As an antiwar activist from my early teens on, I have opposed every war that the US has undertaken during my lifetime. However, I have always believed that service people are not responsible for starting wars, so loving warriors is equally important with hating war. I have always honored the service of our troops and supported measures for their care. That is not so for Republicans. They claim that we, who oppose war, do not support our troops, but Republican support is only so far as using them as cannon fodder. When Putin’s Pervert disrespected four dead special forces troops and their families, he evaded and projected by lying about Obama’s support.
President Trump falsely asserted on Monday that his predecessor, Barack Obama, and other presidents did not contact the families of American troops killed in duty, drawing a swift, angry rebuke from several of Mr. Obama’s former aides.
Mr. Trump was responding to a question about why he had not spoken publicly about the killing of four Green Berets in an ambush in Niger two weeks ago when he made the assertion. Rather than answering the question, Mr. Trump said he had written personal letters to their families and planned to call them in the coming week. Then he pivoted to his predecessors.
“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference in the Rose Garden with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. “A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate.”
Mr. Trump’s assertion belied a long record of meetings Mr. Obama held with the families of killed service people, as well as calls and letters, dating to the earliest days of his presidency. Before he decided to deploy 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, Mr. Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to greet the coffins of troops…
Rachel Maddow discussed Trump’s disrespect and lies in detail.
In my opinion, Trump may have feared that GOP mismanagement of the military might spark an investigation. After all, had Hillary been elected before this happened, Republicans at all levels of government would be screaming "BENGHAZI!!" through force of habit. On the other hand, Trump may not have notices, because he was too busy spending his free tokens from the Kremlin on a webcam girl from FullRussianHookers.com. Either way, our troops deserve better than anything the GOP will do.
One of Barack Obama’s greatest achievements, given Republican obstruction and sabotage of everything he did, no matter how necessary, was Clean Power Plan. Since saving the lives of poor people and producing clean power for less are both against Republican policy, they are introducing their own alternative: the Dirty Power Plan.
The Trump administration will scrap the Clean Power Plan (CPP), President Obama’s signature environmental policy aimed at fighting climate change, confirming earlier reports of such a move.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said at an event in Kentucky he will sign a proposed rule on Tuesday "to withdraw the so-called clean power plan of the past administration."
The Clean Power Plan, which focused on cutting emissions from coal-burning power plants, was a major target of the current administration’s regulatory rollbacks. In March, President Trump signed the Executive Order on Energy Independence that called for a review of the CPP, which he considers a "war on coal."
And in June, Trump infamously announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, a global action plan to limit temperature rise to well below 2°C to avoid dangerous climate change. Without the CPP, the U.S. will not live up to its pledge made in Paris…
Yesterday’s 98° high set another new record for the date. Today’s forecast 100° promises to do the same. The AC keeps it bearable in my room, but the temperature in bathroom with the handicapped shower is currently 85°. Wendy is due in about 45 minutes to de-stink the putrid TomCat. As I noted before, I think the TomCat will have to de-stink Wendy too. Later: It was so hot that Wendy was happy to throw on a swimsuit, so we could drench each other with a cool spray. What fun!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 5:32 (average 7:41). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Daily Kos: Former President Barack Obama used his Facebook page to deliver a message to Republicans as they consider dismantling the Affordable Care Act, “step back and measure what’s really at stake.” Read his thoughtful, heartbreaking statement on the attempt to take away health care coverage from tens of millions of Americans:
Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.
I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.
Thank you, Mr. President. Click through for the rest. It’s worth it. RESIST!!
From NY Times: …On Thursday, Senate Republicans joined their House colleagues in proposing steep cuts to Medicaid, part of the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives hope to roll back what they see as an expanding and costly entitlement. But little has been said about what would happen to older Americans in nursing homes if the cuts took effect.
Under federal law, state Medicaid programs are required to cover nursing home care. But state officials decide how much to pay facilities, and states under budgetary pressure could decrease the amount they are willing to pay or restrict eligibility for coverage.
“The states are going to make it harder to qualify medically for needing nursing home care,” predicted Toby S. Edelman, a senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “They’d have to be more disabled before they qualify for Medicaid assistance.”
States might allow nursing homes to require residents’ families to pay for a portion of their care, she added. Officials could also limit the types of services and days of nursing home care they pay for, as Medicare already does.
Click through. If it passes, RepubliCare will force many seniors out of their nursing homes and leave them helpless in the streets. RESIST!!
From Think Progress: The Nebraska Democratic Party has removed a party official after he was recorded saying he was glad House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot, according to a Fox News affiliate [Faux Noise Delinked].
“His whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to fucking kick people off fucking health care,” Phil Montag, a technology chairman with the state Democratic Party, said in the verified audio recording [Faux Noise Delinked]. “I hate this motherfucker, I’m glad he got shot.”
