Dec 012016
 

The beginning of the last full month of even partial sanity in the US has been an incredibly busy day.  In addition to my normal first of month record keeping tasks, I have changed the poll and collected all the data for and made all the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, so I’m getting a late start here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:58 (average 5:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Government-Backed Attackers” May Have Hacked My Account | The Closer with Keith Olbermann

 

Shit!!  What else is there to say?

From Daily Kos: Trying hard not to roll my eyes too much.

People in poverty-stricken Clay County [Kentucky] worry about what will happen to their health care if Gov. Matt Bevin’s and President-elect Trump’s ambitions to overhaul Medicaid proceed.

In Clay County, 60 percent of residents are covered by Medicaid. They voted for Republican Matt Bevin 71-27, and for Donald Trump 86-11. Neither Bevin, nor Trump, made their opposition to Obamacare secret.

As much as I hate to say it, I’m not sympathetic to the plight of people who did not oppose Trump and will suffer because of his evil Republican policies. At least they will be suffering the consequences of their own idiocy, unlike the plurality of Americans, who knew better, voted responsibly, and will still share equally in those sufferings. Responsible deserve relief first.

From The New Yorker: President-elect Donald J. Trump will no longer have day-to-day responsibility for driving his businesses into bankruptcy and will instead focus on bankrupting the country, one of his leading surrogates said on Wednesday.

Appearing on Fox News, Kellyanne Conway said that while Trump no doubt could “plunge both his businesses and the country into bankruptcy at the same time,” he feels that he “owes it to the American people to put them first.”

Acknowledging that Trump has no government experience, Conway said that his years of bankrupting a variety of companies would prove “invaluable” as he does the same to the United States.

Dang Andy! You’ve hit on a skill at which Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten will surely excel.

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Bernie Blasts Fuhrer to Conan

 Posted by at 2:06 pm  Politics
Nov 302016
 

From the beginning of the primary process to the present there had been no greater clarion of truth than Bernie Sanders.  In a discussion with Late Night's Conan O'Brien, Bernie blasted the tweeting twit, Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten of the Republican Reich.

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Conan O'Brien is also aware that President-elect Donald Trump has a Twitter account, and on Tuesday's Conan he asked guest Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for his reaction to Trump's latest "conspiracy tweets," about how millions of illegal voters robbed him of a popular-vote victory and his assertion that people who burn the American flag should face prison or a revocation of citizenship.

Sanders tackled them one at a time, starting with the tweet about illegal voters…

From <This Week>

Bernie didn't miss much, calling Trump delusional and totally insane. predicting that Trump will suppress voting rights and outlaw dissent, and worrying for the future of our country.

I worry too.  If only the protest voters and those who stayed home in protest against Hillary Clinton had listened to Bernie, held their noses and protected us against this catastrophe.  They didn't believe this could happen.  How foolish, since the Bridiots didn't believe it either.

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Nov 282016
 

There was a one week reprieve from the "5 Right-Wing Outrages This Week" series, and it now looks like Alternet author Janet Allon has a new series, the "Despicable Things …This Week", or words to that effect.  I'm sure Trump won't disappoint in providing suitable material for her new series.  Here is her second article, and like her previous series, guaranteed to have you doing deep sighs and shaking your head.

 

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Donald Trump spent Thanksgiving week leaking his potential cabinet picks, making Mitt Romney grovel and turning down security briefings. He also made the time to sit down with the New York Times to flatter and lie to them, which seemed to have inexplicably fooled the paper of record into saying look, he's not that bad. The… Continue reading »

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Nov 262016
 

The results of the recent election should teach us to keep informed and keep learning.  While most progressives likely know the lessons of this article, others don't . . . like perhaps the 62,000,000 who voted Republican and those who did not vote for whatever reason.  The right to vote is a sacred responsibility that needs to be practised.  Embrace your responsibility, learn lots, and practise.

WASHINGTON — By now, you've heard that a populist demagogue whose nativist agenda was supported by the alt-right and other white nationalist forces will be the next president. And your next thought might've been: "What?" With so many "isms" associated with supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, it's time for a refresher class on the ideologies and… Continue reading »

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Nov 262016
 

Well I fell asleep at the switch last night and did not get this finished as I had wanted.  The news is a bit slow but that will change as Trump makes his mark.  He has commented that we will see more proposed cabinet announcements next Friday.  In the interim, it is raining cats and dogs here and I should go out shortly, but I think I'll stay warm and dry.  I prefer my cats dry and purring . . . not a difficult choice.

