Open Thread – 4/25/2017

 Posted by at 1:19 pm  Politics
Apr 252017
 

It’s another day that the pain remains severe, but I did get enough sleep to publish.  I expect to publish tomorrow as well, as I have to be up to receive a grocery delivery.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:04).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Bill O’Reilly’s Downfall (And Trump’s, Too?) | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

All should boycott all things Trump. As I said…

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… and a few more. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, former President Barack Obama unloaded a relentless barrage of complete sentences in what was widely seen as a brutal attack on his successor, Donald Trump.

Appearing at his first public event since leaving office, Obama fired off a punishing fusillade of grammatically correct sentences, the likes of which the American people have not heard from the White House since he departed.

“He totally restricted his speech to complete sentences,” Tracy Klugian, a student at the event, said. “It was the most vicious takedown of Trump I’d ever seen.”

“About five or six sentences in, I noticed that all of his sentences had both nouns and verbs in them,” Carol Foyler, another student, said. “I couldn’t believe he was going after Trump like that.”

Dang Andy! It must be an attack on the Fuhrer for Obama to have used the science of grammar! RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump still insists that Mexico is going to pay for the border wall. Except Mexico stubbornly refuses to send an up-front check for something that would cost as much as their national budget, is designed to wreck their economy, and is basically the world’s biggest and “most beautiful” screw-you. So until Trump figures out exactly how to get Mexico to shell out for a giant slap in the face, there’s the problem of finding that money in your pocket.

Last week Trump budget director, and chief torturer of both reason and common decency, Mick Mulvaney, proposed that Trump might let slip a dollar worth of health care for every dollar that Democrats provided for hate concrete. Mulvaney insisted that the Wall was a must-have, take-it-or-leave-it item, but his healthcare for hardware exchange was not exactly a deal anyone rushed to embrace.

As it turns out, there was no need to, because faced with the idea of hitting a government shutdown on Day 99 of his regime, Donald Trump appears ready to fold like a gaudy gold napkin in the Mar-a-lago dining and strategic planning room.

Trump has two choices, fold or face the consequences of his shutdown. RESIST!!

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Apr 232017
 

Wendy eill be here in less than an hour to scrub and deodorize the TomCat, and we have a lot of other tasks, so this is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:28 (average 5:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Bill Maher:

The Slow and the Furious

 

New Rule: Make Earth Great Again

 

Make the Earth great again.  Send the Republican Party to Mars.

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Everyday Erinyes #71

 Posted by at 12:17 am  Politics
Apr 222017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I want to start with this article about governmental responses to protesting.  Now, I certainly do not want to dissuade anyone from protesting.  I suspect that anyone who reads this blog would be only to happy to spend a day or two in a jail in connection with a protest, if it would do any good.  In fact, the owner of this blog HAS done so during his lifetime, and I expect there are others.  But that is different from what is happening to 214 people who took part in the insuguration day protest in Washington, DC.

More than 214, of course, were picked up in the mass arrest, which seems to have been oddly timed, by the way.  But the handful who have established themselves as professional journalists, medics, and legal observers have mostly had charges against them dropped.  Also, of the 214, there is "a handful" against who there is some evidence that they smashed windows or threw a rpck at a police officer, and I'm sure no one here approves of that.  But the nature of the evidence of identification is a little foggy, and no one believes all 214 people smashed or threw anything at all – in fact, there must be at least 200 whose only "crime" was being there.

Nonetheless, every one of the 214 is being charged with "rioting and inciting," a charge associated with up to a $25,000.00 fine and up to ten years behind bars.  A felony charge.  A hefty charge for just being present.

"In my over thirty years of practicing law, I've never seen anything like this," said veteran D.C. attorney Mark Goldstone, of the charges. Goldstone, who has defended dozens of activist cases and is representing six of the J20 defendants, called the charges "unprecedented territory."

Peaceful protesting has been for quite some time a First Amendment protected activity.  Washington, DC, appears to be doing its best to change that.  I don't think one has to be a legal expert to foresee long-term negative consequences.  Alecto, can you help out?

Now for a small diversion, a little light humor, to gove us a chance to catch our breath here. 

In Missouri, restrictions on abortion providers are so strict that only one clinic in the state can perform abortions: a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. But on the State Senate floor Wednesday, two Republican lawmakers joked that women seeking abortions should go to the St. Louis Zoo because it’s “safer” and more regulated than abortion clinics.

“The St. Louis Zoo gets inspected once a year,” said State Senator Bob Onder to his colleague, State Senator Wayne Wallingford, who added, “Maybe we should send the people that want an abortion to the St. Louis Zoo, because we know it’ll be safer.”

OH.  Joke.  Ha.  Ha.

We are not amused.

The Senator took to Twitter to "explain" his remarks.  I am not on Twitter, but I almost wished I were when I came to a comment that said "Could you possibly be more offensive?"  I surely wanted to say, "Don't make it sound like a challenge!"

I want to be very clear that this Senator in no way reflects on SoINeedAName.  The Senator's district, Saint Charles County, is all the way across the state.  Unfortunately, that also means there is not much he could possibly do about him.  So, Megaera, perhaps you could put a minion out there to follow him up amd make sure he loses his next election.

Before moving on to one piece of good news, I want to mention a piece of very old news indeed.  A hundred and forty-four years old.  Have you ever heard of the Colfax Massacre?  No?  Neither have I – or I hadn't until now. 

In Colfax, La., on Easter Sunday 1873, a mob of white insurgents, including ex-Confederate and Union soldiers, led an assault on the Grant Parish Courthouse, the center of civic life in the community, which was occupied and surrounded — and defended — by black citizens determined to safeguard the results of the state's most recent election. They, too, were armed, but they did not have the ammunition to outlast their foes, who, outflanking them, proceeded to mow down dozens of the courthouse's black defenders, even when they surrendered their weapons. The legal ramifications were as horrifying as the violence — and certainly more enduring; in an altogether different kind of massacre, United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the U.S. Supreme Court tossed prosecutors' charges against the killers in favor of severely limiting the federal government's role in protecting the emancipated from racial targeting, especially at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan.  (emphasis mine)

How in God's name, and I don't say that lightly, are we ever supposed to overcome racism if we keep denying our past, never speaking of it, except, occasionally to blame the victims by calling it the "Colfax Riot"?  Tisiphone – this needs to be in history books, in schools, all over the nation.  Yes, I realize that in a nation where some refer to abducted and transported slaves as "immigrants" that may take some doing.  Good luck.

Now, one story with – well, I can't say a happy ending, but at least a bending in the direction of justice.  Even so, it comes almost four years later than it should, and certainly too late for some.

In what may be the single largest dismissal of wrongful convictions in US history, Massachusetts prosecutors announced Tuesday they would throw out 21,587 criminal drug cases. The cases were all prosecuted based on evidence or testimony supplied by a former state chemist who admitted to faking tests and identifying evidence as illegal narcotics without even testing it. The chemist, Annie Dookhan, pleaded guilty in 2013 to tampering with evidence during her nine years working at a state crime lab in Boston. During that time, thousands of people were convicted based on her false statements.

You ladies can flip a coin (if you have a three sided one) on this if you like.  But I do ask that someone follow up on this.  For one thing, our nation has a long and dishonorable history of keeping exonerated people locked up because the authorities cannot be bothered with the paperwork to let them go.  For another, those who are already free, having served their time, need their records cleansed.  Even for a state with 6.475 million people, 21,587 cases is a lot of paperwork.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4048688

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Apr 212017
 

Physically, I remain the same.  I got some sleep, so I’m here to publish and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.  I’m so sick of pain I could … never mind.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:17 (average 4:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Trump Wants to Ride in a Gilded Coach?! | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Actually, the Fuhrer may be stalking his owner. I bet he want’s that open coach, because Vladimir Putin [R-RU] got it first. He’s too vain to accept that he could get his ass assassinated by Brits. That would be problematic, unless he took Pence and others with him. Winking smile RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Donald Trump have known each other for 16 years. In September 2015, reporters spotted a Make America Great Again hat in Brady’s locker. Only days before the presidential election, Trump claimed Tom Brady endorsed him:

…When the Patriots won the Super Bowl in February, Trump was thrilled to see his future hall of fame backers win again.

