Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Lucky Barn is the location
And "Subtle Love" is the title of this sweet song from Joan Shelley
If only we knew how badly he spelled
Real ticks are spreading
Ticks have always been a problem in warmer climates and now as our climate warms up their range is reaching farther north than ever before. And the ones coming up are more aggressive than previously and vectors of dangerous diseases.
With the expansion of the suburbs and a push to conserve wooded areas, deer and mice populations are thriving. They provide ample blood meals for ticks and help spread the pests to new regions.It would be nice if the government would spend as much money seeking a cure for these diseases as they do on research to weaponize them. But we can delay any though of that until we get a real government in Washington.
Originally from the Southeast, the lone star tick, for example, is heading north; it can now be found in 1,300 counties in 39 states. The blacklegged tick, also called the deer tick, is expanding its territory, too. In a recent study, Dr. Eisen reported a nearly 45 percent increase since 1998 in the number of counties with blacklegged ticks.
Thomas Mather, director of the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center, said it used to get reports of three or four lone star ticks in the greater Chicago area each year. Now, it is receiving up to 15.
When a tick species marches into a new region, it poses a double-barreled threat, said Jerome Goddard, extension professor of medical and veterinary entomology at Mississippi State University.
First, the species brings diseases from its original location. Second, the ticks pick up new pathogens from animals in their new ecosystem.
Physicians and patients in a tick’s new home may be less familiar with the diseases it carries. They can overlook symptoms or attribute them to a different cause, delaying effective treatment.
The best known threat is Lyme disease. Cases in the United States increased from about 12,000 annually in 1995 to nearly 40,000 in 2015. Experts say the real number of infections is likely closer to 300,000.
But scientists are finding ticks carry more than just Lyme: At least a third of known tick-borne pathogens were found in the last 20 years. Heartland virus and Bourbon virus, which can prove fatal, were discovered in just the last five years.
Powassan virus, a rare but dangerous pathogen that can cause permanent brain damage or death, can be passed from tick to human in just 15 minutes. It was discovered in 1958, and an average of seven cases are reported each year. Earlier this month, a resident of Saratoga County, N.Y., who had Powassan disease died.
Dr. Gary Wormser, founder of the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center at New York Medical College, said the most worrisome tick-borne contagion he sees is babesiosis, which can cause malaria-like symptoms and require hospitalization. A few of his patients have died from it; several required intensive care.
Before 2001, babesiosis was not found in Westchester, N.Y. But Westchester Medical Center has diagnosed at least 21 cases in the past year. A study of babesiosis in Wisconsin found a 26-fold increase in the number of cases between 2001 to 2003, and 2012 to 2015.
In places where the lone star tick is gaining prevalence, doctors also are seeing an increase in cases of alpha-gal syndrome, a strange allergy to red meat induced by tick bites.
Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule carried by the lone star tick. When the tick bites a human, it activates the immune system, which starts producing alpha-gal antibodies.
The body becomes wired to fight alpha-gal sugar molecules, which are abundant in red meat. Eating meat can trigger allergic reactions, from an itchy rash to anaphylactic shock.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth
It is to have a thankless Senator. And this modification of the original Shakespeare is well applied to the senior Senator from Arizona, John McCain. Except for a brief interlude in North Vietnam, John has had access to the best government provided health care possible from his cradle in Panama to his imminent grave. And to say thank you to all the taxpayers who have ponied up for this, he is dragging his own sick self back to DC to vote for the repeal of the ACA and the elimination of health insurance for over 30 Million of his fellow citizens.
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, is set to arrive at the Capitol at 2:45 p.m., despite a diagnosis of brain cancer, to cast his vote on whether to begin debating legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.Nice to know these evil fuckers have a backup plan if their Plan C fails. It remains to be seen if the ever appreciative Sen. McCain will be around for that vote. His cancer is an aggressive kind, the same kind that killed his friend Ted Kennedy.
After seven months of strategizing, debate and closed-door meetings, the Senate finally is voting. Senate Republican leaders can afford to lose only two Republicans. One is almost certainly gone, Senator Susan Collins of Maine. Senators Dean Heller of Nevada, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are still on the fence, but leaders think they can win them over. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, one of the most vocal opponents of the Republican bill to replace the health care law, now appears ready to at least debate it.
If the motion to begin debate passes, the first vote will be on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. That is likely to fail, and would be followed by a vote on the Senate Republican bill to replace the health law.
If that also fails, Senate leaders may fall back on a narrow bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that nearly everyone have health insurance, a separate mandate that most employers offer their employees health insurance and a repeal of the medical device tax.
