Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Night Funnies


Oh my! That's harsh!

Michael Gerson is a conservative and writes for the Washington Post.

This is how he characterizes the Trump administration:

 "empty, easily distracted, vindictive, shallow, impatient, incompetent and morally small," 

Gerson summarizes the GOP's "free fall" as rather hopeless: 

 "It is now dawning on Republicans what they have done to themselves. They thought they could somehow get away with Trump. That he could be contained. That the adults could provide guidance. That the economy might come to the rescue. That the damage could be limited. Instead, they are seeing a downward spiral of incompetence and public contempt — a collapse that is yet to reach a floor. A presidency is failing. A party unable to govern is becoming unfit to govern. And what, in the short term, can be done about it? Nothing. Nothing at all."

h/t PM Carpenter 

Thursday, March 30, 2017


"When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime." -- Gen. Mike Flynn

Flynn offers to testify on Russia ties in exchange for immunity

President Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has reportedly told the FBI that he is willing to testify about the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia, in exchange for immunity from prosecution, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Be sure to read the fascinating report on Flynn.

Meanwhile, here's some non-bitter news from Five ThirtyEight's blog:

 Trump Is Beating Previous Presidents At Being Unpopular 

His approval rating is well below those of other presidents at the same point in their presidencies. By Aaron Bycoffe Filed under Approval Ratings President Trump reached a new low on FiveThirtyEight’s job-approval tracker this week, when his approval rating hit 41.3 percent. 

It’s a low for Trump, but how good or bad is a 41 percent approval rating two months into a president’s tenure in historical terms? 

To help put Trump’s ratings in perspective, we’ve added a new section to our tracker: Charts for each of the previous 12 presidents, showing approval, disapproval and net approval ratings compared with Trump’s at the same point in their presidencies.

Trump’s current rating is a low not just for Trump’s presidency so far, but also for this point in any recent presidency. We’re on day 69 of the Trump administration, and his net approval rating — -11.1 — is by far the lowest of any of the past 13 presidents at this point.

Why do Trump supporters think that he represents what America wants when, clearly, America doesn't want or like him?

He's been tanking in the polls since his inauguration. And now he's under investigation by the FBI!

You can't continue to act like a  
and expect the American people to respect you or support you.

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It's important to remember that Flynn has, on the face of it, already committed a crime—and may have committed others that don't necessarily incriminate the Trump campaign. Days after the inauguration, Flynn lied to the FBI about the nature of his contact with the Russian ambassador, denying that they had discussed the sanctions. Lying to the FBI is a felony offense. [….] --Eliot Hannon, Slate Magazine

Trump and the Russian Mafia

Ahhhhh.  The Evangelical Right (I won't call them Christians, since that would be a perversion of the word): 

The folks who supported a thrice married serial adulterer and self-admitted sexual predator, a pathological liar, a con man who had to pay $25 million dollars to settle a fraud case against his Trump University scam, a "Christian" who knows nothing about the Bible (when was the last time the Evangelical Righties saw Trump and his diamond-eating wife attend church on Sunday? eh?) Those folks, who questioned President and Mrs. Obama's Christianity, admire a mocker of the disabled, of POWs, of Gold Star families and, even more disgusting, a blame-weasel.  

Well, those Evangelical Righties can now add THIS to their list of "Things We Love and Admire About Trump:


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We interrupt the David Frum post to present this...

If Donald Trump's Tweets  and speeches were early 2000s emo songs:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

David Frum on Universal Health Coverage

Conservative writer, David Frum:

Whatever else the 2016 election has done, it has emancipated Republicans from one of their own worst self-inflicted blind spots. Health care may not be a human right, but the lack of universal health coverage in a wealthy democracy is a severe, unjustifiable, and unnecessary human wrong. As Americans lift this worry from their fellow citizens, they’ll discover that they have addressed some other important problems too. 

