Monday, November 27, 2017

Hometown Christians and Editorial Cartoons

This could be part of a series after the Michelangelo cartoon awhile back. Anyway, here tis:

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Roy Moore

And my LTTE:

     I'm writing to question the folks outraged by the use of the creche in the editorial cartoon. It's fine to upset, but doesn't the inspiration for it bother you? No one mentions that. The cartoon doesn't exist in a vacuum. "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus" (Jim Ziegler, Alabama State Auditor). That's the Holy Family used to defend the candidacy of an alleged sexual predator. I'd hope you're not cool with a moral equivalence between Joseph of Nazareth and Roy Moore. As a regular parishioner, my greater concern is being linked to Christian supporters of Moore.

     I've been told, thankfully not by anyone in my church, that liberals cannot be Christians. That's a stereotype that made me reluctant to return to worship. Luckily, our Judge is not on Earth. In a few weeks, there'll be many attending service that don't normally. There are Christians, thankfully not in my church, who vocally back the policies of Donald Trump and Roy Moore. There are also many who consider the brand of moral justice espoused by Jesus to be opposed to the views of men such as these and want to work toward that. Don't be put off by the loud minority. Come and celebrate His birth. Then come back. "All that the Father giveth  me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

I'll see if that gets me crosswise with anyone. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Loose Lips Trump

This is a great account of Trump's spilling the beans to the two Russians in the Oval Office. It's too long to take extracts from. Read. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Everybody Must Get Stoned

I put this up on Facebook, so I'll just link to it on my poor neglected blog, too. Milbank has a great collection of Bible passages that at least the sane among us would not follow literally or any other way. I'd like to think they never were.

Cutting off the hand of a woman if she grabs the penis of a man who is fighting with her husband (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).

Can't imagine that being a big issue. Think we could find a verse justifying cutting off something on Roy Moore if we look hard enough. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ode to Hannity

An ode to Sean Hannity.
by John Cleese

Aping urbanity,
Oozing with vanity,
Plump as a manatee,
Faking humanity,
Journalistic calamity,
Intellectual inanity,
Fox News insanity,
You're a profanity, Hannity.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Love When Churches Do the Right Thing

I know it's easy to point out when they don't. And this is a Baptist church in Georgia you should bear in mind as you read.

So it was front-page news in the Telegraph, Macon’s daily newspaper, when First Baptist called an Aug. 27 meeting of its membership to decide whether its stated policy of welcome and inclusion should extend to the celebration of same-sex marriages.

Two thousand out of 49,000 is a start. Respect and civility are nice, too.

After paying a visit, I think there’s something more to learn from this story: how to foster respect and civility even amid disagreement.

The news that hit driveways in Macon that Sunday morning had, in fact, been brewing a long time inside the church. First Baptist is one of about 2,000 congregations that have chosen to leave the conservative Southern Baptist Convention over the past 25 years. For the roughly 47,000 churches that remain in the SBC, same-sex marriage is a nonstarter; no church that condones such unions can participate.

Can you find a better use for the scriptures than supporting bigotry? Or who would Jesus shun?

And a discussion of Scripture focused on the Bible passages most cherished by church members. The same verses came up again and again, and none dealt with sexuality. “We reminded ourselves why we listen to Scripture in the first place: not to be a battleground, but to bring us together,” Dickison recalled.

Baby steps or giant leaps? Depends on how you want to look at it. 

Useful Idiots for the 21st Century

I seems like the only posts I've been putting up are LTTEs and I haven't been writing many of those. In any case, a letter to the editor in rough draft and associated links.

UPDATED: And new and improved(?)

     The Russians took actions to influence last November's election. That is a fact. Today I saw this posted on Facebook. "If liberal politicians treat the people this poorly when we're armed to the teeth, just imagine what they'll do once they've taken away your guns." In basic training, I was warned to beware of rumors and propaganda. I don't know the source of this meme, but it looks exactly like the products of Russian trolls recently released. Leaving aside the not so subtle threat to liberal politicians, are there folks "sharing" this who can't recognize propaganda when they see it?
     "What we're talking about is the beginning of cyber warfare. What we're talking about is a major foreign power with sophistication and ability to involve themselves in a presidential election and sow conflict and discontent all over this country" (Sen. Dianne Feinstein). "The strategy is to take a crack in our society and turn it into a chasm" (Sen. Angus King). They're both on Senate Intelligence and are investigating an adversary attacking us. Is it really necessary to help spread divisive material on the internet? I've struggled, but can't find a more appropriate term than the classic useful idiot.
     House Intelligence feels their time better served examining the sale of Uranium One to a company owned by Russians. Naturally, this conspiracy theory involves Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Lately, I've seen iterations that work in Robert Mueller. When nothing is found, we the people deserve a full report. The president should get one too so he can move onto another flight of fancy. 

WP Editorial 

David Ignatius 

Craig Timberg 

House Uranium 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Maybe They're Just Big Fans

Apparently some scoundrel is registering domain names in hopes of, I don't know, cashing in on my rep running for senate or president? Of course, in the Age of Trump speculation takes precedent over any actual facts. This is Stefanik spokesman Lenny Alcivar.

“Desperate attempts from desperate candidates and their partisan allies to smear Elise with false political attacks are not new,” he said. “Congresswoman Stefanik ran on always placing the people of the 21st District first. That is why, in the face of similarly false attacks from previous political opponents, our district has overwhelmingly supported the congresswoman’s bipartisan record of real results, it is why she recently won re-election by over 30 points, and it is why she will continue her fight for every family and every small business across the North Country.”

First, what happened to Tom Flanagin or how many spokesmen does a representative to Congress need? A few, I suppose, if you never actually say anything yourself. In the spirit of random hypothesizing I left this comment.

Alcivar has no evidence at all that Democrats registered those names yet he goes on a riff slamming them in true Trump style. Just make stuff up.

Since that's the way he wants to play. Maybe Russian trolls registered those domain names since they're so closely allied with the Republican Party now. Could be.

Another possibility that occurs to me is that her camp or fans of hers are registering these domain names in order to stir up talk of her running for these offices. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Representative Cheerleader

So here's Rep Stefanik giving an attaboy to burning more coal.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose northern New York district includes the Adirondack Park, has a nuanced response to the Trump administration canceling the Clean Power Plan, which would have reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Republican from Willsboro never supported the Clean Power Plan because it was started on President Barack Obama’s executive authority rather than by Congress.

