Jun 232016
 

It is late, very late, and I am just finishing off the Open Thread for today.  And yes, my computer is still acting up, although either I am becoming accustomed to its antics, or it isn't happening as much.  It has been a very busy day with 2.5 hours of physio and an extended teaching session helping my student ready herself for an English test on Friday.  It has rained a bit late this afternoon but we are scheduled for thunder storms tonight and Thursday.  Last week we were told that our local reservoirs were at 91% of capacity and that the snow pack had not made it down from the mountains yet.  We are looking good for water this year but we still have water restrictions in place.  Summer is here and it is a long time until the cooler temperatures of autumn.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

The New Yorker In what some are calling a sign of its desperation to raise cash, the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump is auctioning off New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the popular e-commerce site eBay, campaign officials have confirmed.

Christie, who is described on the site as being in lightly used but good condition, is believed to be the first sitting governor ever to be auctioned on the Internet.

According to the description of Christie on eBay, the governor can perform a full range of escort duties and has “extensive experience in chauffeuring, door-opening, umbrella-holding, reflexive clapping, and soothing end-of-the-day foot massages.”

Speaking at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, the presumptive Republican nominee said that he was still considering financing his general-election campaign himself, but he added, “First I wanted to see what I could get for Chris.”

I think Drumpf is in for a surprise — Christie is damaged goods and not likely to bring in much even from the staunchest Republicans!

Daily Kos — Georgia Rep. Rep. John Lewis, the heart, the soul of congressional Democrats, is leading his colleagues in a sit-in for a vote on gun safety legislation. You won't see it televised, because the Republicans controlling the House also control the cameras. C-SPAN, however, is replaying the speeches of Democrats leading up to the action.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who led the talking filibuster to force the votes in the Senate earlier this week is on the House floor in solidarity.

 

This courtesy of Raw Story

As I travelled about today, I kept hearing news of the Democratic sit-in in the House of Representatives over bringing gun control bills up for a vote.  The Republicans, who control the House, attempted to bring order but ended up shutting off the cameras and calling a recess.(Raw Story)  According to a story in Politico, when Paul Ryan slammed his gavel, Democrats started chanting.  Members of the public in the gallery joined Democrats in the chanting.  According to some sources, 80% of Americans favour some common sense gun control measures but Republicans continue to obstruct.  The people's House?

CBC — Contagious cancers are a scary idea to begin with, but scientists have made some startling new discoveries about them – they are likely more common in nature than originally thought, and some can even spread between species.

A new study has found a contagious, leukemia-like disease appears to be widespread among shellfish with hinged shells, called bivalves, such as clams, mussels and cockles. And, for the first time, researchers have found evidence of the cancer spreading from one species to another.

Spanish scientists collected cockles (Cerastoderma edule) in the ria of Arousa in Galicia, Spain. Contagious leukemia was found in cockles, mussels and golden carpet shell clams.

Mussels living off the coast of British Columbia, along with cockles and golden carpet shell clams in Spain, are all prone to the contagious cancer, similar to one that has devastated soft-shell clam farming operations in P.E.I., the Canadian, U.S. and Spanish scientists reported Wednesday in Nature.

"It may be more widespread in nature than we know," said Jim Sherry, an Environment Canada scientist based in Burlington, Ont., who co-authored the study.

Because cancers originate from the mutated cells of an individual and are genetically similar to that individual, genetic analysis of the cancer cells allows scientists to figure out their origin.

I thought it would be appropriate to have a short break from US politics — one can only take so much Drumpf!  This contagious cancer  crossing between species is interesting, and presents the possibilities of cancer cell transfer with other species.

My Universe — OK, so I figured I'd have to give some page time to dawgs!  From Petcha.com

The dogs take turns scoring the ice and making it hail all over the kitchen floor. The video is called Ice Cube Jackpot, and that’s exactly what it looks like.

