Feb 172017

I'm back again with two posts, although one was finished last night and this the second.  Do you ever sit reading and then figure you've read this before?  The chaos and confusion in the Drumpfenfarten administration is so profuse, constant really, that it is difficult to see where one episode finishes and another starts.  Additionally, they all look and feel the same to me — one gigantic blur of Drumpfian stupidity!  It is so bad that I put a newspaper down on the floor beside my bed and one of my furbabes peed all over Drumpf's picture!  Am I a good mum for teaching my furbabes good values, or what?!

Short Takes

NY Times — President Trump plans to assign a New York billionaire to lead a broad review of American intelligence agencies, according to administration officials, an effort that members of the intelligence community fear could curtail their independence and reduce the flow of information that contradicts the president’s worldview.

The possible role for Stephen A. Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, has met fierce resistance among intelligence officials already on edge because of the criticism the intelligence community has received from Mr. Trump during the campaign and since he became president. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump blamed leaks from the intelligence community for the departure of Michael T. Flynn, his national security adviser, whose resignation he requested.  …

Mr. Feinberg, who has close ties to Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, declined to comment on his possible position.  …

Bringing Mr. Feinberg into the administration to conduct the review is seen as a way of injecting a Trump loyalist into a world the White House views with suspicion. But top intelligence officials fear that Mr. Feinberg is being groomed for a high position in one of the intelligence agencies.  …

On an array of issues — including the Iran nuclear deal, the utility of NATO, and how best to combat Islamist militancy — much of the information and analysis produced by American intelligence agencies contradicts the policy positions of the new administration. The divide is starkest when it comes to Russia and President Vladimir V. Putin, whom Mr. Trump has repeatedly praised while dismissing American intelligence assessments that Moscow sought to promote his own candidacy.

Drumpfenfarten appears to only want "yes men" around him, the kind that will tell him what he wants to hear, not what he needs to hear.  Feinberg is from Cerberus Capital.  An interesting bit of trivia — Cerberus, in Greek mythology, is the multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.  One wonders then what Feinberg's true role might be and just how much power he might have.

CBC — I was in Egypt when President Donald Trump signed the controversial executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The prevailing feeling on the ground at the time: relief. Egypt wasn't on the list. But some people were concerned: "Are we next?"

Most of the coverage of the ban — which has since been suspended — and its implications has, naturally, been centred on the U.S., where people have been detained for hours in airports and the president continues his crass battle with his own judiciary.

But the way that groups in the Middle East have reacted to the ban is of at least equal importance.

The general sentiment on social media accounts was that the West was waging a war against Islam, and if you had any doubt about that before, Trump's "Muslim ban" was now the ultimate proof. (Radio-Canada)

The 'blessed ban'

As soon as the executive order was announced, I checked the blogosphere of the jihadi community, which prescribes waging a "holy war" against non-believers of Islam. The general sentiment on social media accounts was that the West was waging a war against Islam, and if you had any doubt about that before, Trump's "Muslim ban" was now the ultimate proof.

This is an opinion piece by Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian born Canadian citizen who is an award winning journalist. For me, his perspective is important.  Fahmy was arrested 29/12/2013 in Egypt on bogus charges along with 2 other journalists.  He was finally pardoned on 23/09/2015 and returned to Canada 06/10/2015.  You can check out his short bio in Wikipedia.  If anyone can understand the minds of ISIS members and provide insight, Fahmy can. Others have said the same thing, but Drumpfenfarten does not listen.  He should stop listening to the voices in his head and listen instead to people like Fahmy, people who know what the hell is going on.

The Nation — Trump’s administration is so awash in scandal and obvious incompetence that less than one month into his presidency, 46 percent of Americans now favor his impeachment. And Trump’s critics, energized and empowered by a movement moment that is eclipsing the emergence of the Tea Party eight years ago, are turning the desperation of his apologists to their advantage. Case in point: After Elizabeth Warren was shut down on the Senate floor as she read a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King rebuking then-Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice for attorney general, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell grumbled, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Within minutes, the King letter had gone viral; within hours, Nevertheless, She Persisted had become a slogan on T-shirts and posters; and within days, Katy Perry was wearing a Persist armband at the Grammy Awards.  …

So when they push, the right response is to push back—just as Warren did when she issued the following response to McConnell and company on Twitter: “Consider this MY warning: We won’t be silent. We will speak out. And we WILL persist.” [emphasis added]

Drumpfenfarten and his sycophants don't hold a candle to people like Senator Elizabeth Warren who speak out, speak up, resist and persist!!








My Universe


A young TC post chili dinner!

Feb 142017

It has been quite a while since I last posted any articles, so long that it feels foreign to me.  I was very busy going back and forth to my mother's care home.  I would sit with her for hours every day.  But that came to an end with my mother's passing, age 88, on 04 February 2017 from bronchial  pneumonia.  I have a lot to do now with her estate.  But most of what I need to do is not urgent.  I wanted to get back to posting but I have been just too tired this past month.  I did however save a few links that I thought were interesting, and some humourous.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Despite Donald Trump’s transition from developer to reality star to president of the United States, his wardrobe and temperament haven’t changed a bit. 

