Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence reminds us why we may not be in such a hurry to impeach Donald Trump.

Courtesy of Vox: 

Vice President Mike Pence popped into the 40th anniversary celebration of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family to remind members he’s a devout Christian politician who has his back. And, he says, so is President Donald Trump. 

After the group’s president Jim Daly introduced Pence as “one of us,” the vice president spoke for 30 minutes on Friday, on both foreign policy and domestic issues. Unsurprisingly, Pence focused quite a bit on abortion, reiterating the Trump administration’s commitment to what he characterized as the "timeless values” Focus on the Family advocates first. 

He repeatedly referred to the president himself as both an “unwavering ally" of Christian evangelicals and a believer himself — calling him “a leader, a believer, a timeless defender of the values that will make America great again.” He described Trump as someone who “advocated in the public square for values our public needs to hear, now more than ever.” 

Pence’s comments are hardly surprising: after all, his evangelical faith and religiously-motivated stances on abortion and LGBTQ rights are well-known. But the intensity in expressing them on Friday was striking. Pence announced that he would donate an ultrasound machine in his own name to a faith-based crisis pregnancy center. (These centers, which are marketed like typical abortion clinics, but are set up to persuade women to avoid abortions, make up a major part of Focus on the Family’s efforts).

By the way Pence's assertion that Trump is an "unwavering ally of Christian Evangelicals" is the very definition of fake news.

Donald Trump is the unwavering ally of Donald Trump, and ONLY Donald Trump.

Mike Pence on the other hand is a tent revival attending, evangelizing, self proclaimed warrior for the almighty, and he would love nothing more than to return this country back to the days when women stayed in the kitchen, black folks stayed in the fields, and gay people stayed so deep in their closets that they needed to stuff mothballs down their pants.

I mean the man donated an entire ultrasound machine just to stop women from aborting their babies for fuck's sake.

That is why Senator Al Franken suggested that folks might want to think long and hard about trying to get Trump impeached.

Courtesy of the International Business Times:

“Pence ran the transition and some of the very worst nominees, I felt — [EPA chief Scott] Pruitt, [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos, [HHS Secretary Tom] Price, [Budget director Mick] Mulvaney — were Pence selections, clearly, I think,” Franken told IBT. “He's ideological, I consider him a zealot, and I think that in terms of a lot of domestic policy certainly would be worse than Trump.”

Look I still think that Trump is a criminal, who had help in stealing this election, and I want him to either quit or be impeached.

But if we don't come up with some way to take Pence down with him, I fear that we may well go from the frying pan directly into that fire and brimstone.

Donald Trump compares colluding with Russia to steal an American election to Hillary Clinton working with the DNC during the primaries. No, seriously.

Okay first off this is inaccurate, and the result of Russian propaganda during the Democratic primaries that misrepresented stolen emails from the DNC.

Secondly, WTF?

If this WERE accurate it would still be Americans working with Americans to win an American election.

On the other hand if Trump colluded with the Russians it would be the case of an American working with a foreign power using cyber terrorism to change the outcome of an American election.

Not even remotely similar.

And while we are on the topic The Atlantic has an article explaining how Donald Trump appears to STILL be colluding with Vladimir Putin.

Take a look at this:   

As the president faces accusations of colluding with the Russians during last year’s campaign, his policies in office have aligned almost perfectly with the Kremlin’s goals. If Moscow wanted its interference in America’s election to yield dividends, it could hardly have hoped for more. 

Just as importantly, while Trump has expressed concern over the “cloud” the Russia investigation generated, he has seemed indifferent overall to Russia’s direct attempts to interfere with the American democratic process. According to Comey’s testimony, Trump never asked him about the meddling, or how to prevent similar interference in the future. Not once. 

Trump himself has seemingly courted the favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin since the 2016 presidential campaign. He’s repeatedly praised Putin’s leadership, refused to condemn Russian efforts to disrupt the U.S. system of free elections, and openly encouraged Russian hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Friday’s explosive report from The Washington Post confirmed that Putin was deeply and directly involved in an operation to hurt Clinton’s candidacy and help elect Trump.

