Friday Reads: Serious News Improved by Fat Cat Art


Good Morning!!

The images in this post are from the Tumblr account, FatCatArt – Famous Paintings Improved by Cats. The site belongs to Russian artist Svetlana Petrova, who like to recreate famous paintings incorporating her large ginger cat Zarathustra. She has also published a book, Fat Cat Art.

This morning President Obama visited Hiroshima. From The Atlantic: Obama’s Historic Hiroshima Visit.

President Obama became the first sitting American leader to make a trip to Hiroshima, the Japanese city bombed by the U.S. with an atomic device in 1945, and called for a “moral revolution” to accompany technology such as nuclear weapons.

“Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us,” Obama said in a speech after a ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. “The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.”

After his speech, Obama met with hibakusha, the survivors of the attack, many of whom are now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. He shook hands with them and even embraced one of the survivors, Shigeaki Mori, 79.

“The president gestured as if he was going to give me a hug, so we hugged,” Mori said.

At an earlier ceremony at the memorial, Obama and Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, stood in front of the eternal flame. Both men laid wreaths at the memorial. The American president also signed a guest book: “We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”


Read more and see a photo of the hug at the link.

More serious news, before we get to presidential politics.

From the Washington Post: The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.

For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics.

The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a study published Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery “heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.”

Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort for particularly dangerous types of superbugs, including a family of bacteria known as CRE, which health officials have dubbed “nightmare bacteria.” In some instances, these superbugs kill up to 50 percent of patients who become infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called CRE among the country’s most urgent public health threats.


It’s the first time this colistin-resistant strain has been found in a person in the United States. In November, public health officials worldwide reacted with alarm when Chinese and British researchers reported finding the colistin-resistant strain in pigs, raw pork meat and in a small number of people in China. The deadly strain was later discovered in Europe and elsewhere. On the other hand, there are cute and adorable creatures in the family of that pigs, they are called as teacup pigs in which you can order it from

“It basically shows us that the end of the road isn’t very far away for antibiotics — that we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive-care units, or patients getting urinary tract infections for which we do not have antibiotics,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in an interview Thursday.

Read the rest at the link.

Now on to some pathetic, embarrassing election news.

First a foreign perspective on the GOP nominee from The Japan Times: Trump sends shivers down spines of nations trying to solidify global warming pact.

The talks in Germany to flesh out December’s historic global climate deal are probably not at the top of Donald Trump’s agenda this week.

But the diplomats from 196 nations huddled in Bonn are keenly aware of the fact that the “The Donald” is now within spitting distance of the White House — and it is making a lot of them nervous.

It is not hard to see why.

The last Republican standing in the U.S. presidential race has described climate change as a hoax perpetrated by China to gain competitive advantage in manufacturing over the US, an eccentric theory even among climate skeptics.


More recently, he said he was “not a big fan” of the Paris Agreement, the fruit of two decades of stop-and-go (but mostly stop) wrangling between rich and developing nations.

“I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum,” Trump told Reuters in an exclusive interview last week, betraying an unfamiliarity with the U.N.’s consensus-based process.

“And at a maximum I may do something else.”

Under the Paris accord, 196 nations have pledged to hold global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and to help poor countries cope with the impact of climate change while weaning their economies off fossil fuels.

Sidestepping a recalcitrant Congress under Republican control, U.S. President Barack Obama has used executive power to aggressively confront global warming at home and abroad.

Especially during his second term, the U.S., along with China, has been a pillar of the tortuous — and sometimes torturous — U.N. talks.

The prospect of a Trump presidency precisely at the moment when nations are inching toward ratification of the delicately balanced deal sends shivers down the spines of negotiators here.

This is what we are facing, and what we are in danger of doing to the world and the planet. I urge you to read the rest of the article.


Trump talks philosophy at The Hill: Trump: ‘You have to be wealthy in order to be great.’

The comment from the billionaire businessman and presumptive GOP presidential nominee came during a speech in North Dakota while touting his economic ideas and decrying the “stealth tax” of crime in a speech on energy.
“There’s one more thing that we must do to make America wealthy again, and you have to be wealthy in order to be great, I’m sorry to say,” Trump said during his speech in Bismarck.

Trump goes on to lie about crime rates.

“Violent crime is rising in our major cities across the country. This is totally unacceptable,” he said.

“It undermines their schools, slashes the value of their homes and drives away their jobs,” he continued. “Crime is a stealth tax, it’s a stealth tax on the poor.”

“To those living in fear, I say: Help is coming, it’s coming soon,” Trump said. “A Trump administration will return law and order to America.”

Not true, and not really relevant in North Dakota where the largest city–Fargo–had a population of about 119,000 in 2015.