“I’m glad he got shot, I’m not going to fucking say that in public,” Montag added. An unidentified male later says he would release the recording publicly.
I condemn Montag and his statements as anti-Democratic and anti-American. However, the Democratic party fired Montag for his hatred. Had he been a Republican, saying he was gkas a Democrat had been shot, the Republican Party would have promoted him for it. RESIST!!
When I first learned that Obama had known about Russian interference in our election to hurt Hillary Clinton and assist Putin’s Puppet, I felt very upset that he had not made it public, instead of deferring to Republican demands to keep it secret. It made no sense to me, until now.
Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.
The White House debated various options to punish Russia, but facing obstacles and potential risks, it ultimately failed to exact a heavy toll on the Kremlin for its election interference.
Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.
But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump… [emphasis added]
I would have included her interview with Ellen Nakashima, but MSNBC did not share it for embedding.
Now, let’s assume the probable fact that the Republican Reich, up to including Trump, were working hand in glove with Putin and the KGB to steal the election. Add that projection (accusing opponents of their own crimes) is the Republicans’ favorite tactic to deflect attention from their own evil deeds. So as soon as Russia’s handiwork started to surface, Trump regularly started accusing Obama and Hillary of fixing the election. And in addition to his legitimate fears about a Russian response, Obama knew that revealing the truth would make Trump’s accusations appear accfdurate. I have never seen anything so devious before.
It is Monday afternoon and I have word about TC. After feeling so crappy by 4 June 2017, TC was taken to the hospital presumably by his friend Wendy and diagnosed with prancreatitis. Additionally, he will be having surgery to remove his gallbladder. We don't know the timing of all this but will try to keep you all apprised. As I did a year and a half ago, I will publish OT's as often as possible, and I know that you will also see articles from JD (Joanne), Nameless and Lona. Speaking for myself, I can't give you the expert coverage of the American political scene like TC does, but you won't go hungry either. For now, prayers or good vibes for TC are appreciated. And many, many thanks to Wendy for her care of TC. She is most definitely a keeper!
Jig Zone Puzzle
Today’s took me 5:24 (average 10:02). To do it, click here. How did you do? I will not mask my feelings for this one — it's a real barn burner!
Quartz — US president Donald Trump just announced he will withdraw the country from the international Paris agreement on climate change. He says he wants a better “deal” for the US, and that the country will begin renegotiating the terms of the agreement immediately after exiting it.
“We will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fair,” Trump said at a press conference today (June 1).
The statement is a stark example of the president’s zero-sum thinking, and it’s wholly inaccurate. The reality is the US did not have to withdraw from the Paris agreement to renegotiate how it will participate. In fact, once it with withdraws, it legally cannot renegotiate the terms of its participation. It also cannot withdraw immediately.
The Paris Climate deal was the most comprehensive international accord to fight climate change yet. It was signed by all but two countries (Syria and Nicaragua), and hailed as an historic effort to save our planet.
So of course, President Trump decided the United States would withdraw. This would mean the United States ditches crucial environmental regulations that can make all the difference in saving our planet.
By exiting from the Paris agreement, Trump ignored advice from the Pope, foreign leaders and even business leaders like Exxon. He is even rebuffing pleas from his own daughter, and from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
All to spite President Obama, who worked hard to craft the Paris climate agreement.
Sign if you are outraged the United States pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, and that we must do everything we can to fight this.
It can easily be said that Drumpf has "just shot himself in the foot" with his own ignorance about the Paris climate agreement. So is there anything new in that? Not really. He displays his ignorance on a wide range of things daily.
Resist and Persist!!!
Daily Kos — The journalistic fraud that is Fox News is well known. It's a network that was contrived as a right-wing spin factory, but dishonestly marketed as being "fair and balanced." They have a revolving cast of scripted characters who alternately play politicians and pundits. Often the same person in both roles. Their commitment to partisan deceit is rooted deeply in the foul culture nurtured by its founders Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.
However, a new investigation proves that ideological fraud is not the only unethical practice employed by Fox News. Following the scandal-driven departures of Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, a new cretin was crowned as the top Foxie. Tucker Carlson was awarded O'Reilly's prized time slot that anchors the network's primetime lineup. …
The Center for Media and Democracy conducted an exhaustive investigation into the stewardship of his website, The Daily Caller (TDC). Carlson launched the site six years ago and it quickly became a staple of wingnut propaganda. The Washington Post published CMD's findings with this summary of the scam:
"Most of the roughly 50 journalists who produce content for the Daily Caller actually work for the Daily Caller News Foundation, a tax-exempt organization with 501(c)(3) status that is ostensibly separate from DailyCaller.com. The two entities share the same floor of the same Washington office, however, and virtually everything produced by the foundation — which accepted $3 million in donations in 2015, according to an IRS filing — appears on the for-profit website, which sells advertising on the articles.
