Saturday, February 18, 2017

WSJ Editorial Invites Ed. Sec Betsy Billionaire DeVos to Destroy Public Education

Not That She Needed An Invitation

The strident ugly hatred of conservatives is always on display on the Op/Ed pages of the Wall Street Journal.  So it is no surprise that rather than celebrating the confirmation of one of their own, Betsy (I never saw a public school I didn't hate) DeVos as Secretary of Education they attacked Democrats for their futile attempt to derail the appointment.

"Why is Betsy DeVos the one nominee Democrats go all out to defeat?
The answer is the cold-blooded reality of union power and money. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are, along with environmentalists, the most powerful forces in today’s Democratic Party. They elect Democrats, who provide them more jobs and money, which they spend to elect more Democrats, and so on. To keep this political machine going, they need to maintain their monopoly control over public education."
What's her virtue? Well there is this
"Mrs. DeVos isn’t a product of that monopoly system."

Well that's pretty obvious, otherwise she would have at least some compassion and understanding of public education. And maybe, just maybe Dems and others were opposed to her because she is totally and completely unqualified for the job. Eli Broad, a very rich man and supporter with money and writings for charter schools was opposed to her.

And so what do they want the billionaire to do? Well this.

"All you need to know about today’s Democratic Party is that this is precisely the reason the party went to such extraordinary lengths to destroy her. We trust she realizes that her best revenge will be to use every resource of her new job to press the campaign for charter schools and vouchers from coast to coast."

Yeah, we would have thought a decent and compassionate WSJ would want her to work to improve public schools, you know, where a huge majority of non-billionaire kids will be educated. But as we say, that would have required decency and compassion.  And if the WSJ really wanted to know why Dems and two Republicans voted against her, and they don't, here is the NYT editorial explaiining it to them.

"She has never run, taught in, attended or sent a child to an American public school, and her confirmation hearings laid bare her ignorance of education policy and scorn for public education itself. She has donated millions to, and helped direct, groups that want to replace traditional public schools with charter schools and convert taxpayer dollars into vouchers to help parents send children to private and religious schools.
While her nomination gave exposure to an honest and passionate debate about charter schools as an alternative to traditional public schools, her hard-line opposition to any real accountability for these publicly funded, privately run schools undermined their founding principle as well as her support. Even champions of charters, like the philanthropist Eli Broad and the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, opposed her nomination."

Another Day – Another Trump Lie – January: Replacement Health Care Plan Ready to Go; February: Plan Does Not Exist, Maybe in 2018

Is It A Lie If Everybody Knew Was a Lie?

Back in January, when the Republicans were going to repeal and replace ACA on Day 1 everybody knew there was no plan to replace repeal with.  So Donnie did what Donnie does, he made up a story that they had a replacement ready to go just as soon as the new HHS head was in place*.  Now in a rare unprecedented event, Trumpie may have told the truth.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump said in an interview that aired on Sunday that a replacement health care law was not likely to be ready until either the end of this year or in 2018, a major shift from promises by both him and Republican leaders to repeal and replace the law as soon as possible.
“Maybe it’ll take till sometime into next year, but we’re certainly going to be in the process,” Mr. Trump said during an interview with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, after Mr. O’Reilly asked the president whether Americans could “expect a new health care plan rolled out by the Trump administration this year.”

So in the meantime they will just continue to screw up the existing plan, make it harder for people to get insurance and make the whole system experience financial catastrophe.  All part of blaming it on Obama.

*Meaning Tom Price was Head of HHS, not that he had his head out of his ass.  No one expects that.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Greece Economy is Brain Dead and on EU/INF Life Support – And Someone is Getting Ready to Pull the Plug

Greek Recovery:  If Something Cannot Happen, It Will Not Happen

In order to stave off a complete financial collapse the Greek government agreed to the impossible task of running a budget surplus (before interest payments) of 3.5%.  In return the European community and the IMF gave Greece massive loans.  Now the loan money is running out and the bill collector is coming to Athens.

