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by Bruce Maulden
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  • 05/26/11--05:12: Not Shocked at the Nasty
  • One of the very, very few people who have emerged on the national scene the last couple of years with not only intelligence and competence, but also more than a semblance of compassion, is financial expert, Elizabeth Warren, the presidential adviser in charge of establishing ground-plans for the newly-created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) and former watchdog for the notorious TARP program in 2008.

    Warren is outspoken, direct and don’t pull no punches when it comes to financial bullshit — which makes her a most feared person by the two-faced, nasty GOP: Ms. Warren actually represents a much more nuanced view -– arguing that transparency and simplicity, from the perspective of customers, creates a more level playing field and is good for the industry.
    An industry of  long, bony fingers in the pants of Republicans.

    (Illustration found here).

    As been seen the last couple of years, Republicans will say anything, from factual though-non-factual statements to just pure hog shit, and when Warren appeared Tuesday before the US House Oversight subpanel at a hearing devoted to the CFPB, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) kept his GOP credentials.
    From The Hill:

    After an hour of questions from lawmakers — including several spirited back-and-forths with Republicans — the panel attempted to recess so members could attend floor votes.
    Warren got up to leave, but was told by McHenry that two members, including full Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), still had questions for her.
    Warren responded that she understood she was free to leave after the hour, as she had other appointments on her schedule. It went downhill from there.
    “That was never the pledge,” said McHenry.
    In response, Warren accused Republicans of making repeated changes to the schedule late into the previous day.
    “Congressman, when you asked to change the time four times in the last 12 hours, including waking people up at home last night to change the time again — ” she began.
    McHenry interrupted, saying, “Let me be direct with you, I never made a single phone call about this.”
    “I never heard you had to leave at 2:15,” he added.
    “Congressman, you might want to have a conversation with your staff,” responded Warren.
    McHenry then refused to recess the hearing as members left for votes.
    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the full committee, pressured McHenry to allow Warren to leave.
    “She kept her side of the bargain and now it’s time for you to keep yours,” he said.
    McHenry maintained that GOP staff never promised Warren she would be free to leave after an hour, and would merely try to accommodate the request.
    “I’m not trying to cause you problems, Miss Warren,” he said.
    “Congressman, you are causing problems,” she responded. “We had an agreement. … I committed to you based on representations of your staff.”
    “You had no agreement,” responded McHenry.
    “We had an agreement,” she rebutted.
    “You’re making this up, Miss Warren,” said McHenry.

    In other words, the turd-faced McHenry was calling Warren a liar.
    Cummings then told the Mac: “Mr. Chairman, you just did something that — I’m trying to be cordial here, but you just accused the lady of lying,” he said.

    You can’t be cordial with the GOP nowadays, and if you do, it’s at your own peril.

    And Daily Kos has a good post up about the incident, including the video of the encounter between McNasty, oops, I mean, McHenry and Warren, including the Internet video-clip-spawn of Warren’s astonished face at being called a liar.
    Kos also added this: This how the only person in DC tasked with protecting consumers gets treated on Capitol Hill. If only she’d had the foresight instead to blow up an oil rig and dump millions of gallons of crude into the sea, she might be able to expect an apology from the Republican Chairman.
    Via Crooks and Liars, this shot from among a load (numbering maybe in the thousands) of angry retorts against McHenry on his Facebook page: How much does a Wells Fargo prostitute get paid these days?

    Political discourse in the US has degenerated into a clownish clone of decency.
    The lost Tuesday in an upstate special election by the GOP — based strictly on the backlash of Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which includes eliminating Medicare as we know it today — will make Republicans even more scared, and when lying dogs get scared, they holler.
    And on the Oversight committee’s Facebook page: Obama advisor Elizabeth Warren is the latest example of Obama Admin arrogance: she tried to bail on a hearing, claiming she didn’t know she’d have to stay to answer questions. Here’s proof she did, but her boots kept right on walkin’ all over your right to know. It’s our job to hold gov’t accountable, but the Obama White House doesn’t think you deserve answers.

    Hahahaha — aaaaah!