In short, TDC takes in tax-free donations to finance their for-profit newsroom. Then they use the articles written by foundation authors to populate a commercial website that receives advertising revenue. The Post cites legal experts that describe this an obvious tax dodge:
"'It's a huge rip-off for taxpayers if the Daily Caller News Foundation is receiving revenue that it doesn't pay taxes on, to produce stories that are used by the for-profit enterprise, which then makes money on the stories through ads,' said Lisa Graves, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration who now serves as executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy."
Read the rest of the article . . . there is more. We already know that much of the right wing news media is anything but "fair and balanced", but add onto that being a factory for alternative facts and extreme partisanship. I knew that the Daily Caller was a right wing "rag", but what I did not know was that it was started and is still run by Tucker Carlson. He received help from conservative multi-millionaire Foster Friess. You may remember him from the 2012 presidential campaign when he said "…they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly." With his oh so pseudo Christian values, Carlson is committing fraud by registering TDC as a charity. In essence, it means that all taxpayers are subsidising right wing propaganda which needs to be stopped.
Resist and Persist!!!
Alternet — It doesn’t make rational sense for Trump to pull out of the Paris accord. Even Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has argued against withdrawal, as has Tillerson’s former company, Exxon Mobil. The traditional reasons for conservative opposition to cleaner energy — protecting energy profits — don’t hold up as well as they used to. So why is Trump doing this?
The likely answer is, I’m afraid, a disheartening one: Trump’s anti-environmentalism is ultimately not about the gross but rational pursuit of profit, so much as it’s the result of a nihilistic anti-conservationist ideology that has been fomented for years on the far right. It’s an ideology concerned more with hating liberalism and undermining former President Barack Obama’s legacy [emphasis added] than with petty matters like peace or prosperity. …
… But a lot of what motivates him [Utah Rep Rob Bishop] appears to be a deeply rooted unwillingness to have his state be home to anything that could be considered an Obama accomplishment.…
Weiss pointed out that a similar fight, fueled by blind hatred of Obama, is going on in Maine. The founder of Burt’s Bees donated 87,500 acres to the federal government, and Obama designated it the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. But the Trumpian governor of Maine, Republican Paul LePage, is so angry about the monument’s existence that he has refused to let the state post road signs telling people where it is. The Katahdin Woods monument is also included in Trump’s executive order to review such designations. …
Weiss pointed out that a similar fight, fueled by blind hatred of Obama, is going on in Maine. The founder of Burt’s Bees donated 87,500 acres to the federal government, and Obama designated it the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. But the Trumpian governor of Maine, Republican Paul LePage, is so angry about the monument’s existence that he has refused to let the state post road signs telling people where it is. The Katahdin Woods monument is also included in Trump’s executive order to review such designations.
This abject hatred of all things Obama is no doubt brought on by the fact that Obama dared to be Black while president. Republicans are so predictable in their hatred.
Resist and Persist!!!
CBC — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced a plan to increase the provincial minimum wage to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019.
The increase would be phased in over the next 18 months, rising to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018, and then to $15 the following January.
After that, it will rise annually with inflation. …
Among the proposed changes are the requirement that after five years with the same employer, the minimum vacation entitlement for workers would rise to three weeks per year.
All workers would also be given 10 personal emergency leave days a year, and a minimum of two of those days must be paid. (Currently, only employees of large companies are entitled to this.)
Employers would not be allowed to request a sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave.
Many of the changes address shift work in particular. The proposed legislation says employers would be required to pay three hours of wages to an employee whose shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice, and that employees would be able to refuse shifts without repercussion if given less than four days notice.
The proposed legislation also says:
Equal pay would be mandated for part-time workers doing the same job as a full-time workers.
Employers would be prohibited from misclassifying employees as "independent contractors."
Rules for creating a union would be modernized, including the extension of card-based certification to temporary workers, building services workers and community care workers.
The act also lays out a plan to hire 175 more employment standards officers, and launch an education program for employees and business owners to help them learn about their rights and responsibilities.
Read the rest of the article for a few more details of the legislation. This is only in Ontario which has the largest workforce in Canada. Alberta was the first province to put legislation in place. I am hopeful that British Columbia will tackle this issue next now that the election is over. Here the ruling Liberal party (not the same as the federal Liberal party) did not win the election, 43 seats, nobody really did. However, the New Democrats (41 seats) and the Green Party (3 seats) have formed a coalition and presented their agreement to the Lieutenant Governor for approval. Minimum wage is a topic for both the NDP and Greens.