Wolfgang Munchau, probably the best of the world’s financial writers explains.

Failure to tell truth to power lies beneath much of what is going wrong in Europe right now. It may not be the principal cause of the Greek debt crisis, which is now on its umpteenth iteration. But it is more than a mere contributing factor. You notice it particularly at those moments when others speak the truth, as the staff of the International Monetary Fund have done recently. In its latest survey of the Greek economy it states that “public debt has reached 179 per cent [of gross domestic product] at end-2015, and is unsustainable”.

Walking Dead, Zombies, Destroyed City
No it's not a TV show - It's the Soon to Be Greek Economy 

The problem is the same that any debtor who is over extended.  Greece cannot pay back the money it borrowed.  It’s creditors will not allow it to restructure (forgive) part of the debt.  It needs more money just to avoid default and collapse and ejection from the Euro and the EU.  A big payment is due this summer.

Athens will either default on its debt this summer and be forced to quit the eurozone, or Berlin will accept debt relief just a few months before the elections. Either way, this is a fight in which someone ends up on the floor.

The someone who ends up on the floor is almost certainly Greece.  Yes, part of it is its own fault, but a large part is a failed European policy led by Germany.  And if the EU collapses, well, welcome to a world of hurt everybody.  At best the can will be kicked down the road, again.  But the road is a dead end and there's not much pavement left.

Earth to Trump - The Campaign is Over, Time to Start Governing

Apparently nobody in the White House Has Told Him That

Still running for the office of President (obviously he hasn't assumed it yet) Donald Trump will be making campaign stops in South Carolina and Floriday this weekend.

President Donald Trump is returning to the trail.

The president will hold a rally Saturday afternoon at a hangar in Melbourne, Florida. It will be his first campaign-style rally since his so-called thank-you tour during the transition period to states he won in November.

“Join me in Florida this Saturday at 5pm for a rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport!” Trump tweeted from his personal Twitter handle, along with a link for supporters to RSVP.

Donald needs the love of the crowd, and obviously he has not been getting it recently because the truth and facts are unbiased. So off on the trail to a friendly audience, that is, white. And because he had nothing to do with the development and sale of Boeing jetliners he will also go to a Boeing plant in ultra friendly South Carolina and claim credit.

The rally will follow the president’s trip to Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday. White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Tuesday that Trump will attend the rollout of a new Boeing plane: the 787-10 Dreamliner.

“This visit will give the president an opportunity to celebrate a huge milestone for thousands of workers at Boeing, America’s No. 1 exporter in the millions of American workers involved in aerospace,” Spicer said. “This trip has been months in the making, and we’re thrilled to celebrating the rollout of this amazing plane.”

Taking credit for nothing he had anything to do with. Appearing only in a friendly venue. Talking and not listening. The World of Donald Trump, get used to it.

GOP Has No “Replace” Plan for Health Care, But They Do Have Plenty of Slogans

Reality Confronts the Clueless – and Reality Wins

It is now clear that the Republicans who hate health care for everyone and hate that the Obama administration made health care available and affordable rather than ‘accessible’ for millions have no idea of how to get rid of ACA without dooming millions to lack of health insurance.  They held a retreat in private and secret, but some brave soul recorded the discussion on health care and here is what they said as provided to the Washington Post.

Image result for images of dolts
The GOP Health Care Replacement Team

“So we’re replacing that big monstrosity of the Affordable Care Act with something Americans haven’t had before, which is a health-care backpack — tailored to their needs, which travels with them through their life that they control, the health-care backpack that can go from job to job, state to state,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Wow, that ought to appeal to a lot of voters, or at least a lot of language specialists who study gobble-gook.  So not having anything to actually present Republicans are left to what they do best, spin without substance.

“The word ‘repair’ is a lot better than the word ‘repeal,’ if you want to be accurate,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the health committee, told fellow Republicans. He noted that much of the law will still be intact after legislation that is being billed as the repeal passes. Many other laws would have to be passed over time through the regular order of winning over enough Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster.