“When Congress is circumvented in the process, the policy can easily be undone from one administration to the other,” Stefanik’s spokesman, Tom Flanagin, wrote in an email Thursday. “Congress, not federal bureaucrats, should set our national energy policy.”

Now Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to scrap the Clean Power Plan to protect coal production, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said earlier this week. The plan was never enacted; a court blocked it shortly after Obama announced it.

A nuanced response is a lot more than we normally get from her. Apparently, laws passed and signed by the president are also easily undone from one administration to another

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, issued the following statement on Thursday supporting President Trump’s executive order to expand choice in health care for families and businesses:

“Families and businesses in my district, deserve more choice in healthcare, and I applaud these efforts to lower costs,” Stefanik said. “Allowing employers to pool together and purchase insurance across state lines is commonsense and will allow more people to access affordable coverage. I will continue to work in Congress on bipartisan healthcare solutions to help lower costs, increase access and improve quality.”

So, the last letter ended up in the "letters I've written never meaning to send category." This one is sent. 

    It's not surprising to see Rep. Stefanik praising President Trump for ridding us of President Obama's evil executive order attempting to regulate coal burning. While Obama wasn't able to get that passed in Congress, he was able to get ACA passed. It seems a little hypocritical for our congresswoman to then extol Trump for an executive order undermining this established law. Having failed to "repeal and replace," the GOP is embracing the Samson option. Steve Bannon, a few days ago, "Not gonna make the CSR payments. Gonna blow that thing up, gonna blow those exchanges up, right?"
     "Allowing employers to pool together and purchase insurance across state lines is commonsense and will allow more people to access affordable coverage," from Stefanik statement. That means loosening laws on association health plans that will allow the skirting of the essential health benefits required under ACA. Commonsense is enabling insurers to choose the states with the most lenient regulations, I suppose. The insurance market won't work when the healthy and the sick self-select into their own respective niches and policies are not subject to regulation. That's the beginning of the race to the bottom.
     In 1992, there were plans such as these, referred to as multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs).  They "left at least 398,000 participants and their beneficiaries with more than $123 million in unpaid claims between January 1988 and June 1991" (Washington Post). "MEWAs have proven to be a source of regulatory confusion, enforcement problems and, in some instances, fraud." (GAO). It's not much of a shock to see them promulgated 25 years later by the man who was successfully sued for Trump University. It is disheartening to see our representative giving him thumbs up for doing so, though.  

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dissenting View on My Representative

Haven't been writing on the blog or to the Post Star much. Let's kill two birds. Mark Westcott wrote to the local paper today lavishing praise on Rep. Stefanik. God knows I can't let that pass. So here's a first draft anyway.

     I’m responding to Mark Westcott’s letter commending Rep. Stefanik’s performance. He touts her bi-partisanship by listing different pieces of legislation she has supported. I think it’s great that she’s not aligned with the extreme positions of the Freedom Caucus. Of course, I’d also be curious how often she votes in line with them. I’m fairly sure everything he mentioned would have been supported by a hypothetical Democratic representative. That Democrat likely wouldn’t have voted to send the flawed AHCA to the Senate in the vain hope that it would be mended there. They would, God willing, be working to make real fixes to the existing policy, the ACA. I suspect that the “repeal and replace” she ran on twice is more important than making changes to improve the existing policy.

     There’s a bill making silencers easier to acquire that has been postponed twice. The first time it was put off by the shooting of Rep. Scalise and the second time by the Las Vegas tragedy. Having fully made her bones with the NRA, I have no doubt how she’ll vote on that and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act if it comes up. I’m hopeful that if we get a Democratic rep who’s not hypothetical it will lead to gun policy not dictated by the gun industry. They’re maybe going to allow bump stocks to be outlawed. Wonderful. What does that do for the 20,000 suicides in a given year? They’re not going to allow the repeal of the Dickey Amendment that would send some money toward researching how to cut gun deaths. And neither is Rep. Stefanik. 

And here's an actual writer, David Frum at The Atlantic, writing on my favorite hobby horse

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Good to Keep a Few Wingers Around

I've managed to collect a right-winger or two on my Facebook friend list. The one I scored this from I defriended awhile back, but it's worth checking in now and then. Have you seen this photo.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Of course not, because you won't see that in the liberal media. You probably didn't see the one of Trump saving the two cats either. Thank God the Russians are on FB to spread this hidden news around.

Mark Zuckerberg is full of shit. I've reported false nonsense that people have up that is anti-Muslim among other nastiness and it never goes down.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I Suppose It's in Poor Taste

Because of the recent shooting in Texas, but since it barely made the news I guess it's all good.

The days are growing colder, and soon millions of American hunters will pursue a time-honored tradition. They will load their automatic weapons with armor-piercing bullets, strap on silencers, head off to the picnic grounds on nearby public lakes — and start shooting.

If you do not immediately recognize this pastime as part of America’s heritage, then you are sadly out of step with the current Republican majority in Congress. On Tuesday, a House panel takes up the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017,” which promises “to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.”

It's probably a waste of time to ask my congresswoman to vote against it, but what the hell. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Defending Venomous Attacks

This will be in response to this letter which I'll just post the beginning of. that's really the apropos part.

Nearly every morning, as predicted, there is a venomous attack against our president or our congresswoman. It’s getting old. This paper has made a clear choice between being a journalistic-based or politically-based organization. Unfortunately, they have chosen to be political, much like most media outlets today.

So, this is my venomous attack on him.

    I'm responding to Harrison Francett's letter attacking the Post Star because "Nearly every morning there is a venomous attack against our president or our congresswoman. It's getting old." Since it's so frequent, it seems examples would've been easy to come by, but alas, not a one. What are really getting old are the venomous attacks on our daily paper, here and there, as "liberal media" without providing any basis for that. If there's an article or op-ed you find unfair write a letter about it.
     In that same day's paper, Rep. Stefanik "did not state her views on DACA specifically." There was some boilerplate from her spokesman about fixing immigration. No real opinion. Lots of us have a problem with the no comment thing. Chuck Schumer and Andrew Cuomo have given opinions on DACA, even if you don't agree with them. Most Congress people, even Republicans, have held more than one town hall since January. If enough upstate folks share Mr. Francett's view that she's approachable and independent then she'll be re-elected next November. As a reminder, the Post Star did endorse her re-election last year.
     Also in that day's paper was an article reporting that "staunch 'resist' Democrat" Schumer, along with Nancy Pelosi, had teamed up with President Trump to raise the debt limit. Maybe the president can work with Democrats to get an immigration bill since Congressional Republicans seem incapable of governing. Is it a venomous attack to report that Trump is making agreements with Chuck and Nancy? Probably in some circles.

