May 18, 2019
.... the correct term for “heartbeat” is “fetal pole cardiac activity,” because at six weeks, said embryo doesn’t have a cardiovascular system and, therefore, no fully formed beating heart.
May 17, 2019
Anti-abortion laws: how bad can it get? Mulitply the horrible cases here by 1,000.
The Republican Party is on the road to mass lockups for women who have miscarriages, by Thom Hartmann
May 16, 2019
Trump getting advice from his top advisor, you remember him, the one with the biggest brain?
May 15, 2019
May 14, 2019
How gullibility and cynicism explain Trump voters: The sycophants of a leader who fulfills their narcissistic fantasies will do anything to support him
I got out of the kayak without any problem and I instantly grabbed my paddle before it was swept away, and managed to swim to the kayak and pull it back to the island I just left.
Too late I realised that the smooth water was a fast ebb current and that the absolutely wrong thing to have done was to paddle into it at a right angle. ...
May 13, 2019
Historian and author Allan Lichtman says an impeachment probe could give Democrats the "keys to the kingdom"
If you can't read Max Boot's "Conservatism has become a racket, and Trump is the grifter in chief" in The Washington Post read a summary here
May 12, 2019
From Politico, two takes on Trump's attacking Mayor Pete by calling him Alfred E. Neuman. Buttigeig said he didn't even know who the Mad Magazine "what me worry" mascot was and had to Google him, and how Mad Magazine reacted to Buttigeig's pop culture ignorance.
Ed. Comment: I assume it's true that Mayor Pete wasn't just making a point about the age difference between him and Trump. I am surprised and disappointed that he didn't know who this cultural icon was. He said "I’ll be honest. I had to Google that. I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference. It's kind of funny, I guess.”
I find it difficult to believe anyone as smart and well-educated as Rhodes Scholar Mayor Pete managed to avoid ever hearing even a passing reference to Alfred E. Neuman and his motto but he did say he was being honest and I don't see him as a liar.
Regardless, Trump will get further making fun of how to pronounce Mayor Pete's last name if half of his supporters also don't know who Alfred E. Neuman is. At least the Neuman comparison is a junior high school level insult. Making fun of someone's last name is an elementary school taunt.
PUBLISHED: SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2019 AT 5:15 AM
Ethics and Medicine:
Images of prisoners' brains show important differences between those who are diagnosed as psychopaths and those who aren't, according to a study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.
The results could help explain the callous and impulsive antisocial behavior exhibited by some psychopaths.
Comment: These are new studies but the early results are showing that people who are known dangerous psychopaths have identifiably differences in their brains as shown by fMRI scans. So if someone is is showing early signs of antisocial behaviour as a teenagershould parents be offered the possibility of having the kids examined? In a totalitarian state I could see this being mandated (and then the psychopaths could be recruited into the army to be snipers). Considering that psyscopathy is considered untreatable, then what could be done except watchful, very watchful, waiting?
ASnd what about testing candidates for president?
May 11, 2019
Trump ended up claiming the son’s golf ball as his own. Reilly recalls, “The son is like, ‘That’s my ball.’ But Trump’s caddie goes, ‘No, this is the president’s ball; your ball went in the water.’ Ted and his son look at each other confused, not sure if this is really happening. And Trump’s caddie says, ‘This is the president’s ball. I don’t know what to tell you.’ Trump makes that putt, wins one up, and declares himself the club champion.”
Reilly explains that Trump’s actions in golf show how narcissistic he is, telling Illing, “He just wants to tell people he beat your ass. I asked a psychiatrist, and he said that someone with this kind of narcissism—which is really a personality disorder—they just can’t stand the idea that they’re not number one, that they’re not the best. So they have to make shit up.”
Trump was re-tweeting like crazy this morning, but he did manage one original tweet and it was the ecomonically nonsensical "Such an easy way to avoid Tariffs? Make or produce your goods and products in the good old USA. It's very simple!"
Here it is with George Conway's comment:
Here it is with George Conway's comment:
May 10, 2019
I have been remiss in not using the attribution tag on the photos I have been using on my Daily Kos stories. I generally put attribution directly under the image instead of using the proper formatting.
