May 122017
 

When it rains it pours.  I was up late last night just trying to figure out what the Rectum Reich is up to.  All I can say is TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:13 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): We Need the Help of Intel Agencies Around the World | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

Keith raises an excellent point, to which I would add one caveat. The release of foreign intelligence must come in the form of leaks. If, for example, a European government were to expose Trump officially, they would put themselves at risk of nuclear retaliation from the Tantrum Traitor. RESIST!!

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): How is this not Obstruction of Justice?

 

Kudos to Jeff Merkley. Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump on Thursday named Kris W. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who has pressed for aggressive measures to crack down on undocumented immigrants, to a commission investigating vote fraud, following through on his unsubstantiated claim that millions of “illegals” voted for his Democratic rival and robbed him of victory in the national popular vote.

Mr. Kobach, who has championed the strictest voter identification laws in the country, will be the vice chairman of the commission, which will be led by Vice President Mike Pence and is expected to include about a dozen others, including state officials from both political parties, said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary.

Mr. Trump signed an executive order on Thursday creating the commission, which Ms. Sanders said would have a broad mandate to review policies and practices that affect Americans’ confidence in the integrity of federal elections. Marc E. Lotter, Mr. Pence’s spokesman, said that voter suppression would be among the topics studied by the commission, which he said would take a wide-ranging look at problems at the state and national levels. But the order makes no mention of suppression or voting restrictions, specifying only “improper” or “fraudulent” registration and voting as issues to be explored.

OMG!  Kobitch?!!? Want to know what I think of Kobitch? Click here, here, here and here.  This will be a new high for voter suppression.  RESIST!!

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Name them after Republicans:  Hurricane Ammosexual, Hurricane Bankster, Hurricane Criminal…

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May 062017
 

I got some sleep last night, and I must have been really tired as I napped again this morning.  Tomorrow Wendy will be here to de-stink the sticky TomCat and help with assorted chores, including the dreaded task, so please expect no more that a Personal Update or an Open Thread.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:08).  To di it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Jeff Merkley [D-OR]: In response to President Trump’s executive orders removing protections and moving to reopen risky offshore drilling, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today re-introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act, a major piece of legislation to permanently protect the Arctic from offshore drilling.

The legislation would prevent any new or renewed leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral in the Arctic Ocean planning area.

“Opening up new areas to oil exploration in the Arctic at a time when we are already dealing with the devastating impacts of climate change is the height of irresponsibility. The Trump administration’s reckless efforts to open a vast new source of carbon pollution would threaten local communities, resources and ecosystems, while exacerbating the climate change already damaging our economy and environment,” said Merkley. “The Arctic is much too fragile to withstand the type of oil spill that would be inevitable if drilling proceeds. In order to prevent environmental catastrophe, we must put the Arctic Ocean completely and permanently off limits to drilling.”

The Department of the Interior estimates that there is a 75 percent chance of a large oil spill, exceeding 42,000 gallons, should drilling leases in the Arctic be developed. The Arctic has one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, as well as some of the most extreme and dangerous navigational conditions, severely limiting ability to respond to an oil spill or accident. To date, there has not been a successful oil and gas operation in the Arctic Ocean. Shell’s initial 2012 venture into the Arctic resulted in an abandoned oil rig and a Coast Guard operation to save eight lives.

The Arctic is also home to endangered species such as bowhead whales, polar bears and ringed seals, as well as invaluable and fragile ecosystems that are critical to local fisheries, indigenous populations and subsistence hunters. Drilling operations in the Arctic Ocean will threaten these species and communities, all for oil that will set back efforts to transition to a clean energy economy.

Because of these costs and dangers, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management removed Arctic Ocean leases from its five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Additionally, former President Obama, in conjunction with actions by the Canadian government, moved to permanently protect large areas of the Arctic Ocean from offshore drilling. However, President Trump has already signaled a fossil-fuel focused energy plan and today explicitly pledged to increase offshore oil and gas drilling.