The goal of that would be to simply get senators to negotiations with the House on a final repeal measure.
The only crime so far
Stephen Colbert on the Art of Self Pardoning
Boggles the mind
Monday, July 24, 2017
Linda with friends Dolly & Emmylou
Blue Train from her album Feels Like Home
I hope they find a cure
Not sure I want Trump to end up this way
But the way Tom Tomorrow explains the current Russian crisis, his ending would just right for Cheeto Mussolini.
Having assailed the elfin A.G.
Cheeto Mussolini has now bleated out a tweet asking why "our beleaguered A.G." hasn't been busily distracting the rubes with an unnecessary investigation of Hillary.
President Trump turned up the pressure on his own attorney general on Monday, calling him “beleaguered” in a tweet questioning why the Justice Department is not investigating Hillary Clinton.Either Cheeto is so shallow he will say anything to make him look good or his dementia has trashed his short term memory.
Mr. Trump’s comments are remarkable because if the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is beleaguered of late it is largely because of Mr. Trump himself.
In an interview last week with The New York Times, Mr. Trump said he never would have nominated Mr. Sessions if he knew he intended to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling and the Trump campaign. Those comments raised speculation that Mr. Sessions would quit, but he did not. Instead, Mr. Sessions said he would stay on as attorney general “as long as that is appropriate.”
Mr. Sessions has made it a priority to address violence, gangs and drugs — carrying out Mr. Trump’s inaugural pledge to end “American carnage.” But his tense relationship with Mr. Trump has overshadowed his agenda at the Justice Department. Mr. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy and was an architect of his populist message on immigration and trade.
In his tweet, Mr. Trump returned to campaign rhetoric, suggesting his Democratic opponent should be the subject of an investigation into murky ties to Russia, not him.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted that “so many people” were asking why Mr. Sessions and the special counsel were not looking into Mrs. Clinton and her deleted emails.
After winning the election, Mr. Trump declared that the Justice Department should not pursue investigations of Mrs. Clinton. But some of his outside advisers have called for him to push for such an inquiry. Mrs. Clinton also faced investigations into her family’s foundation and her use of a private email server.
Is he capable of giving testimony?
Jared Kushner had to fill out a very detailed form listing among other things, foreign contacts and details of his finances. Somehow the whiz kid, most noted for overpaying for a prestigious property at the top of the market, managed to 'forget' to include over 100 contacts that should have been included and over $1 Billion in financing. Naturally when he was called to testify before Congress, he was not required to give his testimony under oath or in public.
President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, emerged Monday from a private, two-hour-long meeting with congressional investigators and said his meetings last year with Russians were not part of any attempt by Moscow to disrupt the presidential election.We don't know yet what Jared said but we can tell from his remarks that he is in way over his head and the Republicans need to handle him carefullyso he doesn't do a Junior on them.It would be nice if they also pulled his security clearence and relieved him of duties he will never fulfill.
“All of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign,” Mr. Kushner said on the White House grounds. “I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.”
He said President Trump won the election because he had a better message and ran a smarter campaign than Hillary Clinton, not because he had help from Russia.
“Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him,” Mr. Kushner said in brief remarks. He took no questions from reporters.
In his prepared remarks to investigators, Mr. Kushner said he had been unaware that a June 2016 meeting he attended at Trump Tower was set up in the hope that a Russian lawyer would provide the Trump campaign with damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Kushner, who gave his statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, said he went to the meeting at the request of the president’s eldest son, Donald J. Trump Jr. Mr. Kushner said he did not read an email forwarded by the younger Mr. Trump saying that the Russian government was providing dirt about Mrs. Clinton as part of its effort to help the Trump campaign.
In his prepared remarks, Mr. Kushner gave his first public explanation of his contacts with Russian government officials and other Kremlin-connected people over the past year. He acknowledged that after the November election, he sought a direct line of communication to the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. He characterized that action as a routine part of his job in establishing foreign contacts for Mr. Trump’s transition team.
In the remarks, Mr. Kushner flatly denied any collusion: “I had no improper contacts. I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.”
Life's solutions can be simple
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Everything Comes Apart
Vlad cares for his ward
The Land of The Cool Khat
In Ethiopia there is not much to do. The government is trying to change that and rebuild the economy of Ethiopia. The government has one serious quandary, the growing and selling of khat is one of the major sources of revenue. The government also sees khat as an impediment ot its efforts to revitalize the country.
