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 172017
 

I'm writing late today to be sure that I'm up when Store to Door delivers my grocery order.  Wendy is coming this evening to de-stink the over-humidified TomCat and help with chores.  Tomorrow, please expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.  Comcast is coming in the early morning to install an upgraded cable modem and make sure all my wireless devices function properly with it.  Neighborhood House, the Nonprofit that covers around 15% of Wendy's care, is coming in the late morning for me to sign some paperwork.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:50 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): What’s Happening in Donald Trump’s Head? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

I have no doubt that Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten suffers from severe, acute Narcissistic Personality Disorder. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Amid concerns about Donald Trump’s fitness to be President, former President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he was willing to serve as “temp President” while Trump undergoes psychiatric evaluation.

“It would just be a temp thing,” Obama told reporters. “As soon as psychiatrists determine that Donald Trump is mentally stable and fit to serve as the most powerful officeholder in the world, I’d step aside.”

Obama said that he was a “logical choice” to serve as temp President because of his eight years in the White House. “For starters, I know how the light switches work,” he said.

Obama said that, once installed as temp President, he would look after the day-to-day running of the White House: “You know—vetoing bills, naming Supreme Court Justices, that kind of thing.”

From Andy's keyboard to God's eyes! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: Since entering office, President Trump has faced accusations that his District hotel is profiting from his presidency.

For a few minutes Monday night, projection artist Robin Bell tried to bring attention to the issue by shining light on it — a big, blue light.

Bell parked his van about 9:15 p.m. on 12th Street NW across the street from the west entrance of the Trump International Hotel. Bell and two friends then turned on a projector in the van and displayed animated anti-Trump messages about the president’s alleged conflicts of interest onto the upscale hotel’s facade.

Hotel security ordered him to shut off the projections after only a few minutes, but it was enough time for the messages to go viral on social media, garnering thousands of posts on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Kudos to Robin Bell. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0517Cartoon

Cartoon 5 years old today.  Republicans have not changed.

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May 122017
 

When it rains it pours.  I was up late last night just trying to figure out what the Rectum Reich is up to.  All I can say is TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:13 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): We Need the Help of Intel Agencies Around the World | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

Keith raises an excellent point, to which I would add one caveat. The release of foreign intelligence must come in the form of leaks. If, for example, a European government were to expose Trump officially, they would put themselves at risk of nuclear retaliation from the Tantrum Traitor. RESIST!!

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): How is this not Obstruction of Justice?

 

Kudos to Jeff Merkley. Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump on Thursday named Kris W. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who has pressed for aggressive measures to crack down on undocumented immigrants, to a commission investigating vote fraud, following through on his unsubstantiated claim that millions of “illegals” voted for his Democratic rival and robbed him of victory in the national popular vote.

Mr. Kobach, who has championed the strictest voter identification laws in the country, will be the vice chairman of the commission, which will be led by Vice President Mike Pence and is expected to include about a dozen others, including state officials from both political parties, said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary.

Mr. Trump signed an executive order on Thursday creating the commission, which Ms. Sanders said would have a broad mandate to review policies and practices that affect Americans’ confidence in the integrity of federal elections. Marc E. Lotter, Mr. Pence’s spokesman, said that voter suppression would be among the topics studied by the commission, which he said would take a wide-ranging look at problems at the state and national levels. But the order makes no mention of suppression or voting restrictions, specifying only “improper” or “fraudulent” registration and voting as issues to be explored.

OMG!  Kobitch?!!? Want to know what I think of Kobitch? Click here, here, here and here.  This will be a new high for voter suppression.  RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0512Cartoon

Name them after Republicans:  Hurricane Ammosexual, Hurricane Bankster, Hurricane Criminal…

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Apr 192017
 

I’m still in a lot of pain, but I did get some sleep last night and this morning, so I’ll try to publish, while waiting for my grocery delivery.  Wendy comes tonight to de3stink the TomCat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:37 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Proof that Donald Trump is Getting Crazier | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

If the Fuhrer is craziER, the Pope must be Catholic. RESIST!!

From The Last Word: Is the O’Reilly era at Fox News coming to an end?

New reports – including from Murdoch-owned WSJ – say Fox News may be close to cutting ties with Bill O’Reilly. NYC Public Advocate Letitia James is asking for a probe into the sexual harassment scandal. Media Matter’s Angelo Carusone also joins Lawrence O’Donnell.

 

Watching O’Lielly crash and burn puts a smile on my face. I’ve waited years for this. May Faux Noise, the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, follow him down. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Jon Ossoff, a Democrat making his first bid for elective office, narrowly missed winning outright in a heavily conservative House district in Georgia on Wednesday, throwing a scare into Republicans in a special congressional election that was seen as an early referendum on President Trump.

Mr. Ossoff received 48.1 percent of the vote, just short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win the seat, and he will face Karen Handel, the top Republican vote-getter, in a June runoff.

