Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Comrade Trump: Inauguration Fiasco 2017! The Latest Inauguration News!

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-by Noah

Folks, it is with deep orange sadness, that I tell you the following facts about President Trump’s Inauguration Fiasco 2016. These are real facts, not the kind that pour out of the mouth of Kellyanne Konartist or the man who wears an orange rat on his head.

Here’s the latest, as of Tuesday evening, January 17th:

1. The B Street Band Says "No Deal!"
Remember when I postulated that even Chris Christie putting his weight behind convincing Bruce Springsteen to play the Trump inauguration failed, resulting in Comrade Trump being forced to book the "world renowned" B Street Band, a Springsteen tribute band?

Well, the tribute band has pulled out. Think about this one. Comrade Trumpinsky campaigned bigly on the idea that he knew how to make deals! Hell, he even "wrote" a book about it. He couldn’t even close a deal to get a tribute band to play for him. Sad! Loser!

No word as to whether Vladimir Putin will be sending some Russian dancing bears to replace the B Street Band.
2. Ticket Scalpers
As with any large event, ticket scalpers make out like bandits. Inaugurations are no exceptions... except this time. With Trump’s approval ratings sliding almost daily, selling tickets to the event is a difficult if not nearly impossible endeavor. Comrade Trumpinsky’s approval rating has sunk to 44% in one poll, 40% in another. These numbers are the worst pre-inauguration ratings ever. Similar polls from the recent past showed Dubya at 61% and Obama at 83%.




Occupydemocrats even reports that a desperate Donald is now offering free tickets. This makes me wonder if his parents paid kids to come to his birthday parties. Sad! Loser!

Scalpers would have done much better if they had put their money in bus or train tickets for the next day’s Woman’s March On Washington, which is expected to be one of the largest protests in our nation’s history.


3. Congressional Boycotts
When an American hero like Rep. John Lewis says that Trumpinsky is not, and never will be, a legitimate president, rational people listen. As I write this, more than 50 of his fellow congresspersons have joined Rep. Lewis in boycotting the certification and approval of fascism on Friday. We need more great Americans like Mr. Lewis.
4. Portable toilet update!
I know this is of maximum importance at any outdoor event, especially in this case when there will be so many senior citizens. Being a senior, I get this. Believe me.

So, it may interest you to know that, when it comes to large events in the Washington, DC area, the go-to company for portable toilets is a company by the name of Don’s Johns! I kid you not!

What then, to do? Does the Donald Trump Inauguration Committee send the Donald’s personal plane out to, say, Oklahoma or some other place where a different company has the portable toilet franchise? Do they then load up Trump’s private plane with every portable toilet that will fit?

Nope. Who says Trump can’t solve the problems that face America? The Donald had a fix at hand! The solution was to just tape over the “Don’s Johns” logo on every single portable toilet being made available for Friday. At press time, there was no word as to whether or not the “Don’s Johns” logo was replaced with a nice shiny, sparkly, golden TRUMP logo.

But, what about Trumpinsky himself? What does a man who regards the whole world as his toilet, do? Will the speech be short due to necessity? Or, will the new president be using a catheter? Do they come really small?
5. Cabs
I have nothing to back this up, yet, but a good friend reports to me that he is in Washington right now and, on his cab ride to the hotel, he noticed that traffic was unusually light. When he asked the cabbie about it, his response was that, in the 30 years that he’s been driving a cab, he has never seen the streets so empty. In fact, he said, he’d had only 3 fares all day and was worried about making his rent this month.

Veterans of inaugurations past, say that Washington is always gridlocked during Inauguration week. Not this time. Have a lot of people simply left town? I know I would if such an infestation of Republicans was coming.

The real rats in Washington are huge. I know this. I used to live there. They are double the size of New York rats. But, the good citizens of our nation’s capital know how to deal with rats of the rodent variety. Dealing with an infestation of of drunken zombie Republicans? Best to stay inside or leave town altogether.
6. Dress shops: No Gowns To Be Found?
Trumpinsky has been tweeting away about how successful this week's events will be. In one tweet, the Twit-In-Chief claimed that there wasn’t a gown to be found. All sold out. None. As it turns out... not so.

Salon reports their visit to the Dior Store revealed otherwise, but, they were quickly hustled from the store. It appears that word came down from Dior headquarters in New York that no Trump-related questions were to be answered. Sounds like someone has something to hide.
A parting thought:

Dear Republicans, there are only a few hours of the Obama presidency left, and, believe it, you still have your guns!

For 8 years, you have been telling all of us that President Obama is coming to take our guns away. That total wackjob who runs the NRA has taken millions from you dumbass suckers based on that claim alone. Some of you have even hidden your guns by burying them in your backyard. Now, like the brain-parasite ridden mangy little squirrels that you are, some of you don’t even remember wear you hid them.

Hey, maybe, instead of the backyard, you hid them under your floorboards or in your walls, but you can’t remember that either. You will now literally need to start tearing your house apart to find them, but only after Obama is gone, of course.

In any event, Obama has only hours left, mere hours, to launch that surprise, nationwide attack and come for your guns. Are ya still scared? I’m not. He’s had 8 years. I know I still have my gun. It’s right here, next to my computer. When that big Obama tank comes to my door, my Colt .45 is gonna show that tank a thing or two!


"Trump is the perfect modern American. He's a human consumption machine with no attention span, no self-control, no beliefs and no hobbies outside of sex, spending, eating and talking about himself. Nixon at least played the piano and read classics. He was an intellectual with a pig's heart. Trump is just the pig part."
-Matt Taibbi


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What Is Making Trump So Unpopular So Fast-- His Demeanor? Or Is It The Dire Threat Of Republican Health Care?

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Polls that came out this morning from CNN and the Washington Post both show that buyers' remorse over Trump is already rampant. CNN's showed that when Trump is inaugurated Friday-- it won't just be ticket scalpers who are suffering. His approval is 40%-- the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below Obama's." Trump, wounded, flipped out this morning and claimed the polls are rigged against him. CNN reports that "approval ratings for Trump's handling of the transition are more than 20 points below those for any of his three most recent predecessors. Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84% approval rating, 67% approved of Clinton's transition as of late December 1992 and 61% approved of George W. Bush's transition just before he took office in January 2001. Trump's wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts that the President-elect will be able to handle the job. About 53% say Trump's statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency." 53% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump according to CNN and the Post shows the unfavorable number at 54%.

The Republican threat to the healthcare system is just one factor, though probably a very big one. The report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today detailed how repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act would affect health insurance coverage and premiums.
The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.

Premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026.

32 million people losing health insurance? This is what we've meant when we talked about Ryan and the Republicans overreaching to the point of allowing even an inept and incompetent DCCC to sweep to victory in 2018. Yesterday, in a little-noticed piece at Politico, Trump, Price and Hill GOP at odds on Obamacare, by Burgess Everett, one gets the idea that Trump is starting to realize he should never have let Pence (and Ryan) talk him into picking anti-healthcare fanatic Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services and as the point man for revamping the healthcare system. It's going to be a catastrophe on every level. "[T]he two men," wrote Everett, "have articulated wildly divergent visions for what comes next-- and that's making it hard for Hill Republicans to figure out where to start on a coherent replacement plan once Obamacare is gone. Over the weekend, Trump said he wants to substantially expand coverage once Price is confirmed as Health and Human Services secretary-- 'insurance for everybody' as he put it to the Washington Post. But as a House member and former chairman of the House Budget Committee, the Georgia Republican wrote one of the most conservative visions for health care, although his plan never included universal coverage as a stated goal."
GOP lawmakers, including Price, stress they are less concerned about matching Obamacare's coverage gains, which drove the nation's uninsured rate to a historic low of 9 percent. They would rather people have access to affordable insurance only if they want it, hoping to avoid Obamacare's individual mandate.

But Trump indicated that he wants his plan to match Obamacare, if not exceed it, when it comes to expanding health care coverage. One of the chief GOP criticisms of Obamacare is that while it expanded insurance coverage, high deductibles and narrow networks reduced actual access to doctors and hospitals.

...Though Republicans said very broad discussions with Price about Obamacare are already underway, those discussions come amid a tug-of-war between the House, Senate and incoming administration over where to start. That discussion was further jolted by Trump's comments that suggested he wanted to eliminate a health system where "if you can't pay for [insurance], you don't get it."

A number of GOP senators want Price to explore executive orders that can be made to change Obamacare and winnow down essential health benefits required in insurance plans before they forge ahead on an a broader alternative. And when they do, it's the preference of many senators to seek a middle ground between Price's right-leaning plan and Trump's goal of expanding access to health care.

With a supermajority required in the Senate to pass a new healthcare law, Republicans in the upper chamber say they are in the driver’s seat to begin writing a replacement. Most of the Republican health care plans-- including Price’s-- have similarities such as incentives to buy insurance and the ability to sell insurance across state lines. But there’s also recognition that the GOP is going to have to come a lot closer to the middle to get any Democrats on board.
Right now, Price is bogged down with ethics problems for having brought stock in a company just before introducing legislation that drove the price of shares up. Tomorrow he's likely to prefer talking about the ethicals problems than the actual nuts and bolts of the healthcare proposal he wrote when he appears before the Senate Health Committee. (Actually he may not be testifying at all tomorrow. This afternoon Senators Warren, Franken and Baldwin asked Committee Chair Lamar Alexander to postpone the hearing until after Price's questionable stock trading is resolved. Maybe Trump is breathing a sigh of relief.) Price's plan focuses on giving tax credits to people who buy health insurance, a way of helping the middle class, while drastically reducing assistance to low-income Americans, who will see their subsidies reduced or eliminated. He is eager to eliminate the Medicaid expansion that has helped millions of families get health coverage, something that is even freaking out Republican governors who see Medicaid expansion working in their states. Under Obamacare insurance companies are prohibitted from charging older customers more than 3 times what they charge younger people. Price's plan eliminates that, which will result in far higher premiums for the elderly. How many more House seats will that mean for Democrats?

Have you noticed that Trump has never allowed himself to be photographed with Tom Price?

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Let's Be Vigilant And Work Hard For Progressive Values... Without Hauling Out Any Guillotines

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Oink

As you know by now, we started an Act Blue page to thank congressional resisters to Trumpism-- the courageous men and women who are refusing to attend his inauguration. Please visit to see the updated list. When we started there were only 6... now there are over 3 dozen! And we've raised them over $5,000 from Blue America members who are grateful for their leadership. There's a long way to go. After all, 80 Members of Congress boycotted Nixon's second inauguration in 1973. I'd think today's Congress would do a lot better, wouldn't you?

I asked several members to consider joining. Most of them said they had their own reasons for going. "As a matter of principle," one solid progressive told me, "I believe we have to respect the process and attend. I don't want a nation where the Republicans boycott a Democratic president." OK, he's entitled to his opinion although he certainly knows that the Republicans did far worse to a certain Democratic president than not attend his inauguration-- like refusing to consider his judicial nominees, for example. But fine. If someone wants to go, they can go. Several who I spoke to early in the week changed their minds after Trump's moronic tweet-rage against John Lewis. Others-- I suspect-- may have re-thought the political calculus. It's hard for me to understand why any Democrat is going to their horror show, which I wrote about on Sunday, complete with clips of movies about resisting the Nazis in World War II.

Another congressman who is no fan of Trump's by any stretch of the imagination-- and has an excellent voting record-- told me he thinks boycotting the inauguration is "horrible politics. We won't win the majority by marginalizing ourselves from the middle of the country. We need to connect with them. We lost in part because we had no jobs message for Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas... I have a vision for how to bring jobs to those areas and encourage small business and opportunity there. And I will combine that with a real populism on paid maternity leave, Medicare for all, expanding Social Security... We can't marginalize ourselves from these communities. It will be a divided nation." OK, I agree that, ultimately, that's more important than the symbolism of the boycott.

Not even one senator is boycotting. A friend of mine close to the Cory Booker campaign told me they're thinking of having Booker stay away and using it to regain some of the credibility he lost when he voted last week against an amendment by Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders to allow Americans to import and in most cases, re-import, pharmaceuticals from Canada. He has announced yet. (I'll eat my hat if he musters the guts to do it.) Neither, though, has Elizabeth Warren or even Bernie Sanders. I respect them and their strategies and I'm not going to hold it against them or anyone else-- just reward the ones who do what I feel is the right thing. What I hold against politicians has to do with patterns of behavior, not just a disagreement over a symbolic protest.

