Tuesday, January 31, 2017
When you flee to Canada
Skye Wallace is one of the plethora of fine musicians to help you pass the time. The song may be "Ain't It Hell" but Canada is quite lovely.
The past is prelude
Speaker pokes his head out of his bunker
And proceeds to shit all over our Constitution and support The Tangerine Shitgibbon in his illegal ban on Muslims coming into the country. Or at least only those Muslims who come from countries that don't do business with Trump Worldwide Inc.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday stood by President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries, ending days of public silence on the matter with only gentle criticism that “regrettably, the rollout was confusing.”It is obvious that Lyin' Ryan likes the taste of the boots he is licking and isn't about to let any bedrock principles get in his way. After all, being next in line for the Presidency after the VP doesn't look so bad when the current president shows obvious signs of mental illness.
“We need to make sure that the vetting standards are up to snuff,” Mr. Ryan told reporters at the Capitol, saying he remained broadly supportive of the order and citing a “very good conversation” with John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary.
“Now, I think it’s regrettable that there was some confusion on the rollout of this,” Mr. Ryan added. “No one wanted to see people with green cards or special immigrant visas, like translators, get caught up in all of this.”
The speaker’s cautious handling of this early flash point highlights the path he has chosen, at least so far, in the tumultuous age of Trump: For now, anyway, Mr. Ryan does not want to make enemies at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
For some allies and longtime admirers of Mr. Ryan, the episode has been difficult to stomach. They had watched the speaker position himself last year as the party’s conscience, consistently breaking with the Republican nominee. Since the election, dissent has been muted and relations have improved.
“It’s got to be just exquisitely painful for him,” said Charlie Sykes, a longtime conservative Wisconsin radio host and friend of Mr. Ryan’s. “It’s this ongoing calculation that you need to be allied in order to get your agenda put through. And yet the price tag keeps going up all the time.”
Despite the concerns raised by some prominent Republican voices, like Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mr. Ryan’s position appears to closely resemble that of most Republicans in the House, where Mr. Trump’s order seems to enjoy considerable support.
Several House Republicans, meeting before Mr. Ryan’s remarks, defended the order and the president’s behavior in recent days, shrugging off any turmoil that has resulted.
“I don’t sense any split in the Republicans ranks,” said Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the chairman of the Whackdoodle Caucus.
Obey the law, that's a firing
The Tangerine Shitgibbon flung his latest and stinkingest pile of poo at the Department of Justice last night. While Trump waits for Jeff Sessions or whatever shithell to be approved by the Senate, Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General was acting as Attorney General.
President Trump fired his acting attorney general on Monday night, removing her as the nation’s top law enforcement officer after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries.Despite Mr. Boente's attempt to blow a little smoke on the matter, Sally Yates was also acting to “defend and enforce the laws of our country.” And considering the illegality of The Tangerine Shitgibbon writing laws with
In an escalating crisis for his 10-day-old administration, the president declared in a statement that Sally Q. Yates, who had served as deputy attorney general under President Barack Obama, had betrayed the administration by announcing that Justice Department lawyers would not defend Mr. Trump’s order against legal challenges.
The president replaced Ms. Yates with Dana J. Boente, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, saying that he would serve as attorney general until Congress acts to confirm Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. In his first act in his new role, Mr. Boente announced that he was rescinding Ms. Yates’s order.
Monday’s events have transformed the confirmation of Mr. Sessions into a referendum on Mr. Trump’s immigration order. Action in the Senate could come as early as Tuesday.
Mr. Boente was sworn in at 9 p.m., according to White House officials, who did not provide details about who performed the ceremony. In a statement, Mr. Boente pledged to “defend and enforce the laws of our country.”
Seth in the Morning
Seth Meyers takes a closer look at Cheeto Mussolini's Imperial Decree banning Muslims.
No need of Congress
Monday, January 30, 2017
Deep, Deep Down Heart
Mary Chapin Carpenter may not be cranking out hits, but she has never stopped making beautiful heartfelt songs like this from her album The Things That We Are Made Of
The Madness of King Donald
Has led to some pretty funky kinging as Tom Tomorrow reports. And this is just the first week.
The ultimate offense
Evil Koch Network Needs to Reassess Trump
When he was running against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump was the obvious choice for greedy evil minded conservatives. Now that he has unfurled his true colors, they are having second thoughts.
The weekend gathering of wealthy donors who help finance the conservative Koch network was supposed to serve as a celebration of the policy victories within reach now that Republicans control Washington: a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a rollback of environmental regulations, perhaps even a corporate tax overhaul.They don't really want to rule the world, they just want unlimited opportunity to exploit whoever or whatever they choose. And Crazy Donny could screw that up.
But with President Trump already embroiled in chaos and controversy, the conservative financiers assembled at a desert resort here were also forced to contend with a new uncertainty: whether the new president will be an ally or an obstacle.
In their first formal break with the administration, top network officials on Sunday condemned Trump’s travel ban on some refugees and immigrants, calling it “the wrong approach.” Some here expressed alarm that Trump has staked out positions anathema to the network’s libertarian principles, targeting individual companies that produce goods abroad and indicating possible support for a border tax on imports. And the network’s chief patron, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, who pointedly declined to back Trump in the presidential campaign, warned in stark terms of the potential perils of the anti-establishment mood that gave rise to Trump.
“We have a tremendous danger because we can go the authoritarian route . . . or we can move toward a free and open society,” he told a packed ballroom Sunday afternoon.
The mixed emotions on display here reflect a provocative role for the Koch network in the age of Trump — as a potent resistance movement within the GOP, well-positioned to fight the president and his allies on Capitol Hill when they push policies that run counter to the group’s libertarian credo.
Longing for the good old days
Looking back, it pays for us to remember that the good old days were not good for everybody. And some of those who seek to return to those days miss their ability to make life a misery for others. Take the police, please.
Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, had a blunt message for Donald Trump during a meeting in September: court-ordered reforms aimed at curbing police abuses in the midwestern city are not working.Jeff Sessions is their lodestar. A man who understands the necessity of shooting black folks while on duty and the value of racial profiling. Everybody knows what those people do. And now thanks to The Tangerine Shitgibbon the bad cops of this country are looking forward to doing it again.
Loomis and two other attendees said Trump seemed receptive to Loomis's concerns that federally monitored police reforms introduced during the Obama administration in some cities in response to complaints of police bias and abuse are ineffective and impose an onerous burden on police forces.