    And to the real reason the GOP hates Warren — the bottom line: Warren appears to understand the financial chaos, pain and uncertainty of this uncertain age, keeping memories of the past focused on the future:

    “I’m still very connected to my family, to the world I grew up in,” says Warren.
    “I understand what it means to be afraid that you can’t pay a doctor’s bill.” Her voice drops.
    “Or to have to make the choice between buying a band uniform for a seventh-grader and making the insurance payment on time.
    That will never leave me.
    It was how I lived until I was well into my adult years.
    And I understand the basic, hardworking goodness of people whose ambitions are to do right by their kids and make it through retirement without being a burden to others.”

    The nasty GOP hates that kind of talk, especially from someone not given to fibbing — scares the shit outta ’em.

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  • 09/24/11--10:16: Cute Amongst the Much-Ugly
  • US politics suck really, really bad.
    Although Bubba Clinton was talking about climate change, he could have been discussing the state of America in the eyes of the whole world via an ugly, laundry-list of dumb-ass crap, from finance to the turmoil in a badly-shod political system — an embarrassing, socially awkward and more-than-pathetic joke.

    In August, during some nasty fallout over the horrifying debt-ceiling spectacle, even the Chinese heaped scorn and disgust at the US: “The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone…” and scolded Americans to “cure its addiction to debts,” stop being hogs and “live within its means…”

    Obesity is an US problem, of course, and in gaining all that fat, US peoples have allowed its system of existence to be hijacked by pure-and-simple greed, and a clear example is politics nowadays — incompetence compounded by incertitude on one side, and across the aisle, nastiness and cruel ignorance.
    What a choice for the fat-ass US voter, huh?

    In Massachusetts, however, voters there will at least get a chance to put some backbone back in government with Elizabeth Warren’s run for the senate seat now occupied by GOPer Scott Brown.
    And Brown’s already spooked — after a Public Policy Polling survey last week gave Warren a slight 46-44 percent edge among likely voters, Brown didn’t want to hear it: “There’s going to be plenty of polls. I don’t think about polls. Never been a big poll guy,” he said.
    Good, heard that it could make you go blind.

    And Warren’s surging popularity just within days of an announced run, has already jarred the GOP into the attack mode of desperately seeking dirt on Warren, anything true/untrue to sling out into the airwaves, but is finding not much soiled-soil there.

    (Illustration found here).

    And as a political novice, Warren still talks real.
    A hard charge before the starting gate.
    During a pre-campaign tour in August, Warren discussed tax increases for the wealthy as being “class warfare:”

    “I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’” Warren said.
    “No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.
    “You built a factor out there?
    Good for you.
    But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.
    You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”
    She concluded, “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless.
    Keep a big hunk of it.
    But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

    And supposedly that’s what’s been generally considered the American way — nothing really new for generations.
    Except for nowadays.
    The little speech above has become a “kick-ass” video across the Internet, giving Dems a boost and further pissing off the right — but there’s not much to play with when you’re dumb.

    Along with being a Harvard law professor, Warren came to the limelight, of due course, as chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP back in the day (2008!) and helped put together the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
    The director of the new bureau seemed like the job Warren was born for — but nooo!
    President Obama showed waffling, and more back-bone-less-ness under GOP nasty looks when he passed her over in favor of this other guy, Richard Cordray.
    A move that Scott Brown must now wish didn’t happen, and which now means he has to face reality and become a big poll guy.

    And the only decent face on the right side of the street for more than a decade has been near-pure absent from any political discourse this year — former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.

    I’ve always liked Hagel — seemed to be the only GOPer who had sense, had any sort of heart, and usually talked straight.
    (Illustration found here).

    Hagel is a different Republican bird, and he strongly opposed George Jr.’s venture into Iraq.
    From a New York Times profile in February 2006:

    Chuck Hagel never became a dove, but he became a bird that’s nearly as rare in the Republican aviary.
    He became an internationalist, someone who’s capable of feeling intensely about alliances, multilateral endeavors, the value of global institutions; a fellow traveler of the Council on Foreign Relations, a politician who actually reads Foreign Affairs.
    A singular Great Plains Republican, in other words, who cares about the rest of the world for reasons that don’t begin and end with agricultural exports.
    Tellingly, when he was elected to the Senate in 1996, he was the one new Republican whose first choice for a committee assignment was the Foreign Relations Committee, which had declined steadily in prestige since the Vietnam-era days of a Democratic chairman he sometimes mentions as a role model, J. William Fulbright.