By the way, a couple of hours ago, Jamie Raskin (D-MD) confirmed that he isn't going to Trump's thing. "For the last couple of weeks," he said in a statement to his constituents, "I have assumed that I would attend the inauguration of Donald Trump, obviously not to show any support for his politics but as a gesture of constitutionalism, simply to witness the peaceful transfer of power from President Obama to the new administration. But, as the hour approaches, I realize that I cannot bring myself to go.  I wish that these were normal times and that I could sit and applaud the normal workings of government as I did when Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was inaugurated in 2015 in Annapolis. But these are not normal times and I cannot pretend as if they are.  The moral and political legitimacy of this presidency are in the gravest doubt.  I cannot get over Trump’s refusal to deal seriously with the constitutional problems caused by his business entanglements with foreign governments and corporations.  I cannot get past his stubborn denial of the enormity of Russia’s efforts to sabotage and undermine our presidential election (regardless of the victor).  I cannot stomach his relentless trafficking in bigotry, misogyny and fear. And I am outraged and confounded by his continuing provocations against civil rights heroes, such as my colleague the great Congressman John Lewis, union leaders and other individual citizens.  Given these dynamics and given that one can never have any confidence in what Trump might say or tweet, I cannot risk my presence at his inauguration being interpreted as any kind of endorsement of the normality of our situation. I will not attend the inauguration.  I do not rejoice in this decision or take pride in it, any more than I would rejoice or take pride in going; the inauguration ceremony is just a fact of life now, and we must all deal with it as best we can.  I am afraid that these kinds of searing moral and political conflicts are our destiny for a while."

Meanwhile Caitlin Johnstone wrote last week that a newly resilient progressive base is determined to hold conservaDems and the Establishment accountable. "Cory Booker," she wrote with some certitude, "can go ahead and bury his presidential ambitions in the backyard, next to his conscience and his childhood goldfish. They are dead. He will never be President. Not in 2020. Not ever." Why is she so sure? "Easy," she says.


After being used like store-brand toilet paper by the Democratic establishment throughout the entire election cycle, Berniecrats were hungry for blood. Democrat blood. The first head to stick up on behalf of the plutocrats against Bernie was going to get lopped off and bandied about the village as an example for all to see. That head was Cory Booker’s. There will be others-- many others if they take too long to absorb the lesson-- but you never forget your first. Cory Booker’s face now permanently occupies the Hillary Clinton slot. The crony capitalism slot. The “I will put the profit margins of my corporate donors before your lives” slot. It’s possible that he could go on to have a long and sleazy Senate career if he avoids such spectacular lapses of judgment in the future, but he will never be President. He lost the progressive vote forever. This is as far as his political career advances.

And we may be certain that every Democrat in DC has taken note of this. The social media hammer that dropped on Booker came down fast and came down hard; very rarely will you see such immense public outrage about the vote of a single particular Senator on a single piece of legislation. Alternative media outlets were quick to follow the zeitgeist, fanning the flames and debunking Booker’s pathetic defenses of his actions, and the typical establishment damage control mechanisms were powerless to stop any of this. It all happened right there online for everyone to see. It’s still going on. The article you are currently reading is just one tiny spark in a massive inferno of rage that will never forget and will never forgive.

Booker knows this. Every Democrat on Capitol Hill knows this. Every politician and pundit within the liberal establishment knows this, whether they admit it or not. Politicians of the Democratic party are being scrutinized far more meticulously than any of them have ever experienced in their entire careers, and the ones who thought they could keep getting away with openly selling the 99 percent down the river for corporatist interests have now had those illusions shattered after seeing Booker’s name dragged through the mud by that very 99 percent.


Madame Thérèse Defarge
This changes everything. The political force that nearly thrust an outsider progressive into the White House despite every dirty trick in the book being used to sabotage him by the political establishment is still only just beginning to get a feel for its own strength. The Wall Street Democrats who are still reeling from the way their tried-and-true formula failed to work as it should are now realizing that the progressive base of their party can no longer be appeased by a little lip service to social justice and a cute sound bite criticizing Jeff Sessions. They are most definitely going to have to start walking the walk. If they do not, they will be destroyed. Progressives are finally done being doormats, and they’re ready to start kicking ass. And thank god. What we were doing was not working. What we were doing saw the decimation of the Democratic party throughout eight years of the continuation and expansion of all of the Bush administration’s most toxic policies and an attempt to install a corporate crony war hawk into the White House who wanted to drag us into wars with both Syria and Russia. Thank god these lunatics are finally getting their fingers ripped from the steering wheel by force. Thank god the 99 percent are finally waking up to their own power.

Expect to see more heads join Cory Booker’s on the spikes outside Capitol Hill. Get used to corporatism and corruption being treated more and more as a deal breaker and a disqualifier and less and less as an unfortunate normality in the Democratic party. The Berniecrats are the only Dems with the passion and drive necessary to determine the future of the party; everyone else is only in it for the bumper stickers. The progressives will win, and the establishment will lose. The only question is how much of a fight they’ll try to put up.
It will be interesting to see "Berniecrats" fête Booker if he's the only, or even just the first, senator to announce he's boycotting the Trump inauguration. But he hasn't... not yet. Anyway, let's see which, if any, Democratic senators vote to confirm truly heinous monstrosities like Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Tom Price, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Andrew Puzder, Steve Mnuchin... all people we all know mean real trouble for this country. Will Democrats who vote, for example, to confirm Jeff Sessions, be held responsible for his actions as Attorney General. They should be, right?
Goal Thermometer

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"Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee" Joins Endangered Species List

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The Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, disappearing from an orchard near you (Photo © Johanna James-Heinz; source)

by Gaius Publius

The plant world has been losing its pollinators (pollinating insects) for a while due to species decline and, in the case of bees, colony collapse. I suspect most people have had this story on the far edge of their radar for a while. It's time to bring the story nearer.

For the first time, a bee species, the "Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee," has been put on the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This means two things — one, the species gets "special protection," and two, the long-term threat to U.S. and world food supply from loss of pollinating insects should not be underestimated.

The bumble bee story is in many places. Let's start with Lorraine Chow, who follows this at EcoWatch (my emphasis):
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has declared the rusty patched bumble bee an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). This is the first-ever bumble bee in the U.S., and the first wild bee of any kind in the contiguous 48 states, to receive ESA protection.

This landmark decision was made in "a race against extinction" of the Bombus affinis which is "balancing precariously on the brink of extinction," the agency said in its announcement Tuesday.

The bee, known for its distinctive reddish mark on its abdomen, was once common and abundant across 28 states from Connecticut to South Dakota, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces, but has plummeted by 87 percent since the late 1990s. Only small, scattered populations remain in 13 states and one province.

"The rusty patched bumble bee is among a group of pollinators—including the monarch butterfly — experiencing serious declines across the country," USFWS Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said. "Why is this important? Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world. Without them, our forests, parks, meadows and shrublands, and the abundant, vibrant life they support, cannot survive, and our crops require laborious, costly pollination by hand."

