Sunday, May 14, 2017

Flash Mob Protests Trump Golf Course

A California grassroots protest group had a flash of inspiration: Members would scurry onto an open space near Donald Trump’s National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes and arrange themselves to spell out “RESIST!”

The Saturday action by Indivisible San Pedro — whose members sometimes refer to themselves as “The Indivisibles” — went off without a hitch. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies showed up, but the protest was peaceful and broke no laws. While the 30-foot-tall “letters” look like they’re in the center of Trump’s coastal golf course — and close to the clubhouse — they were actually created by some 200 protesters in a small park connected to the grounds. The California Coastal Commission, which guards public access to the Pacific Ocean, protects the park from encroachment from the golf course.

Organizers planned the strike to be lightning-fast. “We wanted an element of surprise,” said retired journalist and Indivisible group member Peter Martin. “By the time the Trump people figured out what we were doing, we’d be gone.”

The group studied public access and parking, and learned they didn’t need a permit for their protest. They met with a member of the Coastal Commission who told them they absolutely had a First Amendment right to protest at the spot, said Martin.

Theater professional and group member Melanie Jones planned out most of the logistics, said Martin. She calculated how many people — two deep and lying down — it would take to make each letter “tall” enough to be easily filmed by a hired drone. The group practiced forming letters during one of its weekly meetings.

Participants were told to be at the site at 9 a.m. and wearing white. They gathered at different picnic tables to meet with their specific “letter captain.” The entire letter-creating operation took about 15 minutes, and people sang “God Bless America” as they lay in their human “Resist” message, Martin said. Then they were out of there.

“We had a good time,” said Martin.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Breaking: Trump Fires FBI Director

In a shocking development, Donald Trump has fired FBI Director Comey.  No one saw it coming-- apparently it was in the works for about a week between Jeff Sessions and the White House.  Many have commented on whether it was appropriate for Sessions (who had recused himself from the Russian investigation) to be involved in the removal of the man actually running the Russian investigation.

In a total weasel move, Trump's letter didn't state his personal reasons for making the decision, but rather shifted the blame to a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (presumably Jeff Sessions was too stupid to write it).   Even worse, Trump didn't have the balls to call Comey himself to deliver the news--- Comey found out when the news of his firing came over CNN on a TV in a conference room where he was speaking to FBI employees in the Los Angeles field office.  In a move that demonstrated how personal this was for Trump, he had the letter delivered to the FBI building by his personal bodyguard (Keith Schiller) instead of the White House Counsel or Chief of Staff.  People are even speculating that the White House had no idea that Comey was on travel status in Los Angeles.

Of course, nobody believes that Trump fired Comey because of how he publicly dealt with the Clinton email invesigation.  Trump himself praised Comey during the campaign and said he was 'being brave" in how he handled her case.  If Trump did have any issue with Comey over the Clinton email handling, he would have fired him the day after inauguration.

Legal scholars and historians are comparing these events to Nixon's firing of Archibald Cox in 1973.   To most of these observers, the Comey firing is a grotesque abuse of power-- and it is now abundantly clear that Trump does not recognize the concept of checks and balances in our democracy.  Comey wouldn't explicitly rule out Trump as being under investigation in his Hill testimony last week, and Trump was pissed.  Trump's pathetic non-sequitur in his letter (where he squeezed in a mention that Comey allegedly said to him three times he wasn't under investigation) makes that clear.  Everyone in the federal government should take note-- displease King Trump and your career will be in jeopardy.   This alone may explain why career prosecutor Rod Rosenstein would agree to be complicit in this controversy.

Almost assuredly, there will be monumental pressure for Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor on the Russia investigation.  There is widespread concern now that they real reason Comey was fired was because the FBI's Russian investigation was getting to close to Trump for comfort.  The only way for the American public to have any confidence in our democracy is to have a special prosecutor to uncover the truth of whether Russia was involved in steering the election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign (or even Trump himself) was involved.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Guess Who Skipped History Class?