I am also guilty of using copyrighted images fairly freely thinking it was permissible to manipulate them almost beyond recognition. I’ve been informed that Daily Kos has a license to use Getty Images with proper attribution. However, even using a Getty picture and modifying such an image is probably taboo.
I am uncertain about whether it is legitimate to take a photo from the television and use it in a Daily Kos story (with attribution of course). I am fortunate that the inimicable DonkeyHotey makes caricatures which can be used with attribution. There are thousands to choose from.
I am a terrible cartoonist, but that’s not the point. For example I remedied two violations from strict adherence to copyright from yesterday’s story so they should be up to snuff. The first barrel image I used to make the Sarah Sanders image was copyrighted. So I figured, how hard is it to draw one and take a photo of it and use InPixio software to put our beloved press secretary into it and draw a few boom microphones to get across the general idea.
You can click these images to enlarge them.
Even the break fire box (left) which I orginally modified started with a copyrighted image so I made my own.
Now as you see from today's story I am working on drawing my own cartoons. Obvioulsy I don't have a career ahaed of me as a New Yorker cartoonist - one of my dreams when I was a kid. However I don't have to worry about breaking copyright law.
When you use Google images as I do you will find that nearly 95% of the images you may want to use are copyrighted. Creative Commons which has 300 million searchable images allows republishing images with attribiution.
It violates copyright laws to take a photo of the TV screen and put it on your website without permission and I am not about to bother doing this.
Some from websites like Shutterstock require a fee per image or a license based on the number of images you want to use. They are deceptive because they advertise that they have millions of royalty free images in their catalog butin fact they actually charge.
May 8-9, 2019
Daily Kos is cracking down on using images that you don't have rights to, even if you manipulate them beyond recognition. They allow you to use Getty Images but even they don't want photo manipulation. DonkeyHotey allow use of his images. Even though my story isn''t on their page now I changed my images for practice.
I think it is acceptable to use government images and change them, after all we paid for them, and the alterations would seem to come under editorial freedom, hence here's a version I made of Trump's official photo:
I found an interesting critique of it:
May 7, 2019
Today's Daily Kos story Nascent Evil
The bill, which would let Congress view the returns, now heads to the state assembly. The state information would mirror much of the federal tax figures.
May 6, 2019
|Story with a slight change to the photo|
|Caricature by DonkeyHotey|
We make the same mistake of not acting on the ongoing threats to congressional oversight, to free and fair voting, and to foreign cyberattacks because an election might solve it at our peril. An election may well become the problem. Doing less than absolutely everything possible to reinstate the rule of law in America today in the hopes that there will be less election interference next time, or more benign election interference, or less purposive election interference, is insane.
This isn’t a joke. This is a full-fledged crisis of constitutional democracy and the checking function of Congress. It’s heartening to think that in a year and a half we can vote our way out of our predicament, but it’s a bit like suggesting that we have a good long national think about how things are currently going and tend to it all in 2020, when all the systems that were already broken in 2016 are more broken. If Democrats in the House seriously believe that the attorney general has covered up illegal activity and is refusing to accept congressional oversight, they should model seriousness. Which means that they should do something about it, beyond waiting for the problem to be voted away by large margins.
As Jennifer Rubin noted two weeks ago, Democrats have more than one possible response to Donald Trump’s illegal conduct at their disposal. There is no reason why they need to take any single one of them off the table, and there is certainly no reason why they should announce the plan to do so to the New York Times. Banking on an elections system that is being warped before our eyes is a recipe for disaster, and it’s a lesson that should have been learned by now.