The rusty patched bumble bee is already listed as "endangered" under Canada's Species at Risk Act and as "critically endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.

The insect is an important pollinator of prairie wildflowers, as well as food crops such as cranberries, blueberries, apples, alfalfa and more.

"Bumble bees are especially good pollinators; even plants that can self-pollinate produce more and bigger fruit when pollinated by bumble bees," the USFWS said. "Each year, insects, mostly bees, provide pollination services valued at an estimated $3 billion in the United States."
There's more in the article if you wish to read further. The Washington Post puts it this way:
The rusty patched bumble bee was so prevalent 20 years ago that pedestrians in Midwest cities fought to shoo them away. Now, even trained scientists and experienced bee watchers find it difficult to lay eyes on them. “I’ve never seen one, and I live here pretty close to where there have been populations documented,” said Tamara Smith, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist stationed in Minneapolis.

Fearing that the striped black and yellow pollinator with a long black tail could be lost forever, Fish and Wildlife designated the animal as endangered Tuesday. ...

Why was the rusty patched bee selected for the list and not others? The answer, Smith said, is its former abundance and astonishing plummet.
Apparently the speed of this species' collapse got people's attention.

"Canary in the Coal Mine"

This is just the beginning of the loss of pollinating insects. Honey bees have been in trouble for a while, and as the Post writer says, more species are sure to follow this bumble bee:
Although rusty patched bumble bees are the first to be considered endangered, and the first bee species on the U.S. mainland to get the designations (the yellow faced bee in Hawaii became the first overall in October last year), they are likely to be joined by others. “This bee is kind of like the canary in the coal mine,” Smith said, an indicator that many pollinator species — bees and butterflies — are in deep trouble.

There were nearly 3.5 million honeybee colonies in 1989, according to the Agriculture Department. That number fell by a million colonies when colony collapse disorder was first documented in 2006. in the 10 years sinc[e], the number of colonies has climbed only slightly, by about 100,000.

One state, Maryland, shows how eerie and perilous the decline has been for professional beekeepers. In 2015, the state lost more than 60 percent of its hives, each containing up to 20,000 honeybees. Beekeeper Steve McDaniel, owner of McDaniel Honey Farms, lost half of his hives in Manchester, Md., and all of them where he kept bees in downtown Baltimore. Hives with up to 20,000 bees cost about $1,200.
So, what's causing this? For a change, the answer isn't climate change.

Pesticides Are Killing the Bees

The scientific community has reached a consensus that the agent causing these species collapses is a group of widely used pesticides called "neonicotinoids" or "neonics." EcoWatch, from a different article:
Neonicotinoids—a potent class of pesticides used on many crops in the U.S.—have long been blamed for the widespread decline of our pollinators. Now a major new study has found a direct correlation between the use of these "neonics" and honeybee colony losses across England and Wales.

Meanwhile, a report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) revealed that the controversial insecticides were present in more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
 Back to the first EcoWatch article:
"A number of scientific articles clearly document the lethal and sublethal effects that these chemicals are having on bees and other pollinators, and their use has intensified extensively within the rusty patched bumble bee's range during the same time period that declines have been observed," the Xerces Society explains.
The world's largest producer of neonics is Bayer. They're not just an aspirin company; they're a chemical producing giant (and, by the way, part of the cartel that sold poison gas to Nazis for concentration camps).

But neonicotinoids aren't the only culprit:
The Xerces Society also suggests that the massive rise in the use of the controversial herbicide glyphosate on genetically modified corn and soybean fields in the last 20 years has effectively eliminated milkweed and other wildflowers from the agricultural landscape.

"While no direct link has been made from the use of these pesticides to the declines observed in the rusty patched bumble bee there is little doubt that stressors like pesticides at the very least put increased pressures on an already imperiled bumble bee, especially when one considers the scope at which these chemicals are being adopted and used," the group points out.
Which bring us to ... Monsanto.


Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, a pesticide used around the world. And Monsanto is one of the world's leading megalomaniacal corporations. Which leads to this.

Is Monsanto Killing the Bees? 

Above, the EcoWatch writer noted that "no direct link" showed that glyphosate is responsible for the collapse of the rusty-patched bumble bee population, which brings me to these final points:

Monsanto is one of the most obsessively profit driven companies in the world. It aims to create a worldwide monopoly for its GMO food products, and has thus, ironically, been tabbed as a leading cause of world hunger. The reason is simple. Monsanto doesn't really grow food; it grows money, and food is just the middle-man. If too much corn is being planted for ethanol (see link above), taking productive fields offline for other uses, Monsanto doesn't care, so long as the money comes in.

Which means that if Monsanto, the corporation — or more specifically, its CEO class — has to choose between making millions from a mega-profitable operation versus providing sufficient food for actual humans, well, what choice do you think they're going to make, ten times out of ten?

Special Protection?

Which brings us back to where we started — the Endangered Species Act and the "special protection" offered to species on its list. Here's how the Post writer quoted above put the pesticide problem:
Fearing that the striped black and yellow pollinator with a long black tail could be lost forever, Fish and Wildlife designated the animal as endangered Tuesday. The designation triggers protections such as regulations against knowingly destroying the bumble bee’s habitat and habitat creation. It also raises awareness about the plight of the bumble bee and requires a detailed, long term recovery plan to restore its population.
What are the odds that Monsanto and other pesticide companies will be required by the U.S. givernment to eliminate sales of their products within the habitats of these insects? Or will the agency simply content itself with "raising awareness"?

The Post article lists these causes of bumble bee population collapse: "farm pesticides, household herbicides, human development over bee habitat, disease and climate change." A convenient list for corporate giants; it could be your fault too, even though the farm pesticide usage is magnitudes greater as a cause than anything else in that list.

And, as the writer notes, there really is no direct link, just as there is no "direct link" between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. The link is strong, but no one can say that any individual death was caused by smoking, even if the deceased died of lung cancer and was a heavy smoker. Doubt-inducers can always point to individuals who smoked heavily and lived to ripe ages, and to lung cancer patients who never smoked at all.

Yet ... this seems specious, doesn't it? In the case of smoking, the statistical evidence finally became too overwhelming even for an industry-captured government to ignore, and the U.S. finally issued regulations designed to reduce or eliminate smoking, because human life is irretrievable and the risk of death from smoking is high.

