Bon Voyage

 Posted by at 1:33 pm  Politics
Jan 112017
 

0111Farewell

Last night I watched President Barack Obama say farewell to the nation.  Here is the complete video of that address, or, if you prefer, click here for a transcript.

As I watched, I could not help comparing what we are getting to what we are losing.  The only rational response was to shed tears.

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Obama Sanctions Putin

 Posted by at 12:19 pm  Politics
Dec 302016
 

I rarely find myself agreeing with Paul Ryan (R-WI), but when I first learned that Barack Obama was taking steps to punish Putin (R-RU) for trying to influence the the Fuhrer’s electoral-college only win, my reaction was, "It’s about time."  I understand Lyin’ Ryan said the same thing.  However, since his party opposed informing the American propel to begin with, he was probably lying for show, when he said it.

1230Trumpputin

President Barack Obama issued on Thursday a series of sanctions against Russia for its role in tampering in the United States presidential election through cyber-attacks that worked to benefit President-elect Donald Trump.

The executive actions included several elements. The United States closed down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes,” Obama announced. It also expelled 35 Russian diplomats described as “Russian intelligence operatives” by the president, calling them “persona non grata” and giving them 72 hours to leave the country. The president also issued sanctions on four top Russian intelligence officials, the Russian spy agencies GRU and the FSB, and “three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations.” The treasury department also issued economic sanctions against two men that were already on the FBI’s most wanted list for their alleged cyber crimes.

The New York Times reported that the sanctions against the intelligence officials were mainly symbolic, as such officials rarely conduct business in the United States or visit the country. Obama also hinted at other retaliatory gestures. “These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities,” his announcement read. “We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized.”

The intelligence officials expelled were removed in response to what the administration characterized as a campaign of harassment against U.S. diplomats in Russia. “The harassment has involved arbitrary police stops, physical assault, and the broadcast on State TV of personal details about our personnel that put them at risk,” State Department spokesperson Mark C. Toner said in a statement reported by the Washington Post.

Vladimir Putin’s government was promising to respond to the sanctions in kind and his embassy in the United Kingdom taunted Obama as a lame duck…

From <Slate>

MSNBC had some good coverage of the story.  In the Rachel Maddow Show, Ari Melber interviewed David Sanger.

Then on The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Steve Clemons, David Frum, and Richard Nephew.

A lot of the controversy about how much to reveal resolves around whether to reveal Sources and Methods.  It makes sense that if the Russians find out about how we obtained SIGINT, they will close those communications loopholes.  Worse yet, sources of HUMINT are people and if Putin discovers the identities of US agents, they will be dead faster that that a Republican will steal grandma’s pension.

However, I’ve hit on something the professional newscasters have missed.  Next week, the Fuhrer is taking time away from his main pursuits of tweeting and pussy grabbing to receive an intelligence briefing on the subject.  In that briefing, he will be told sources and methods.  You can be sure that he will transfer any damaging information about Sources and Methods to his Russian handlers to stop the flow of information about his treason.

Therefore I think Obama needs to give the American people the info, since Trump will give it to Putin anyway.

RESIST!!

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Dec 292016
 

News is still in short supply, unless one wishes to repeat the same stories, day after day, where only the individual identities of the targets of hatred from the Fuhrer and Republican Rectum Reich are new.  Nevertheless, I’m back in the saddle.  Yesterday’s bank run proved most interesting.  In the shower, Stumpy had bee3n hanging down without a shrinker, causing him to expand, and the hot water made it worse, so as I dressed to go out, Stumpy would not fit into George.  Thankfully, Wendy accompanied me to the bank, and in return, I treated her to burritos from a neighborhood food cart.  Fortunately George popped on without difficulty today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: As the Republican Congress prepares to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, gutting Social Security benefits for seniors and the disabled, and other measures to please their billionaire donor base, they are apparently deathly afraid of the American public seeing them do it, and even more afraid of allowing the public to see the Democrats’ response:

House members could be fined and referred to the Ethics Committee if they break rules governing electronic video and pictures in the House chamber under a new rule proposed by House Republicans more than six months after the Democrats’ guerrilla sit-in over gun control.