MSN.com — Canada suddenly has its first hijab-wearing news anchor on commercial television.

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"For me, it's just a step forward in my career," Ginella Massa, who jumped at the chance to fill a vacant anchor chair at the CityNews network in Toronto last Friday night, tells The Hollywood Reporter. But when Massa ended the 11 p.m. newscast just before midnight and checked in with her assignment editor, they agreed Canada had also taken an even bigger leap forward for diversity.

"He said, was that a first? And I said, yes, I think it was, to have a woman in a hijab anchor the news in Canada," she recalls. So Massa marked her career milestone on her Twitter account and on Facebook, where she wrote: "That's a wrap! Thankful to have opportunities like this at a time when there is so much hate and vilifying of Muslims." 

I am very happy for this young woman, and for Canada.  But I am also sad because this should not be news . .  . it should be an everyday occurrence.  Skills should be the measure, not outward appearances.  May we see more barriers broken down!

The Nation — Donald Trump ran on a series of impossible promises, but enough people believed he could deliver on them that he won the Electoral College. His supporters are in for what might be the rudest awakening in recent political history.  

trump_supporters_california_rtr_imgDemonstrators hold signs in support of President-elect Donald Trump in Oceanside, California, November 11, 2016. (Reuters / Sandy Huffaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately after the election, the candidate who ran against the esreadtablishment, the guy who promised to “drain the swamp,” immediately surrounded himself with party hacks and lobbyists. He announced that Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, perhaps the most prominent face of the dreaded “establishment,” would be his chief of staff. Good-government advocates expect the Trump regime to gut what remains of our already tattered campaign-finance laws. Reuters reports that, “despite his professed opposition to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, President-elect Donald Trump is considering several of the major advocates of that war for top national security posts.” And as Politico’s Ben White put it, “a populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream.”

Trump’s not going to make coal cheaper than natural gas and bring back a bunch of mining jobs. He might be able to negotiate some new riders for NAFTA, but they’ll be guided by the same corporate lobbyists who effectively wrote it in the first place, and won’t do anything to bring back jobs that have been sent overseas. There will be no 35 percent tariff on imports from Mexico or China.

Click through for the rest of an interesting read.  As the author concluded, "What’s certain is that they’re headed for an epic case of buyers’ remorse."

Daily Beast — Fidel Castro  13/08/1926 – 25 /11/2016

Fidel Castro relinquished the presidency in 2008, handing power to his brother Raul after a period of illness. Since then he has gradually disappeared from public life, occasionally penning a column for the state newspaper, Granma.

Long after the heroism and mystique of the revolution has faded, Fidel Castro will likely be remembered for his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when civilization came as close as it has yet come to nuclear Armageddon. During that 13-day trilateral confrontation, while the world watched the stand-off on black and white television sets, behind the scenes Castro was furiously writing to his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev demanding that the Ukrainian press the button and incinerate us all by launching a first nuclear strike on the United States. “However hard and terrible the solution might be, there is no other,” wrote Castro. Thankfully Stalin’s former henchman, who by his own admission was “up to his elbows” in blood, chose not to heed Castro’s advice.

There is no doubt that Castro was a thorn in many people's sides, but probably more so in the US's side.  Being merely 90 miles off the south-east coast of the US, Cuba's Castro and the US came to verbal blows many times.  And of course there is the Cuban ex-pat community that grew in the US, particulary in Florida.  Some will celebrate his passing, others, not.  Reuters carried reactions from leaders and others around the world.  "[US] President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday called Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died on Friday night aged 90, a "brutal dictator who oppressed his people for six decades."

"While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve," Trump said in a statement."  President Barak Obama was much more conciliatory.

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Nov 232016
 

I posted 3 pieces yesterday, an Open Thread on 18/11/2016 and now another OT.  There is so much going on now that needs addressing and not enough time for it all.  Conway says Trump is disavowing the white supremacists and has been all through the campaign.  BS!!!  His advisors and cabinet choices say otherwise.  And what is worse for me, his poison is spreading here too!  I have known for years that we have our  own racists too . . . I have lived in areas where they hide.  But I refuse to be cowed by them.  There is no place in a civil society for racism, bigotry or discrimination of any kind. 