Same on this case. Only now the risk is to food across the planet: "The honeybee is the most important commercial pollinator, globally responsible for pollinating at least 90% of commercial crops." The rusty-patched bumble bee population has collapsed 87%. In the U.S., between April 2014 and 2015, honey bee loss was 42%, up from 34% the previous year.

If the honey bee joins this bumble bee on the endangered species list, look out. Because if Monsanto and other pesticide companies can't be stopped, only they and their friends will be eating well. Fun times ahead.

Bayer-Monsanto Merger

A final note: Remember the two companies listed above? Guess who wants to merge — Bayer and Monsanto. The combined company would be "the largest agribusiness giant in the world, 'selling 29 percent of the world’s seeds and 24 percent of its pesticides.'"

And the $66 billion deal is done; it just needs regulatory approval:
[T]he proposed merger will likely face an intense and lengthy regulatory process in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the European Union and elsewhere. Hugh Grant, Monsanto's chief executive, said Wednesday the companies will need to file in about 30 jurisdictions for the merger.
I'm willing to bet that in the U.S. — even with a government fully controlled by Democrats — regulatory approval would be granted. Under a Republican administration, approval is a foregone conclusion. As to worldwide approval, stay tuned.

GP
 

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Does Anyone Really Believe Trump Will Take On The Entire GOP To Give The American People Universal Health Care?

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How many times have you heard your friends say something like, "Maybe he won't turn out that bad; after all he was a liberal Democrat his whole life. He's on record supporting Choice, supporting single payer, protecting Social Security and Medicare?" Forget it. Just forget it. He didn't let Pence talk him into appointing Georgia anti-Medicare fanatic Tom Price Secretary of Health and Human Services to do anything but destroy the health care social safety net. Trump doesn't believe in anything but winning-- at all costs... and not winning for a team, winning for Trump.

You probably remember the news reports after the election about Trump supporters who took him at his word when he explicity promised-- over and over again-- to be different from other Republicans and NOT take away their health care benefits and Social Security. Last month, for example, CNN ran an outstanding report (video above) on West Virginia and Kentucky Trump voters now frightened that Trump will sign Republican legislation that further devastates their lives. Trump repeatedly pledged two seemly incompatable approaches to health care during his campaign-- to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to make sure health coverage for poor people is even better. He never-- and has still not-- explained how he would do that. But his overwhelmingly and extraordinarily low-intelligence supporters aren't exactly critical thinkers and aren't used to getting into the weeds or figuring stuff out. They took Trump at his word. And now they're starting to worry.

On December 19 Dante Chinni was reporting for the Wall Street Journal that "more than 20 million Americans now depend on the ACA, also known as Obamacare, for health insurance. Data from Gallup indicate that a lot of those people live in counties that favored Mr. Trump. The Gallup data, analyzed with the county typology from the American Communities Project, show that eight county types have seen increases in health insurance coverage greater than the national average. Six of those types-- representing about 77 million people or 33 million votes, a quarter of the total cast-- sided with Mr. Trump, some by very large margins." Buyers' remorse was setting in-- and the Trumpists knew it.

And they knew it long before Colorado Republican Mike Coffman got a taste of it over the weekend when he snuck out the backdoor of a town hall meeting with angry constituents in Aurora, furious that Coffman had voted last week to repeal Obamacare (without a replacement). Since then, everyone has been buzzing about Bob Costa's Washington Post story about how Trump is promising universal health care again, probably, not in conjunction with the anti-health care fanatics-- Pence, Price, Ryan-- he's surrounded by. Trump told Costa his plan, which includes health insurance for all and overturning Republican Party dogma that prevents Medicare and Medicaid from negotiating fair prices for consumers with Big PhRMA. Referring to the huge bribes they pay Congress Trump said the drug makers have been "politically protected, but not anymore." (Keep in mind that the two top recipients of legalistic bribes from drugs manufacturers during the 2016 cycle have been Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. They have worked diligently to protect the ability of the drug companies to gouge American consumers. Since 1990 Big PhRMA allies in Congress have gotten tens of millions of dollars from the drug makers particularly key committee chairs like Orrin Hatch (R-UT- $2,447,641), Richard Burr (R-NC- $1,466,696), Fred Upton (R-MI- $1,378,506). The two men who will set the agenda for drug pricing have been paid off very well by the drug companies over the leaders:
Miss McConnell (R-KY)- $1,092,822
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $960,983
It's Trumpanzee so there are no specifics, just vague, contradictory promises. "Trump’s plan," wrote Coasta, "is likely to face questions from the right, after years of GOP opposition to further expansion of government involvement in the health-care system, and from those on the left, who see his ideas as disruptive to changes brought by the Affordable Care Act that have extended coverage to tens of millions of Americans."
The objectives of broadening access to insurance and lowering health-care costs have always been in conflict, and it remains unclear how the plan that the incoming administration is designing-- or ones that will emerge on Capitol Hill-- would address that tension.


In general, congressional GOP plans to replace Obamacare have tended to try to constrain costs by reducing government requirements, such as the medical services that must be provided under health plans sold through the law’s marketplaces and through states’ Medicaid programs. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and other Republicans have been talking lately about providing “universal access” to health insurance, instead of universal insurance coverage.

Trump said he expects Republicans in Congress to move quickly and in unison in the coming weeks on other priorities as well, including enacting sweeping tax cuts and beginning the building of a wall along the Mexican border.

Trump warned Republicans that if the party splinters or slows his agenda, he is ready to use the power of the presidency-- and Twitter-- to usher his legislation to passage.

“The Congress can’t get cold feet because the people will not let that happen,” Trump said during the interview with The Post.

Trump said his plan for replacing most aspects of Obama’s health-care law is all but finished. Although he was coy about its details-- “lower numbers, much lower deductibles”-- he said he is ready to unveil it alongside Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon,” Trump said. He noted that he is waiting for his nominee for secretary of health and human services, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), to be confirmed. That decision rests with the Senate Finance Committee, which hasn’t scheduled a hearing.

Trump’s declaration that his replacement plan is ready comes after many Republicans-- moderates and conservatives-- expressed anxiety last week about the party’s lack of a formal proposal as they held votes on repealing the law. Once his plan is made public, Trump said, he is confident that it could get enough votes to pass in both chambers.

He declined to discuss how he would court wary Democrats. ...“I think we will get approval. I won’t tell you how, but we will get approval. You see what’s happened in the House in recent weeks,” Trump said, referencing his tweet during a House Republican move to gut their independent ethics office, which along with widespread constituent outrage was cited by some members as a reason the gambit failed.