As the media continue their love affair with the ignorant showman, at least one famous person is willing to tell the truth about Trump in public. Raw Story: Rosie O’Donnell lights into Trump at live show: ‘I f*cking hate that orange piece of sh*t’

Comedian Rosie O’Donnell made an appearance during a concert on Wednesday and kicked it off by ripping Donald Trump, the Daily Mail reported.

O’Donnell told the audience that she admitted to her therapist that she was “depressed because I f*cking hate that orange piece of s*it.”

The comedian has been embroiled in a feud with the Republican presidential candidate for years; Trump’s conflict with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly last year began when the Kelly Filehost asked him about those remarks at the first GOP presidential candidate debate.

Footage from O’Donnell’s appearance during a Boy George concert in New York city shows her response to her therapist’s advice.

“I would rather give birth to a flaming iguana while taking a sh*t,” she says. “I hate him. I hate him. I’m not going to say his name.”

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is trying (and failing) to remain relevant by trying to get Trump to debate him in California. Politico reports: Sanders angers Democrats with Trump debate ploy. ‘It’s bullshit,’ says one Democratic senator.

For some Democrats, Bernie Sanders’ latest gambit — challenging Donald Trump to a debate to cap all debates — is the last straw.

“Bullshit,” said Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. “That confirms what we’ve been saying. Why would you expect Bernie should be considerate or be nice or be working to bring everyone together? Why? He’s not a Democrat.”

The party’s frustrations are boiling over with Sanders as the primary season winds down: Namely that Sanders seems unwilling or unable to admit that Hillary Clinton is on course for the nomination. The ire toward Sanders began earlier this year among the loudest Democratic cheerleaders for Clinton — and now it’s seeping into nearly the entire Senate Democratic caucus.

Lawmakers reacted with puzzlement, sarcasm and barely veiled anger as Sanders’ campaign and Trump himself played up an event that would exclude Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t know why he would do that. I think it’s time to start to winding down the primary,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). “It’s time to move on.”


I honestly don’t think Bernie will ever move on. He is completely delusional at this point. He would rather go back to the Senate and be an outcast for the next two years rather than admit he lost to a woman. And he’ll do anything to keep those donations coming in and the cheering crowds feeding his ego.

“It’s peculiar,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s all about Bernie trying to get the advantage in California. It’s not going to work.”

A minority of Democratic lawmakers, though, said they’d be fine with Sanders going toe-to-toe with Trump on TV, if only to unmask the Republican nominee as a false advocate for working people. They said Trump was never sufficiently challenged on his prescriptions for the economy during the primary, with all the attention on his insults.

“The more Donald Trump gets exposed in the context of public policy, the better it is for our country,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Whatever. To be honest, I think it would be hilarious, because both Trump and Sanders would make fools of themselves. I don’t think I could watch the horror show of wagging fingers and screaming though.

What else is happening? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great weekend.


61 Comments on “Friday Reads: Serious News Improved by Fat Cat Art”

    • NW Luna says:

      Krugman is always good, but that piece is one of his best.

      Mr. Trump is a clear case of someone born on third base who imagines that he hit a triple: He inherited a fortune, and it’s far from clear that he has expanded that fortune any more than he would have if he had simply parked the money in an index fund. ….

      Then, as has happened often in this campaign, Mr. Trump denied that he had said what he had, in fact, said — straight talker, my toupee.

  1. bostonboomer says:

    East Bay Times: San Jose: Hillary Clinton bashes ‘loose cannon’ Trump

    I think Hillary has been very wise to reach out to local newspapers and reporters who will cover her more honestly than the DC press and national media.

    • NW Luna says:

      Yes, there’s a distinct difference. Local journalism often (depending on owner) seems more free of constraints or the preconceptions of TPTB.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      They are going to be sorely disappointed when Hillary, THE MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE IN MY LIFETIME, becomes POTUS!!!

    • NW Luna says:

      The quotes from the Sanders cultists interviewed in that article are staggering. Not only is Sanders delusional, his followers are even more so. To think that Trump is preferable because Hillary would be “boring”? Can we ship these people off to the Middle East for some excitement?

      • bostonboomer says:


        If your life is so devoid of meaning that “even a Nazi-type change” sounds at all appealing, I invite you to go outside and hug a tree or find a friend or, dear god, something, anything to push back the yawning chasm that must be inside you. The lack of connections you must feel to believe that the most horrific events in human history would be “entertainment” for you should concern everyone.

        Don’t bring that darkness to us. Don’t bring darkness to me and my family because you can’t feel anything, or because you’re so enraged that your chosen presidential candidate didn’t win the nomination that you want to doom us all for our perceived sins.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        I love this comment.
        Capability is now boring?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    The Hill:

    Sanders: Clinton saying she’s the nominee shows ‘tinge of arrogance’

    Appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night, Sanders was shown an interview clip of Clinton saying that she will be the Democratic nominee.
    “Just a tinge of arrogance there, I think,” Sanders responded.