    Hagal was no follower.

    And with Iraq it was no-go from the git-go: ”Things aren’t getting better; they’re getting worse,” said Hagel, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. ”The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It’s like they’re just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we’re losing in Iraq.”
    The big problem, though, is we don’t believe George Jr. was ever connected to reality.

    Hagel has been mostly quiet after announcing in 2007 he wouldn’t seek a third term.
    He did give an interview with the UK’s Financial Times in August, and once again let loose some blunt talk about the state of the GOP, especially over the debt-ceiling fiasco and the influence of the Tea Party.
    Via The Hill:

    “The irresponsible actions of my party, the Republican Party over this were astounding.
    I’d never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” said Hagel.
    “I was very disappointed, I was very disgusted in how this played out in Washington, this debt ceiling debate.
    It was an astounding lack of responsible leadership by many in the Republican Party, and I say that as a Republican.”

    “I think the Republican Party is captive to political movements that are very ideological, that are very narrow.
    I’ve never seen so much intolerance as I see today in American politics,” he said.

    Again, well spoken.
    And due to the most ugly of political scenes, I can understand Hagel’s reluctance to get involved — and due to the GOP being as it is today, Hagel couldn’t get elected dog catcher.
    He’s just a footnote — a loss for US peoples.

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  • 09/24/12--05:33: Crying the weather
  • Clear skies and chilly this early Monday along California’s northern coast and maybe despite the calender, Indian Summer might still with us.

    Not so long ago, weather talk was a nice way to pass the time, a gentle way to bullshit without upsetting anyone, people all knew chatting about the weather was a pleasent non-controversial way to pass time — nowadays it’s a bit different.

    (Illustration found here).

    Not only are discussions about today’s forecast, but what’s causing all this weird shit — droughts, way-extreme-high temperatures this summer (record-breakers), mega storms and other such crazed shit — and in between these conversations is wedged asshole politics.
    Last week I became involved in separate verbal exchanges with two young women — both professional white-collar types — and both self-noted Republicans.
    The first was unbending in her stance as a GOPer, and said yes emphatically when asked if she was going to vote for Mitt Romney, so forceful and definite in attitude, I curtailed further talk.
    The second gal was uneasy about the Republican point of view and carried doubts about Romney’s actual abilities to be a decent president — she was confused.
    The only thing I told her was please, please don’t just vote the party line — the horror is most-likely unimaginable.
    Elizabeth Warren, in her debate last week up in Massachusetts with Republican incumbent Scott Brown, noted spot-on the major problem with a GOP win fest in November:

    “Sen. Brown has been going around the country, talking to people, saying, you’ve got to contribute to his campaign because it may be for the control of the Senate.
    And he’s right. … What that would mean is if the Republicans take over control of the Senate, Jim Inhofe would become the person who would be in charge of the committee that oversees the Environmental Protection Agency.
    He’s a man that has called global warming ‘a hoax.’
    In fact, that’s the title of his book.”

    Inhofe indeed is one of the most-vocal asshole climate-change deniers around — what kind of world would we see in the next four years is that shithead gets the chairmanship of that important committee.
    Kiss your grand-kids bye-bye.

    Beyond the extreme bad weather and the quickly disappearing Arctic ice, the deteriorating environment is actually destroying lifeScientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago. Around 15 percent of mammal species and 11 percent of bird species are classified as threatened with extinction.

    Earth First! has a list of plant and animal life that’s down to less than a 100 members each, then they’re no more — terrifyingly sad.

    As the climate gets worse, false impressions abound.
    From Psychology Today and in a post entitled ‘Lying in Politics‘ — Duh!

