Today has been a better day. It hags been much cooler. The sun is about to come out, and the temperature will climb to the low 80°s, my outside wall will become a heater, and I’ll have to button up the room and turn on the AC, but until is does, I’m enjoying an open window and fresh air. I took my first trip without using the lift bus in a long time. I went to the Ubank in a mall two blocks away. I found getting around much easier with one eye that can see well than it has been in years. I hope you are having a great weekend.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:08 (average 4:37). To do it, click here. How did you do?
Fantasy Football Update:
I reset the live draft of our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends, from next Saturday to Saturday, September 2 at 10:00 AM PDT (11 MDT, 12 CDT, 1 EDT). I did it so we will have a better idea, who the starters will be in the NFL. However the regular season opener is the evening of Thursday, 9/7, just 5 days after the draft, so set your lineups right away. I cut the league from ten teams to eight. Two players stopped playing last year in mid-season. I think I have confirmation from every player except Rob. I sent him one last email, and if I don’t hear from him this weekend, I’ll replace him with Wendy.
And in a Republican Pence Reich, we would get to be the goats. RESIST!!
From NY Times: The roster of villains in President Trump’s world is legion. The list of people he has been willing, even eager, to publicly attack includes not just Mitch McConnell, his latest target, but Jeff Sessions, Chuck Schumer, Paul D. Ryan, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
And don’t forget James B. Comey, Robert S. Mueller III, Andrew G. McCabe, Rod J. Rosenstein, John D. Podesta, Nancy Pelosi, Lisa Murkowski, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rosie O’Donnell, Meryl Streep, the mayor of London and the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” The countries he has assailed include not just North Korea and Iran but also Germany, Canada, Mexico, China and Sweden.
But for all of that feistiness, for all of those verbal and online fisticuffs, there is one person who is definitely not on Mr. Trump’s target list: President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
From Bloomberg: Some White House and Republican officials are exploring the idea of putting West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in charge of the Energy Department, according to four people familiar with the discussions, a move that could boost President Donald Trump’s stalled legislative agenda.
Manchin is such a DINO, that he would not be a big loss except for one thing, and that thing is huge. It also explains all the hoopla surrounding Gov. Jim Injustice’s conversion from DINO to goose-stepping Republican. If Manchin moves to Energy, Injustice gets to replace him with a Republican Senator. The only thing Manchin did right is voting against RepubliCare. Do you see what the Reich are plotting now? RESIST!!
Thank goodness it’s a Wendy day. Until she gets here, my mama had a word for anyone who gets downwind of this TomCat: nauseous! I’m sure I will not have time to finish today’s articles, before she arrives to de-stink me, and help with several chores, including the dreaded task. I have a busy week ahead. Later: Wendy just left. We did all the chores. I smell much better now.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:22). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Washington Post: A Ku Klux Klan chapter holding a rally in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon says it expects 80 to 100 members and supporters to take part in the protest and that most will have guns with them.
“It’s an open-carry state, so our members will be armed,” said James Moore, a member of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which is headquartered in Pelham, N.C., near the Virginia border. Moore said that if members are attacked, they will defend themselves.
The KKK is protesting the Charlottesville City Council’s decision this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park and rename that park. Once called Lee Park, it is now Emancipation Park. A court injunction has halted the statue’s removal until a November hearing.
Pray that they kill nobody. Immediately after the rally, the Ammosexual racists could reconvene as a meeting of the North Carolina RNC. RESIST!!
Not one of America’s four most influential newspapers quoted the most crucial words spoken by Rex Tillerson, our country’s Secretary of State, about the private meeting Friday in Hamburg between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. The Los Angeles Times gave the keywords only passing mention.
Tillerson said Trump began the meeting with Putin “by raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
Notice that Trump didn’t say he was concerned. Trump didn’t say that the administration was concerned. He didn’t even say that the United States of America was concerned.
Trump expressed no official concern, based on what Tillerson said. None.
I agree with David Cay Johnston. To The best of my knowledge, only one other major news organization did make that distinction, MSNBC in the clip I shared yesterday. That’s too much media bias. RESIST!!
From Alternet: The world was aghast as a first daughter sat in for her father at the Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Ivanka Trump took her father’s seat among world leaders, sitting directly between Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Republican nepotism has now reached the penultimate extreme. Will he let her try the nuclear football next? RESIST!!
Whenever world leaders meet, there are invariably stenographers and/or a video recording system in the room to preserve an accurate record of what takes place in the meeting. However, when Putin met with Trump the two agreed in advance to collude on the absence of such a record. They both wanted a situation in which each side could tell their separate tales of what happened, neither of which was true.
