Yesterday the heat wave came to an end with another record high temperature: 104° (40°). The next three days are forecast in the high 70°s, but it will take two days, before this building bleeds off enough heat for interior temperatures to reflect the weather outside. My AC is holding it’s own a bit better than yesterday. I’ve had very little sleep in the last two days and am feeling quite tired.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:44). To do it, click here. How did you do?
Just as trans people are joining the struggles for freedoms not specific to LGBT rights, straight people must join the struggle for LGBT freedom. If you click through to the MoveOn Channel link, you’ll find videos of Bernie’s healthcare rallies in Pittsburgh and Columbus. Both are over an hour long. RESIST!!
From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Mike Pence Boasts Of Trump’s Anti-Choice Accomplishments To Focus On The Family
Barf Bag Alert!!
Once again, Pence is just like Trump with two minor exceptions. He is not a puke shade of orange. Whatever pussy grabbing he does, he keeps it secret. RESIST!!
From Daily Kos: Two groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, and the National Security Archive, have filed a lawsuit against the president, arguing that he “appears to be violating the Presidential Records Act and the Constitution’s requirement that the president ‘take care’ that the laws be faithfully executed.”
The groups specifically allege that the president has gone on a campaign to destroy tweets and that administration officials regularly use other means of correspondence, such as special apps that automatically delete read emails. The apps also allow for private communications among top staff that effectively cut the public and the press out from learning of the goings on of the president.
Interestingly, President Trump once accused Hilary Clinton of her own deletion problem.
Kudos to CREW. The doings of the Fuhrer and his Republican Reich are too evil to withstand the light of day. RESIST!!
I’m writing late to be sure to be up for my grocery delivery from Store to Door. Depending on which driver comes, it could be any time between Noon and 3:30 PM. Wendy landed in Denver last night and is driving to Pueblo today. Her sister, Carrie, will come on Saturday to fill in for her, and I’ll get her back a week from today. I run out of meds today so tomorrow we’ll find out how much healing and how much symptom masking has taken place.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 2:47 (average 4:18). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From YouTube (GQ Channel): Here’s How This Will End for Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann
I pray for all his ends but the last, In March 2015, had you told me that Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten would occupy the White House, albeit intermittently, I would have said that your shit level had turned your eyes brown. RESIST!!
From The New Yorker: In a fiercely defiant statement on Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, denied that any member of the White House staff has ever worked “in any way, shape, or form” for the benefit of the United States.
Angrily addressing the press corps, Spicer said that any allegations that members of the Trump Administration have ever acted in concert or collusion with the United States are “unequivocally false.”
“At no time during the transition or afterward did any member of the Trump team have meetings, conversations, or any other contacts that furthered the interests of the United States of America,” Spicer said. “In the thousands of communications that took place, the United States never came up even once.”
Dang, Andy!! We already knew that!! RESIST!!
From NY Times: On Tuesday afternoon, while most people were focused on the latest news from the House Intelligence Committee, the House quietly voted to undo rules that keep internet service providers — the companies like Comcast, Verizon and Charter that you pay for online access — from selling your personal information.
The Senate already approved the bill, on a party-line vote, last week, which means that in the coming days President Trump will be able to sign legislation that will strike a significant blow against online privacy protection.
The bill not only gives cable companies and wireless providers free rein to do what they like with your browsing history, shopping habits, your location and other information gleaned from your online activity, but it would also prevent the Federal Communications Commission from ever again establishing similar consumer privacy protections.
That is an intolerable violation of our First and Fourth Amendment rights. I recommend using anonymous Domain Name Servers (DNS), instead of the ones provided by your ISP. RESIST!!
Today is the Ides of March or Idus Martiae in Latin, a day for religious observances in ancient Rome, but also an inauspicious day for Julius Caesar. He was assassinated in 44 BCE on the Ides of March. Let's hope your day goes much better for you than it did for Caesar all those years ago!
Well tonight, we are having thunder and lightning which is relatively unusual for here. It was very close to my house, just north in the mountains, and the house shook with the display. TC is still feeling significantly under the weather but he did post an Open Thread today.