What’s more, in every way he can, Trump has deferred to Russia on matters of foreign policy. After Russian forces deployed their hacking tools during the recent French presidential election, Trump invited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the White House and failed to repudiate the attack against a vital American ally. Instead, during his meeting with Lavrov, Trump divulged highly sensitive classified information provided by Israel, another crucial U.S. partner. (That May 10 meeting also came a day after Trump removed Comey, who was leading the inquiries into collusion; Trump told the Russians that the director’s dismissal had alleviated “great pressure” on him.) Even more recently, the Trump administration has reportedly taken steps to return two diplomatic compounds that former President Barack Obama stripped from Russia following its actions during last year’s election. 

To make matters worse, Trump has done far more than just extend open arms toward the Russian government. He wavered on the United States’ commitment to defend its fellow members of NATO; his aides have reportedly tried to undermine the European Union; and he himself has alienated key partners by lashing out at individual leaders and pulling out of the Paris Agreement.

I actually think this tweet is Trump's clumsy way of  attempting to minimize the impact once it is proven that he did indeed collude with the Russians to steal the 2016 election.

He will actually attempt to make the case that sure he worked with Putin to win an election, just like Hillary worked with her own party to win the primary.

Somehow in his mind that would seem comparable.

Alaskans are rarely on the cutting edge of anything, except coffee consumption apparently.

Courtesy of The Guardian:  

You think your Starbucks cold-brew coffee is trendy? People in Anchorage were buying bottled cold brew five years ago. As for your pour-over black cup made with single-origin beans from a small farm in Africa? Yawn. Fairbanks has been doing that since the 1990s. 

Little-known fact: Alaska is among the most coffee-obsessed states in the nation. Some years, the coffee-shop-to-human ratio in Anchorage has been higher than Seattle, making it the most caffeinated place in the America (at last count, in 2011, it dropped to number two, with about one coffee shop for every 2,000 souls.) 

You cannot escape the coffee carts here, common as roadside moose, each with its unique brand: The Sugar Shack, Java the Hut, Fred’s Bail Bonding and Coffee Cabana. And then, there are the local coffee shops.

Anchorage-based Kaladi Brothers Coffee, the largest among half a dozen serious coffee roasters in the state, roasts 1.2m pounds of beans per year, enough for every man, woman and child in the state to brew at least five pots of strong coffee each. One of the biggest share goes to the oil fields on Alaska’s North Slope, where workers are on 24 hours a day, says Dale Tran, the company’s chief operating officer. Kaladi has 15 stores in Alaska and one in Seattle.

You know I am just happy with any story about Alaska that does not involve a gun death, a serial killer, or somebody being killed and eaten by a bear.

But I am especially happy to read that we were on the cutting edge of something.

And yes the coffee shops in Anchorage started popping up about 40 years ago, and these days you literally cannot travel half a mile in the city without passing at least half a dozen.

Sometimes in the winter the lines outside a coffee hut can be seven to ten cars deep, with another down the road with a line just as long.

Of course what can you expect in state where the winter nights are long and cold?

I am a little sad to say that I personally am not one of the Alaska coffee connoisseurs.

I am just a little too cheap to buy my coffee in a fancy shop, or kiosk along the road.

No I am a home brew man, who typically drinks about two to three cups of regular Folgers blend with a little Truvia and vanilla flavored non-dairy creamer added to fancy it up a bit.

But once in a while I do splurge and treat myself to a large Cafe Mocha.

Because after all, the winter nights are long and cold.

Just your daily reminder that you now live in a country where this guy is the president.

I typically don't like to fat shame, but remember this is a guy who made fat jokes about Rosie O'Donnell and judged women by their breast size.

In my opinion that makes it open season on Mr. Visible Panty Line here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Donald Trump is literally trolling the Obama Administration over the fact that they did not stop him and Putin from stealing the election.

Wait, so now Trump ADMITS that the Russians meddled in the election? Well that's new.

