My Photo
Location: California, United States

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Back in the U.S.S.R.

For some reason, this song has been on my mind lately ....

Friday, July 13, 2018

The new indictment

I'm sorry if it seems that all I write about is politics. It's just that I lived through the Watergate scandal and never believed that there would be a president who could be so much worse, much less such spineless and soulless Republican lawmakers and such a horrific pile of Republican voters supporting them. Every day of the Trump administration brings new damage, not just to the US but to the world, so I blog about it .... no one should let this stuff go by without registering it.

Today's example is Mueller's indictment of Russian government agents involved in hacking and distributing DNC and Clinton emails. The news was given to Trump days ago, but he still plans to meet with his good buddy Vlad in a play date that will contain no US observers. Some people excuse this by saying Trump's just naive but I am convinced that he was and is eyeball deep in the coordination with the Russian attack on our elections and that he remains Putin's lackey.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Peter Strzok

FBI agent Peter Strzok gave testimony on the Hill today before the House judiciary and oversight committees. The Republicans had hoped to use him as a way to derail the Russia probe, on which Strzok once worked, because of some emails written by him to a girlfriend dissing candidate Trump.

It didn't go well at all because the Republicans had no real clue as to who they were trying to bully ...... FBI agent Strzok defiant in face of Republican interrogation

Here's Rachel Maddow from last night giving us the really impressive FBI background of Peter Strzok ...

And here she is going over his testimony today ...

The whole thing was another example of the desperation of the Republican Congress to tarnish Mueller's investigation into Trump's coordination with Russia to gain the presidency. It backfired on them again. How stupid are these guys?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The liar-in-chief

Trump lies, this time to NATO and the world, by saying that Germany gets "60%-70%" of its energy from Russia via a new gas pipeline. Not true, of course ...

Trump vs. Merkel: Blistering Salvo Meets Quiet Rejoinder

This was just one of the many lies he told at the NATO summit.

Steve Bannon tried to cast Trump's lies about Germany as Trump being like really really tough on Putin. Pretty lame misdirect, given that Trump is next planning to visit with his crush, Vlad.

The latest on Yoda the kitten

It's been about two weeks since Yoda's last vet visit. At that time, they said she has a deflated lung, though they don't know why - she doesn't have an infection after all. They decided they could take her to adopt out as soon as all her tests came back as ok. The test results were good, but now the vet people have decided they can't take her to adopt out until another of the kittens they already have has been adopted out first.

I'm beginning to believe they won't ever take her and that I am now the single parent of a nutty little 8 week old indoor kitten who has no other living companion but me ..... eeeeeeeeeeee! Not sure how I can take care of another cat (#16), pay for food, vet bills, etc., plus just the emotional investment for the next almost 20 years.

Oh well, she is awfully cute :) ...

Monday, July 09, 2018

Trump picks Kavanaugh

I'm glad to see that Trump did not pick religious extremist Amy Coney Barret as I had feared, but instead chose Brett Kavanaugh.

Still, having said that, Kavanaugh is what one would expect from someone on the Federalist Society/Heritage Foundation list of nominees ... a fairly extreme conservative.

In 2017 he was among those of a three judge panel who tried to prevent undocumented immigrant teens in US custody from obtaining abortions - that decision was reversed on appeal to the full court but he dissented ...

In a statement, Kavanaugh said the court’s decision creates “a new right” for unlawful immigrant minors who are being federally detained in the U.S. to get an “immediate abortion on demand,” an approach he said is “radically inconsistent with 40 years of Supreme Court precedent ... [but] ... Millett slammed Kavanaugh’s claim that the court is creating abortion "on demand." “Unless Judge Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion means the demands of the Constitution and Texas law. With that I would agree,” she wrote, noting that Jane Doe has already satisfied every requirement of state law to obtain the abortion. ”

That phrase "abortion on demand" is a favorite of conservative pro-life organizations ... Trump's potential court picks scrutinized for 'code' words on Roe v. Wade ... and ... Abortion on demand' phrase pushes idea women will get abortions as easy as choosing a Netflix movie.