Maclean's — As for who first noticed that Moscow was gunning for Freeland, that’s something that has yet to show up in any banner Canadian headlines. It was the European Union’s East StratCom Task Force, a unit of the External Action Service (the EU’s foreign ministry and diplomatic branch). The Task Force was set up in March 2015 as a kind of early warning system to detect incoming Kremlin disinformation campaigns.
In its January 26 Disinformation Digest, the Task Force specifically identified the “Freeland Lied About Her Family’s Nazi Past” hoax, which by then was already circulating within the nether regions of the pro-Kremlin web, under the category of “pro-Kremlin disinformation” and “fake media stories that support Russia’s policies.” The Task Force flagged the Freeland smear project under the campy headline “And you are a Nazi, too!” along with several ongoing efforts to affix the Nazi tag to “anyone opposing the Kremlin’s interests,” especially in Ukraine and the Baltic states. Canadian Forces personnel are active in both arenas.
Usually, Moscow enjoys a degree of marginally plausible deniability by circulating its nastiest propaganda via merely Kremlin-admiring webzines and usefully idiotic “anti-imperialist” pseudo-news operations. But the effort to attack Freeland’s character and undermine her credibility first came straight out of Russia’s embassy in Ottawa, on January 11, the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Freeland to the foreign-affairs post.
InSquatch’s Open Thread 10 March 2017, I included another Maclean's article about how Russia was turning its predatory disinformation sights on Canada, and I made reference to an article in the Ottawa Citizen about Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Maclean's has now covered this aspect beginning with how some western journalist aided and abetted Putin's disinformation ritual. But why Freeland? The article goes into detail on that point. I urge you to read the entire article. The new Russian Czar, Vladimir Putin, is certainly busy trying to destabilise western nations.
CBC — Girl Guides of Canada has announced it will not be taking any trips to the United States in the near future, citing concerns about inclusivity.
"While the United States is a frequent destination for Guiding trips, the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain," international commissioner Sharron Callahan and director of provincial operations Holly Thompson wrote in a joint advisory issued Monday afternoon.
"This includes both trips that are over or under 72 hours and any travel that includes a connecting flight through an American airport," the advisory says.
The statement does not directly mention — but appears to be a reaction to — the executive orders U. S. President Donald Trump has signed restricting travel to the United States.
More fallout from Drumpf's travel ban. Interesting that a group of young Canadian girls can show up Drumpf when it comes to ethics, loyalty and inclusivity.
YouTube — Trump Can’t Even Watch TV Correctly | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ
Kudos to Keith! Spot on as usual! Is this what the "age of television" has become?
CBC — For the second time, a federal court on Wednesday blocked President Donald Trump's efforts to freeze immigration by refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations, putting the president's revised travel ban on hold just hours before it was to take effect.
This time, the ruling came from a judge in Hawaii who rejected the government's claims that the travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination. …
U.S. President Donald Trump held a rally at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, vowing he would not stop defending the security of Americans despite the latest legal setback, which the government will likely appeal. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Trump called the ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement. …
The hearing was one of three held Wednesday in federal courts around the country. U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who blocked the initial travel ban last month, did not immediately rule on a request from an immigrant-rights group to block the revised version. Neither was there a ruling from U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland in a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.
In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban. A case brought by Washington state argues that the new order harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon, which rely on foreign workers. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have joined the claim.
Judicial overreach? What a load of horse pucky! It is only judicial overreach to Drumpf because he isn't getting his way!I am glad that there are some members of the judiciary and legal profession that see this Muslim travel ban for what it is — outright discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds. As Drumpfenfarten said when US District Judge Robart of Washington state turned aside the first ban, "See you in court!" While Robart and US District Judge Chuang of Maryland both heard arguments today, neither has announced their ruling.
OK, so I am almost 3 months behind the times but this commercial for Temptations cat treats is "so cat"!