Though no one seems to be able to do anything about his disposition, GQ decided to step in and give Trump a YUGE presidential makeover in a hilarious new video. The men’s magazine trolls the president BIGLY with advice on how to solve his slouchy suits, Scotch-taped ties and wrinkled pants. They even offer tailoring tips to make his hands look bigger.


I cracked up when I saw this.  Alas though, nobody can fix the personality . . . not even GQ.  Enjoy!

YouTube — John Oliver is back and explores Drumpfenfarten's acquaintance with truth.

Washington Post — To celebrate the 62nd anniversary of a school in northern Taiwan, students were invited to choose historical figures and “cosplay” them at a parade Friday.

Liu Hsi-cheng, a history teacher at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School, suggested to his homeroom class that they go with famous people from Arabic culture, he told the Taipei Times.

But Liu's students had another idea: a theme based on Adolf Hitler.

Liu warned his students that such a theme would be “very controversial,” the paper reported — but ultimately “chose to respect the students' decision and did not veto it” after the class voted on it twice.

On Friday, students from the school in Hsinchu, about 55 miles southwest of Taipei, showed up to the festivities wearing Nazi uniforms and brandishing signs, arm bands and long red banners with swastikas on them.

I was flabbergasted when I saw this piece.  The teacher, IMO, missed an excellent opportunity to educate the students about history and ethics.  Is it any wonder why Drumpfenfarten would like speaking with the head of state of Taiwan against the "One China" policy that Obama and others had maintained?  Click through for the rest of the story.

MSN.com — If you thought the yellow brick road was cool, then you are going to love one road France just paved. 

can't embed the video but I thought this was really cool, and so proactive, something we won't see in the US with the current administration, and not likely in Canada either.  Click on MSN.com.

CBC — Australian researchers have observed two specimens of a rare sea dragon that's never before been seen alive.

Sea dragons aren't very common, found in the waters off the coast of southern Australia. For some time, only two types were known: the leafy sea dragon and the common sea dragon (sometimes also called the weedy sea dragon).

Then, in 2015, PhD student Josefin Stiller discovered that four samples collected over the years — the first in 1919 — had been misclassified as a common sea dragon. Instead, it was its own species, named the ruby sea dragon.

One more reason why we need to protect the oceans as habitats and as life affirming bodies.  Click through for more of this fascinating creature.

My Universe

 . . . and not to leave out the canines . . . 

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

Nov 282016

It is still raining cats and dogs and my arthritis is running wild.  I managed to make some barley vegetable soup and I can smell it through out the house.  I know what is for supper tomorrow night.  Homemade soup and the knowledge that I won my Fantasy Football match this week will keep me going.  Sorry Viv but that FF win feels really good.  This is a busy week coming up so I'd best get this posted.

Short Takes

LA Times — Donald Trump is branded with all manner of unflattering labels, but one that hasn’t seemed to much bother him is “climate pariah.”

The president-elect is unabashed in his disdain for America’s global warming policy. He has placed a staunch climate-change doubter and antagonist of mainstream science in charge of reshaping — or as Trump has suggested, dismantling — the Environmental Protection Agency. He has talked frequently about reneging on the historic Paris global climate treaty the U.S. took a lead in drafting. And he has said he wants every federal green-energy program eliminated.  …

coal-trucks-leaving-pacificorp-power-plant-huntington-utahCoal trucks leave a power plant operated by PacifiCorp, Huntington, Utah. (George Frey/Getty Images)

Major U.S. trading partners that signed on to the nearly 200-nation accord reached in Paris last year are already signaling that they will retaliate if the United States backs out, possibly by slapping environmental trade tariffs onto some American products.

None of those potential consequences faze the free-market think tanks urging Trump to go rogue. Just weeks ago, these groups were on the lonely fringe, pursuing an agenda written off as wacky by the mainstream science community, but now find themselves helping drive policy at the highest levels.

There are multiple consequences for every decision and they must be weighed carefully.  With Trump vowing to be a climate change denier extrordinaire threatening to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, other countries could step in to fill the void and the US could suffer sanctions.  One upmanship has its drawbacks.  With Trump at the helm, is the US in danger of losing its self anointed title of "leader of the free world"?

NY Times — President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Sunday that he had fallen short in the popular vote in the general election only because millions of people had voted illegally, leveling the baseless claim as part of a daylong storm of Twitter posts voicing anger about a three-state recount push.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Mr. Trump wrote Sunday afternoon.

The series of posts came one day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it would participate in a recount effort being undertaken in Wisconsin, and potentially in similar pushes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, by Jill Stein, who was the Green Party candidate. Mr. Trump’s statements revived claims he made during the campaign, as polls suggested he was losing to Mrs. Clinton, about a rigged and corrupt system.

As usual, Trump is making accusations without evidence to support them, and proving just how vindictive and sniveling he is.  It is going to be a long four years unless it is cut short by some means.

Daily Beast — Ben Carson spent the weekend thinking about his offer to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Donald Trump’s administration, and if he accepts, the retired neurosurgeon could complicate progress made on anti-housing discrimination laws during the Obama administration.


