Thursday, February 02, 2017

Well, it's Groundhog Day, again! (And listener is dipping candles!)


  1. By now you've seen the Twitter message that declares:
    "The estimated security cost for Melania living 200 miles away from Trump is double the annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts."

    Well, I looked it up. The annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts is 146.2 million USD. It cost taxpayers half a million a day for security at Trump Towers prior to the Inauguration. So it would not be surprising if it were twice that now.
    We the People provide a home for the President and Family. It is called the White House. If their child has special needs and must stay in NYC, the cost should not fall to the taxpayers. At least not all of it. That's just absurd. They could at least live somewhere else in the city, easier for the SS to tend. The building is 664ft high and has to be accessed by elevators. There is no way to get the President and First Family out quickly in case of an issue.
    For this to be the situation and the Arts to be axed is UNACCEPTABLE! I'm calling my Congress members about this.

  2. The irony on the cut, is that it's actually cheaper to keep it. Keeping it is a million jobs, and billions in income to the Feds. . . .

  3. Wednesday night's meeting of the DFA Oak Park group was a huge success. Nobody expected 40 people, but that's what we had. Several were attending their first political meeting ever. Lots of enthusiasm. Anybody who wishes can attend a "steering committee" meeting in two weeks, and we'll have an appropriately larger venue for the meeting the first Wednesday in March.

    1. Great news, Bill!

      As a rep from the AFL-CIO said at the Women's March in Washington: Whatever else you can say about Trump, he's a hell of an organizer!

  4. Well, well--2020? That's only four years away. I hadn't thought about how big an effect loss of a small portion of their market would have on the profitabilities of conventional energy companies, but it makes sense. Sounds like it's unstoppable, no matter what the denialists say or do. Good. Still stuck in LAX waitin' for a plane...

    Reasons to be cheerful: a full switch to low-carbon energy is in sight [Click]

    Electric cars and cheap solar 'could halt fossil fuel growth by 2020' [Click]

  5. I heard that Punxsutawney Phil looked around and predicted four more years of Winter.

  6. This stunner comes via Jo in Vermont:

    And Snopes confirms it:

    I have to say I'm feeling very disheartened today after hearing Rep. Peter Welch on Vermont Edition. He said that he does not foresee it being possible for Congress to Impeach or Remove DT, unless Republicans change their stance.

    He was also asked if it helps for people to call a legislator (such as himself) if they agree with them, and whether it helps to call people who are not your own legislators. He said that legislators only tally their own constituents, and that one's own constituents calling is always welcome, particularly because it keeps the constituents engaged.

    I really do have better things to do with my time than making useless phone calls so that I can feel engaged.

    Back to dipping candles!

    1. I noticed that when you called Sen. Collins you identified yourself as a grandmother of three children in Maine. I think that makes a difference -- if your aren't yourself a constituent, you have family connections to constituents. But I agree that it is generally useless to try contacting legislators in other districts.
      I do think telling one's own legislators you agree with them is useful, however, because it encourages them to hold firm against those calling to express disagreement.

    2. That may be true for some, Bill, but I have growing doubt. The majority of Americans didn't vote for DT or his views, but the Republicans are holding firm, despite calls. Even here in Vermont, where we mostly agree with our Congress members, they may well go their own way ~ such as when 86% of Vermonters voted for Bernie and Pat Leahy voted for Hillary anyway.

      I think they make up their own minds. Right now, it could be helpful for them to feel the people behind the (or in front of them, as the case may be). But that's not what Peter Welch said. He said it is primarily to keep people engaged.

    3. I guess I heard that as basically busywork.

  7. WTF? A guy can’t take half a day off for a friendly little attempted murder with gang enhancements and so forth without pandemonium continuing to bust loose? A few headlines only—too many links!—Alan

    P.S.: It's a long shot, but I am investigating whether I might be able to assert Canadian birthright citizenship—depends on the existence (or not) of a century-old record. Bolt holes are good.
    Political Wire [Click]
    GOP Stumbles In Effort to Repeal Obamacare
    40% Support Impeaching Trump
    Iran Shrugs Off ‘Inexperienced’ President (sounds very reasonable to me)
    White House Leaks Are a Sign of Dysfunction
    Most Disapprove of Trump’s Executive Orders
    Trump Jumbled the House Battleground for 2018
    Democrats Hiring Operatives In 20 GOP-Held Districts
    Trump Vows to Lift Ban on Church Political Activity
    Is McConnell Willing to Kill the Filibuster? (probably not…)
    No Sign of Melania
    Democrats Plot Protest for Trump’s Speech to Congress

    Talking Points Memo [Click]
    You’re Not Crazy, The Leaks Coming Out Of The Trump Admin Really Are YUGE
    GOP Senator To Angry Constituents: Schedule Your Protest In Advance!
    Bombshell Lands in the Antipodes (and McCain tries to clean up the mess; US Ambassador in Canberra ditto) [Click]
    Trump team building a wall inside National Security Council (What could possibly go wrong?)
    Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: Pray for Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Democrats press Goodlatte on staffers' secret work for Trump (Yay for John Conyers!)

    The Guardian [Click]
    Republicans back off bill to sell 3.3m acres of public land after outcry
    Janet Yellen: first female Fed chair and economics trailblazer faces Trump's ax
    Trump’s honeymoon with the stock market will soon be over
    Schwarzenegger proposes job swap after Trump takes jab at Apprentice ratings

    1. Attempted murder *trial* I should have said...


    2. I was thinking, "Well, as long as it's friendly." ;-)

    3. Ya know, that job swap sounds like a swell idear.

  8. Reuters:
    "U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.

    "As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists."

    Noooooooooooooo!!! Oh my stars! How can this be making American great? Don't ask people to put their lives on the line if you don't have their backs!!!!!! Are you listening now, Republican Congress members?!!

    1. Small potatoes indeed, compared to what Bush The Younger did.


    2. No doubt that will be a great comfort to the families of the Navy SEAL and the women and children killed.

      Of course, it was only Day 8 of his Presidency when this happened.

    3. Alan's right. In itself this was a colossal and frightening fuck up. My deepest sympathy goes to the family, since they will have to live with the knowledge that their loss might have been avoided. OTOH even in the best planned operation unforeseen circumstances arise, accidents happen. That same seal might have died had there been meticulous intelligence gathering and planning.

      From the standpoint of Trump's scorecard, he's got a ways to go to equal Dubya. Mind you, if he could manage something of such proportions on Day Eight, odds are good he'll come up to speed and even surpass Dubya real fast. And if that's not a terrifying thought, I don't know what is.

  9. Just in Time for Trump, Jury Says Defense of Planet Is No Crime [Click] Now, this is an interesting story, indeed.—Alan

  10. Republicans just repealed law blocking the mentally ill from owning guns.

    Well, they would kind of have to, or no skeet shooting with the President.