Monday, January 16, 2017

Blogging In The Years: 1991

Operation Desert Storm and the butt-kicking of Saddam Hussein has begun:

Blogging In The Years: 1961

In his farewell address, President Eisenhower has a warning:

The Content Of Their Clothing

Somehow, I don't think this is what MLK had in mind for the future:
The seminar on “The ‘Privilege’ Your Clothes Show and the ‘Power’ Your Attire Speaks” will apparently discuss the numerous “biases” and “societal oppressions” associated with various fashion trends, according to a list of “Teach-in 2017 Sessions” obtained by Campus Reform.

“This session will discuss how fashion trends and cultural appearance can impose oppressive effects on marginalized populations, such as students, employees, women, and transgender identities,” a description for the teach-in explains, adding that participants will “address biases related to natural hair, cultural attire, and the societal oppressions associated with them.”


Additionally, the seminar will discuss the “various ways these populations can show up to class/work and be received differently,” with the intent of helping students to “identify pathways to liberation for underrepresented populations in the classroom and in the workplace through authenticity.”
Clothes make the morons...

One More Temper Tantrum

Sore losers are staying home:
The most recent dropouts came as a result of the spat Trump had with Rep. John Lewis over the weekend on Twitter, according to Rep. Ted Lieu of California.

“For me, the personal decision not to attend [the] inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis,” Lieu said in a prepared statement.

Lewis called Trump’s win “illegitimate,” in an interview with NBC News Friday, a move that prompted Trump to fire back a response on Twitter. “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets early Saturday morning.

Lieu and Lewis joined Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez, Katherine Clark, John Conyers, Primila Jayapal, Jared Huffman, Mark DeSaulnier, Lacy Clay, Earl Blumenauer, Adam Smith, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, Kurt Schrader, Jose Serrano, Nydia Velazquez, Mark Takano, Yvette Clarke, Judy Chu, Jerry Nadler, and Adriano Espaillat.
If they stayed home for the next four years, that would be a bonus IMO...

Red Haze

In North Korea, pot smokes you:
The claim that marijuana is legal in North Korea is not true: The North Korean penal code lists it as a controlled substance in the same category as cocaine and heroin. And the person who would likely help any American charged with a crime in North Korea emphatically rejects the idea that the ban is not enforced. "There should be no doubt that drugs, including marijuana, are illegal here," said Torkel Stiernlof, the Swedish ambassador. The United States has no diplomatic relations with the North, so Sweden's embassy acts as a middleman when U.S. citizens run afoul of North Korean laws. "One can't buy it legally and it would be a criminal offense to smoke it," Stiernlof said. He said that if a foreigner caught violating drug laws in North Korea happened to be an American citizen, he or she could "expect no leniency whatsoever."
You'd have to be high to go there in the first place, wouldn't you?

Free Speech Hurts

Those talk show radio kids ruined everything:
“You had two of the most unpopular presidential candidates selected by the two parties in history. Doesn’t that say something’s wrong, something serious is wrong?” host Steve Kroft asked.

Obama responded, “It indicates that there is a lot of cynicism out there. It indicates that the corrosive nature of everything from talk radio to fake news to negative advertising has made people lack confidence in a lot of our existing institutions. I think it indicates, at least on the Democratic side, that we’ve got more work to do to strengthen our grassroots networks.”

“In some ways, the Democratic Party hadn’t constructed itself to get that message out to the places it needed to get to,” he continued. “The Tea Party I have huge disagreements with, obviously. But I give them credit for having activated themselves. And they made a difference in terms of moving the Republican Party, in terms of moving the country in a particular direction. It’s a direction I disagreed with. But it showed that, in fact, you get involved, if your voice is heard it has an impact.”
Funny how that works in a democracy...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Plan

Rand Paul reveals the Obamacare replacement plan:
His replacement plan aims to take away the mandates on insurance plans sold in the individual market, which is for people who don't get insurance through work. The individual market includes Obamacare's exchanges.

The law requires insurers on the market to offer plans that include 10 essential benefits. Paul said those requirements have added costs.

"We are going to legalize the sale of inexpensive insurance — that means getting rid of the Obamacare mandate on what you can buy," he said.

Another part of Paul's plan is to ensure that small businesses can group together to buy insurance.

Paul referenced his own ophthalmology small business. He said that if one of his employees got cancer it was "devastating" to insurance costs.