“Saying we’re going to ‘repair’ the damage is more accurate,” Alexander said.

Sen. Alexander may be guilty of one of the great sins of Washington, telling the truth.  For that expect him to be vilified by the ‘alternative facts’ wing of the GOP.

New Endangered Species – Public Universities

Destroying the Future for Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

The decline in public support for public education has been growing, and now at the university level it is reaching an epidemic level.  This is primarily because Republicans have taken control of many states.  As states reduce funding of their universities and colleges more of the burden of financing education falls to a debt-burdened student generation and to foreign students. 

Public Universities Become Prime Targets for State Budget Cuts

State legislatures reduce midyear funding and schools brace for more trims . . .


The University of Nebraska is considering tuition increases, as well as cuts to spending on technology, travel and facilities, to deal with declining funding.
The University of Nebraska is considering tuition increases, as well as
 cuts to spending on technology, travel and facilities, to deal
“Facing declining revenue, legislators in Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa recently have reduced state appropriations for public universities and community colleges—more than seven months into those states’ fiscal years.
The University of Nebraska is digesting a likely $13.3 million funding cut for the remainder of the current fiscal year, and staring down a proposal to slash nearly $18 million more over the next two years.
“We want to do everything we can to protect the academic enterprise, and we want to continue to be as affordable as possible,” said President Hank Bounds, who oversees campuses of 51,000 students. “Unfortunately, we are going to violate both of those fundamental principles.”
Now in the short term taxpayers, mainly the highest income taxpayers will see their tax bills either remain constant or even decline.  The future generations, well they will see their future remain constant or even decline.  But conservatives don’t really give a damn.

The Wall Street Journal Evolves - From Journalism to Joke

It Catches the Fox Disease

The Wall Street Journal has a great tradition of top quality journalism combined with a reputation of being a right wing apologist on its editorial and op/ed pages.  When it was acquired by the same people that bring us Fox So-Called News everyone was told the editorial side would be walled off from the news side.

Now in the world of Trump, that hasn't happened.  Reporting on Trump has been skewed and stories that put Trump in a bad light are either left out or reduced.  So the news staff is revolting.  Here is editor Gerry Baker trying to quell the rebellion.

During a more than 30-minute opening address for a newsroom town hall meeting, according to people who were present, Baker said that anyone who claims the Journal has been soft on Trump is peddling "fake news," and that employees who are unhappy with the Journal's objective, as opposed to oppositional, approach to Trump should work somewhere else. He also read out a list of Trump headlines that he offered as evidence the Journal's coverage has been sufficiently strong and critical.

Gosh, sounds like words right out of the Trump playbook.  So how did Mr. Baker excuse his action.  Well he was sleepy, really, you can't make that up.

The tensions came to a head a couple of weeks ago after many staffers took issue with a late-night email from Baker cautioning them against using the phrase "majority Muslim" when describing countries impacted by Trump's immigration ban. (During the town hall, Baker said he hadn't chosen his words "as carefully as I should" have because he had been asleep.)

Fox news, now in charge of the Journal and in the tank for Trump. Fox people touch it, it turns to crap.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

No, The Government Does Not Need to Investigate Kellyanne Conway’s Commercial for Ivanka Trump Clothing – She’s Not Worth It

Stupidity is Not a Crime

In the midst of all of the news about how a top national security adviser to Trumpie engaged in possible illegal contacts with Russia and lied about it, there is also news that those investigative hounds in Congress also want to look into an action by Presidential confidant and all around liar Kellyanne Conway.  Ms. Conway went on TV and actually gave a self-identified commercial for Ivanka Trump products.

This violates ethics rules and so there is impetus for an investigation.