If there's an edition of the Post Star that makes venomous attacks on Trump and Stefanik nearly every morning then I'm receiving the wrong one. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Senator Danforth Letter

Great letter in Washington Post in reply to Danforth editorial.

Mr. Trump forms a “voter fraud” commission after claiming 5 million undocumented people voted in the most recent election. Republican legislatures around the nation pass “voter identification” laws. Both Mr. Trump’s fraud commission and these ID laws have the same purpose: figure out new ways to suppress minority votes.

Mr. Trump continues to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans in Congress spent seven years calling for the same thing, and tried multiple times in the past several months to do so.

And more.

As a Nightmare Begins, Another May Be Winding Down

The one in Texas is just beginning. They still have days to go before the end of Harvey leaves their state a hellscape. Fortunately, Robert Mueller is still on the job and end of Trump's presidency is coming. I'm optimistic anyway. Good article by Digby. There's just too much good stuff to single any out. I love this quote from Steve Schmidt:

We worked on two presidential campaigns at high levels and there weren’t any Russians around. I don’t think there were Russians around the Obama campaign or the Kerry campaign either.

This campaign had Russians all over the place!

This was a link from the Digby piece to a Politico article showing Trump continuing to work at winning friends and influencing Senators. 

President Donald Trump privately vented his frustration over Russia-related matters with at least two other Republican senators this month, according to people familiar with the conversations — in addition to the president's public admonishments of Mitch McConnell, John McCain and Jeff Flake.

And this was in today's paper

President Trump's campaign-season flattery of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a head scratcher at the time, makes a bit more sense after The Washington Post reported Sunday night that Trump's company was working on a deal to build a skyscraper in Moscow.

The Post's Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman reported that “as part of the discussions, a Russian-born real estate developer urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal and suggested that he could get President Vladimir Putin to say 'great things' about Trump, according to several people who have been briefed on his correspondence.”

Oh yes, and Trump had a lot of very nice things to say about Putin, too.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Jimmy Carter V. Lester Maddox

I shared this with my congresswoman.

I know Elise has a very low opinion of Barack Obama as president. Four on a scale of 1 to 10? Really? I can only assume she has at least an equally low opinion of Jimmy Carter. BTW, real historians, like Douglas Brinkley who wrote the article, give Obama 12th place overall among presidents. Sounds better than 4 out of 10. Read about how a courageous man faces down racism in 1971 and doesn't kowtow to bigots.

Thought I'd put it up here, too.

Of all the many slimy things Donald Trump has done, his coddling of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke ranks among the most vile and degenerate.

Gonna read it now, aren't you?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Just Imagine, Now You Don't Have To

Other than Hannity's head exploding there are no actual Republican reactions. That's a real shame.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Bannon Scorned


It's officially on.

Breitbart News, with former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon back in charge, is ripping mad at President Trump after Monday's Afghanistan speech foreshadowed an increase in ground troops.

Oh hell, just go look. You know you want to.

So, I know Trump is fighting the fake news liberal media failing NY Times Amazon Washington Post on one side. Is he capable of fighting on two fronts? Yeah, I don't think he was doing so well on one front.

Bannon knows better than anyone how deeply the perception that someone else is calling the shots wounds Trump's pride. By suggesting that McMaster is the “president,” Bannon is trolling Trump. Hard.

I should've saved the ouch for that.


I shared this with my congresswoman. Might as well share it with the rest of the class blog  as well.

Richard Cohen says it's too late to disavow Trump. Too bad if that's true, congresswoman. Eventually, I believe anyway, you're going to have to face up to what you supported for president. Good luck with that.

Oh wait, that was me concern trolling my rep. 

The useful idiots are falling by the wayside. First came a few corporate big shots, and then some more, and then many, many more. Princes of Wall Street, richer and more important than any chief executive, also left, and then Julius Krein, a conservative intellectual and digital pamphleteer, retracted his support of President Trump in a New York Times op-ed and inevitably was hailed as a political Rip Van Winkle who had just woken up. He and the others slept too long.

They have done their damage. Trump is in the White House, fulminating on Twitter, messing up foreign policy, mistaking critics for enemies, refusing to immediately and unequivocally condemn neo-Nazis, racists and other assorted goons — and, in general, failing to provide the nation with a scintilla of moral leadership. This will last until it can’t any longer. There is only so much chaos a nation can stand.

Yes, that's Cohen's concern trolling. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Heather Heyer

Kenneth Frazier:

Because we have no president.

Epistle to Reverend Puckey

I suspect the Methodist Church will soon change its policy on excommunication. 

Dear Reverend Puckey:

My name is Kevin Robbins and I attend Hudson Falls UMC. I’m writing because you and I disagree. This is in regards to a Facebook post put up by Kathi Cech and liked by you, disliked by me. I’m overlooking the notification I received in the comments that I can’t possibly be a Christian because I’m a liberal. You may not have seen that, and may or may not agree with those sentiments. But, you did click like on the Dinesh D’Souza quote.  If you’d care to respond, my e-mail is I corresponded with Reverend Mudge and he informed me that I’m “engaged in a debate that is dividing all of the UMC.” I attempted to engage in a debate on Facebook without much success. No one wanted to discuss it.
D’Souza said: “The paradox of liberal tolerance is that it extends to Marxists, transsexuals and Islamic radicals – but not to conservatives or Christians.”
I’m curious what you find agreeable about the quote. How many living Marxists can you name? And how many liberals that are supporting them? The Russians took up kleptocracy around the time of Boris Yeltsin. Nicolas Maduro might be a Marxist, but I doubt many liberals are supporting him. Maybe Harry Belafonte and Sean Penn?  I’d say President Trump is giving him support by threatening him and rallying people to his side.    
I agree that we are tolerant toward transgender folks. What should we be? Hateful towards them? We liberals have company anyway. The brass at the Pentagon and some Republicans in Congress recently smacked down President Trump’s attempt to bigly discriminate toward transgender service members. But wait, wait; that’s not all. Some members of the Methodist Church are tolerant, too. A transgender person named M has recently been ordained as a deacon.
D’Souza insinuates that liberals are in league with ISIS and al-Qaeda. I would require some evidence of that scurrilous charge. We do support Muslims being able to practice their religion without being subjected to attacks like the recent one in Minnesota (and so many others). And why are they being attacked? Possibly because of hate-mongers like D’Souza. Actually, we support transgender folks not being attacked, as well. Would it be offensive if I said conservative Christian tolerance extends to the right-wing extremists in Virginia? I can already see it doesn’t extend to liberals. Why is it acceptable to push hatred of them?
Presumably some of my best friends are conservative Christians. I don’t bring my politics into church so I don’t know for sure. I’m not intolerant of conservative views or people who hold them. I am intolerant of bigots like D’Souza who use fallacious, straw man, nonsense arguments to spread hatred.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire.

