May 292017
 

Yesterday the temperature reached 87°, 5° cooler than Saturday, but still a new record high for the date.  Today will be another 5° cooler, still way above average.  Tomorrow we should return to temperate weather for this time of year.  I look forward to it.  This morning, the porcelain throne huffed, puffed, strained, and sent the 10% of my body weight that was Republican swirling down to join Scalia and Ailes. Party smile

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 9/2012): 

As a public service to those who find themselves inextricably cornered by aggressively ill-informed Republicans at work, on the train or at family gatherings, presented here are ten indisputably true facts that will seriously challenge a Republican’s worldview and probably blow a brain cell or two. At the very least, any one of these GOP-busters should stun and confuse them long enough for you to slip quietly away from a pointless debate and allow you to get on about your business.

1. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbingly growing number of Republicans like to claim.

2. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Definitely more “Occupy Wall Street” than “Grand Old Party” by anyone’s standard.

3. The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.

He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?

I shared three. Click through for the other seven. All ten still apply. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Donald J. Trump on Saturday accused the media of exaggerating his relationship with Jared Kushner, asserting that “I don’t know him very well.”

“He’s someone I would see around the office and who, I guess, was working for me,” Trump told reporters on the last leg of his foreign trip. “Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you much about him.”

Trump acknowledged that he had spoken to Kushner at times during the 2016 campaign. “I’d pass him in the hall and say hello,” he said. “He seemed like an O.K. person. I never got much of a sense of the guy.”

Dang Andy! With Kushner on his way under the bus, will Russia’s Red Rat pimp Ivanka to someone else? RESIST!!

From The Village Green: About half the students in a group of South Orange Middle School 8th graders touring the Capitol in D.C. this past week refused a photo with House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to students on the field trip.

Elissa Malespina, a school librarian who is also the parent of a SOMS eighth grader, reported that her son was among the students who declined to pose with Ryan for a photo.

“I am so proud of my son and 1/2 the 8th grade at South Orange Middle School,” Malespina wrote on Facebook. “They went to D.C. on a field trip and toured the Capitol building. The kids had a chance to have their picture taken with Paul Ryan and over half the class choose not to, including my son! What a powerful statement.”

The kids gave reasoned opinions for their choice — and said they were not fueled by partisanship.

“I think that taking the picture represents that you agree with the same political views and I don’t agree with his political views so I chose not to be in it,” said Wendy Weeks, an 8th grade SOMS student.

“I can’t take a picture with someone who supports a budget that would destroy public education and would leave 23 million people without healthcare,” said 8th grade SOMS student Matthew Malespina.

“I didn’t want to be in [the picture] because he believes in most of what Trump believes in,” said another SOMS 8th grader, Louisa Maynard-Parisi.

Huge Kudos to the students. I hope someone rubbed Lyin’ Ryan’s long, long nose in this. RESIST!!

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May 282017
 

I think I need to tale a day off from the ongoing flood of evidence that Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten and his closest associates, both American and Russian, are guilty of treason and/or espionage.  Trump has other traits that deserve occasional attention, like his absolute dishonesty and his total incompetence.

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For nine days, Donald Trump has been traveling across the Middle East and Europe, bringing every terrible stereotype about “ugly Americans” to vivid life. He labeled Germany (where he doesn’t have business interests) “very bad” after saying nary a critical word in Saudi Arabia (where he does have business interests). He chastised our partners in NATO while revealing he doesn’t actually understand how it all works. He literally threw his weight around like an attention-starved problem child, and he broadcast his every move to the world via his cellphone, which would be a security risk if we had a president anyone wanted to kidnap.

Mostly—when he wasn’t trading arms for political and personal gain—Trump acted like an embarrassing boor. He can’t help proving that he and his followers are the punchlines to a joke the rest of the world is laughing at.

Here are eight examples.

1. Lied to the new French president about supporting him in the election even though it’s really easy to find out he didn’t.

