Friday, December 29, 2017

"CHRISTMAS IS HERE!" by The Trumps

 “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e. the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e. the standards of thought) no longer exist.”  Hannah Arendt

Monday, December 25, 2017

An 8-year old's letter to Santa

A friend's granddaughter sent this letter to Santa this year. She is 8 years old and her father died not long ago. I believe she speaks for all of us.  Enlarge your screen if you can't read it.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Real History

So there's Truth (above) and Denial (below– the ultimate expression of both privilege and a guilty conscience):

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Update From the Asylum

More psychopathic gibberish from  the Man in the White Castle.  From this week's Harper's Weekly: you simply cannot conceive of this being reality, and yet, there it is.

October 13, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
Congressional Republicans reportedly said that US president Donald Trump was "nuts," "unfit," and "dangerous," and that they were "praying" Trump didn't "do something really, really stupid" before they reformed the tax code and then removed him from office; the Republican speaker of the House told Congress that they may need to work "till Christmas" to pass tax-reform legislation as soon as possible; and Trump complained about department stores using red decorations but not making their employees say "Merry Christmas" to customers. "America is a nation," said Trump, "sustained by the power of prayer." Trump announced that his administration was "stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values"; and then signed an executive order to stop subsidizing the cost of health insurance for poor people, which he said he was "only doing" because "it costs" him nothing. Trump declared flashlights obsolete as he handed them out to Puerto Ricans, 90 percent of whom had no electricity in their homes; and tweeted that he wouldn't keep providing federal hurricane relief "forever" to Puerto Rico, a US territory that the secretary of energy referred to as a "country." Vice President Mike Pence attended a football game in Indiana, where he responded to NFL players not standing for the national anthem to protest police killings of black men and women by leaving the game in protest; Trump tweeted that the players were disrespecting the American flag; and Trump remained seated during a flag-honoring ceremony at the base of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, where he did not put his hand on his heart and then asked if the bugle was playing for him or for his companion, a talk-show host whose ratings he then complimented. Trump said that the Keystone XL pipeline, which he approved two months into his administration and which is still not under construction, was approved by him "within twenty-four hours" and was currently under construction; that Obama was responsible for the formation of the Islamic State, which formed two years before Obama took office; that a journalist "set up" Republican senator Bob Corker by secretly recording their conversation, which captured Corker asking the journalist to record him; and that Chief of Staff John Kelly "loves" his job "more than anything he's ever done." "It is not the best job I ever had," said Kelly. A reporter asked Trump about a lunch the president was said to have shared the previous day with his secretary of state, Trump said the reporter was "behind the times" and that the lunch had occurred the previous week, and the White House confirmed that the lunch had in fact occurred the previous day. Trump said that he had no schedule for his administration but that if he did he would be "substantially ahead of schedule," that "a lot of countries are starting to respect the United States of America," and that he "met with the president of the Virgin Islands," a US territory of which he is president. "What's that?" Trump reportedly asked when he was told of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which gives his cabinet members the power to remove him from office.

And the hits just keep on comin'.

Friday, October 6, 2017

What Is The Attention Economy?

Today's Guardian features a mindblowingly forthright in- depth critical examination by the very creators of today's deliberately and highly addictive technology  –  phones, "like" buttons, apps, swipe refresh – and it is frighteningly revealing. Read it here.

The ask: Am I part of the problem, or part of the solution?

An excerpt:

"In the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning electoral victory, many were quick to question the role of so-called “fake news” on Facebook, Russian-created Twitter bots or the data-centric targeting efforts that companies such as Cambridge Analytica used to sway voters. But Williams sees those factors as symptoms of a deeper problem. 
"It is not just shady or bad actors who were exploiting the internet to change public opinion. The attention economy itself is setup to promote a phenomenon like Trump, who is masterful at grabbing and retaining the attention of supporters and critics alike, often by exploiting or creating outrage.
"Williams was making this case before the president was elected. In a blog published a month before the US election, Williams sounded the alarm bell on an issue he argued was a “far more consequential question” than whether Trump reached the White House. The reality TV star’s campaign, he said, had heralded a watershed in which “the new, digitally supercharged dynamics of the attention economy have finally crossed a threshold and become manifest in the political realm”.


"Since the US election, Williams has explored another dimension to today’s brave new world. If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves – faculties that are essential to self-governance – what hope is there for democracy itself?
“The dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will,” he says. “If politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on.” If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point, I ask, at which democracy no longer functions?
“Will we be able to recognise it, if and when it happens?” Williams replies. “And if we can’t, then how do we know it hasn’t happened already?”