Be Well,

Kevin Robbins

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What's Good For Exxon is Good For Rex

I realize all administrations have engaged in realpolitik. Ask Matt Funiciello.

Every American president since World War II has believed that our nation benefits from the spread of economic and political freedom. Oppressive regimes are more likely to seek destabilizing weapons and to harbor terrorists. Democratic nations are more peaceful and more likely to engage in trade. Democratization (for the most part) cannot be imposed, but it can be encouraged — unless that great, defining national mission doesn’t fit in the PowerPoint presentation. 

Yes, off and on they've tried to encourage that sort of thing, too. And Trump and Tillerson?

Here is a story for Tillerson to consider, told to me by a United States senator who was in Africa confronting a leader about human rights abuses. At one point during their testy exchange, the (increasingly) oppressive ruler said, “Well, Trump is on my side.” The senator, to his credit, responded, “Trump doesn’t even know your name.” Which is probably true. But the impression that the United States no longer cares about human rights has filtered down to third-rate despots everywhere.

Eh, not so good

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met Monday with America's top diplomat, where he voiced solidarity with the U.S. amid global concerns over North Korea's nuclear program and angrily dismissed media questions about human rights abuses by his government.

As long as he's against North Korea. 

Would You Rather Be Eaten By a Shark or a Crocodile?

Or have Mike Pence as president? Or keep Deferment Donald?

(Trump’s) efforts — as bad as they might be — have been so far confined to the margins. Trump has not passed any major legislation or, for that matter, built any walls.

On the other hand, his most significant and appalling contribution has been to normalize lying as an ordinary tool of the presidency. He has ghettoized truth, confining it to something characterized as the lying and disloyal mainstream media. He lies for purpose and he lies just for the hell of it. His lying is such that it ought to be a mental ailment. Call him politically insane.

And sure that looks bad along with too many other things to mention.

His views, especially regarding social and cultural issues, are to the right of the right. He is famously antiabortion, recommends abstinence as the entire key to sex education and has taken the unique view that condoms are useless in AIDS prevention. As for global warming, back in 2000 he said it “is a myth.”

In 2002, Pence took to the floor of the House to declaim on evolution. Like many of its opponents, he misused the term “theory,” making it seem like a guess or a speculation. In science, a theory is an explanation of how things work. This is quite different from what Pence cited as a comparison — “that God created man in his own image.” That’s religion and not a theory — and that’s a fact.

And Cohen goes on to point out what a vile hypocrite Pence is for overlooking all the things that make Trump the most nihilistic bastard ever to walk the Earth.

Exploding Heads at SGFUMC

Some of my fellow members of the Methodist Church may wailing and gnashing their teeth soon. God, I hope so.

Hillary Clinton wants to preach. That’s what she told Bill Shillady, her longtime pastor, at a recent photo shoot for his new book about the daily devotionals he sent her during the 2016 campaign. Scattered bits of reporting suggest that ministry has always been a secret dream of the two-time presidential candidate: Last fall, the former Newsweek editor Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister. 

The ordination of Pastor Hillary would be either the first or second most likely thing to raise the blood pressure of the lib haters in South Glens Falls. This story was one I'd seen awhile back and it had slipped my increasingly decrepit mind. 

Barclay, a transgender person who identifies as neither male nor female and thus uses the pronoun “they,” was commissioned on Sunday as the first non-binary member of the clergy in the United Methodist Church.

There are some open-minded people in the church. Praise Jesus!

What's a Russian Bot?

So, I've seen them mentioned lately and hadn't really got around to finding out. One of several reasons to link to this story. And may I say "link to this story" makes a great place to put the link. Oh yeah, Russian bots.

“The president doesn’t know whether it’s a Russian bot or not,” said Clint Watt, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, using the term for a fake Twitter account pretending to represent a real person and created to influence public opinion or promote a particular agenda. 

Of course the president doesn't know. Sadly, he knows even less than I do. What else is in this story? Nicole Mincey. Well, sort of, since she doesn't exist. At least not in the persona Trump knows her. 

On Saturday, President Trump tweeted his gratitude to a social-media super-fan, ­Nicole Mincey, magnifying her praise of him to his 35 million followers. 

Here’s the problem: There is no evidence the Twitter feed belongs to someone named Nicole Mincey. And the account, according to experts, bears a lot of signs of a Russia-backed disinformation campaign.

(H)e may have become Exhibit A of the foreign government’s influence by elevating a suspected Russia-connected ­social-media user — part a sophisticated campaign to exacerbate disputes in U.S. politics and gain the attention of the most powerful tweeter in the world.

It's gonna be a miracle if we survive the next 3 and a half years.

“As a Republican, it raises questions for some on the right who obviously have a difference of opinion on someone like Gen. McMaster, but the reality is there is a foreign power here trying to push an agenda,” said Jamie Fly, a former adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who helped create the Hamilton 68 project, which tracks the influence of Russian-backed propaganda online.

Researchers say the fake accounts sometimes disseminate content from well-known Russian-backed sources, including Sputnik and RT. The content is then picked up by U.S. conservatives. Or the fake accounts might amplify content created by far-right media outlets known for misinformation, including Gateway Pundit and Infowars.

Fly said Trump’s liberal use of Twitter has only increased the return on investment for a foreign power such as Russia seeking to sow division within the U.S. political system. Accounts can use Trump’s low bar for retweets to their advantage by creating large volumes of content in the hope that he might be drawn to some of it.

Putin hit the jackpot!

Monday, August 7, 2017

My Kitty is Destroying the Planet

At least helping. I was interested to see this story. My kitty is 15 and a half. He's winding down. Actually I thought I'd be putting him to sleep in January, but he keeps on ticking. I've recently thought that I won't replace him and this article is one of the reasons I'd come to that conclusion. I maintain a mostly vegan diet, but that isn't possible with cats.

