Wednesday, June 21, 2017

15 years in NO and it's starting to show

Lynn Drury performs "Frenchmen Street" at the 2011 Ladyfest New Orleans

If you control the voting....

From the pen of Jack Ohman

Can't have real fear with permits

So the NRA in its quest to guarantee every American is totally living in fear 24/7 is seeking nationwide repeal of concealed handgun permits so that anyone, anytime and in any condition can carry lethal hardware any place they please. Schools, banks, hospitals, jails and courtrooms, anywhere.
After swiftly expanding gun-rights laws during the first few years that Republicans took control of the state legislature, the charge to loosen firearms restrictions has slowed – until now.

The state House passed a bill this month that pits gun owners against each other. It would nearly eliminate concealed handgun permits and the training that goes with them, and would set the minimum age at 18 to carry a concealed gun. Under current law, people 21 and older can apply for a permit to carry a concealed gun, and anyone 18 or older can carry a handgun openly.

The bill’s sudden movement was surprising, considering three similar bills had been dormant since they were filed in February, and the legislators pushing the bills are the most conservative Republicans in the legislature, who are not always in step with the rest of the House GOP caucus or its leaders.

[Concealed handgun permits would no longer be required]

What has given this gun bill momentum — besides the persistent backing of the statewide gun-rights Grass Roots N.C. — is advocacy by the National Rifle Association. Promoting permitless carry — also referred to as constitutional carry — laws has become a top priority of the NRA across the country.

Twelve states now have permitless carry laws. Eight of those states enacted the laws in the past two years. At least three more are considering it.

A rapidly increasing number of North Carolinians have gone through the training and background checks required to qualify for permits: currently more than 600,000.

The argument for permitless carry is the same in North Carolina as it has been in other states: that it protects law-abiding citizens who don’t want to break the law simply by putting a coat or sweater over a legal, openly holstered handgun, carried for self-defense.

“Law-abiding citizens in North Carolina can already open carry a handgun without a permit,” NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said in an emailed statement. “This legislation simply recognizes that it is often more convenient to carry discretely. More Americans than ever are choosing to exercise their Second Amendment right to self-protection and the NRA wants to ensure they can do so in a manner that is most convenient to them.”

Gun-control advocates are chasing the NRA around the country to counter gains the formidable organization might make with state legislatures.

“We watch them very closely, that’s what we do,” Peter Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, said in a recent interview.

“What’s most important is that permitless carry does not become law,” Ambler said. “... You don’t want folks carrying around an incredibly dangerous consumer product like a firearm without knowing how to use it. That’s not only common sense but a part of the ethos of responsibility in this country that’s accompanied the traditions of gun ownership, that unfortunately the gun lobby is getting away from.”
The NRA says that the 2nd Amendment guarantees your right to buy unlimited lethal hardware, carry it anywhere and if your locale has a "Stand Your Ground" law, shoot anybody anywhere. What the NRA position really guarantees is a constant state of fear which insures steady sales of lethal hardware to far too many people who can't handle what they buy. This insures the profits of the gun manufacturers and dealers who kick back to the NRA executive committee and insures they profit from their vicious misbegotten ideas.b

The proper way to stop Trumpcare

Trevor Noah suggests a little more drama.

Just so you know

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

John Sebastian by way of Joe Cocker

And elegantly redone by the Tedeschi Trucks Band. "Darling, Be Home Soon"

1 lifts you up, 1 let's you down

From the pen of John Cole

R.I.P. William Szathmary

Under the name Bill Dana, you told us your name was Jose Jimenez. You were not Latino and you were never mean spirited.

With no more political restraint

Thanks to a combination of Donald Trump's ignorance and unwillingness to work, the Pentagon may be on its way to attacking every one of the distractions blamed for its inability to win the war in Shitholeistan in 16 years. It appears the military will get carte blanche from The Tangerine Shitgibbon for whatever they want to do. And the latest irritation is Pakistan.
President Donald Trump's administration is exploring hardening its approach toward Pakistan to crack down on Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan, two U.S. officials tell Reuters.