 

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Jun 212016
 

I hope you all saw TomCat's Personal Update which he posted here and to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/527046926/3994080

Today has been another difficult computer day and I might yet commit computercide!  I was typing away and suddenly everything since my previous save disappeared.  This is so very annoying!  We have been having a lot of rain of late, including earlier today.  In Dawson Creek which is in northern BC and where I lived from 1983 to 1987, they declared a state of emergency after receiving over 100 ml of rain in one day.  That may not sound like a lot, but it washed out roads and bridges in this rural community.  Tomorrow I have physio and teaching so I will be very late in posting.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

Alternet — A new report by Politico’s Ben White reveals major donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign may revoke their support of the candidate if she chooses Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as her running mate for the general election.

Several donors, interviewed under the condition of anonymity, told Politico that Clinton’s Wall Street base would “leave her” if she picks Warren. “They would literally just say, ‘We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it,’” one donor said.

I was one that said a few years ago that I'd like to see Elizabeth Warren run for POTUS in 2016.  But now, I see things differently.  Even having Warren as VP would tend to muzzle her, making her impotent at what she does best.  The reaction of some of Clinton's Wall Street donors shows just how tenuous Clinton's hold on Wall Street could be.

Think Progress — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that internet providers must abide by the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality regulations, which prohibit them from blocking or slowing broadband connections, and providing special access through paid fast lanes.

The White House-backed net neutrality rules issued last year came with a promise to treat all internet access equally. But those rules, and how the FCC justified them, drew major criticism from Republicans and broadband companies.

Very good news!  However the decision does not prevent future challenges.  And I'm sure that the telecoms will be biting at the bit to overturn that decision supported by their Republican servants.

Huffington Post — Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday questioned the faith of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, insinuating that neither may really be a Christian.

He told a group of evangelical leaders that he doesn’t believe there is enough public information about Clinton’s religious beliefs.

“She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no, nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there,” he said. “It’s going to be an extension of Obama, but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had to have your guard up. With Hillary you don’t and it’s going to be worse.”

Drumpf is at it again! . . . or should that be still?  When did a religious test become necessary for the right to hold public office?  There is nothing in the Constitution about it.  If we equate a religious test with a poll tax, then the 24th amendment certainly covers voters, but what about aspirants?  Additionally, the US was not created as a Christian nation.  The founding fathers left Europe, particulary England, because of religious strife.  They would not set the new nation up for the types of wars and battles that they left behind.  Drumpf needs to "put a sock in it"!  Drumpf might want to consider his own position before throwing mud.

Some Drumpf humour from the pages of Huffington Post.  See more at the end of the article above.

The artist TABBY has dropped several Trump-inspired stencils across Vienna in recent weeks. "Trump is everything that's right and wrong with America and the world," TABBY told The Huffington Post. "He's the American Dream of being super wealthy and saying what you want, while being totally out of touch with reality."

TABBY says "Don't Feed The Trolls," also in Vienna, was created because the GOP front-runner can "say anything and the more that people get angry and talk about him because of it, the more known and stronger he becomes."

My Universe —

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Jun 052016
 

I expected to be done by now, but I was Napster Nailed!!  Lona got me this morning, and I slept for four solid hours.  It’s already 96°, and the building is super-heated.  The 10,000 BTU floor AC isn’t keeping it as cool as the 5000 BTU window AC used to, but it’s keeping it in the high 70³s, and with sum hitting the concrete face of the building most of the day, it would be over 120° inside without it.

Last night I was awakened by the beginnings of the Portland Rose Festival Starlight Parade, which passes under my window every year.  So I dressed, decided to give Stumpy some fresh air, and went out without George.  I took a bunch of my pictures with my Kindle Fire tablet.  That was a mistake, because this was the best of them.

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Fortunately, I also took a few with my IPhone 6.

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I hope to do better with the Grand Floral Parade next weekend.  It’ll be daytime.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:53 (average 10:02).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: An as-of-yet unnamed language arts teacher at Burns Middle School in Mobile, Alabama, is on administrative leave after giving 8th grade students a shockingly racist math test. Erica Hall’s son was so shocked that he snuck a photo of the test and sent it to his mom.

