Sunday Stuff

Well, Nate was a no show for New Orleans but I have a feeling that it’s giving JJ a time up there in Georgia.  Here are some things to chomp on for the moment. What isn’t particularly passing for a President in the White House is having more Twitter Trumper Tantrums. 

Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday called the White House “an adult day care center” after President Trump attacked him in a morning Twitter tirade.

Setting off an extraordinary squabble between two leaders of the same party, Trump alleged in a trio of tweets that Corker “begged” him for his endorsement, did not receive it and decided to retire because he “didn’t have the guts” to run for reelection next year.

In response, Corker (Tenn.) tweeted, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean need our help. This headline from Think Progress shows more weaponized Twitter.  “Desperate San Juan Mayor takes to Twitter after Trump administration ignores requests for help. Trump, meanwhile, is patting himself on the back.”  It seems our only way to get the attention of this White House is to Troll Kremlin Caligula on TV or Twitter.

By official estimates, just under 12 percent of power is restored on the island. Even drinking water in many areas remains limited: just over half of customers reliant on Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) have potable water.

Mayor Cruz said the federal government’s response has been slow, inadequate, or downright nonexistent. She said FEMA had offered “no response” after a hospital requested aid.

 

Meanwhile, the deplorable veep takes aim at the NFL.  WTF is wrong with these people?  What kind of priorities do they have? “Trump says he directed Pence to walk out of game if 49ers protested during national anthem”.

The plan had been for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the Indianapolis Colts game at which Peyton Manning’s number is to be retired, a gala celebration of the former Colts quarterback’s contributions to Pence’s home state.

The former governor of Indiana and his wife, wearing a Manning No. 18 jersey, left Lucas Oil Stadium after the national anthem, following instructions from President Trump after a number of San Francisco 49ers players took a knee during the anthem.

“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled,” Trump posted on Twitter. “I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”

Sometimes, you just have to scream. The NAZIs are at it again in Charlottesville.

Richard Spencer, who in August led white nationalists and white supremacists in a torchlight march across the University of Virginia campus that touched off a weekend of deadly clashes, returned Saturday night to Charlottesville.

Spencer, a white nationalist, posted video on social media of followers carrying torches to the statue of Robert E. Lee, which the city has sought to remove.

They showed up here in New Orleans too but didn’t gain any attention as they stood in the mist of Nathan on Jefferson Davis near the missing statue. Every one else was more concerned about the hurricane and the curfew.

He’s still going after every one’s health care.   “How Trump is planning to gut Obamacare by executive order. The president could use association health plans to badly damage the law’s markets.”

With a repeal bill off the table, the Trump administration has drafted an executive order that could blow a huge hole in the Affordable Care Act, according to a source with direct knowledge of the plan.

The order would, in effect, exempt many association health plans, groups of small businesses that pool together to buy health insurance, from core Obamacare requirements like the coverage of certain essential health benefits. It would potentially allow individuals to join these plans too, which would put individual insurance marketplaces in serious peril by drawing younger and healthier people away from them.

The draft order is also said to broaden the definition of short-term insurance, which is also exempt from the law’s regulations. Together, these changes represent a serious threat to Obamacare: President Trump seems ready to open more loopholes for more people to buy insurance outside the health care law’s markets, which experts anticipate would destabilize the market for customers who are left behind with higher premiums and fewer insurers.

“This appears to be a backdoor way of undermining the Affordable Care Act,” Kevin Lucia, who studies the markets at Georgetown University, said of the alleged changes.

It’s possible that the order could change before Trump signs it, or never be signed at all, as has happened with other executive orders in the past. The details of the order as described, though, generally match up with what had been expected after Trump said he would soon issue an executive order on health care. Association health plans have been a priority for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has urged Trump to expand them.

The White House declined to comment when Vox inquired about the pending order. A senior administration official detailed the outline of the executive order to the Wall Street Journal on Saturday evening, which aligns with the description provided to Vox.

Okay, well, that’s enough scary headlines today.  The real slasher villains appear to be in the West Wing. Freddy Kruger and Michael Meyers are benign in comparison.  Who schemes to kill millions of people because the first black president zinged you at a press dinner?

I’m going to go grade and hope we hear from JJ.  Take care!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Friday Reads: The Daily Drumpf Detritus

I’m not sure what’s worse.   I’ve got one eye on a developing Hurricane Nate and the other on the ongoing chaos in what is not passing as a functional administration of a developed nation.  I’ve been attending cyber conferences too as well as grading econ homework.  I keep looking at homes in Washington State and I’m focused on the area around Olympia now and the Sound. I feel overwhelmed and trapped.

Nate has killed 22 in Central American and is near Cancun, Mexico right now.  We’re expecting it late Saturday. The photos on the post are various locations in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Tropical Storm Nate is winding up to wallop the Gulf Coast this weekend.