Trump, Loomis said, was “taken aback by the waste of money” when the union chief told him that federal monitors overseeing his city’s police department earned $250 an hour - a standard salary for the position.
"I think he’s going to have a more sensible approach to rising crime rates," Loomis said of now President Trump. "What I got from the meeting was that Donald Trump is going be a very strong supporter of law and order."
Emboldened by Trump's election, some of the country’s biggest police groups want to renegotiate "consent decrees" agreed to under President Barack Obama, the police labor groups said in interviews.
Consent decrees are agreements between a police force and the Justice Department that can prescribe changes to use of force, recruiting, training and discipline. They are enforced by a federal court with the oversight of court-appointed monitors. Currently 14 police departments, including Seattle and Miami, are operating under the decrees.
The police groups want to discuss the decrees with Jeff Sessions, Trump's designee for attorney general who has voiced criticism of them, although any renegotiation would be legally complicated because all parties as well as a federal judge must approve any changes.
“There are certainly decrees that are inartfully applied that we’d like to see revisited,” said Jim Pasco, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union with 330,000 members. It endorsed Trump in September and has worked with Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, for years while lobbying Congress for pro-police policies.
“We’ve always found him a man who’s willing to listen to alternatives to a previously charted course,” Pasco said of Sessions.
Want to contact your Congress critter?
Telephone, e-mail and tweets are all good but don't overlook the humble fax. You can compose a letter, rant, visual display or whatever and have it print out right there in your critter's office. You can find their fax number on their official Congressional websites with the caveat that some of them do not accept faxes just as they do not tweet or e-mail. And if your PC is not set up to fax, you can use one of the free fax services on line. Here is a guide to 5 free services. I use Fax Zero which has handy links for easy faxing to all Congress critters who do accept them (which is most of them).
Day 9 and getting worse
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Wolf Of Time
Amanda Rheaume from her Holding Patterns album
Nobody will remember anyway
The Turtle Speaks
And after saying something irrelevant to Der Trumpenfuehrer's Imperial Decree blocking refugee immigration from Muslim countries that don't currently have business connections with Trump, went back to eating a leaf of lettuce.
Several top Senate Republicans raised concerns Sunday that President Trump’s order to halt the admission of refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries had not been properly vetted and could harm the relationship between the United States and key allies.Trump's Christian clause would make a liar of The Turtle unless Der Trumpenfuehrer would re-open the borders to those countries that negotiated for a Trump Hotel & Resort. Then it would just be hard nosed business.
The senators generally said they support the decision to increase standards for vetting refugees and other people traveling to the United States, but their remarks added to the growing chorus of criticism of Trump’s order.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cautioned that the United States does not have a religious test for entry into the country, though he stopped short of rejecting the order in its entirety. McConnell said that Muslims, both in the United States and abroad, are key allies in the fight against terrorism and urged caution in regard to Trump’s plan to implement “extreme vetting” for refugees from countries where a majority of the citizens are Muslim.
“I don’t want to criticize them for improving vetting,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think we need to be careful. We don’t have religious tests in this country.”
Trump's first military assault
Was on a country, Yemen, that we are not at war with despite actively encouraging our allies in the region to ravage the countryside with all the cool weaponry we sold them. The result was less than stellar and we hope is not a harbinger of results to come.
One American commando was killed and three others were injured in a fierce firefight overnight with Qaeda militants in central Yemen, the military said Sunday morning. The raid was the first counterterrorism operation approved by President Trump since he took office nine days ago.14 of theirs against one of ours and a worthless piece of military junk may seem like a fair trade, except to the SEAL killed, but now Yemen has cause to declare war on us. And the closeness with which this operation took place to the inauguration suggests that this was planned during the Obama administration and rejected whereupon the relevant Pentagon brass rushed to Trump after the inauguration to get his OK.
Commandos from the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 carried out the surprise dawn attack in Bayda Province in a ground raid that lasted a little less than an hour. The target was a headquarters for Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen that counterterrorism officials had deemed valuable enough to warrant a ground operation rather than an airstrike, a senior American official said.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of the Pentagon’s Central Command, said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite service members. The sacrifices are very profound in our fight against terrorists who threaten innocent peoples across the globe.”
A military aircraft assisting in the operation crash-landed nearby, leaving two more service members injured, the statement said. That aircraft, identified by a senior American official as an MV-22 Osprey sent to evacuate the troops wounded in the raid, was unable to fly after the landing and was intentionally destroyed by American airstrikes.
Take the Pledge
Saturday, January 28, 2017
We would be on the wrong side
If The Tangerine Shitgibbon ever builds his fence. Lila Downs singing "Humita de Copal" makes that clear even if you don't speak the language.
And many morning to come
Use them and throw them away
Everyone knows that to be a member of any military establishment is to be expendable. Sometimes, however, the callous disregard for those who serve really manages to stick in ones craw.
When Tim Snider arrived on Enewetak Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to clean up the fallout from dozens of nuclear tests on the ring of coral islands, Army officers immediately ordered him to put on a respirator and a bright yellow suit designed to guard against plutonium poisoning.After 43 nuclear blasts, the atoll needed lots of cleanup and some islands such as Runit are still uninhabitable and the concrete dome covering the worst hot spot on the atoll is deteriorating. But the guys who did all the work to make even part of the atoll clean again (with constant monitoring) are shit out of luck. The islands may have been too contaminated to live on but just could not be responsible for all your current health problems. So long and thanks for all the work.
A military film crew snapped photos and shot movies of Mr. Snider, a 20-year-old Air Force radiation technician, in the crisp new safety gear. Then he was ordered to give all the gear back. He spent the rest of his four-month stint on the islands wearing only cutoff shorts and a floppy sun hat.
“I never saw one of those suits again,” Mr. Snider, now 58, said in an interview in his kitchen here as he thumbed a yellowing photo he still has from the 1979 shoot. “It was just propaganda.”
Today Mr. Snider has tumors on his ribs, spine and skull — which he thinks resulted from his work on the crew, in the largest nuclear cleanup ever undertaken by the United States military.
Roughly 4,000 troops helped clean up the atoll between 1977 and 1980. Like Mr. Snider, most did not even wear shirts, let alone respirators. Hundreds say they are now plagued by health problems, including brittle bones, cancer and birth defects in their children. Many are already dead. Others are too sick to work.