    A special concern is what could be called the hard-core lies — the lies that do real harm to other people, sometimes even lethal harm.
    Perhaps the most notorious case in recent history was the way the cigarette companies, for at least a generation, denied the evidence that smoking causes cancer.
    The current version of this is the climate change deniers, in defiance of the overwhelming scientific evidence, and the extreme weather events all around the globe.
    Hard core lies are often discouraged with legal protections, and our courts are choked with cases where the claimants are seeking restitution for some alleged deception.
    Indeed, lying is a cardinal sin in a court of law.
    A lawyer can be disbarred from practicing law for committing deliberate perjury.
    Lying in politics is especially pernicious.
    A democracy cannot work without an informed electorate whose actions and votes are based on “transparency” — knowing the truth.
    The model for lying in politics was Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
    Adolph Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, an evil genius if ever there was one, was responsible for what came to be known as the “Big Lie.”
    If you repeat a lie often enough and with great sincerity and conviction, people can be seduced into believing just about anything.
    Proof of this was the relentless Nazi propaganda campaign against the Jews (blaming them for Germany’s defeat in World War One and the Great Depression), which culminated in the gas chambers of the Holocaust.

    My underline, but you’ve already seen the point, huh?
    A good analysis of this crazed approach came yesterday in the UK’s Guardian — the problem is not US peoples, but the goose-stepped media.
    Some snips:

    Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt; it’s also in places like North Carolina and perhaps even embedded into America’s cultural DNA.
    According to the latest study from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, the American public’s concern about global warming can be sorted into six categories, ranging from alarmed (13 percent) and concerned (26 percent), to cautious, disengaged, doubtful and dismissive (that’s the other 61 percent of us).
    Among the many explanations offered for the knowledge gap are clashing worldviews, varying education levels, demographics, and the media’s handling of the issue.
    At the other end of the spectrum, CBS had the least climate change coverage, devoting four minutes to the topic in three years.
    Altogether, in 2011, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox spent twice as much time discussing Donald Trump’s “will he, won’t he” run for president rather than climate change.
    In fact, NBC’s Meet the Press devoted 23 minutes to Trump that year – but not a single minute to climate change.

    A stark example of this media bullshit comes via the supposedly solid, authentic PBS — every-man’s educational network — wrong.
    The PBS News Hour last week dished reality and went on a ‘he said/she said‘ nosedive with comments from notorious climate change deniers and other assholes — Climate Progress has the background here.
    And the program, however, fairly quickly did receive some flashback flak from the real world.

    An offshoot of all that Arctic melting is Greenland’s “Ice Quakes,” though small in comparison to other shakers worldwide, the jolts can still be felt by those sensitive earthquake sensors:

    One of the more amazing facts about the ongoing destruction of the Greenland ice sheet is that it is producing earthquakes that can be detected worldwide.
    Now, fresh evidence is at hand to show that these “ice quakes” are spreading to previously quiescent parts of Greenland.
    We’re only in September, but it seems increasingly likely that 2012 will set a record for such quakes.

    And it is the calving of huge icebergs from these sped-up glaciers that is producing the earthquakes.
    They are many times weaker than, say, the earthquake off the coast of Japan last year, but they are strong enough to be detected by the worldwide network of seismometers.

    The striking thing about this paper is the evidence that glacial earthquakes, and the ice loss they represent, have spread to one of the coldest parts of Greenland, in the far northwest.
    From 2000 to 2010, 66 glacial earthquakes occurred at northwestern glaciers that in previous decades had produced virtually none.
    The paper describes this as “a major expansion in the number of glaciers producing glacial earthquakes and the geographic range of those glaciers.”

    Just to overstate and understand the problem, the Ig Noble awards were issued last week during ceremonies at Harvard University — Literature Prize: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
    (h/t BoingBoing)
    According to Nature, the wayward son of the more righteous Nobels, Ig Nobles are supposed to reward research that makes people laugh, then think.
    Laugh, think, then sob like a little school girl.

    And we must move along — gotta work for a living.

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  • 11/07/12--05:44: O Again
  • All over now but the screaming.

    The big, wonderful news last night: Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren.
    (And as a side issue by the way, President Obama is still president — albeit “razor tight“).
    And with hope, Mitt Romney disappears forever trying to find his car elevators.