America’s 180 million or so Rovers and Fluffies gulp down about 25 percent of all the animal-derived calories consumed in the United States each year, according to Okin’s calculations. If these pets established a sovereign nation, it would rank fifth in global meat consumption.

Needless to say, producing that meat  — which requires more land, water and energy and pollutes more than plant-based food  — creates a lot of greenhouse gases: as many as 64 million tons annually, or about the equivalent of driving more than 12 million cars around for a year. That doesn’t mean pet-keeping must be eschewed for the sake of the planet, but “neither is it an unalloyed good,” Okin wrote in a study published this week in PLOS One.

Oh Look, The Pope is a Lib

Thanks Charles Pierce:

American Catholicism, he argued, echoing the article's thesis, "has become different than mainstream European Catholicism and mainstream Latin American Catholicism," and has fallen "into the hands of the religious right." The authors of the article argue that American evangelical and ultraconservative Catholics risk corrupting the Roman Catholic faith with an ideology intended to inject "religious influence in the political sphere." They suggest that so-called values voters are using the banners of religious liberty and opposition to abortion to try to supplant secularism with a "theocratic type of state."

And this too, which I alluded to in my letter to the reverend.

But his conversion doesn't erase his past. After all, Gingrich has a history of marital infidelity. He cheated on his first wife, and his relationship with Callista, his third wife, began six years before the end of his second marriage. She was a staffer 23 years his junior; he was a Republican congressman who had yet to become speaker of the House. "Without a doubt," says Rozell, "many people will find it rather strange, ironic, whatever, that his religious journey that led him to convert to Catholicism began with an affair he had with a young woman while he was still married to his second wife."

A Question of Belonging

That's the subject line I used when I sent the letter. Works good as a post title, too. I may have to add a label "Fights With People on Facebook" or some such.

Dear Reverend Mudge:
     By way of introduction, I’m Kevin Robbins and I attend Hudson Falls UMC. I have liberal political views and this has never been a problem in the church I attend. I occasionally have letters published in the Glens Falls Post Star. There are some fellow parishioners who see them and comment. Some agree with me on some letters. One lady told me, “I don’t agree with your letters, but they’re well-written. And I used to be an English teacher.” Hey, I’ll take that! I try to be polite in the letters. They’re mostly about gun control or healthcare or similar issues. I don’t discuss the current president because whose mind am I going to change? Beyond a cursory acknowledgement of the letters, I don’t bring my politics into church. In my church no one has made me feel unwelcome because of my views.
     I’m going to include a link to a Facebook post made by someone who was on my friendlist. This is someone I went to school with and who attends the South Glens Falls Methodist Church. The conversation I had, or tried to have, in the comments bothers me quite a bit. I’ll admit to maybe borderline trolling at some points, but I wasn’t getting much response. The fact that the reverend of that church and his wife both approved of the post possibly offends me more. Even allowing they maybe weren’t aware of the comments, they still lent their imprimatur to the strawman nonsense that is the subject of the post.
     Liberals are tolerant of Marxists? How many Marxists are there still around? Vlad Putin and his gang have taken up kleptocracy. I don’t know what Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela is, but if it helps I’ll denounce him here and now. Transexuals? Last week President Trump tried a bigly bit of discrimination against those in the military. He was slapped down by the military brass and even some Congressional Republicans. No liberals are tolerant of ISIS or al-Qaeda. I believe that’s safe to say. I’d hope most are supportive of Muslims being free to practice their religion without their mosques being fire-bombed like the one recently in Minnesota. This is one of many that have been attacked. I will plead guilty to being intolerant of Conservatives and Christians who are bigots.
     I used to go to the suppers at the SGF church. I’ve kept a mostly vegan diet for the last year or so. It would be a moot point now, though. I certainly want nothing to do with them and I have to question whether I want to continue in the Methodist Church at all. It’s nice to see the ability to be so selective about who’s admitted anyway.

The post:

“The paradox of liberal tolerance is that it extends to Marxists, transexuals and Islamic radicals – but not to conservatives or Christians.” Dinesh D’Souza.

They are not tolerant, they ‘a’ crazy.

Comment thread:

Kevin Robbins - How does that shake out when it comes to Christian liberals?
KC - The two can't go together.
KR - That sounds pretty intolerant to me.
        KC - Sorry but bible following Christians are not liberals. The bible is very clear about right and wrong, but I can have my beliefs and still be tolerant, I just won't bend my standards for myself.
        KC - The majority of my family are liberals - I still love them.
        KR - First, no the Bible is not that clear on "right and wrong." Secondly, if it is you do know that D'Souza is a convicted felon? I'm sure that's all good because he's Conservative and Christian.
        KR -  And you don't consider your family capable of being Christian without adopting whatever Conservative beliefs you have?
MV -  but she is right according to God;s word and you can't argue with that the two can't mix.
       KR -  And thus spake Michael Vaughn without basing your comment on anything. According to what   part of God's word does someone have to hold Conservative political views to be a Christian.

I'd consider Pope Francis to be liberal. Are you going to say he isn't liberal? Or isn't Christian?
KR - Yeah, Jesus was always going on about cutting taxes on the Romans.
KR - The people at Fox News I'm assuming are Conservative and Christian. Are Trump, Guiliani and Gingrich all on their third wives after cheating on the first two good Conservative Christians?
KR - Because I am open-minded, I'll entertain the possibility that you're right, Kathi. Rather than take you and Michael's word for it I think I'll contact Rev. Mudge and ask his opinion. If he tells me that what you say is true then I'll leave the Methodist Church. Since, as a liberal, I'm not wanted. I'll certainly go out of way to make it known to anyone else who doesn't hold strict Conservative views that they're not wanted there. Fair enough?
MV - all i said is she is right, the two don't mix don't know what your on about??
        KR - You have every right to believe what you want. I hope you'll respect my being a little offended at being told I can't be a Christian because my political beliefs fail the litmus test.
KC - Fair enough. I stated how I feel and live MY life. After you live my life you then can tell me I'm wrong. No hard feelings.
KC -  Let me know what Bill says

KR -  I will let you know. I'd really like to get an answer myself.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tracking Elise

Not in a stalking way. Turns out she has a Trump score of 92.5%. Tea Party, Freedom Caucus wingnut Mark Sanford only clocked in a 85%. Congrats congresswoman!

Sweet Jesus, I Hate Jill Stein

Not really, but she's seriously annoying.