The military says there is no connection between these illnesses and the cleanup. Radiation exposure during the work fell well below recommended thresholds, it says, and safety precautions were top notch. So the government refuses to pay for the veterans’ medical care.
Congress long ago recognized that troops were harmed by radiation on Enewetak during the original atomic tests, which occurred in the 1950s, and should be cared for and compensated. Still, it has failed to do the same for the men who cleaned up the toxic debris 20 years later. The disconnect continues a longstanding pattern in which the government has shrugged off responsibility for its nuclear mistakes.
R.I.P. John Vincent Hurt
With roles that varied from the Elephant Man to the War Doctor, you created real people on stage and screen.
When the FBI goes fishing
The FBI in their quest for some type of criminal activity they can actual stop has sought to be allowed to rummage through everybody's social media accounts at will. The latest one they seek to surreptitiously search is Twitter.
The FBI appeared to go beyond the scope of existing legal guidance in seeking certain kinds of internet records from Twitter (TWTR.N) as recently as last year, legal experts said, citing two warrantless surveillance orders the social media company published on Friday.The Feeble Band of Idiots will keep trying to snoop through your stuff in lieu of actually catching any criminals and at some point will get some element of the judiciary tp approve of what they do. It's why we can't have any privacy anymore.
Twitter said its disclosures were the first time the company had been allowed to publicly reveal the secretive orders, which were delivered with gag orders when they were issued in 2015 and 2016. Their publication follows similar disclosures in recent months by other major internet companies, including Alphabet's Google (GOOGL.O) and Yahoo (YHOO.O).
Each of the two new orders, known as national security letters (NSLs), specifically request a type of data known as electronic communication transaction records, which can include some email header data and browsing history, among other information.
In doing so, the orders bolster the belief among privacy advocates that the FBI has routinely used NSLs to seek internet records beyond the limitations set down in a 2008 Justice Department legal memo, which concluded such orders should be constrained to phone billing records.
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An FBI inspector general report from 2014 indicated that it disagreed with the memo's guidance.
In a blog post announcing the two NSL disclosures, Twitter said it did not hand over all the information the FBI requested.
"While the actual NSLs request a large amount of data, Twitter provides a very limited set of data in response to NSLs consistent with federal law and interpretive guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice," Elizabeth Banker, associate general counsel at Twitter, wrote.
The identity of the accounts sought by the FBI are redacted in both of the NSLs.
Weathermen many disagree
Bill Maher rips into The Tangerine Shitgibbon
Friday, January 27, 2017
Wait for You to Heal
The Memphis Dawls
So that's what happened to it.
R.I.P. Mike Connors
As Mannix, you were shot 17 times in 8 years, that is one tough private investigator.
Peckercheckers and Skirtlifters get ready
One of the stupidest Lieutenant Governor's in these 50 United States, Dan Patrick of Texas, will be pushing to get his Peckerchecker Bill passed so that only properly qualified persons can use the bathrooms in the Lone Brain Cell State.
As Houston readies to host the Super Bowl, a push by lawmakers in Texas to restrict bathroom access for transgender people is raising fears the state may be unable to score future major sporting events and could lose championships on its books.One definite characteristic of Fucking Extreme Right Wing Republicans is that they never learn by the examples of others. The crash and burn in North Carolina from HB2 will not stop The Lone Brain Cell State from flinging itself, screaming, over the same cliff edge.
The proposed measure is similar to one enacted last year in North Carolina that prompted the National Basketball Association to pull its showcase 2017 All Star game from Charlotte, while the National Collegiate Athletic Association moved seven championship events amid economic boycotts estimated to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
The financial hit in Texas, whose economy is bigger than Russia's and boasts one of the nation's largest travel and tourism industries, is forecast to be much bigger.
Influential business officials and activists say the legislation could also hurt the state's ability to attract investment and is at odds with the progressive tradition of its biggest cities.
The cost of the so-called "bathroom bill," which bars transgender people from using restrooms that match their gender identity, could run as high as $8.5 billion and result in a loss of 185,000 jobs in the first year alone, according to the Texas Association of Business, a conservative group that is the state's leading employer organization.
"It would be a blot on the reputation of the state of Texas, which many of us have been working to change," said Annise Parker, who as Houston's mayor from 2010 to 2016 was the first openly lesbian candidate elected to lead a major U.S. city.
Parker, who served as mayor when Houston won hosting duties for Super Bowl LI to be played on Feb. 5, said by just filing the measure, which opponents decry as discriminatory, there has been damage to the image of the state that serves as headquarters for more than 50 Fortune 500 companies ranging from Exxon Mobil to grocer Whole Foods.
Texas has several upcoming marquee sporting events that could be at risk if the bathroom bill, known as the "Privacy Protection Act" or Senate Bill 6, is approved.
Seth in the morning
A closer look at Trump's voter fraud
Heckuva job Orange Dude!
Thursday, January 26, 2017
A real American musician
Thea Hopkins is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Nantucket and a captivating singer of American music, like "Medicine Line"
And without needing an Enabling Act
Mexico does the right thing
In the face of a tsunami of blustering bullshit from the Tangerine Shitgibbon the President of Mexico has cancelled the planned visit with Tangerine.
The decision to cancel the meeting was the result of a remarkable back-and-forth between the two sparring leaders, much of it delivered on Twitter.So it looks like Mexico won't get all this good America First jobs building Donny's fence
On Wednesday, the new American president signed an executive order to beef up the nation’s deportation force and start construction on a new wall along the border.
Adding to the perceived insult was the timing of the order: It came on the first day of talks between top Mexican officials and their counterparts in Washington, and just days before the meeting between the two presidents.
Mr. Trump’s action was enough to prompt Mr. Peña Nieto to start discussing whether to scrap his plans to visit the White House, according to Mexican officials. In a video message delivered over Twitter on Wednesday night, Mr. Peña Nieto reiterated his commitment to protect the interests of Mexico and the Mexican people, and chided the move in Washington to continue with the wall.
“I regret and condemn the United States’ decision to continue with the construction of a wall that, for years now, far from uniting us, divides us,” he said.
Then on Thursday morning, Mr. Trump fired back, warning that he might cancel the meeting himself if Mexico did not agree to pay for the wall.
Sam and Her Sisters March On
Samantha Bee on the Mother of All Marches
Used his Twit points to upgrade to White House
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore
She showed America the changing woman with grace, wit and style.
