And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Linkee-poo slides into the weekend

NPR was burning it up the past two days. Did you all have a meeting or something?

"Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes." Theater in the middle of nowhere. "The administration has asked Congress for $1.6 billion for 74 miles of new border wall…" The total length of our border with Mexico is 1,989 miles.

"Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 7,200-foot-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from 'tired mountain syndrome.'" There's only so many times you can break a rock.

"This winter is going to be a warm one for the majority of the United States, according to forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center." I remember when El Nino was a once every decade event.

We don't need any regulations. "For five days in December of that year, London was blanketed by a yellow toxic vapor that smothered its inhabitants. By the time this poisonous air mass moved on and death records were correctly tallied, some 12,000 people would be recognized as fatalities of what was called The Great Smog of 1952."

Also, "Increasing pollution worldwide is proving deadlier than war, natural disasters or smoking, according to a new report published in the Lancet medical journal. Based largely on 2015 data from the Global Burden of Disease, the report estimates that at least 9 million premature deaths were caused during the year by diseases from toxic exposure." We're number 8, btw.

"A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that would have allowed a detained teenager who is in the U.S. illegally to have an abortion, in the latest twist in a legal battle between the ACLU and the Trump administration." Delay, delay, delay.

Note to Texas, "Spain was preparing to impose direct rule over semi-autonomous Catalonia after the region's leader Carles Puigdemont declined to categorically renounce an independence referendum, the prime minister's office announced Thursday."

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Chipotle and cut its earnings targets for 2018 and 2019, saying the struggling restaurant chain will have trouble cutting back labor costs any further than it already has." Apparently they're too good to their employees. This is what's known as "economic extortion." (Grokked from Steven Gould)

"Quebec has approved a law that would require citizens of the Canadian province to uncover their faces while giving or receiving any public service — a rule critics say is aimed at Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa." I'm not sure Quebec knows what "Religious Neutrality" actually means. Just a continuation of men arguing over what women should or should not wear.

"By the end of November 1965, U.S. officials were well aware that mass murders were underway. At this point, roughly two months into an Indonesian military campaign that would ultimately kill at least half a million people, U.S. Embassy staff privately expressed no shock in reporting that thousands had already been summarily executed." Whatever you do, don't tell the American public. So what's going on in the Philippines and the relative American silence isn't a new story.

"'While we appreciate the work of your staff, the lack of a timely waiver approval will prevent thousands of Oklahomans from realizing the benefits of significantly lower insurance premiums in 2018,' Oklahoma Health Secretary Terry Cline wrote in a Sept. 29 letter to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explaining why the state was withdrawing the application." The current administration dragging its feet on helping people get lower premiums? Shocked, shocked I am… Yes, Virginia, the Trump Administration (and conservatives in general) are hell-bent on screwing over the poor.

"Now NPR has taken a closer look at the charitable-giving claims made by a Trump property, the Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles. We have found that the golf club's charitable giving has followed the same pattern — falling far short of what the organization claimed." It's almost as if it were a pattern of behavior that flows from the top of the organization.

"The Senate took a significant step toward rewriting the tax code on Thursday night with the passage of a budget blueprint that would protect a $1.5 trillion tax cut from a Democratic filibuster." So they'll use their reconciliation token on the tax cut. Good to know they have no intention of making this fair. However, it also means they can't use that trick for repealing Obamacare until Fiscal Year 2019. But it also slashes Medicaid/Medicare spending (which, IIRC, isn't a part of the discretionary spending), defunds Planned Parenthood (helloooo lawsuit), and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (and other places) to oil and gas exploration.

And Trump pledges to have the biggest tax cuts ever. So, welcome to the fleecing of America. The sad part is that all the people who will be hurt by this will still vote Republican because they'll hope that these will hurt minorities even more.

Dear Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, with all due respect, sir, bite me. This story is not about the fallen and their families. This is a story about the president's lack of empathy and self awareness. It's about his lack of compassion for anyone other than himself. As you are well aware, there is a way combat soldiers talk to each other that would not be understood by their spouses (unless they're also combat soldiers). There's a way those who served talk with each other that those outside wouldn't understand (even working in a hospital, there are ways we health workers who work directly with the patients can talk with each other that we would never let someone outside hear us because they wouldn't understand). You don't talk the same way to someone who served like you do to a spouse, a parent, or someone who has never worn the uniform. The president is your charge, sir. This was an entirely self-inflicted wound by his partially non-sequitur answer to a question on why he hadn't tweeted or spoken about the deaths in Niger. He brought this attention on himself. The congress woman is a friend of the family and was on speaker phone in the car with the president's call, it's not like she surreptitiously picked up an extension line after sneaking into the house. Please take your sanctimonious self-importance and shove it. Do your fucking job, general. Get your charge under control and educate him. That literally is your fucking job. His troubles are starting to reflect on you.

No comments: