It’s another day with record high temperatures and 90%+ humidity. It looks like I’ll have to wait a week for seasonable weather to return and I slept poorly. Tomorrow and Sunday are High Holy days in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb. May the Orb shine its holy light on your team, if they have survived. TGIF!!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:02 (average 5:38). To do it, click here. How did you do?
Trump tried that elevator trick, but his is too short to reach any buttons. RESIST!!
From Time: U.S. President Donald Trump’s readiness to threaten the use of America’s nuclear arsenal has unnerved diplomats and academics and inflamed tensions with North Korea over the first year of his presidency. Now former nuclear missile launch operators are adding themselves to the list of concerned observers.
In an open letter to Congress on Thursday, a group of 17 former nuclear launch officers argued that President Trump “poses a clear and present danger to the country and the world” and warned that “there are no reliable safeguards” to prevent Trump from deciding to launch a nuclear missile on his own.
Colbert does a great KKK Beauregard imitation. I hope that twelve year old hammers the gnome. RESIST!!
From The New Yorker: Furious over a very public breakup with his former adviser Steve Bannon, Donald Trump on Wednesday angrily threw a copy of “Mein Kampf” that Bannon had inscribed to him in the trash.
The book, which Bannon had given to Trump as a token of his love and friendship during the 2016 campaign, had been among Trump’s most prized possessions, aides said.
“Trump loved that book, but now he feels that having Bannon’s name on it ruins it,” an aide said.
Another aide, however, cautioned not to make too much of the fact that Trump discarded the Bannon-signed Hitler book. “He’s still got plenty of other copies,” the aide said.
Andy, I think the Fuhrer wants all those "Heil Fuhrer!" chants directed to him. RESIST!!
From NY Times: Israel is offering a stark choice to tens of thousands of African migrants in the country: Agree to leave voluntarily by the end of March, with a plane ticket and a grant of $3,500, or face possible incarceration.
“Every country must guard its borders,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, announcing the plan. “The infiltrators have a clear choice — cooperate with us and leave voluntarily, respectably, humanely and legally, or we will have to use other tools at our disposal, which are also according to the law.”
Later, on Facebook, Mr. Netanyahu wrote [Nazi delinked], “The government approved a plan today that will give every infiltrator two options: a flight ticket out or jail.”
Butcher Bibi is setting an example for Republicans on relations with what Bibi calls the schvartzes. RESIST!!
The lox and bagels supper was to die for. I ate one and a half and was completely stuffed. It was so good that WWW, who normally eats about half what I do, also packed in one and a half. I bought a big ham for our Christmas eve dinner. WWW took it home and will cook it there. It will be a fine feast. We have a cold week coming up.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:08 (average 5:11). To do it, click here. How did you do?
Dang! Colbert’s AI dossier is smarter than Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten. RESIST!!
From YouTube: Solstice: The Earth is reaching the turning point
However you celebrate the solstice, if at all, enjoy it. Lona, are you getting a bikini tan with your upside-down solstice? RESIST!!
From NY Times: An end-of-the-year showdown that was once promised over delicate issues like immigration, health care and surveillance appeared to fizzle on Wednesday as key Republicans dropped their demands to shore up shaky health insurance markets and Democrats appeared to abandon their goal to force adoption of a measure protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Instead, Congress moved toward a one-month punt that would keep the government funded into January and once again put off policy confrontations.
Democrats haven’t given up on DACA, but in January, they won’t be competing for time with the Republican Tax Scam. On the other hand Bought Bitch Mitch (R-KY) bought Susan Collins (R-ME) with a promise that shoring up health care markets would be done before the end of this year. She is as big a liar as he is. When called on it, she accused the media of being sexist. RESIST!!
Well finally we have some tolerable weather here in Metro Vancouver. It is currently 22 C (72 F) with 53% humidity, bright sunshine and winds at 9 km/hour. This is good and the furbabes are loving it too! This is a busy week for me with lots of paperwork and appointments. At the end of next week, my little girl will have her 9th birthday. I plan for a fresh roasted chick breast for the 3 of them to share. I will be more popular than ever!
CBC— U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out at the growing number of corporate executives who are distancing themselves from his administration after his response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that led to the death of one counter-protester last weekend.
A day after a number of high-profile CEOs started to resign from his business advisory council, the U.S. president lashed out.
“For every CEO that drops out of the manufacturing council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier’s
Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, Kenneth Frazier, Merck CEO, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour
Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. And in February, Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick left the president’s side over his executive order curtailing immigration. Kalanick said the order was “hurting people in communities all across America.”
Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.
Click through and listen to the video with Ed Rensi, the former CEO of McDonald’s USA. He has some direct and sound advice for Trump and it is well worth the eight minutes. We may not all agree with everything these executives do in their businesses, but they all are taking principled stands and no doubt there will be more. As for Trump, Rensi said “It was childish, unprofessional and below the dignity of the guy holding that office. … shame on him …” And on politics, he went on to say “In my opinion today, there is a ruling, imperial elite. They make rules to keep themselves entrenched in government and now they’re going to pay the price because they have a president who is a wild card now.”