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We may not know the teacher’s name, but we do know his political party.

From NY Times: Senator John McCain does not say much these days about Donald J. Trump’s attack on his five-plus years as a prisoner of war. Instead, he clenches his teeth and says he will support the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, who once said derisively about the senator’s time in captivity, “I like people that weren’t captured.”

That McConJob is goose-stepping behind Rump Dump, even after that, shows what a terrible President he would have been.

From Crooks and Liars: \Senator Elizabeth Warren hammered Donald Trump on his now defunct, and probably fraudulent, Trump University while giving a speech the Massachusetts State Democratic Convention in Lowell on June 4.

 

Bingo!! Once again, our Lizzie is a national treasure!!

Cartoon: a blast from five years ago.

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Jun 022016
 

I'm rushing to to finish as much as I can before my CAT scan,  I'll say hi to the cat for you.

I'm back.  The cat made me drink a quart of cat pee called contrasting agent and then injected more.  YUCK!  I have my pre-surgery physical tomorrow morning sp expect no more than a late Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:25 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A federal judge ordered the release of hundreds of documents related to the fraud case against Donald Trump for his now defunct (like most of Trump’s businesses) Trump University. The so-called “university” was a series of real estate seminars that promised to teach people insider secrets of the real estate business. The documents reveal high pressure sales tactics that were designed to play on people’s emotions and carefully convince people to part with their money, often encouraging them to take on huge amounts of debt to finance their “education.” The manual instructed Trump University sales staff to find out personal information and then use that to close the deal and separate already desperate people from what money they had, even if that meant taking on credit card debt…

 

Everything about Rump Dump, like his CONiversity, is also a lie.

From NY Times: A wave of prominent Republicans have announced their intention to skip the party’s national convention in Cleveland this summer, the latest sign that Donald J. Trump, who last week secured the delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, continues to struggle in his effort to unite the party behind his candidacy.

The list of those who have sent regrets includes governors and United States senators — almost all facing tough re-election fights this year — and lifelong party devotees who have attended every convention for decades. Some are renouncing their seats like conscientious objectors.

“I could not in good conscience attend a coronation and celebration of Donald Trump,” wrote one Indiana delegate, Josh Claybourn, in a blog post resigning his position.

The coolness toward Mr. Trump amounts to a remarkable rebuke. A broad range of party leaders are openly rejecting the man who will be their nominee. And the July 18-21 convention, usually a moment of public catharsis for political parties after contentious primaries, is shaping up to be another reminder of the disarray and disunity that is still rocking the Republican Party after a bitter 17-way fight for the nomination.

Extinction is the only proper fate of the Republican Party.

From Alternet: The City of Portland has created and implemented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, it became the first city in the United States to adopt a comprehensive carbon dioxide reduction strategy. In 2001, Multnomah County (the most populous of Oregon’s 36 counties) and the City of Portland (which is the seat of Multnomah County and Oregon’s largest city) passed their joint Local Action Plan on Global Warming.

In 2009, Multnomah County and Portland adopted an updated climate action plan (CAP) with expanded categories for actions and more-rigorous reduction targets. The plan identifies 93 action steps in 8 categories to reach its emissions reduction goals, ranging from curbside pickup of residential food scraps to expanding the city’s streetcar and light rail system.

Thanks to strong government leadership, science-informed policy making has long been practiced in Portland. To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change, the city set its latest emissions reduction target by referring to current science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Portland adopted an 80 percent emissions reduction target by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030. In line with IPCC recommendations, 1990 was set as the baseline year for the reduction target.

Oregon leads the way!