    Nearly anti-climatic this election, though, you’d never have thunk that on Monday as Colbert informed in the above clip, and Romney still could have pulled his shit out of the toilet, but alas, reality springs eternal as the ballot box so doth show — and the air in at least three states will carry the faint odor of skunk weed.

    (Illustration found here).

    People with female body parts had a sweet night.
    Liz Warren bares all:

    Buoyed by a strong showing in urban strongholds and liberal suburbs, Warren made history: She will become the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate.
    Warren, 63, told cheering supporters at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in downtown Boston that she would not forget what they had done to elect her.
    “I will always carry your stories with me in my heart,” she said.
    “I won’t just be your senator. I will be your champion.”

    Warren is by far the best of a hopeful new look to how politics plays toward work-class heroes.
    If she continues to play out her campaign themes in Washington, we’ll have a great, new voice in the US Senate.

    Meanwhile, Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin also beat Republican Tommy Thompson for the Senate, the first openly-lesbian in Congress, and Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who lost both her legs during the Iraq war, knocked major-asshole and Tea Party fruitcake Joe Walsh out of the box for the US House.
    Duckworth plus: “My stance (on LGBT rights) is based on my conscience,” she said. “I don’t know whether it is good or bad (politically), but it is the right thing to do.”

    Most-likely, the dumbest sequence of events last night came from — wait for it! — Fox News.
    George Jr.’s brain, Karl Rove, got upset about how Fox news called the election for Obama:

    Rove said it was “premature” and “early” to make any real decisions.
    “So, maybe not so fast, folks!” Wallace said.
    There was a pained silence.
    “Uh, thank you!” Bret Baier said.
    “That’s awkward,” Megyn Kelly added.

    And even more awkward and dumb was Kelly’s tipsy walk from the news desk to the room where all the math is compiled, all to settle Rove down.
    Read more and see the clip of this gosh-awful — and hilarious — piece of non-journalistic bullshit at Crooks&Liars.

    And now, most-most-hopefully, Obama will turn great attention to climate change — if not, don’t sweat politics in 2016, the entire freakin’ world might be in a different state by then.

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  • 07/14/15--07:25: Fog-Brained ‘Gateway’
  • newz039-bunch-of-weed-hoardersThick, gray light this early Tuesday on California’s north coast — a heavy, wet fog layer is blanketing the area, and although there’s supposedly a warming trend for the end of the week, not much effort on the shoreline with this marine mantle covering us.

    Also foggy is the infantile approach to marijuana, though, a new study indicates weed ain’t no ‘gateway drug’ as supposed: ‘“We found that marijuana use within itself wasn’t a risk factor for use of other drugs,” said lead author Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor in the New York University Langone Medical Center’s department of population health.’

    (Illustration found here).

    Palamar continued: ‘“People do generally use marijuana before other drugs, but that doesn’t mean marijuana is a cause of [using] those other drugs.”
    A point that’s been made time and time again the past 40 years — the prohibition against marijuana is political and social in nature, but not a health issue, always has been the case.
    And along with a realistic outlook toward Iran, marijuana should also face reality of harm:

    Palamar warned this doesn’t mean that experimenting with marijuana protects kids against other drug use.
    Instead, it means that those who say they’re trying it just to try it — rather than to meet some other need — are often at low risk for moving on to other drugs.
    “Most teens who use marijuana don’t progress to use of other drugs, and we believe this is evidenced in part by the fact that nearly two-thirds of these marijuana-using teens did not report use of any of the other illicit drugs we examined,” he noted.
    These results show that educators and counselors would do better to prevent drug use if they focus on the reasons that students give for trying illicit substances, Palamar concluded.
    “We need to address the reasons why people use, the drives that lead people to use,” he said.
    “The majority of adults in the U.S. have at least tried marijuana, and we know the majority has never gone on to use another drug, yet we tend to treat all drug use as pathological.”