As he has developed a replacement package, Trump said he has paid attention to critics who say that repealing Obamacare would put coverage at risk for more than 20 million Americans covered under the law’s insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “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.” People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”

Republican leaders have said that they will not strand people who gained insurance under the ACA without coverage. But it remains unclear from either Trump’s comments in the interview or recent remarks by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill how they intend to accomplish that.

...When asked in the interview whether he intends to cut benefits for Medicare as part of his plan, Trump said “no,” a position that was reiterated Sunday on ABC by Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff. He did not elaborate on that view or how it would affect his proposal. He expressed that view throughout the campaign.

Timing could be difficult as Trump puts an emphasis on speed. Obama’s law took more than 14 months of debate and hundreds of hearings. To urge lawmakers on, Trump plans to attend a congressional Republican retreat in Philadelphia this month.

Moving ahead, Trump said that lowering drug prices is central to reducing health-care costs nationally-- and that he will make it a priority as he uses his bully pulpit to shape policy. When asked how exactly he would force drug manufacturers to comply, Trump said that part of his approach would be public pressure “just like on the airplane,” a nod to his tweets about Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, which Trump said was too costly.

Trump waved away the suggestion that such activity could lead to market volatility on Wall Street. “Stock drops and America goes up,” he said. “I don’t care. I want to do it right or not at all.” He added that drug companies “should produce” more products in the United States.
Those around Trump trying to paper over the differences between him and every other Republican by claiming his goal is "to get insurance for everybody thru marketplace solutions, thru bringing costs down," which is what Sean Spicer said yesterday-- and which, in practical terms, doesn't mean anything at all. Sunday, thousands of Americans rallied for the Affordable Care Act. Bernie led one in Warren Michigan that included the state's two senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, local congressman Dan Kildee, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Elizabeth Warren-- along with Mayor Marty Walsh, Senator Ed Markey and congressmembers Katherine Clark and Richard Neal-- hosted an overflow capacity rally in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall and there were large rallies in San Francisco, New York (in front of a Trump hotel), Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Tampa, Sacramento, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Waukesha, Richmond, Burlington, Orlando, Chicago, Indianapolis, Des Moines (and 5 other Iowa cities), Newark, Albuquerque Los Angeles and Portland (both of 'em-- Maine and Oregon). And, of course, Pramila Jayapal hosted one at Westlake Park in Seattle.



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Monday, January 16, 2017

Senator Laura Ingraham? Would You Rather See A Senator Billie Joe Armstrong?

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In a display of startling intellectual dishonesty-- even for someone as laughably dishonest as Hate Talk Radio host Laura Ingraham, she has certainly changed her tune on Russia since Trump crawled out from underneath his reality TV celebrity. And she's now considering a run against Tim Kaine for his Virginia U.S. Senate seat. How serious is this? Her nascent campaign has already bought ingrahamsenate.net, ingrahamsenate.com, ingrahamforvirginia.com and ingraham2018.com. FascistsforIngraham.net is still available.

Trump did much better in Virginia than anyone expected-- 1,731,156 (45.0%) votes to Clinton's 1,916,845 (49.9%).

Two Republican junior congressmembers-- neither with any accomplishments whatsoever-- are also thinking about running: Barbara Comstock and Dave Brat. Ingraham is close to Senior Trumpanzee and once the old tweet up top started being circulated on Twitter yesterday, she immediately pulled it down.




I wonder if she read Señor Trumpanzee's interview with London's Times over the weekend. Aside from acting as a cheerleader for Brexit, he's telling the Brits to trust murderous Russian tyrant and former KGB agent Vladimir Putin. In the wide-ranging interview, Mr Trump revealed:
He will agree a nuclear weapons reduction deal with President Putin of Russia in return for lifting US sanctions. He was highly critical of Russia’s intervention in Syria, however, describing it as “a very bad thing” that had led to a “terrible humanitarian situation.”

Orders will be signed next Monday to strengthen America’s borders, which could include travel restrictions on Europeans coming to the US as well as “extreme vetting” for those entering America from parts of the world known for Islamist terrorism.

He believes that Angela Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” when she let more than a million migrants into Germany, adding that the EU had become “a vehicle for Germany.”

He will start off by trusting Mrs Merkel and Mr Putin, but that might not last long.

Mr Trump was deeply critical of America’s foreign policy. He described the decision to invade Iraq as “possibly the worst decision ever made in the history of our country”, saying it was like “throwing rocks into a beehive”. He added that Afghanistan was going badly and that attempts to recapture Mosul had turned out to be a disaster.

On Russia, Mr Trump indicated that he hoped that a deal could be done to reduce nuclear capability in return for dropping some sanctions against Moscow. “They have sanctions on Russia-- let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it.”
Here's the actual interview with the idiot if you want to read it. Or, better yet, watch the new anti-Trump video that Green Day released today for "Troubled Times" from their new album, Revolution Radio.

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Death Over Deportation

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-by Dorothy Reik

Adrian came to see me about two weeks ago. He was 39 years old but a life of physical labor outdoors made him look older. He came with our mutual friend, Carlos, who was also his employer, and with his beautiful son. Adrian had been a rancher in Mexico but he needed equipment to produce enough to get by, so like many he came to the U.S. to earn some money, planning to return to "my country" as soon as he had saved enough. But he married, had three citizen children and got a good job with my friend so dreams of "my country" started to fade.

You could see that Adrian had seen his share of manual labor. His hand, which shook mine firmly, was calloused. He wore the clothes of a man who works outdoors. He was short and compact. His fifteen year old son was already taller than he was. Adrian was smiling and his eyes looked directly into mine. His son looked at his dad with a son's love. It was a proud day and he was there to witness it.

His boss is a contractor and Adrian, after supervising so many projects for him, was going to do his own first deal. He had saved money and had his down payment and the repair money too. He had found a property to buy and rehab. My friend was happy and proud for his friend. His son was beaming. Adrian signed his papers with a firm hand. We were all so happy.

Then last Sunday a pain in his chest sent Adrian to his knees. His wife ran to the phone but he told her "No." It would pass. But it didn't pass. By 3AM Adrian was gone. He had insurance but he didn't have "papers." He and his wife knew they could face deportation if they called for help. So Adrian's heart attack killed him at age 39.

They didn't ask for his papers as they harvested his organs. He had checked that box on his driver's license. They didn't ask his wife for hers when they told her the body was missing many parts because Adrian was so young that all his organs, except his heart, were healthy. They would put marbles where is eyes had been, they said. And sew him up.