Monday, September 25, 2017

Speaking Eltonese

From The New Yorker

PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report)—In what some security experts fear could be a high-stakes war of Elton John lyrics, minutes after Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator responded by calling Trump “Honky Cat.”

As he issued the Elton John-based attack, Kim warned that he had an extensive collection of the singer-songwriter’s albums and was prepared to weaponize every lyric in them.

The White House immediately struck back, warning Kim that “any further provocation involving an Elton John lyric, especially ‘Tiny Dancer,’ will be seen as an act of war.”

But any hope that Kim would be silenced was short-lived.

Responding to the White House, Kim stated, “I see the bitch is back,” before signing off, “Goodbye, Yellow-Wigged Toad.”

The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

Adolf Hitler

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Good American

If you haven't seen this documentary, it's on Netflix (Also YouTube)  now and is the true and highly compelling story of the government's failure to prevent the attacks of Nov. 11, 2001. Many will not be surprised by the facts of the case, but the audacity of our government to do the unthinkable to protect corporate profits still amazes.

Some of us knew it at the time and were labeled "unpatriotic" for crying foul. You really feel for these folks who tried to tell the truth. While the rest of us were "Good Germans", as it were, and went along with the charade of denial, this small group of noble beings were the true Good Americans.

We've all been hiding under the desk since November of 1963. Isn't it time we came out? Became "good Americans" ourselves?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Yet Another Astonishing Summary of the Week

September 5, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un conducted a hydrogen bomb test; his ambassador called the test a "gift package" and said that "the U.S. will receive more gift packages" if it continues making "futile" threats of sanctions; and U.S. president Donald Trump, who once said he wanted to be "unpredictable" when dealing with nuclear weapons, tweeted that he was considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea," including China, which accounts for 90 percent of North Korea's trade and which manufactures Trump-branded eyeglasses, shirts, ties, suits, mirrors, ceramic vases, wall decorations, kitchen items, and light fixtures, as well as dice for Trump: The Game. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Trump was not his "bride," that "not all American presidents have reached the end of their term," and that it was "difficult to have a dialogue" with U.S. politicians who "confuse Austria and Australia." Trump nominated as his chief USDA scientist his former Iowa campaign manager, who is not a scientist; and a scientist reported that a government-approved pesticide had damaged 3.1 million acres of soybeans across the Midwest. Trump nominated as his head of NASA an Oklahoma congressman who does not believe in the findings of climate scientists; and a Category 5 hurricane approached the coast of Florida, less than a thousand miles from where a Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Texas a week earlier. Trump's nominee for drug czar was reported to have attempted, while serving as a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania, to get expunged his friend's conviction for dealing cocaine; and trafficking of powder and crack cocaine was reported to be rising in western Pennsylvania. Trump's attorney general said that there was "nothing compassionate" about allowing immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children to remain in the country, and one of those immigrants was found to have drowned while trying to rescue victims of a flood in Texas. Trump was reported to be "crushed" after receiving the resignation of his director of Oval Office operations, who once punched a Latino man for calling Trump a racist; and the head of a Philadelphia police union referred to Black Lives Matter protesters as "rabid animals" and voiced his support for an officer who has shot two black men in the back on two separate occasions. A law professor found that, according to 37 of the 40 known dictionaries written between 1604 and 1806, the profits Trump receives from foreign leaders' visits to his hotels are a violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, which a lawyer for Trump has said was written before such profits would be considered emoluments; another personal lawyer for Trump admitted to sending a letter during Trump's presidential campaign to the Kremlin asking for help building a Trump Tower in Moscow; and it was reported that Trump, who has referred to women's vaginas as "landmines" and who during his presidential campaign chastised his opponent for accepting money from Saudi Arabia because the country's citizens "treat women horribly," accepted from the government of Saudi Arabia a robe lined with cheetah fur, a robe lined with rabbit fur, a robe lined with white tiger fur, leather ammo belts and holsters, swords, daggers, boxes of gold-plated coins, a baseball cap, a painting of himself, and a painting of Saudi women.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Rise of Sadism?