One thing he is honest about
Trump to bring abuse back to government
And he has no intention of working with Congress to get any of what he wants done. He is the Precedent, he will just issue a
President Trump on Wednesday will order the construction of a Mexican border wall — the first in a series of actions this week to crack down on immigrants and bolster national security, including slashing the number of refugees who can resettle in the United States and blocking Syrians and others from “terror prone” nations from entering, at least temporarily.Congress seems content to let The Tangerine Shitgibbon do as he pleases and if he requested, would probably pass his Enabling Law without demur so that he would have no further need of Congress. And eight years from now, if he does allow us peons to have an election, he would not have to honor the results.
The orders are among an array of national security directives Mr. Trump is considering issuing in the coming days, according to people who have seen the orders. They include reviewing whether to resume the once-secret “black site” detention program; keep open the prison at Guantánamo Bay; and designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
According to a draft, the order on detention policies would start a review of “whether to reinstate the program of interrogation of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States, and whether such a program should include the use of detention facilities operated by the C.I.A.” But one section of the draft would require that “no person in the custody of the United States shall at any time be subjected to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as describe by U.S. or international law.”
The proposed orders could lead to sweeping and controversial changes in the way the United States conducts itself at home and around the globe in the name of security, potentially leading to the reinstatement of policies that have been repudiated by much of the world.
In the draft of a separate executive order now being circulated inside the administration, Mr. Trump would examine the question of whether the Central Intelligence Agency should reopen its so-called black sites, secret interrogation and detention centers that it operated overseas. Former President Barack Obama ordered the closings of all in the first week of his presidency in 2009.
The black sites were a highly classified program, so their mention in an executive order would be highly unusual.
The draft of a second executive order would also order a review of the Army Field Manual to determine whether to use certain enhanced interrogation techniques.
Another executive order under consideration would direct the secretary of state to determine whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. That designation has been sought by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Your morning Seth
This morning he looks at The Tangerine Shitgibbons voter fraud claims.
A matter of definition
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
She has had success in The Netherlands
But Dayna Kurtz has yet to break out in the US. This is "Are You Dancing With Her Tonight"
This time for real?
Thanks for a job well done
The Director of the FBI James Comey received a vote of confidence from The Tangerine Shitgibbon for his tireless efforts to get him elected this past election season.
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told his top agents from around the country that he had been asked by President Trump to stay on the job running the federal government’s top law enforcement agency, according to people familiar with the matter.At the reception on Sunday Trump all but kissed Comey, in the Russian manner, and no doubt extended well wishes from their boss Putin as well. Oh well, it took the Brits 20+ years to uncover Kim Philby and about the same time for the FBI to find Robert Hanssen.
A decision to retain Mr. Comey would spare the president another potentially bruising confirmation battle. It also would keep Mr. Comey at the center of the F.B.I.’s investigation into several Trump associates and their potential ties with the Russian government.
Retaining Mr. Comey could also help calm the bureau’s work force, which has been rattled after a tumultuous few months in which the F.B.I. and the director himself were sharply criticized for moves that many felt influenced the outcome of the presidential election.
Like any good businessman
Your balance sheet will have some debt on it along with the assets, liabilities and equity. You keep the various elements in balance by judiciously adjusting revenues and expenses.If, on the other hand, you plan to loot the company of all value in the manner of a classic Mafia 'bust out' , you reduce revenues on the premium products that your buddies can afford, jack up borrowing to the max and slash or refuse to pay expenses.
After seven years of fitful declines, the federal budget deficit is projected to begin swelling again this decade, adding $8.6 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, according to projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that reveal the strain that the government’s debt will have on the economy as President Trump embarks on plans to slash taxes and ramp up spending.Anybody who can add and subtract can see that none of the budgets proposed will do anything like the promises. And we have the fiscal debacles in Kansas and Wisconsin to show us how badly they will fail when implemented. But the people who have to make this happen in Congress are either clueless about economics (Teabaggers) or stand to make too much money from it to refuse to go along. And so the people who expected the new sheriff to clean up the town will find out what it is like when he turns out to be the biglyest thief of all.
The deficit, which is expected to shrink in the next two years before swelling later in the decade, will amount to 3.8 percent of the country’s total economic output, above the 3 percent that economists view as the danger point for the economy.
The new deficit figures will be a major challenge to congressional Republicans, who were swept to power in 2010 on fears of a swollen deficit and who have made controlling red ink a major part of their legislating. Statutory caps imposed in 2011 on domestic and military spending have helped control the deficit. But those controls are likely to be swamped by the aging baby boomer generation, which is ramping up spending on health care and Social Security.
Now, congressional leaders will have to choose between their fealty to the cause of fiscal prudence and the demands of the new president, who wants $1 trillion in infrastructure work over 10 years, a surge in military spending and large tax cuts for individuals and corporations.
The Congressional Budget Office’s budget and economic outlook said that the share of debt held by the public is expected to reach 89 percent in 2027. Such a high level of debt could increase the likelihood of a financial crisis and raise the possibility that investors will become skittish about financing the government’s borrowing.
Over the next 10 years, real economic output is projected to grow at an annual rate of 1.9 percent.
Mr. Trump has promised that his combination of tax cuts and investment on infrastructure will cause growth to surge above 4 percent.
Seth in the morning
Mr Meyers illuminates the first days of our 45th Precedent
Old guys doing their worst
Monday, January 23, 2017
From Canada to America and back to Canada
Paul Anka wrote this song first done by Buddy Holly, memorably by Linda Ronstadt and now reprised by Canadian singer Serena Ryder, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"
All the Breaking News
That broke when you weren't looking and might want to see again, brought to you by Tom Tomorrow.
Pat Benatar along with producer/songwriter Linda Perry produced a new song, “Shine”, an anthem and rallying cry for women’s rights to accompany the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st. Joining them on the production of the song is producer, guitarist, songwriter, NEIL GIRALDO, a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and creator of the Benatar/Giraldo sound. Download the song at http://shinetogether.info . When we shine together, we shine brighter. Proceeds from the song will go to the B.A. Rudolph Foundation supporting women pursuing careers in public service and government.