"There is no reason why someone with four employees shouldn't join with hundreds of businesses that are small to get leverage to bring prices down and also to get insurance that can't cancel you," he said.
There are alternatives, and they will be available, whether Obamacare backers want to admit it or not...

Backward The Foundation

Whatever happened to the Clinton Foundation?
The layoffs will take effect April 15, the Clinton Foundation said in a filing with the New York Department of Labor Thursday, citing the discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative. The move is part of a plan put in motion ahead of the presidential election in order to offset a storm of criticism regarding pay-to-play allegations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
The layoffs were reportedly announced internally in September, ahead of Clinton’s stunning loss to President-elect Donald Trump. Many other employees had already begun looking for or accepting other jobs at that time, as it had become clear the future of the initiative was in doubt. It’s unclear how many of the once 200 strong staff might remain at the Clinton Foundation in some other capacity.
Corruption breeds crumbling...

When In Doubt, Listen

The elite acknowledge:
Critics often accuse the yearly World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps of being a snow-covered playground for well-heeled business and political elites. But founder Klaus Schwab said this year’s event, which opens Monday before a public start Tuesday, is reaching out to populist politicians who have ridden a wave of discontent among the masses.

“It’s important to listen to the populists, and actually we have several sessions where we deal with these issues, and we have representatives of populist parties here with us,” Schwab said in an interview Sunday with The Associated Press. “We have to take it (populism) seriously.”

For a forum that strives to take the pulse of the world each year and produce “a real hub of a global discussion,” Schwab said “it would be soundly unrealistic and far from realities if we did not integrate the concerns of populists very much into our own deliberation.”
Power to the populists?

Bob's Buzz

When you've lost Bob Woodward:
I think what is under reported here is Trump’s point of view on it. You laid it out when those former CIA people said these things about Trump, that he was a recruited agent of the Russians, and a useful fool, they started this in Trump’s mind. He knows the old adage, once a CIA man, always a CIA man. No one came out and said those people shouldn’t be saying those things. So then act two is the briefing when this dossier is put out.

“I’ve lived in this world for 45 years where you get things and people make allegations — that is a garbage document. It never should have been presented as part of an intelligence briefing. As you suggested, other channels have the White House counsel give it to Trump’s incoming White House counsel. So Trump’s right to be upset about that. I think if you look at the real chronology and the nature of the battle here, those intelligence chiefs who were the best we’ve had, who are terrific and have done great work, made a mistake here. And when people mistakes, they should apologize.
Real journalism used to be a thing...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Illegitimate Response

Even Anderson Cooper isn't buying it:
Lewis explained to “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd that given the circumstances surrounding the 2016 presidential election — specifically the allegation that Russian state hackers manipulated the election to undermine America’s democracy and to help Trump win — he will have a hard time viewing Trump as a “legitimate” president.

“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis told Todd.

But, according to Cooper, that comment doesn’t exactly make political sense. Because, as Cooper pointed out, Democrats would have likely been “up in arms” at any Republican who would have said the same thing about a president-elect Hillary Clinton.

“I get he doesn’t like Donald Trump. I get he doesn’t accept the results of the election, but is this helpful in any way?” Cooper questioned. “If a Republican had said this about President-elect Hillary Clinton, Democrats would be up in arms.”
Acceptance is part of the recovery process...

Mr. Harvey Goes To Washington

But-but-Trump is a racist:
Harvey said he plans to partner with Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development nominee Dr. Ben Carson on restoring America’s inner cities.

“Trump wants to help with the situations in the inner cities so he immediately got Dr. Ben Carson on the phone to put us together to begin dialog in looking at programs and housing to help our inner cities and he’s very open to my mentoring efforts across the country,” Harvey said.

“I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area,” he added. “I feel that something really great could come out of this… I would sit with him anytime.”
Trump at least spoke to the black community. He didn't just take them for granted like some people...

Bits And Pieces

One step at a time?
The GOP had originally proposed a plan to repeal Obamacare immediately but delay the replacement, which led to concerns that the increased tax burden in the interim — directly resulting from a lack of tax revenue left in the wake of Obamacare’s repeal — would be untenable.

Due also in part to the new social media landscape and increased leaks to the media, public scrutiny at every point in the legislative process has become a new reality. So Ryan and his team have attempted to address the tax issue and also adapt to the new media situation by proposing what Fox News calls “bite-size bills,” micro bills to be passed one at a time. Fox News reports:

In a nod to the new reality, Ryan is proposing a series of smaller bills passed one at a time. It’s also a nod to the fact that Republicans can act alone to repeal, they will need Senate Democrats’ help to replace.