The country’s government, which rules the economy with a tight grip, is worried that the habit could derail its plans to transform Ethiopia into a middle-income country in less than a decade ― a national undertaking that will require an army of young, capable workers, it says.What to do? Khat is too deep in the economy and daily life of the country to easily root it out and its widespread use is hindering efforts to provide an alternative to chewing khat.Ethiopia is really caught between a rock and a hard place.
Khat is legal and remains so mainly because it is a big source of revenue for the government. But there are mounting concerns about its widespread use.
As many as 1.2 million acres of land are thought to be devoted to khat, nearly three times more than two decades ago. And the amount of money khat generates per acre surpasses all other crops, including coffee, Ethiopia’s biggest export, said Gessesse Dessie, a researcher at the African Studies Center Leiden at Leiden University.
That payoff, and the dwindling availability of land, has pushed thousands of farmers to switch to khat, he said. The changes have come as the government has pushed farmers off land that it has given to foreign investors in recent years.
Often associated with famine and marathon runners, Ethiopia is trying to change its global image by engineering a fast-growing economy, hoping to mimic Asian nations like China. It has poured billions of dollars into industrial parks, roads, railways, airports and other infrastructure projects, including Africa’s largest dam.
In cities across the country, skyscrapers grow like mushrooms, and along with them, dance clubs, restaurants and luxury resorts. According to government statistics, the country’s economy has been growing at a 10 percent clip for more than a decade.
But for all the fanfare surrounding what is often described as Ethiopia’s economic miracle, its effects are often not felt by the country’s young people, who make up about 70 percent of the nation’s 100 million people. There simply are not enough jobs, young people complain, often expressing doubt over the government’s growth figures.
It is because of this lack of jobs, many say, that they take up khat in the first place ― to kill time.
“It’s a huge problem,” said Shidigaf Haile, a public prosecutor in Gonder, a city in northern Ethiopia, which was rocked by violent protests last year, mainly by young people over the absence of jobs.
More than half of the city’s youth now chew khat, Mr. Shidigaf said. Many gather in khat dens away from prying eyes.
“It’s because there is a lack of work,” he added, saying there were numerous cases of people who were so dependent on the leaves, sold in packs, that they turned to petty crime. The government recognizes the problem, he said, but so far it has not been tackled directly.
“It’s bad for Ethiopia’s economic development because they become lazy, unproductive, and their health will be affected,” he said.
Seth Meyers and a Closer Look at Trump and his idea of loyalty.
Look ahead to the future
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Cook For You
Kellie Rucker singing and playing the harp.
Not that I want to know
Olive Yang, Drug Running, CIA Supported Burmese Warlord
All that and prison and torture too and you still managed to live to be 90. Truly a Badass.
He hasn't done anything wrong
But make no mistake Cheeto Mussolini
President Trump on Saturday asserted the “complete power to pardon” relatives, aides and possibly even himself in response to investigations into Russia’s meddling in last year’s election, as he came to the defense of Attorney General Jeff Sessions just days after expressing regret about appointing him.Given the sleaziness of his administration, he could stay very busy pardoning his staff and appointees of various federal crimes, but he is mistaken if he believes he can pardon himself. He will have to trust President Pence to do that.
Mr. Trump suggested in a series of early morning messages on Twitter that he had no need to use the pardon power at this point but left the option open. Presidents have the authority to pardon others for federal crimes, but legal scholars debate whether a president can pardon himself. Mr. Trump’s use of the word “complete” seemed to suggest he did not see a limit to that authority.
“While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us,” he wrote on Twitter. “FAKE NEWS.”
The Washington Post reported in recent days that the president and his advisers had discussed pardons as a special counsel intensifies an investigation into whether associates of Mr. Trump and his campaign conspired with Russia to intervene in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump also responded on Saturday to an article by The Post reporting that Mr. Sessions may have discussed campaign activities and policy with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, last year, despite his public statements to the contrary. In the article, The Post cited intercepted communications between Mr. Kislyak and his home office in Moscow. Mr. Trump excoriated the newspaper and expressed no concern about his attorney general’s conduct.
Sam gives a shout out to Loony Louie Gohmert
While discussing transgender confusion among Republicans during House general orders.
Stephen Colbert touts the newest blockbuster hit of the summer.
The progress of denial
Friday, July 21, 2017
Oh how the rose is red
And "Lily's Fair" sung by Terra Lightfoot
The Senate will conduct any impeachment trial
Now that they are insured
The black guy gave them affordable health insurance and they never forgave him for it so when it came time to elect a congressmoop, they went with the moop who promised to repeal it. And now that repeal may actually happen, millions of people are starting to realize it would be a very bad idea.