The answer came too quickly
No normal President inside the Trump fat suit
Bill Maher's opening monologue. It starts slow but he gets his wind soon
God's Judgment Is Swift
Sunday, January 22, 2017
A song of farewell
SNL used it to say farewell to President Obama and I will to. "To Sir With Love" by Lulu/
Thin skinned and empty headed
R.I.P. Maggie Roche
With your sisters you made sweet harmonies, spiced with wit and intelligence. Thank you for all the great music
Reassuring words from Pooty
So needy for approval
Donald Trump has taken to reviewing and praising his own speeches, just in case you missed it. Needless to say, like so much of what he says in his speeches, his reviews are mostly bullshit, like his one for the CIA speech yesterday.
Donald Trump has stayed true to campaign-trail form, using his personal Twitter account rather than his newly acquired handle @POTUS on Sunday to praise his own performance in a meeting with intelligence officials and dismiss the worldwide protests against his presidency.His speech was a typical Trumpoon mashup of self agrandizement, falsehoods and slogans with polite golf claps from the crowd. And since he made no policy announcements, he really didn't need to give it for any reason beyond self-satisfaction. We will probably get a lot of that in the days ahead.
A little after 7am ET, the president tweeted:
Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017
Trump spoke on Saturday at the CIA HQ in Virginia, in front of the memorial wall for officers killed in the line of duty.
His 15-minute speech included boasts about the supposed – and inaccurate – size of crowds for his inauguration; expressions of airily defined love and support for intelligence agencies with which he has been at odds over their belief in Russian attempts to influence the election on his behalf; boasts about the number of times he has appeared on the cover of Time magazine; the supposed God-given fact that it stopped raining when he spoke at the Capitol on Friday (it didn’t); and an insinuation that he might start another war in Iraq.
The speech met with laughter and applause from an audience composed largely of CIA staffers. On Saturday night, however, the recently retired CIA director John Brennan communicated through a former aide that he was “deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandisement” in front of the memorial wall.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said it was time for the president “to put in his own security intelligence community” and added: “We really would prefer the intelligence community that’s going out the door to be much more respectful toward the president and his vision in moving forward.”
Ashley Judd - Nasty Woman
Great Moments In Holiness
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Forgot to add 'rich' before people.
Donny gets his Wormtongue
After the appropriate hemming and hawing lawyers from the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel have said it is OK for the Tangerine Shitgibbon to hire his son-in-law despite his nearly complete lack of qualifications for what Tangerine has in mind.
In a 14-page opinion issued by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, government lawyers said that the president’s special hiring authority exempted White House positions from federal laws barring the president from appointing relatives to lead a federal agency. The White House, the department said, is not technically an “executive agency.”Other than being jewish, Kushner has nothing to recommend him in the Middle East, unless they plan to build a Trump resortin any country than promises to make nice.
The opinion was issued a day after Mr. Trump was sworn into office.
Some legal experts had raised concerns that Mr. Kushner’s appointment violated a 1967 law that was intended to curtail nepotism in the federal government. Six years earlier, President John F. Kennedy had appointed his brother Robert as attorney general.
The decision issued on Saturday paves the way for Mr. Kushner, 35, to have nearly unfettered access to Mr. Trump in the Oval Office. Mr. Kushner is Mr. Trump’s closest adviser and was a figure of stability throughout the campaign and the transition.
Mr. Trump announced on Jan. 9 that he would appoint Mr. Kushner to the post and that Mr. Kushner would not accept a salary. His portfolio is expected to include the Middle East and Israel, government partnerships with the private sector and matters involving free trade.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump lavished praise on Mr. Kushner at a candlelight dinner for donors at Union Station in Washington.
“If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can,” Mr. Trump said.
Heroin - the gateway to being a Republican
Bill Maher looks at the confluence of politics and drug abuse.
Quote from Thomas Paine
Friday, January 20, 2017
A song of woe
Eva Cassidy sings "Wayfaring Stranger"
Truth be told
An American first
The first time in the history of the country that a man has been sworn in as Precedent while his 'posse' is under investigation for working with a foreign hostile power. And despite The Tangerine Shitgibbon having taken his oaf of office, the matter has not been put to rest.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.Perhaps the 45th Precedent can set a new president by being the subject of a rare prosecution.
The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.
It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.
The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.
Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.
Waiting for his post-Inaugural report
Lewis Black will have something good to say
Mnuchin is not the name of a boy band
Samantha Bee explains to you what manner of swamp critter it is.
Happy Inaugural Day
Thursday, January 19, 2017
When the learning curve stretches far above you
Like a rainbow reaching to the stars and you have just discovered that the first step involved nuclear energy including all those big bombs that go BOOM! You are now in the position that Rick Perry has found himself in.
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.In Rick Perry's favor, he does know how to operate a gas pump when his gas gauge reads low.
Two-thirds of the agency’s annual $30 billion budget is devoted to maintaining, refurbishing and keeping safe the nation’s nuclear stockpile; thwarting nuclear proliferation; cleaning up and rebuilding an aging constellation of nuclear production facilities; and overseeing national laboratories that are considered the crown jewels of government science.
“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”
Mr. Perry, who once called for the elimination of the Energy Department, will begin the confirmation process Thursday with a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee. If approved by the Senate, he will take over from a secretary, Ernest J. Moniz, who was chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics department and directed the linear accelerator at M.I.T.’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science. Before Mr. Moniz, the job belonged to Steven Chu, a physicist who won a Nobel Prize.
For Mr. Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.
Mr. Moniz had such deep experience with nuclear weapons that in 2015, President Obama made him a co-negotiator, along with Secretary of State John Kerry, of the Iran nuclear deal.
The Inaugural Schedule of Events
Oh, That $100 Million!
Prior to assuming a cabinet position it is normal procedure to reveal to the government the state of your finances, especially if one is going to be Secretary of the Treasury. Therefore it was somewhat surprising that The Tangerine Shitgibbons choice for that position managed to overlook $100 Million in assets overseas as well as a lucrative directorship of a tax avoidance investment fund.
Steven T. Mnuchin, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.Just about par for the course from a former Goldmine Sachs banker but surprising in a man who would foreclose on a 90 year old widow over a 29 cent error in payment.
The revelation came hours before Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was scheduled to testify on Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, which has historically been bipartisan in its demands for transparency from nominees. Mr. Mnuchin was ready to outline his vision for the economy and defend himself against claims that he headed a bank that ran a “foreclosure machine” during the financial crisis.
“In his revised questionnaire, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed several additional financial assets, including $95 million worth of real estate — a co-op in New York City, a residence in Southampton, New York, a residence in Los Angeles, California, and $15 million in real estate holdings in Mexico,” Democratic staff members of the Senate Finance Committee wrote in a memo on Thursday. “Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire.”
