Saturday, December 03, 2016

To Protect and Serve

From the pen of Stuart Carlson

R.I.P. Peng Chang-kuei

You created the original General Tso's Chicken and the NY Times details how it turned into the slop we eat today.

Lyin' Ryan and Dr Death agree

The top priority of the Republican Congress
is the repeal of the ACA, ending health insurance for 20 Million people. The effective date will be pushed out beyond the next election to help them keep their seats. It will also let them tell enough lies to convince people they didn't lose anything and it they did, the Republicans didn't do it.
Republicans in Congress plan to move almost immediately next month to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as President-elect Donald J. Trump promised. But they also are likely to delay the effective date so that they have several years to phase out President Obama’s signature achievement.

This emerging “repeal and delay” strategy, which Speaker Paul D. Ryan discussed this week with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, underscores a growing recognition that replacing the health care law will be technically complicated and could be politically explosive.

Since the law was signed by Mr. Obama in March 2010, 20 million uninsured people have gained coverage, and the law has become deeply embedded in the nation’s health care system, accepted with varying degrees of enthusiasm by consumers, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and state and local governments.

Unwinding it could be as difficult for Republicans as it was for Democrats to pass it in the first place and could lead Republicans into a dangerous cul-de-sac, where the existing law is in shambles but no replacement can pass the narrowly divided Senate. Democrats would face political pressure in that case as well.

It is not sheer coincidence that at least one idea envisions putting the effective date well beyond the midterm congressional elections in 2018.

“We are not going to rip health care away from Americans,” said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which shares jurisdiction over health care. “We will have a transition period so Congress can develop the right policies and the American people can have time to look for better health care options.”

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Senate health committee, said: “I imagine this will take several years to completely make that sort of transition — to make sure we do no harm, create a good health care system that everyone has access to, and that we repeal the parts of Obamacare that need to be repealed.”
Nobody will get anything from this pack of thieves but if their usual strategys work, the fools that are harmed will blame the wrong people.

He is not in the China market

Which is probably why he called the President of Taiwan, which has a population of 25 Million and maybe soon a Trump resort. In doing so he effectively insulted the government of China which has a population of 1.4 Billion and nothing with the Trump name on it.
Breaking decades of American diplomatic practice, he caught the Chinese government off guard by lunging into the most sensitive of its so-called core interests, the “One China” policy agreed to by President Richard M. Nixon more than four decades ago.

“This is a wake-up call for Beijing — we should buckle up for a pretty rocky six months or year in the China-U.S. relationship,” Wang Dong, an associate professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University, said Saturday. “There was a sort of delusion based on overly optimistic ideas about Trump. That should stop.”

Chinese leaders covet stability in their relationship with Washington, and perhaps for that reason, they have allowed fairly rosy assessments of Mr. Trump to appear in the state-run news media. Many of those accounts have depicted the president-elect as a practical operator devoid of ideology, the kind of person China might find common ground with despite his threats of a trade war.

In the hope of maintaining a relatively smooth relationship as Mr. Trump begins his administration, Beijing will probably take a wait-and-see attitude despite his phone call with Ms. Tsai, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

Indeed, China’s first official reaction, from Foreign Minister Wang Yi, was fairly benign — though it was firm in reiterating the One China policy, under which the United States formally recognized Beijing as China’s sole government in 1978 and broke ties with Taiwan a year later. No American president or president-elect had spoken to a Taiwanese president since then.

Mr. Wang blamed Ms. Tsai’s government for arranging the call. “It won’t stand a chance to change the One China policy agreed upon by the international community,” he said.

A follow-up statement from the Foreign Ministry on Saturday, noting that the ministry had filed a formal complaint with the United States government, was similar in tone. It urged “relevant parties in the U.S.” to “deal with the Taiwan issue in a prudent, proper manner.”
Perhaps Donny's corporate "buddies" will make it clear to him that Taiwan is nothing compared to the China market and if they choose, China can make a lot of American companies scream and Donny can't bribe Beijing.