After months of questioning whether Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump raised the explosive topic Friday in his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the men had a “robust and lengthy exchange” on the question of Russian meddling. But Putin denied any involvement, Tillerson said, adding that the Russians had asked for proof that they were to blame for the campaign of cyberattacks—and the secretary of state stressed the need for the two countries to “move forward.”
“It’s not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution,” said Tillerson, who joined the Trump-Putin meeting along with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. He added that improving the U.S.-Russia relationship is “too important not to find a way forward.”
But the Associated Press reported that Lavrov said after the meeting that Trump had accepted Putin’s assurances that the Kremlin had not sought to interfere in the 2016 election—and Putin himself didn’t mention it at all in a brief comment as he moved to his next event, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “I had a very long conversation with the President of the United States. Many issues have piled up: Ukraine, Syria, other problems, some bilateral issues, and once again the fight against terrorism and security measures.”
The back-and-forth did little to lift the cloud that’s hung over Trump since he took office in January—or to clarify whether Trump’s desire for a better relationship with Putin, whom he praised effusively on the campaign trail, will be realized…
Today is the Ides of March or Idus Martiae in Latin, a day for religious observances in ancient Rome, but also an inauspicious day for Julius Caesar. He was assassinated in 44 BCE on the Ides of March. Let's hope your day goes much better for you than it did for Caesar all those years ago!
Well tonight, we are having thunder and lightning which is relatively unusual for here. It was very close to my house, just north in the mountains, and the house shook with the display. TC is still feeling significantly under the weather but he did post an Open Thread today.
Maclean's — As for who first noticed that Moscow was gunning for Freeland, that’s something that has yet to show up in any banner Canadian headlines. It was the European Union’s East StratCom Task Force, a unit of the External Action Service (the EU’s foreign ministry and diplomatic branch). The Task Force was set up in March 2015 as a kind of early warning system to detect incoming Kremlin disinformation campaigns.
In its January 26 Disinformation Digest, the Task Force specifically identified the “Freeland Lied About Her Family’s Nazi Past” hoax, which by then was already circulating within the nether regions of the pro-Kremlin web, under the category of “pro-Kremlin disinformation” and “fake media stories that support Russia’s policies.” The Task Force flagged the Freeland smear project under the campy headline “And you are a Nazi, too!” along with several ongoing efforts to affix the Nazi tag to “anyone opposing the Kremlin’s interests,” especially in Ukraine and the Baltic states. Canadian Forces personnel are active in both arenas.
Usually, Moscow enjoys a degree of marginally plausible deniability by circulating its nastiest propaganda via merely Kremlin-admiring webzines and usefully idiotic “anti-imperialist” pseudo-news operations. But the effort to attack Freeland’s character and undermine her credibility first came straight out of Russia’s embassy in Ottawa, on January 11, the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Freeland to the foreign-affairs post.
InSquatch’s Open Thread 10 March 2017, I included another Maclean's article about how Russia was turning its predatory disinformation sights on Canada, and I made reference to an article in the Ottawa Citizen about Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Maclean's has now covered this aspect beginning with how some western journalist aided and abetted Putin's disinformation ritual. But why Freeland? The article goes into detail on that point. I urge you to read the entire article. The new Russian Czar, Vladimir Putin, is certainly busy trying to destabilise western nations.
CBC — Girl Guides of Canada has announced it will not be taking any trips to the United States in the near future, citing concerns about inclusivity.
"While the United States is a frequent destination for Guiding trips, the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain," international commissioner Sharron Callahan and director of provincial operations Holly Thompson wrote in a joint advisory issued Monday afternoon.
"This includes both trips that are over or under 72 hours and any travel that includes a connecting flight through an American airport," the advisory says.
The statement does not directly mention — but appears to be a reaction to — the executive orders U. S. President Donald Trump has signed restricting travel to the United States.
More fallout from Drumpf's travel ban. Interesting that a group of young Canadian girls can show up Drumpf when it comes to ethics, loyalty and inclusivity.
YouTube — Trump Can’t Even Watch TV Correctly | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ
Kudos to Keith! Spot on as usual! Is this what the "age of television" has become?
CBC — For the second time, a federal court on Wednesday blocked President Donald Trump's efforts to freeze immigration by refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations, putting the president's revised travel ban on hold just hours before it was to take effect.
This time, the ruling came from a judge in Hawaii who rejected the government's claims that the travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination. …
U.S. President Donald Trump held a rally at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, vowing he would not stop defending the security of Americans despite the latest legal setback, which the government will likely appeal. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Trump called the ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement. …
The hearing was one of three held Wednesday in federal courts around the country. U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who blocked the initial travel ban last month, did not immediately rule on a request from an immigrant-rights group to block the revised version. Neither was there a ruling from U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland in a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.