Potential Trump administration responses being discussed include expanding U.S. drone strikes, redirecting or withholding some aid to Pakistan and perhaps eventually downgrading Pakistan's status as a major non-NATO ally, the two officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Other U.S. officials are skeptical of the prospects for success, arguing that years of previous U.S. efforts to curb Pakistan's support for militant groups have failed, and that already strengthening U.S. ties to India, Pakistan's arch-enemy, undermine chances of a breakthrough with Islamabad.

U.S. officials say generally they seek greater cooperation with Pakistan, not a rupture in ties, once the administration finishes a regional review, due by mid-July, of the strategy guiding the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Experts on America's longest war argue that militant safe havens in Pakistan have allowed Taliban-linked insurgents a place to plot deadly strikes in Afghanistan and regroup after ground offensives.

Although long mindful of Pakistan, the Trump administration in recent weeks has put more emphasis on the relationship with Islamabad in discussions as it hammers out a regional strategy to be presented to Trump, who took office in late January, one official said.

"We've never really fully articulated what our strategy towards Pakistan is. The strategy will more clearly say what we want from Pakistan specifically," the U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Other U.S. officials question whether any mix of carrots and sticks can get Islamabad to change its behavior. At the end of the day, Washington needs a partner, even if an imperfect one, in nuclear-armed Pakistan, they say.

The United States is again poised to deploy thousands more troops in Afghanistan, an acknowledgment that U.S.-backed forces are not winning and Taliban militants are resurgent.
What a dreadful situation. Having blown up all the mud huts available as targets, the military sets its eyes on greener pastures in neighboring Pakistan. In the same way they took out Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam Debacle, the military is ready to take out Pakistan's safe haven's. So what if they are our allies and have nukes. We can drop the alliance and we got more nukes than they do. Normally the political side would hold those crazy Brassholes in check, but now our political side is too busy tweeting shit. WASF!

Unless you're black

Trevor Noah wraps up some under covered news items including an example of NRA Total Silence.

Not possible until Republicans are eliminated

Monday, June 19, 2017


Larkin Poe

What if they had spoken Truth to Trump?

Our intrepid reporter Tom Tomorrow presents us with a view of the Trump cabinet meeting as if it had occurred in reality.

Not meant to be seen

From the pen of Steve Sack

Will Trump fight his BFF?

Or is this just some more smoke and mirrors to distract from Trump's Treason Troubles? Yesterday the US Air Force which no longer has to check in with the president before shooting down a jet flying in its own airspace, did just that to a Syrian Air Force jet that allegedly attacked the people on the ground that we like. The reaction?
Russia on Monday condemned the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane, suspending the use of a military hotline that Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace and threatening to target aircraft flown by the United States and its allies over Syria.

The moves were the most recent example of an intensifying clash of words and interests between the two powers, which support different sides in the yearslong war in Syria.

The Russian military has threatened to halt its use of the hotline in the past — notably after President Trump ordered the launch of missiles against a Syrian air base in April — only to continue and even expand its contacts with the United States military. It was not clear whether the latest suspension would be lasting.

Its announcement came in response to an American F/A-18 jet’s shooting down a Syrian government warplane south of the town of Tabqah on Sunday, after the Syrian aircraft dropped bombs near local ground forces supported by the United States. It was the first time the American military had downed a Syrian plane since the civil war began in the country in 2011.

The Russian Defense Ministry called American attacks against the Syrian forces “military aggression” and announced that it would suspend cooperation with the United States intended to prevent airborne accidents over Syria.

“All flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defense systems as targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The United States will continue to conduct air operations over Syria, a spokesman for the American-led task force that is fighting the Islamic State said on Monday.

“We are going to continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, providing air support for coalition and partnered forces on the ground,” the spokesman, Col. Ryan Dillon, said in a telephone interview from Baghdad.

But Pentagon officials emphasized that the situation was still unfolding.
The most likely scenario is that Russia will shoot down a plane of two belonging to our allies so as not to upset enough people to forcr Donny to attack his BFF Putin's planes. And if Donny does nothing as expected, Putin will continue to do so until....?

The Hideous Republican Health Plan

John Oliver touches on some of the reasons why this abomination stays hidden.