They’ll find that they have removed one of the most important barriers to entrepreneurship, because people with bright ideas will fear less to quit the jobs through which they get their health care. They’ll find they have improved the troubled lives of the white working class succumbing at earlier ages from preventable deaths of despair. They’ll find that they have equalized the life chances of Americans of different races. They’ll find that they have discouraged workplace discrimination against women, older Americans, the disabled, and other employees with higher expected health-care costs. 

They’ll find that their people become less alienated from a country that has overcome at last one of the least attractive manifestations of American exceptionalism—and joined the rest of the civilized world in ameliorating and alleviating our common human vulnerability to illness and pain. I take no pride or pleasure in saying “I told you so.” We’ve all been wrong about enough things to teach us humility about our rare bursts of foresight. 

What I would urge is that those conservatives and Republicans who were wrong about the evolution of this debate please consider why they were wrong: Consider the destructive effect of ideological conformity, of ignorance of the experience of comparable countries, and of a conservative political culture that incentivizes intransigence, radicalism, and anger over prudence, moderation, and compassion.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Steve Bannon, Strategic Adviser to Trump

Trump bragged that he'd have only THE BEST people around him if he were elected president.

Here's his close adviser on strategy, Steven Bannon.

That "ruddy" facial look is what others would call a "gin-blossom" complexion.

(IMO, he looks like he washes his face with a cheese grater.)

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Donald Trump: "I never said repeal and replace Obamacare."

NOTE:  I've brought this post to Monday, 3/27/2017 because people are still commenting on it.

We will immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare - and nobody can do that like me. We will save $'s and have much better healthcare!

Either Trump is suffering from dementia, that is, he can't remember anything that happened more than five minutes ago, or he is the biggest con man lying s.o.b. that ever disgraced the presidency. 

Which is it? 

President Donald Trump signaled Friday that his failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare won’t be his last try. 

 “I guess I’m here what, 64 days? I never said repeal and replace Obamacare — you’ve all heard my speeches — I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days,” Trump told reporters shortly after House Republican leaders pulled their bill to do just that. “I have a long time.”


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Night Music

Rock out to some Estonian dance music:

And why the hell not?

(That blond lady is totally committed to her art.)

Sunday Night Cartoon


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Sunday Interview With a Terrific Guy

A change from politics and its depressing news.

Here's a video about my nephew, Tom Callahan, who is a Sensei and the US Country Representative for Kyokushin-Kan Karate:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Night Poetry

A day or so ago a wingnut left a poem in comment moderation, at the conclusion of which he or she called me a "Commie."

It was a childish, poorly written poem, but never mind that. What is witheringly tiresome is that whenever a wingnut is upset with a Liberal, he/she resorts to red-baiting and labeling the Liberal a COMMIE!

Funny, that, because the leader of their shambolic party and his friends and associates have been playing footsie with former Commies and Mafia-type Rooskies. Trump has embraced, praised, and extolled the ex-Communist head of Russia's KGB for his leadership qualities, and the person who wrote the poem belongs to a group that thinks Vladimir Putin is a better example of western values than former President Obama!

These are the same people who claim Liberalism is a mental disease. Srsly. They actually believe that an ex-Commie thug who murders his opponents and opposition journalists, who controls all Russian media, who threw a female rock band in jail because he didn't like their songs, and who invades countries -- that guy is a better model of western values than Barack Obama.

A blogging friend and fb buddy, Stephen B., wrote the poem below, and he is far more clever than the person who admires Vlad "The Mad" Putin ever hopes to be.

Brave Sir Donald ran away
With Paul Ryan ran away
When came the vote they counted heads
Then bravely turned their tails and fled
Brave, brave, brave sir Donald!

He said he had a secret plan
The greatest healthcare in the land
But when folks noticed that it stunk
With tail between his legs he slunk
Brave, brave, brave sir Donald!

And now he leaves his plan behind
"It wouldn't pass so never mind
Why play the game if you're gonna lose"
He whines and moans and Boo-hoo-hoos
Brave, brave, brave sir Donald!