Cartoon:

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May 312016
 

Well it was a very busy day today.  I left the house at 9:30 this morning and did not return until 21:30.  I started with physio therapy, then a meeting with the financial planner who handles much of my mother's investments, and finally a visit with my mother.  After I fed her, I sat brushing her hair for two hours.  The care centre staff "don't like it" when I do that because my mother becomes so relaxed and then they have to rouse her to get ready for bed.  Truthfully, my mother becomes very relaxed such that you can see it in her face.  They truly do like to see her that relaxed.  She is one of their favourites.  Tomorrow will be much quieter.  The weather here is sunny and warm at 24 C (75 F) after a cold, wet weekend.  According to the news, Kansas and Texas are suffering through severe rain and flooding.  Too bad some of that rain couldn't fall in California where it is badly needed.  I hope all will be safe.

Short Takes

Alternet Emails obtained by The Intercept from the State Department reveal new details of Hillary Clinton's behind-the-scenes efforts to export fracking—a method of extracting oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits—to foreign countries during her tenure as Secretary of State. The emails, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, could be particularly damning in light of Clinton's recent attempts to ally herself with the anti-fracking movement.  …

The recently obtained emails appear to contradict the anti-fracking position the Democratic frontrunner takes in the spot. Recently, Clinton has tried to distance herself from the fossil fuel industry, fending off attacks from her opponent, Bernie Sanders, whose campaign argued that she "has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas and coal industry."

Several years ago now, there were protests and petitions regarding the sale of asbestos to developing countries by Canada, while the use of asbestos in Canada was banned.  Certainly in this regard, Canada was ethically challenged and deserved, in my opinion, to be censured.  Although there is considerable fracking in the US, federal and state governments and corporations are being challenged over fracking because of the many undesirable effects such as earthquakes and polluted water.  Clinton has allied herself with anti-fracking groups as part of her campaign.  Is Clinton being disingenuous about her position on fracking, or has she changed her position?

Politico — Donald Trump observed Memorial Day weekend on Sunday by speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial at a rally of thousands of motorcyclists, where he praised veterans, called reporters “lowlifes,” thanked “the great Bobby Knight” for endorsing him and performed a derisive impression of a general he saw on television.

The presumptive Republican nominee took the occasion — the annual “Rolling Thunder” motorcycle rally, which raises awareness of unaccounted-for POWs and soldiers missing in action — to malign Hillary Clinton and tout his own electoral successes.  …

Trump spoke at a stage set up at the end of the reflecting pool closest to the Lincoln Memorial to a relatively sedate crowd of hundreds of bikers and assorted tourists, who did not entirely fill the space between the pool and the memorial. The businessman said it was not the scene he expected to encounter.

“I thought this would be like Dr. Martin Luther King, where the people will be lined up from here all the way to the Washington Monument,” said Trump. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a quarter-million supporters in August 1963.

Trump knows no bounds of propriety!  To turn a solemn occassion into a political event and then invoke MLK Jr . . . that is totally disgusting.  Dump Trump in the trash heap of history!

MotherJones — Randy Sutton, a spokesman for Blue Lives Matter, a national law enforcement group, told CNN last week that "it's usually people committing crimes like robbery, or that are being pursued by police, that turn to shooting officers." That, notes Padilla-Goodman, is essentially a concession that people don't usually attack cops because they hate them: "Somebody committing a crime against somebody because they're black didn't mean that the black person had to do anything" to provoke it.

Only in Louisiana (or another red state) would legislators consider adding police officers and other first responders to a list of people, who if attacked, would constitute a hate crime.  Interesting when a police officer counters that position.

Alternet — In an election year that's slated to produce the most unpopular candidates in history, there is one shining light—Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The Massachusetts senator/women's advocate/campaign finance reformer/human goddess has been dishing up truth bombs all year long. Utilizing social media with the skill of a millennial San Fransisco start-up owner, Warren slammed GOP candidates repeatedly for their asinine comments.  …

"Two weeks ago, he said that he was more than happy to dodge taxes because he doesn't want to throw his money, quote, 'down the drain,'" she said. "Nurses and teachers and dockworkers, they pay their fair share to keep Trump's businesses going … Donald Trump thinks that supporting them is throwing money down the drain? Then I say we throw Donald Trump down the drain."