While it is somewhat unclear as to what Carson’s goals would be in the position, he has criticized a recent HUD fair housing rule, which requires local communities to assess patterns of income and racial discrimination in housing.

He has referred to the rule, known as “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” as a “mandated social-engineering scheme,” and in one instance said it was indicative of policy in a “communist” country.

From Wikipedia:

In his book America the Beautiful (2013), he wrote: "I believe it is a very good idea for physicians, scientists, engineers, and others trained to make decisions based on facts and empirical data to get involved in the political arena."

A novel concept for a Republican, making decisions based on facts and empirical data.  Hmmm . . .

My Universe —



14233185_1794382067496608_4131701842428868584_nTomorrow is Monday!





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. 


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.

My Universe





Nov 192016

Today has been "one of those days".  I slept late and then spent play time with my three cats which was very relaxing.  It was hard to tear myself away from my furballs, but I did.  After our play time I spent several hours at the local hospital visiting some of our church members who are on my pastoral care list.  One lady, who I call my second mum, did not look like herself at all when I first went in, but that soon changed and we had a wonderful visit talking a lot about her oldest grandson who was in my Sunday School class 20 years ago.  This weekend, I will be visiting my mother and hoping Patty Monster does not kick my butt at Fantasy Football!

Short Takes

CBC — President-elect Donald Trump on Friday named his earliest and staunchest supporter in the Senate, conservative Republican Jeff Sessions, to become the next U.S. attorney general, triggering an outcry from civil rights groups as well as some conservatives outside Congress who are uneasy about Sessions' positions.


Sessions is one of three senior leaders Trump has appointed  to his national security and law enforcement teams, including Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director and retired Lt.-Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser.

If approved for the job by a simple majority in the Republican-dominated Senate, Sessions, 69, would lead the Justice Department and the FBI. He brings a record of controversial positions on race, immigration and criminal justice reform that Democrats may target.

OMG!!! or WTH(F)!!!  Can there be any other first reaction to Trump's choice of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General?  Sessions has a reputation as an unabashed racist.  From Wikipedia:

"In 1986, Reagan nominated Sessions to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. … At Sessions' confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, four Department of Justice lawyers who had worked with Sessions testified that he had made several racist statements in the context of the Marion Three case. One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people"."

Sessiions has 4 years left in his Senate term which as I understand means that Alabama will appoint another person  (read Republican) to complete the term or run a byelection.  In 2014, Sessions ran essentially uncontested and received 97.25% of the vote, while in 2008 he received 63.36%, far ahead of his Democrat opponent.  I think we should have concerns over civil rights investigations and prosecutions.  Click through for the rest of the article.

Daily Kos — Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin opened the upper house of the Irish legislature (Seanad Éireann) with a statement about the United States’ election of Donald Trump. Mr. Riordáin was responding to the hypocritical congratulatory reactions from fellow Irish politicians. Riordáin opened by quoting the Irish statesman, Edmund Burke.

The only way evil can prosper if for good men to do nothing.

It is good to know that other countries are looking at Trump's ascendancy to POTUS and recognising it for what it is . . . a fascist takeover of the US government.  Il Duce Trump.

Fiscal Times (MSN) — Throughout the presidential election, now-President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to undo the financial service industry reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Act. The Trump transition team’s website makes it clear that the issue hasn’t been forgotten, saying that Trump will work to “dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies.”

In an appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen delivered her verdict on the suggestion: bad idea.

Yellen was delivering regularly scheduled testimony before the Joint Economic Committee when she was asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for her thoughts on the law that placed new restrictions on the financial services industry in the wake of the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.

Although Yellen does not mention Trump by name, she responds to his proposal to gut financial regulations (Dodd-Frank), she is very clear that this will send the country into a deeper recession than 2008, and we all know how that turned out.  Thank goodness Sanders and Warren are still strong in the Senate.  Although I have not specifically heard anything, it would not surprise me find that Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau becomes "unemployed", unfortunately.

Daily Beast — John Oliver, like most liberal comedians, did his damnedest to prevent Donald Trump and Mike Pence from reaching the White House. He tore apart the former reality-show host for bragging about sexually assaulting women, explained how his scandals were far worse than Hillary Clinton’s, and even offered up his Emmy to Trump if he’d deliver a concession speech and ensure a peaceful transfer of power upon losing.

Well, Trump managed the unthinkable: He won. He is now the president-elect. And Oliver, like more than half of Americans who cast their ballot, is shocked and terrified. 

“It’s true! That happened!” he exclaimed. “It turns out, instead of showing our daughters that they could someday be president, America proved that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world.”

We can always count on John Oliver for some good commentary.  He is so spot on!

My Universe — I don't know the story behind all of these pictures, and a few may well have been staged, but just the thoughts of what is happening, people helping other people or animals is enough to give one hope.  Click through for the remainder.

faith-in-humanity-3Jacqueline Kiplimo, the world-class marathon runner, slowed for several miles to help a disabled man drink. She sacrificed the $10,000 prize for finishing first.