The latest NBC News forecast has the storm making landfall somewhere on the Mississippi or Alabama coasts sometime around 1 a.m. Sunday, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane.

With Nate expected to drench the region with anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rain, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a statewide emergency and a dozen or so members of the National Guard were dispatched to New Orleans to help monitor the low-lying city’s fragile pumping and drainage system.

The big guns from the Weather Channel are around Gulf Port so I’m feeling a little better than last night about Nate. But still, there’s a blue tarp on the roof over my bed.  The pumps are still busted in New Orleans.  Our infrastructure never holds up in anything any more so I’m expecting outages.  Hence, my first two hurricane supplies have been laid in.  Basically, it’s Perrier and a box of wine.

Here’s the Daily Drumpf Dump. This one totally creeped me out last night around dinner time.   Trump, during photo shoot, talks of ‘calm before the storm’.  Did we mention he was surrounded by lots and lots of military brass?

President Donald Trump delivered a foreboding message Thursday night, telling reporters as he posed for photos with his senior military leaders that this might be “the calm before the storm.”

White House reporters were summoned suddenly Thursday evening and told the president had decided he wanted the press to document a dinner he was holding with the military leaders and their wives.

Reporters were led hastily to the grand State Dining Room, where they walked into a scene of the president, his highest-ranking military aides and their wives posing for a group photo. The cameras clicked and they smiled. A joke was made about someone’s face being tired. Live classical music played.

Dear Leader wanted to impress us. He doesn’t know how to do that. He just gives us all agita and nightmares.  What would today’s propaganda be like without some selective site erasure?  No bad news for the peons of Drumpfistan.  “FEMA removes statistics about drinking water access and electricity in Puerto Rico from website.”

As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page documenting the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page.

FEMA spokesman William Booher noted that both measures are still being reported on a website maintained by the office of Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, www.status.pr. According to that website, which is in Spanish, 9.2 percent of the island now has power and 54.2 percent of residents have access to drinking water. Booher said that these measures are also shared in news conferences and media calls that happen twice a day, but he didn’t elaborate on why they are no longer on the main FEMA page.

“Our mission is to support the governor and his response priorities through the unified command structure to help Puerto Ricans recover and return to routines. Information on the stats you are specifically looking for are readily available” on the website maintained by the governor’s office, Booher said.

Nobody calls dear leader a ‘fucking moron’ in Drumpfistan.  Tillerson is bad but Pompeo in charge of State and 4th in line to BLOTUS?  Good Wisdom Beings help us!  Help the world!

Trump advisors and allies are floating the idea of replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, age 53 — someone who’s already around the table in the Situation Room, and could make the switch without chaos.

  • We’re told that President Trump is quite comfortable with Pompeo, asking his advice on topics from immigration to the inner workings of Congress.
  • Pompeo personally delivers the President’s Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis.
  • Pompeo is one of the few in the administration who knows how to convey tough news to the president, and how to push back without turning DJT off. (SecDef Jim Mattis is good at that, too.)
  • Trump doesn’t see Pompeo as a showboat.
  • Pompeo would take the job, as the cap to a career that included being a U.S. House member from Kansas.
  • Pompeo would have credibility with world leaders, who’d know he was a legit part of the president’s inner circle — something no one thinks about Tillerson.

Sources tell us Trump recognizes that a Cabinet shuffle would bring bad press. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wants stability, and so is discouraging high-level departures before next year.

And yet, insiders say Trump’s relationship with Tillerson is broken beyond repair. We’re told Trump was furious that Tillerson didn’t try to blunt the story about him calling the president a “moron,” by just going out and denying it (whether or not it actually occurred).

Here’s some disturbing things  on Pompeo for you to chomp on.

 Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, just tapped to be Donald Trump’s new CIA director, has had a lot to say about torture, Muslims, terrorism, the Iranian nuclear deal and NSA spying. Here’s a sample:

Pompeo on the release of the 2014 Senate torture report:

“Our men and women who were tasked to keep us safe in the aftermath of 9/11 — our military and our intelligence warriors — are heroes, not pawns in some liberal game being played by the ACLU and Senator Feinstein,” Pompeo said in a statement on Dec. 9, 2014. “These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots. The programs being used were within the law, within the constitution, and conducted with the full knowledge Senator Feinstein. If any individual did operate outside of the program’s legal framework, I would expect them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Pompeo on American Muslims:

“It’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston,” said in a speech on floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 11, 2013. “In those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening. And that is sad, but most importantly, it is dangerous. When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith, and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith. Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.”

Pompeo on the Iran deal:

“It’s not a question whether America can prevent a nuclear Iran or stop Russian aggression; it’s a question of whether (the Obama) administration has the backbone to use the tools and solutions available,” Pompeo said on Dec. 3, 2014. “Each of these nations poses real threats to America and the West – what is needed is not ambiguity, but clarity, forcefulness and commitments that do not exceed America’s willingness to fulfill them.

“Ayatollah Khamenei watches America allow Iran to expand its power while our President writes him missives ensuring we will protect Iran’s interests. This is dangerous. The Islamic Republic cannot even feed its own people without access to markets and our President rewards that nation, which has killed countless Americans, with sanctions relief. Congress should immediately act to stop all oil shipments out of Iran, reinstitute economic sanctions and demand that our allies do so as well. We should make clear that nuclear enrichment is not acceptable inside of Iran for any purpose and, as President Bush once said, those who harbor terrorists who kill Americans will be treated in the same manner as if they had committed the act of terror themselves.”

Ladies!  Kiss your birth control coverage good bye!  All things Obama must go in Drumpfistan. “Trump just officially made it easier for employers to stop covering birth control. The new rules let big companies end contraceptive coverage — and take effect immediately.”

The Trump administration is relaxing an Obama-era requirement that nearly all employers offer health insurance that covers a wide array of contraceptive methods.

New regulations released Friday significantly broaden the types of companies and organizations that can request an exemption from that rule. This could lead to many American women who currently receive no-cost contraception having to pay out of pocket for their medication.

The new rules take effect immediately. And they allow large, publicly traded companies to seek an exemption from the birth control requirement if they have a religious or moral objection to providing such coverage. The Obama administration barred these large businesses from such exemptions.

“This provides an exemption, a limited one, for those with religious or moral convictions implicated by the contraceptive mandate,” an HHS official said in a Friday morning briefing with reporters previewing the rule.

HHS projects that “99.9 percent of women” will be unaffected by these changes but gave little explanation of how it came to that data point. Officials did note that only a few hundred small businesses have so far raised religious or moral objections against the requirement by filing lawsuits.

But it is possible that larger publicly traded companies could join their ranks as the exemption gets widened. And the rule itself is blunt about the possible effect, noting that “These final rules will result in some enrollees in plans of exempt entities not receiving coverage or payments for contraceptive services.”

Women’s health groups, including the National Women’s Law Center and the Center for Reproductive Rights, have been preparing to file lawsuits against the regulation, based on an earlier draft that Vox obtained in late May.

Of course, you know how beneficent those “pro-lifers” can be when it comes to forced birth and supporting the living children. “Inside Tim Murphy’s reign of terror. The anti-abortion lawmaker’s abortion scandal was just the tipping point. Former aides say abuse inside his office was rampant.” Abortions are perfectly okay for mistresses of culture warring Congress Critters.

Rep. Tim Murphy, a staunch anti-abortion advocate, thought he could withstand the media furor that engulfed him after reports that he’d encouraged his extramarital lover to end her apparent pregnancy.

Just one day after announcing he would retire after the 2018 election, Murphy reversed course and told Speaker Paul Ryan he was resigning effective Oct. 21. Murphy’s abrupt decision ended a 15-year career on Capitol Hill in a shocking manner. The 65-year-old Pennsylvania Republican was so safe in his conservative district that Democrats hadn’t even fielded an opponent against him during the past two election cycles.

Ironically, Murphy’s swift collapse came not because of text messages he sent to a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair, encouraging her to have an abortion as first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday. In fact, fears among senior Republicans about a potential wave of negative stories on how Murphy ran his congressional office were what ultimately pushed him out the door.

Multiple top House Republicans during the past 24 hours pressured Murphy to resign once it became clear that the House Ethics Committee might have to investigate allegations tied to his reported mistreatment of staffers. Numerous GOP sources were aware of systemic problems in Murphy’s office, including high staff turnover, which had been the topic of gossip and speculation for years.

The Post-Gazette had reported on a June 2017 memo in which Murphy’s longtime chief of staff, Susan Mosychuk, warned the Pennsylvania Republican that he was mistreating and “harassing” staff, causing 100 percent turnover.

So, I can’t wait until I get the opportunity to play fetch with Dear Leader. Paper towels work so well in place of functioning pumps, you know.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

And, JJ … hang in there.  We’ll make it through this one too!!!


Friday Reads: So, the army invaded my neighborhood last night and other stories

d3f5f0abc2c4dd0028b6b254d6f579f2Good Afternoon!

I am moving extremely slow today. Things certainly have been stressful lately. I usually have to see the light of day to figure out what the latest assault will be on the Courts, the Constitution, Ethics, tax payers, black people, immigrants, Muslims, women, GLBT folks, etc. etc. etc.  Last night, the assault came swooping over my rooftop in the form of black helicopters and extremely loud explosions.

Now, I live in a neighborhood with babies, pets, old people, and unsuspecting tourists, etc. etc. etc.  It turned out to be a training exercise at the abandoned Navy Base about 5 doors down from me.  Ya think they could’ve told a few of us about this especially a few days after 9 tornadoes touch down all around us and 21 days into the chaos that is Drumpfistan.