Ethics Watchdog Denounces Conway’s Endorsement of Ivanka Trump Products

WASHINGTON — The White House adviser Kellyanne Conway’s public endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s product line appears to be “a clear violation of the prohibition against misuse of position,” and she should be disciplined, the federal government’s chief ethics watchdog wrote this week in a letter to the White House.

Kellyanne Conway during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

She just didn't know any better, not a crime to be ignorant

This is a waste of resources.  Conway obviously did her thing out of gross stupidity.  Furthermore the Trumpies want this to distract from the serious problems of Flynngate.  So everyone should calm down about Conway and let it go, if stupidity is a crime we will lose the entire Trump team.

Bowling Green, Ohio Furious that Bowling Green, Kentucky Falsely Named as Site of Terrorist Massacre That Did Not Happen

And Other News From the World of Alternative Facts or as They Like to Call it, Trumpworld

It turns out that not only was there no terrorist massacre in Bowling Green, Kentucky there was also no terrorist massacre in Bowling Green, Ohio.  And the city in Ohio is hopping mad that Commie Conway* did not name its city as being the site of a make believe terrorist attack and instead named Bowling Green, Kentucky as that site.  A city spokesperson said that Bowling Green, Ohio had every right to be the target of a non-existent terrorist cell and that it hoped the Trump administration would fix the problem by citing the Ohio Bowling Green as the site of other false reports. 

The city apparently is looking to be designated the northern terminus of the wall between the U. S. and Mexico.  “We know that doesn’t make sense” said the city fathers and mothers “but we could use the jobs and besides having a wall to keep Mexicans out of the U. S. being located in Ohio is certainly in line with the types of other proposals of the Trump people”.

Soviet Sean**, the Minister of Propaganda for the Trump administration reported gave Commie Conway a furious lecture after her appearance on MSNBC and her assertion that the media had covered up the Bowling Green Massacre.  Soviet Sean was understandably upset at being upstaged by a person he considers to be an inferior liar and someone who cannot match him in outright fibbing.  Soviet Sean was reported as saying to the White House that “Look, there’s a lot of lying that needs to take place to defend this administration and I am the one to do it”.

Admiting criticism that its statement on the Holocaust did not mention the fact that Jews were the primary (but not only) victims of the atrocity the White House said that it over-ruled the State Department’s draft that did include acknowledgement that it was the Jewish people who were murdered.  The White House explained to the various people that complained that mentioning Jews would not only weaken its near unanimous support among neo-Nazi’s and White Supremacists, or as they put, our friendly Breitbart crowd but also imply that Trump did not want the support of Holocaust Deniers. 

“A government lawyer said more than 100,000 visas were revoked by the Trump administration. The State Department later said it was “fewer than 60,000.”  (actually this is a true quote, see NYT).  Later the President put out a tweet saying to conflicting information just shows that we really don’t know what we are doing here, and so no one should criticize us because they don’t have the facts, which we know for sure since we don’t have the facts.  Despite the admission that at least 60,000 and maybe as many as 100,000 people were affected by Trumps immigration order the White House stood by its claim that only about 100 people were impacted.  They also said that 60,000 is close enough to 100 so no one should make a big deal out of this.

It turns out that U. S. taxpayers spent about $100,000 to send Eric Trump (well known private citizen) to Uruguay prior to his father taking the office of the Presidency.  While the Eric visit apparently had nothing to do with official government business the trip was justified because Eric said the U. S. is going to build a wall between Uruguay and Mexico and have the Fiji Islands pay for it.  When it was pointed out that the two countries did not share a common border Eric said that didn’t matter and that pointing that out was just another example of how the media was being unfair to the Trumps.  Almost all of the money was paid for two nights stay at hotels and the explanation for the high costs was that the Secret Service and embassy staff would have stayed in cheaper room but apparently the rates for Motel 6 in Uruguay would have been even higher.

