Dec 142016
 

It now looks like Alternet author Janet Allon has a new series, the "Despicable Things …This Week", or words to that effect.  This is her third in the series and I am sure it is not her last.  Trump and the right wing nutjobs are not likely to disappoint in providing suitable fodder for her new series.  This article, like her previous series, is guaranteed to have you doing deep sighs and shaking your head.

The mind reels with the mounting horrors and the sheer pace at which they come. How could one mere week contain so many terrible and impulsive actions from a man who has managed to get elected leader? At the beginning of the week, Donald Trump did everything he could to completely piss off the Chinese government,… Continue reading »

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Dec 142016
 

The past few days have been somewhat boring as I stayed off the snow covered streets — my concern is other drivers because I know my driving abilities, but too many others don't understand driving to conditions.  I finally went out late Sunday afternoon only to have a man tell me I'd never get out of the parking slot, let alone the lot.  He watched as I backed out and was amazed.  Silly man didn't like a woman showing him how it's done no doubt.  Today was a beautiful  day, clear skies and lots of sunshine.  Temperatures are low with day's high -2 C (28 F).  Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same with  overnight plunging to -10 C (14 F). Ah, retirement!

Short Takes

CBC — For Angela Keizer, there's more than one Santa Claus — and they all wear steel-toed boots.

Last month the Dartmouth, N.S., woman was running out of options, out of money and fearing her family would soon be without a home.

Attempts to rebuild after a house fire came to a halt after problems with Keizer's contractor, but the unexpected generosity of strangers from as far away as Ontario has put the project back on track.

"Three weeks ago … I thought I was going to have to walk away," Keizer said Tuesday.  …

"I was always a trusting person before, and then when this disaster happened, that died. But there's so many people that have restored that faith. There's a lot of good people out there."

I could start off my comment with how these contractors are helping Keizer so that they get free advertising and more contracting jobs etc, and in so doing, wouldn't I be the "Grinch who stole Christmas"!  But that's not me.  This is a "feel good" story that has no other meaning than to celebrate that people can be compassionate and love their neighbours no matter how far away they live.

TIME — For nearly 17 months on the campaign trail, Trump did what no American politician had attempted in a generation, with defiant flair. Instead of painting a bright vision for a unified future, he magnified the divisions of the present, inspiring new levels of anger and fear within his country. Whatever you think of the man, this much is undeniable: he uncovered an opportunity others didn’t believe existed, the last, greatest deal for a 21st century salesman. The national press, the late-night comics, the elected leaders, the donors, the corporate chiefs and a sitting President who prematurely dropped his mic—they all believed he was just taking the country for a ride.

Now it’s difficult to count all the ways Trump remade the game: the huckster came off more real than the scripted political pros. The cable-news addict made pollsters look like chumps. The fabulist out-shouted journalists fighting to separate fact from falsehood. The demagogue won more Latino and black votes than the 2012 Republican nominee.

I was astonished that Trump was made Time's Person of the Year, but then I remembered the criteria.  As Jim Kelly, a Chief Editor of Time, put it in 2001: "Well, the classic definition of TIME's Person of the Year is the person who most affected the events of the year, for better or for worse. I think what has happened over the years is that the Man of the Year title, Person of the Year title, has become non-honorific. It was never meant to be solely that."  To no one's surprise, Trump sees it only as an honourific.  But then, narcissist that he is, that is the only way he is capable of seeing it.  There is no doubt that Trump has had an immense affect on the politics of the US, but unfortunately, IMO, it is all negative.  He is a demogogue, a narcissist, a liar, he is mendacious and arrogant.  He is not fit to be POTUS.  BTW, I heard Drumpf at a rally comment on being Time's Person of the Year, he called out "It should be Man of the Year.  What do you think ladies?"  Is there any doubt he is a misogynist!

Washington Post — The simmering distrust between Donald Trump and U.S. intelligence agencies escalated into open antagonism Saturday after the president-elect mocked a CIA report that Russian operatives had intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help him win.

The growing tensions set up a potential showdown between Trump and the nation’s top intelligence officials during what some of those officials describe as the most complex threat environment in decades.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Central Intelligence Agency had determined that Russia had intervened in the presidential election not just to make mischief but to boost Trump’s chances.

Trump’s reaction will probably deepen an existing rift between Trump and the agencies and raised questions about how the government’s 16 spying agencies will function in his administration on matters such as counterterrorism and cyberwarfare. On Friday, members of Trump’s transition team dismissed the CIA’s assessments about Iraq’s stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

“Given his proclivity for revenge combined with his notorious thin skin, this threatens to result in a lasting relationship of distrust and ill will between the president and the intelligence community,” said Paul Pillar, former deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

President-elect Donald Trump as well as Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Dec. 11 reacted to the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened to help Trump win the election.

The CIA's report into Russian activities related to the US election was leaked to the public last Friday, although top congressional leaders had seen it behind closed doors in September.  Trump is still denying the report as the work of the Democrats.  He says there is no evidence.  He puts no stock in the advice of the intelligence community, a community that historically has credence with conservatives.  He's smarter than them . . . just ask him!  It is going to be a long four years if the Electoral College doesn't do it's constitutional duty.

CBC — We went looking for them as part of a report on the proliferation of extreme-right, xenophobic and anti-Semitic groups in Hungary, clothing themselves as nationalist defenders of the land. It didn't go well.

The bikers' leader, Imre Meszaros, demands the right to veto the work of journalists who interview him, even presents them with a legal document to sign right off the bat.

We didn't agree, but met with him at his apartment in a well-to-do suburb of the Hungarian capital in the hopes of changing his mind.

Meszaros was soon raising his voice, pointing fingers in our faces and railing about the fickle media.

After a brief off-the-record chat, we ended the conversation and said goodbye. But not before Meszaros stepped into the elevator with us to warn there would be "consequences" if the conversation was reported anywhere.

It wasn't a threat, he said, just "information," and he has friends in Canada, the Hells Angels.

I told him I know a threat when I hear one, and the non-interview was over.

Later he emailed our translator, making the same threat. Intimidation of the media is a hallmark of the extreme right in Hungary.

We have Hungary reverting to its fascist past when it worked in league with the Nazis to eliminate Jews and Roma.  How many times will we ignore this resurgence of fascism before we take action as a global community?

Politico — On a presidential debate stage five years ago, Rick Perry blanked on the Energy Department's name when trying to include it in a list of agencies he promised to abolish — memorably concluding with "oops."

Now Donald Trump has chosen the former Texas governor to lead the sprawling department, which oversees the security of the nation's nuclear weapons and has played major roles in President Barack Obama's climate agenda and nuclear deal with Iran. Three sources close to the transition confirmed the choice Tuesday.

Conservatives had favored the former Texas governor for the job, viewing him as someone with management experience who would be willing to question the agency’s status quo. They believe Perry might bring serious reform to the agency because he isn't wedded to energy programs, such as DOE's fossil and efficiency offices, that conservatives have criticized as unnecessary, market-distorting schemes.

There is only one thing to say to Drumpf's announcement — OOPS!!!!

My Universe They can get along.  Why can't humans?

"Momma" PeppaPeppa's kittens

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Dec 122016
 

Last night I slept very poorly.  City street cleaning equipment was scraping the asphalt6 and making such a terrible racket that it awakened me shortly after midnight, and I could not get back to sleep.  OGIM!!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 7:51).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The AP has a story about a Trump voter that lost her property due to foreclosure by Mnuchin.  As I predicted yesterday.  Those foreclosures screwed a lot of people including many Trump voters.  Perhaps they will learn not to vote against their own interests.  Will this be the first of many such stories?  I can hope.  How might one get a list of people foreclosed by OneWest, reportedly thousands, to find more examples of this buyers remorse?

When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

The buyers’ remorse is just starting, but don’t feel sorry for Colebrook. Feel sorry for the millions her stupidity is helping to destroy.

From NY Times: President-elect Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns during the campaign and there is no sign that he will, ever. He broke longstanding tradition and set a terrible precedent for future presidential candidates.

Good government groups have been wringing their hands about what to do. Now comes an excellent idea from a New York State senator, Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan, that would could force candidates to disclose their tax returns by making it a requirement for getting on the ballot.

Mr. Hoylman says that he plans to introduce a bill that would require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to disclose up to five years of their tax returns 50 days before the general election. The state’s Board of Elections would publish the returns on its website.

Candidates who fail to provide the documents would not appear on the state ballot and the state’s Electoral College electors could not vote for them. This is a smart proposal not just for New York but for other states as well. Even if a handful of states imposed the requirement, all major party nominees would have to disclose their tax returns.

This is an excellent idea and I fully support it. I could certainly prove useful, if the US has elections in the future.

From Washington Post: Donald Trump is talking about Taiwan again — and so is China in angry and mocking comments Monday that questioned whether the president-elect grasps a core element of relations between the world’s top economic powers.

In an interview broadcast Sunday, Trump said the United States would not necessarily be bound by the One China policy — the diplomatic understanding that underpins ties between Washington and Beijing, and leaves China’s rival Taiwan on the diplomatic sidelines with the United States.

Trump suggested the policy could be revisited unless America could “make a deal,” potentially on trade between the two countries.