The risks are still substantial. Democrats will have many more opportunities to obstruct the majority so the possibility of a legislative quagmire is real. The safety net here is that if Democrats and dissident Republicans succeed in blockading key components, the leadership can fall back to delayed replacement.
Despite the risks, Ryan is banking on the public’s and Congress’ desire to see what the GOP has in store and continue to support that replacement in a graduated effort. The theory is that if only parts of the replacement are revealed at any given time, the risk of widespread disagreement, which could hold up the entire bill, is mitigated, notes Fox News. “The GOP can only afford to lose two votes in the Senate on repeal, and running a concurrent replacement dramatically increases the chance of defections,” they write.
At least they'll know what's in the bills before they pass them this time...

Out Where The Train Doesn't Run

The report on the Train to Nowhere is in:
A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.

The federal document outlines far-reaching management problems: significant delays in environmental planning, lags in processing invoices for federal grants and continuing failures to acquire needed property.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority originally anticipated completing the Central Valley track by this year, but the federal risk analysis estimates that that won’t happen until 2024, placing the project seven years behind schedule.
If California did secede, at least they'd be the only ones paying for this...

Friday, January 13, 2017

DC America

Is it time for the Feds to leave?
Housing prices in D.C. are among the highest in the country thanks in great part to the large number of high-paying government jobs putting upward pressure on real estate supply and demand.

Meanwhile, high-speed internet, telecommuting, video conferencing, Amazon home delivery — and soon — virtual reality and self-driving cars, are making it less essential for most workers to be physically tied to any one area, according to Chaffetz.

A Department of Agriculture relocated to Kansas could, for example, pay lower salaries to its employees without lowering their standard of living. They might have a 5,000 square foot house with a pool instead of a studio apartment in D.C., and with less congestion to boot.

And federal regulators would be more likely to see and experience the impact of their actions, much as members of Congress spend time in their home districts and listen to their constituents. In the Department of Agriculture example, officials living and working in Kansas might understand farming better than those in urban Washington, D.C.
Welcome to America?

Bring Out Your Dead Actors

Can dead actors still perform?
Even with permission, resurrecting actors often makes viewers uncomfortable, especially when it comes to commercials. Before 1979, when a court case ruled that deceased actors’ relatives had final say in their loved ones’ likenesses being used on film, the practice was fair game (but seen as taboo). Since then, audiences have become more accepting of seeing silver screen icons like Audrey Hepburn (above), Fred Astaire (below), Gene Kelly, and Steve McQueen used to peddle products. Roger Richman, a California-based attorney specializing in these cases, told ABC News that “You have to control the legacies of these legends … to prevent other people from abusing it.”
Ultimately, it comes down to what is viewed as “abuse” versus paying homage, and that’s inherently subjective. As far as the Star Wars franchise is concerned, Carrie Fisher‘s death presents the filmmakers another opportunity to employ this technique. While she finished shooting her scenes for the next film, it’s possible her character might appear in future installments. One thing is certain: As the ability to create photorealistic depictions of deceased actors improves, more filmmakers will be tempted to use it.
Just because you're dead, doesn't mean you still don't have a contract...

Pirate Russian Video

Did the hacks get hacked?
The MSNBC glitch occurred just hours after RT overtook CSPAN’s confirmation feed for a full ten minutes. An MSNBC spokesman told CNN’s Brian Stelter that, “the show was pre-taped but there was a technical glitch that was resolved in a matter of seconds.”

C-SPAN released a statement, saying they don’t believe that they were hacked and are operating under the assumption that it was an “internal routing issue.”

A signal carrying the state-run Russia Today network cut into C-SPAN’s feed at 2:30 p.m., when Rep. Maxine Waters was voicing support for a strong Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rep. Waters went on to mention Russia several times while the feed was interrupted, according to the New York Times.

Thursday morning, the CIA confirmation hearing was interrupted when the lights mysteriously went out during the hearing. The blackout occurred about ten minutes into the Senate Committee on Intelligence hearing for Representative Mike Pompeo.
Their first mistake-assuming anybody watches either MSNBC or CSPAN...