Eric Trump Conducting Taxpayer Paid For Business in Uruguay
or not
Eric Trump is flanked by YY Development Group chief executive Juan Jose Cugliandolo, left, and group owner Moises Yellati outside Trump Tower, which is under construction in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on Jan. 3. Its 154 apartments plus two penthouses are scheduled to be finished in late 2018. (YY Development Group/via AP)

*So named because she so closely resembles the press spokespeople of the old Soviet Union

** See *

In Muslim Ban Case Conservatives Have Abandoned Their Beliefs for Expediency – As They Almost Always Do

One of the big issues with respect to recent court rulings that the Trump administration did not have the authority to issue is Muslim ban is whether or not the plaintiffs, i.e., the states of Washington and Minnesota had standing.  That is, did they have a right to sue the United States government?  In order to do that had to show they were damaged or affected, which is what standing is.

Now this is not the first case in which states have had to prove standing to take the U. S. to court.  Here is the very conservative National Review describing some cases in the past.

“The government had challenged the states’ standing to raise its objections to its changes to lawful status in the form of expanded DACA and DAPA. But the Court rejected that argument because the change of lawful status triggers the granting of state benefits, specifically since Texas law does not issue state-subsidized driver’s licenses to aliens without lawful presence. Enlarging the category of aliens with lawful presence thus imposes a cost on Texas, giving the state a stake in the outcome of the litigation, which is all that is necessary to show standing. 

Ironically, the Supreme Court paved the way for this sort of challenge in Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), which gave what it called “special solicitude” to the state’s sovereign interests and found that Massachusetts had standing to sue the EPA because it could lose some shoreline due to global warming, even over several decades. The Court then reinforced the Massachusetts path in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (2015) just last Term, holding that a state legislature could sue another state entity as an institutional plaintiff asserting an institutional injury. Compared to the basis for standing in Massachusetts, the burden of DAPA on Texas is far less speculative and much more concrete.”

The case under discussion was where Texas sued the Obama administration’s decision not to go after un-documented aliens who were law abiding residents in favor of going after aliens who committed criminal acts.  Conservatives hated this and ultimately the Fifth Circuit ruled for Texas and the Supremes tied on the appeal, thus leaving the Fifth Circuit ruling in effect.  Conservatives, who favor state’s rights over federal rule, were overjoyed.

So one might have expected conservatives to support the idea that Washington and Minnesota had standing in their suit.  But that requires intellectual honesty.  Conservatives only support principles when they favor the outcome conservatives want.  One would also have expected conservatives to mightily condemn the federal government’s argument that it was above the law, that its actions were not reviewable by the courts.  This usurpation of power would have enraged conservatives had the President been Obama.  But to repeat, that requires intellectual honesty.  Conservatives only support principles when they favor the outcome conservatives want. GET IT!!

So how would real conservatives have reacted to the Washington/ Minnesota case?  They would have agreed that the states had standing and they would have agreed that the courts had jurisdiction and then argued that the law was on the side of the Muslim ban.  Of course that assumes the current conservatives are real conservatives, not the case here or in most other issues.

As Humana Leaves ACA Donnie the Trump Doesn’t Realize He’s in Charge of Health Care Policy Now

You Wanted it Trumpman, You Got It

After the November election the entire onus of health care policy was place upon the Republicans.  They bought it, they own it. 

And now they have no idea what to do with it.  And that uncertainty is causing insurers to re-think their participation in ACA and in some cases to say, enough is enough, until Trumps get their act together , include us out.  From the NYT:

Humana Plans to Pull Out of Obamacare’s Insurance Exchanges


Humana announced on Tuesday that it would no longer offer health insurance coverage in the state marketplaces created under the federal health care law, becoming the first major insurer to cast a no-confidence vote over selling individual plans on the public exchanges for 2018.

Ecstatic that at 150,000 people could lose health insurance for 2018 Trump crowed

Obamacare continues to fail. Humana to pull out in 2018. Will repeal, replace & save healthcare for ALL Americans.

No you won't, you haven't a clue.  

And Donny, this is your problem, this is your policy, this is the result of your actions or lack thereof.  Sorry, the campaign is over, you got this on your plate.