AlterNet— Go home; leave the state; you’re not welcome.
That was Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s message to white supremacists who came to Charlottesville to show America that white rage is real and is coming out of the shadows.
But wait a second. Where are these domestic terrorists supposed to go back to? One of the first four people arrested was from Virginia. The others were from Ohio, Florida and Tennessee. Each of these states has been dominated by white Republicans this decade, who have methodically implemented racist election laws that gave them majority rule in state legislatures and their U.S. House delegations.
What kind of states are they going home to? The answer is states ruled by white power sympathizers—and that’s being charitable. …
Election data geeks have looked at the results of 2016 and found it was one of the most anti-democratic elections in a century. As David Wasserman, U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report, recently wrote, “In 2016, Trump lost the national popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, but Republicans won the median House seat by 3.4 points and median Senate seat by 3.6 points—that’s the widest Senate gap in at least a century.” …
The white mobs rampaging in Charlottesville may want more privilege, segregation and wealth, but whether they know it or not—most probably they don’t—their Republican allies have been rewriting the rules of politics and elections to favor them for years.
Really, I don’t think that this will surprise anyone here. Progressives need to get in at the ground floor and sweep it clean. That means progressives from dog catcher on up; repealing discriminatory voting regulations, and redrawing voting districts so that they are fair. No gerrymandered districts that slant the vote. If the US wants to continue to be “the land of the free” then it must ensure that all its citizens can vote without undue restrictions like onerous voter ID.
YouTube — Stephen Colbert’s Monologue — Trump denounces white supremacists
I don’t think I have ever seen Colbert quite so serious. Although there are a few lighter moments, clearly Trump has angered many, many people. It is always a clear sign of anger when even comedians and political comics can’t make light. Please do not misunderstand me, Trump’s behaviour over the past week is deplorable and well beneath the dignity of the office he inhabits.
John Oliver — Charlottesville
I won’t repeat myself. What I said about Colbert’s monologue applies to John Oliver’s piece.
Maclean’s — The escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea over the past two weeks have left many quite anxious, including those of us in Canada. President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” warning to Pyongyang, in particular, epitomized how quickly tensions could escalate in a matter of hours. It had an eerie doomsday-like tone commonly found in the propaganda materials of Pyongyang, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis rushed to downplay the severity of Trump’s message. Some began to wonder: Will Canada be within the target range of the ICBMs? If the United States was attacked, would Canada be called upon to help as a NATO member?
And of course, there has been an exchange of hostile rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, sparked by North Korea’s second test launch of Hwasong-14 on Jul. 28, its most potent Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed to date. In a rare moment of unity, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Aug. 5 to impose toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea. In return, Pyongyang promised to retaliate by a “thousand fold.” Trump and Kim then traded threats over nuclear warheads, a potential attack in Guam, and even a pre-emptive strike by the United States. Just earlier on Monday, South Korea’s recently installed president Moon Jae-In told Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, that “our top priority is the national interest … and our national interest lies in peace.”
As a Pacific nation, Canada also has an interest in peace on the Korean peninsula. Canada’s free trade agreement with South Korea, which came into force in 2015, is our first in the Asia-Pacific region. South Korea is Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner, and the two-way trade is valued at more than $12 billion. More than a million people travel between Canada and South Korea every year. We have an active and thriving community of Korean-Canadians across Canada. What happens on the Korean peninsula matters to Canadians, and there is a role that Canada can play to alleviate tensions: Canadian diplomatic work in Seoul, Pyongyang, Washington, Moscow, and Tokyo would give genuine substance to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s proclamation in 2015 that “Canada is back.”
It’s clear that other voices beyond America are needed. Part of what has made the latest crisis so confusing was the lack of any coherent American policy on North Korea, aside from Trump’s tweets. Those mixed signals from Washington, however, reflect a broader underlying problem which began long before the Trump era: the United States has failed in devising a consistent policy for dealing with North Korea, a failure that only gave the Kim regime more time to improve its military capabilities. …
Having a constructive and independent Canadian foreign policy means standing up for our values and using our resources to fight for what’s right. Louis St. Laurent did it with NATO and Canada in Europe; Lester B. Pearson did it on Suez; John Diefenbaker did it on South Africa; Brian Mulroney did it on free trade and the “Open Skies” initiative; Paul Martin did it on the establishment of the G20.