“You were my guy," Trump reportedly said to newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron, a quote that suggests the president doesn’t know many of us have eyes and ears and internets that prove he’s lying. For someone so practiced at lying, the president remains terrible at it.

While Trump never explicitly endorsed noted Islamophobe, Holocaust revisionist and French National Front leader Marine Le Pen, he gushed over her racist bonafides during the French election. "She’s the strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France," he said in an April interview with the Associated Press. "Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election."

On April 21, a couple days shy of the first round of voting, and 24 hours after the shooting of a police officer on the Champs-Élysées, Trump tweeted [Twitter twit delinked], “Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”… [emphasis added]

From <Alternet>

We all know that Trump had nothing but complements for Le Pen and nothing to say about Macron until after he won the election.  It was obvious that Trump supported a Nazi like Le Pen and himself, not a centrist.  Macron knew it well.

I shared only the first example.  Click through for the other seven.

However, his trip did give us a business opportunity.  We can now threaten Europe with another Trump visit, and I’m sure they’ll pay us to keep him here, unless we were sending him to The Hague.

RESIST!!

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May 232017
 

It’s another hot humid day, and I did not get much sleep last night.  Tomorrow and Wednesday will be cooler, but it will take a day or too for the excess heat in the interior hallways and bathrooms of the building to moderate.  After my morning Trump making on the throne at 5:45 AM, I had to change my shirt, as the one I had on was wet.  I have a reason for not covering the Manchester Arena attack.  I had MSNBC on for three hours last night through Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, and none of them covered any other news.  They repeated mostly the same information over and over and over again.  I would never downplay the tragic loss suffered by the dead, the injured, the traumatized and their families.  They have been in my thoughts and prayers.  However the losses from that one incident cannot begin to compare to the tragic losses of both life and human suffering that the policies Republicans have wanted for many years will bring.  Therefore, I’ll cover other things that need covering.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:07 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): This is How Low the Trump Apologists Will Stoop | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Republicans could not be more desperate to project their Fuhrer’s treason away. One cannot stoop lower than fronting the story with Scumbag Sean and Newtered. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Because he never stops being an entitled jackass:

President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits …

… The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps …

Every penny spent to provide for the needs of sick seniors or hungry children is a penny Republicans can’t give to a billionaire. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose the names of former lobbyists who have been granted waivers to work in the White House or federal agencies.

The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.

Mr. Shaub returned a scalding, 10-page response to the White House late Monday, unlike just about any correspondence in the history of the office, created after the Nixon Watergate scandal.

“O.G.E. declines your request to suspend its ethics inquiry and reiterates its expectation that agencies will fully comply with its directive,” Mr. Shaub wrote in a letter he also sent to every federal agency ethics officer, six members of Congress who oversee government operations and the inspector generals from agencies governmentwide. “Public confidence in the integrity of government decision making demands no less.”

Kudos to Schaub and O.G.E. RESIST!!

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May 232017
 

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

Short Takes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Who can be impeached?

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

State legislatures can impeach state officials, including governors.

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

YouTube — John Oliver – James Comey              

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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May 032017
 

The Immodium has not kicked in all the way, but my trips are less frequent than yesterday, and I did get a little sleep.  Summer seems to have arrived.  From yesterday’s high of 57°, today’s is forecast at 81° and extremely humid.  Currently it’s 83%.  Needless to say, the AC is going.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to come with groceries.  Wendy will be here this evening.  In this weather the TomCat will need extra destinking.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Trump is Panicking About Russia | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Amen Keith! To clarify, the minute Obama fired Flynn in 2014, his security clearance died with his job, so when he and his co-traitor Jill Stein joined Putin [R-RU] on RT, it was not on Obama’s watch, as Trump claims. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: A class of fourth-grade students touring the White House on Monday had a chance encounter with Donald Trump and were able to answer several of his questions about the Civil War.