With acknowledgement to the Monty Python players:

Friday, March 24, 2017


The braggart president who said no one makes deals as good as he makes deals and no one can negotiate as well as he can negotiate just flopped out.  Bigly.

The hideous Trump-Ryancare bill has been pulled

No vote. 

At least 31 Republicans were ready to vote NO.

The Republicans didn't have the votes for a bill that had only 17% support from the American people.

There was no political path forward for them.

The Republicans have been talking about repealing and replacing the ACA for 7 1/2 years and when the rubber hit the road it turned out they had no replacement that the American people liked, and so there will be no repeal.

Somewhere there is a former president with a YUUUUGE smile on his face.

The Art of the Deal was a big, fat FAIL.

Trump tells Washington Post's Robert Costa Health Care Bill "over." Will not come to floor for a long time, maybe a year, if ever.

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America's Ridiculous President

Thursday, March 23, 2017


The man who bragged about how great he is at negotiating and making good deals FAILED at his first pass on the anniversary of the passage of the ACA (Obamacare) to repeal it.

Republicans hold majorities in both the House and the Senate, but the House was in no mood to give Trump a victory today.


"A rookie's error," says Nancy Pelosi.

Trump brought this up for a vote without having the votes.

Rookie's error.

"There's a Smell of Treason in the Air"

I'm away for the day, but here are some amazing analyses of what's happening in the Trump-Russian Scandals:

Michael Winship at Moyers & Company writes—

‘There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air’: 

 Monday’s hearing of the House Intelligence Committee was proof positive of the absolute need for both a special prosecutor and an independent, bipartisan commission with subpoena power to conduct a full investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian intelligence — as well as Russia’s multipronged attack on our elections and Trump’s business connections with that country’s oligarchs. And it’s proof more than ever that even if we get that prosecutor and inquiry, a free and independent press may be the only real way to ever get to the bottom of what ranking committee member Adam Schiff said may represent “one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history.” [...] 

 And yet, as presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told The Washington Post, “There’s a smell of treason in the air. Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-boggling event.” But here we are, adrift in a Cloud Cuckoo Land of prevarication and incompetence in which little seems capable of boggling or driving our minds agog these days and where the truth shall not set you free but subject you to ridicule from the rabid trolls of the right. 

(Winship must have read the right wing troll, "Not Shakespeare." -- S.K.)

Charles M. Blow at The New York Times writes—

Birth of the biggest lie: 

 Individuals who were associated with the president of the United States’ winning campaign are under criminal investigation. That is an extraordinary sentence and one that no American can allow to be swallowed up by other news or dismissed by ideologues. 

 Depending on the outcome of this investigation, we could be facing a constitutional crisis. Oddly, it is likely that the reason Trump is even in the Oval Office is Comey’s original, extraordinarily inappropriate and unprecedented action. The Trump machinery then used that action to scare Americans about Clinton, in one of the most astonishing acts of deflection and hypocrisy in American history. [...] 

 The lie these people promoted about Clinton and shielded about Trump are two of the biggest lies ever told in this country in service of electoral advantage. No act of this presidency — good or bad, beneficial or detrimental — can ever be considered without first contextualizing that this presidency itself was conceived in deception and is being incubated under an extraordinary lie. The Trump presidency is a corruption that flows from corruption. It is damned by its own damned lies.

"There is more than circumstantial evidence now." Adam Schiff, (D-CA)

Schiff: 'There Is More Than Circumstantial Evidence Now'

“There is evidence that … is very much worthy of investigation” of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, the Democratic vice chair of the House intelligence committee tells Meet the Press Daily.

Report: FBI evidence suggests Trump associates and Russians may have coordinated to sink Clinton

A bombshell report from CNN.

"The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this. Who were the Trump associates and Russian officials? How exactly did these different people communicate and possibly coordinate? 