A number of Brady’s teammates announced they would not attend the traditional ceremony at the White House honoring the Super Bowl champs. They did not want to meet or be seen with Toxic Trump. Patriots team captain Devin McCourty made the case for his absence, saying, "Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t."

…And today, on the day the celebration was supposed to take place, Brady is leaving Trump out to dry. The five time Super Bowl champion suddenly has better things to do.

Dang!! Thank you Holy Ellipsoid Orb! Now Brady isn’t the only one with deflated balls.

From NY Times: Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke dismissively about the State of Hawaii while criticizing a Federal District Court ruling last month that blocked the Trump administration from carrying out its ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world.

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” Mr. Sessions said this week in an interview [Nazi delinked] on “The Mark Levin Show,” a conservative talk radio program.

 

In Beauregard’s defense, at his age, wearing his hood and robes interferes with his vision.  RESIST!!

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Apr 202017
 

I’m still in a lot of pain, but I slept last night, so I can publish.  For the most part, until I improve, whether or not I publish will depend on whether I slept the night before.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Offering a stunningly blunt appraisal of the North Korean leader, Jared Kushner said on Tuesday that Kim Jong-un was a “totally unqualified person” who attained his position of power only through nepotism.

“Here you have a guy who has no government experience, and he’s in charge of the whole thing,” Kushner said, in an interview with Fox News. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

Kushner noted that, instead of working his way up and acquiring the skills necessary to do his job, the North Korean leader had been given huge responsibilities and power “only because of family connections.”

Very observant Andy. Kushner is the "how to" expert on nepotism. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Trump might have won the elections (which again is controversial), but he couldn’t win the hearts of the people. We believed that at least his supporters who voted for him would be happy with his performance, but a new Pew poll confirmed Trump’s low approval ratings.

Compared to Obama’s 61% during his first term, Trump scored 39%, which is the lowest approval rating for any president in his first term.

It’s worse among the minorities. 81% Blacks and 78% Hispanics disapproved of him.

63% believe Trump is too impulsive.

The ratings are worse for Ryan, who has an approval rating of 29% and disapproval rating of 54%.

I like it, but the disapproval would be most gratifying if both were unemployed. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Bill O’Reilly’s reign as the top-rated host in cable news came to an abrupt and embarrassing end on Wednesday as Fox News forced him out after the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more.

Woooo Hoooo!! RESIST!!

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Apr 182017
 

Last night the pain in my side kept me up most of the night.  This is my only article today, and I won’t be distributing links on Care2.  Please3 expect no more tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos Elections: Daily Kos Elections’ 2016 presidential results for congressional and legislative districts

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Therein lies the problems we’ve had long term and what we must correct. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: In a major foreign-policy coup for the Trump Administration, North Korea offered to unconditionally abandon its nuclear program on Monday, after Mike Pence spent several minutes angrily squinting at the nation from just across the border.

Warning North Korea that the United States had jettisoned its policy of “strategic patience” and that “all options were on the table,” Pence fixed his steely glare on the isolated Communist nation and began furiously staring it down.

After Pence spent between five and six minutes demonstrating U.S. resolve by squinting indignantly, the government in Pyongyang released a statement indicating that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were a thing of the past.

Dang Andy! Fat chance! RESIST!!

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Is There an Actual Tape of Trump’s Russia Collusion? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

LORD! Let it be so and fully exposed.  RESIST!!

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