Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Notorious HRC

Bill Maher posits a campaign strategy for Hillary Clinton,

Campaign pin

Friday, July 29, 2016

Don't know what she did with the Sun

But Luella was performing "When You Hear My Home Going" at Music City Roots the other day.

Beware small hands and fine print

From the pen of Kevin Siers

Local mosquitos now spreading Zika in Florida

And Republicans sat on funding for Zika research and will probably continue to do so when they return from their summer long break.
Four cases of Zika infection in Miami are highly likely to have been caused by infected mosquitoes, the state Department of Health said Friday — the first documented instance of local transmission in the continental United States.

Officials in Florida believe that the area of active transmission is limited to a one-square-mile area just north of downtown Miami. No mosquitoes tested have been found carrying the Zika virus, and the department is going door to door in the neighborhood collecting urine samples to test residents.

Miami-Dade County is one of the busiest ports of entry into the United States from countries where the Zika virus is circulating. Health experts have long described it as one of the areas most at risk for an outbreak of the disease.

Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement that the four cases involve three men and one woman. He did not indicate whether the woman was pregnant.

“While no mosquitoes have tested positive for the Zika virus,” Mr. Scott said, the Health Department “is aggressively testing people in this area to ensure there are no other cases. If you live in this area and want to be tested, I urge you to contact the county health department.”

Of the four people infected, he said, “They are all active Zika cases and have not exhibited symptoms to be admitted to the hospital.”

The neighborhood that the authorities are focusing on is in the Wynwood area, bound by Northwest Fifth Avenue, U.S. 1, Northwest/Northeast 38th Street and Northwest/Northeast 20th Street.

The virus, transmitted by mosquitoes or by sex with an infected person, causes brain damage and neurological disorders in babies born to mothers who contracted it in pregnancy. In rare cases, it can also cause a form of temporary paralysis.
So far it is localized but when has that ever lasted long?

Another GOP election fraud stopped

A three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has decisively slammed the North Carolina voter ID law. In its decision, it pulled no punches as to how the judges felt about the law.
The sweeping decision, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, was unusually speedy: A judge in Winston-Salem, N.C., upheld the law in April. The appeals court, which sits in Richmond, Va., made its decision clear in the opening pages of a lengthy ruling, questioning the reasoning of the lower court judge.

In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees,” the Fourth Circuit panel said of the district court ruling that upheld the law passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. “This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.”

The appeals court added later, “Faced with this record, we can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent.”

In addition to an identification requirement, the law also abolished same-day voter registration and ended preregistration, which had permitted some teenagers to sign up for the voting rolls before they turned 18.

Republicans argued the law protected against fraud, but critics said it was an effort to disenfranchise certain voters, particularly black and Hispanic ones.
That 'forest for the trees' remark in their opening was an out and out kick in the nuts to the legislature and the previous court that upheld it. North Carolina can still appeal to the court en banc but a stay of the law based on this decision would be likely and kill the law for this election.

Slime and poo expected in great quantities this election

And not just because that megalomaniac fabulist and notorious thinskined vulgarian Benedict Donald Trump is running. However he is expected to be a major contributor.
America’s about to endure the closest, nastiest, most unpredictable presidential election in more than three decades.

Not since Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan ran against each other in 1980 has the choice been so stark, the warnings from each candidate about the other so dire, the likely outcome so murky.

As this year’s political conventions end, there’s no clear favorite. But watch the polls next week. The leader in the first polls conducted entirely after the convention ends has won the White House every time since 1948.

There’s potential for another sort of email drama. Republicans won’t let voters forget about Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

“We've known from the beginning of this campaign that Clinton's personal political history was going to be a drag on her candidacy,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute in New Jersey.

Clinton will counter by painting Trump as inept, incompetent and all but insane.

“Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons,” she said in her convention speech Thursday. “I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.”

Stoking fear about an opponent is a time-tested tactic. President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 “daisy ad” suggested Republican Barry Goldwater would involve the nation in a nuclear war. In 1980, Jimmy Carter made the same insinuations. In his October, 1980, debate with Ronald Reagan, Carter used the word “dangerous” six times to describe his Republican opponent.
Despite the loss of Roger Ailes, the GOP still has the fully functioning disinformation bureau he made of Fux Nooz in place. And the lies they have told the last 30 years have done a good job poisoning the minds of the young.