Click through for the rest of the article. One of the things that I am very proud of as a Canadian is Canada’s oft repeated role of peacekeeper. We would rather use diplomatic channels first. When the US invaded Iraq, PM Jean Chrétien declined to join the fight because the evidence of WMD just wasn’t there. The UK joined the fight however. In Afghanistan, Canada sent troops in but certainly towards the end of our involvement, Canadians were building roads, schools and helping with local housing. Having spoken with Afghani acquaintances that now live in Canada, they confirmed that they very much appreciated what the Canadians did for and in partnership with them. But while that is our preferred method of contribution, we can fight as well. During WWI, Canadian troops proved their mettle at the second Battle of Ypres and then again at Passchendaele (third Battle of Ypres) but at a high cost. During WWII, we were at Dunkirk among other places. We served in Korea 1950-53, but we refused to go to war in Vietnam. We were in Cyprus as peacekeepers and again in Rwanda as part of the UN peacekeeping mission. While Australian PM Turnbull has said that Australia will go to war against North Korea if the US declares war, I hope Canada will take up her traditional diplomatic role before that happens. However, with a loose cannon like Trump in the US and Kim Jong-un in the Hermit Kingdom, who knows.
My Universe— Every time I sneeze or blow my nose, my three furbabes run away fast and furiously! Seems the sound is distressing to them but it usually helps me!
Can you believe it? We’re almost half way through summer! The days are shorter. Kids are talking about returning to school. I for one can hardly wait for the cooler weather of fall! But until then, I’ll enjoy fresh fruit sorbets to cool me off, and perhaps a “run” through my neighbour’s sprinkler which he only turns on at dusk.
Alternet — People are wondering out loud about the parallels between today’s Republican Party and organized crime, and whether “Teflon Don” Trump will remain unscathed through his many scandals, ranging from interactions with foreign oligarchs to killing tens of thousands of Americans by denying them healthcare to stepping up the destruction of our environment and public lands.
History suggests – even if treason can be demonstrated – that, as long as he holds onto the Republican Party (and Fox News), he’ll survive it intact. And he won’t be the first Republican president to commit high crimes to get and stay in office.
In fact, Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president we’ve had in this country.
Since Dwight Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961, six different Republicans have occupied the Oval Office.
And every single one of them – from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump – have been illegitimate – ascending to the highest office in the land not through small-D democratic elections – but instead through fraud and treason.
(And today’s GOP-controlled Congress is arguably just as corrupt and illegitimate, acting almost entirely within the boundaries set by an organized group of billionaires.)
What a storied history for the Grand Old Party, and certainly nothing of which to be proud. Yet Republicans continue in their errant ways as if nobody is watching. Perhaps voters are not watching, or perhaps they just don’t care. This is a sad commentary on American democracy, such that it is.
YouTube — Of course, for the past week we have been hearing how Anthony Scaramucci was going to clean things up by plugging leaks at the White House. He provided plenty of fodder for comedians in his short White House stay. According to news today, he was fired from his position as communications director by the Orange Ogre with the inappropriateness of his profanity laced tirade about Reince Priebus given as the reason. Hmmmm . . . I wonder how that squares with Trump being called the Pussy Grabber. More over, Scaramucci was fired before he officially started. Damn, and I had just finally remembered how to spell his name!
Raw Story — Speaking by phone on MSNBC, a former U.S. Attorney walked host Joy Reid through the legal ramifications if it turns out to be true that President Donald Trump personally dictated his son’s statement that contained lies about his meeting with Kremlin-connected Russians back in June of 2016.
According to Barbara McQuade, if Trump did dictate the statement then he was trying to mislead the public and the government.
Trump might just keep Robert Muller permanently employed. With his continuous lying and highly questionable acts, Trump is shooting himself in the foot, and you know who he’ll try to blame . . . anyone but himself.
Well this little fiasco should attract Robert Mueller’s attention at the very least. In my opinion, Trump is guilty of corruption, collusion and obstruction of justice. I guess we have to wait for Mueller’s investigation to conclude.
These last few days sure have been busy, and I hope that I can finally get the data collection and graphics for January’s report done later in the day.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:53). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From YouTube (GQ Channel): The 50 Craziest Things Trump Has Done As President | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann
If Keith could go longer without breathing, he could have made it 500. RESIST!!
From Think Progress: \Authoritarianism” is one of the most misunderstood words in America today.
As Cornell government professor Thomas Pepinsky writes, authoritarian nations rarely resemble Nazi Germany. People don’t necessarily live in fear of a secret police, or even fear that there will be consequences for dissent. Rather, the dividing line between democracy and authoritarianism comes down to something much more basic: “you know that you are no longer living in a democracy because the elections in which you are participating no longer can yield political change.”
By this definition, there is a thick cord of authoritarianism winding its way around the Republican Party.
Those of you that have known me for years know that, as long as you have known me I have said that what Republicans do can always be explained by one of their two defining goals. One is the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the super-rich. The other is the establishment of a permanent totalitarian Republican Reich, a fascist plutocracy in which elections exist for show only, because Republicans control who votes and how the votes are counted. RESIST!!
From Salon.com: “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert agrees with President Trump: Just because the Bowling Green massacre never happened, doesn’t mean the media should be ignoring it.
Where were you, when you didn’t hear nothing happened? RESIST!!