Well here I am . . . another rainy day in Lotus Land! At least there is no snow here in Metro Vancouver and the temperature is 10 C (50 F). Back in Ontario where my brother lives, they are digging out. And this house, just south of them on the shores of Lake Ontario in NY state gives new meaning to ice.
I think I'll take the rain, thank you! I'm off to a meeting very shortly and will send links when I get back.
Politico — … House Republican leaders plunged into damage control mode Monday after a brutal budgetary assessment of their Obamacare replacement threatened to upend Senate GOP support and armed their critics on the left.
Speaker Paul Ryan’s team quickly pinpointed rosier elements of the report by the Congressional Budget Office, from cost savings to lower premiums. But the bottom line — that the number of uninsured Americans would climb by 24 million within a decade — threatened to upend the GOP leadership’s fragile efforts to unite congressional Republicans around the plan. …
"After reviewing this legislation and receiving the Congressional Budget Office score today, it is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand," he [Rep Rob Wittmann (R-VA) said in a statement. "I do not think this bill will do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians and therefore, I must oppose it." …
“Every single House Republican owns this catastrophic bill and should be prepared for backlash at the ballot box, particularly given the anticipated loss of coverage for 14 million people as early as next year,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law.
One might think that the new Republicare bill is a 'hail Mary' attempt at healthcare reform. But House Republicans are divided on the subject, and Democrats are opposed. The CBO analysis indicates that an additional 24 million people will be without health insurance, and the death rate will increase.
As Shakespeare said in Hamlet's solioquy in Act III Scene I "Aye, there's the rub.". Do Republicans do what will help get them re-elected in 2018, or do they stand firm with this ideological piece of crap legislation that will result in the deaths of tens of thousands of citizens who will not be able to afford health insurance?
Daily Kos — In a presidency largely defined by lies, one pants-on-fire whopper now stands out as Donald Trump’s biggest — and deadliest — yet.
Conservative politicians, pundits and people across the nation loved parroting one of the biggest lies of the Obama era, that — all together now — “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
On the campaign trail in the fall of 2015, Trump promised to “take care of everybody.”
“Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now,” the billionaire businessmantoldCBS News. “The government’s gonna pay for it,” he said, raising right-wing eyebrows and ire, as he did when he rightfullypraisedCanada’s superior universal health care system. …
Enter theAmerican Health Care Act, which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said was the product of Republicans keeping their promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare, but which critics from both sides of the political aisle are calling a disaster. Yes, even Republicans — especiallyRepublicans — have been blasting the proposed bill, with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) calling it“Obamacare 2.0,”former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin slamming it as“socialized medicine”and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) evenwarningthe bill might cost Republicans their House majority come the 2018 midterm elections. …
…people will die.A lot of people will die.
Need I say more? Republicans don't care about anybody but themselves and money . . . the more money that can go to the 1%, the better.
YouTube — Gutting Health Care Will Kill Americans | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ
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.
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 Kos — House 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?
It has been raining all day today . . . but no snow! You've probably noted that TC is still sick but a physician's assistant did visit him at home and has him on medication. Rest my friend, drink lots of water and take your medicine. I am sure Wendy will be in to make sure you are fluffed and buffed, and ensure you are eating properly . . . maybe some chicken soup? Personally, I am going to have some beans and toast, comfort food for a rainy day!
Khalil [email protected] has a way with 'alternate' words! I think this sums up much of the current situation as far as Drumpfenfarten and Putin are concerned. Of course, this does not explain the 'why?', but it certainly does speak to the extent of the, shall I say, collusion.
The Hill — Preet Bharara, one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country, said Saturday he was fired from President Trump's administration after he refused to resign when asked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life," tweeted Bharara, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. …
"One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served," he [Bharara] said in the statement released by the U.S. attorney's office. …
"His relentless drive to root out public corruption, lock up terrorists, take on Wall Street, and stand up for what is right should serve as a model for all U.S. attorneys across the country. He will be sorely missed," Schumer said in a statement.
Rachel Maddow covered the replacement of 46 federal prosecutors and Bharara's firing in the following segment of her show.