The truth is, we cannot afford to continue burning fossil fuels for decades upon decades if we want to maintain a safe environment for our children. The worst impacts of climate change will happen if we allow global warming to exceed 2 degrees Celsius, or almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The world must transition aggressively and rapidly away from conventional fossil fuels and toward the use of renewable energy, and we certainly cannot continue to push new, dangerous fossil fuel development.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Senator Merkley first introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act in July 2015. In June of that year, Senator Merkley led a group of Senators in authoring a letter to President Obama urging the administration to rescind Shell Oil Company’s conditional Exploration Permit in the Chukchi Sea. Senator Merkley wrote that new lease sales in the Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean are an unnecessary risk that threatens local communities, fragile ecosystems, and efforts at climate change mitigation.

A PDF of the Stop Arctic Drilling Act of 2017 is available here.

Support Jeff’s Stop Arctic Drilling Act of 2017. Call your Senator. Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From TPM: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said he would “consider” waiving some of the Affordable Care Act’s insurer mandates, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, as would be an option for states if a GOP Obamacare repeal bill that passed the House this week became law.

Republicans have been arguing that the waivers in RepubliCare do not matter, because no Republican governor would even consider waiving protections for those with preexisting conditions. The former Wisconsin isn’t even bright red, but the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan is just drooling to strip those folks of coverage, even though that would kill several.  RESIST!!

From Think Progress: On Wednesday, a customer service representative from the FDA’s Office of Facilities sent an email to staff informing them that TVs in a Silver Spring, Maryland office will now be exclusively turned to Fox News.

The email — a screencap of which was initially obtained and shared to Twitter by journalist Paul Thacker and later by BuzzFeed’s Julia Reinstein— was sent to “let everyone know” why TVs had been changed “from CNN to FOX.” It was sent to researchers at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the FDA branch that oversees medical products.

“A decision from the current administration administrative officials has requested that all monitors, under our control, on the White Oak Campus, display FOX news,” it says. “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I am unable to change any of the monitors to any other news source at this time.

Poor people! Fo9rdsing them to watch the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda is torture, and that’s against the law!!  RESIST!!

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Apr 222017
 

It’s another day with lots of pain, but enough sleep.  There has been a small demonstration, marching under my window.  Some chanted "What do we want? Educated science! When do we want it?  After peer review!"  Others chanted, "Science says, ‘Dump Trump!’"  A small group of Republican hecklers marched and chanted, "Science trumps niggers!  Trump trumps niggers!"  I apologize for using that hateful word, but I consider accurately condemning Republican racism more important political correctness.  Please expect no more than a personal update tomorrow.  It’s a Wendy day, and there is much to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  Hpw did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Happy Earth Day from MoveOn.org!

 

What Republicans are doing to the earth is unBEARable. RESIST!!

From Sen. Jeff Merkley: Keep It in the Ground

Climate change is already wreaking havoc on our farming, fishing and forests—and without dramatic action in the near future, it will get much worse. Our society is still dependent on fossil fuels, but affordable and reliable technology exists to gradually transition to clean energy and clean transportation. Making that transition happen smoothly should be a central priority of the federal government.

A key starting point is to stop the expansion of fossil fuel production on our public lands and waters. Rather than serving coal, oil, and gas companies, our public lands should serve the public and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a cleaner energy future.

Learn more about Keep It in the Ground

The Keep It in the Ground Act is one step we can take to slow the pace of climate change and prevent some of its most serious consequences. Click here to learn more about Keep It in the Ground and click here to download a short summary of the bill.

To see the full text of the bill, click here.

To download a copy of our Keep It in the Ground PDF pamphlet, click here.

Sign Up for Jeff’s Climate Updates

To sign up for Jeff’s climate change updates and the latest Keep It in the Ground Act news, sign up here.

 

Please Support Jeff’s Keep It in the Ground Bill, It won’t pass during a Republican Reich, but it shows voters that Democrats are superior stewards of our world. I could not be more proud of Jeff. Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump wants nothing more in the world than to build that "big, beautiful" nativist status symbol he promised at every campaign stop from the moment he announced his candidacy. Yes, indeedy, that border wall is emerging as so very important to the popular vote loser that his minions are willing to risk it all.