In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban. A case brought by Washington state argues that the new order harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon, which rely on foreign workers. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have joined the claim.
Judicial overreach? What a load of horse pucky! It is only judicial overreach to Drumpf because he isn't getting his way!I am glad that there are some members of the judiciary and legal profession that see this Muslim travel ban for what it is — outright discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds. As Drumpfenfarten said when US District Judge Robart of Washington state turned aside the first ban, "See you in court!" While Robart and US District Judge Chuang of Maryland both heard arguments today, neither has announced their ruling.
OK, so I am almost 3 months behind the times but this commercial for Temptations cat treats is "so cat"!
It has been raining all day today . . . but no snow! You've probably noted that TC is still sick but a physician's assistant did visit him at home and has him on medication. Rest my friend, drink lots of water and take your medicine. I am sure Wendy will be in to make sure you are fluffed and buffed, and ensure you are eating properly . . . maybe some chicken soup? Personally, I am going to have some beans and toast, comfort food for a rainy day!
Khalil [email protected] has a way with 'alternate' words! I think this sums up much of the current situation as far as Drumpfenfarten and Putin are concerned. Of course, this does not explain the 'why?', but it certainly does speak to the extent of the, shall I say, collusion.
The Hill — Preet Bharara, one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country, said Saturday he was fired from President Trump's administration after he refused to resign when asked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life," tweeted Bharara, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. …
"One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served," he [Bharara] said in the statement released by the U.S. attorney's office. …
"His relentless drive to root out public corruption, lock up terrorists, take on Wall Street, and stand up for what is right should serve as a model for all U.S. attorneys across the country. He will be sorely missed," Schumer said in a statement.
Rachel Maddow covered the replacement of 46 federal prosecutors and Bharara's firing in the following segment of her show.
Bharara was told by both Drumpf and Sessions that they wanted him to stay on as the chief federal prosecutor in the SDNY. Could it be that Bharara was just too damned good at his job and Drumpfenfarten and Sessions became nervous after looking at his accomplishments? After all, as Rachel says, Drumpf Tower where Drumpf carries out all his business dealings — you know, those dealings that are supposedly in the hands of his sons who do not discuss anything with their father — is within the SDNY!
Truthout — Autre Murray, 24, never planned to go to college. He thought he couldn't afford it — even with student loans. Besides, he wasn't thrilled with the prospect of ending up in "debt up to the neck." Instead, Murray planned to earn a high school diploma and find a job doing manual labor, maybe somewhere like a factory. He told himself he didn't need a college education to become successful.
But now he's on his way to obtaining a bachelor's degree, as are other members of his Kalamazoo, Michigan, hometown. That's thanks to the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship program first announced at a board meeting of Kalamazoo Public Schools in November 2005. The nonprofit of the same name provides scholarships that cover 65 to 100 percent of college tuition and fees for all graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools who meet certain criteria. Students have 10 years from the day they graduate high school to use the scholarship. …
After Kalamazoo, Michigan, offered college tuition for nearly all high school graduates, dropout rates declined and the city's population began to rebound. (Photo: The Kalamazoo Promise / Facebook)
"The donors believe that a community's vitality — politically, socially, and economically — is closely related to the educational level of the community," says Bob Jorth, executive director of the Kalamazoo Promise. "In the knowledge-based economy that we're in, almost all good jobs require some kind of training and education beyond high school."
Kudos to the Kalamazoo Promise! I wonder how fast Betsy DeVos can put the brakes on such an innovation? . . . not that it is within her purview. When did that ever stop a Republican!
Huffington Post — Most of the migrants who recently made the difficult journey across the border into Canada were in the United States legally, making the trend hard to explain, says U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
The majority travelled to the United States with the necessary visas, Kelly said Friday after a meeting in Ottawa with cabinet members including his Canadian counterpart, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
"Everyone was perplexed," Kelly said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"Many of them have only been in the United States a few days before they made the trek north, so it's something we're certainly trying to figure out."