Colbert scorches Trump & Leprechauns

Another good idea

Friday, December 02, 2016

When Canadians cover Chuck Berry

You get the husband/wife duo of Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet k/a Whitehorse singing "Nadine"

After 50 years what else can they do?

From the pen of Jim Morin

We mourn the loss of two memorable characters

Rest In Peace

Milt Moss, who really did eat that whole thing.

Andrew Sachs, who served maybe not so well at Fawlty Towers, Que?

Trying very hard to stop an accurate vote count

In another effort to twist words beyond any imaginable meaning, Republicans and their running dogs are working desperately hard to prevent recounts in the three states where Republican efforts at election fraud came closest to the surface.
Supporters of President-elect Donald J. Trump have filed legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan in a suddenly robust effort to stop the presidential election recount efforts there.

Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, said that the recount, initiated by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, put Michigan voters at risk of “paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process.”

“This court cannot allow a dilatory and frivolous request for a recount by an aggrieved party to silence all Michigan votes for president,” Mr. Schuette, a Republican, said in a court filing.

A lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission filed in Federal District Court by the Great America PAC, the Stop Hillary PAC and Ronald R. Johnson, a Wisconsin resident, argued that the recount could “unjustifiably cast doubt” on Mr. Trump’s victory in that state.

The plaintiffs argued that the recount, which began across the state’s 72 counties on Thursday morning, should be halted immediately, in part because there is a substantial chance that it cannot be accurately completed by the deadline of Dec. 12. In 2011, a statewide recount took close to a month.

In Michigan on Friday, where the recount is still pending, the Board of State Canvassers met to consider an objection to the recount by Mr. Trump.

Lawyers for Mr. Trump told the canvassing board, which is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, that it should not allow a recount to proceed, describing it as needless, too expensive and not required by Michigan law. Besides, Ms. Stein came nowhere near winning the state.

“This recount petition is absolutely unprecedented in the history of Michigan election law,” said Gary Gordon, a lawyer for Mr. Trump and his campaign.

A lawyer for Ms. Stein, Mark Brewer, said Mr. Trump’s campaign was making a “desperate attempt” to avoid a recount. “I would remind everybody that the original source of the allegation that this election was rigged was Mr. Trump,” Mr. Brewer told the board.
Donald's remarkable ability to project on others his own actions makes his calls about election rigging all the more plausible. And now the party is compelled to bring out the big guns and if possible distort the law to prevent any untoward discoveries of its signature election frauds.

Colbert on Trump Presidential Text Capability

This is Pay-To-Play

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Another Brooklyn based band

Whose members came from all over the country to the center of the universe, New York City. Oakley Hall does "Take My Hand, We're Free" from their 2007 album I'll Follow You.

It's a vision thing

From the pen of Tom Toles

In the upside down world of Trump ethics

His most often repeated accusation
against Hillary Clinton may be, in Donny's eyes, David Petraeus's highest recommendation.
Donald Trump, on the campaign trail, would occasionally compare the criminal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information to the case of former CIA director David Petraeus. In Trump’s view, Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information, was pursued unfairly, while Clinton deserved to be treated more harshly.

“The system is rigged,” Trump tweeted after the FBI recommended Clinton not be charged. “General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”

That assessment has long irked Clinton supporters and even the FBI — which feels Petraeus’s case was a clear cut example of criminal wrongdoing with aggravating factors, while Clinton’s was not. And now, Petraeus is under consideration for a job in Trump’s administration — possibly even as secretary of state, the job Clinton used to hold.

Petraeus and Trump met earlier this week, and Trump wrote on Twitter that he was “very impressed!”
Besides, the general is a man with a mistress, unlike HRC and Donny.

Finally the FARC'in war is over

It took 50 years and some political jiggery pokery to get the peace treaty approved, but peace between the government of Colombia and FARC rebels has been approved by the Colombian Senate after an earlier attempt was voted down in a referendum.
Colombia’s Congress approved a revised peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group on Wednesday night, a vote that was most likely the final hurdle in ratifying the troubled agreement whose earlier version had been rejected in a referendum this fall.