    And in a seemingly obvious move, and one that should have been done way-before now — a refined approach to marijuana research, especially in the huge medical field. Increasingly, weed has been found to aid in all kinds of health issues, from Alzheimer’s to different types of schizophrenia.
    Now Sen. Elizabeth Warren has lent her influence beyond the financial world — from The Hill:

    Eight Democratic senators, led by Warren, are urging federal health and drug officials to address the “data shortfall” on potential health benefits of medical marijuana by making it easier for researchers to study the drug.
    Medical use of marijuana is now legal in 23 states, though it is difficult to study because it remains one of the country’s most tightly controlled substances.
    It is important that we make a concerted effort to understand how this drug works and how it can best serve patients through appropriate methods of use and doses, like any other prescribed medicine,” they wrote in a letter to government officials.
    The letter was sent to the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy — all of which have control over marijuana-related rules.

    Researchers must go through multiple layers of approval to use the drug.
    Under current regulations, medical marijuana can only be grown at the University of Mississippi, which partners with the only organization permitted by the government to do so, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
    Pointing to the growing number of users nationwide, the senators said the government agencies “have both an opportunity and a responsibility” to ensure adequate research.
    The senators asked about the timeline for reconsidering marijuana’s status as a schedule 1 drug, and about efforts to help other groups besides NIDA acquire permits to grow the drug for research purposes.
    The letter comes less than a week after several House lawmakers tried to attach a medical marijuana research amendment to a 350-page drug development bill, 21st Century Cures.
    The amendment was cosponsored by one of the House’s biggest marijuana foes, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), one of its biggest proponents of legalization.
    The amendment was not added to the final legislation, which cleared the House on Friday.

    Assholes in charge, blind and ignorant.

    Marijuana research is ludicrous, especially coming from above-mentioned only “legal” pot grow in the country:

    Despite the foregoing changes, the Ole Miss marijuana grow funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse remains the only “lawful” marijuana grow in the U.S., and researchers must still acquire their seeds and plants from that grow, which is not easy.
    But that’s not all: researchers must also acquire a Schedule I license from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is nearly impossible.
    The DEA has issued only a single license to research marijuana, and that was to Ole Miss in 1968.
    Just last week, House Republicans nuked a bill that would have re-scheduled cannabis so that laboratories “could conduct credible research on its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment” without all of the red tape that still impedes such efforts.

    Crazy fog in the GOP brain…those need a ‘gateway’ to higher intelligence…

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    16458226596_ae9dbb782b_zBright sunshine and a few rolling clouds along California’s north coast this Friday morning, as we launch into a few days of really gorgeous weather — clear skies, warm temperatures through the weekend.

    However, not so pretty for the GOP.
    Front-door serious-funny — President Obama last night on TV burning the The Donald: ‘“Orange Is Not the New Black.”
    Backdoor serious-serious funny — Mitch McConnell, yesterday on a kind of TV, reality spoke on The Donald: ‘“He needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues.”

    (Illustration: Donald Trump, ‘Basic Shapes,‘ by caricaturist/illustrator Chong Jit Leong, found here).

    Ironic beyond understanding — McConnell, one of the worse cretins in politics, discussing by-far the worse cretin to ‘ever‘ appear on the public stage in my lifetime, and still waffling on saying, indeed, ‘orange is not the new black,‘ an asshole to the end.

    The Donald had never really appeared on my radar in any serious manner until he started winning those early primaries last year — up til that point, he was just an ‘obvious‘ obnoxious guy on the way-elite fringe, babbling about birth certificates, or other such nonsense, on reality TV, a jerk, freaky/creepy self-bloated, weird-looking sonofabitch, and prancing around with various high-cheeked women.
    And once I started paying attention, the fucker far-worse than imagined — this country is way-way-fucked if The Donald wins in November. I hope he self-destructs, drowning in his own bile.

    The next best thing started yesterday with Obama’s standing with ‘her‘ — Hillary Clinton — Bernie Sanders’ unification words, and Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement.
    Warren the best of the entire lot in Congress, and can surely throw the sting on The Donald.
    An excellent look at the ‘squad’ that can shred the GOP is by Goldie Taylor at The Daily Beast yesterday afternoon — keystone notes:

    And, to paraphrase Clinton, the Democrats just put a village to work against Donald J. Trump.
    Led by a powerful trifecta of elders — Barack, Hillary and Bill — the Democrats have two jobs: Coalesce and energize support among non-white voters and introduce the country to the real Trump on the campaign trail.