I mean this seriously. Hair Furor has been promising to invade US cities with the army for days now so I figure mine’s as good as any because, well, you know, a lot of my neighbors are black and you know what kinda hell realm my neighborhood has to be in the eyes of Hair Furor. We also have lots of other folks here that are immigrants and do very terrorist type things like own corner stores and restaurants.  We must be on his target list!!! So, what would you think if the Army started swooped in and exploding things on your city block at 1:00 fucking A.M.?

cartoon_of_the_day_6-21-16_-_trump_muslim_banBut the good news is the Hair Furor’s Immigrant ban can’t be enforced because we have courts and they evidently still work.

A federal appeals panel has maintained the freeze on President Trump’s controversial immigration order, meaning previously barred refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries can continue entering the United States.

In a unanimous 29-page opinion, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit flatly rejected the government’s argument that suspension of the order should be lifted immediately for national security reasons, and they forcefully asserted their ability to serve as a check on the president’s power.

The judges wrote that any suggestion that they could not “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

And of course, now the three judges–including the conservative one appointed by Bush–are all getting threats.

Threats against more than one judge involved in legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration have prompted federal and local law enforcement agencies to temporarily increase security protection for some of them, according to law enforcement officials.

CNN did not learn how specific the threats were, but law enforcement agencies treated them seriously and out of an abundance of caution, the US Marshals Service and local police increased patrols and protective officers to provide security for some of the judges, the officials said.

A spokesperson from the US Marshals Service declined to comment directly on the threats but said that while “we do not discuss our specific security measures, we continuously review the security measures in place for all federal judges and take appropriate steps to provide additional protection when it is warranted.”

The threats come as Trump continues his verbal criticisms of judges — something that has drawn concern from former law enforcement officials and others who fear that public officials should not target a specific judge, and instead base their criticism more broadly on a court’s ruling.

And hundreds of thousands of Iranians are taking to the street shouting “Death to America” in what looks like a full on self-fulfilling prophecy.  Hillary warned us about this.  The foreign policy and national security experts warned us about this.  But, no, we have to be surrounded by racists and bigots with false narratives poured into their little tiny hands and minds.  Day by day, Kremlin Caligula is the one that makes us less safe.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on Friday to swear allegiance to their clerical leaders and reject U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning that he had put the Islamic Republic “on notice”, state TV reported.

On the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, marchers including hundreds of military personnel and policemen streamed towards Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square for the main event.

They carried “Death to America” banners and effigies of Trump while a military police band played traditional Iranian revolutionary songs.

State TV showed footage of people stepping on Trump’s picture in a central Tehran street. Marchers carried the Iranian flag and banners saying: “Thanks Mr Trump for showing the real face of America.”

“America and Trump cannot do a damn thing. We are ready to sacrifice our lives for our leader”, a young man told state TV, in a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Last week, Trump put Iran “on notice” after a Jan. 29 Iranian missile test and imposed fresh sanctions on individuals and entities. Iran said it will not halt its missile program.

Leading religious and political figures, including President Hassan Rouhani, had urged Iranians to join the rally on Friday to “show their unbreakable ties with the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic”.

muslim-comicI bet Putin is celebrating again.

The happy news today is that nasty ass Jason Chaffetz had a horrid time in his town hall last night. Remember, this is Utah not Massachusetts.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Thursday faced a flood of protesters during a town hall in his home state.

Demonstrators repeatedly disrupted the House Oversight Committee chairman, challenging him over his treatment of President Trump.

“If you want to continue to look into [2016 Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary Clinton, I don’t care,” an attendee named Noor Ul-Hasan asked Chaffetz, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “But why aren’t you checking out your own president?”

“You’re really not going to like this part,” Chaffetz responded. “The president, under the law, is exempt from conflict of interest laws.”

Chaffetz was a key player in the Benghazi and email investigations that plagued Clinton, a former secretary of State under President Obama. Shortly before Election Day, Chaffetz said he believed the committee had two years’ worth of material on her. Now he’s facing added pressure to apply the same level of scrutiny to Trump.

The Tribune reported Thursday’s event at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, was at capacity, with police warning some would not be admitted into its 1,080-person auditorium.

Demonstrators repeatedly booed when Chaffetz mentioned Trump’s name, it said, and some held up signs reading “disagree” at the Utah lawmaker.

Remember, it isn’t illegal, facism, NAZIsm, or unethical when the President does it or his family does it!!!03

Meanwhile, Besty just can’t seem to find the pencils in the Department and she can’t even visit a school.  See Betsy run away.  Run, Betsy, Run!!!!

All of this chaos is making my stomach knot and my head hurt.

Meanwhile, let me know what’s on your reading and blogging list today.