Swiss Bull

What happens when you're literally too annoying to have around:
Despite living in the country since the age of eight, and speaking fluent Swiss German, local residents vetoed her application of citizenship, saying they were “fed up” with her challenging their traditions.

The Dutchwoman explained her views: “The sound that cow bells make is a hundred decibel. It is comparable with a pneumatic drill. We also would not want such a thing hanging close to our ears?”

“The bells, which the cows have to wear when they walk to and from the pasture, are especially heavy.

“The animals carry around five kilograms around their neck. It causes friction and burns to their skin.”

Aargauer Zeitung says that as well as cow bells, she has also campaigned against other Swiss traditions including hunting, pig racing, and even loud church bells.
Seems her bell got rung one too many times...

The Flip Side

Fate catches up with you:
Tommy Allsup was part of Holly's band when the Lubbock, Texas, singer died in the Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.

Allsup flipped a coin to see who between him and Valens would get a seat on the plane and who would have to take the bus to the next stop on the tour.

Holly, Valens and Richardson died with 21-year-old pilot Roger Peterson when the plane crashed in the Iowa countryside in snowy conditions. The three rockers' deaths were immortalized in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie," and became known as "the day the music died."

Austin Allsup, of Fort Worth, said that his father took losing the coin toss as "a blessing" and that he was humbled to be connected to "such a monumental moment in music history."
He still died...RIP.

Straight Man

The cleanest President ever?
Trump has long claimed that he has never once smoked cigarettes, touched alcohol or used drugs, which would distinguish him from the last three men to occupy the White House, all of whom either admitted to drug use or refused to deny it. While younger voters are more likely to support legalizing marijuana, for those who were born after January 20, 1993, Trump will likely be the first president in their lifetime to have never used illegal drugs.

“If you don’t drink and you don’t do drugs, your children … are going to have a tremendously enhanced chance of really being successful and having a good life,” Trump explained at a 2015 New Hampshire town hall. New Hampshire has been ravaged by opioid overdoses in recent years.

“The world is so tough and it is so competitive that you can’t put yourself, as a child, or even as a parent, if you want that child to be successful, at a disadvantage of letting them drink or letting them take drugs because it is not going to work,” Trump said, urging sobriety. “They are going to be at a tremendous disadvantage and ultimately they may not recover.”
A return to adult behavior? It's been awhile:

The Fat Lady Screams

This is how democracy dies-by the screeching of celebrities:
O’Donnell — who has feuded publicly with Trump for nearly the last decade — was one of the Republican billionaire’s most vocal celebrity antagonists during the presidential campaign.

In May, the actress predicted Trump would never be president, and has previously called him “the worst representation of what the United States is or could be” and an “orange piece of sh*t.”

Shortly after Trump’s election victory, O’Donnell helped circulate a video on social media that questioned whether Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron Trump, is autistic. After first defending the video, O’Donnell later apologized to Melania Trump after an attorney for the future First Lady said in a letter that the video had caused her son to be bullied.

O’Donnell’s suggestion of martial law to delay the inauguration marks the latest (and perhaps last) celebrity attempt to derail Trump’s presidency before Inauguration Day on January 20.
It's so nice to see that leftists haven't forgotten about their fascist roots...

From Kiev With Love

Those Russians who tried to hack the election-oh, wait:
Ukrainian officials assisted Clinton by publicly denigrating Trump’s fitness for office as well as pushing documents attempting to implicate Trump or his aides in corruption and by suggesting they were launching investigations into the purported allegations — only to stymie such investigations as the election neared — according to Politico’s January 11 article.

Ukraine’s interference on Clinton’s behalf negatively affected the Trump campaign when accusations against Trump aide Paul Manafort helped cause him to quit the campaign, the online newser said.

“Politico’s investigation found evidence of Ukrainian government involvement in the race that appears to strain diplomatic protocol dictating that governments refrain from engaging in one another’s elections,” the news site wrote.
One party's saboteur is another's campaign supporter...

Feminists Against Fems

No women allowed?
“Our mission statement recognizes that we do not just cater to female-identified students, but also cater to students of all gender identities,” Hengst said. “We also don’t want to alienate any of our constituency by focusing exclusively on women.”

Considering that transgender women were welcome in the student group before the name change, it seems like the rebranding effort was done in order to attract non-binary students, meaning students who don’t identify as male or female.