"Any subsequent offense will be assessed at the higher amount, regardless of whether it is connected to any other offense by time or proximity," part of the proposal reads.

The “fine" would be $500 for the "first offense" of photographing or videotaping, with $2500 for every "subsequent offense," according to the proposed Rule.

In addition, the new Republican rule would ban anyone from seeing organized protests by the opposition, because sit-ins in the House well will be banned as well.

The First Amendment is suspended for the Republican Rectum Reich.  RESIST!!

From Robert Reich: [Resident]-elect Donald Trump is accusing President Obama of putting up “roadblocks” to a smooth transition.

In reality, I think President Obama has been too cooperative with Trump.

In the waning days of his administration, I’d recommend Obama take the following last stands:

1. Name Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill any vacancy during the recess of the Senate. The Supreme Court is no exception: Justice William Brennan began his Court tenure with a recess appointment in 1956. Any appointments made this way expire at the end of the next Senate session. So if Obama appointed Garland on January 3, the appointment would last until December 2017, the end of the first session of the 115th Congress.

The Reich on the left is right. I shared one. Click through for the other six. I particularly like number three.  RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show:

Taking credit where credit is NOT dueVice President Biden’s Former Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein talks to Ari Melber about how Trump is trying to take credit for job growth when his policies could very well undermine his constituents.

 

You can be sure that, as soon as the Pumpkin Plutocrat is responsible for any economic developments, he will give "credit" for them to Democrats.  RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1229Cartoon

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Dec 262016
 

Wendy arrived yesterday at 2:00 PM.  In only four hours, we de-stunk the stinky TomCat, did our normal housekeeping chores, did the dreaded task and had Christmas dinner.  She brought fruit salad and fudge to go with the ham, Brussels sprouts Hollandaise, stuffing, and garlic bread that I made.  We had raspberry pudding cake for dessert.  She gave me a Broncos T-shirt and a beautiful quilt that she made herself.  I gave her an opal  necklace.  She doesn’t know it yet, but I also got her a Samantha Bee Thundercunt T-shirt, but it won’t be delivered until tomorrow.  The only downside is that a washer malfunctioned and ate four pairs of my briefs.  I was so pooped that I fell asleep during my Broncos game.  Because it’s a dead day for news, and because I’m tired, this is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:08 (average 5:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Agony:

1225Broncos10-Chiefs33

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Soon after his inauguration next month, President-elect Donald Trump will nominate someone to the Supreme Court, which has been hamstrung by a vacancy since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. There will be public debates about the nominee’s credentials, past record, judicial philosophy and temperament. There will be Senate hearings and a vote.

No matter how it plays out, Americans must remember one thing above all: The person who gets confirmed will sit in a stolen seat.

It was stolen from Barack Obama, a twice-elected president who fulfilled his constitutional duty more than nine months ago by nominating Merrick Garland, a highly qualified and widely respected federal appellate judge.

It was stolen by top Senate Republicans, who broke with longstanding tradition and refused to consider any nominee Mr. Obama might send them, because they wanted to preserve the court’s conservative majority. The main perpetrators of the theft were Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and Charles Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. But virtually all Republican senators were accomplices; only two supported holding hearings.

What Republicans did for nine months, Democrats must do for four years, using every parliamentary dirty trick in the book. RESIST!!

From Washington Post: Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving the president-elect a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office.

The estimated 103 judicial vacancies that President Obama is expected to hand over to Trump in the Jan. 20 transition of power is nearly double the 54 openings Obama found eight years ago following George W. Bush’s presidency.

Confirmation of Obama’s judicial nominees slowed to a crawl after Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015. Obama White House officials blame Senate Republicans for what they characterize as an unprecedented level of obstruction in blocking the Democratic president’s court picks.