This tweet was from yesterday. But Trump did not leave it there.
I'm guessing "T" is Trump referring to himself by the initial of his last name for some reason.

Still not sure why the Obama Administration knowing about the hacking before the election means they need to be investigated?
No you idiot, they didn't want to hurt the American people's confidence in the election system, which you were attacking at the time.

And for his concern over preserving the integrity of the election, former President Obama gets mocked by some orange tinted ignoramus with a fat ass and a circus clown hairdo?

Remember back when I said I would never act on that impulse to punch this asshole in the face?

Yeah, well I am going to revisit that thought process. 

Support surges for single payer health care.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

Single-payer healthcare is growingly increasingly popular in the United States, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Friday. 

33 percent of poll respondents said they favor a single-payer system, in which the government covers medical expenses with tax money, over the current system based on private insurance companies. 

That's an increase of five percentage points since January, and twelve points since single payer was polled in December 2015. 

60 percent of Americans who were surveyed said the federal government is responsible for providing healthcare coverage to all Americans, compared to 39 percent who said it was not the government’s job. 

The poll comes a day after Senate Republicans unveiled the first draft of their plan to repeal ObamaCare.

Like I have said before the Republicans may actually be inadvertently pushing this country toward single payer, and clearly the American people are ready for it.

Just the other day Rand Paul said, and I quote, "What I'd like to do is legalize inexpensive insurance, and you should be able to get insurance for $1 a day. I mean, you really should."

Well I have news for Mr. I Have a Squirrel Toupee, thirty dollar a month for insurance premiums would only be possible through a single payer system that every single American had signed onto. 

And the best way to do that is through a government program like Medicaid or Medicare.

So essentially the Republicans want single payer health care as well, they are just too stupid to realize it.

Bill Cosby, whose sexual assault case resulted in a mistrial, will be giving town halls on how to avoid being accused of sexual assault. I have an idea.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

Just days after a judge declared a mistrial in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case, his publicists have revealed what he plans to do next — a national tour educating young people on sexual assault — specifically, on how to avoid getting accused of sexual assault. 

“Mr. Cosby wants to get back to work,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt told an Alabama TV anchor Wednesday morning. “We are now planning town halls.” 

“Really?” responded the WBRC Fox 6 News anchor in Birmingham.

There was a hint of skepticism in the anchor’s voice, which ballooned into full incredulousness from women’s groups and victims’ advocates Thursday when news of Cosby’s plans began to spread. 

“It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place,” Jodi Omear, vice president of communications for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) told Newsweek. 

As Wyatt explained it, these town halls will educate young people and married men on the law and the dangers they face from accusations of sexual assault.

You ever read anything that seems so crazy that you cannot believe it's true?

Because that seems to be happening to me all of the time lately.

When I first heard about this I had the obvious reaction on Twitter.
I don't know, just seems logical to me. 

But no in this age of Trump, this man is literally going to be talking about how young people, mostly men I'm guessing, can avoid being "accused" of sexual assault as if this is something that happens all of the time through no fault of their own. 

So I assume his talk will not include, "Hey don't drug their drinks and then rape them."

But will be more along the lines of "Hey once you drug their drinks and then rape them, make sure to wipe off any fingerprints and remove all traces of your DNA."

Jesus, what the hell is happening to our world?

CNN anchor calls Fox and Friends "State TV." Which of course it is.

Courtesy of The Hill:

CNN anchor John King blasted Fox News's morning show as "state TV" on Friday as he accused Fox's Ainsley Earhardt of throwing President Trump softball questions in a new interview. 

King made the comment after airing a clip of the interview from "Fox and Friends" where Trump explained his recent declaration that he had no tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. Trump implied on Twitter weeks ago that he could have recorded Comey. 

As Trump answered, Earhardt added that she believed Trump's tactic was a "smart way to make sure [Comey] stayed honest in his hearings." 

"Let's set aside the tough, probing questions on state TV there," King said Friday on CNN's "Inside Politics" to chuckles from the panel. 