Bharara was told by both Drumpf and Sessions that they wanted him to stay on as the chief federal prosecutor in the SDNY. Could it be that Bharara was just too damned good at his job and Drumpfenfarten and Sessions became nervous after looking at his accomplishments? After all, as Rachel says, Drumpf Tower where Drumpf carries out all his business dealings — you know, those dealings that are supposedly in the hands of his sons who do not discuss anything with their father — is within the SDNY!
Truthout — Autre Murray, 24, never planned to go to college. He thought he couldn't afford it — even with student loans. Besides, he wasn't thrilled with the prospect of ending up in "debt up to the neck." Instead, Murray planned to earn a high school diploma and find a job doing manual labor, maybe somewhere like a factory. He told himself he didn't need a college education to become successful.
But now he's on his way to obtaining a bachelor's degree, as are other members of his Kalamazoo, Michigan, hometown. That's thanks to the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship program first announced at a board meeting of Kalamazoo Public Schools in November 2005. The nonprofit of the same name provides scholarships that cover 65 to 100 percent of college tuition and fees for all graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools who meet certain criteria. Students have 10 years from the day they graduate high school to use the scholarship. …
After Kalamazoo, Michigan, offered college tuition for nearly all high school graduates, dropout rates declined and the city's population began to rebound. (Photo: The Kalamazoo Promise / Facebook)
"The donors believe that a community's vitality — politically, socially, and economically — is closely related to the educational level of the community," says Bob Jorth, executive director of the Kalamazoo Promise. "In the knowledge-based economy that we're in, almost all good jobs require some kind of training and education beyond high school."
Kudos to the Kalamazoo Promise! I wonder how fast Betsy DeVos can put the brakes on such an innovation? . . . not that it is within her purview. When did that ever stop a Republican!
Huffington Post — Most of the migrants who recently made the difficult journey across the border into Canada were in the United States legally, making the trend hard to explain, says U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
The majority travelled to the United States with the necessary visas, Kelly said Friday after a meeting in Ottawa with cabinet members including his Canadian counterpart, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
"Everyone was perplexed," Kelly said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"Many of them have only been in the United States a few days before they made the trek north, so it's something we're certainly trying to figure out."
"… it's something we're certainly trying to figure out." ????? There have been Somalis crossing into Manitoba in the dead of winter, literally risking life and limb — 2 have lost many of their fingers to frostbite. In Québec, at a well known crossing point, RCMP officers are often waiting there to arrest the people until they can chat them up properly and they can make their requests for asylum. And U.S. Homeland Secretary John Kelly is 'perplexed' about the migrant surge into Canada? Let's see 1) Donald Trump; 2) pervasive American discrimination of foreigners, particularly Latinos and Muslims; 3) overly zealous border agents; 4) keep adding to the list. My apologies to my American friends, but with the current administration, the US has lost ownership of Emma Lazarus' poem that is on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
YouTube(GQ Channel) — Trump’s Amazing Speech Sure Didn’t Age Well | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann
Romney has been supplanted as Mr Flip-flop by none other than Drumpfenfarten. I remember a line from the movie "Clear and Present Danger" that went like this: "He cannot be clear when clarity is not exactly what he wants." White House aide or a Cabinet person talking about the president played by Donald Moffat. Sure seems appropriate to Drumpfenfarten.
Huffington Post — The idea was simple enough: publish as many absurd, obviously fake stories imaginable, and see if anyone actually falls for it. The results of this experiment were both fascinating and disheartening.
“BREAKING: Satire Makes Fools Of Gullible Trump Supporters.”
That’s the headline James McDaniel published on his intentionally fake news website, UndergroundNewsReport.com, earlier this month.
Within just two weeks of his website going online, McDaniel had already amassed more than a million views, thousands of comments on his stories, and hundreds of thousands of “likes” and “shares” on Facebook.
“While writing them, I was aiming for stories that no one would believe, but rather would be satirical in an age where disinformation is so prevalent,” McDaniel wrote on his website. “Just for fun, I decided to post some of the stories in Trump fan groups on Facebook to see the reactions.”