Hengst added that the changes better reflect the mission statement of the group. “I hope that in the future women wouldn’t feel alienated by our organization or feel inadequately represented by our organization,” Hengst said in response. “I think right now the organization wasn’t appropriately representing our mission statement, so this name change isn’t really changing the purpose of our organization at all — it’s just better reflecting what our mission statement has been and the work we’ve been doing for the past few years.”
Ladies, don't identify...

Core Brand

It's not really Common Core:
“The Arizona Board of Education has voted to approve new education standards to replace the Common Core State Standards,” Education Week reports, “But the changes are minor rather than a full-scale repudiation of the state-led effort to set standards for what students should know in English/language arts and mathematics.”

The prominent change in the standards is the addition of cursive writing lessons through fifth grade, an element that Common Core does not provide. In addition, Arizona’s standards will now require younger students to study the concepts of time and money, and to spell frequently used words.

“These new standards represent the final step in the repeal and replacement of the common core in Arizona, and they reflect the thoughts and recommendations of thousands of Arizona citizens,” said state schools superintendent Diane Douglas in a press release.

“The federally mandated Common Core Standards were initially adopted by the SBE in 2010 without a thorough public review, which deeply frustrated many Arizonans,” Douglas continued. “That lack of public input became an even larger concern as problems with the standards were identified, many of which were related to the resulting curricula.”
A renamed rotten core is still rotten...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Federalism Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

No, Federalism is not a liberal idea:
Federalism prevents Washington from, say, forcing rural towns in Idaho to blow $100 million installing bike lanes when nothing is reachable by bike. Decisions such as that are to be kept local. "Laboratories of democracy?" Sure, if that's what the locals want to do. For example, take the Hope Scholarship that several states have and that are funded by lottery proceeds. State officials looked at how other states were funding their scholarship programs, and could decide for themselves whether or not it would work for their state.

But Guterl is talking about "laboratories of socialism."

And he seems to have been fine with Obama's top-down, anti-Tenth Amendment progressivism, while also wanting the Tenth Amendment to somehow be a check on the Constitution itself, too.
Power for me, not for thee...

Friends In Need

It seems the Democrats had their own history of working behind America's back:
Sources close to the situation told Politico that a “Ukrainian-American operative” acted as a consultant for the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election. The operative reportedly coordinated with officials at the Ukranian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to implicate Paul Manafort “in corruption.”

Politico notes that the Ukranian efforts were “far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails,” and did not extend past forcing Manafort from Trump’s campaign. (RELATED: Manafort Resigns From Trump Campaign)

Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman throughout much of the Republican primary, resigned from the campaign in August of 2016 after reports arose accusing him of working on behalf of Ukraine to undermine American interests.
Why do Democrats hate democracy?

Fiat Accompli

The good news: Chrysler is coming back to America. The bad new: They have to deal with the Obama-era EPA:
The agency is working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has also dinged the FCA for the alleged Clean Air Act violations. The agency and CARB are kick starting joint-investigations against the company.

“Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a press statement announcing the news. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.”

Auto companies are required to disclose and explain any software that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution — FCA did not disclose the existence of the vehicles’ emission control devices despite being aware that such a disclosure was mandatory. FCA’s failure to notify the EPA and CARB about the device violated provisions of the Clean Air Act.

“Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” CARB chair Mary D. Nichols said in a joint press statement with the EPA. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.”
And once again, a government agency shows why those rules may not be necessary...

Turks On The Attack

Another new year, another Turkish political brawl, in this case over expanding Erdogan's powers:

The Long Road To Repeal

It begins here:
All Republicans, except for Sen. Rand Paul (R.-KY), voted for the resolution. Paul criticized the budget resolution for not addressing the federal debt and for not having a companion replacement bill. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-CA), who is recovering from a scheduled medical procedure was absent from the chamber.

As senators waited for their names to be called by the clerk, Paul approached the clerk’s desk from side and whispered: “No.”

All Democrats and the two Independents who caucus with Democrats voted against the resolution.

Soon after they voted, virtually all Republicans left the floor. Among the handful staying behind were Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R.-Texas), along with Sen. John R. Thune (R.-S.D.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R.-MO) in the front. McConnell sat quietly at his desk, but Cornyn stood tall in the well watching the votes come in.

All of the Democrats did not respond with their names were called off and they sat glumly with their armed crossed or their chins resting on their hand. When the Republicans were done, led by Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D.-N.Y.), each Democrat attempted to make remarks with their vote.

