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Sunday, March 31, 2019

AOC town hall

Chris Hayes, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, hosts a town hall with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Green New Deal and how it's about more than just climate change ...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Adam Schiff :)

As we know, Trump has been attacking CA Congressman Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intel Committee. Apparently Trump's Republican minions on the committee got the message and tried to sandbag him during hearings. He responded forcefully ...

Go Adam!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Who Wants to Live Forever

I'm still waiting to see Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie about Freddie Mercury and Queen - there's quite a wait at Netflix - but today I was thinking of a song by Queen that I especially liked. It was the theme for one of my favorite movies, Highlander - Who Wants to Live Forever. For those who aren't Highlander fans ...

Christopher Lambert plays swordsman Connor MacLeod from the Scottish Highlands, known as the Highlander, one of a number of immortal warriors who can be killed only by decapitation. After initial training by another highly skilled immortal swordsman, Ramirez (Sean Connery), MacLeod lives on for several centuries, eventually settling in New York City, managing an antiques shop. In 1985, he falls in love with a police forensic scientist named Brenda. He also finds out that he must face his greatest enemy, Kurgan (Clancy Brown), who wishes to kill MacLeod and to obtain "the Prize" – a special ability which is given to the last living immortal warrior, vast knowledge and the ability to enslave the entire human race.

Here's Freddie at Wembley Stadium, 1986 ...

And here's the Highlander video of the song, showing Connor and his wife Heather, who ages and eventually dies while he remains immortally young ...


My hero :)

My favorite fictional hero is the cinematic Captain America, and the man who has portrayed him, Chris Evans, is not far behind ...

The Political Avenger: Chris Evans Takes on Trump, Tom Brady, Anxiety and Those Retirement Rumors

[...] Evans campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016; and while he has not decided on his 2020 candidate, his crusading use of his platform has made him a real-life superhero to a certain segment of the online #Resistance. Days after we talk, he pops up on Capitol Hill to do some bipartisan grip-and-grins with Senate Democrats Brian Schatz, Chris Coons and Jeff Merkley and Republican Lisa Murkowski. In March, he does the same at the House of Representatives. It turns out he's conducting interviews for A Starting Point, a politics website whose mission is "to create informed, responsible and empathetic citizens." He's a co-founder, along with the actor Mark Kassen and entrepreneur Joe Kiani; the launch date has yet to be announced ....

Evans has a platform and he's using it. But like a lot of straight white men seeking to consciously and conscientiously navigate a tumultuous moment in the history of straight white male-dom, he's learned that shutting up is important, too. At Slate's urging, he read Rebecca Solnit's The Mother of All Questions, a collection of essays about the insidious side effects of patriarchy, and took away a great deal. "You have to understand that you don't understand," he says. It's not the most action-heroish way to look at things — but that may be the secret of his appeal as a movie star.

"At the root of it, he has true humility," says Robert Downey Jr., who's played Tony Stark against Evans five times. "I think it's the reason he was able to kind of come to the front and be our team leader in the Avengers .....

It's sad that Evans will be retiring as Captain America, but I'm sure he'll do interesting work in the future. Meanwhile, I often check out his twitter feed where he hangs out with his dog Dodger .

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tauntauns in the Senate

Today the Senate discussed the Green New Deal, with Republican Mike Lee floating a plan to use Tauntauns for transportation in Alaska (be patient, first there's a Velociraptor ) ... ...

And thus the empire strikes back. Sadly, climate change and the damage it's already causing is no joke.

Monday, March 25, 2019

And even more ...

Former Attorney General Eric Holder on the Mueller report ...

More on the Mueller report

On Morning Joe they discuss all the problems with Barr and the Mueller report ...

All we have to go on is the letter from AG Barr, who has been shown, if only by his 19 page memo/job application to Trump, to be a partisan who believes the power of the president us total.

Mueller did not decide if Trump had obstructed justice, but Barr has taken it upon himself to declare Trump did not (could not?), when that is actually the job of Congress to decide.

Barr has said that Mueller decided there was no Trump conspiracy with Russia, but does that mean he found no evidence of that, or does it mean he found a lot of evidence of that and was just a hair's breadth away from the level of "reasonable doubt"?