So now three children have no father and a stay-at-home mother has to figure out a way to support them. There is that down payment money for now. The sale had not yet closed.

Would Adrian have let his wife call for help if Hillary had won the election instead of Trump? Maybe.

Would they have called if Bernie had won? My friend and I said in unison "Abstolutely!"

RIP Adrian. Presente!

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A DWT Exclusive: We Have The First Draft Of Comrade Trump's Inauguration Speech!

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2016 In Review: America Off The Rails, Part 12



by Noah

As the first day of the end of America approaches, many of us are wondering about Donald "The J Is for Jackass" Trump's inauguration speech. Questions abound. Will it be a single tweet? Has it been left to his wife to write it, or crib it? Perhaps Billy Bush is writing it for him right now? Or perhaps David Duke? Or some Russkie in the basement of the Kremlin? Hell, it might even be a room full of monkeys with typewriters.

cartoon by Bruce Plante
Maybe, just maybe, Comrade Trump will simply regale his crowd of hypnotized zombies with a reading of his book The Art of the Deal. After all, he may even insist that he be sworn in with his hand on his own book rather than a copy of the Bible. Such is the titanic, bloated ego and freakishly out-of-control narcissism of Trump.

With all of this in mind, I thought that I could help out. I know I can write Trump's inauguration speech. I know I can write it in his own unique style!

I like writing. I can spell words like "precedent" and "president." Hell, I even know the difference between the two. I, like Trump, have a full vocabulary of "the best words." So believe me. I can do this. I can do this so fast, it will make your head spin. I've even been nice enough to include cues and instructions to help the new President make his way through his speech. Here goes.
My fellow Trump voters, distinguished .05 percenters, favorite oligarchs, Mr. Duke, and President Putin,

Three score and ten years ago, I was born on a day that will one day be not only a national holiday but a world holiday, such is the magnificence of me. To be or not to be was never the question for I am. I am what I am. I'm President Trump the President Man, the best President Man, I am, I am.

[Pause for applause]

This could be the start of a beautiful relationship! No way Crooked Hillary would have a crowd this big! Wow! You are a landslide. I won! We have a movement here, a movement that's never happened before. Big movement! So much love for me. So much love.

[Pause for applause]

Wow! Thank you! Great! Thank you! Great spirit in Washington today! I have property here, you know. I have a big new hotel. Beautiful hotel. Big tower. Big!

[Pause for applause]

I see we have some press here. Dishonest. Very dishonest. Look at them, and their expensive cameras. Very dishonest. Radical press. Crooked press.

To all my enemies I say, you're in trouble!

We will take arms against our sea of troubles. To Mexicans and Muslims alike, we will offer the slings and arrows of our outrage!

[Pause for applause]

We will fix Iran. We will eliminate ISIS. Meryl Streep invented ISIS, you know. Meryl Streep. Nasty woman. No talent. Bad actress. Bad. Sad. Bad.

I am not afraid of my greatness! Some, like me, are born great. Some, like me, achieve amazing greatness. And some, like me, have greatness thrust upon them. At least that's what many people are saying. I'm great. I'm smart, many people say. Ask them. Some say I'm brilliant. I am. Believe me.

[Pause for applause and adulation]

I see a great America again! I will rebuild the bridges. Trump bridges. Trump highways. Pyramids on the golden sands!

Our forefathers brought forth this nation with me in mind. Me. Me. Me.

[Pause for applause]

Me.

[Pause for applause]

Let's hear it for me!

[Pause for applause]

When our forefathers thought of this nation being great, they thought of Trump! Making this nation great again! I offer you that golden future!

[Pause for applause]

There will be jobs. Lots of jobs! Perchance to dream, there will be jobs!

[Pause for applause]

Big wall!

[Pause for applause]

Beer!

[Pause for applause]

Ban Muslims!

[Pause for applause]

If you want to believe in something, believe in it. Just because it isn't true doesn't mean you can't believe it! Believe that good always triumphs over evil and that is why I stand here before you today!

[Pause for applause]

Today. Today, I am the luckiest man on this earth!

[Pause for applause]

I have a dream! I have a dream that one day my children will be judged solely by the content of their bank accounts, and the Trump name, the glorious Trump name. How about that name? Stupendous name! Fabulous name! A golden name! The best name!

[Waits for crowd to chant "Trump, Trump, Trump!"; resumes after 10 minutes]

Okay, thank you! Much appreciated. I am humbled. Thank you! Thank you! Stupendous! Thank you! I must continue.

[Pause for additional chanting]

Thank you! Really. All the Trumps thank you! My children thank you! Take a look at Ivanka! She's wearing her own line of shoes, by the way. Aren't those great shoes? Beautiful! Spectacular! Wonderful! So amazing, believe me! I have to tell you, I can't stop looking at those amazing shoes. Fabulous shoes! I, I love those shoes! Love those shoes! You can buy those shoes at the locations listed on Ivanka's website.

[Pause for applause; to himself] Take your eyes off the damn shoes!

[To the crowd] We're going to auction the pair of shoes she's wearing on my website! I'm here to announce that today! Wow! Look at her in those shoes.

[Pause for applause]

We're handing out some grape juice today. My own brand. Trump Grape Juice! The best grape juice! Believe me! Same great golden grapes as my Trump Wine! We're handing out some little Trump Paper Cups. Nice gold cups. With the Trump logo. Be sure to drink a whole golden cup. You won't believe how you feel.

Amazing! Trump, Trump, Trump!

[Pause for "Trump, Trump, Trump!" chant]

Thank you! Thank you! I told you your head would spin! Trump delivers! Gold for all!

[Pause for applause]

And so I say, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for me! This is my manly essence! Take! Drink!

[Pause for applause]

Do this for me, and the name Trump shall not perish from this earth.

Thank you and good luck! Ich bin ein Moscova! Proshchay! Proshchay, proshchayte prisoskami!

[Turns back on audience, gets in limo, drives away; to himself] Losers! Suckers!

[Putin's pickpockets move through the crowd.]



And there you have it, P.O.T.U.S. hands it over to P.O.S.


ADDENDUM 1: FROM THE DREAMS OF NOAH

From time to time I keep a journal of my dreams. Some are of the daydream variety; others are the nocturnal kind. The nocturnal ones tend to be very dark or very absurd in a surreal sense, sometimes more than a bit of both.