According to the memo, Mr. Mnuchin also initially failed to disclose that he is the director of Dune Capital International, an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven, along with management posts in seven other investment funds.
And he belatedly disclosed that his children own nearly $1 million in artwork.
Democrats pounced on the “inadvertent” omissions Thursday morning, calling them more evidence that Mr. Mnuchin is not fit to steer the country’s economic agenda.
“Never before has the Senate considered such an ethically challenged slate of nominees for key cabinet positions,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement. “Mr. Mnuchin’s failure to disclose his Cayman Islands holdings just reeks of the swamp that the president-elect promised to drain on the campaign trail.”
We can just imagine what's in it
Just when you thought the Trump "administration" could not get any crookeder or sleazier, along come the bald headed king of Southern sleaze, Rick Scott, Governor of Florida. And out of the goodness of his heart, the world's biggest Medicare fraud has offered to work on the Republican chimera to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Kicking off a series of meetings with incoming Trump administration officials, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he hopes to help them devise a less costly alternative to Obamacare.While, as usual, failing to provide any details, given Gov. Scott's history it is a fair guess that any plan he comes up with will include unlimited painkiller prescriptions and abundant opportunities for billing fraud for the common man.
Scott said he’s talking with Donald Trump every week or two while working closely with Rep. Tom Price, the president-elect’s choice to run the government agency that oversees Medicaid, Medicare and the landmark 2010 health-insurance law.
Mirroring previous comments by Trump himself, Scott indicated that the two men are not looking to repeal the entire law, unlike some fellow Republican members of Congress.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time already with Congressman Price, who I’ve known for a long time, to try to come up with a plan to repeal what doesn’t work and to replace it with something that’s going to drive down costs and improve access,” Scott told reporters in Washington.
Despite being asked several times for specifics of a replacement plan, Scott did not provide any.
Trump said over the weekend that any plan he and Congress devise to replace Obamacare should cover everyone, a stance at odds with many GOP lawmakers.
At a Senate health committee confirmation hearing, Price also appeared to back off from complete repeal, at least immediately, of a law that has helped 20 million Americans gain insurance in the last nearly seven years.
Colbert does Trump and meets his God
You thought you knew Kellyanne
Sam Bee looks at Kellyanne Conway
Trump is an insult to carbuncles
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
When doing a cover, cover the best
Like Maggie Rose does with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"
Lyin' Ryan has been planning this a long time
He has to take the weekend off
The Tangerine Shitgibbon has declared that his presidency will not begin until the Monday after he is sworn in. Some say this is because he is a lazy dumb fuck who would rather party but the truth is he has no functioning team to work with yet. And the most disturbingly disfunctional team is in the area of National Security.
The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming Trump administration: nearly 1,000 pages of classified material on North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other kind of threat the new team could face in its first weeks in office.Trump's team may nnot have read those national security transition papers, but it is a safe bet that Putin has and will keep his puppy up to speed on what he nedds to know and do.
Nobody in the current administration knows whether anyone in the next has read any of it.
Less than three days before President Obama turns the keys to the White House, and the nuclear codes, over to President-elect Donald J. Trump, Mr. Trump’s transition staff has barely engaged with the National Security Council below the most senior levels. His designated national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, has met four times with his Obama counterpart, Susan E. Rice, most recently on Tuesday afternoon.
But the chronic upheaval in Mr. Trump’s transition, a delay in appointing senior National Security Council staff members, and a dearth of people with security clearances have deprived the Trump team of weeks of prep work on some of the most complex national security issues facing the country.
“We really wanted to make sure there was nothing a new team needed to know that we hadn’t told them,” Ms. Rice said in an interview. “It took them more time than we expected for them to be ready to engage with us.” Now, she added, “we’re racing to make up lost time.”
In a statement, Mr. Flynn said, “Members of our incoming team have held extensive meetings with their N.S.C. counterparts.” He thanked Ms. Rice for her “cooperation and assistance.” Last week, the two engaged in a public display of harmony, shaking hands at a “pass the baton” conference sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace.
Still, officials from both the Obama and Trump teams acknowledged that the transition had been rocky, in no small part because Mr. Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton caught both the outgoing and incoming administrations so completely by surprise. Had Mrs. Clinton won, her staff planned to place a transition team in the N.S.C. within a couple of days.
In Mr. Trump’s case, the first contact with the National Security Council did not come until Nov. 22, two weeks after Election Day. That delay was caused by the purge of the original transition team led by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Among those swept out was Matthew Freedman, who had been chosen to run the N.S.C. transition but quickly came under scrutiny because of his foreign lobbying ties. Mr. Freedman’s replacement, Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and State Department official, arrived in the West Wing with six people, only two of whom had security clearances.
And one supports legalized marijuana
Jimmy Kimmel did some on street interviews to see which is better, Obamacare of Affordable Care Act.
Are you one of the Big Seven-Oh?
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
John Prine wrote the song
And Amy Black sings "Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness"
Brothers in Arms
R.I.P. Eugene Cernan
You were the last American to walk on the moon and you will probably keep that distinction for a long, long time.
The Republicans are quite sad
The Congressional Budget Office has released its report on the effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act and by their reckoning only 18 million people will lose their coverage the first year. The GOP very much had their little blackened hearts set on the higher figure of 20 million.
Repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. A repeal could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, the report said, while causing individual insurance premiums to double over that time.The GOP whines that the report does not include results of their replacement plan, largely because such a plan does not exist and very likely never will.
The budget office analyzed the probable effects of a Republican bill repealing the law like the one approved in Congress, but vetoed early last year by President Obama.
The C.B.O. report, released after a weekend of protests against repeal, will only add to the headaches that President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans face in their rush to gut President Obama’s signature domestic achievement as they try to replace it with a health insurance law more to their liking.
Republicans cautioned that the report painted only part of the picture — the impact of a fast repeal without the Republican replacement. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and the chairman of the finance committee, said the numbers in the report “represented a one-sided hypothetical scenario.”
“Today’s report shows only part of the equation — a repeal of Obamacare without any transitional policies or reforms to address costs and empower patients,” Mr. Hatch said. “Republicans support repealing Obamacare and implementing step-by-step reforms so that Americans have access to affordable health care.”
But that replacement bill has yet to be produced, and existing Republican plans, such as one drafted by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, now nominated to be Mr. Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, have yet to be scrutinized by the budget office, the official scorekeeper of legislation.