Is CNN’s report even reliable, given that it cites anonymous US officials? But the report, if true, is big. According to CNN, the FBI is still reviewing the info, which “includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings.” 

Some US officials warned CNN that it’s too early to draw any major conclusions from the information so far, because it’s largely circumstantial. Still, the officials reportedly told CNN that potential collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials is now a large focus of the FBI investigation."

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, had plan to 'greatly benefit the Putin Government'

President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics.
The allegations, if true, would appear to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"A Promise Made is a Promise Kept" (Unless you're Donald Trump)

Let's look at some of those worthless Trump promises:

1)  Trump promised: "We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said in January. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us...Everybody’s got to be covered.”  BROKEN PROMISE

That's a promise Trump will not keep. Under his health care plan, the rich 1% will receive a massive tax break, and the poor and vulnerable will not be able to afford health care insurance. Also older Americans on Medicaid and Medicare will see a reduction in their services and an increase in premiums.

2)  Trump promised a big beautiful wall with a beautiful door to let the "good ones in," and Mexico is going to pay for it.   BROKEN PROMISE

Not only is Mexico not going to pay for it, but Trump's going to stick the US taxpayer with the billion dollar bill for building this improbable wall.

One of the central themes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was to not only build a border wall, but to make Mexico pay for it. The claim didn’t just become an applause line for Trump on the campaign trail, it was a call-and-response rallying cry. But the Trump budget proposals revealed late Wednesday include $4.1 billion for the wall. Reuters reported that Trump was asking for $1.5 billion for the current fiscal year and another $2.6 billion for the 2018 budget year, which begins Oct. 1. The money will come from U.S. taxpayers and not Mexico, which has made it clear that it’s not paying for the wall.

3)  Trump promised to put America First for JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! BROKEN PROMISE

Look who’s looking for foreign workers: Trump Winery

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A Virginia winery owned by President Donald Trump’s son has applied to hire foreign workers to pick grapes after the company was unable to find U.S. citizens who want the job. Trump Vineyard Estates, better known as Trump Winery, has asked to bring in 29 workers this season through the federal H-2A visa program, The Daily Progress reported. The Charlottesville-area winery is owned by Eric Trump, whose father has called on businesses to hire Americans.

4)  Trump promised that American steel would be used to build the Keystone XL pipeline:  BROKEN PROMISE

American steel unlikely to get Keystone boost despite Trump order

When U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders to revive two controversial energy pipeline projects this week, he pledged to require new pipelines to use American-made steel, a gesture to workers in the hard-hit industry who helped propel him to power. But U.S. steelmakers will receive negligible benefit from the multi-billion dollar Keystone XL project, one of the two projects Trump ordered to proceed, because they have limited ability to meet the stringent materials requirements for the TransCanada line. Economists said Trump's order has many loopholes to enforcement and could violate international trade law.

(Trump made that promise without bothering to find out if it was legal. Another instance of Trump's governing by the seat of his enormous pants (when they're not on fire.)


What have we learned? 

We've learned that Trump's word is worthless and that he's a first class liar and deceiver. 

And now Trump and his administration are under an FBI investigation.

Remember when Trump and his surrogates said it would be impossible for Hillary Clinton to be president while she was under FBI investigation?

Where are Trump's supporters who howled like reptiles in heat "LOCK HER UP!" now that their hero and his team are under FBI investigation?

The FBI probe into Trump and Russia is huge news. Our political system isn’t ready for it.
We’re so used to reports on Trump’s Russia ties that it’s easy to lose sight of the enormity here: There is an official FBI investigation into a presidential campaign’s possible collusion with a hostile foreign power for the first time in US history. Seasoned national security reporters, like the New York Times’s Matt Rosenberg, can scarcely believe it:

Folks, let’s take a step back and absorb the fact that the FBI has confirmed there is an espionage investigation involving the White House

A corrupt man will lead a corrupt administration.