The challenge Pelosi faces is the same challenge faced by Mueller, and by Eric Holder. Elections matter, and getting out the vote in 2020 matters. But the Rule of Law still matters, and we shouldn’t abandon it because this small problem of Donald Trump might go away in 2020. The fact is that this problem might not go away in 2020, though by then, the argument that obstruction itself is an impeachable offense will have been lost to us. That’s all the more reason to fight for the rule of law today, as if it were sliding away. Because it is sliding away. That isn’t something the country should wait to vote on. The country already knows it is true.
|My background added|
EXCERPT: Ivanka Trump got trademarks from the Chinese government. Jared Kushner feted would-be lenders at the White House. The federal government disregarded the provision in the Trump International Hotel in Washington’s government lease, which says no “elected official . . . shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease.” On Monday evening, Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods, a sometimes Trump business associate. On top of this, political parties, campaigns, foreign governments, lobbyists and federal agencies have funneled tens of millions of dollars to Trump properties.
And yet, all these reparations payments have been insufficient; Trump still feels aggrieved and wronged. A bolder gesture is needed.
I propose, therefore, the mother of all emoluments: $10 billion. That’s the amount Trump has said he’s worth but is more than triple his estimated worth . Divided among all Hillary Clinton voters, it’s only about $150 per person — and that’s before George Soros’s subsidies. In further compensation, Trump would be awarded the title he has envied since it was given to China’s Xi Jinping: “president for life.”
In exchange, Trump would agree to stop being the actual president, to delete his Twitter account and to retire to Mar-a-Lago, which would be renamed — and I’m just picking a couple of names at random here — Elba or St. Helena.
Maybe then, once Trump feels he’s been made whole, the rest of us can finally heal.
Anti-racism activist on Trump's anti-Semitism problem: His supposed love of Israel "does not protect American Jews"
On the most basic level white privilege consists of the unearned advantages that those individuals who are defined as "white" in America and other societies enjoy, measured relative to and against other people.
White privilege manifests itself in many ways. Sometimes this is obvious: institutional discrimination in housing, hiring and employment, as well as divergent levels of political power. Sometimes this is subtle: subconscious and implicit bias; "microaggressions"; cultural norms and double standards which are unfair to those people not considered white.
Ultimately, the age of Donald Trump has been a triumph for white privilege in its many forms.
A week or so ago, white privilege was omnipresent, loud, and unapologetic on the American national stage in ways that few reasonable people could deny. On Saturday there was an attack on a Jewish synagogue by a neo-Nazi terrorist in Poway, California. One person was killed and several others injured. Because he is a white man, this neo-Nazi terrorist of course became the subject of sympathetic profiles by mainstream journalists seeking to understand how such a "religious" young person from a "devout Christian" home could allegedly commit such horrible crimes.
On that same Saturday, a group of neo-Nazis targeted Dr. Jonathan Metzl while he gave a talk at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington on his new book "Dying of Whiteness." On the previous day, Donald Trump had continued to tell shameless lies about the Charlottesville riot of 2017, during which Heather Heyer was killed by a neo-Nazi. In a crude and gross channeling of white identity politics, Trump continues to insist that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who ran amok in Charlottesville are "very fine people" who were really only concerned about saving a statue of Robert E. Lee, who could be viewed as the leader of a breakaway white supremacist army.
May 5, 2019
|“Ask not whether Trump is good for the Jews,|
ask whether he is good for mankind.”
Trump got a lot of Twitter blowback from this tweet which you can read here. Here's mine.
May 4, 2019:
Hal, pushing the Twitter limits
and, okay, hoping I can get another tweet to go viral
and, okay, hoping I can get another tweet to go viral
Sorry, James Comey. You’re wrong again.
Mueller’s trust in Barr led him to miss the moment when Trump gobbled up the attorney general’s soul like a midnight snack — in one bite.
Bill Weld: The best un-Trumpian Republican quote (perhaps ever)
Weld’s lonely challenge to Trump may get less lonely by year’s end. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, speaking in New Hampshire last week, said he’s considering a primary challenge to Trump but sees no rush, with the filing deadline in November. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, who came in second to Trump in the 2016 New Hampshire GOP primary, hasn’t ruled out a run. Nor has Corker, who told a Harvard Kennedy School audience this week that he’s in no rush to decide. Weld, perhaps surprisingly, is eager for some competition. He says he’s invited Hogan and Kasich to join him in the race.
Why then, I asked, is he the best candidate to take on Trump? “I don’t know that I am the best,” Weld says. “I think I’m adequate to the task.”