"… it's something we're certainly trying to figure out." ????? There have been Somalis crossing into Manitoba in the dead of winter, literally risking life and limb — 2 have lost many of their fingers to frostbite. In Québec, at a well known crossing point, RCMP officers are often waiting there to arrest the people until they can chat them up properly and they can make their requests for asylum. And U.S. Homeland Secretary John Kelly is 'perplexed' about the migrant surge into Canada? Let's see 1) Donald Trump; 2) pervasive American discrimination of foreigners, particularly Latinos and Muslims; 3) overly zealous border agents; 4) keep adding to the list. My apologies to my American friends, but with the current administration, the US has lost ownership of Emma Lazarus' poem that is on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
YouTube(GQ Channel) — Trump’s Amazing Speech Sure Didn’t Age Well | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann
Romney has been supplanted as Mr Flip-flop by none other than Drumpfenfarten. I remember a line from the movie "Clear and Present Danger" that went like this: "He cannot be clear when clarity is not exactly what he wants." White House aide or a Cabinet person talking about the president played by Donald Moffat. Sure seems appropriate to Drumpfenfarten.
Huffington Post — The idea was simple enough: publish as many absurd, obviously fake stories imaginable, and see if anyone actually falls for it. The results of this experiment were both fascinating and disheartening.
“BREAKING: Satire Makes Fools Of Gullible Trump Supporters.”
That’s the headline James McDaniel published on his intentionally fake news website, UndergroundNewsReport.com, earlier this month.
Within just two weeks of his website going online, McDaniel had already amassed more than a million views, thousands of comments on his stories, and hundreds of thousands of “likes” and “shares” on Facebook.
“While writing them, I was aiming for stories that no one would believe, but rather would be satirical in an age where disinformation is so prevalent,” McDaniel wrote on his website. “Just for fun, I decided to post some of the stories in Trump fan groups on Facebook to see the reactions.”
Sorry this is so late. With TomCat down, I told him I would put out an Open Thread but I wasn't anticipating computer issues. It kept freezing so I had to put it to bed for several hours.
msn.com — A first-term congressman who spent three decades as a physician — and is now part of a group of Republican doctors who have a major role in replacing Obamacare — is facing backlash after saying that poor people “just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”
Rep. Roger Marshall, (R-Kan.), a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, said comments he made to Stat News were not meant to suggest that poor people take health care for granted. The comments were published in a story last week about his burgeoning role in the fight to replace the Affordable Care Act. …
He added that “morally, spiritually, socially,” the poor, including the homeless, “just don’t want health care.”
Well isn't he just precious. I suppose this Republican idiot thinks everyone is made of money. Take a WalFart employee who is being paid the minimum wage. Many have used SNAP because their paycheques do not cover the cost of food for the family. It is people like this, the working poor, that want healthcare but cannot afford it. The arrogance of this doctor is astounding, but then I guess it should not be . . . he's a Republican.
Maclean's — Moscow has been waging an increasingly daring clandestine war against western democracies. Under the direction of President Vladmir Putin, Russia is targeting most of the major members of the western alliance. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of Russian attempts at cyber attacks. In France, Moscow has funded right-wing populist Marine Le Pen and is alleged to be spreading false propaganda about her opponents. There are now reports from British parliamentarians that Russia may have meddled with the Brexit campaign. And, of course, Putin’s interference in the U.S. Presidential election has lit a tire fire in Washington that may bring down the Trump administration, and at the very least has left America’s political institutions reeling, and its alliances weakened.
So is Canada next? Or have the Russians already started their campaign of disinformation and lies. As the sub headline of the article says "The smear job on Chrystia Freeland is only the start." The Ottawa Citizenoutlines just one such attempt.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s ambitious foreign affairs minister, is secretly itching to draw Canada into a showdown with Russia because of the seething hatreds she inherited from her Ukrainian grandfather, a Nazi collaborator and war profiteer she never told us about. She’s been lying about her family’s sordid past all along, and she’s been lying to Canadians about what’s really going on in Ukraine. She’s dangerous.
The main problem with all this is that it’s rubbish, from top to bottom. It’s also the hottest political news story in Canada right now.
All countries must keep their wits about them. And coming back to the recent US experience with Russia, it is interesting to note that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian influence investigation but has not called for a special independent prosecutor, but he has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the accusations made by Drumpf that Obama authorised the wiretapping of Trump Tower. While wiretapping American citizens is illegal, the Russia affair is far more dangerous from a national security perspective. Misplaced Republican priorities?
The Hill — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said his office on Monday would formally join a suit filed by four other states, Reuters reported.
"The administration persists in an effort to implement a policy that is inhumane and unconstitutional, but also makes us less safe, not more safe," Frosh said in a statement.
The states are pushing for a temporary restraining order similar to the one that halted President Trump's first order.
Maryland joins New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D), Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) and Washington state in challenging the new ban.
In addition to these five states, Hawaii is also launching a suit against the travel ban, but its suit is based on economic criteria and not constitutional criteria. May the force be with them! Update — Seattle U.S. District Court Judge James Robart on Friday declined to apply his first order to the new ban. Lawyers need to file more extensive court papers.