The students, on a field trip organized by their Bethesda, Maryland, elementary school, happened upon Trump outside the Oval Office and “cleared a lot of things up for him,” their teacher said.

After Trump invited the children into his office, the ten-year-olds briefed him on the causes of the Civil War, including slavery, states’ rights, and regional economic differences.

“It was really cool,” Tracy Klugian, who had done a diorama about the Civil War while in third grade, said. “Someday I’ll be able to tell my kids that I met the President and taught him about history.”

Andy! Are you spreading Republican propaganda? Clearly anything taught at a 4th grade level is way too advanced for Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten to understand! RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump blamed the Constitution for his repeated failures in his first hundred days in office. He told Fox News that the Constitution is  archaic and that the rule of law that has prevented his unconstitutional edicts from being implemented "is a bad thing for the country”. www.theguardian.com/…

In an interview with Fox News to mark the 100-day mark, he declared himself “disappointed” with congressional Republicans, despite his many “great relationships” with them.

He blamed the constitutional checks and balances built in to US governance. “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”

Since Trump considers the Constitution a bad thing for the country, we can be sure he will appoint more Injustices like Whoresuch to SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD). Fascist pseudo-Christian ideology will be the basis of their decisions. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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My own definition:

Godwin’s Law – a common meme used by Republicans, other fascists, pseudo-intellectuals, and people with their heads in the sand or in smellier places, whenever anyone points out the verifiable commonalities between today’s Republican Party and Germany’s National Socialist Party, as Hitler became dictator.

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Apr 272017
 

I breathed water into my windpipe last night by coughing at the wrong time and set off severe choking and gasping.  That undid the healing in my side, so my pain level is severe again.  ARGH!  The draft is tonight.  May the Holy Ellipsoid orb guide and bless your team, named especially my Broncos.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:26 (average 4:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do.

Short Takes:

From All In: Bernie Sanders sounds off on Trump’s latest fiascos

Senator Bernie Sanders sounds off on the flurry of activity from the Trump administration, including its last-ditch effort to kill Obamacare and a tax cut plan that would give breaks to those who need then the least.

 

Spot on, Bernie! Boycotting the Fuhrer’s photo-op was smart!. RESIST!!

From Raw Story: Maryland Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings said on Thursday that President Donald Trump and his administration are “stonewalling” the investigation into retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia and lies to the federal government and doing everything it can to sabotage the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government.

“Clearly the White House is stonewalling,” Cummings told Willie Geist of “Morning Joe.” “And I don’t use that word frequently because I try to give the benefit of the doubt, but they have not given us one shred of paper on him, not one syllable — after a bipartisan request was made for contacts that the general had with the Russian and Turkish governments and any kind of information that would lead us to understand how he was vetted and what the process was.”

Geist asked Cummings why he thinks the White House would still be covering for Flynn even after his firing.

“This situation is one that leaves me baffled,” Cummings said. “Here’s a man fired. Come on, now. Fired. He lied to the vice president but it seems that they have circled the wagons around him. I don’t know what this is all about, but I’ll tell you one thing. It leaves those of us who are looking into it, it makes us even more anxious to get information. And then it makes me wonder what if anything is being hidden.”

I think I understand. The more the truth about Flynn’s treason is exposed, the closer we will be to criminally exposing Trump’s treason. RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Wednesday that he would not immediately move to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, only hours after an administration official said he was likely to sign an order that would begin the process of pulling the United States out of the deal.

In what the White House described as “pleasant and productive” evening phone calls with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Mr. Trump said he would quickly start the process of renegotiating Nafta — not abandon it, as he said he would do during the 2016 presidential campaign if he could not rework the deal to his satisfaction.

Now that NAFTA is in operation, simply terminating it would cause economic upheaval in all three countries.. It needs to be updated, but not in any way Trump would want to renegotiate it. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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Flask back to the Fourth Reich.  From the present perspective of the Fifth Reich, I almost miss him,

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