August 28, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
From this week's Harper's Weekly:

Days before the Mexican government offered to send aid for the victims of a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in eastern Texas and caused catastrophic flooding in up to 50 counties and drove an estimated 30,000 people from their homes, one-time pornographic-film extra and current U.S. president Donald Trump issued a pardon for Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County who, during his 24-year tenure, held inmates in Korean War tents that reached temperatures of 141 degrees; referred to those tents as a "concentration camp" and the place "where all the Mexicans are"; called complaints from 
Latinos "civil rights crap"; said it costs more to "feed the dogs than it does the inmates," whom he fed rotten green bologna; ran on his office's website a "Mugshot of the Day" contest inviting visitors to vote for their favorite inmate images; shot footage of female inmates that could be viewed online; forced hundreds of inmates not yet convicted of any crime to march from one jail to another in pink underwear; oversaw guards who referred to Latino inmates as "wetbacks" and "Mexican bitches," strapped to a chair a paraplegic inmate and then tightened the restraints until his neck broke, and forced a female inmate to give birth in shackles; said he was the "first in the world" to put women in a "chain gang"; admitted that his counsel had hired a private agent to investigate the wife of a judge who ordered him to stop racially profiling Latinos, a ruling he was later found in contempt of court for ignoring; claimed that all people crossing the Mexican border had swine flu; said he was "doing something good" because the Latino community was "leaving town"; asked a Latino waitress if it was "safe" to drink a glass of iced tea she had given him; was found to have inadequately investigated or ignored hundreds of sex crimes; opened a rape investigation into a political opponent and investigated for child molestation a former Phoenix mayor who disagreed with his treatment of Latinos; oversaw deputies who threatened to arrest a reporter for viewing public records and forced a man's dog back into a burning house that they had set on fire; ran a jail with four times the suicide rate of county jails for Chicago or Miami; banned his inmates from drinking coffee and possessing pornographic magazines, and created an in-house radio station that broadcasted songs by Frank Sinatra; referred to his Italian-American bodyguards as his "mafia"; and chained together teenage inmates and forced them to bury the corpses of poor people. "More rain coming," tweeted Trump.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

So just to check in : A reminder by an astute commenter in the NY Times recently pretty well answers the puzzlingly ubiquitous question of "How we got here", in the World of Trump. This didn't happen in a vacuum.

" sdavidc9 is a trusted commenter Cornwall 3 hours ago

Republicans have wanted to shred the modern safety net ever since FDR started putting it in place. They used to be scared enough of safety net supporters to elect those of their ilk who also wanted to do the safety net and get votes from safety net supporters, but now they have driven safety net supporters out of their party. National Romneycare was proposed by a Democrat and fought by all Republicans, including Romney when he ran for President.

Republicans have been lying for years, ever since they adopted voodoo economics as their own and enticed the segregationists away from the other party with the lies of code words and dog whistles. They support the rule of law with voter disenfranchisement, extreme gerrymandering, and the routine demonization of the other side.

They do not like Trump's style or his inclination to run them down and mock them, which they know may reappear at any time. They do not like his untrustworthiness and unpredictability. But they have little problem with most of his agenda. After all, government is the problem and he is getting rid of it; refusing to staff it is almost as good as drowning it in the bathtub."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rick Perry: How Dumb Can You Get?

Rick Perry, Energy Secretary for the current Trump Administration, gets spoofed in phone call from Russian Comedy team posing at Kremlin Reps. You cannot make this stuff up!  Ship coal to Ukraine? How? Not to worry; Rick has you covered. Listen here.

Or copy and paste the following:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Again, To Summarize

VIVE LA FRANCE! Let us all celebrate the storming of the Bastille which occurred according to Donald Trump in 1917 and marked the beginning of WWI. Huh? Could he possibly be more of an insult to the French? I hope to god they laugh him out of town. And in case you missed just HOW DUMB this president is, here's his shockingly ignorant take on history aboard Air Force One on his way to Bastille Day celebrations. God help us.

From Harper's Weekly this week.  You Cannot Make This Stuff Up.

