Thursday, July 28, 2016

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



Saturday, July 23, 2016

A simple Pennsyltucky recipe


The Hello Strangers divulge "What It Takes To Break A Heart"


Missing the ring of the original


From the pen of Darren Bell



Report of first Zika Republican baby


New York has announced the first case of Zika related microcephaly in the city.
Health officials on Friday reported the first baby born in New York City with the Zika-related birth defect known as microcephaly, a condition marked by an abnormally small head and impaired brain development.

The virus has caused more than 1,500 children to be born with birth defects around the world, mostly in Brazil. As it continues to spread, doctors are struggling to understand the virus and to prepare for its effects.

The baby in New York is one of a growing number of children born in the United States with microcephaly, a condition that requires intensive care and can lead to a variety of other problems, including seizures, vision and hearing loss and intellectual disability.

There have been reports of about a dozen children in the United States being born with Zika-related microcephaly since the spring, including cases in New Jersey and Florida.

As in those instances, the mother in New York is believed to have been infected while traveling to one of the roughly 50 countries where Zika is endemic.

Health officials said that the baby with microcephaly tested positive for the virus after being born at a hospital in the city this month. They declined to provide additional details about the case, including whether the virus had been previously diagnosed in the mother, or if she was monitored as part of a national registry created to track pregnancy outcomes for those who become infected.

At a news conference on Friday, officials said the case should serve as warning to anyone who considered the virus to be just a theoretical threat and once again urged all pregnant women not to travel to countries where Zika is endemic.

“While not surprising, given the travel trends of our global city, this case is a strong reminder of the tragic consequences of the Zika virus,” Dr. Mary T. Bassett, New York City’s health commissioner, said in a statement. “We are monitoring the baby’s health closely and connecting the family with the necessary services to take care of their child.”
Despite the airy promises of the Congressional Republicans. Zika is not a hoax nor is it likely to stop spreading across the United States. And like most diseases, being rich may minimize the possibility of contracting it, but not really. The truth of Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" still holds true.

Murder wrapped on a religious veneer


The Masters Of Middle Eastern Murder, Daesh, has struck again. This time is unleashed one of it's "holy" suicide bombers in the midst of a peaceful demonstration in Kabul. And the sin that the demonstrators committed in the eyes of these "holy" murderers was to be Shiite.
Two explosions rocked a peaceful demonstration in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Saturday, organizers and eyewitnesses said, with the government reporting at least 80 dead.

The Afghan ministry of the interior, in a statement, reported the casualties and said 231 had been wounded in the blasts.

The Islamic State, in a statement through the group’s Amaq News Agency, claimed the carnage as a “martyrdom attack on Shias.” The Taliban, who are often behind major assaults in Afghanistan, denied any involvement.

Afghan security officials said that while Kabul remained under constant insurgent threat, they had no prior intelligence on a particular threat to the protest.

Much of the city was already under lockdown; the government had stacked shipping containers to block routes to the presidential palace in anticipation of the demonstration by Hazaras, an ethnic minority group. They had gathered in the west of the city to demand that a proposed electricity transmission line be routed through the Hazara-dominated central province of Bamian.

The Hazaras have only in the past decade tried to shake off a long history of oppression. The protest leaders claimed the government remained rife with “systematic bias” against the Hazaras, and had routed the electricity transmission line elsewhere, depriving the central Afghan region not only of electric power but also of the roads and other infrastructure that would come with it...

Muhammad Ali, a protester at the site of the blast whose clothes were covered in blood, said he had loaded dozens of dead bodies into trucks.

“People were going toward a prayer break when two explosions happened — one near the truck where speeches were given,” Mr. Ali said.

Hundreds of protesters returned to the site immediately after the carnage, cordoning off the area with a large Afghan flag they had carried in their march earlier, lowering the cordon only to allow ambulances to pass. When the armored vehicle of a government official approached, angry men chased it away.

As tempers flared at the government, protesters also pushed away anti-riot police forces who had provided security earlier in the day.

Saturday’s attack was the deadliest of the past 15 years on the Hazaras, a largely Shia group. In December 2011, a suicide-bombing in a Shia shrine in Kabul killed at least 63 people, mostly Hazaras.
Make no mistake, this attack was not about religion, the leaders of Daesh have long shown themselves to be deluded apostates. This was pure murder for the fun of killing people seeking a better life and getting to say you are pure and holy to is only window dressing.

Finally the end of the 50's


Bill Maher pinpoints The Great Orange Menace's last failing.


From a guy who really is worth Billions



Friday, July 22, 2016

On this sultry summer day


Why not a sultry version of "Summertime" by the inimitable Ella Fitzgerald


Didn't even need a plank


From the pen of Jim Morin



Turkey suspending human rights "temporarily"


In the aftermath of the attempted coup against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, his purge of secular elements has included the suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Turkey will temporarily suspend the European Convention on Human rights as it implements a three-month state of emergency, the country's deputy prime minister said.

The emergency state was implemented following a failed coup last weekend during which over 250 were killed.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Thursday that the state of emergency could end before the three months are up and may only last for one to one and a half month, according to broadcaster NTV.

Turkey will follow in the footsteps of France, which also opted out of some of the convention's aspects during an emergency state implemented in November 2015 after terrorist attacks in Paris killed 130 people.

President Tayyip Erdogan said the state of emergency, which he announced on Wednesday, would enable the authorities to act more efficiently to bring those responsible to justice.

Turkey tried to assure its citizens and the outside world on Thursday that there will be no return to the deep repression of the past, even though Erdogan has imposed the first nationwide state of emergency since the 1980s.

With Erdogan cracking down on thousands of people in the judiciary, education, military, and civil service after last weekend's failed coup, a lawmaker from the main opposition party warned that the state of emergency created "a way of ruling that paves the way for abuse".
The Turkish government says it will only be for 3 months but this sort of thing has a way of stretching itself out and will probaly last until the end of Mr Erdogan's upcoming caliphate.

The NBA is as good as they promised


The NBA said they would move their All Star game from Charlotte NC if the Teabagger legislature did not change their discriminatory law, HB2. The peckerwoods in North Carolina called their bluff only to find out it wasn't a bluff.
The National Basketball Association on Thursday dealt a blow to the economy and prestige of North Carolina by pulling next February’s All-Star Game from Charlotte to protest a state law that eliminated anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The move was among the most prominent consequences since the law, which also bars transgender people from using bathrooms in public buildings that do not correspond with their birth gender, was passed in March.

The league, which has become increasingly involved in social issues, said that both it and the Hornets, the N.B.A. team based in Charlotte, had been talking to state officials about changing the law but that time had run out because of the long lead time needed to stage the game. The N.B.A. said it hoped the game could be played in Charlotte in 2019, with the clear implication that the law would have to be changed before then.

“While we recognize that the N.B.A. cannot choose the law in every city, state and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by the current law,” a statement by the league said...

In taking the action it did, the N.B.A. is following the path already taken by others. A number of musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Itzhak Perlman, canceled concerts in North Carolina to protest the law, and there have been calls for repeal of the legislation by a number of businesses, some of which have canceled plans to create new jobs in the state.

All-Star weekend is one of the flashiest and most lucrative events on the league’s annual schedule. In addition to the game, the league arranges three days full of activities for fans. There is a separate game for the league’s rising stars, a dunk contest and a 3-point contest.
The governor responded with a statement saying that discrimination in The Shitheel State is good discrimination and how dare the NBA criticize it or something like that. Whatever, they blew it big time and for the people of North Carolina, just in time to make electoral changes.

The Orange Also Rises



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