You thought you got rid of them

Sunday, June 18, 2017

When the singer and the song are classics

Bonnie Raitt performing John Prine's "Angel From Montgomery"

Mitch working in the secret Batshit Cave

The Profits of Privatization

From the pen of Brian McFadden

The Two Faced Turtle

Trevor Noah looks at Mitch and his Son of a Mitch Health Care bill which may or may not exist.

The Forgotten Man in Today's Christianity

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A player from Down Under

Anne McCue has been playing, singing, writing, producing and more since 1988. "Ballad of An Outlaw Woman" was from her first live album.

Jefferson Beauregard....I Don't Recall The Rest

From the pen of Jack Ohman

Any country that wants a favorable US policy

Nowadays just needs to call up one of Donald Trump's spawn and make a deal. Once the papers have been signed, a country's leadership can commit any atrocity that pleases it and the United States of Trump will staunchly stand at their side.
President Trump has done business with royals from Saudi Arabia for at least 20 years, since he sold the Plaza Hotel to a partnership formed by a Saudi prince. Mr. Trump has earned millions of dollars from the United Arab Emirates for putting his name on a golf course, with a second soon to open.

He has never entered the booming market in neighboring Qatar, however, despite years of trying.

Now a feud has broken out among these three crucial American allies, and Mr. Trump has thrown his weight firmly behind the two countries where he has business ties, raising new concerns about the appearance of a conflict between his public role and his financial incentives.

Mr. Trump has said he is backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because Qatar is “a funder of terror at a very high level.” But his stance toward Qatar, which is host to the largest American air base in the region, has differed sharply from the positions of the Pentagon and State Department. The secretaries of defense and state have stayed neutral, urging unity against the common enemy of the Islamic State.

Mr. Trump is the first president in 40 years to retain his personal business interests after entering the White House. Other senior officials in the executive branch are required to divest their assets. Critics say his singular decision to hold on to his global business empire inevitably casts a doubt on his motives, especially when his public actions dovetail with his business interests.

“Other countries in the Middle East see what is happening and may think, ‘We should be opening golf courses’ or ‘We should be buying rooms at the Trump International,’” said Brian Egan, a State Department legal adviser under the Obama administration. “Even if there is no nefarious intent on behalf of the president or the Trumps, for a president to be making money from business holdings in sensitive places around the world is likely to have an impact.”

A spokesman for the White House declined to address questions about the appearance of a conflict of interest. The spokesman, Michael Short, said in an email only that Mr. Trump had “formally extracted himself” from management of his business, the Trump Organization.

Stepping away from management without giving up ownership does not diminish Mr. Trump’s financial incentives or conflicts, as the director of the Office of Government Ethics warned before Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
Commercial interests have often been a part of international relationships, but seldom have they been so completely focused on the financial benefit of one person at the expense of the country.

Wingnut welfare lets you fail upward

Just look at the case of the Yugest Republican failure in the last few years, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas. After being elected Republican governor with a solid Republican legislature, he proceeded to enact all the worst financial ideas Conservatives have been embracing over the years. And very effectively drove the Kansas economy into the ground with all the accompanying disaster that follows. And now, as he reaches his term limit as governor, he is being considered for a post in the Trump administration.
Federal officials are in the process of vetting Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for a position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Two close associates of Brownback confirmed to The Star that they were interviewed by federal officials about the governor’s character and qualifications last month. And a congressional source said people close to the governor and senior officials at the White House have said that it’s a matter of when, not if, he gets a post.

“It’s the worst kept secret that he’s going to be nominated for something,” said a former Trump adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But the timeline for the appointment, which will most likely be with the U.S. State Department, is uncertain, the adviser said.

The speculation about Brownback’s return to Washington comes at a time when his stature in Kansas has diminished greatly. Brownback, who was first elected governor in 2010 by a more than 30-point margin, has seen his popularity and influence wane in recent years as the state has repeatedly faced budget shortfalls many blame on his tax cuts.

Republican officials in Kansas said that an announcement of Brownback’s departure could come in the near future. His exit would elevate Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Johnson County plastic surgeon, into the state’s top office.

“I’m aware that they’ve already done background checks and all that good stuff,” said Kelly Arnold, the chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. “But I’ve not been informed about the specific position or when an announcement will happen.”