Both war profiteer parties are screaming that supporting diplomacy is treason. It was the same during the run-up to attacking Iraq & Libya.

How many ways is that bullshit? I don't like the GOP, but I don't go around saying stuff that mind-numbingly stupid about them. 

Paul Ryan Got a Pony

And he wants us to get a useless border wall. I'd rather have a pony. Lyin' Ryan wants it so much he put on shades and made an ad in favor of it. No mention of Mexico paying for it. What's that? We're paying for it? Bullshit!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Go To

Islamophobia Fake News

Just want to mention this nasty bit that was on my Facebook page. I suppose I could unfriend or whatever the person that put it up. That seems counterproductive, tho. I'd prefer to try to educate people in how they should check things like this out. And I try to lose as few friends as necessary.

Laura Hayes is not the person on my friend-list. Her, I would trash faster than the Mooch did to Priebus. She's got a pile of nasty anti-Muslim trash on her page. I did report her to FB and sent a message to her pointing out that what she put up was bullshit. How much good that does, I have no idea. Here's the Snopes version.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Must See TV

Latest letter to the Post Star in response to Elise's mouthpiece. 

I want to join Tom Flanagin in urging people to watch the Plattsburgh town hall with Rep. Stefanik at Mountain Lake PBS' website. It’s a good opportunity to see her between now and next year's campaign ads. Debates, who knows? There are two additional reasons, though.

The first is it disproves the notion that her constituents are going to go on a rampage if she holds one. I was a lucky attendee and can attest that there may have been a few groans but definitely no pitchforks. Understandably, health care is an emotional issue. So watch for the audio/visual evidence disproving that old saw.

The second reason is to see the gentleman questioning her at a little over an hour and eight minutes in. He points out that she had seven opportunities to sign onto a bill forcing President Trump to release his taxes. She responds she's "called on the president to release his taxes" and other obfuscations. The questioner persists by asking whether she'd vote for tax cuts without knowing how it would affect Trump. She stuck to the "calls for the president to release his taxes." I don't think that's going to work. No matter how many times she asks. Or, for that matter, how many times she's asked why she wouldn't vote to force the release of them. Are checks and balances about giving aid and comfort to the White House? I don't think she'll answer that either.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Couple of Stein Stories

I love this one. I love it like the Mooch loves Trump. God, I hope there's something to it.

Third party candidate Jill Stein was a surprising addition this week to investigators casting an increasingly wide net in the congressional probe into Russian interference in the presidential campaign.

Stein’s name was included in a Senate Judiciary Committee letter requesting all communication between President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and a number of others, including Russian officials and other members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Yeah, it's a smear and McCarthyism and blargh! Hope not.

I'd be more than willing to give her a pass on this if it wasn't for Matt Funiciello. That and the general holier than thouness of the Green Party. 

She has made purity a central pillar of her presidential candidacy, and she has held that the Green Party reigns above all others with respect to moral and ethical supremacy. In an interview with CNN last April, she said, “I have long since thrown in the towel on the Democratic and Republican parties because they are really a front group for the 1 percent, for predatory banks, fossil-fuel giants, and war profiteers.”

Yes, that's what I'm talking about. She's invested in mutual funds that invest in companies that include predatory banks, fossil-fuel giants and war profiteers. Not directly invested. But you know what, she doesn't deserve a break for it anyway. 

Stein has invested $995,011 to $2.2 million in funds such as the Vanguard 500 fund that maintain significant stakes in Exxon and other energy companies like Chevron, Duke Energy, Conoco Phillips, and Toho Gas, a Japanese company that engages in the sale of natural gas, tar, and coke, a fuel made from coal.

Stein has invested roughly $1.2 to $2.65 million in funds like the TIAA-CREF Equity Index that have big stakes in the financial-services industry. Holdings in these funds include big banks like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank as major parts of their investment portfolios. Five of the funds that Stein invests in maintain large positions in Wells Fargo, which has come under fire recently amid charges that its employees were pressured to open up fraudulent new accounts for clients.

One of the funds Stein has invested in maintains a significant position in Goldman Sachs bonds. Stein once referred to Goldman Sachs as Hillary Clinton’s best friend.

In one of the handful of direct stock investments Stein holds, she listed between $50,001 and $100,000 in the pharmaceutical giant Merck, which paid a record fine for overbilling Medicaid. She has also invested $1,130,010 to $2,400,000 in funds that maintain significant stakes in Pfizer, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, and Allergan.

Stein has between $500,004 to $1,100,000 invested in funds that maintain significant stakes in Phillip Morris International, the tobacco giant that manufactures Marlboro cigarettes and 17 other tobacco brands.

(S)he has between $50,001-$100,000 invested in a fund that has Raytheon Corp. as its fourth largest holding, a $38 million investment. Raytheon, which is the fourth largest defense contractor in the world and derives 90 percent of its revenue from military contracts, manufactures drone systems, which Stein has committed to ending, and significant missile systems.

And for the height of dis-ingenuousness. 

Stein said that she has “explored” more socially responsible funds but “found their investments in fracking and large-scale biofuels not much better than the non-green funds. I have not yet found the mutual funds that represent my goals of advancing the cause of people, planet, and peace.”

It took me less than 30 seconds with a web search to find funds that don't invest in fracking. 

Many critics say clean-energy and socially responsible investment funds offer a poor rate of return and should generally be avoided… Which likely explains why Stein chose to invest her wealth in funds that have often offered double-digit returns.

Yes, maybe that's it. And what does Matthew Pureheart have to do with it? 

(I)t was his wife's money and it was made by investing in some pretty damaging and unconscious companies (Monsanto, McDonald's, tobacco and oil companies and several hedge funds to name but a few.)

That was about Aaron Woolf, his Democratic opponent in 2014. I suspect he's referring to Woolf's wife owning mutual funds that invested in those companies and industries and that she's not directly invested in them. I can hardly wait to be in a comment thread involving or including MF and linking to this Stein story. C'mon 2018. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quick Link to Michael Gerson

On the latest sins of Trump:

Republicans have sometimes employed the excuse that members of the Trump team are new to politics — babes in the woods — who don’t yet understand all the ins and outs. Their innocence, the argument goes, is proved by their guilt. This might apply to minor infractions of campaign finance law. It does not cover egregious acts of wrongdoing. Putting a future president in the debt of a foreign power — and subject, presumably, to blackmail by that power — is the height of sleazy stupidity. It is not a mistake born of greenness; it is evidence of a vacant conscience.