July 13, 2017
By Joe Kloc     

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of former vodka salesman and current U.S. president Donald Trump, was reported to have met during his father's campaign with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with alleged ties to the Kremlin who once referred to liberalism in the United States as a "fucking mental disorder." Donald Jr., who once said he prefers "Moscow over all cities in the world," issued a statement claiming that the meeting was "primarily" about "the adoption of Russian children." White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who previously said conversations between Russian officials and associates of the Trump campaign "never happened," told a journalist that "nobody said the word 'opposition research,'" and Donald Jr. tweeted that he went to the meeting with Veselnitskaya in order to "hear information about an opponent." White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the meeting was a "big nothing burger," an ethics lawyer for the administration of former president George W. Bush said the meeting "borders on treason," and Donald Jr. hired as legal representation Alan Futerfas, a criminal attorney who has previously represented associates of the Gambino and Genovese crime families, which in the late 1970s sold Trump the overpriced concrete used to build Trump Tower, where the meeting between Donald Jr. and Veselnitskaya occurred. Donald Jr. learned from reporters that emails he had sent about the meeting would be published; issued a second statement claiming that the meeting was organized by "an acquaintance" from the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump once owned, along with the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and a modeling agency accused by a former employee of practicing "modern-day slavery"; and then revealed that the acquaintance was Rob Goldstone, the agent of Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani pop star whose video for the song "In Another Life" featured Trump firing him and whose father is Aras Agalarov, a billionaire who owned the Moscow venue where Trump held his 2013 Miss Universe pageant and who once planned with Trump to build a Trump-branded tower in Russia, a project that according to Goldstone was led by Donald Jr. until it was canceled because "the economy tanked in Russia" as a result of U.S. sanctions, which Trump's former national-security adviser unlawfully discussed with the Russian ambassador while he was a member of Trump's transition team. Donald Jr. wrote that his father, who days before the meeting with Veselnitskaya had told the press he would soon announce incriminating information about his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, "knew nothing of the meeting"; and that during the meeting he received "no meaningful information" to help his father, who then did not announce any incriminating information about Clinton. Donald Jr. wrote of the meeting that Veselnitskaya's "true agenda" was to discuss the Magnitsky Act, a piece of U.S. legislation that imposed sanctions on 18 Russian officials believed to be responsible for the death of an accountant who uncovered a $230 million money-laundering scheme; that he "advised" Veselnitskaya that "her concerns were better addressed if and when" Trump "held public office"; and said that he had "no further contact" with Veselnitskaya, who continued after the meeting to represent Denis Katsyv, a Russian businessman who was charged in Manhattan with participating in the money-laundering scheme, until the case was settled out of court after Trump ascended to the presidency and fired the prosecutor. Veselnitskaya said that she never offered Donald Jr. any information on Clinton and denied that she worked for the Russian government, it was reported that U.S. prosecutors had evidence Veselnitskaya told a Moscow lawyer working to expose the money-laundering scheme that he would face consequences from Russia's intelligence agency if he continued his efforts, and a lawyer who claimed to have discovered new evidence of the money-laundering scheme said that his fall from the fourth-floor balcony of his Moscow home two months before Katsyv's case was settled was "no accident." Donald Jr. said that he wanted to be "transparent," then tweeted copies of his email exchanges with Goldstone, which revealed that Goldstone had offered to set up a meeting between Donald Jr. and a "Russian government attorney"; that the attorney would provide "information" to "incriminate Hillary Clinton," to which Donald Jr. replied "I love it"; that Goldstone said he would "send the names" of the people attending the meeting ahead of time to Donald Jr., who later claimed he "did not know" Veselnitskaya's name before the meeting; that Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who Donald Jr. had claimed attended the meeting without knowing what it was about, received the emails; and that Donald Jr. attended the meeting about two weeks before he said that the Clinton campaign's claims that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russia were "lies" that were "so phony" and "disgusting." Republican senator Orrin Hatch said Donald Jr. is a "nice young man," and Donald Jr. said he was "in the learning curve" when he accepted assistance in writing from the Russian government for his father's U.S. presidential campaign via an email exchange with Goldstone, who was a former judge for Miss USA and who once wrote that when an "idiotic child" falls into the hands of a 440-pound gorilla, he should be "shot." 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Teach a Pig to Sing?

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."
Robert Heinlein

(Thanks to Gill for that one.)

I simply cannot process that Ivanka (with a head of hair that needed washing– a little stressed, Ivanka? In maybe just a wee bit over your head?) sat in for Daddy, right there between May and Xi at the table, while Daddy was canoodling with Putin. What can possibly be next??  And don't these two look chummy!  Note Putin's "thumbs up". Someone save us.

And there's this from BuzzFeed:

"Tillerson said that Melania Trump came in at the one-hour mark to try and get the meeting finished, but they all kept talking. Good times.
"Some experts downplayed the impact of not having a notetaker in the room."
I'm thinking a little time for Putin next to Melania (or Melanoma, as she's often called) was part of whatever 'deal' Trump made.  So now it's wife sharing on diplomatic jaunts?

