry with some sunshine.  Earlier this week, Wendy said that she expected TC would go home Friday or Saturday.  So far, I think he is still in the hospital as he still has pain and did not outright say he was home.  However I know he is very relieved that the liver spots are benign.  Please say prayers or keep healing thoughts for TC front and centre.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Yesterday’s took me 3:32 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? No, I'm not barkin' mad!

Today’s took me 4:27 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? 

Short Takes

Politico — House Republicans on Thursday united to pass a comprehensive bill that would dismantle the landmark banking regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

The legislation, approved without a single Democratic vote, represents the GOP's opening salvo in the debate over easing the rules on the financial system, a move sparked by the election of President Donald Trump and Republican control of Congress. 

Hensarling argues that the economy and consumers would benefit from his vision in which market forces rather than government regulation would keep the financial system in check.

Among the bill's most controversial measures is the elimination of most of the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent regulatory agency that is Democrats' crown jewel in Dodd-Frank.

The legislation would rename the weakened CFPB the Consumer Law Enforcement Agency and make it more beholden to Congress and the president. 

The bill would also repeal a pillar of Dodd-Frank that allows regulators to manage the failure of a major financial institution, replacing that power with an updated version of the bankruptcy code.

While people were distracted by the Comey testimony, Lyin' Ryan and the Republicans rammed through a piece of legislation designed to all but kill the CFPB.  Not good at all!

Raw Story — A former Republican congressman who voted to impeach former President Bill Clinton called out House Speaker Paul Ryan as a hypocrite.

Ryan argued Thursday that congressional Republicans would not be calling for the impeachment of a Democratic president accused of the same activity as President Donald Trump — but former representative Bob Inglis dismissed those claims as nonsense.

“You know this isn’t true,” Inglis tweeted to Ryan. “You know that you would be inquiring into impeachment if this were a D.”

There have been 2 attempts to impeach sitting presidents in modern times: Richard Nixon — the Judiciary Committee approved Articles of Impeachment in July 1974 but Nixon resigned in August 1974 before the whole House could vote on the impeachment; and Bill Clinton — the Judiciary Committee approved Articles of Impeachment in December 1998 but he was acquitted in the Senate.  I won't go into detail on the charges but both presidents were charged with obstruction of justice as well as other charges.  See Nixon charges here and Clinton charges here.  In my non legal mind, it is apparent that Drumpf has obstructed justice and I hope that Mueller's investigation will bear that out at the very least.  It is a long process which will hamper Drumpf to do his job effectively.

YouTube — What We Now Know From James Comey | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ              

As the days proceed, I am sure that Mueller's investigation will raise more questions and hopefully some answers.  Comey has not heard the end of the public testimony and I dare say there will be all manner of speculation about the closed session.  Truth win out!

The New Yorker — The White House was on lockdown Thursday morning after a television was hurled out of a window, the Secret Service reported.

The incident, which occurred shortly after 10 A.M. E.S.T., caught the attention of the Secret Service after agents heard the sound of smashing glass emanating from the Oval Office.

“The sound was consistent with that of a large object, such as a television set, being thrown through a closed window,” a Secret Service spokesman said.

The television, which crashed to the ground outside the Oval Office, injured no one, the Secret Service confirmed.

I think Andy is back to straight reporting again.  I can quite imagine that the pResident was really foaming at the mouth listening to Comey's testimony.  His staff tried to keep him away from Twitter, but when they could contain no more, he let loose with this tweet "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" .  

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I particularly like #3. 

Reminds me of my Annie who is almost 9 years old now.

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Jun 062017
 

I have a meeting to go to shortly.  I am a member of the Family Council and a liaison to the Board of the care centre where my mum lived and the board is meeting tonight.  The Family Council meets next week.  Tomorrow is physio and teaching so there will likely be no Open Thread for tomorrow.  We have had no additional word from TC yet, but when we know, we will pass it on.  In the mean time, please keep TC in your thoughts and prayers.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:39 (average 5:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? Try not to get all wet with this one!

Short Takes

YouTube — If He Were Doing Any Other Job, Donald Trump Would Have Been Fired by Now | The Resistance | GQ  

I should think that Trump would understand this phrase: "You're fired!"  Or perhaps this one: "Go straight to jail.  Do not pass Go."

Resist and Persist!!!

The New Yorker — In a dramatic announcement from the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, Donald J. Trump pronounced the planet Earth a “loser” and vowed to make a better deal with a new planet.

“Earth is a terrible, very bad planet,” he told the White House press corps. “It’s maybe the worst planet in the solar system, and it’s far from the biggest.”

When asked which planet he would make a new deal with, Trump offered few specifics, saying only, “The solar system has millions of terrific planets, and they’re all better than Earth, which is a sick, failing loser.”

Trump’s remarks drew a strong response from one of the United States’ NATO allies, Germany’s Angela Merkel. “I strongly support Donald Trump leaving the planet Earth,” she said.

I'm with Angela Merkel!

Resist and Persist!!!

Think Progress — …Sen. John Wiles (R) knew that if he could lift Georgia’s law that banned outside groups from purchasing anonymous mailers, he could transform the way his party conducts campaigns. He declared at the time that he would “not support any effort to regulate anonymous political speech.”

Wiles was able to get his colleagues on board, and they quietly passed legislation removing the ban. But the move earned him critics, including the top Republican in the state tasked with running elections.

Karen Handel, then Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, said she was “adamantly” opposed to Wiles’ political maneuver—she had recently launched a “transparency in government” program.

Handel is relying heavily on the same kind of spending she so recently fought against.

Outside groups have spent roughly $9 million supporting Handel’s campaign during the primary and leading up to the June 20 runoff. More than $250,000 of that total has been spent on anonymous direct mail. 

“Karen Handel was for a ban on secret political spending, but now that it’s clear she can’t compete with Jon Ossoff and his small-dollar, grassroots donors, her campaign is almost completely reliant on special interest money from groups that refuse to disclose their donors.”

So much for being "adamantly opposed" to dark money.  I did not like Karen Handel and her shenanigans when she was with Susan G Komen and I am disappointed to see her back in the limelight with her Republican talking points and lack of ethics.  The special election in Georgia's 6th district is set for 20 June 2017.  May it turn blue with Jon Ossoff who garnered 48.1% of the vote in the jungle primary.

Resist and Persist!!!

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Kung Fu Kitty!

Break dance kitty!

 

 

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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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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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