From The Hill, an analysis of Trump's maligant narcissism, but not in those exact words:
- That Trump is always campaigning explains why his rhetoric is addressed only to his base. He is always trying to win their adoration, their loyalty and — most of all — their vote. Given Trump’s obvious insecurities and narcissism, he seemingly needs constant affirmation.
- To his base, whose support is uncritical, unreflective and unwavering, it is an easy choice. After all, Trump spends considerable time demonizing, dehumanizing and otherwise degrading the alternatives. Every issue and every decision is framed as a choice between Trump and his target. Pick Trump or an invading horde? Pick Trump or a lowlife criminal? Pick Trump or the lying, deceitful, fake media? Pick Trump or the deep state? There is no complexity in Trump’s rhetoric. You are either for him, or you are for the boogeymen he creates.
- Understanding Trump’s formula does not explain why it is so effective though. Trump is rhetorically effective because he appeals primarily to emotion rather than logic — and it is hard to resist our emotions. His preferred emotion is hatred, and Trump is very skilled at evoking it. Trump seems to project his worst qualities onto his targets. This is why he loves to call others bigots, stupid and losers
May 3, 2019
|Click above to watch video|
But with Republicans favored to maintain control of the Senate in 2020 — and a new norm taking root after three successive administrations that aggressively wielded executive orders to make policy — Democratic candidates for president are starting to point more frequently to the ambitious things they’ll ram through on their own.
- Releasing his plan to address climate change on Monday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) topped his announcement with a pledge to take executive action to re-join the Paris climate agreement and enact regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Last week, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pledged during a CNN town hall to take executive action on gun control within her first 100 days if Congress does not adopt sweeping legislation.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), promised that on her first day in office she would sign an executive order “that says no more drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”
- One of his opponents: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democratic candidate for president who promised in a prepared statement “to challenge any attempt by the administration to illegally constrain Washington’s authority to protect our state’s natural resources."
Food for Thought:
Eva Stories wants to tell the Holocaust’s history to the smartphone generation.
May 2, 2019
Former Watergate prosecutor - he just makes things up (read story):
“President Trump just makes things up,” he said. “We had total access to everything in Watergate. The idea that what is going on now is unprecedented is just false.”
May 1, 2019
Top pageviews today:
Barr’s remarks are unlikely to meet the legal requirements to make out a case of perjury or even a false statement to Congress. However, impeachment need not be based on a crime. Pelosi says, in essence, his conduct in misleading Congress disqualifies him from office; the remedy, if one believes that, is impeachment.
The case for impeach will grow exponentially stronger if the House subpoenas him, he refuses to appear and the House issues a contempt citation. No Republicans are likely to join, but Democrats are on sound constitutional ground. We cannot have a president who believes he is above investigation advised by an attorney general who believes he is above congressional subpoena power.
Impeachment proceedings for Barr should be seriously considered, if for no other reason than it will help lay the predicate for possible impeachment hearings for Trump. It buys time. It educates the public. He will be a blot on his record and his most noteworthy “accomplishment.” And if we want to maintain our constitutional system, it’s a necessity.
Let’s see if Barr blinks and agrees to show. If not, Democrats should have at it.
Quote: “The American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once-decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), one of four senators who called on Barr to resign. from HuffPost
‘Freudian slip’: Barr makes it clear during Senate testimony that he’s working for Trump — not the American people - it didn't go unnoticed.
Too bad Durbin didn't follow up with "what do you mean 'we'" ...
Also from Dick Durbin:
“I’ve been listening carefully to my Republican colleagues and it appears they’re going to work together and coordinate the so-called ‘lock her up defense.’ This is not supposed to be about the Mueller investigation, the Russian involvement in the election, the Trump campaign and so forth,” he said sarcastically. “It’s about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Finally we get down to the bottom line. Hillary Clinton’s emails and questions have to be asked about Benghazi and TravelGate, Whitewater – there’s a lot of material we should be going through today according to their response to this.” Taking a more serious tone, Durbin added: “That is totally unresponsive to the reality about what the American people want to know.”