But it's not just about women's reproductive rights ...

Kavanaugh is also hostile to the Affordable Care Act ... Brett Kavanaugh could take an ax to Obamacare

Kavanaugh also apparently lied about his role in the torture of detainees during the Bush administration ... Federal Judge Downplayed Role in Detainee Cases

And he is no friend to the environment ... Brett Kavanaugh Will Mean Challenging Times For Environmental Laws

Nor is he a friend of consumer protections ... One of Trump’s top court candidates would be trouble for the CFPB

And of course, there's the fact that Kavanaugh has opined that a sitting president can't be a subject of a civil or criminal investigation - doubtless one of the main reasons Trump has picked him ... Brett Kavanaugh wrote that presidents shouldn’t be “distracted” by criminal investigations

These are just some of the reasons why Democrats in the senate should stick together - including those blue dog Democrats - and vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation, even if it seems just a gesture.

More: Kavanaugh will not uphold Roe

Saturday, July 07, 2018

More on the separation of families

As the Trump administration fails to meet a court deadline to reunify the parents and children they tore apart at the border, lawsuits brought by an asylum seeker who entered the country legally shows a mother shackled hand and told her son would be adopted out and she would not see him again until he was 18 years old ...

And it appears that the Trump administration has decided that having these children living permanently in foster homes without ever being reunited with their parents will count as "reunification" ...

Trump and his pet monsters, ruining lives one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Old stuff in drawers

Today my sister came over and we went through all the stuff in my mother's and grandmother's old dressers. There was a lot and I took photos of some of what we found ....

Here's me at my (outdoor) wedding. I'm wearing a dress my mom made. Unfortunately the color of the photo was so bad, I had to make it B&W ...

We also found some things from our one trip to Europe just after college. Here is a ticket from a play we saw in London at the Young Vic. I don't remember what the play was, but Simon Ward was in it ...

And here's something (a museum ticket?) from when we visited Greece ...

But most of what was in the drawers was family stuff - old photos and news clippings. There were quite a few about my grandmother's brother, Uncle Earl. He had actually played baseball in the World Series in 1924 and he has his own Wikipedia page. Here's one of the articles about him - that's Yoda the kitten's foot at the top ;) ....

Looking through all this stuff with my sister made me realize that I do still have a family ... yes, most of them are dead, but they are still my family.

July 4th, 2018: resistance

On this Independence Day in the time of Trump, I think of what historian Jon Meacham said today on Morning Joe .... resistance (marching/protests) is essential if you believe those in power are a threat to what's right ... the American Revolution is an example.

What I heard this it reminded me of a line from the Declaration of Independence, one I only know about from watching the film National Treasure :) .....

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

As Nick Cage's character explains: It means if there's something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.

That's us, you guys, even if taking action only means writing a blog post.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Trump will pick Amy Barrett

I predict that Trump's pick for the new Supreme Court Justice will be Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is pro-life, has little judicial experience, and is the member of an obscure ultra-conservative lay Catholic/Protestant group, People of Praise. Trump will pick her because he believes she will be the most unacceptable candidate for Democrats. When Democrats freak, he will accuse them of being hostile to religion, and the cherry on the top will be that Trump will claim this is actually also a feminist pick.

Those who have kept track of Barrett will recall that she was among Trump's earlier choices for a circuit judgeship and that then Dianne Feinstein (my senator) voted against her because of her religious bias against Roe v. Wade ...

Everyone jumped on Feinstein for this comment and in the coming hearings all criticisms of Barrett's religious beliefs will be cast as bigotry. But I think Feinstein was right to address these concerns. Given that a majority of Americans (and a majority of Catholics) don't want Roe v. Wade overturned, the idea that a prospective Justice's extreme religious views on that issue shouldn't matter is nuts. Some people believe no one should ever make judgements about religion and the impact that religion may have on society, but that is not the American tradition ... if it was, Mormons would still be practicing polygamy.

Read more about People of Praise: Amy Coney Barrett Is Allegedly a Member of a Religious Group That’s Been Called a “Cult”.