The bill that the budget office analyzed would have eliminated tax penalties for people who go without insurance. It would also have eliminated spending for the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies that help lower-income people buy private insurance. But the bill preserved requirements for insurers to provide coverage, at standard rates, to any applicant, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.
“Eliminating the mandate penalties and the subsidies while retaining the market reforms would destabilize the nongroup market, and the effect would worsen over time,” the budget office said.
Seth meyers takes a closer look at Russian hacking
Don't bite the hand that elects you
Monday, January 16, 2017
"Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody" from 1982, Joni was sampling before it was cool.
The new super hero
Almost was called Golden Shower Boy but, as Tom Tomorrow tells us he is known as The Unbelievable Baby-Man.
It only sounds the same
Some say wait until next week
And whatever horror comes out of the mouth of The Tangerine Shitgibbon will be reversed by a new statement, tweet of what have you. Tangerine's latest remarks may not fall under that rubric as it apply directly to what would make his master Putin all warm and fuzzy, the dismantling of NATO.
In comments that are likely to create fresh tensions with the United States’ closest European allies, President-elect Donald J. Trump described NATO as “obsolete” in an interview published on Sunday and said other European nations would probably follow Britain’s lead by leaving the European Union.I really can't see The Tangerine Shitgibbon trusting Merkel for very long, but as to Putin, we all know he has no choice but to go along with what Pooty wants.
Mr. Trump has made similar comments before. But the fact that he made them in a joint interview with two European publications — The Times of London and Bild, a German newspaper — and did so days before assuming the presidency alarmed European diplomats.
“I took such heat when I said NATO was obsolete,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying, ‘Trump is right.’”
Mr. Trump also said that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union would “end up being a great thing” and predicted that other countries would follow. “People, countries want their own identity, and the U.K. wanted its own identity,” he said.
He criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany over her decision to welcome more than one million migrants.
“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from,” he said. “And nobody even knows where they come from.”
On Russia, Mr. Trump said he hoped to strike a deal with President Vladimir V. Putin to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles. He suggested that such an agreement could be part of a broader easing of tensions that would include lifting economic sanctions imposed after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
“They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” he said. “For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it. Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are going to benefit.”
Mr. Trump was critical of Russia’s military intervention in Syria, including airstrikes in Aleppo that American officials say have hit hospitals and killed civilians, saying it had led to a “terrible humanitarian situation.”
Strikingly, however, Mr. Trump painted Ms. Merkel, the leader of a staunch American ally, and Mr. Putin, the president of a country who has often had adversarial relations with Washington, with the same brush. He described them as leaders he would trust at the beginning of his presidency, but noted that this could quickly change.
“Well, I start off trusting both — but let’s see how long that lasts,” he said. “It may not last long at all.”
When the Labor Secretary
Is best known for his constant violations of labor law, the intent of the President who allegedly selected him becomes quite clear. Workers are exploitable and expendable and are only there to enrich their betters. Sadly this asshole Puzder thinks he is one of the betters.
At first, Andrew F. Puzder’s California story sounds like one of the state’s sunny dreams come true: Midwestern lawyer stumbles into burger business, nurses storied chain back to health, wins industry plaudits and record profits.Not every worker has the choice of where to work, but every CEO has the choice to make his workers lives a misery or not. Puzder is one of those misery shits.
But Mr. Puzder became an outspoken critic of his adopted state because of its vigorous workplace regulations. The mandatory rest breaks required by California made no sense, he felt, leaving restaurants understaffed when a rush of customers came in. His company paid millions of dollars to settle class-action lawsuits that accused it of cheating workers.
He spoke out against labor laws intended to benefit hourly workers like the ones who serve shakes and mop floors at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, the chains he runs.
“California has gone really from being this golden state, the state of opportunity, to being a kind of nanny state,” he said in 2009. “You can’t be a capitalist in this state.”
In the months before California passed a law last year raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2022, many business leaders kept their objections discreet, but Mr. Puzder was blunt: “How do you pay somebody $15 an hour to scoop ice cream? How good could you be at scooping ice cream?” he asked.
Now Mr. Puzder is relocating his corporate headquarters to Tennessee — and planning his own move to Washington, to become President-elect Donald J. Trump’s labor secretary. His nomination is moving slowly, with confirmation hearings pushed back indefinitely, allowing Democrats and labor advocates to prepare a drumbeat of questions: Can the head of a company accused of shortchanging workers serve as their champion? Does Mr. Puzder want to lead the Labor Department, or dismantle it? Will he enforce rules his company has been accused of violating? How will Mr. Trump make good on his vision of capitalism that is unfettered by regulations, yet also helps those left behind?
Why Republicans always smile
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Rhiannon Giddens - La Vie En Rose
This is for Paris, and Beirut, and Kenya, and Charleston, and so many others; for countless innocent people devastated by terrorism- which is just a word for organized hatred and inhumanity. We have to keep seeing the world in shades of rose- we have to keep hoping for peace and working for change and believing that with our art, our love, our knowledge, and most of all, our empathy and understanding for our fellow human beings, we can make a difference. -- Rhiannon Giddens
Soon to be Yugest Tree Ever!
Have you made your Pussyhat yet?
In advance of the Women's March on Washington, thousands of knitting women have been preparing pink Pussyhats for the marchers, to the delight of the pink yarn industry.
“I wanted to do something more than just show up,” said the 29-year-old screenwriter who lives in downtown Los Angeles, recalling how her professors at the all-girls’ Barnard College in New York City urged her to think about problems. “How can I visually show someone what’s going on? And I realized as a California girl, I would be really cold in D.C. — it’s not tank-top weather year-round. So I thought maybe I could knit myself a hat.”The perfect accessory for a cold winter day. Keep the noggin warm and let the world see where you stand.
And so the “pussyhat project” was born. Knitters — mostly women — started crafting handmade pink caps with cat ears, a reference to Trump’s vulgar statements about grabbing women’s genitals, which were revealed in a leaked video shortly before the election.
What started as a project among Suh, Jayna Zweiman and other friends at the Little Knittery in Atwater Village has turned into a global movement. Knitting groups at yarn stores, cafes and coffee shops from Seattle to Martha’s Vineyard have been churning out hats, and craft stores have reported a run on pink yarn. As word spread on social media, thousands of hats — knit with skeins of thick magenta or fuchsia yarn — have been made around the world, including in Australia and Austria. They’re all being sent to collections spots around the country and a basement in Virginia ahead of the Saturday march.