Go Lizzie!  A national treasure is clobbering a national disgrace!

My Universe

 

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May 282016
 

It has been cool and wet here the past few days, but next week promises to be warmer, maybe too warm by my standards.  I've had fur babies around all day, one even trying to write articles for the blog.  Needless to say, they did not make a lot of sense so I deleted them.  Mind, they did make more sense than what any Republican, but especially Trump, could ever write.   

Short Takes

Alternet About a year after the launch of both Sen. Bernie Sanders’ and Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns, it’s easy to conclude that the anti-establishment backlash of 2016 was somewhat inevitable. The incredulity that many in the establishment felt when these two candidates first climbed the polls and took their respective primaries by storm has passed, and now that Trump has locked up the Republican nomination, nothing seems beyond the realm of possibility (including, terrifyingly enough, a Donald Trump presidency).

While Donald is working to secure endorsements from the few remaining GOP holdouts, Sanders is still picking up primary wins against Hillary Clinton. The senator has won in 18 states and is banking on a big victory in California, even though Clinton’s delegate lead is near insurmountable. Barring an FBI indictment of Clinton, Sanders is unlikely to be the Democratic nomination—but he has accomplished more than just about anyone could have predicted (except perhaps H.A. Goodman), and the grass-roots movement that has formed around him represents the future of the Democratic Party.

The author has postulated that the neoliberal policies in vogue since Reagan no longer work.  The choice during this election year rests between a right wing egomaniac, Trump, and a social democrat, Sanders.  The FDR era represented a formidable advance in social democracy that lifted the US out of economic problems.  Unfortunately, Americans have forgotten the advances that brought prosperity.  What Trump offers is more for the elite and nothing for the middle or working class.  We have to keep bringing this to the fore so that everyone understands that Trump offers nothing but fear and hate . . . no positive gains for the average American.

Politico — "[Wasserman Schultz] has a seemingly boundless ability to create conflict for herself wherever she possibly can,” said a Florida Democrat, who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “In this campaign she has inexplicably managed to infuriate Bernie Sanders and his supporters, while simultaneously doing a disservice to Clinton in her handling of the debate schedule.”

“From the scheduling of debates to cutting off Sanders' vote builder access, [Wasserman Schultz] has seized every opportunity to make the process seem rigged for Clinton in a ham-handed manner,” added an Iowa Democrat. “She is the worst caricature imaginable of an out-of-touch Democratic insider who fundamentally has no faith in the principles of the party and holds the base in contempt.”

Wasserman Schultz's role within the Democratic Party has been controversial and in my opinion, is in danger of splitting the party at a time when the Party cannot afford any discension.  She should be trying to unify the Democrats but so far has done little to bring that to fruition.  Will she stay or go? 

DailyKos — A father of two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, was attacked when he brought both children into a Walmart bathroom with him during a shopping trip in Clinton, Utah.

"This guy walks in and goes to the bathroom, the urinal,” Adams recalled Tuesday. “Then he just, like, turns to me and starts freaking out, dropping the ‘F-bomb,’ and what he was freakingWill she stay or go? out about was that my daughter was in the men’s bathroom.”

Adams said the man told him it was “inappropriate,” and soon began to push him after Adams gave him a terse response.

With so many existing or proposed bathroom laws, this situation is likely to continue to happen over and over again.  Never mind that fathers have been taking their young daughters into the men's room for decades, and mothers have been taking their young sons into the women's room for an even longer period.  And why?  To protect their young children from sexual predators that prey on the very young.  To be very clear, I make no reference here to anyone in the LGBTQ community.  So, all of a sudden, people have started manufacturing conspiracies around the LGBTQ community and bathrooms.  The fear factor has no basis in fact.

WashingtonPostIt's official: Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee this fall.  He crested the crucial 1,237-delegate threshold earlier this week in North Dakota, taking what was a near-certainty and turning it into an absolute-certainty.