Another day, another nickel! I am still feeling a little lost time wise since my mother passed. I know things will right themselves before too long, if no other reason than I have taxes to do for the end of April, and of course I still have my mother's estate to prepare. I am running into a few bumps in the road estate wise, but nothing I can't handle. The rest of the week is busy but I hope to be back with another OT.
YouTube — Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – World War Trump (HBO) March 15, 2017
The Atlantic — As it turns out, this was only a warm-up for the dual press conference the two leaders held later Friday afternoon, during which Merkel stood beside Trump as he ridiculed a German reporter, lied about his statements on his baseless conspiracy theory that President Obama surveilled him, and refused to back down on claims that have set off a diplomatic incident with the United Kingdom.
The fact that it might be a tense conversation was clear from the two leaders’ opening statements. Trump, during his, once again complained about the cost of NATO. “I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost defense,” he said. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe.”
As for Merkel, she used her own statement to issue a veiled scolding for Trump, who previously said she was “ruining” Germany with a “catastrophic mistake” of an open-door refugee policy. “I've always said it's much, much better to talk to one another and not about one another, and I think our conversation proved this,” Merkel said. …
During the press conference, the American journalist Mark Halperin asked Merkel a question about whether she thought Trump’s “different style” than past president was good for the world. The chancellor gamely tried to answer.
“For Germany I can say, well people are different, people have different abilities, different traits of character, have different origins, have found their way into politics along different pathways,” she said through a translator. “Which, well, that is diversity, which is good! Sometimes it’s difficult to find compromises, but that’s what we’ve been elected for.”
The fact that Merkel had to work hard to say something diplomatic in response to such a softball question said a great deal about the press conference. But give the chancellor credit for effort—Trump didn’t even bother to try diplomacy.
Drumpf knows nothing of diplomacy. He is like the proverbial "bull in a china shop" and it is quite obvious that he doesn't care. The National Postran an article in which it recorded the following,
President Donald Trump said Saturday that Germany owes "vast sums of money" to NATO and the U.S. "must be paid more" for providing defence, reiterating his stance that European allies need to end their part of the bargain if they are to continue benefiting from the military alliance."
It is quite clear that Drumpf does not know or understand the funding formula that was agreed upon in previous years. The NATO agreement was signed on 4 April 1949 and constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. I probably know more about NATO than Drumpf does, and that can't be good. In the picture, this handshake is the most awkward looking handshake. Drumpf looks like a downright nasty beast.
msn.com(USA Today) — The Pleasant Run Elementary students had just won a robotics challenge at Plainfield High School, and the students — new to bot competition this year — were one step closer to the Vex IQ State Championship.
The team is made up of 9- and 10-year-olds. Two are African American and three are Latino.
As the group, called the Pleasant Run PantherBots, and their parents left the challenge last month in Plainfield, Ind., competing students from other Indianapolis-area schools and their parents were waiting for them in the parking lot.
“Go back to Mexico!” two or three kids screamed at their brown-skin peers and their parents, according to some who were there.
More despicable behaviour as a result of Drumpf's targeting of minorities. What well adjusted young people that are putting the hate behind them and enjoying the learning experience and the competition.
Washington Post — On the 60th day of his presidency came the hardest truth for Donald Trump.
He was wrong.
James B. Comey — the FBI director whom Trump celebrated on the campaign trail as a gutsy and honorable “Crooked Hillary” truth-teller — testified under oath Monday what many Americans had already assumed: Trump had falsely accused his predecessor of wiretapping his headquarters during last year’s campaign.
Trump did not merely allege that former president Barack Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower, of course. He asserted it as fact, and then reasserted it, and then insisted that forthcoming evidence would prove him right.
But in Monday’s remarkable, marathon hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey said there was no such evidence. Trump’s claim, first made in a series of tweets on March 4 at a moment when associates said he was feeling under siege and stewing over the struggles of his young presidency, remains unfounded.
Comey did not stop there. He confirmed publicly that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and associates with Russia, part of an extraordinary effort by an adversary to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election in Trump’s favor.
I'll bet that "He was wrong." was hard to swallow for narcissistic Drumpf! . . . or did he really hear and understand it? Will he demand Comey's resignation? Who knows. My bet says he will bring it up again. . . . and again . . . and again. He doesn't know when to quit! After all the Monday drama, in dire need of some adulation to feed his narcissistic soul, Drumpf headed out to Missouri for yet another rally that is nothing more than a love fest so his supporters thinking he is looking after them. Or should I say to fleece his flock?!
YouTube — The Most Telling Thing About the FBI’s Probe into Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ
Keith hits it out of the park, doesn't he!
YouTube — The Only True Surprise? Trump’s an Idiot | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ
Another fine piece by Keith. "These people are idiots!" Truer words have not been spoken!
Resist and Persist!!!
My Universe — This gives new meaning to going postal!