A documentary filmmaker and former congressional staff member, Mr. Ossoff, 30, had hoped to avert a runoff in the Sixth District, a Republican-dominated section of the Atlanta suburbs that had been represented by Tom Price, who is now Mr. Trump’s health and human services secretary. But despite his financial advantage — Mr. Ossoff had raised $8.3 million, more than quadruple that of the next-closest candidate — and a highly energized liberal base, a majority was just out of reach in a district that has not sent a Democrat to Congress since the Carter administration.

Now we need to win in December. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0419Cartoon

Republican Terrorism in action.

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Apr 152017
 

This is my only article today.  I’m still quite congested,  and I suspect that a lot of it is seasonal allergy and I need to control it without an upper respiratory relapse.  The rest of today’s free time must be spent preparing my Easter articles in advance to get them up early tomorrow, before Wendy arrives.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:54 (average 4:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Trump skimps on Syria, Afghanistan policy while blowing stuff up

Rachel Maddow reports on the continued confused messages from the Donald Trump administration about U.S. military policy in Syria and Afghanistan even as Trump enjoys positive media feedback for missiles and bombs directed at those countries.

 

Rachel told us what to look for this weekend. I pray that Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten lets the weekend pass without blowing shit up so he can watch it go boom! RESIST!!

From NY Times: Little more than a week before France’s presidential election, Marine Le Pen remains a front-runner after working hard to sanitize the image of her party, the National Front, and to distance it from the uglier associations of Europe’s far right.

But descriptions of the inner workings of her party by present and former close Le Pen associates, as well as court documents, raise fresh doubts about the success and sincerity of those efforts.

Even before Ms. Le Pen’s remarks this week denying France’s culpability in a notorious wartime roundup of Jews, recent revelations in the French news media, including a well-documented new book, revived nagging concerns about the sympathies of the woman who would be France’s next president.

I certainly does not hope that the French do not hand over their nation to Nazis in thrall to Putin [R-RU]. Only a nation of idiots would do that. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump is threatening to withhold Obamacare payments for 7 million of the most vulnerable people in this country as a way to bring Democrats to the negotiating table. Instead of working with them to strengthen and improve the Affordable Care Act, he’s threatening to inflict real, life-endangering harm, playing with people’s lives.

That setup leads to this CNN segment with commentators Jeffrey Lord and Symone Sanders on “New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.” As the two were discussing Trump’s cruel threat, Jeffrey Lord inexplicably tries to compare Donald Trump to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. And whelp, Symone Sanders goes there in response, saying “Let’s not equate Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. to the vagina-grabbing president of the United States”

 

Right on Simone Sanders!! MLK is to Trump as Jesus is to Satan. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0415Cartoon

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Apr 092017
 

I have been busy working on my mother's estate and getting ready to file her income taxes for last year.  Add teaching and physio and a few other things, life has been busy.  Now I have to arrange a visit to the dentist because I broke a tooth on Friday.  On the other hand, it is always a joy to come home to my three furbabes.

Short Takes

NY Times — Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate on Friday to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, capping a political brawl that lasted for more than a year and tested constitutional norms inside the Capitol’s fraying upper chamber.

The moment was a triumph for President Trump, whose campaign appeal to reluctant Republicans last year rested in large part on his pledge to appoint another committed conservative to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. However rocky the first months of his administration may have been, Mr. Trump now has a lasting legacy: Judge Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more.

“As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution,” the president said.

The final tally was 54-45 in favor of confirmation.

The confirmation was also a vindication of the bare-knuckled strategy of Senate Republicans, who refused even to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Merrick B. Garland, saying the choice of the next justice should belong to the next president.

Click through for the rest of the article.  Well, I think we all knew that Gorsuch would be confirmed if McConnell used the nuclear option and changed the Senate tradition of 60 votes for confirmation to SCOTUS to a simple majority.  McConnell did, and Gorsuch was. When the appointment is for life, in this case for at least 30 years, there should be a requirement for 60 votes to confirm.

Otherwords.org  Well in keeping with the above article, here is Khalil Bendib's take.

Cartoon removed pending clarification.

Strange fruit on the tree of liberty.

There will interesting times ahead with Gorsuch on the bench.

Otherwords.org If you didn't guess already, I am a fan of Khalil Bendib's work.  A picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe more.  With the failure of Drumpf's healthcare bill recently, he is beginning to tally up quite a list of failures.  Stay tuned for more!

Cartoon removed pending clarification.

Our "deal-maker" president isn't nearly as good as getting things done as he proclaimed.

And of course, before the healthcare failure, there was not one, but two attempts at banning Muslims from specific countries.  The first ban was quashed by Washington state US District Judge James Robart.  Of course, not to be outdone by a judge whom Drumpf castigated, Drumpf brought forward a second ban and it was shot down in spectacular fashion by Hawaii's US District Judge Derrick Watson.  Drumpf just tweaked the original ban and it was sent to the trash heap.  One can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig! 

Cartoon removed pending clarification.

You know what they say about putting lipstick on a pig.

YouTube — And now a few words from John Oliver.

 

John does have a way with words.

My Universe

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