With the question of whether Trump will win out of the way, we can move on to trying to figure out who he will pick as his running mate. I did this once before, but so much has changed — for Trump and for the rest of the party relative to him — that it needed a total overhaul just a month later.

Jodi Ernst, Bob Corker, Chris Christie, Mary Fallin and Newt Gingrich — these are just 5 of the possible VP picks that Trump could make.  Of course there have been other suggestions such as Ben Carson.  One article I read earlier today suggested that any VP pick would be male, which given that Trump is a misogynist, makes perfect sense.  As to the influence of the RNC in this matter we'll have to wait and see.  In another article from Politicususa, the Trump campaign is reportedly broke as it heads into the actual presidential campaign and must rely on fund raising with the RNC.  A big name with apparent drawing power, perhaps like Newt Gingrich, may be the choice.

My Universe — h/t TomCat

 

 

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May 252016
 

I’m running late, because Julie was here.  I invited her to lunch after our session.  I’m fluffed, buffed and stuffed.  Both she and killer dawg like γέεννα chili.  Tomorrow, i should have time to post, before my volunteer session at OSP.  It’s an annual banquet for the second half (> 50) of my guys.  However, I will probably have only an Personal Update on Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5::25 (average 5:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Well there you have it…  He thinks he is King of the World and she poses like she in an auditon for a James Bond movie.  The NRA endorsed Trump..  HA.  totally classless and  they call themselves conservative.  Hypocritical  right wing trashed our First Lady because she bared her arms differently.

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That’s nothing. It took me 30 seconds to Google this one.

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Typical Republican family values.

From Bloomberg: House Speaker Paul Ryan has begun telling confidants that he wants to end his standoff with Donald Trump in part because he’s worried the split has sharpened divisions in the Republican Party, according to two people close to the lawmaker.

Ryan aides say nothing has been decided about a possible Trump endorsement. But Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a small group of Republican lawmakers Thursday that he expects Ryan to endorse the party’s nominee as early as this week, according to two people in the meeting.

If Ryan were to endorse Trump, the move would end a nearly unprecedented standoff between the House speaker and his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, and remove the biggest remaining obstacle to Trump’s efforts to unite Republicans around his campaign.

What can I say? Lyin’ Ryan and Rump Dump are a match made in hell.

From YouTube: Progressive platform wins big in DNC

 

This could be a basis for coming back together.

Cartoon:

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Yes, I know that a Chimp is an Ape, not a Monkey.

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May 072016
 

Here I am, wide awake at 2 am having gone to bed at 10 pm because I have a very early start Saturday morning.  Young Loliyo has a dance competition and I will babysit her younger brother and sister, Simon and Regina, while Lucia goes to watch Loliyo compete.  I have to be at Lucia's house at 7 am.  OMG!!!  That's too early for this old Sasquatch!  I was up very early Friday because I was originally told that the competition was Friday.  Speaking of Friday, Simon is now officially 2 years old and a little devil.  I would like to take he and Regina for a walk but my knee won't take it so they'll have to be content to have a water fight with a soaker gun in the yard.  The weather is scheduled to be hot today, around 28 C (80F) so hopefully the water will cool the kids off and run off some energy.  Of course I'll have to be careful as we already have water restrictions in force.  Please say a prayer for me that I survive the diaper changes.  I haven't changed a diaper in 45 years!

Short Takes

CBC — No, Donald Trump is not going to be president, or invade Mexico, or deport all immigrants, or disenfranchise women voters, or drop nuclear bombs in Syria and Iraq.

What he almost certainly is going to do, though, is trigger an enormous disruption of the Republican Party, or even its breakup.

As much as the Republican Party establishment loves to hate Donald Trump, he won't be the one to ultimately bring down the party, writes Neil Macdonald.I use the word "trigger" deliberately here, because Trump himself won't actually bring about the end of his party. He's only the catalyst.
But let's be clear: it isn't the hated liberals or the politically correct left that are doing this to the GOP. It's a gloriously Republican self-immolation.