John Roberts and Roe v. Wade

In the news, there's much about the next Supreme Court Justice, Roe v. Wade, and the idea that the Chief Justice, John Roberts, is a moderate who will protect abortion rights. I think that's an unrealistic expectation. Roberts is a conservative Catholic whose wife is a member of the pro-life group Feminists For Life. This subject came up when Bush appointed Roberts ...

Anti-Abortion Advocacy of Wife of Court Nominee Draws Interest

[...] Mrs. Roberts, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was not recruited by Feminists for Life, but sought the group out about a decade ago and offered her services as a lawyer, said its president, Serrin Foster. The group was reorganizing at the time and beginning to focus its work on college campuses. Its mission statement, driven home in advertising in recent years, says: "Abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion."

Mrs. Roberts served on the board of the organization for four years, and later provided legal services. Ms. Foster said that as an adoptive parent, Mrs. Roberts made contributions that included urging the group to focus more on the needs of biological mothers, and adding a biological mother to the board of directors.

Ms. Foster said Feminists for Life was committed not only to ending abortion, but also to making it "unthinkable" by providing every woman with the assistance she needs. Reversing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that recognized a constitutional right to abortion, is a goal, she said, "but not enough." .....

The group, Feminists For Life, one member of which is Sarah Palin, sounds benign but it's not. Here an article in The Nation about the group ... Feminists for (Fetal) Life (2005).

Sunday, July 01, 2018

I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better

Here are the Byrds recording one of my favorite songs in studio. I love the shimmer effect of the electric12 string guitar ...

Overturning Roe v. Wade

Susan Collins says she won't vote for a Justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, but not all the Justices have made their views public. The thing is, all of those candidates would not be on Trump's Federalist Society list if they were not already known to be pro-life ... Why It Doesn't Matter If Trump Asks His Supreme Court Nominees About Abortion

And now that it is clear that a majority of Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned but want abortion to remain legal (Most Americans want Roe v. Wade to stand, survey shows) ...

... Republican lawmakers are pretending that Trump's Supreme Court Justice pick has nothing to do with overturning Roe v. Wade, as if we would forget everything they have said on the issue up to this point ...

More from E.J. Dionne Jr. ... This is the fight of our lives. Here’s how we win it.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Trump, Justice Kennedy, and Deutsche Bank

Bad enough that Trump will have a second chance to nominate a Supreme Court Justice, it appears he finessed the retirement of Kennedy ...

Trump's business career is more connected to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy than we ever knew

The son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was leading a real-estate division of Deutsche Bank as it gave President Donald Trump over $1 billion in loans to finance his real-estate projects when other banks wouldn't, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Justin Kennedy, the former global head of Deutsche Bank's real-estate capital markets division, was one of Trump's close business associates, The Times reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Because of Trump's inconsistent track record in business, which included multiple bankruptcy filings and frequent lawsuits, most other major banks would not lend to him. Deutsche Bank loaned Trump the funds to construct and renovate skyscrapers and other developments in New York City and Chicago, The Times reported.

After Trump's first address to Congress, in February 2017, he reportedly stopped to chat with Anthony Kennedy, saying: "Say hello to your boy. Special guy." ......

More from The New York Times: Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening

We will recall that the Mueller investigation has been looking at Deutsche Bank for at least six months for Russian money laundering and Trump connections: Trump, Russia, And Deutsche Bank: What We Know So Far

How convenient it will be for Trump when he faces an indictment from the Mueller investigation and he can turn to his two lackeys on the Supreme Court to save his ass.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Trey Gowdy runs his mouth

Congressman Trey Gowdy yelled at Rod Rosenstein about the length of the Mueller investigation yesterday, using several naughty words while doing it - oh my, what a real manly man he must be!

He's also as dumb as a brick and disingenuous with it ...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Goodbye to all that's good

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy is retiring and Trump has said he will appoint a new Justice who is pro-life. The Democrats will try to stop this, but they can only do this if one or more Republicans will decide that they don't want to be responsible for making abortion illegal in the US. I'm pretty depressed about this, and all I can think is ...