Five years ago, the Affordable Care Act had yet to begin its expansion of health insurance to millions of Americans, but Jeff Brahin was already stewing about it.The Republicans, especially the ignorant sods in the Fredom Caucus are realizing it is much easier to prevent people from getting something than it is to take away what they enjoy and know is good for them.
“It’s going to cost a fortune,” he said in an interview at the time.
This week, as Republican efforts to repeal the law known as Obamacare appeared all but dead, Mr. Brahin, a 58-year-old lawyer and self-described fiscal hawk, said his feelings had evolved.
“As much as I was against it,” he said, “at this point I’m against the repeal.”
“Now that you’ve insured an additional 20 million people, you can’t just take the insurance away from these people,” he added. “It’s just not the right thing to do.”
As Mr. Brahin goes, so goes the nation.
When President Trump was elected, his party’s long-cherished goal of dismantling the Affordable Care Act seemed all but assured. But eight months later, Republicans seem to have done what the Democrats who passed the law never could: make it popular among a majority of Americans.
Support for the Affordable Care Act has risen since the election — in some polls, sharply — with more people now viewing the law favorably than unfavorably. Voters have besieged their representatives with emotional telephone calls and rallies, urging them not to repeal, one big reason Republicans have had surprising trouble in fulfilling their promise despite controlling both Congress and the White House.
The change in public opinion may not denote newfound love of the Affordable Care Act so much as dread of what might replace it. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that both the House and Senate proposals to replace the law would result in over 20 million more uninsured Americans. The shift in mood also reflects a strong increase in support for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor that the law expanded to cover far more people, and which faces the deepest cuts in its 52-year history under the Republican plans.
Most profound, though, is this: After years of Tea Party demands for smaller government, Republicans are now pushing up against a growing consensus that the government should guarantee health insurance. A Pew survey in January found that 60 percent of Americans believe the federal government should be responsible for ensuring that all Americans have health coverage. That was up from 51 percent last year, and the highest in nearly a decade.
Because he has no defense
Our Great Orange Protector Cheeto Mussolini has commanded his minions to find all the dirt they can on Robert Mueller and his team of investigators as they dig deeper into the ordinary workings of the Trump crime family along with their espionage activities.Whatever they find will be magnified a thousand fold and given to his horde of flying monkeys to fling at Special Counsel Mueller.
President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.Cheeto wants Mueller to only look for the turd that he has hidden away where it can't be found. Mueller, like any good prosecutor is following the evidence and if it uncovers Trump's Friendly Money Laundry along with his espionage, so be it. Don Cheeto needs to remember that confession is good for the soul.
The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.
The effort to investigate the investigators is another sign of a looming showdown between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller, who has assembled a team of high-powered prosecutors and agents to examine whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers aided Russia’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election.
Some of the investigators have vast experience prosecuting financial malfeasance, and the prospect that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry could evolve into an expansive examination of Mr. Trump’s financial history has stoked fears among the president’s aides. Both Mr. Trump and his aides have said publicly they are watching closely to ensure Mr. Mueller’s investigation remains narrowly focused on last year’s election.
Mr. Trump also said Mr. Mueller would be going outside his mandate if he begins investigating matters unrelated to Russia, like the president’s personal finances. Mr. Trump repeatedly declined to say what he might do if Mr. Mueller appeared to exceed that mandate. But his comments to The Times represented a clear message to Mr. Mueller.
“The president’s making clear that the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said during a news briefing on Thursday.
Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel, declined to comment.
Samantha Bee explains the Voter Suppression Commission
Colbert is still the greratest
Talking about Trump
When you blow hard and suck harder
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Sweet Troubled Man
He's doing just fine as he is
Putin & His Toys
Trevor Noah shows us the toys he likes and the toys he doesn't.
The Nevada Parole Board is reviewing the case of Orenthal James Simpson to determine if he is eligible for parole. His chances are quite good he will get parole.
Also Ford Motor Company will begin selling their new Ford Bronco in the second half of this year, about now.
Coincidence ?? We shall see.
Trump's Last Bank
The last legitimate bank willing to lend him money, Deutsche Bank, is now under serious investigation because of its association with Donald Trump and Donald Trumps association with big time money laundering.
During the presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump pointed to his relationship with Deutsche Bank to counter reports that big banks were skeptical of doing business with him.Donald's position as the seller of overpriced real estate makes him the perfect foil for for money launderers and Russia makes the perfect source of money to launder. Trump and Russia perfect together and guaranteed to get your money squeaky clean.