President Barack Obama was wrong when he snarked at the media last weekend, asking us if we're proud of ourselves for paying so much attention to Trump, whose candidacy, according to Obama, was really just an attempt to boost his hotel business and not worthy of constant coverage.

In fact, Trump's run has been democracy in action.

Creative destruction and all that. A perfect free market solution for a party that adores market forces.

How can we not cheer such a thing? You go, GOP.

Isn't that just a great description . . . Republican self-immolationThere are so many divergent factions within the Republican party — the pseudo Christian fundamentalists, the xenophobic white nationalists, the Tea Party, the corporatists etc — and they don't know how to come together.  Trump has said he will unite the party, but his actions and the temperment of the party say otherwise.  It will an interesting and chaotic 6 months.

MSN“I think the real subliminal message Trump is saying is this: The U.S. can afford to survive and prosper without any allies if it was forced to cut off all ties, but the converse isn’t true,” said Chung Min Lee, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul. He added that Mr. Trump was forcing allies “to come up with convincing elevator speeches on the key benefits they bring to the U.S., and thus far, none of them have done so.”

There is no doubt that Trump's vague and off-the-cuff foreign policy pronouncements have set tongues a wagging internationally.  And while I might agree that 70% of NATO costs is a bit steep for the US to bear, the US has also, IMO, assumed that cost when it declares itself to be the leader of the free world.  Trump talks about negotiations, but he does not have the temperment for international negotiations.  He has demonstrated that diplomacy is far from being his forté.

Alternet — You’ll recall that after the last shellacking in 2012, the Republicans famously did an “autopsy” of what went wrong. And they identified a very specific list of problems that contributed to their loss, not the least of which were their problems with young people, Latinos and women. The party’s perceived hostility to these groups or simple lack of interest in their concerns were found to be so severe that unless the GOP changed course and found ways to better appeal to them, it would sink into a demographic quagmire from which it could not recover.

It’s obvious that Donald Trump (and, frankly, the rest of the field as well) has gone in the opposite direction. Trump is working overtime to alienate women, at this point sitting on a 70 percent disapproval rate among that half of the population. A recent poll of millennials conducted by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics revealed 61 percent of young Americans likely would vote for Clinton while 25 percent would support Trump. Only 17 percent have a positive opinion of him.

And since Trump’s signature issue is deportation of millions of Latinos and building a wall to keep them out of the country, it goes without saying that the GOP outreach to that demographic isn’t going too well. He has a 77 percent unfavorable rating.

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent pointed out yesterday that despite the best efforts of Speaker Paul Ryan to do the right thing for once, the GOP Congress is helping Trump alienate Hispanics even more with its inane refusal to help Puerto Rico restructure its debt. (This by Matthew Yglesias at Vox is a good explanatory piece on the issue.)

And the party has not learned its lesson.  Go through the motions to identify issues around the 2012 defeat, but Republicans have failed to actively cultivate a change in the party.  Instead, they have set themselves up for defeat again like an out-of-control train.  This time though, the train is accelerating with Drumpf at the helm.  Republicans are going backwards . . . but then, that is nothing new for them.

Alternet — Here are seven things we know about Trump and what his candidacy will likely mean, even as the country heads into new territory led by a crazed super-celebrity billionaire.

1. Trump won’t keep his mouth shut. Any notion of better behavior or a classier act has repeatedly shown itself to be a mirage. His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has said that Trump will continue to be Trump, because he is “a person who tells it like it is.” That means building himself up by putting others down, whether it’s attacking Mexicans, Muslims, women who question him or his values, and anybody else for any headline-grabbing reason.

4. He’ll split the party into factions. After Trump won Indiana, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus called for the party to line up behind the presumptive nominee. That will be much harder for Republican candidates running this fall, who, looking at their own futures, will have to decide if they’ll run with him, in spite of him, or against him. All those shades are already occuring, with many longtime party leaders saying never. These fissures are likely to cost the GOP its U.S. Senate majority.