By pushing the new deal through Congress, the government bypassed voters this time, who had turned down the accord by a narrow margin on Oct. 2.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives, controlled by President Juan Manuel Santos’s governing coalition, voted overwhelmingly for the agreement. But congressional opponents of the deal had walked out of the chamber in protest before the vote took place.

On Twitter, Mr. Santos expressed “gratitude to Congress for approving the new accords.” His chief rival and predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, in an earlier Twitter post, said the congressional action was an attempt to replace a popular mandate.

Mr. Santos’s opponents in the Congress were furious the new accord had been pushed through with what they said was too little time to either comment or review the changes. The president, who has staked his legacy on ending the long conflict with the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, consulted his opponents shortly after the referendum was defeated, but he has largely kept them in the dark since, they said.

The Congress’s vote brings to a close what had become one of the country’s biggest political dramas in decades.

After years of tense talks in Havana, rebel and government negotiators announced in August they had reached a deal to end a half century of war which left more than 200,000 people dead. The next month, the rebels arrived to the port city of Cartagena, where a celebratory signing was held before world leaders and televised to the nation.

Just one piece remained: A popular vote to approve the accord, which polls had shown would be a shoo-in. Instead, it lost by a narrow margin. Then days later, in another twist, Mr. Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In their announcement of the prize, the Norwegian judges acknowledged the referendum’s defeat but said they hoped that the prize would “give him strength to succeed in this demanding task.”

Though most voters supported peace with the rebels, many, noting the FARC’s long history of kidnappings and killings, felt the deal offered too much leniency, including reduced sentences in exchange for confessions. Yet Mr. Santos also faced a challenge in renegotiating new terms with the rebels, who had been promised new lives as civilians and a clean slate.

Analysts say the new deal took some steps to address some of the objections.
It may not be a perfect deal, but after 50 years, it is about time to say, Enough Is Enough!

Stephen Colbert has lots of reservations

Senate passes useful, functional bill

And if your heart did not stop cold at that revelation, you probably have no fear of a repetition because it still has to get through the House whose stooges are more more affordable for ticket bot owners.
The U.S. Senate doesn’t want you to have to fight a robot for a chance to see the hit musical “Hamilton.”

Senators have unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas that would prohibit automated scalping software known as “ticket bots” from buying up seats for theater shows, concerts or sports events and reselling them at inflated prices.

“Scalpers who cut in line, then buy mass quantities of tickets just to resell them at higher prices make it difficult for people to get tickets for themselves and their families,” Moran said in a statement after the vote on Wednesday night. “This bill helps level the playing field for consumers.”

Moran’s Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016, also known as the BOTS Act, is designed to prevent ticket bots from circumventing online ticket-purchasing rules that limit the number of seats a person can buy for sought-after entertainment events.

The bill also bars the sale of tickets over state lines that were bought through a ticket bot “if the seller participated in, had the ability to control or should have known about the violation.”

The BOTS Act now must pass the U.S. House of Representatives before being signed into law by the president.
This will cut deeply into the profits of the Bots owners and actually make the rest of the country like New York which recently passed its own version of the bill. Hopefully it can be delayed until Preznitent Trump can veto this abomination.

Always respect the flag

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

World of Strange Design

As only Rosanne Cash can describe it

Time to bring on the noise!

Let your Congresscreep know his vote to steal Medicare could be dangerous to his political health. And let your friends and Trump supporters know who is doing it.

It could be real

From the pen of Brian McFadden

click pic to big

Fight for a living wage to include those who once had one

The fight to raise the minimum wage has had many successes after 4 years, mainly among city dwellers where the old minimum was obscenely low. Now the Fight For $15 is focusing its attention on a new group, one that previously had a living wage and has been quietly and effectively screwed out of it over the years.
Now, four years into their crusade, the movement’s leaders are signaling a determination to expand their reach beyond the urban working poor, who were among the chief beneficiaries of their earlier efforts. Among their new targets: working-class Americans frustrated by an economy that is no longer producing the middle-class jobs they or their parents once held.