And what must the other world leaders have thought, Trump essentially dissing them in favor of time with his bromance Putin? Just LOOK at the expression on Putin's face in the press photos of him and Trump. Smug, satisfied he has got what he wanted. Nothing like giving the rest of the world the old middle fingers, eh boys? Ah, the old days. When men were men. Or rather when boys were boys and NOT PRESIDENTS.
It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Senator King's "Shift and Shaft"


A surprisingly coherent and sharply detailed, insightful analysis of the health insurance debate. And it's health INSURANCE, not health CARE we're discussing. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chris Hedges: America as Tinderbox?

This interview is a few years old, but Hedges' prescient points are even more pertinent today as the fury smoldering out there among the people intensifies and reaches a breaking point. Will it? Or will the circus simply continue to entertain, until there is no bread.  Hedges warnings are essential about the possible public response to the "corporate coup d'etat" that is America in 2017. We have no more deeply committed thinker than Chris Hedges. A deeply spiritual, honorable man who stands tall in the face of truth.

I Got to Laugh to Keep From Cryin'

Sorry!  Here's a link to the video. Treat yourself. It's wonderful!

 I was grateful to have that little comedy to cheer me up this morning, but can't help but wonder how much worse things can get, will get, if this DC madness continues for 6 months, a year, more? It's strictly Down-the-rabbit-hole stuff every day, no end in sight. Black is white and up is down. If the citizens who voted for the GOP for the last 20 years fail to awaken from their wilful stupor, we're doomed. Because the Democrats are the party of Wishful Thinkers, like Mr. Leonhardt below, who simply are too nice to see that the New GOP nutjobs do not and will never play nice. Kinda makes you wish Jesus would come back and smite these fekkers good.

David Leonhardt's bit in the NY Times this morning wherein he "hopefully" expresses his wish (wishfully, that is) that Republicans might yet come to Jesus and stop being so damned stingy prompted some of the strongest, clear-eyed responses I've read in months.

Here's a sampling:

"As long as this neighbor versus neighbor attitude dominates the political landscape the masses will be the loser. They more politicians can play one group against another nothing will get accomplished accept the rich will get richer and the poor poorer. Citizens of the US don't seem to get it. Until they do they will suffer in this morass."


And from Don Shipp,

Homestead Florida 2 hours ago

"This bill is a moral Rubicon. It offers the clearest moral choice of any piece legislation since the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Any Senator who votes to cut 22 million poor and disadvantaged Americans from basic health care, defund planned parenthood, and raise the maximum allowable limit on senior citizen health premiums by 67%, in order to fund a sordid $800 billion dollar plus, tax cut for the wealthy, is guilty of a shameful political crime against the most vulnerable Americans. People will die prematurely if this bill passes.The ethically squalid, secret process, orchestrated by Mitch McConnell's "Baker's Dozen" was the epitome of political cynicism and only adds to the infamy of this legislation."

Thank you, Mr. Shipp, that summarizes things nicely.
What a shitshow we are living. 

Oh, the Horror!

Oh, and pulleese! Do NOT try and tell me Susan Collins is moved with compassion for her fellow Mainers. If you call her office, they'll inform you she's for dumping the Medicaid program on the states. Behind the scenes she has her eye on the next race for governor of this shameful state with its mad, vengeful current fascist provincial governor and milque toast legislature. There have been any number of things a woman of 'conscience' could have done in her position this year to stop the Trump Runaway Train; none of which she did when given the opportunity.

She's as shameless as the rest of them.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Opera vs. Trump (Rossini Edition)

Sheer genius!!!! Grazie!!

And then there's this, from Harper's Weekly:

June 6, 2017
By Joe Kloc     

U.S. president Donald Trump, whose golf course in Ireland once requested permission from local authorities to build a wall to protect against sea-level rise, pulled out of the Paris climate agreement; defended the decision by saying he was elected not by Paris but by Pittsburgh, a city he lost in 2016; and proclaimed June to be National Ocean Month. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump was the "best messenger" for his administration, and a poll found that 61 percent of Americans think Trump hurts his administration when he speaks. Trump asked his Twitter followers to figure out the "true meaning" of a word he invented as part of a sentence fragment he tweeted the previous night, Trump's communications director resigned, four candidates asked to fill the job opening told the White House they did not want to be considered, and other potential candidates equated the job to "career suicide" and "a horrific bungee-jumping accident." One White House official issued a statement saying that Trump had a "magnetic personality" and "exuded positive energy," and another White House official told a reporter that Trump had become "glum," gained weight, trusted no one, and "now lives within himself." 

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is currently a person of interest in the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign for allegedly attempting to establish a secret communication channel between the Trump Administration and the Kremlin, was reported to have met in December with Sergey Gorkov, a former FSB classmate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who later appointed Gorkov as head of the state-owned VneshEconomBank, which was sanctioned by the United States and later the European Union in 2014. The White House said the meeting between Gorkov and Kushner covered diplomatic issues, and Gorkov said it was a business meeting. Trump tweeted a news story claiming that anonymous sources say Kushner did not attempt to set up communications with Russia, and Trump also tweeted that it is "very possible" stories citing anonymous sources are "made up." 

A Republican congressman from Nebraska refused to say whether people were "entitled to eat," Veteran's Affairs secretary David Shulkin said the aim of reducing the number of homeless veterans to zero was not "the right goal," and a Gallup poll found that more than half of those living in military communities in the United State now disapprove of Trump, who once compared his efforts to avoid sexually transmitted diseases to those of "a soldier going over to Vietnam." Three men in London drove a van into a crowd, exited the vehicle, and attacked patrons of a nearby market, killing seven people; and Trump tweeted in response to the attack that it was time to "get down to business" and then went golfing for the 23rd time since he took office. A Democrat in Iowa withdrew from a race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives because she had received death threats, and a Republican state representative in Texas threatened to shoot his Democratic colleague. A G.O.P. county chair in Oregon recommended that Republicans employ private militias, and a former Trump campaign official was sentenced to seven years in prison for organizing an armed militia to aid in a standoff against the U.S. government. 

A conservative radio host called for "a more violent Christianity," a noose was found at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, a white man in California shouted racial slurs at a black man and then attacked him with a machete, a white man shouting racial slurs ran over two members of the Quinalt tribe with a monster truck, and a white man riding a Portland train drank sangria while shouting racist slurs at a woman wearing hijab, then stabbed to death two people who attempted to intervene. "I'm sorry the world is so cruel," said a bystander to one of the dying men.

Seriously, you cannot make this shit up. As an antidote, I've taken to reading early Le Carre and just finished rewatching all seven seasons of The Sopranos. These just feel like appropriate responses to the madness.  A kind of rearming for what's ahead?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

We Call Him Maccaron!

Oui, Mac-ca-ron ... 'cuz watching him dress down tyrants is sweet!

How Do You Spell....?

Google has produced a map of the US that displays the word spelling most often googled by state. Somewhat revealing...  Rhode Islanders had trouble with the word "liar"?  Talk about the dumbing down of America ... Hawaiians can't spell "people"? What's become of American education? Click here to see a big map.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nuff Said?

... did someone say "war dance"?

And what's this trip really about? Find out here,  as Robert Fisk explains. Already US journos, including the Times, are distracted by wishful thinking as they focus on the hoopla (see above) rather than doing a little good old fashioned digging... glad someone's doing their homework.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Because the Past Matters

From a NY Times commenter today:

J. T. Stasiak Hanford, CA 3 hours ago
James Comey has an extensive reputation as an honest, intelligent, competent and strong career prosecutor who stands up to power. This was well demonstrated in 2004 when as deputy AG he successfully resisted White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President George W. Bush's chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr's efforts to steamroll then AG John Ashcroft into reauthorizing Bush's domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department determined was illegal. This circus was occurring while Ashcroft was seriously ill in a hospital ICU.

Comey was well respected by FBI rank and file as a strong and effective leader--there was no clamoring from the FBI for his dismissal. By all accounts, he was handling the Russian hacking of the Presidential election investigation well--he was the right guy for the job. One suspects that he was getting too close to the truth for Mr. Trump's comfort.

There is no new information regarding Comey's handling of the Clinton e-mails that would justify such an abrupt and unexpected dismissal. If Comey truly needed to be fired--debatable if not doubtful--this should have been done on the basis of the evidence at hand when Mr. Trump took office.

This dismissal reeks of obstruction of justice and could very well be an impeachable offense. The real tragedy is that The NY Times and its opinion writers squandered their credibility by their constant high decibel caviling about Trump's minor offenses. That wasted credibility is badly needed now.

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