Before Trump’s clinching the nomination, there were predictions the Senate was ripe for a Democratic takeover. Twenty-four of the 34 Senate seats in play this fall are held by Republicans. Democrats only need to pick up five for a majority. The party has strong candidates in states that turn out blue majorities in presidential years, such as Illinois and Pennsylvania. Trump not only weakens these GOP incumbents, his candidacy raises a question of what may happen in the House, though GOP gerrymandering after 2010’s redistricting still deeply favors House Republicans. Nonetheless, there’s little to suggest that Trump is about to become the great unifier, meaning Republicans could face a historic meltdown and defeat this fall.

Click through for the remaining 5 ways Trump Is About to Turn the GOP into a National Freak Show.

 

Huffington Post — Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and is open to being his running mate, CNN reported on Thursday.  …

In July 2015, Perry said Trump’s campaign was a “cancer” to conservatism.

OMG!  Perry is at it again . . . thinking he is still relevant.

 

My Universe

cat-eats-raven-birdA poet is born !

ccat24All boxed in!

ccat18Talk about being fenced in!

ccat14Just been shopping and I'm bagged!

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May 032016
 

Faux Noise never disappoints when it comes to the asinine, whether O'Lielly, Hannity or a host of others including Tantaros.  Read on!

         BARF BAG ALERT!!!!    BARF BAG ALERT!!!!     BARF BAG ALERT!!!!    BARF BAG ALERT!!!!

Frequent viewers of Fox News, and those who mock it for a living, have noticed a familiar face has gone missing this past week. Rumors abound as to what pushed "Outnumbered" co-host Andrea Tantaros off-air a day after the launch of her new anti-feminism book, Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable. 

Whatever the reason, Fox News is certainly missing an element of entertainment in the form of daily doses of Tanta-rants, so to pacify your need for an IQ drop, we’ve compiled a list of some of the dumbest things Andrea Tantaros has ever said (which was only difficult because there was a ton of material to choose from). 

1. Tantaros says she would look "fabulous" on the food stamp diet.

During a discussion about food stamps on Fox Business, Tantaros suggested she would look amazing if she tried the food stamp challenge: eating on $133 a month.

“I should try it, because do you know how fabulous I’d look?” Tantaros said. “I’d be so skinny. I mean, the camera adds 10 pounds, it really does. I’d be looking great.”

Posted from Alternet

Click through for the other seven moments.  Tantaros is an insult to real women and the human race.

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May 032016
 

To quote TomCat: "Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how despicable InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception."

The week was overflowing with right-wing assholery mixed with a generous dollop of buffoonery. As Trump’s inevitability grew stronger, he launched his sexist Hillary-bashing campaign in earnest. 

4. Glenn Beck reacted entirely reasonably to John Boehner’s criticism of Ted Cruz.

Oh, hahahahaha. No he didn’t. He covered his face in Cheeto dust.

It was a hard week for Beck. First, his “divinely inspired” boy Ted Cruz lost all five states to Donald Trump on Tuesday, giving Cruz no realistic shot whatsoever at the nomination. Then Cruz named his vice presidential running mate anyway, the immensely likable Carly Fiorina, who sang a song that reminded everyone of an evil witch in a fairy tale. Then Cruz stunned everyone in Indiana with his stupidity about basketball. Then John Boehner made a rare appearance and told his truth about Ted, which is that he is “Lucifer in the flesh” and a “miserable son of a bitch.”

In a dazzling act of protest against the conspiracy of the orange men, Trump and Boehner, and to simulate their hue, a begoggled Beck performed a faceplant in a bowl of Cheeto dust.

Wanna see? Here’s video that will not scare the children, although it may make you lose your lunch.

Posted from Alternet

Well now we know . . . Glenn Beck has the IQ of a Cheeto!  Click through for the other four moments.

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