Saturday, January 21, 2017

Keith Olbermann on Real Time last night. "We were invaded."

 "The point of a war, other than to gain territory, is to put the guy you want in charge of somebody elses' country. And we're now only debating, after the article in the New York Times yesterday, how much the Russians decided our election."

That for me said it all.

It was great having Real Time back on last night, it has been sorely missed.

And you did not get a chance to watch it you are in luck, because the whole show has been uploaded, by HBO mind you, onto YouTube.


Literally one of the first things Donald Trump is doing as president is undermining the Affordable Care Act.

Courtesy of Reuters:  

President Donald Trump directed government agencies on Friday to freeze regulations and take steps to weaken Obamacare, using his first hours in the White House to make good on a campaign promise to start dismantling his predecessor's healthcare law. 

Heading into the Oval Office shortly after the conclusion of his inaugural parade, Trump signed an order on the Affordable Care Act that urged government departments to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of provisions that imposed fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals. 

It also called for efforts to give states greater flexibility in implementing healthcare programs while developing "a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance."

This of course is just the first salvo in what will surely be an unrelenting attack and repeal of Obamacare.

While this fist order only allows agencies to waive, defer, grant ­exemptions from or delay ACA rules, it also opens the door for insurance companies to start tailoring back on the coverage they provide, which would likely target women first, and then of course eventually include those with a preexisting condition.

It will also undermine the mandate, without which this law simply cannot survive.

And this is BEFORE the Congress starts to really tear the law apart, after which we will either all be on our own or forced to choose an incredibly poor plan that the Republican's insurance company donors helped to write for them.

Which means that Trump may be facing backlash from folks like these coal country folks who never really believed he would take away their health insurance.

At some point the number of former Trump supporters showing up in street protests may outnumber the liberals and HIllary supporters.

Well it appears that Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is still going to be a huge asshole.

A photo posted by Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) on
Courtesy of CNN: 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee that has investigated Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state, including her private email server, shook hands with the former Democratic presidential nominee Friday. 

But on Instagram, the Utah Republican -- Jasoninthehouse -- wasn't nearly as diplomatic. 

"So pleased she is not the President," Chaffetz wrote. "The investigation continues."

Jesus, what purpose does this even serve at this point?

They launched investigation after investigation against her before and during the campaign, and found nothing actionable, and yet they want to continue wasting taxpayer money to hound her until when?

Until she breathes her last?

You know I have always said that one of the main reasons that Hillary Clinton deserved our support during the primary and general election was because she frightened the Republicans to their core.

So much so that many of them were willing to ignore Russian interference so long as it helped to defeat her.

This only underlines that fact.

Yesterday we mourned, today we protest. Update!

Courtesy of Vox:

The Women’s March on Washington on Saturday is set to be huge, drawing more charter bus permit applications than the actual Inauguration Day — of President Donald Trump — it’s protesting and more than 220,000 committing to going on Facebook. 

In fact, the protests look to be so big that currently airplanes full of women are flying to Washington, DC, to join the demonstrations.

Estimates are that the number of anti-Trump protesters today are going to far outnumber the people who showed up for yesterday's inauguration.

Speaking of yesterday's inauguration, get a load of this:

Trump is so embarrassed by this that he has ordered the Interior Department (Who provided the side by side comparison.) to stop tweeting.

By the way these "Sister Marches," as they have been named , are already underway here in America and in other places like Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
Up here in Alaska we have several of these planned all OVER the state, with the one in Anchorage starting around 10"30 AM our time.

 People have been asking what they can do, well this is a great start.

In fact I worked all of yesterday to find a way to attend the Anchorage march myself, but work responsibilities are unfortunately going to keep me close to home.

However I will continue to cover today's protests and to spread the word for this and other protests to come.

Remember, they might be able to stifle the Interior Department, but they can't shut us all up.

And they have only just begun to hear our voices raised in protest.

P.S. By the way, men are perfectly welcome to these "Sister Marches" as well, as the great Nick Offerman explains quite eloquently to jerkwad extreme Piers Morgan.

Update: Take a look at this.
I have not yet seen reliable estimates on the inauguration crowd size but I would not at all be surprised if this march had already exceeded it.

And that does not even count the marches happening around the world.

Update 2: Another woman offers her support.
The People's President.

Update 3: Women's March in Anchorage.
That is a damn fine turnout considering the weather.

But what can I say? You just can't keep strong women down, now can you?

There may have been protests here but in other parts of the world Trump's presidency was celebrated gleefully. Well really mostly in Russia.

Courtesy of ABC News:  

A crowd of Russian and foreign clubbers watched as Willi Tokarev, a famed Russian-American singer-songwriter, performed his new song, “Trumplissimo America!” 

"Trump, Trump -- it is unbelievable. Trump, Trump, he's a superman, Trump, Trump -- symbol of America. Trump, Trump, he's really president," Tokarev sang. 

Tokarev told ABC News he composed the song and wrote the lyrics after he says he was asked to by mutual friends whom he shares with Trump. “You cannot imagine how much people love Trump, both in the States and here,” Tokarev said.