Despite the fact that Republicans have no path to securing enough GOP votes alone to pass Trump’s budget priorities—funding the wall, increased defense spending, and adding more border agents—the White House is preparing to wage what amounts to a game of chicken with Democrats in advance of the April 28 deadline, writes Politico:

With almost uniform Democratic opposition to nearly all of the Trump administration’s spending proposals, the fight could lead to a government shutdown next Friday — the day government spending expires, and right before the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. Officials could also strike a one-week compromise, giving them more time for a broader agreement.

I warned that this was coming. As painful as it might be, Democrats cannot bow to Republican blackmail using the American people as hostages. There is only one response. RESIST!!

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A dark day!

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Apr 142017
 

Today is the best I’ve felt in weeks, and I napped this morning, so I’m publishing and sharing links, expending the minimum effort to do so.  I doubt that I can tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;’s took me 3:06 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Oregonian: Portland and Multnomah County’s top elected leaders committed Monday to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2050.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and County Chair Deborah Kafoury made the announcement at the June Key Delta Community Center in North Portland, a one-time gas station that’s been converted into a green building.

Wheeler, just a few months into his mayoral term, says he has no illusions the energy goal will come easily. "They will be difficult to achieve," he said of the push to meet all electricity needs from renewable sources by 2035, and to transition away from all remaining dirty energy sources, primarily fossil fuels in the transportation sector, by 2050.

"We’re actually going to have to make deliberate steps, and deliberate investments, and deliberate policy changes in order for this to become a reality," he said, "and I’m committed to that."

Good news is just so very rare. Oregon leads the way. RESIST!!

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): ELIZABETH WARREN: The Cover-Up In Trump’s Taxes

 

I fully endorse the marches and marchers tomorrow. Find a march near you. RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show: British intel agency reported Trump campaign Russia ties: Report

Rachel Maddow reports on the latest developments in the investigation into connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia, including a report by The Guardian that British intelligence agency GCHQ first raised concerns as far back as late 2015.

 

Did I see this coming? You all know. Where there’s smoke… and the room keeps filling with more and more smoke. RESIST!!

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Everyday Erinyes #69

 Posted by at 11:44 am  Politics
Apr 082017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

So, first a story which seems to be more a tale of institutional stupidity than a tale of institutional evil.  Not that there isn't evil in it – just not institutional evil.  It happened in Oregon, mostly, although the perp seems to have been all over the coast at one time or another.  The Malheur Enterprise gives enough detail for someone with the talent of, say, Raymond Chandler to write a novel, but the crux of the story boils down to

Available records establish that Montwheeler ran a medical con for 20 years, insisting to a string of state psychiatrists and psychologists that he was mentally ill.

He did so to evade state prison, where he would be sent if he was convicted of kidnapping his first wife and son in Baker City in 1996. Because he was found to be guilty but insane, he was treated as a patient instead of a convict.

He later testified that his insanity gambit allowed him to live off the public. He cost taxpayers millions for hospitalization and housing expenses as he moved around rural Oregon, working odd jobs and committing one crime after another – all while under the state’s supervision….

The case points to a gap in the legal system. There is no provision – no consequences — for what to do with someone who fakes a mental illness after criminal conduct.

On December 7, 2016, Montwheeler went before the Psychiatric Security Review Board and spun out his tale of how he had duped the system.  Although state psychologist warned the board that "His risk of violence would be high and it would be most likely to target his intimate partner or other family member,” he was allowed to walk free.  A month later, he kidnapped and killed his ex-wife, and, fleeing in his pickup, collided with and killed another driver, and injured his passenger, who was the driver's wife.

Montwheeler is currently sitting in the Malheur County Jail, charged with aggravated murder, assault, and kidnapping; possibly facing the death penalty.  His attorney says he will plead insanity.

Alecto, I am amazed that Oregon even has a method of dealing with the mentally ill who commit crimes that doesn't involve the modern equivalent of an oubliette.  Every state should have such a method, but this case is not likely to encourage any other state to do so, and it may hurt Oregon.  Before addressing what needs to be done here, you need to listen to TomCat's advice.  But certainly I would think that poor Malheur County has suffered enough from scofflaws in the past couple of years.  Please help.