Arnold said an announcement could happen as early as next week or could take another three months. He said officials in Topeka are already readying themselves for the transition from Brownback to Colyer.

“People are preparing for a change,” he said.

The White House and State Department declined to comment on the vetting process.

Brownback’s name has been floated for multiple jobs since Trump won the presidency in November, but speculation of Brownback’s imminent departure has intensified in recent weeks after one of the longest legislative sessions in the state’s history climaxed with the repeal of his signature policy, his 2012 tax cuts.
I guess he wasn't eligible for any new post until his failure in Kansas was complete.

Shop before all the shops disappear

Bill Maher examines the current great shift in employment

Down, Down, Down

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sweet Memories of Youthness

Ruby and The Romantics

The Real NRA 2nd Amendment Freedom

From the pen of Jim Morin

If they didn't shred them before now

It is officially too late to shred files related to the Trump Transition Team, they have officially been requested to preserve any that still exist.
Members of President Trump’s transition team were ordered on Thursday to preserve documents and other materials related to the investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

The memo, from the transition team’s general counsel’s office, is the latest indication that the investigation’s special counsel, the former F.B.I. director Robert S. Mueller III, is casting a wide net in his inquiry into possible collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

The memo says former transition team members “have a duty to preserve any physical and electronic records that may be related in any way to the subject matter of the pending investigations.”

The so-called preservation order covers any transition team information involving Russia or Ukraine. It also seeks any background investigation records involving the former manager of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, and his business partner, Rick Gates; the former foreign policy adviser Carter Page; and the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Flynn was fired for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of a call with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

The memorandum also names Roger J. Stone Jr., an informal adviser to Mr. Trump.

With the order, the transition team lawyers are indicating that they have reason to believe that the five men’s actions are part of investigations by the Justice Department or the House or Senate Intelligence Committees, or will be.

All five of the men named in the memo, except for Mr. Gates, had been previously linked to investigations by the F.B.I. or Congress.

Mr. Gates said late Thursday that he was not aware of the memo. He added, “At this time, I have not been contacted by any law enforcement organization in connection with the Russia investigations.”

The order came on the same day that it was revealed that Mr. Pence had retained a criminal defense lawyer to represent him in the various investigations encircling the White House.
And which investigative body will win 'Flip A Trump Associate' first?

The king of spiking the ball at the six yard line

Seth Meyers takes a Closer Look

Only then will it end

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Before Nancy Wilson had Heart

Another Nancy Wilson had Soul. I can't take my ears off her as she sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"

Making Salem Great Again

Ruben Bolling illuminates a Witch Hunt

One climate isn't changing. Thanks NRA

From the pen of Taylor Jones

Let the Fox guard the henhouse

And the first thing you know, he will be hiring some wolves to help him provide complete 'coverage'. Scott Pruitt, notorious hireling of the worst polluters on the planet, has just hired one of their bad ass lawyers to be a top enforcement lawyer in the EPA.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt may have skipped the G7 climate meeting more than a day early, but he has certainly kept busy staffing his agency.

POLITICO reported that Pruitt has named energy industry attorney Patrick Traylor as a deputy in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

The office, which the Trump administration reportedly tried to cut, enforces key anti-pollution laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act to protect the environment and vulnerable communities.

Traylor, whose LinkedIn profile indicates he started the job in June, was a longtime partner of the international law firm Hogan Lovells and has represented companies owned by the Koch brothers and other energy industry giants.

Per POLITICO, "clients include utility Southern California Edison; Venture Global LNG, a natural gas exporter; Flint Hills Resources, a Koch subsidiary refiner; Koch Nitrogen, maker of synthetic fertilizer; and several wind companies seeking Endangered Species Act permits."

Traylor has also defended Dominion Energy and TransCanada, as New York Times reporter Eric Lipton tweeted. Dominion is behind the highly contested Atlantic Coast Pipeline and TransCanada's is responsible for the Keystone XL.
No doubt, Big Pollution will be well defended in any upcoming court cases.

The Sessions Session

Stephen Colbert on what the evil little shitweasel didn't say, plus a Happy Birthday to the First Fart in the White House.

The Sessions Sessions

Samantha Bee looks at the cute little AG in despair.

Not your father's patriotism

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