Long live the Queen!
Back in February, I awoke from a dream that Trump got the nomination and won the presidency. In my dream Trump, having just been sworn in, was walking to the podium to give his speech when suddenly he keeled over and died. His wife then stepped over his body and moved to the mic, and asked the republican crowd if this meant that she was now Queen, or maybe Tsarina, while Mittens Romney's wife shot eye daggers at her from the side of the stage.

The crowd, wearing white hoods and sheets all, cheered for Mrs. Melania Trump. Then Ted Cruz did a Kanye West and grabbed the mic from Melania and desperately screamed that she wasn't eligible because "She wasn't born here!" The multiple layers of irony confused the crowd mightily. "Well, neither were you," shouted some. All was chaos, until the Duck Dynasty guy said not to worry, that he would be the Republican Party's standard-bearer and President of these United States! The crowd left satisfied and proceeded to march down Constitution Avenue, burning crosses all the way.


ADDENDUM 2: THE PRESIDENT & ETHICS FOR DUMMIES

What follows is a simple explanation of how and why President Trump, despite his press-conference display of big piles of prop folders full of blank paper and forms, and his trying to get away with his cagy nonsolution of turning his businesses over to his sons, will still have his conflicts of interest and be in conflict with our Constitution and in opposition to the Founding Fathers' design. But hey, he thinks he is above all that.


"The President is not above the law."


ADDENDUM 3: THIS POST ENDS MY ANNUAL
YEAR IN REVIEW SERIES FOR 2016

The way I see it, the future and the new year officially begin the moment Comrade Trumpinsky is sworn in as President. Vladirmir Putin will be smiling, and Osama bin Laden, now residing in a multi-religion Hell, will be hanging up a "Mission Accomplished" banner -- while FOX "News" and their nihilistic ilk cheer. 

How long will Comrade Trumpinsky last? Obviously, there's no telling. Are the rumors about Russian blackmailing true? Here in New York, there have been stories of Trump and underage Russian models. Those whispers are not politically motivated. They predate his decision to run for president. Are the rumors of golden showers in Moscow true? Certainly both fit the profile we are seeing.

Will the new President's conflicts of interest sink him? Maybe not --

Transition Team Assures Public Trump Has Too Many Conflicts Of Interest To Favor Any Specific One


WASHINGTON -- Seeking to allay concerns about how the incoming commander-in-chief’s business ties would affect the way he governs, members of Donald Trump’s White House transition team assured the American public Friday that the president-elect has far too many conflicts of interest to favor any individual one. “The American people have absolutely nothing to worry about regarding Mr. Trump’s ethical integrity, as his conflicts of interest are simply too extensive for him to give preferential treatment to any one of them in particular,” said Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway. . . .

[Read the rest onsite.]
What about the growing pile of evidence of a conspiracy involving FBI Director James Comey? Will Trump's very nature sink him? Being a master of the con and leading an audience on is one thing, but leadership requires focus and discipline.

Will Trump's obvious mental illness sink him? His problem is more than just extreme narcissism. He's so untethered that he's already demonstrated that he's well on the way to proving he is a clear and present danger to America. Even a person with normal perceptive ability doesn't need any more proof of that than what we already have.

Will any or all of these sink us as a country? My own experiences in the corporate world have taught me that, as it is right now, the power that is holding up and protecting Trump is no doubt really just a huuugge house of cards being held together by a brotherhood of mutual blackmailers. Pick a card, any card -- but will someone please pull out that Trump one? The President of the United States card has to be a strong card, as much mentally as physically, and this guy doesn't have it.


PRESIDENT TRUMP IS THE LOGICAL RESULT OF 50
YEARS OF GOP POLICIES, STATEMENTS & BELIEFS



Trump has synthesized everything it means to be a republican: anti-semitism, racism, class warfare, fake Christianity, greed that is so extreme that it murders, homophobia, misogyny, you name it. By his words and by his appointments, he is all of that, rolled into one big reeking, perverted-in-every-sense, narcissistic tumor of hate. A party that preaches that some Americans are not as American as others is, by definition, not very American at all.

Trump, therefore, is the ultimate republican creation. He, or someone very like him, was inevitable. The Republican Party chose him as their standard bearer. They endorsed him, and they embrace him every day. We now have a government by metastasizing cancer.

The Democratic Party does not get off scot-free on this. They have enabled it with their spineless overcompromising and misplaced civility in the face of a nihilistically uncompromising and uncivil adversary.

I won't be holding my breath waiting for enough of the slugs and vermin of either party in the House and the Senate to do the right thing for their country and the world. It is, however, worth noting that Richard Nixon went down in flames because just one man, Mark Felt, a top FBI official of the time, under the cover name Deep Throat, had the patriotism, courage, and morality to speak up -- to do the right thing for his country. Mark Felt may not have ever thought he was a national hero, but that's exactly what he will always be.

So, here's my parting snark for the year just passed: May the Lord Tiny Hands Memorial Trump Library be small. Very, very small. Until he goes, we are left with our country needing a Deep Throat to talk about golden showers to hasten that day. It's come to that. Sad.

'Til the next time, and remember: Constant derision, constant snark, and zero tolerance are fine weapons. Use them, liberally.
-- Noah

FINAL THOUGHT FROM AN ACTUAL BILLIONAIRE


"Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business."
-- multibillionaire Mark Cuban, who once offered Trump
$1 million to a charity of his choice
if he'd shave his head

2016 IN REVIEW: AMERICA OFF THE RAILS

Here it is, Noah's completed Year in Review for 2016:

Part 1, "Profiles in Cowardice: The Electoral College" (12/23/2016)
Part 2, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #1: Newt Gingrich" (12/27/2016)
Part 3, "The Trumpf Inauguration Committee Finds The Perfect Inauguration Entertainment At Last!" (12/29/2016)
Part 4, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #2: R-R-Reince Priebus" (1/2/2017)
Part 5, "Comrade Trump: The World's Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me -- Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (1)" (1/4/2017)
Part 6, "Comrade Trump: The World's Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me -- Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (2)" (1/5/2017)
Part 7, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #3: Governors' Edition" (1/9/2017)
Part 8, "Trump -- The Art And Acts Of The Emboldened: The Rise In Hate Crimes Under The Influence Of Comrade T" (1/10/2017)
Part 9, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #4: It's A Sad Thing When Cousins Marry Edition" (1/11/2017)
Part 10, "Republican Person Of The Year Nominee #5 -- And Winner!" (1/12/2017)
Part 11, "Comrade Trump: Inauguration Entertainment Update!" (1/15/2017)
Part 12, "A DWT Exclusive: We Have The First Draft Of Comrade Trump's Inauguration Speech!" (today)

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