The remark elicited an sharp response from Beijing, with the Foreign Ministry expressing “serious concern” and a party-controlled newspaper calling the president-elect “as ignorant as a child.” By appearing to treat Taiwan as just a bargaining chip for trade deals, he may also have irked Taipei, experts said.

If I start selling NBC suits, I could make a fortune from this Republican deplorable diplomacy.

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Now we know what Teabag Thomas and co-Fuhrer Putin have in common.

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Dec 092016
 

It’s been a day for surprises.  Late this morning, Store to Door called to tell me that my grocery order was cancelled, because my regular driver is snowed-in.  I asked them, if there was any way they could put my order, which had already been shopped, onto another route, because confined to a wheelchair, I have no way to get out for emergency supplies.  They checked and said they could, but my food would probably not come until between 4:00 and 5:00 PM.  So I got an intentionally late start writing to be finished later.  Just as I started writing, Store to Door came several hours early.  I’m not complaining.  I’m just grateful to have my food.  One year ago today, I came home from three months in the hospital.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:55 (average 6:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Let’s Take a Look at Trump’s Cabinet of Villains | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

After the November disaster, I had nightmares about the Fuhrer’s Reich. I’m sorry to share that the coming reality is far worse.

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Poll shows Trump voter gap with facts, rest of Americans’ views

 

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten is watching you!

From NY Times: World War II and Korean War hero. First American to orbit the Earth. Kennedy family friend and confidant. The only four-term senator in Ohio history. An astronaut again at the age of 77.

Newspaper writers and evening news broadcasters will detail John Glenn’s one-of-a-kind biography — and most of them will surely observe that his passing on Thursday at the age of 95 marks “the end of an era.”

Rest in Peace, Hero!

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Dec 062016
 

It’s 36° in chilly Portland with a low of 25° forecast tonight.  Fortunately the heat is working properly.  I hope you survived Monday with a minimum of suffering.  Today is grocery order day, but because of a Fred Meyer event, Store to Door can’t shop and deliver until Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:31 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

13Scores

Once again, there must be a tear in the space-time continuum, because I actually won!

Standings:

13Standings

Congrats to Rob for leading the league.  I’m still in the cellar.  This coming week is the last of our regular season.  After that, the top eight teams enter three weeks of playoffs.  I actually have a long-shot chance of sliding into eighth place.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In his first public statement since Donald Trump chose him to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson said on Monday that the Bible “makes absolutely no mention of housing or urban development.”

Carson said that, when Trump initially asked him to accept the post, “the first thing I did was check the Bible to see if there was anything about housing or urban development in there, and much to my dismay there was not.”

“As you can well imagine, I did not want to be in charge of something that the Bible does not condone,” he said. “But then I realized that perhaps the Lord wants me to take this job so that I can banish housing and urban development from the earth.”

Andy, that’s not too far from the truth. He has said that forbidding racial discrimination in housing is "Communist" and must be stopped.

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Trump is Steering Us Toward International Disaster | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Amen Keith! God help us!

From NY Times:

Edgar M. Welch, a 28-year-old father of two from Salisbury, N.C., recently read online that Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in northwest Washington, was harboring young children as sex slaves as part of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton.

The articles making those allegations were widespread across the web, appearing on sites including Facebook and Twitter. Apparently concerned, Mr. Welch drove about six hours on Sunday from his home to Comet Ping Pong to see the situation for himself, according to court documents. Not long after arriving at the pizzeria, the police said, he fired from an assault-like AR-15 rifle. The police arrested him. They found a rifle and a handgun in the restaurant. No one was hurt.

In an arraignment on Monday, a heavily tattooed Mr. Welch, wearing a white jumpsuit and shackles, was ordered held. According to the criminal complaint, he told the authorities that he was armed to help rescue children but that he surrendered peacefully after finding no evidence that “children were being harbored in the restaurant.” He was charged with four counts, including felony assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a gun without a license outside a home or business.

Unbeknown to Mr. Welch, what he had been reading online were fake news articles about Comet Ping Pong, which have swollen in number over time. The false articles against the pizzeria began appearing on social networks and websites in late October, not long before the presidential election, with the restaurant identified as being the headquarters for a child-trafficking ring.

The articles were soon exposed as false by publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the fact-checking website Snopes. But the debunking did not squash the conspiracy theories about Comet Ping Pong — instead, it led to the opposite.

For the record, Comet Ping Pong is owned by a gay man and has been used as a venue for Democratic functions. That’s why Trump’s deplorables and Alt-Right Nazis at 4chan targeted it for violence.

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Republicans are working hard for de facto repeal.

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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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