What Republicans did for two years, Democrats must do for four years, using every parliamentary dirty trick in the book. RESIST!!

From YouTube (White House Channel): Weekly Address: Merry Christmas from the President and the First Lady

 

God! I’m going to miss him! If only Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians shared those Christian beliefs!

Cartoon!

1226Cartoon

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Dec 242016
 

The United Nations has a pretty good track record for voting overwhelmingly to censure both Arab States that have supported Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians, and Israel for atrocities against Palestinian civilian and occupation of Palestinian territory by force.  The problem is that one member of the UN Security Council with veto power has consistently vetoed only the actions taken against Israel.  Finally Obama directed our Ambassador to the UN to do the right thing at last.

1224Censure

Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.

The administration’s decision not to veto the measure reflected its accumulated frustration over Israeli settlements. The American abstention on the vote also broke a longstanding policy of shielding Israel from action at the United Nations that described the settlements as illegal.

While the resolution is not expected to have any practical impact on the ground, it is regarded as a major rebuff to Israel, one that could increase its isolation over the paralyzed peace process with Israel’s Palestinian neighbors, who have sought to establish their own state on territory held by Israel.

Applause broke out in the 15-member Security Council’s chambers after the vote on the measure, which passed 14 to 0, with the United States ambassador, Samantha Power, raising her hand as the lone abstention. Israel’s ambassador, Danny Danon, denounced the measure, and castigated the council members who had approved it…

From <NY Times>

MSNBC Interviewed Cal Perry for an explanation of the US abstention.

Note that the resolution does nothing to harm Israel.  It is merely a notice from the world that the current government’s attempts to take all the land by attrition instead of the two state solution guaranteed by treaty is illegal and immoral.

It’s important that you understand that not all Jews oppose this measure.  We hear mostly about AIPAC, but that most Jews fail to understand that organization is bankrolled and at least partially dominated by non-Jewish Republicans, especially Dominionist Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.  Here is the authentic voice of liberal American Jews.

1224J-streetJ Street welcomes the decision today by the Obama administration to abstain from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution, which reaffirms the need for a two-state solution and calls for a halt to actions by both sides that serve to undermine the prospects for peace.

The resolution is consistent with longstanding bipartisan American policy, which includes strong support for the two-state solution, and clear opposition to irresponsible and damaging actions, including Palestinian incitement and terror and Israeli settlement expansion and home demolitions.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only end based on mutual agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, and President Obama has repeatedly stated his opposition to the United Nations – or any other entity – imposing a binding resolution on the parties. He also has stated and demonstrated a commitment to vetoing UNSC resolutions that are one-sided or anti-Israel… [emphasis added]

From <J Street>

Finally, if you have any doubt, here’s the final proof.  Both Netanyahu and Trump oppose it.  Kudos to Obama!

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Dec 212016
 

Today is the shortest day of the year (except for Lona, who sometimes lives upside down and bass ackwards. We wish our Pagan friends a Cool Yule.  Today is a Wendy day, and I’m trying to write quickly, because she may come early, depending on what time she returns from Lost Wages.  I gave her $2 to bet for me, so I expect to be independently wealthy by tomorrow.  Happy Hump Day to al!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

Here’s the latest from the playoffs of our own fantasy football league.

15Playoffs

Congrats to Jack, Pam,k Robb and Vivian for winning and making it to the semifinals.  Rob, Squatch, Patty Monster, and Dusty have games to determine 5th – 8th places.  Seth and I have been kicked to the curb for the season.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (TYT Channel): Operation Democratic Backbone

 

I agree. Here’s the link to Operation Backbone.

From KP Daily Funnies: The Daily Show – Donald Trump’s Christmas (NOT HOLIDAY) Yule Log

 

They could not have been more appropriate.

From NY Times: President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban on portions of the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts.

While I appreciate what he has done the courts are still so packed with Republican cretins that I have little hope that it will survive. Nevertheless, we must RESIST!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

1221Cartoon

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