And everyone should remember that Trump just said maybe he will have something by 2018.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Last Week - EMERGENCY -Terrorists Pouring Into the U. S. from Syria, Iraq etc.

This Week - Never Mind

The major emergency that led to Trumpie issuing one of the most stupid executive orders ever required emergency rulings from the courts, particularly the 9th Circuit.  After losing last Friday Trump had several options.  He could have asked for a re-hearing before different judges.  He could have asked for the en banc hearing from the 9th Circuit which would have brought more judges into the process.  Or he could have appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

So what has he done about this terrible ruling that is letting terrorists pour into the country?


Clueless WSJ Editorial Asks if Intelligence Agencies Had Warrant to Listen to Flynn/Russian Conversation

Yeah, Like That's the Issue Here

We set the WSJ straight

As the nation roils in turmoil over the fact that recently deposed national security adviser Michael Flynn interfered in Obama administration policy with Russia and then lied about it, the king of the righ wing hacks, the editors of the Wall Street Journal ignored that question and wondered if the intelligence agencies that obtained a copy of the phone conversation had a warrant to do so.

The questions someone in the White House should ask the National Security Agency is why it didn’t use minimization procedures to protect Mr. Flynn? Or did it also have a court order to listen to Mr. Flynn, and how did it justify that judicial request?
If Mr. Flynn was under U.S. intelligence surveillance, then Mr. Trump should know why, and at this point so should the American public. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation, but the Trump White House needs to know what’s going on with Mr. Flynn and U.S. spies.
Wow, the villian here is not a lying government senior defense/intelligence officer but the intelligence agencies that caught him. Like when police catch a bank robber isn't it the fault of the police for following up the clues?

Well we're going to set the WSJ straight, and do so in all caps because shouting at these people may be the only way to get through to them.


Yep, that ought to do it.

Dear DPE: Advice to the Concerned and Confused

Editor’s Note:  The DPE does not get ‘Dear Abby’ type letters but if he did here is what they would be and what  he would say.

Dear DPE: 

I love college basketball but am sickened by the degradation it causes in the integrity of our college and university system.  How can I keep on watching it?

Signed: Upset in Chapel Hill

Dear Upset: 

What you have to realize is that major college athletic programs no longer have any relationship with the college or university sponsoring them except for the brand.  So you need to divorce the actual operations of higher education from the sports activities and just concentrate on enjoying the action, knowing that other than sharing a name the team and the college have no other relationship.

Dear DPE:

I mistakenly bought an Ivanka Trump item and now the store will not take it back because they said even if they put it back on sale nobody is buying ‘this crap’ anymore (their words, not mine).  What do I do with ‘this crap’? 

Signed:  Shamed In Seattle

Dear Shamed:

Your local Goodwill store will take it as a donation, but we talked with them and they said you will have to cut out the label first before any of their staff would handle it.  Your other choice is to save it for Halloween but we would not advise doing that as the brand name may be recognized and you could be in physical danger.

Dear DPE:

I am a distinguished law professor and recently my students have asked me what a ‘so-called judge’ is.  I know about Supreme Court justices, circuit judges, family court judges, etc but I had never heard of a ‘so-called judge’ and I have no answer for my students.  I need to tell them something, what?

Signed:  Confused at Cornell

Dear Confused:

A so-called judge is any judge at either the state, local or federal level who rules what the law actually is instead of basing a ruling on alternative facts and alternative law.  According to Press Secretary Sean Spicer defining alternative facts and alternative law is the exclusive jurisdiction of the President, that is, Republican Presidents.  We contacted Mr. Spicer and he said that while the current situation is confusing the President will only appoint judges who uphold alternative law so that in a few years so-called judges will be extinct and your students will not have a problem understanding the law.

Dear DPE:

I am high up in the Trump Administration and recently violated the law.  Now I am concerned that Congress will investigate me and that it may ultimately lead to charges.  It’s not my fault, I had no idea about any of the laws, rules or regulations I violated.