Moving on to Florida, it of course is not news that Governor Rick Scott would probably be improved as a human being were he to be chained to a rock and have his liver eaten, but when the New York Times actually uses the word "Vengeful" in a headline, the story stands out.

State Attorney Aramis D. Ayala, who carries the distinction of being Florida's forst elected prosecutor of color, and who serves an area stretching from Orlando to Kissimmee, recently announced that she would no longer seek the death penalty, because it was not in the best interests of her jurisdiction.  In addition to the facts that it does not deter crime, nor does it protect police officers, she observed that

it often leads to protracted appeals, and rarely delivers closure to the victim’s family. “Punishment is most effective when it happens consistently and swiftly,” she said. “Neither describe the death penalty in this state.”

So, of course, Governor Scott reassigned, by executive order, a total of 22 cases which might qualify for the death penalty to other prosecutors, a step which may well be illegal, but is certainly immoral, sending, as it does, "a dangerous message to prosecutors in Florida that politics will supersede their discretion."

Tisiphone, this would appear to be right up your street.  Best of luck.

Lastly, for this week anyway, I trust everyone remembers Kris Kobach, Kansas's Secretary of State for Voter Suppression and BFF of Ted Nugent, who first showed up in my column last September, and subsequently has been tapped (unofficially, I stress) by the Dolt.45 administration to make immigration policy.  (Unofficially – apparently even THIS administration does not want to be officially seen with him.  And for good reason.)

Kobach met with Schmuck à l'Orange last year on November 20, and was photographed with him carrying a folder with a memo showing.  The resolution of the photos was so good that blowing them up showed not only the title of the memo ("Department of Homeland Security: Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days") but also that it included "proposals for registration of citizens of high-risk countries, extreme vetting of foreign visitors, a ban on Syrian refugees, deporting aliens charged with crimes (apparently without regard to whether they've been convicted) and building a border wall with Mexico."

Currently, there is a lawsuit in progress, the plaintiffs of which are challenging Kansas's proof of citizenship requirements for those registering to vote.  These plaintiffs have requested a complete copy of this document.  Kobach is claiming executive privilege.

Magistrate Judge James O'Hara issued an order Wednesday requiring Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to give the court a copy of the memo he took into a meeting with Trump at the president’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club last November….

O'Hara noted that Kobach has claimed that "the photographed document is protected by the executive privilege." The magistrate termed the question of whether it is should be subject to discovery in the lawsuit "a very close call" and he said he'd address the privilege claim after looking at the memo to see if it has potential relevance to the suit.

Megaera, I hope you can get this document swiftly into the hands of Magistrate Judge O'Hara – and let's see where it goes from there.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4046511

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Mar 272017
 

I’m still way south of healthy, but I want to try to post normally for a day.  I know I won’t be able to do so tomorrow, because Wendy is coming a day and a half early to de-stink the TomCat, before she goes to Colorado.  Wednesday is up in the air, as it’s a grocery delivery day.  The pain is still quite severe, but it hurts as much or more in bed, as it does here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:35 (average 6:15).  To do it, click here.  How did they do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Full Frontal Channel): Trump’s Hard Power Budget | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

 

I’m four days late with this one, but late Sam is better than no Sam. RESIST!!

From YouTube (Media Matters Channel): Donald Trump’s Great Health Care Negotiating

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

The art of the deal? I think he’s about the art of the steal!! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D-Ore.) has a long record of clever legislative proposals for financing infrastructure. His latest, announced Wednesday, is to increase the federal gas tax by up to 1.5 cents per year, with proceeds going to pay interest on an annual surface transportation bond issue of $17 billion through 2030. It would be the first hike in the gas tax, currently 18.4 cents per gallon, since 1993. The resulting dollars would pay for a 30 percent increase in spending from the Highway Trust Fund, above what’s currently planned.

Oregon leads the way. Of course it’s too rational for Republicans to pass. RESIST!!

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