Anja Liseth, 41, who lives in Bergen, Norway, learned about the project from fellow knitters’ pictures on Instagram and promptly spent five evenings stitching five hats. “Made with Norwegian wool,” she said proudly.
“I feel that my contribution is important, and that since I’ve knitted these hats, part of me is there at the demonstration,” Liseth said, adding that she was bewildered by Trump’s win and attributes it to misogyny. “It feels really important, it’s such a big issue for me, that I also can be there in a sense to demonstrate, because in Norway, we have gender equality in a lot of areas.”
Liseth was among many knitters who said an essential part of the project was that it allowed women who cannot attend the national march to contribute.
“We want to see a sea of pink” on the national mall, said Kat Coyle, the owner of the Little Knittery and Suh’s knitting instructor.
Coyle, 54, who lives in Silver Lake, is the one who came up with the design and decided to keep it simple in order to maximize participation. The pattern, which is available for free online, is effectively a rectangle. It is folded and sewn together, and once the wearer puts it on, the corners poke out like cat ears. Some knitters have embellished their caps with beads and sparkly thread.
R.I.P. Dick Gauthier
And so another robot disappears from our lives, Farewell Hymie The Robot
As close as I ever want to get to Trump
When did reality turn upside down?
Saturday, January 14, 2017
She could have sung the phone book to perfection
Instead Eva Cassidy gave us her takes on great songs such as the classic "God Bless The Child"
Trump's additions to the White House
Oklahoma's Chicken Shit King
Granted the chicken shit came from Arkansas, but the efforts of Oklahoma's Attorney General to allow Arkansas chicken factories to continue fouling and polluting Oklahoma waters earned him that title. And now the man who never met an industrial polluter he wasn't happy to take money from is up for nomination as head of the EPA.
A legal fight to clean up tons of chicken manure fouling the waters of Oklahoma’s bucolic northeastern corner — much of it from neighboring Arkansas — was in full swing six years ago when the conservative lawyer Scott Pruitt took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general.Scott Pruitt has spent his time as Oklahoma AG suing the EPA to prevent its efforts to make water clean and air breathable. As head of the EPA he will be able to kill the EPA efforts in the cradle.
His response: Put on the brakes.
Rather than push for a federal judge to punish the companies by extracting perhaps tens of millions of dollars in damages, Oklahoma’s new chief law enforcement officer quietly negotiated a deal to simply study the problem further.
The move came after he had taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from executives and lawyers for the poultry industry.
It was one of a series of instances in which Mr. Pruitt put cooperation with industry before confrontation as he sought to blunt the impact of federal environmental policies in his state — against oil, gas, agriculture and other interests. His antipathy to federal regulation — he sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times — in many ways defined his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general.
Now, Mr. Pruitt, tapped to head Donald J. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, will have the opportunity to engineer a radical shift in Washington. If confirmed by the Senate, he is expected to shelve the Obama administration’s aggressive environmental enforcement and embrace a more collaborative approach with the industries that the agency is charged with policing, many of which have helped him advance his political career.
The impact would stretch from the nation’s waterways to the planet’s climate, since the E.P.A. carries out and enforces rules to combat global warming.
“He has advocated and stood up for the profits of business, be it the poultry companies or the energy industry and other polluters, at the expense of people who have to drink the water or breathe the air,” said Mark Derichsweiler, who led the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality division responsible for overseeing the poultry-related cleanup. Mr. Derichsweiler retired in 2015 after 40 years with the state, frustrated with Mr. Pruitt’s approach.
A session on Sessions
From Samantha Bee
Friday, January 13, 2017
New one from Band-Maid
In time for the Inauguration? "Don't You Tell Me"
If the press had any balls
R.I.P. William Peter Blatty
Author of The Exorcist. I raise a cup of pea soup to your memory.
Your district has the highest number of enrollees
The success of the Affordable Care Act was nowhere greater than in the district of Congresswoman Ilena Ros-Lehtinen of Miami. To a decent caring human being the upcoming repeal vote in Congress would be a difficult dilemma. For Ms. Ros-Lehtinen no such problem, repeal she must.
There are 96,300 people enrolled in the Florida district represented by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, the highest number in the country, according to estimates by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Her district is followed closely by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, whose southwest Miami-Dade and Monroe County district has 92,500 enrolled in the insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.Like good little Republican boot lickers all, they areparroting the lies about ACA knowing full well it is all bullshit. Their hope, and not too far fetched a hope, is that the people who voted for them will forget by the next election that these good Republicans were the ones who screwed thwm.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, who opposes rescinding the law, has the third-greatest number at 94,100, followed by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, whose Hialeah to Naples district has 83,300 enrolled.
“These numbers should give them pause," said Dr. Mona Mangat, Florida-based board chairman of Doctors for America.
"These are not just numbers, they're people," said Mangat, an allergist in St. Petersburg. "These are people whose lives have been saved or changed because of the Affordable Care Act."
But will the high take-up rates cause Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart and Curbello to reconsider their support for repeal?
Ros-Lehtinen acknowledged that many in her district are worried about losing what she called the “positive aspects” of President Barack Obama’s signature law, including keeping children on their parents’ insurance through 26 and covering pre-existing conditions.
But Ros-Lehtinen argued that Obamacare – which she has consistently voted to oppose – “has been in an unsustainable downward spiral” since it started. She said the program needs “extensive changes” to sustain it, including eliminating the individual and employer mandates, which Democrats argue are key to expanding care to people who can not afford insurance.
Ros-Lehtinen cited a plan authored by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, as a potential starting place.
But Democrats warn that Republicans, who have yet to coalesce around a replacement plan for Obamacare, are courting disaster in the insurance markets by looking to take apart the law. Democrats are planning a “Day of Action” on Saturday in various cities to mobilize grassroots opposition to the plan to roll back the act.
“While the Republicans may have an ideological opposition to the Affordable Care Act, they have to understand what it means in cost to their constituents’ cost in benefits, cost in quality of service, cost in access and cost in dollars,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “We’re hoping that they will listen.”
Diaz-Balart, who has also voted repeatedly to repeal the law, said he has been listening to his constituents and hears mostly complaints: Costs are increasing and doctors are increasingly unwilling to accept people with Obamacare, he said.
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