    And just when Trump thinks he has seen enough, Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who is also expected to endorse the former cabinet secretary today — will continue delivering stinging body blows.
    Trump may rue the day he ever called her “Pocahontas.”

    Hopefully, The Donald will rue the day he got into this shit.
    Now maybe I’m a bit more optimistic about November, but who really knows, it’s not over until “shit stain” sings…

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    Foggy and damp this Friday evening on California’s north coast, and though it’s been that way all day, an earlier dog-run on Ma-le’l Dunes was still a terrific venture.
    Showers maybe tonight, decent rain still expected Saturday, but otherwise dry for awhile, with even sunshine supposedly all next week…

    Meanwhile, release yesterday of the so-called Mueller Report was indeed a somewhat watershed episode, and still way-up in news coverage again today, and most of it just appears to confirm what I’d known since the beginning, and maybe even way-before that long, ugly ride down Trump Towers’ escalator — the guy is a chickenshit phony.
    David French, an attorney and senior fellow at the National Review Institute, at Time today:

    The Mueller report stands as a monument to reality.
    It plainly and clearly makes the case that Donald Trump is not the man his supporters think he is.
    He’s not bold.
    He’s afraid.
    They attributed to him a primitive form of loyalty, where he was good to people who were good to him.
    Instead, he’d harm his own son to win a single news cycle.
    His foolish hiring decisions have come back to haunt him time and again.
    President Trump is weak — too weak even to commit the acts of obstruction he desired.
    As the Mueller report stated, Trump’s attempts to influence the investigation “were mostly unsuccessful,” but it’s “largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
    He’s not strong.
    He’s not wise.
    He’s not honorable.
    And sometimes, when his subordinates disregard is orders, he’s not even truly the president.
    Regardless of his potential criminality, there is nothing revealed in the report that is admirable — or alpha — about Donald Trump.

    And even deeper still — via Vanity Fair this afternoon: ‘A former West Wing official made a more prosaic case. “Trump stinks,” the person said. “The report gives everyone a better whiff of the odor.”

    Politically-legally the smell-test to this shit is getting serious:

    Up until yesterday, the move of Democrats, and most half-ass thinking people, centered on the 2020 election. Impeachment would never clear the Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now in Ireland with a congressional delegation, said today she ‘ wouldn’t criticize’  the T-Rump while she’s out of the country — whatever that means. Other Dems have also shied away from the word, ‘impeachment.’
    Except the young’uns — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to rumble, and of course, Rashida Tlaib, yelled it out near-immediately, ‘“…we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!’”‘..
    Further via an op/ed by Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times this afternoon:

    Numerous commentators have said that the report reads like a road map for impeachment, and in a remotely functional country that’s what it would be.
    Mueller makes it clear that because of the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted, “we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.”
    Instead, the evidence is laid out for congressional action, or even for prosecutors to indict after Trump leaves office.

    Numerous commentators have said that the report reads like a road map for impeachment, and in a remotely functional country that’s what it would be.
    Mueller makes it clear that because of the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted, “we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.”
    Instead, the evidence is laid out for congressional action, or even for prosecutors to indict after Trump leaves office.
    The test for us now is how much evidence still matters.
    Before the report came out, William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, created a fog of disinformation around it, blatantly misleading the public about what it contained.

    Democrats, conversely, have facts on their side, but not conviction.
    They are reluctant to begin an impeachment inquiry into Trump because majorities, in polls, don’t support it, and there is no Republican buy-in.
    Whether or not this is politically wise, failing to impeach would be a grave abdication.
    If you want people to believe that the misdeeds enumerated in the Mueller report are serious, you have to act like it.
    To not even try to impeach Trump is to collaborate in the Trumpian fiction that he has done nothing impeachable.

    Hence, a bold, rightly move by Warren. The following video came from out of the Times piece, entitled, “It’s Mueller Time! Trump Administration Season Ending,” and composed to the 1963 song, “From Russia With Love.”
    Although produced in 2017, I’d never seen it before — absolutely heart-felt, happy-hilarious:

    And off we go into the weekend…

    (Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman,’ found here).