Benedict Donald comes out with his lover.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Not as far as the end of the universe

Over The Rhine does "Meet Me At The Edge Of The World"

Yesterday Pearls Before Swine was censored

For this. I wonder if my NSA monitor laughed at it?

Did Trump plagiarize Putin's slogan, too?

From the pen of Jim Morin

R.I.P. Jack Burton Davis, Jr.

One of the original "Usual Gang Of Idiots" of Mad Magazine". I would not be what I am today without you.

Perhaps He will outsource the Office

Having yesterday called upon his owner Vladimir Putin to hack US government servers to find some mythical e-mails, Donald "Wormtongue" Trump has once again called Putin a better leader than President Obama.
Donald J. Trump called President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia “a better leader” than President Obama, offering the praise in an interview with “Fox and Friends” on Thursday, just a day after saying he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email.

Asked about comments he had made Wednesday at a news conference in Florida, where he said, “Putin has much better leadership qualities than Obama,” Mr. Trump reiterated his views in slightly starker terms.

“I said he’s a better leader than Obama,” Mr. Trump said. “I said he’s a better leader than Obama, because Obama’s not a leader, so he’s certainly doing a better job than Obama is, and that’s all.”

Mr. Trump also tried to walk back, in part, comments he made Wednesday about Russia hacking Mrs. Clinton’s emails — an extraordinary moment in which the Republican nominee basically urged Russia, an adversary, to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.

Mr. Trump seemed to be conflating the roughly 30,000 emails on Mrs. Clinton’s private server during her time as secretary of state, which her lawyers deleted as personal, and the roughly 20,000 emails Democratic National Committee emails that had been hacked.

Mr. Trump’s comments Wednesday about Russian hacking set off a firestorm of criticism, and his efforts to recalibrate his remarks began just hours after he looked into a bank of television cameras and declared, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Mr. Trump posted on Twitter on Wednesday that he was simply urging Russia — if it had indeed hacked Mrs. Clinton — to hand her emails over to the proper authorities. “If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the F.B.I!” Mr. Trump wrote.
Despite his minions crawling out everywhere to deny he meant what he said, some Trumpoons actually think turning over government information to a foreign dictator is a good idea. Trump may think Putin is a better leader but he fortets that Putin would never let one of his minions say anything so stupid and live. It is becoming very obvious that Trump would be such a bad leader that he would have no choice but to outsource the Office of the President to someone better able to deal with it.

Benedict Arnold, Donald Trump, cut from the same cloth.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Singing under some old tree in Texas

Lake Street Dive does "Stop Your Crying"

Computers change everything

From the pen of Jack Ohman

No sweat, I got Narcan

Junkies have never been known to be the most thoughtful or cautious people, but now with the advent of naloxone, trade name Narcan, they have no reason to avoid what they know will kill them.
Every day across the country, hundreds, if not thousands, of people who overdose on opioids are being brought back to life with naloxone. Hailed as a miracle drug by many, it carries no health risk; it cannot be abused and, if given mistakenly to someone who has not overdosed on opioids, does no harm. More likely, it saves a life.

As a virulent opioid epidemic continues to ravage the country, with 78 people in the United States dying of overdoses every day, naloxone’s use has increasingly moved out of medical settings, where it has been available since the 1970s, and into the homes and hands of the general public.

But naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, has also had unintended consequences. Critics say that it gives drug users a safety net, allowing them to take more risks as they seek higher highs. Indeed, many users overdose more than once, some multiple times, and each time, naloxone brings them back.

Advocates argue that the drug gives people a chance to get into treatment and turn their lives around. And, they say, few addicts knowingly risk needing to be revived, since naloxone ruins their high and can make them violently ill.

With drug overdoses now killing more people than car crashes in most states, lawmakers in all but three — Kansas, Montana and Wyoming — have passed laws making naloxone easier to obtain. Its near-universal availability reflects the relatively humane response to the opioid epidemic, which is based largely in the nation’s white, middle-class suburbs and rural areas — a markedly different response from that of previous, urban-based drug epidemics, which prompted a “war on drugs” that led to mass incarceration, particularly of blacks and Hispanics.
But even junkies don't like dancing with death, not the least because it has hash after effects.
Yet most users loathe naloxone’s effects. By blocking opiate receptors, it plunges them into withdrawal and makes them “dope sick,” craving more heroin or pills.