This somewhat offhand comment is of course factually accurate, as Trump constantly fires off tweets based on what he sees on Fox and Friends, while in return they kiss his ass so hard it leaves bright orange lip shaped bruises.  

However the problem is that it is coming from CNN. And Trump supporters think that CNN is the epicenter of "fake news."

They have been conditioned to believe that any news they do not want to hear is "fake," and anything that backs up their racism, superstition, or distrust of "the other" is of course true.

And don't think that Fox News is the only source of Trump propaganda TV either.

I woke up this morning to Hugh Hewitt, a man that Salon labeled "Sean Hannity in glasses," pretending to interview CIA Director Mike Pompeo with such delicately phrased questions that I was surprised he was not gently cradling his scrotum while asking them.

And this was on MSNBC.

Donald Trump is right about one thing, there is an awful lot of fake news out there.

And it is spreading even to places where we thought we were safe from hearing it.

Many American companies are bowing to pressure from Russia to give up their cyber security secrets. They do realize that Russia used stolen data to hack the election right?

Courtesy of Reuters:  

Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found. 

Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country. The requests, which have increased since 2014, are ostensibly done to ensure foreign spy agencies have not hidden any "backdoors" that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems. 

But those inspections also provide the Russians an opportunity to find vulnerabilities in the products' source code - instructions that control the basic operations of computer equipment - current and former U.S. officials and security experts said.

U.S. officials say they have warned firms about the risks of allowing the Russians to review their products' source code, because of fears it could be used in cyber attacks. But they say they have no legal authority to stop the practice unless the technology has restricted military applications or violates U.S. sanctions.

Look I understand that businesses are concerned about their bottom line, and opening up new opportunities in new markets is very seductive, but based on what just happened in 2016 this seems incredibly naive.  

I'm sorry let me take that back because naive simply does not cover it.

Volunteering this information is FUCKING STUPID!

The Russians are clearly collecting information in order to find weaknesses in America's cyber security systems, and these companies are simply handing it over to them without a fight.

Remember those Carrier jobs that Donald Trump "saved?" Yeah, that's not happening.

Courtesy of CNBC: 

More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape. 

Nearly seven months later the deal has not worked out quite as originally advertised, and the landscape has barely budged. 

"The jobs are still leaving," said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999. "Nothing has stopped." 

In fact, after the layoffs are complete later this year, a few hundred union jobs will remain at the plant. But that is far different from what then-President-elect Trump said just three weeks after the election. 

"They're going to have a great Christmas," Trump said to cheering steelworkers and local dignitaries on Dec. 1. The plan to close the plant and lay off 1,400 workers had become a frequent topic in the Trump campaign. He said 1,100 jobs would stay in Indianapolis, thanks to the deal. 

"And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area," he said. "So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number."

So all of that was bullshit shoveled out for a political photo-op.

Trump actually promised 7 million dollars of incentives, and in return Carrier will continue to retain about 730 manufacturing jobs for the next ten years, but the rest are gone and will continue to move overseas despite promises from Trump to "bring those jobs back home."

By the way the 16 million dollars that Carrier promised Trump to reinvest in the company will go towards automation which will ultimately cost even more human employees their jobs.

Another backdrop that Trump used to talk about saving jobs was at the Boeing plant in South Carolina.

Guess what:

The South Carolina Boeing plant where President Donald Trump spoke about saving American jobs is laying off almost 200 workers, the company says. 

Boeing’s South Carolina assembly plant has notified employees that they will be off the company's payrolls from 25 August, company spokeswoman Lori Guntr told The Independent.

So is everybody tired of all of this "winning" that Trump promised us yet?

And yet they call themselves "Christians."

Over the years I have been asked more than once where do I get my morality since I don't believe in God?

I don't think I necessarily "got" my morality from anyplace actually, I am just connected to my own humanity, and it hurts when I see other human beings suffer.

And I simply do not understand why others only feel obligated to respond to that suffering if they are threatened with Hell or bribed with Heaven.