Next Challenger For Congress

Emily Martz, who I believe is number four.

Professionally, since her graduation from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science, her journey has spanned each coast and several elements of the evolving modern economy.

She worked in financial services and economic development in the Pacific Northwest as well as the Northeast, for companies such as Prudential Insurance, Putnam Investments and The Hartford. She pursued graduate studies in history, with a focus on the mutual fund industry, at the University of Delaware while also instructing business, economics and history courses at Paul Smith’s College. And she helped to lead the Adirondack North Country Association’s job-creation and sustainable development efforts before she recently resigned, on amicable terms, from her posts as ANCA’s deputy director and director of operations and finance to run as a candidate full-time. She also resigned as a volunteer on the Saranac Lake Downtown Advisory Board to run for Congress.

She sounds great as do all of them really. Patrick Nelson has been out campaigning forever it seems. Looking forward to the primary. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Eat Your Nuts and Chocolate

Your telomeres will thank you.

Diet appears to play a role in free-radical damage (which alters cell functioning), inflammation, and gut bacteria. It also affects the length of telomeres­­—protective caps at the end of chromosomes. These factors can have an impact on conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, respiratory disorders, cognitive decline, and infection.

And don't forget the beans. You already knew they were good for your heart, though.

A Few More About the Brilliant Donald Jr

Hey, everyone else is calling the Trumps brilliant. I gotta say that I don't think it means what they think it means. First up, fake news CNN.

So, even if he didn't know the exact name or identity of the Russian lawyer he was to meet with, he knew -- if he read his email -- that whatever he was told in the meeting was part of a foreign government's efforts to help choose its preferred candidate in the 2016 election.

Sit with that for a minute: The eldest son of the de facto Republican presidential nominee reportedly met with someone he knew was peddling information as part of a Russian government effort to elect his dad.

Sounds real to me. It's sounds like it's getting realer all the time. And Randall Eliason on how conspiracy cases are made, brick by brick like a wall. Only this wall is getting made.

Conspiracies, by their nature, take place in secret. To break through that secrecy, prosecutors often rely on circumstantial evidence. The classic trial lawyer’s metaphor is that each such piece of evidence is a brick. No single event standing alone may prove the case. But when assembled together, those individual bricks may build a wall — a big, beautiful wall — that excludes any reasonable doubt about what happened.

That’s why this latest news is a big deal. The meeting helps establish a few critical facts. The first is simply that contacts between Russians and campaign officials did take place. If you are seeking to prove a criminal partnership, evidence that the alleged partners had private meetings establishes the opportunity to reach an agreement.

Of course, there already was evidence of other meetings between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign. The crucial new detail about this meeting is that campaign members now admit it took place after they were told that Veselnitskaya was offering compromising information about Clinton.

This fact is significant regardless of what happened at the meeting. Proving a defendant’s state of mind is key in any criminal case. This meeting provides critical evidence about the state of mind of Trump representatives: They were willing to hear what a Russian individual had to offer about their opponent.

Wonder how well the Trumps are sleeping these days.

Monday, July 10, 2017

We Need All Our Legs

Paul Krugman pointing out why Republicans are having such a hard time repealing and replacing destroying healthcare in this country.

To understand what’s happened with the A.C.A. so far, you need to realize that as written (and interpreted by the Supreme Court), the law’s functioning depends a lot on cooperation from state governments. And where states have in fact cooperated, expanding Medicaid, operating their own insurance exchanges, and promoting both enrollment and competition among insurers, it has worked pretty darn well.

Compare, for example, the experience of Kentucky and its neighbor Tennessee. In 2013, before full implementation of the A.C.A., Tennessee had slightly fewer uninsured, 13 percent versus 14 percent. But by 2015Kentucky, which implemented the law in full, had cut its uninsured rate to just 6 percent, while Tennessee was at 11.

Or consider the problem of counties with only one (or no) insurer, meaning no competition. As one recent study points out, this is almost entirely a red-state problem. In states with G.O.P. governors, 21 percent of the population lives in such counties; in Democratic-governor states, less than 2 percent.

So Obamacare is, though nobody will believe it, a well-thought-out law that works where states want it to work. It could and should be made to work better, but Republicans show no interest in making that happen. Instead, all their ideas involve sawing off one or more legs of that three-legged stool.

I may not have said it for a day or two so, thank God I live in NY!

Lies and the Lying Liars That Tweet Them

I know I'm probably going to be commenting somewhere and this bit of stupidity is going to come up. I've pretty much declared a moratorium on responding to the Hillary selling uranium to the Russians thing.

There were a total of seven memos prepared by Comey after his nine conversations with Trump. Four of those memos are marked as classified at the “secret” or “confidential” level, officials told the Hill.

It’s true that “the former FBI director’s personal memos detailing private conversations with President Trump contained … secret information,” as the Fox report summarizes, though not, apparently, top secret material. (The levels of classifications go “confidential,” “secret” and then “top secret.”) But the wording on that Fox report is misleading. The memos contained classified information is true when considering the memos as a group. It is not true, though, that eachmemo contained classified information — or, at least, it’s not true that each memo was marked as being classified.

This issue came up during Comey’s June testimony, at which point Comey made clear that the memo he gave to his friend to leak, documenting a meeting on Feb. 14 of this year, was not one that included classified material.

I'd like to think I can get to the point of anticipating the wingnuttia.  

Weaving a Tangled Web

Trump Jr. shot holes all through a lot of denials of Russian contacts during the campaign. And I thought all he shot were innocent animals. Nice going Trumpito.

On “Fox News Sunday” on Jan. 15, when Pence passed along Michael Flynn's faulty information about his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak after the campaign, Pence also denied any contact between the campaign and the Kremlin or Russian meddlers.

Poor Mike Pence. They don't tell him anything. Plausible deniability or they just don't like him?

DICKERSON: Just to button up one question, did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?

MIKE PENCE: Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.

So, The Donald Jr, Manafort and Kushner took a meeting with someone whom they had no idea the identity of.

The question of what Trump Jr. really knew about her is “an investigable issue,” Bauer, who was also White House counsel under Barack Obama, told me. “It’s very difficult to believe that the son of a presidential candidate and the senior members of his campaign would go into a meeting with someone whose identity is unknown to them. Investigators will certainly not take that at face value.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has already said the committee’s probe will seek to interview all attendees at the meeting, presumably in part to establish what was known about Veselnitskaya before Trump Jr. and the others met with her. Bauer told me that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation will likely try to establish the same. “It’s going to be an uphill battle for them to say they routinely took meetings with people who suggested they had useful information without checking their identities,” Bauer said.