“I hate it,” said Melissa Tucci, 44, a heroin user here who has been revived seven times. “When I start withdrawing, I vomit, you get diarrhea, you sweat profusely, your nose will run, you sneeze and have runny eyes, and you ache so bad you can’t even walk.”

She said she has overdosed so often not because she relied on naloxone to save her, but rather because she underestimated how potent the heroin was. And she said she keeps using heroin to avoid the agony of withdrawal.
She hates the effect of naloxone but she keeps on shooting up to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal which puts her in a position sooner or later to get another load of naloxone which makes her feel so bad. No one ever accused junkies of being the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Most people would say, "Who Me?"

But the arrogance of The Great Orange Fungus, Donald Trump allows him to believe that he can say whatever he wants without fear of consequences. Witness GOFDT's response to questions about Donald's friend Putin having organized theDNC hack.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump openly called on Russia to hack his opponent Hillary Clinton after speculation Moscow may be responsible for a security breach at the Democratic National Committee.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said in a press conference Wednesday. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Trump was referencing the approximately 30,000 emails Clinton deleted from the private server she used while secretary of state, which she said were personal in nature. The remaining emails were turned over for an FBI investigation over whether Clinton broke the law by dealing with classified information in unsecured emails.

When asked by a reporter on whether he has any qualms about asking a foreign country to hack his political opponent, Trump said definitively, “No, it gives me no pause.”
Nope, no way that Putin's Puppy has any second thoughts about it, he never had any first thoughts! His response to those who do have qualms about giving away his country to a foreign dictator is simple. He ignores them and his followers make note of who to eliminate later.

Please help him recover his money

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An old Tom Paxton favorite

Puss N Boots (Jones, Dobson & Popper) does "Leaving London"

Trump explains himself

From the pen of Jen Sorensen

Not quite bad enough to walk on

But the venues for several Olympic watersports are the sadly still polluted waters of Guanabara Bay and so far the best advice for any participants is to keep their mouths closed when in or on the water.
Health experts in Brazil have a word of advice for the Olympic marathon swimmers, sailors and windsurfers competing in Rio de Janeiro’s picture-postcard waters next month: Keep your mouth closed.

Despite the government’s promises seven years ago to stem the waste that fouls Rio’s expansive Guanabara Bay and the city’s fabled ocean beaches, officials acknowledge that their efforts to treat raw sewage and scoop up household garbage have fallen far short.

In fact, environmentalists and scientists say Rio’s waters are much more contaminated than previously thought.

Recent tests by government and independent scientists revealed a veritable petri dish of pathogens in many of the city’s waters, from rotaviruses that can cause diarrhea and vomiting to drug-resistant “super bacteria” that can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems.

Researchers at the Federal University of Rio also found serious contamination at the upscale beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, where many of the half-million Olympic spectators are expected to frolic between sporting events.

“Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in human crap, and they risk getting sick from all those microorganisms,” said Dr. Daniel Becker, a local pediatrician who works in poor neighborhoods. “It’s sad, but also worrisome.”

Government officials and the International Olympic Committee acknowledge that, in many places, the city’s waters are filthy. But they say the areas where athletes will compete — like the waters off Copacabana Beach, where swimmers will race — meet World Health Organization safety standards.

Even some venues with higher levels of human waste, like Guanabara Bay, present only minimal risk because athletes sailing or windsurfing in them will have limited contact with potential contamination, they add.
And the good thing about 'finless brown trout' is they do not bite. We can only wish good luck and good health to those who participate in any of the affected activities. As least you don't have to worry about peeing in the water, someone else did it for you.

Peru trying to do the impossible

Trying to stop gold miners from utterly destroying an otherwise rich and diverse nature preserve, the Tambopata Nature Reserve.
Trying to protect one of the most biologically diverse places on earth from an army of illegal miners that has carved a toxic path through the rain forest, the Peruvian government is setting up outposts and stepping up raids along the Malinowski River in the Tambopata Nature Reserve.