And why all the lies about the over 100 contacts between the Trump admin and Russians?

Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers – 102 contacts with Russia-linked operatives

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. intelligence community issued a report that showed there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump: one run by Trump and one run by the Russian government. Trump and many of his senior advisors and close associates have repeatedly denied any connections between the two campaigns, despite the fact that they were working towards the same goal, at the same time, and utilizing the same tactics.

Yet over the past year, we’ve learned about a series of meetings and contacts between individuals linked to the Russian government and Trump’s campaign and transition team. In total, we have learned of 102 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives, including at least 28 meetings. And we know that at least 28 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisors were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition. None of these contacts were ever reported to the proper authorities. Instead, the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them.

Why ......

Sunday, March 24, 2019

OK ....

I've now officially lost my shit. I do not trust AG Barr's interpretation of Mueller's report, I don't see how Mueller could have not found a conspiracy between Trump and Russia given even what just we civilians have come to know, and I do indeed believe Trump obstructed justice, despite what Barr asserts. I'll just ask one question .... why all the lying by Trump, his family, and his henchmen about everything having to do with Russia? Until that question is answered, I will have no faith in this report.

The eagle has landed

So, Mueller has turned in his report to Barr and now we await the results. The Democrats are committed to seeing the whole report made public and I believe that will eventually happen, one way or another. I have so many questions and worries.

Apparently there will be no more indictments from Mueller, but why then was only Michael Cohen charged with lying to Congress but not Don Jr. or Eric Prince or Matt Whitaker, etc.? .... what about Roger Stone's trial? ... does this all mean that Mueller was unable to find adequate proof of Trump and his children conspiring with Russia or does it mean he did find proof but declined to charge them?

If all this effort comes to nothing - if Trump and his family and minions get away with everything - I will absolutely lose my composure.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Devin Nunes Cow :)

The Devin Nunes Cow Account Now Has More Followers Than Devin Nunes

Monday, March 18, 2019

More bad Beto

Yesterday I mentioned a couple of reasons why Beto should not be the Democratic candidate ... his wealth (net worth about 9 million) and his past of voting against the environment ... but a story in The Wall Street Journal gives more reasons for concern.

Beto O’Rourke’s Past GOP Ties Could Complicate Primary Run

Before becoming a rising star in the Democratic Party, Mr. O’Rourke relied on a core group of business-minded Republicans in his Texas hometown to launch and sustain his political career. To win their backing, Beto O'Rourke opposed Obamacare, voted against Nancy Pelosi, as the House Democratic leaderand called for a raise in the Social Security eligibility age [and for means testing of entitlements] ...

But it's not just that he's really a conservative in progressive clothing, it's how much he is actually *like* Trump ... a privileged white guy with real estate money who leaves the little woman to raise the kids while he runs a campaign as a cult of personality. We don't need another wealthy, vapid, self-professed avatar for voters who want to be slain by the spirit.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

No on Beto

I know he's charismatic and attractive, but after reading up on Beto, I've decided I won't be voting for him in the primaries. Not often mentioned in the puff pieces about him or in his own rambling monologues are the facts that he's a millionaire (Despite everyman image, Beto O'Rourke twice as wealthy as Ted Cruz) and a conservative (Beto O'Rourke, friend of the fossil fuel industry, is no climate hero). I don't think we need another one of those as president.

From The New York Times ...

Beto O’Rourke Once Supported an El Paso Real Estate Deal. Barrio Residents Remember.

At a special City Council meeting in 2006, a billionaire real estate investor unveiled his vision for redeveloping downtown El Paso. To replace tenements and boarded-up buildings, he proposed restaurants, shops and an arts walk rivaling San Antonio’s River Walk.

Representative Beto O’Rourke, one of hundreds attending, wasn’t exactly a disinterested party.

Not only had he married the investor’s daughter, but as a member of City Council, he represented the targeted area, including a historic Mexican-American neighborhood.


Mr. O’Rourke was perceived by many as siding with the moneyed elite against angry barrio residents, small business owners and even the Jesuit priests who ministered to the immigrant community at Sacred Heart Church.

