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Posts from — December 2017

It Was Disgusting

Having the Republican Congressional leaders suck up to Trump in a manner that will make Kim Jong-Un green with envy caused me serious gastrointestinal distress. No one should be subjected to that base level of pandering.

After the near canonization by Pence and Carson in the Cabinet meaning, and Pence’s claim of the world’s acceptance of US leadership under Trump, the UN General Assembly disagreed Jerusalem: UN resolution rejects Trump’s declaration

The non-binding resolution was approved by 128 states, with 35 abstaining and nine others voting against.

It came after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut financial aid to those who backed the resolution.

How did UN members vote?

  • The nine who voted against the resolution were the US, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo
  • Among the 35 abstaining were Canada and Mexico
  • Those voting in favour included the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia and the UK) as well as key US allies in the Muslim world
  • There were 21 countries who did not turn up for the vote.

Definitely not a major ‘coalition of the willing’ and not much to show for the near North Korean level of threat. The US under Trump and UK after Brexit are declining world powers while China and India are rising. The threat to cut ‘foreign aid’ was absurd as most of US foreign aid goes to US companies to supply overpriced goods and services to foreign countries. The biggest losers if Trump cuts foreign aid will be US defense contractors.

December 21, 2017   2 Comments

Happy HogWatch & Solstice

snowflakeAt 10:28 AM CST the winter solstice occurs marking the longest night of the year. If everyone has been good, the days start getting longer tomorrow. Locally, the sun will rise at 6:40AM and set at 4:50PM for a total of 10 hours and 10 minutes of daylight, but tomorrow will be a whole 1 second longer.

This also marks HogsWatch, so don’t forget to put out the turnips.

December 21, 2017   Comments Off on Happy HogWatch & Solstice

You Have To Read The Rules

The House passed the Corporate, Real Estate, and Filthy Rich Tax Give-away bill, but the Senate had to amend it to meet the requirements of the Byrd rule about trying to sneak in extraneous language in single issue bills. If the two sections weren’t removed, the bill would need 60 votes in the Senate.

Of course no one knows where the two bits came from, they appeared magically in the bill… Festivus miracles no doubt.

Update: How bad is this bill ? – Fox Business’ Trish Regan Rebukes Trumps’ Tax Plan: ‘Great For Corporations’ And ‘Fat Cats’. Even Fox Business thinks it’s a disaster.

December 19, 2017   7 Comments

Holiday Travel

ICHC cat Magi

This is a prime example of why you should make a list and check it twice when traveling during holidays. Following stars is all well and good, but can you tell the difference between a star and a meteorite headed directly for you?

If you are migrating home, or off on a vacation, be safe.

December 19, 2017   1 Comment

You Have To Read The Warnings

People constantly agree to “Terms of Service”, “End-User Licensing Agreements”, credit card agreements, without reading them. How many people have actually read the “FBI warning” on DVDs and video tapes? Badtux has a screen shot of the GSA warning which clearly warns “no expectation of privacy”. If you go on to US military bases and other Federal facilities, you probably ignored the sign that told you that by entering the facility you have waived your Fourth Amendment rights on searches and seizures.

Maybe the Trump transition team should have spent some time reading the documentation they signed to receive all of the equipment and facilities that were provided by the Government Services Administration [GSA]. I’m wondering if the attorneys who are complaining to Congress are the same attorneys who didn’t read the agreements. If the attorneys had anything close to an actual case, they would have gone to court, not Congress.

December 18, 2017   Comments Off on You Have To Read The Warnings

December 17, 1903

“Boldly going

Wright Flyer

where no man has gone before.”

The Wright Brothers make the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

December 17, 2017   6 Comments

And Downs…

Rubio’s ‘principled stand’ on the tax bill only lasted a day, and Bob Corker caved even though the deficit estimate for the reconciled bill is higher than the one he opposed.

Meanwhile city Of Nazareth cancels Christmas because of Donald Trump. Bethlehem had already scaled back because of the reaction to Trump’s decision. No one was smart enough to convince him not to announce his foolish move until after Christmas.

December 15, 2017   5 Comments

Ups & Down

Charlie Pierce is reporting that Paul Ryan is talking about retiring. Gee, why would the Speaker of the House retire? It couldn’t have anything to do with the proof that Trump can’t even get a win in Alabama. If 2018 is the blood bath for the GOP that it currently appears will be the case, this was probably going to be Ryan’s last year as Speaker.

The other up note for me is Marco Rubio says ‘no’ to the tax plan. Trump says that Rubio will come around, but Trump has lost his power to influence Congresscritters. Rubio wants to stay in the Senate, and the current version of the conference bill won’t do it.

As expected Ajit Pai rolled over and played dead for his ISP masters and voted to eliminate Net Neutrality. The States of New York and Washington are suing over the decision and other groups are attempting to get Congress to fix this problem once and for all.