Well actually mostly just there, not so much in the States.

And BOY do they love him in Russia!

The cult of Trump is growing across Russia. 

The tiny town of Tula, about 120 miles outside of Moscow, appears especially taken with Trumpmania. There, a guesthouse has been named for the incoming American president and features a restaurant with a Trump-centered menu. There's even a Trump band, which performed last night at Arbat 13 in Moscow. 

Also in Tula, you can find Trump-branded sugar cubes. There’s talk of presenting them to the new U.S. president to “sweeten our relations with the United States," according to Sergei Selaev, the general manager of Tula Produkt, the plant that manufactures them. 

“We will probably send it to Trump after today’s inauguration, when he is the commander-in-chief,” Selaev said. There is a growing demand for their limited-edition Trump sugar cubes from all over Russia but also from abroad, he added. 

Across from the U.S. embassy in downtown Moscow, the official Russian Army supply store put up a poster with Trump's picture, offering Inauguration Day discounts of 10 percent to all American citizens and U.S. embassy employees.

Well that's pretty over the top, don't you think?

I mean it's almost like Russia won the presidency of the united States. 

And I guess in a way, they did.

Immediately after Donald Trump assumed office the White House website scrubbed all mention of Climate change. And so it begins.

Courtesy of Motherboard:  

At 11:59 am eastern, the official White House website had a lengthy information page about the threat of climate change and the steps the federal government had taken to fight it. At noon, at the instant Donald Trump took office, the page was gone, as well as any mention of climate change or global warming. 

It’s customary for to flip over to the new administration exactly at noon, but the only mention of climate on President Trump’s new website is under his “America First Energy Plan” page, in which he vows to destroy President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which is a government-wide plan to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. To reiterate: It is normal that the site is completely new; it is notable that climate change is not mentioned on any one of Trump's new pages.

“President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule,” the site says. A search of the website found no mention of "global warming," and the only mentions of "climate change" were archived pages that, after clicking on the links, led to scrubbed pages.

This is only the beginning.

The website also scrubbed any mention of LGBTQ protections, Women's rights, civil rights, and health care.  

The Republicans, with Trump's help, are determined to reverse every bit of progress President Obama achieved, and to scrub him from the pages of history.

It will be up to us to protect his legacy, fight against any attempts to take us back to pre-Obama times, and remind people of all that he accomplished during his time in office.

Remember what a great American President once said, "WE are the change we have been waiting for."

And if we want to defend that change, then our fight is far from over.

A day that will live in infamy.

My whole life has been about beating the bullies.

So I know what I am going to be doing the next four years.

How about all of you?

Friday, January 20, 2017

The grownup has left the building. But not entirely.

Somehow I think that President and Mrs. Obama are going to accomplish more good with this center than the Trump administration will even attempt in the next four years.

Here is a longer message the President sent out to all of us:  

My fellow Americans, 

It's a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It's a letter meant to share what we know, what we've learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world. 

But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I've learned in my time in office, I've learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man. 

Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I've pulled strength. I've seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers -- and found grace in a Charleston church. 

I've taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I've seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I've seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I've seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other. 

I've seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I've seen our future unfolding. 

All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work -- the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there's an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. 

I'll be right there with you every step of the way. 

And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We.' 'We the People.' 'We shall overcome.' 

Yes, we can.

Hang on, there seems to be something in my eye.

And it looks like I'm not the only one.

Inaugural protests turn violent as Americans express their fear and loathing of Donald Trump.

Courtesy of ABC News: 

Protesters registered their rage against the new president Friday in a chaotic confrontation with police who used pepper spray and stun grenades in a melee just blocks from Donald Trump's inaugural parade route. Scores were arrested for trashing property and attacking officers. 

Several spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, "Resist Trump Climate Justice Now," ''Let Freedom Ring," ''Free Palestine." 

But about a mile from the National Mall, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald's as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters and eventually cordoned off protesters at 12th and L streets in northwest Washington. 

The confrontation began an hour before Trump took the oath of office and escalated several hours later as the crowd of protesters swelled to more than 1,000, some wearing gas masks and with arms chained together inside PVC pipe. One said the demonstrators were "bringing in the cavalry."

Some of the protesters called the police "pigs" which I think is unfair and even threw rocks and bricks at them.

I don't condone the violent behavior, and the police are only trying to do their jobs, however I can certainly empathize with what these people feeling.

However acting like this makes it too way for the MSM to dismiss ALL of the protesters at mere thugs or anarchists. 
And that's not fair because by contrast there were a number of very peaceful, well mannered protests happening all over Washington.

Well actually all over the world.
Interestingly enough the big crowds seem to be the ones protesting Donald Trump's inauguration, rather than celebrating it as this tweet from MSNBC reporter Katy Tur demonstrates.

Oh that is going to make tiny hands unhappy.

Apparently the orange tinted pussy grabber had big plans to make today's parade compete with the best parades ever a fascist dictatorship.