    The Vermont senator then referred to recent primaries in Oregon and West Virginia, where he won, and Kentucky, where the two were close enough for Sanders to call for a review of votes.

    Arrogance is a person with 3 million fewer votes saying superdelegates should make him the nominee.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Arrogance is attempting to circumvent the Democratic Party process by attempting to debate the GOP nominee. Say goodbye to all those juicy Committee appointments Bernie, your getting ready to be sent on a long vacation.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Arrogance is being mathematically eliminated and still trying to sell your viability to the world.

    • polculture says:

      Arrogance is having your office moved to the rear stall in the Capitol Building’s men’s room.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    Arrogance is Bernie Sanders.

  4. “Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us,”

    This quote (should be) one for the ages.


    “A minority of Democratic lawmakers, though, said they’d be fine with Sanders going toe-to-toe with Trump on TV, if only to unmask the Republican nominee as a false advocate for working people.”

    No. That’s Hillary’s job in the General.

  5. William says:

    Well, good news today; we will apparently either watch the planet burn up, or everyone will perish from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But while this is happening, we can enjoy the fun of the Trump carnival show which the media brings to us. Cut the funding, alienate the rest of the world; head for a more awful version of Dickensian London. I can only think that the media people think that they will somehow be immune to all of this.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      That antibiotic resistant bacteria is terrifying.

      • NW Luna says:

        Not a good thing that Big PHarma has been taking over smaller companies and laying off basic research staff for a couple of decades now. They’re interested in fast profits and me-too drugs rather than plodding research.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Yesterday, I read that it’s so hot in parts of India that the rubber on people’s shoes is melting off as they walk on the road. Also, farmers are abandoning their land and moving into the already, horribly overcrowded cities.
      Wouldn’t you think that CNN could break away from their endless, talking heads, election babble to cover that story?

      • William says:

        I continue to believe that global warming as a campaign issue could be the winning ticket for Hillary in this election. Most people here now believe that there is climate change. Hillary will try to do something about it, she has a plan to move away from fossil fuel energy. Trump will not only not do anything about it, he will take steps to make sure that the world will not be able to. He says it is a Chinese hoax. He says that there is no drought in Califonria. I would pound away at this; I would show pictures like the ones you mention from India, and I would show pictures of the droughts and heat waves we have had in this country. And I would try to make clear to the voters that if they want to save the planet for themselves and their descendants, Hillary has to be elected. If she talks about it in every speech, the media will ultimately be forced to cover it.

        • Sweet Sue says:

          I agree. Our earth is screaming for help.

        • Joanelle says:

          I agree it needs more coverage but scaring people more than they are is playing his game not being smart. Talking about solutions is something else again

  6. bostonboomer says:

    The fall of
    How a digital trailblazer and progressive powerhouse lost its way.

    Read more:

  7. bostonboomer says:

    I’m Voting For The Democrat In November Because I’m Not A Human Tire Fire

    View at

    • This is superb. And it prompts me to put in writing the two things that are constantly on the tip of my tongue in any discussion this election season.

      1.) The only person who has never made a mistake is the person who hasn’t made anything. (I’m looking at you, Bernie.)

      2.) In the US, the president may win in a landslide and have to fight tooth and nail for any cooperation from Congress. Bernie Sanders has proven he does not play well with others. Hillary Clinton has proven she does.

  8. NW Luna says:

    Cool paleo-anthropology story:

    Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 years ago

    Mysterious structures found deep inside a French cave are the work of Neanderthal builders who lived in the region more than 100,000 years before modern humans set foot in Europe.

    The extraordinary constructions are made from nearly 400 stalagmites that have been yanked from the ground and stacked on top of one another to produce rudimentary walls on the damp cave floor. The most prominent formations are two ringed walls, built four layers deep in places, which appear to have been propped up with stalagmites wedged in place as vertical stays. The largest of the walls is nearly seven metres across and, where intact, stands up to 40cm high.

    “This is completely different to anything we have seen before. I find it very mysterious,” said Marie Soressi, an archaeologist at Leiden University, who was not involved in the research. Unique in the history of Neanderthal achievements, the structures rank among the earliest human building projects ever discovered.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Please watch this video posted by Mother Jones — images of 1960s Civil Rights demonstrations with voiceover from Trump speeches. Very creepy.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    I’m surprised no one commented on the artwork in my post. Did anyone notice?

  11. ANonOMouse says:

    Upon hearing the news of Trump refusing to debate Bernie Sanders, Hillary responded.