The presiding officer, Sen. Cory Gardner (R.-CO) repeatedly ruled the Democrats out of order: “Debate is not in order during a vote.”
They had their debate, and lost. Hence the vote...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No Fake News For Them

Journalists suddenly discover their integrity:
Other outlets who have seen the document chose not to publish it, largely because the claims laid out in it could not be independently verified. But BuzzFeed defended the decision to publish “so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.”

A slew of reporters disagreed with that rationale, arguing that publishing unsubstantiated claims violates basic tenets of journalism. Others pointed out that the American public has no way to determine whether the allegations in the document are accurate or not.
Never interrupt your competition when they are shooting themselves in the foot...

The Last Airliner

The 747 comes to an end:
The decision marks the end of an era for U.S. airlines, which have relied on the humpbacked 747 to bring jet travel to a mass consumer market since the plane debuted in 1970. United flew its first jumbo between California and Hawaii that year.

It’s also a reminder of the tough task Boeing faces as it tries to keep its newest 747 model, the -8, aloft amid waning demand for four-engine aircraft. The Chicago-based planemaker has just 28 unfilled orders, after closing 17 sales of the freighter version of the jet last year. Boeing has said it would end production if more orders don’t materialize.

“It’s a bittersweet milestone -- this jumbo jet with its unmistakable silhouette once represented the state-of-the-art in air travel,” United President Scott Kirby said in a letter to employees Wednesday.
The jet has been a symbol of both luxury and a vanished era of air travel. And it was a tough plane:

No Truth, No Return

Who still cares about Trump's tax returns? Anyone?
The President-elect replied, “Well, I’m not releasing tax returns because you know they’re under audit,” to which the reporter retorted that the last six presidents have released their tax returns.

“You know the only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters,” said Trump gesturing to the room. “You don’t think the American public is concerned about them?” asked the reporter. “No I don’t think they’re concerned, I won,” replied the President-elect.

“I don’t think they care at all, I don’t think they care, I think you care,” said Trump to cheers from the crowd. “First of all, you learn very little from a tax return. What you should do is go down to the federal elections and take a look at the numbers and actually people have learned a lot about my company and now they realized my company is much bigger, much more powerful than they ever thought. We’re in many many countries and I’m very proud of it.”
I suppose it was either a fake story or a non-story...

Faking It On The Hill

Meanwhile, there still seems to be enugh fake news to go around for everyone:

Fighting Fake News

Donald Trump fights back:

The Ex President's Playlist

Where does he go from here? Where, indeed?
This is a president bored with the mundane. Heading up a think tank or foundation, or some other boring non-profit work where he'll be out of the limelight and soon forgotten, would no doubt gall him.

Working for Spotify would give him purpose in life -- a chance to put his mark on pop culture in a way that going on Jimmy Kimmel Live! or The Tonight Show never could. And, of course, he would be a YouTube sensation -- a rock star to millennials. His weekly podcast would draw millions.

And the power! Oh, the power to be able to make or break a new song, a new group, or a solo artist. It would almost be like fooling Congress about the Iran deal or sticking it to conservatives by siccing the IRS on them. Heady stuff, that.
An elder statesman for the social media generation?

Animal Man

They're the things named after Obama:
During his two terms in office, Obama has racked up at least nine animals named after him.
Most are innocuous, like the western striolated puffbird, while others are less than flattering, such as the parasitic hairworm. All of the creatures, the scientists assert, were named as a compliment, so there should be no partisan bickering over the honor.
If the worm fits...

Panda Monium

How pandas came to America:
Between 1936 and 1946, 14 pandas were taken from China. In 1946, China chose to end the practice of panda exporting. By the early 1950s, all of America’s pandas were dead. (At one point, pandas were in zoos in places including Chicago, the Bronx, and St. Louis.)
In 1957, China began to allow pandas to leave the country again. Of course, China was now under Communist control. As a result, the first panda did not go to the United States, but our nemesis the Soviet Union. (Ping Ping failed to adjust to the cold of the U.S.S.R., dying after only three years.)
President Richard Nixon is to thank for the restoration of the panda pipeline. After his visit to China in 1972, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were presented to the National Zoo. They lived out their lives there, having five cubs. Sadly, the National Zoo at the time had a limited understanding of panda breeding, and no cub lived more than a few days there.
Today, China continues to let pandas leave, but with the understanding that these incredibly cute creatures are loans, not gifts.
Panda diplomacy always works...