Short Takes

Montréal Gazette — Maxime Fiset was well on his way to becoming a neo-Nazi when he was arrested for inciting hatred.

Fellow skinheads had shaved his head for him, he had a Nazi flag in his room, draped over his copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and books on how to make a bomb, and he had founded the first organization and website in Quebec to bring all the right-wing extremists together — the Fédération des québécois de souche.   

But it wasn’t until his arrest at school in Quebec City, with brass knuckles in his pocket, that he truly became radicalized, he says — and planned to inflict maximum damage. 

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette the week after Donald Trump was elected, as swastikas appeared across the U.S. and in Canada, Fiset, looked back on how he joined the neo-Nazi movement — and how he got out. 

maxime-fiset

Looking for Answers

At 17, Fiset was in a loving home, was good at school, and had everything he needed. 

But he was looking for answers. He had a particularly influential, nationalist high school teacher, and learned about 20th century history, Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party.

He was also very much pro-independence and frustrated by what he perceived as the “weakening of Quebec culture” and the obstacles to independence — non-francophones and immigrants voting no. 

“I was naive, and searching for answers to questions pretty much everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives — about politics and democracy,” said Fiset.

“I thought the Nazi party answered those questions. It was simple, black and white, and that was seductive … I stumbled into it and got stuck.”

At the end of the school year, Fiset, already an imposing young man, got a job working security for the city, guarding Roland-Beaudin Park in Quebec City. One night he approached a group of skinheads to tell them to leave, but instead began talking to them. They were friendly, he said — and they introduced him to Stormfront.

Self-described as “a community of racial realists and idealists,” the Stormfront website features a weekly radio show hosted by white supremacists Paul Fromm and David Duke, as well as discussion threads on everything from “which religions are acceptable” to the vandalism at a mosque in Sept-Îles. (There is a Quebec Stormfront forum, as well as one specifically targeted to youth).

Though many of the other skinheads were mostly interested in “booze, women and (skinhead music) shows,” Fiset was lured in by the politics.

It is important to understand the underpinnings of a belief system before trying to combat it,  Fiset offers a glimpse into that understanding, a glimpse obtained from first hand experience.  We would do well to listen.  Click through for the rest of Fiset's story.

Daily Kos — According to news reports, and tweets from Kevin Allred, who is a lecturer at Rutgers University, in New Jersey where he teaches gender studies, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in New York City for “psychiatric evaluation” by NYPD police, from his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn NY. 

The NYPD had been contacted by Rutgers Campus Police who received a report from a student that Mr. Allred was “threatening to kill white people.”  

Allred is white.

Is this to be the new norm for daring to exercising the first amendment right to freedom of speech?

i said: would conservatives care as much abt the 2nd amendment if guns killed more white people? a question meant to expose double standard — Tweet of Kevin Allred 15 November 2016

Click through for the rest of this short piece.  Can you conceive of the first amendment being in danger?  I can and Trump vowed to curtail the freedom of the press, among other things, during his campaign.  He will be a vengeful, small minded little dictator.  On top of that, Washington State Senator Ericksen (R) has proposed a bill that would make protesting an act of economic terrorism.  Another assault on the first amendment.  The shit is going to hit the fan, and Trump has not even been sworn in yet.

Washington Post — President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to take on the government bureaucracy they have long railed against, by eroding job protections and grinding down benefits that federal workers have received for a generation.

Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.

These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the civil service was created.

“You have the country moving to the right and being much more anti-Washington than it was,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a leading Trump adviser who serves on the president-elect’s transition team.

“We’re going to have to get the country to understand how big the problem is, the human costs of it and why it’s absolutely essential to reform,” said Gingrich, who urged Trump to shrink big government and overhaul the “job-for-life” guarantee of federal work.

Gingrich predicted that Stephen K. Bannon, a former Breitbart News chief who helped steer Trump’s campaign and is now one of his most influential advisers, would lead the effort. “It’s a big, big project,” he said.

Click through for the rest.  I wonder if such can be applied to Representatives and Senators, most of whom would be Republicans, who did not do their jobs over the past 8 years.  They were paid well, had gold plate benefits, but certainly did not represent the interests of the people.  Waste and fraud could certainly be found in the Congress.

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