“Mr. O’Rourke was basically the pretty face of this very ugly plan against our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” said David Dorado Romo, a local historian who added that the episode had resurrected longstanding race and class divisions in the city.

Barrio residents feared that they would lose their homes through eminent domain, and a city-funded branding study suggested that the residents of El Paso were perceived as “dirty” and “lazy.’’ Among some constituents, the hurt feelings have lingered ...

More from Vox ... Beto O’Rourke’s voting record is more conservative than the average Democrat’s

Yard pics

It's sunny and nice out today. Some pics ...

The mystery yellow flowers are blooming ....

Here's Gretel. I tried to get her to look at me but she was too enthralled by a weed :) ...

The periwinkles are blooming too ...

Here's Lucy ...

The plum trees are in flower too ...

Friday, March 15, 2019

The creepy conservative Catholics ...

... in the Trump administration. So many of them. Here's a bit about another one, Scott Lloyd (read more about him here), from Rachel Maddow's show tonight ...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

More on Pete Buttigieg

As I wash dishes I'm listening to this CNN town hall meeting with one of the Democratic candidates for the 2020 election - Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. I like him very much ...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Mr. Vicky

Last week Vicky (a neutered male despite his name) got into a pretty bad cat fight and had to go to the vet. Very stressful - I couldn't see him very well and just saw blood and thought maybe he had been hit by a car. My sister came over on her lunch break from work and we spent half an hour just trying to catch him. Th vet shaved and cleaned part of his arm and part of his back where the worst bites and scratched were and he got an antibiotic shot too. He seems to be doing well now. He reminds me of a little yellow sheep with his sheered areas.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Democrats *should* go left

There's been a lot in the news lately about the Democratic party - everyone seems to fear Democrats are driving off the efge of a far lefty cliff and thus won't be able to win the coming election against Trump ... Representative Omar's comment about AIPAC, all the investigations being launched against Trump by House committees, talk of Medicare for all, a wealth tax, easing abortion restrictions, etc.

I think those who are worried should stop worrying. Democrats are not going to win the election by being the Republican-lite party. We have to go all the way with what we believe and be a true alternative to the corrupt, misogynist, racist, environment-destroying, wealth-hoarding, religiously-reactionary Republican vision and reality (more: Why Democrats Should Ignore the Chatter About Moving ‘Too Far Left’ and Go Big).

Watch thus video in which New York mayor Bill de Blasio explains to The Circus' John Heilemann that Democrats cannot and should not go "moderate" in the next election. I think he gets it exactly right.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Lying her ass off

The remorseless liar who's currently responsible for putting children at the border in cages was giving testimony to Congress today ...

Monday, March 04, 2019

The Threat

My latest book from the public library is The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by former assistant director and acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe.

I'm not far into it yet, but the book is very interesting. McCabe writes about how he joined the FBI and what it's like at Quantico - the FBI Academy. I didn't realize that they have a whole little pretend town there peopled with actors - Hogan's Alley ...

Hogan's Alley consists of a street with a bank, a post office, a hotel ("The Dogwood Inn"), a laundromat, a barber shop, a pool hall, homes, shops, and more, many of which are named after events in the FBI's past. The town is populated by actors who role play parts appropriate to the training that is in progress; most play innocent bystanders, but some play terrorists, bank robbers, drug dealers, or other criminal roles. One of the buildings really houses a classroom for training agents on site and another building houses a working FBI office used in some simulated scenarios.

Hogan's Alley is used to teach agents investigative techniques, firearms skills, and defensive tactics. Scenarios involve investigations of terrorist activities, planning and making arrests, processing evidence at crime scenes, conducting interviews and searches, using ballistic shields as protection, and clearing areas and buildings so they're safe to enter. Realistic paintball bullets, known as Simunition, which are fired from realistic paintball guns, are used in simulated gun fights with the criminal role players.

I'm at the point in the book where McCabe writes of his first job as an agent, working at the New York field office on Russian organized crime. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book. I've been interested in the FBI ever since The X-Files introduced Special Agent Fox Mulder but I think others will find it worth reading as well.

Here's a book review from NPR: McCabe's 'The Threat' May Be Darkest Vision Of Trump Presidency Yet