Courtesy of The Hill:

Donald Trump’s inauguration team wanted to show off the U.S. military during inauguration weekend and even suggested including tanks and missile launchers in his inaugural parade, The Huffington Post reported Thursday. 

“They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” an inauguration team source told The Huffington Post, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang that are often interpreted as displays of aggression. 

According to the report, the military shot down the request because of concerns about how it would look to have tanks and missile launchers in the parade, as well as the possible damage the tanks, which can weigh over 100,000 pounds, would do to the roads. 

“I could absolutely see structural support being a reason [not to use tanks],” a Department of Defense official told The Huffington Post. “D.C. is built on a swamp to begin with.” 

Trump did manage to get five military jets to do a flyover, but I heard they refused his requests to bomb the protesters.

Okay I made that last part up.

Or did I?

Personally I am boycotting all television coverage of this black day in history, which as you all know is really hard for me because I am a news junkie and because....well the blog.

Though there was one person who managed to shame me a little for hiding my head in the sand today.
So tough, so courageous, so dedicated to her responsibilities.

Damn she would have made a hell of a President!

Update: Apparently Trump's deplorables chanted "Lock her up" when they saw Hillary and Bill.

Fucking assholes!

Intercepted communications with Russia part of investigation into Trump team.

Courtesy of the New York Times:

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. 

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts. 

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C. 

The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia.

Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

If Trump does ANYTHING to stop these investigations we will know that he fears what they will find, and THAT should be enough to start a real drive to impeach him. 

I'm not saying that that action alone is an impeachable offense, I am just suggesting that it would fire up lawmakers to find the information that we all already know exists to remove him from office.

This idiot could already be selling, or simply giving, our secrets to his Russian handlers, and the longer he is in office the more at risk he puts our country and our people.

Hey look! Track Palin is back in the news.

Courtesy of the Daily Mail:

Track Palin's ex-girlfriend has been granted a short-term order of protection that prohibits him from coming near her or their newborn. 

Jordan Loewe filed for the protection order from Sarah Palin's eldest son on January 12 in Alaska Court, listing the reason as domestic violence, according to The Dirty. 

It remains unclear what exactly Loewe is alleging against Track, but the protection comes just weeks after the mother asked for full custody of their newborn son. 

Loewe will have the chance to plead her case for a long-term protection order at a hearing that has been scheduled for later this month. 

Of course none of this is exactly news to all of you since we have been covering it every step of the way

However now that it has made news again, I think it behooves us to broadcast it far and wide just in case Sarah Palin thinks nobody is paying attention to her tribe up misfits anymore.

Besides we do have some new information to share, such as the fact that Dakota's old attorney Kathleen Colbo is now representing Track (Smart move as it might present a conflict of interest if she is already representing the Palin family once things go south between Dakota and Bristol.), and they have filed a motion to make the case records confidential. 

Yeah that is the typical Palin move.

This is how they protect themselves and control their legal adversaries.

However this only keeps folks in the media from directly accessing the records.

If Jordan has a brain in her head she will flatly refuse to sign any confidentiality agreement, and threaten to talk to the press if the Palins don't back the fuck off.

Because THAT is how you beat the Palins.

And trust me, I know.

Jobless claims are the lowest in 43 years. And yet we are replacing the guy that made that happen.

You're welcome folks.
Courtesy of KRQE News: 

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in more than 43 years, another sign that most American workers enjoy job security. 

THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that 234,000 Americans sought jobless aid, a drop of 15,000 from the previous week and lowest since November 1973. The four-week average, which is less volatile, fell by 10,250 to 246,750, also the lowest since November 1973. The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits was 2.05 million, down 7.7 percent from a year earlier. 

THE TAKEAWAY: Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have now come in below 300,000 for 98 straight weeks.

Remember this is the President that the Republicans accuse of screwing up the country.

And today he is leaving and we are welcoming a guy who is famous for not paying the people who work for him.

We are so fucked. 

Scientist names silky haired moth with tiny penis after Donald Trump. Happy Inauguration day!

Courtesy of Indy 100: 

Evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari has identified a new centimetre- wide moth, disclosing his finding on ZooKeys.

It has a silky head of bright yellow scales, which the moth develops in adulthood, and its head has been described as orange-yellow in colouration, the body is white and the wings are brown or greyish. 

Also an important detail - its genitalia is “comparatively smaller” than that of the Neopalpa neonata, its close relative.

Sounds like a good match to me.

The moth is now know by the scientific name of   Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.

You know it's quite an honor to have a new species names after you.

I just hope that Trump appreciates it.

I know I do. 

Donald Trump's was figure unveiled at Madame Tussauds. Just as hideous as you might imagine.

Courtesy of the Mirror:

A Donald Trump waxwork complete with his bronze tan and trademark blonde quiff has been unveiled at Madame Tussauds ahead of his presidential inauguration. 

A lifelike mannequin of the soon-to-be 45th President of the United States stands in a mocked up Oval Office at the London attraction replacing his White House predecessor Barack Obama.

Personally I think it looks a little too svelte and does not capture the real essence of the pig. 

For my money this does a far better job.