After a string of bankruptcies in his casino and hotel businesses in the 1990s, Mr. Trump became somewhat of an outsider on Wall Street, leaving the giant German bank among the few major financial institutions willing to lend him money.
Now that two-decades-long relationship is coming under scrutiny.
Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit, which caters to an ultrarich clientele, according to three people briefed on the review who were not authorized to speak publicly. The regulators want to know if the loans might expose the bank to heightened risks.
Separately, Deutsche Bank has been in contact with federal investigators about the Trump accounts, according to two people briefed on the matter. And the bank is expecting to eventually have to provide information to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
It was not clear what information the bank might ultimately provide. Generally, the bank is seen as central to understanding Mr. Trump’s finances since it is the only major financial institution that continues to conduct sizable business with him. Deutsche Bank has also lent money to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and to his family real estate business.
Although Deutsche Bank recently landed in legal trouble for laundering money for Russian entities — paying more than $600 million in penalties to New York and British regulators — there is no indication of a Russian connection to Mr. Trump’s loans or accounts at Deutsche Bank, people briefed on the matter said. The bank, which declined to comment, scrutinizes its accounts for problematic ties as part of so-called “know your customer” banking rules and other requirements.
And with one of its most famous clients headed to the White House, the bank designed a plan for overseeing the accounts of Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner and presented it to regulators at the New York State Department of Financial Services early this year. The plan essentially called for monitoring the accounts for red flags such as exceptionally favorable loan terms or unusual partners.
Additionally, the New York regulators recently requested information related to the hundreds of millions in loans Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management division provided Mr. Trump, one of the people said, paying particular attention to personal guarantees he made to obtain the loans. Those guarantees have declined as the loans were paid down and the property values increased, but it remains a source of interest to the regulators.
Not impressive by any standard
Seth Meyers takes a closer look at Trump 'N Stuff so we don't have to.
GOP has every angle covered
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
There is a musician called Hemming
She has a website and an album. This song, "Vitamins" is on it.
What he has made in America
The mark of a failed president
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unable to pass his horrible Trumpcare or even simply repeal the ACA/Obamacare with no replacement, Cheeto Mussolini threw a hissy fit and cried to his minions to "Let Obamacare Fail". That this would endanger the lives of millions of Americans and show his total lack of leadership never occurred to the Man In The Cheap Blue Suit.
The seven-year Republican quest to undo the Affordable Care Act appeared to reach a dead end on Tuesday in the Senate, leaving President Trump vowing to let President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement collapse.I guess we should be happy that he doesn't have any clue about being a president but he is surrounded by folks who do know how to destroy so until he is removed he will create a great deal of damage.
Mr. Trump declared that his plan was now to “let Obamacare fail,” and suggested that Democrats would then seek out Republicans to work together on a bill to bury the Affordable Care Act. If he is determined to make good on that pledge, he has plenty of levers to pull, from declining to reimburse insurance companies for reducing low-income customers’ out-of-pocket costs to failing to enforce the mandate that most Americans have health coverage.
“It’ll be a lot easier,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, adding: “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
The fate of the repeal effort looked to be sealed on Tuesday, when a last-ditch attempt to force a vote to abolish the health law without a replacement fell short of support. The majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, seemed resolved to force senators to vote next week, but by Tuesday afternoon, it was clear he did not have 50 votes even to clear a procedural hurdle before considering a repeal-only measure.
The collapse highlighted a harsh reality for Senate Republicans: While they freely assailed the health law when Mr. Obama occupied the White House, they could not come up with a workable plan to unwind it that would keep both moderate Republicans and conservatives on board. It was an enormous embarrassment for a party that rode electoral waves to control first the House, then the Senate and then the White House, but has not been able to deliver a major legislative victory.
“This has been a very, very challenging experience for all of us,” Mr. McConnell said. “Everybody’s given it their best shot, and as of today, we just simply do not have 50 senators who can agree on what ought to replace the existing law.”
The reaction on Wall Street was muted. Stocks spent most of the day lower as shares of health insurers declined, and the dollar, which has steadily lost ground for most of the year, slipped further.
Mr. Trump has considerable leverage to gum up the works of the Affordable Care Act. He could throw insurance markets into a tailspin at any time by cutting off the subsidy payments to insurers, as he has threatened to do. He could further destabilize the markets by not enforcing the mandate that most Americans have health insurance.
And he could cancel advertising and other efforts to encourage enrollment under the Affordable Care Act when the annual sign-up period begins in November. A barrage of negative statements from the administration could project an official view that the health law is collapsing, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Absurdities of Trump
Seth Meyers tries to explain them without laughing
Look for The 3 Fingered Sphincter
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