Donald Trump continues to make news for all the wrong reasons-- today, he mulled over the Civil War and suggested President Andrew Jackson could have prevented it.   Jackson, a populist who Trump often gets compared to, was elected in 1828 and died in 1845, 16 years before the Civil War began. He was also a slave owner.

In an interview on SiriusXM, Trump displayed an appalling lack of knowledge of American history.  "[Jackson] was a very tough person, but he had a big heart," Trump began.  Trump then claimed that Jackson was "really angry' with "what was happening with regard to the Civil War." 

'[Jackson] said there's no reason for this,' Trump continued. "People, don't realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it why? People don't ask that question," according to Trump.  "But why was there the Civil War?" Trump said. "Why could that one not been worked out?"

'People don't ask that question. But why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not been worked out?' Trump asked.

The reason that people don't ask that question is because the answer is abundantly clear.  Most educated Americans now know that the Civil War was about slavery.

Conservative commentator David Frum tried to put a positive spin on Trump's amazing display of ignorance, tweeting, "At least Trump does seem aware that Andrew Jackson is dead."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Yes, This Is Actually The Leader Of The Free World Talking

The Associated Press published the transcript of its interview with Trump-- it's unbelievable that people actually voted for this mental midget.

Here he  is lying about generating Chris Wallace's highest ratings (he didn't) and being more popular thatn 9/11:
    TRUMP: … [I]t’s interesting, I have, seem to get very high ratings. I definitely. You know Chris Wallace had 9.2 million people, it’s the highest in the history of the show. I have all the ratings for all those morning shows. When I go, they go double, triple. Chris Wallace, look back during the Army-Navy football game, I did his show that morning.

    AP: I remember, right.

    TRUMP: It had 9.2 million people. It’s the highest they’ve ever had. On any, on air, (CBS “Face the Nation” host John) Dickerson had 5.2 million people. It’s the highest for “Face the Nation” or as I call it, “Deface the Nation.” It’s the highest for “Deface the Nation” since the World Trade Center. Since the World Trade Center came down. It’s a tremendous advantage.
And how he learned that missiles kill people (no kidding):
TRUMP: Number One, there’s great responsibility. When it came time to, as an example, send out the 59 missiles, the Tomahawks in Syria. I’m saying to myself, “You know, this is more than just like, 79 (sic) missiles. This is death that’s involved,” because people could have been killed. This is risk that’s involved, because if the missile goes off and goes in a city or goes in a civilian area — you know, the boats were hundreds of miles away — and if this missile goes off and lands in the middle of a town or a hamlet …. every decision is much harder than you’d normally make. (unintelligible) … This is involving death and life and so many things. … So it’s far more responsibility.
And how he learned that the government is really YOOGE:
    TRUMP: The financial cost of everything is so massive, every agency. This is thousands of times bigger, the United States, than the biggest company in the world. The second-largest company in the world is the Defense Department. The third-largest company in the world is Social Security. The fourth-largest — you know, you go down the list.

    AP: Right.

    TRUMP. It’s massive. And every agency is, like, bigger than any company. So you know, I really just see the bigness of it all, but also the responsibility. And the human responsibility. You know, the human life that’s involved in some of the decisions.
And still whining:
TRUMP: I used to get great press. I get the worst press. I get such dishonest reporting with the media. That’s another thing that really has — I’ve never had anything like it before. It happened during the primaries, and I said, you know, when I won, I said, “Well the one thing good is now I’ll get good press.” And it got worse. (unintelligible) So that was one thing that a little bit of a surprise to me. I thought the press would become better, and it actually, in my opinion, got more nasty.
And here he is claiming the wall will stop all drugs:
TRUMP: If we stop 1 percent of the drugs from coming in — and we’ll stop all of it. But if we stop 1 percent of the drugs because we have the wall — they’re coming around in certain areas, but if you have a wall, they can’t do it because it’s a real wall. That’s a tremendously good investment, 1 percent. The drugs pouring through on the southern border are unbelievable. We’re becoming a drug culture, there’s so much. And most of it’s coming from the southern border. The wall will stop the drugs.
And here is, all conflicted about Wikileaks-- he likes the info they release, but yet he doesn't:
    TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out … never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, “Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff.” You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn’t have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren’t able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, “Wow.” It was just a figure of speech. I said, “Well, look at this. It’s good reading.”