But some experts wonder whether it is far too little too late.

To get here, a remote front line in Latin America’s battle against illegal mining, I hiked nine and a half hours through the jungle, at times in water up to my armpits. But any sense of being in a pristine wilderness was lost at the river’s edge. Already, the miners had done so much damage that the water ran the color of milky coffee. The landscape was worthy of a “Mad Max” movie. Huge sandy craters, mounds of pebbles and poisoned waterways were everywhere. Garbage — rags, plastic bags, plastic foam food containers — clung to the freshly cut tree branches piled up in the river’s nooks and crannies.

With the price of gold high for years, illegal mining has blossomed in many parts of Latin America, not just in Peru. But in this country, one of the world’s major gold producers, the problem has gotten particularly bad.

The amount of gold collected by unlicensed miners is far larger than elsewhere in Latin America. And it is ballooning so quickly that environmentalists fear that even a remote reserve like this one — home to thousands of species of plants and animals, some perhaps not even identified by humans — has little chance of survival.

For all the environmental damage done by corporate mining, illegal miners are far more destructive, experts say. While mining companies tend to concentrate on areas with rich underground veins of gold, illegal miners move swiftly across vast amounts of territory. They cut down broad swaths of jungle, sifting through perhaps 200 tons of topsoil to find enough flecks of gold for a single wedding ring.

Without help, some experts say, the areas they leave behind — robbed of all topsoil and loaded with mercury — could take 500 years to recover.

The miners use so much mercury to process the gold that the government declared a health emergency in much of the Madre de Dios region in May. Tests in 97 villages found that more than 40 percent of the people had absorbed dangerous levels of the heavy metal. Mercury poisoning affects people in many ways, from chronic headaches to kidney damage, but it is most harmful to children, who are likely to suffer permanent brain damage.

“The next generations will pay for what we are doing now,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who heads the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment.
The lure of untold riches usually ends with the riches still untold, but the damage done in the greedy scramble for them remains long afterwards. And seldom has anybody been able to stop the eager vandals from doing that damage when gold is their goal.

Samantha Bee autopsies the Republican Convention

The less you know the better...for him

Monday, July 25, 2016

No Matter Who

Margaret Glaspy

He hits all the "high" points

Tom Tomorrow looks back at the Republican Orange Convention and remembers the hilights of every bigots favorite shit show.

A Hat Tip to Betty Bowers Today

R.I.P. Marni Nixon

You heard her voice a hundred times but it was always someone else's mouth that was moving.

Texas pissants lose another court case

This time it was their unconscionable refusal to provide birth certificates to children of undocumented mothers. This particular piece of asshattery was supposed to be a response to an increased influx of Central Americans.
Last year, Ms. Hernandez and about two dozen other immigrants sued, saying they could not obtain the documents Texas officials were demanding to prove their identities. On Friday, Texas agreed to a settlement that will expand the types of documents parents can present, allowing those without legal immigration status to obtain certificates for their children again.

The babies whose parents brought the federal suit were born in Texas medical facilities, so it was not in doubt that they were citizens. Lawyers for the parents said the settlement would be “life-changing” for them.

“The bottom line is, there was a category of people who were being locked out of obtaining a birth certificate to which they are entitled constitutionally as citizens born in the United States just because of the immigration status of the parents,” said Efrén Olivares, the legal director of the Texas Civil Rights Project’s South Texas office and a lead lawyer in the lawsuit.

In the settlement, Texas made no changes to the basic rules for birth certificates, which it argued were designed to ensure that the essential documents were correctly issued. But the state agreed to accept several documents from parents that it had started to reject.

The change in practice by Texas registrars dated to 2013, when state leaders were taking steps to stem a surge in illegal border crossings by families from Central America. The next year, Texas sent National Guard troops to the border. Texas led 26 states in a federal lawsuit in 2014 to halt President Obama’s immigration programs to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation, which state officials said encouraged more illegal crossings. A tie decision by the Supreme Court in June effectively ended those programs.

The Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, added new fuel to the debate about the children of undocumented immigrants, saying he would cancel their right to citizenship if he became president.
The Great Orange Fungus seeks to become Der Trumpenfuehrer so He, Alone can decide who will be a citizen of the country he rules over. Trump's position proves you don't have to be from Texas to be a Grade A Schmuck, just a Texas size ego.

John Oliver Autopsies the GOP Convention

Don't Use Our Songs

John Oliver has the artists response to unauthorized use of their music by politcos.

Do you think they know something?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Who writes a song for their soon to be Ex?

Kris Kristofferson wrote "For The Good Times" for Rita Coolidge when their marriage ended.

Damned if they do and damned if they don't

From the pen of Chan Lowe

Having been stymied in their efforts for war with Iran

Israel is looking north again for a victim to unleash all the military goodies we have been sending them since time immoral. Only this time they expect a savage no holds barred struggle to be waged on the backs of the Lebanese.
When Israeli army commanders describe how the next war against Hezbollah could unfold, they often search for words not used in military manuals. The future conflict, they warn, will be “ferocious” and “terrible.”

For both sides, the Israelis fear.

Yet far worse for Hezbollah and the civilians of Lebanon, they promise.

Ten years after Israel and Hezbollah fought a bloody but inconclusive 34-day war that left more than 1,000 soldiers and civilians dead in July and August of 2006, the Lebanese Shiite militant group has been transformed.

Hezbollah is now a regional military power, a cross-border strike force, with thousands of soldiers hardened by four years of fighting on Syrian battlefields on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad. There are 7,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria, Israeli commanders say.

Hezbollah troops have been schooled by Iranian commanders, funded by Tehran and have learned to use, in combat, some of the most sophisticated armaments available, such as fourth-generation Kornet guided anti-tank missiles. They pilot unmanned aircraft and fight alongside artillery and tanks. They have taken rebel-held villages with Russian air support.

More than 1,000 Hezbollah fighters have died, the Israelis say; they do not describe Hezbollah as “demoralized” but “tested.”

“In 2006, Hezbollah fought a guerrilla war. Today, Hezbollah is like a conventional army,” said Elias Hanna, a retired Lebanese army general who teaches at the American University of Beirut.
Hezbollah made be like a conventional army now, but I doubt they have forgotten the advantages of guerrilla tactics when called for. The real question is whether Israeli arrogance will overpower the lessons learned the last time they were beaten in Lebanon?

Bloomie picks Hillz

He left the Democratic party in 2000 and became a Republican of Convenience to take over NYC as its mayor. He has since gone Independent and in has announced his choice for President.
Michael R. Bloomberg, who bypassed his own run for the presidency this election cycle, will endorse Hillary Clinton in a prime-time address at the Democratic convention and make the case for Mrs. Clinton as the best choice for moderate voters in 2016, an adviser to Mr. Bloomberg said.

The news is an unexpected move from Mr. Bloomberg, who has not been a member of the Democratic Party since 2000; was elected the mayor of New York City as a Republican; and later became an independent.

But it reflects Mr. Bloomberg’s increasing dismay about the rise of Donald J. Trump and a determination to see that the Republican nominee is defeated.

Mrs. Clinton is seeking to reach out to middle-of-the-road swing voters and even moderate Republicans uneasy about Mr. Trump. Polls show that significant numbers of Republicans remain wary of Mr. Trump, and question his fitness for the presidency.

Mr. Bloomberg will vouch for Mrs. Clinton “from the perspective of a business leader and an independent,” said Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg.

Mr. Bloomberg, who has been sharply critical of Mr. Trump’s views on immigration and the economy, may fortify Mrs. Clinton’s appeal to the political center.

And with the Republican nominee basing his campaign on his background as a businessman, Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire media executive and philanthropist, may help counter the Trump sales pitch.

It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a speaker who is not a member of a political party to address that party’s convention. Mr. Bloomberg is expected to speak on Wednesday, the same evening as President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Bloomberg and Mrs. Clinton are not personally close, but had a positive working relationship when he served as mayor and she as a senator from New York.
I am not sure why this is unexpected. Bloomie may be rapacious but he does follow a code of conduct most of us would be familiar with. And there was never any love lost betweenhim and The Great Orange Fungus.

Trump finds an acorn

Don't take the easy way

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