Many of these workers voted for Donald J. Trump.

“A whole bunch of us out there are not doing well,” Scott Courtney, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union and one of the chief architects of the Fight for $15 campaign, said in an interview last week.

“In red states, blue states; black, brown, white — people are hurting,” he said. “Sixty-four million of them don’t make $15 per hour.”

As part of the push, thousands of workers turned out in dozens of cities on Tuesday to demand a $15 wage, better working conditions and the right to unionize. Thousands of airport workers, including baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and wheelchair attendants, loomed at the center of the protests, demonstrating and even walking off the job at some of the nation’s busiest airports, like O’Hare International in Chicago.

Leaders of the Fight for $15 highlighted the symbolic importance of the airport workers, whose jobs decades ago paid a living wage. More recently, the jobs have become a source of financial hardship as outsourcing to nonunion contractors has taken its toll — a dynamic arguably central to Mr. Trump’s election.

In other cases, blue-collar workers have lost high-paying union jobs at factories and replaced them with lower-paying jobs at nonunion factories or e-commerce fulfillment centers.

“We’re shining a light on a part of the economy that used to be living-wage work,” said Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, which has spent tens of millions of dollars on the Fight for $15 campaign. “They’re joining with fast-food workers, child care, home care, which have never been living wage work.”
And just as their fight becomes so much more difficult with the ascent of the Mad Orange Cheeto and his hate filled thugs.

A little Neil Young

Real Americans understand this

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Back Into The Arms

Courtney Marie Andrews sings another one of her songs,

How could they be so cruel!

From the pen of Jeff Danziger

Another one of the GOP's Killer Doctors

Der Trumpenfuehrer
has selected one of the most miserable SOB's in the GOP Congress to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Despite being a board certified doctor, Tom Price has yet to find anyway to help his fellow humans to better health since entering Congress.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump named a vociferous critic of Obamacare and a health policy expert on Tuesday to help him repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature healthcare program.

Republican Representative Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, will be Trump's Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, and consultant Seema Verma will lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a powerful agency that oversees government health programs and insurance standards.

Trump, a Republican, cast Price and Verma as a "dream team" to help him once he takes office on Jan. 20 with his campaign pledge to repeal Obamacare, the health law formally known as the Affordable Care Act. Since its enactment in 2010, it has been a target of Republican attacks.

Defenders of Obamacare, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, said Price was too extreme. Democrats also criticized the pick because Price has supported barring federal funds for Planned Parenthood, which provides some abortions in addition to birth control, health exams and other services.

"Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house," Schumer said.

The 2010 healthcare overhaul, aimed at expanding insurance coverage to millions more Americans, triggered a long, bitter fight between the White House and congressional Republicans, who said it created unwarranted government intervention in personal healthcare and private industry.

Trump has said he will replace Obamacare with a plan to give states more control over the Medicaid health plan for the poor and allow insurers to sell plans nationally.

Both Price and Verma will need Senate confirmation in their positions, and the Trump administration will need congressional approval to repeal and change the health law.
Price's history would indicate that his understands the Hippocratic Oath to say, First do as much harm as you can. We can only imagine how much destruction he will do with Human Services since they mostly help people too poor for him to notice. And Vermin worked with Pence, which is as damning a resume line as you can get. But Trump continues to fill his cabinet with clones of Grima Wormtongue at every turn.

Kiss your kids education goodbye

Monday, November 28, 2016

Forty some years of singing, songwriting, acting, playwrighting

And book writing has kept Marshall Chapman busy. With songs like "Just To Torture Myself" from her ablum Love Slave, she is doing it right.

Which side are you on?

Tom Tomorrow
deliniates the dividing line between reality (Sparky) and unrelenting fantasy (The Trumpoon)

The root of the problem

Heaven's Gate

Della Mae

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Through Your Eyes

Lauren Mann And The Fairly Odd Folk

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