I've been seeing this notion put out by the WH lately that even if they did collude with the Russians it's not illegal. Yes, it's gone from no collusion to what's the big deal. Anyway, happy to see this. 

“It does not help their case that you have a very specific operational instance where the campaign decided it was prepared to welcome assistance from a Russian source,” said Bauer, who has previously argued in a series of posts that the law prohibits cooperation with foreign nationals to influence a U.S. election. “You are not permitted to solicit or accept anything of value from a foreign national to influence an election. You cannot enter into a conspiracy with a foreign national to influence an election.”

“What was precisely her connection to the Russian government?” Bauer said. “Investigators are going to try to dig as deeply as possible here.” But Bauer added that it might not even have to be established that she did “report back to Moscow” for this to rise to the level of accepting help from a foreign national in influencing an election. Bauer concluded: “This should draw an awful lot of investigative energy.”

Update: Bauer has just posted his own piece on the significance of these events right here.

It is, it is illegal.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Witch Hunt?


So, the White House is spreading lies about the "failure" of ACA. Fact checks.

Another WaPo article on the damage GOPCare is bound to do to rural areas which is what most of my district is. That's why it's huge. You can't even see Russia from one end to the other. You will be able to after Trump signs over Fort Drum to Putin, though.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A New Here's to the State of Donald Trump

Just Some Links

This is a sad article from Ted Gup with a lot of sad numbers.

We know numbers can be numbing. Take the number 4,000. That is roughly how many are estimated to have died last year from drug overdoses in my home state of Ohio. That’s 60 percent of American deaths in all the years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Or half a million, the tally of overdoses nationwide from opioids and other drugs since 2000 — more than the number of Americans killed in World War II. As the totals grow, so does the numbness.

Must be numbers day. This is E. J. Dionne with 3 (potentially 4) big lies from the Senate on healthcare. 

Lie One: Democrats and progressives are unwilling to work with Republicans and conservatives on this issue.

Lie Two: This bill is primarily about improving health care for American families.

Lie Three: The Senate bill is a “compromise.

It'd be laughable if it wasn't so serious. 

A list of things that aren't normal from Amy Siskind. There are too  many to single out just a few.

And of course, Trump lies.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Changing Minds and Hearts

Yeah, probably not. PS LTTE:

     Hopefully enough time has passed so we can mention the shooting that wounded Rep. Scalise. As I write this, he is still hospitalized. We all wish him a speedy and full recovery. I also wish him and our representative a speedy change of heart.
     Mr. Scalise has received $18,900 from the NRA and Ms. Stefanik, $4000. Much has been said, in the wake of the shooting, about the lack of civility in our discourse. The NRA sells a T-shirt with an eagle clutching a rifle. The slogan is, "Because you can't fist fight tyranny." Classy. We have a healthy enough system of government and a free press to prevent tyrants from taking root. It's worked well so far and seems to still be.
     Maybe it's time for Congress to make gun policy without the aid of these lobbyists for the gun industry. Would merchants of death have been uncivil? It's past time to get rid of the Dickey Amendment prohibiting funding of the CDC to reduce gun deaths. Jay Dickey himself, before he passed, called for its repeal. How about our reps doing the very least they can to address the problem? They can do it while they wait for the white puffs of smoke from the Senate chimney portending the "new and improved" AHCA.

pro-gun t-shirts

Fuck the Green Party

John Cole went with fuck Jill Stein. He probably doesn't have a perennial GP candidate running for Congress in his district. A year from now I'll be listening to Matt Funiciello inform me, condescendingly, how there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Fuck the whole party.

Stein didn’t just attend the gala—dressed in a shimmering silver shawl, she sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has barely disguised his glee at the political chaos that what he calls “patriotic” Russian hackers have unleashed in the United States. And she recorded a video from Moscow’s famous Red Square, in which she talked about “the need to rein in American exceptionalism” and replace “a U.S. policy based on domination”—words that sounded like they were ripped from Putin’s talking points.

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy nut myself, who knows what the Russians are capable of? Yes, I'm aware it sounds crazy. We'll see, though. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

PS Concern Trolling

The Post Star is concerned about the coarseness of our discourse after the shooting yesterday. The one where congressmen got shot not the one in San Francisco where 4 people died. I'll just recycle my comment from there. I'm Green like that and why mess with perfection.

Let’s end the jokes and the meanness and call out those who continue it.

Stop watching the cable news shows that have become a partisan divide and really try to understand an issue with some in-depth reading.

Turn off the late-night comics.

I suppose all of what you say is a nice thought. The comments preceding me shows that it's not going to happen. Personally, I don't watch TV and get my news from the WashPo and Guardian. Don't know how that places me as a partisan dweller with the editorial board of the PS. I know that my fellow commenters would say that that's "liberal media." Or worse. Not sure I even want to know what their news sources are. I have listened to right wing radio a bit. Don't ask me to give Breitbart or Drudge or Alex Jones a fair chance.

This latest gun tragedy, no not the one in SF where 4 people died, will do nothing to change our insane lack of gun laws and lack of concern about looking at ways to fix the problem. Repeal the Dickey Amendment! Many legislators' livelihoods depend on not doing anything about it.

I see that many on the right are pointing out that the shooter was a Sanders supporter (definitely not a HRC fan, FWIW). We can't allow his behavior to be generalized to all of us on the left. They cannot be allowed to use this to quash dissent toward the president's policies. I'm a little concerned that this editorial is leaning in that direction.

As far as "end the jokes" and "turn off the late night comics." Absolutely not! Satire is more essential than ever now. Sometimes comics go too far. Sometimes commenters go too far. That doesn't mean we should stop. Maybe an apology is in order occasionally. So be it. This is a president who has been married 3 times and cheated on, presumably (but certainly the first 2), all three wives. Then, he has the audacity (of chutzpah, not hope) to go in front of a group of evangelicals and say "we're under siege." Apparently Topo Gigio was in his pocket.  What? We're not supposed to joke about this guy? Do you take him seriously?

Don's and Ed's little friend. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Who Would Work for Deadbeat Donald?

Why would these law firms have represented him against people he hadn't paid? Why would they they think he was going to pay them?

And John Oliver on the Comey testimony