    AP: But that didn’t mean that you supported what Assange is doing?

    TRUMP: No, I don’t support or unsupport. It was just information. They shouldn’t have allowed it to get out.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

GOP's Willful Ignorance

The situation in Syria has basically been unchanged over the past four years-- other than the thousands of Syrians that have died at the hands of Assad (using weapons provided by Russia). But it seems that a lot of Republicans have changed their minds regarding U.S. airstrikes in Syria.


What do you think made the difference between 2013 and 2017? 

Friday, April 21, 2017

So Much For Nepotism Laws

After Donald Trump was elected, he said his children would serve no role in his administration.

Mere months later, the Trump White House announced Ivanka Trump would join the administration as a senior adviser to Donald Trump. But in an attempt to assuage taxpayers, they said Ivanka's role would be unpaid. 

Then came reports that Ivanka would be issued government equipments and communication devices-- for what reason, if she's not a government employee?   She is also going to be issued a top government clearance-- again for what reason if she is not a government employee and has no demonstrated need to see classified information?  Aren't security clearances supposed to be granted on a need to know basis?

This week provided further revelations that made clear that Trump's flouting of nepotism laws would be costing taxpayers even MORE money.  The White House announced that  Ivanka ( “special” assistant to the president) has hired a chief of staff.   And she will also be getting a taxpayer-funded spokesperson.



The White House is assuring everyone that Ivanke will still be following all ethics laws, however.  Who really believes that BS, anyway?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Think Twice About Going Back To United

The doctor dragged off a United Airlines flight suffered even further insult from the callous airline.   It has now come to light that on top of physically ejecting a paying customer, the airline did not take the time to release their luggage to Dr. Dao and his wife, instead sending it back to Kentucky and leaving them with nothing.

To make matters worse, United’s promise to reimburse the cost of the flight to the other terrorized passengers comes with a catch.  In order to get the refund, the affected customers have to promise not to sue United.  But the hits keep coming.

The same day of the infamous Chicago incident, a man on a United flight from Houston to Calgary was stung by a scorpion. The venomous creature fell from an overhead bin and landed on Richard Bell's hair as he was eating lunch in his business class seat.   United offered the passenger compensation, but the victim mysteriously refused to comment on the terms of that compensation.

On top of those stinging reports came another story of United's cruelty.  Last week, an elderly woman with a degenerative bone disease and severe arthritis was left in distress and pain after a United light from Los Angeles to Melbourne turned into a 16-hour ordeal thanks to callous United Airlines crew.

94-year-old Australian grandmother, Paz Orquiza was returning from what will likely be her last-ever visit to family in Los Angeles.  Orquiza's family had booked her a $3,600 business class ticket so she could fly in comfort. Her daughter, Rose, flew in economy, helping out with feeding and chair adjustments.  There were no problems with these arrangements on the outbound trip to Los Angeles..

But when the mother and daughter boarded the return flight to Australia, the United crew wouldn't allow the Rose to leave economy to help her elderly mother - and United staff wouldn't help either,  The flight attendant, without any sympathy or compassion, told the daughter that she could either take her mother to economy class, buy a business-class ticket for herself or leave the elderly woman to suffer on her own.

And so the 94-year-old-- who spends most of her days bed-bound--  was moved to the more cramped economy class.  Upon arrival to Australia, the elderly woman's legs had swollen, her neck was stiff and her whole body ached.  According to her daughter, her mother suffered great distress and pain from the ordeal, requiring strong pain medication and Valium to help with sleep.

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