Once again, I’m getting a late start, because other tasks tied up my morning, so I’ll be brief.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:33 (average 4:55). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From YouTube: Trump Supporters Wave Russian Flags At CPAC
This was so embarrassing that Republicans are claiming that progressives handed out the flags as a dirty trick. I presume they are lying, as usual, but if true, they proved that hundreds of Putin’s Pervert’s supposedly most knowledgeable supporters, CPUKE attendees, are so stupid that they waved Russian flags during an investigation or the Reich without knowing it. RESIST!!
From The New Yorker: Saying “Enough is enough,” Republican senators on Friday angrily accused their constituents of “intentionally and opportunistically” using recent town-hall meetings as vehicles to express themselves.
One of the angriest Republicans, Senator Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, said he was “disgusted and offended” by the “flagrant exercise of freedom of speech” he witnessed at his town hall.
“The spectacle of people standing up, asking their elected representatives questions, and expecting them to answer is the most disgraceful thing I’ve ever experienced,” Cotton said. “This will not stand.”
Cotton accused “outside agitators” of sending voters to the town halls “to cynically exploit an obscure provision in the Constitution called the First Amendment.”
Rachel Maddow reports on a leaked DHS Intelligence report that finds that Donald Trump’s focus on countries in his Muslim ban is not a reliable way of targeting terrorists.
The Fuhrer tried to do what Crawford Caligula did, fix the intelligence around the policy. When it didn’t work, they tried to hide the real findings. Then came the wonderful leak of those findings. Now the Fuhrer likes folks to take a leak in him, but not that kind. RESIST!!
Today's cartoon is in honor of Residents Day. Banks and state government offices may be closed for Presidents Day, but the US does not have a President. Staff the analytics is fixed. What do you think?
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today's took me 4:32 (average 5:34). To do it, click here. How did you do?
This is insane! I also agree that execution is state-sponsored murder and could not support the death penalty even for the traitors that are selling-out our nation to Russia. RESIST!!
From Washington Post: British lawmakers are set to debate a call for U.S. President Donald Trump to be denied a state visit to the U.K. — but the Conservative government insists the invitation remains firmly in place.
Trump opponents plan to demonstrate outside Parliament in London as legislators hold a non-binding debate Monday. It comes in response to an online petition with more than 1.8 million signatures saying a formal state visit “would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
On state visits, foreign leaders are welcomed with royal pomp and military ceremony, and usually stay at Buckingham Palace as guests of Queen Elizabeth II.
Kudos to Labour! It would certainly not do for Her Majesty to be groped by Putin's Pervert. RESIST!!
From Daily Kos: Republican Sen. John McCain delivered a pretty stunning speech Friday at an international security conference in Germany in which the senator made clear that he views Donald Trump's presidency as a threat to the West's well-being and world order as a whole. Aaron Blake writes:
McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year — even more so than when Barack Obama was president — and proceeded to question whether the Western world will survive.
“In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”
McCain reportedly never attached his critique of the changing world order directly to Trump, but his prose were laced with references to the blurring of fact and fiction and a "hardening resentment" toward immigrants, refugees, and "especially Muslims."
But perhaps most notably, McCain painted a picture of a U.S. government at odds, and perhaps even at war, with its leader.
I think McCain,aka McConJov, is well intended but is conning himself that Trump is at odds with rest of the government, Both Lyin' Ryan and Bought Bitch Mitch, along with almost all in the Republican Reich, bend over, grab their ankles and cry Baa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a, whenever their Fuhrer calls, no matter how extreme the demand. RESIST!!
TGIF! I’m still running on a sleep deficit as humidity remains is 93%, having just dropped below 100% for the first time in three days, so I’m already fighting droopy eyelids. I hope you all have a peaceful, Republican-free weekend.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:15 (average 5:27). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From NY Times: Harry van Bommel, a left-wing member of the Dutch Parliament, had persuasive allies in convincing voters that they should reject a trade pact with Ukraine — his special “Ukrainian team,” a gleefully contrarian group of émigrés whose sympathies lay with Russia.
They attended public meetings, appeared on television and used social media to denounce Ukraine’s pro-Western government as a bloodthirsty kleptocracy, unworthy of Dutch support. As Mr. Van Bommel recalled, it “was very handy to show that not all Ukrainians were in favor.”