The Long, Long Goodbye

Obama celebrates himself to the end:
Obama said “I” 33 times during the speech, “my” 20 times, “me” 10 times, and “I’m” or “I’ve” 12 times.

The president made a habit of focusing large chunks of his speeches on himself during his eight years in office.

Last July, for example, he mentioned himself 45 times over the course of a speech given at a speech for the slain Dallas police officers. (RELATED: Obama Mentions Himself 45 Times During Memorial Speech For Dallas Officers)

In his blog post promoting the speech, Obama encouraged Americans to tune in “because, for me, it’s always been about you.”
Except when it was all about him...

The Last Denial

One more for the road:

Trolling The "Real News"

Fake news falls for it:
Noted #nevertrump voice Rick Wilson later commented on twitter, stating that the report “gave a new meaning to Wikileaks” ( and that the report was the reason everybody was fighting so hard against the election of Trump. (

The remarkable thing? It's all fake. And not only fake; it's a prank perpetuated by 4chan, on Rick Wilson himself. A post on 4chan on october 26 stated “mfw managed to convince CTR and certain (((journalists))) on Twitter there'll be an October surprise on Trump this Friday” along with a picture of a smug face with a hash name.

on november 1, a person without a picture but is assumed to be the same person posted “So they took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it. They still believe it. Guys, they're truly fucking desperate - there's no remaining Trump scandal that's credible.”

on january 10, moments after the story broke and began to gain traction on social media, a person with the same smug grin face, and the same hash title for the picture, stated “I didn't think they'd take it so far.”
You underestimate the fakers at your own peril...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Booking On Sessions

Whoops. Corey Booker might not want to remember this:

The Two R's

Get rid of it:
When asked if they would support a repeal of Obamacare if a replacement were passed simultaneously and if Americans would get to keep their existing coverage for a transition period, the number of respondents who said they support a repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature accomplishment spiked to 70 percent.

One of the leading reasons voters cited for why they think Obamacare should be replaced was rising costs that are making health care coverage dramatically more expensive for many Americans — something Obama promised would not happen.

Indeed, Obamacare premiums will spike by an average of more than 20 percent nationwide this year, with many states seeing much higher jumps. In fact, premium costs in Arizona will spike 116 percent in 2017 alone.

The rising costs have even led a plurality of Democrats polled to view the law negatively and support a simultaneous repeal and replace, 48 percent to 43 percent.
Obamacare is an equal opportunity offender...

Got Change?

Panhandling, staffer style:
The Democratic workers who were expecting to see a Clinton White House are reportedly finding the transition especially difficult:

Clinton aides appear to be having a harder time, both emotionally and practically.

“There’s anger, there’s frustration, there’s anxiety, there’s burnout,” said Russ Finkelstein, a managing director at Clearly Next and longtime progressive career guru (including as a founding team member at the lefty jobs board who has been counseling Clinton alumni.

“People are in shock,” said Anastasia Kessler-Dellaccio, 35, who quit her job at Sister Cities International to run Foreign Policy Professionals for Hillary. Some Clinton campaign workers say they’ve lost their bearings because they’re so rattled by the differences in Trump’s values from those represented by Obama and Clinton.

Kessler-Dellaccio added, “I think people, myself included, are trying to figure out, ‘How do I recalibrate my dreams?’”
They're the ones haunting street corners, tattered resumes in hand...

All The Fakes That Fit

So who's the guy advising the NY Times on its definition of fake news?
Zeitz is presented as a disinterested, authoritative voice within the advertising industry. In fact, he is a Democratic hack who left an academic career to work for former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. He followed Corzine after his 2009 defeat to derivatives broker MF Global, where he served as chief of staff to the CEO during one of the worst financial scandals since the Great Recession.

During the time Zeitz worked for Corzine at MF Global, from 2010-2011, the company allegedly took money from customer accounts to cover its reserves after making bad bets. Some $1 billion in customer money was lost. Farmers and ranchers were particularly hard hit, as CNN described in 2011, because many used MF Global to arrange futures contracts to hedge against commodity price volatility. “MF Global’s demise has now put business on hold for many farmers who executed trades through the firm and have had their accounts frozen,” CNN noted.

The Times itself reported just last week that a federal judge approved a settlement between Corzine and federal regulators, according to which Corzine has agreed to pay a $5 million penalty and has agreed to accept “a lifetime prohibition from leading a futures broker or registering with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”
It takes a thief?