December 14, 2017   5 Comments

The Feast of Saint Lucia

This is Saint Lucia’s Day for Scandinavians.

It features special treats that are handed out by a girl wearing a crown of candles, Lucia coming from the Latin for light, LUX.

Saint Lucia was an early Christian martyr from Syracuse on Sicily, but her official feast day, December 13, fit perfectly with the local pagan celebration of the Lussi on December 13, which was the Winter Solstice at the time. Yep, more cover to continue the fun mid-winter celebrations by pretending they are associated with Christianity to get the Church off everyone’s case.

December 13, 2017   Comments Off on The Feast of Saint Lucia

Polls & Trolls

Apparently polls that sample landline telephones show Roy Moore will win, and those that call cellphones favor Doug Jones. The projected voter turnout for the election is 25%, so either candidate could win if they can get their supporters to go to the polls.

Getting to the polls, Roy Moore uses a horse which is a mistake. If you look at the video you will get a lesson on how not to ride a horse and nasty comments by people who know how to ride a horse with a Western saddle.

Meanwhile, at Moore’s final campaign event a friend of Moore’s gives the strangest endorsement I have ever heard of for any candidate … ever. File under “With friends like this”.

Update at 9:45PM CST – the AP, CNN, and the BBC are calling the race for Doug Jones.

December 12, 2017   19 Comments

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah in Hebrew

MenorahHappy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. I miss the latkes and jelly doughnuts my roommates received for the holiday at college. [Their grandmothers were afraid they wouldn’t celebrate or couldn’t get “real” food at that terrible Baptist university.] It was a great break.

One of the nice things about Hanukkah is that there are established “gifts”, so you don’t have to rack your brains about what to get: a card and gelt covers just about everyone.

General background at Wikipedia’s entry for Hanukkah and even more at Chabad’s Chanukah page.

[Note: on the Jewish calendar the day changes at sundown, not midnight.]

December 12, 2017   4 Comments

Waiting For End Times

Tomorrow at sundown is the beginning of Hanukkah and in Alabama we await to see if they will elect a pervert to the US Senate.

The polls on the Alabama race are totally worthless because people are lying to the pollsters based on what they think the pollsters want to hear. Basically you have the same situation as torturing people.

Meanwhile I’m still plugging away at rehabbing an apartment, except for tomorrow morning when I have to go in for routine blood tests. [They are routine for the Doc because he isn’t the one who has to starve to take the tests.]

If I don’t starve to death, I will be back to see what the voters of Alabama have decided to do to the Senate. 😈

December 11, 2017   Comments Off on Waiting For End Times

Fire & Ice

The Santa Ana winds are driving wildfires through my old stomping ground in SoCal. The LAPD has issued a very SoCal warning:

So far, over 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as the fires are spreading fast, helped by dry conditions and 80mph winds. With over 116,000 acres currently engulfed in flames, many residents fleeing have been loading up their possessions and bugging out, but navigation apps aren’t helping.

In a press conference on Wednesday, LAPD commander Blake Chow said that some navigation apps are correctly identifying traffic-free streets, but that the reason they were unjammed was because they happened to be on fire. He urged residents to use caution before trusting their navigation apps, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, a record low is being recorded – Trump’s approval rating:

Donald Trump’s approval rating has reached the lowest point of his 11-month-long presidency, dropping to 32 percent this week as his embattled White House administration has shrugged off allegations of sexual assault, collusion with Russia and ineffective leadership. The president’s disapproval rating was 63 percent in the Pew Research Center survey released Thursday, a new high for the survey.

Is that like 0%C? I’m experiencing 32°F and am going to hibernate.

December 9, 2017   6 Comments

It’s Trump’s Fault

He had to come to Pensacola to hold one of his silly rallies and boost support for Roy Moore. The temperature is in the 30s and it’s snowing in Alabama. Before morning it is possible the local bridges will be ice coated as it has been raining for a couple of days as the first real cold front of the season moves through.

Chuck Grassley is an economic moron. Grassley says that if you target tax breaks towards the bottom half of the tax payers, they will just spend the money, while the people at the top will invest it. Obviously Senator Grassley is blissfully unaware that more two-thirds of the GDP is based on consumers spending money and businesses expand in response to an increase in demand, not an increase in available capital.

Juan Cole explains: How Trump’s Jerusalem move just helped Iran win the Mideast. If you look in the dictionary for “unintended consequences” you will note that Trump has moved ahead of the CIA in the definitions.

The US UN ambassador, Nikki Haley , managed to get us knocked off the world’s Christmas card list by insulting pretty much everyone who is anyone in the Middle East and the Security Council.

The BBC provides maps and background on the Jerusalem situation.

December 8, 2017   2 Comments