Handy but also misleading: The most active members of the Ukrainian team were actually from Russia, or from Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, and parroted the Kremlin line.
The Dutch referendum, held last April, became a battering ram aimed at the European Union. With turnout low, Dutch voters rejected the trade agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, delighting Moscow, emboldening pro-Russia populists around Europe and leaving political elites aghast.
It looks like Trump is not the only traitor Russia manipulates. Lona, how could Bommel be considered "left wing" by the Times, when he acts like a damned Republican? RESIST!!
From YouTube (GQ Channel): Is The Trump White House High? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann
In Keith’s choice between high or what, I actually have to answer "what". I gave not done drugs for over 30 years, but was a stoner in my day. I never dis a drug that could make someone as stupid, as deplorable, or as evil as the Potomac Puppet and his Reich. RESIST!!
From Salon.com: President Donald Trump’s new secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, doesn’t seem to have a lot of pull in the White House.
Despite a contentious nomination hearing in which Tillerson was confirmed by a party-line vote, Tillerson’s influence is so minimal that senior state department officials need to ask foreign diplomats about President Trump’s impending foreign policy decisions, according to a report by The Guardian. Tillerson has also avoided press questions, such as during his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. While this could simply be a residual habit from years running a secret multibillion dollar corporation, it could also be the result of Tillerson simply not being knowledgable about the Trump administration’s foreign policy plans.
It’s been a very busy day. Store to Door came early, and Wendy is coming this evening. There will be no Monthly Report for January and only a partial report for February. A screw-up at our HSP, the site that owns the servers where Politics Plus lives, trashed all the usage data that I collect to put in our Monthly Report from 1/12 through yesterday. It’s fixed now, but rather than risk that happening again, I signed up for Google Analytics and bought a plugin to incorporate it into the Dashboard that I, the Administrators and the Editors use. Next month I will have a redesigned Monthly Report for the partial month of February. Unlike with most plugins, I had to hand install the Pro version onto our servers, something I had not done before, so it took me several hours. I’m running way late.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:25 (average 4:31). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From The New Yorker: In a blistering attack on the media, President Trump said on Monday that the press has consistently refused to report the voices he hears in his head every day.
Trump praised the “really terrific information” he gets from the voices, which often speak to him when he is roaming the White House in his bathrobe in the middle of the night.
“They tell me that I won by the most votes ever and had the biggest Inauguration crowd ever,” Trump said. “These are fantastic voices and they’re doing a great job.”
Trump said the refusal to report what the voices tell him makes the media “the most dishonest people on earth.”
“There might be a hundred people protesting outside the White House, and at the exact same time, five hundred voices talking to me inside my head,” he said. “Guess which the press will write about?”
I wonder how a whole bunch of very stupid Trump voters are going to feel when they scream for ObamaCare to be repealed, until they realize their health insurance is gone. RESIST!!
From Raw Story: Historian Ron Rosenbaum spoke out this week about how President Donald Trump is using Adolf Hitler’s “playbook” from Mein Kampf for undermining democracy.
In a recent column for Los Angeles Review of Books, the author of Explaining Hitler breaks his silence about the recent U.S. election, and about how the “normalization” of Trump is strikingly similar to the Nazi Party’s march to power.
“What I want to suggest is an actual comparison with Hitler that deserves thought,” he writes. “It’s what you might call the secret technique, a kind of rhetorical control that both Hitler and Trump used on their opponents, especially the media.”
According to Rosenbaum, Trump is using the Mien Kampf “playbook” to throw the media off balance and to normalize actions and statements that would have been unthinkable just months ago.
“It looked like the right-wing parties had been savvy in bringing [Hitler] in and ‘normalizing’ him, making him a figurehead for their own advancement,” Rosenbaum notes. “Instead, it was truly the stupidest move made in world politics within the memory of mankind. It took only a few months for the hopes of normalization to be crushed.”
I’ve been saying the Fuhrer is using Nazi methods since he usurped the White House, but folks, who don’t know me, have no reason to believe me. Rosenbaum, on the other hand, is an expert. RESIST!!
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 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!
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.
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.
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?