Goodbye women's reproductive rights, goodbye voter rights, goodbye LGBT rights, goodbye civil rights for minorities, goodbye clean air and water, goodbye decent public education, goodbye any limits on gun ownership, goodbye any help for the poor.

I recall when we were all voting in the Democratic primaries for either Hillary or Bernie. Many of the Bernie people felt themselves too pure to vote for Hillary and some even vowed to vote for Trump instead of Hillary ... Susan Sarandon: Trump Might Be Better for America Than Hillary Clinton. I blame you guys for where we find ourselves today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In the news: A 28-year-old Democratic Socialist just ousted a powerful, 10-term congressman in New York

She was on Morning Joe today ...

I'm very happy to see such a liberal Democratic Socialist win a primary. This puts the lie to the idea that Democrats have to move to center/right in order to win votes. She is for housing as a human right, a ban on assault weapons, Medicare for all, the abolition of ICE, working to fix climate change, and many other good things. Here's what she has at her site on women's reproductive rights ...

Reproductive freedom is especially essential for all individuals of marginalized genders, including cisgender women and trans people. Alexandria does not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on the ability of individuals to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion, birth control, and family planning services, as well as access to adequate, affordable pre- and post-natal care, for all people, regardless of income, location or education.

She's alos a Catholic and has an article at America Magazine ... Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her Catholic faith and the urgency of a criminal justice reform

Go Democrats :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Internment camps

- Hayward, California. Two children of the Mochida family who, with their parents, are awaiting evacuation bus.

My ex-husband was Japanese, the third generation of his family which had immigrated to the US (known as Sansei). His parents, US citizens, were forced with their families into internment camps during WWII. His father was just about to start college and his mother was in high school. Their families lost everything they had. I don't know many of the details of what happened to them because they never talked about it to me and the ex didn't really talk about it either. Still, I believe they were profoundly affected by it. They tried so hard to fit in, giving themselves new American first names, living in a Bay Area community where they were the only Japanese, their kids marrying Caucasians.

I was thinking of them today when I heard that Trump's repellent Muslim ban was blessed by the Supreme Court (thanks to the stealing of the judgeship from Merrick Garland and gifted to Trump's toady, Gorsuch). I'd been thinking of it all week too because of Trump's repellent separation of families at the border.

The Trump administration and its Republican stooges in Congress are turning back the clock to a time of America's shame. I hope they live to deeply regret it.

Here's more on all this from Rachel Maddow ...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sarah Sanders/Red Hen

In the news there's much about WH spokesperson Sarah Sanders having been asked to leave a restaurant because she works for Trump. Sanders wrote in a tweet about the event that she herself always treats people with respect .... that is a lie that would be apparent to anyone who watches the WH press briefings in which she routinely insults reporters and many others. But anyway, Trump and his supporters are loving this opportunity to express outrage, and even many liberals think it was a mistake for the owner of the Red Hen to ask Sanders to leave.

What comes to my mind first is the hypocrisy of Trump and his supporters. These are the same people who have championed a business owner's right to refuse service to certain customers. Think of the Supreme Court case of the wedding cake baker and the LGBT couple, and when Pence was governor of Indiana he signed a bill allowing businesses to refuse to serve gay people ... or recall the Republican state senator, Phil Jensen, who believes that businesses should be able to refuse to serve customers based on their race.

So why not allow discrimination based on politics too? Well, I think it would be better to just not discriminate at all. I understand the desire to hold Sanders accountable for her lies and nasty demeanor in the WH press briefings and also for her defense of Trump and his awful policies, but I don't think harassment will change anything for the better.

More than 40%

As Joe says, the most scary thing is not that there's a Trump, but that 40+% of Americans support Trump. That means that almost half of America doesn't care about what is true and what is false. Almost half of America is in favor of white supremacy. Almost half of America is happy to destroy the environment if it means they themselves will get more money. Almost half of America likes having a want-to-be dictator, a grifter, a professional liar, a pussy grabber as their avatar.

This Trump thing isn't just about politics, it's about human nature and the choice we make as to what kind of human beings we will be.