Signed:  Worried at the White House

Dear Worried:

Normally ignorance of the law is not a defense against a charge of violating the law, but given the level of ignorance of the law in the current administration we have been told that the Justice Department will be willing to make an exception, because as one member of the new Attorney General’s staff explained, “If we have to go after all of the law breakers at the White House we won’t have staff or time to go after the Clintons”. 

Dear DPE:

I was brought to American illegally when I was 3 months old.  I have graduated high school and college at the top of my class.  As a research intern I discovered some very promising cancer treatments.  As a marine stationed in the Middle East I have been decorated several times for saving the lives of my fellow marines and army soldiers.  Will I be able to stay in the United States or will I be deported?

Signed: American Hero in Houston

Dear American Hero:

I checked with ICE and they said, and I quote “If that person doesn’t get their sorry ass out of the country we are going to track 'em down and throw their sorry ass in jail for 10 years and then deport them as far away as we can send them.  We are going to use our discretion to persecute (sic) people like that to show the nation that’s the kind of individual we just don’t want in America.  That person is obvoiusly a born criminal, doing major crime at 3 months old”.  

So we would say ‘keep a bag packed’.

Think Conservatives Care About Women? Read This: Arkansas passes law allowing rapists to sue victims who want an abortion

Just Another Day in Trump's America

Britain's Independent Reports News American Press Ignores.

The War Against Women has taken another nasty turn,

A pregnant woman's husband will have the power to stop her from having an abortion, even in cases of spousal rape, under a new law introduced in the US state of Arkansas.  
Most second trimester abortions will also be banned by Act 45 - the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act - which will make it possible for husbands to sue doctors who carry out abortions for civil damages, or get an injunction to block the termination.

It gets worse.

D&E procedures are the safest way for women to end their pregnancies after 14 weeks of gestation, according to the American Medical Association.
But the medical procedure will now become a felony in the southern state, punishable by a $10,000 fine or six years in prison.
This is despite 683 of Arkansas's 3,771 abortions being D&E in 2015, according to the state's health department.  

So let's sum this up. If the "We hate Women" caucus in Arkansas has its way a rapist can sue his victim and even if he losess the woman who is trying not to have his baby cannot undergo the safest procedure. That's what happens when so called religious folks gain control.

Justice Gravely Ill in Texas, May Not Ever Recover – Poor Hispanic Gets 8 Years in Jail for Illegal Voting; Young Rich Teen Got Probation for Killing 4 People

Life Goes On in Texas’s ‘Alternative Facts’ America

One of the most controversial criminal cases in recent years occurred when a drunk 16 year old got probation, no jail time, just probation for getting all liquored up and driving drunk and killing four. 

“To the families of the victims, Ethan Couch was a killer on the road, a drunken teenage driver who caused a crash that left four people dead.

To the defense, the youth is himself a victim -- of "affluenza," according to one psychologist -- the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy.

To a judge, who sentenced Couch to 10 years' probation but no jail time, he's a defendant in need of treatment.

The decision disappointed prosecutors and stunned victims' family members, who say they feel that Couch got off too easy. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum of 20 years behind bars.”

And now we have Texas dealing with another hardened criminal, an Hispanic woman who was confused about her ability to vote and so voted illegally.

“A permanent U.S. resident living in Texas has been sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally voting, a punishment that will probably result in the woman’s deportation after she completes her sentence.

On Wednesday, a Tarrant County, Tex., jury convicted 37-year-old Rosa Maria Ortega on two felony charges of illegal voting, for casting a ballot as a non-citizen in 2012 and 2014. Ortega is a green-card holder who was brought to the United States from Mexico when she was an infant, her attorney said.”

The Texas AG was ecstatic about the sentence.  Of course, that section of the Constitution that forbids ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment’ for him applies only to wealthy white folks.  In his mind it was never meant to prevent a low income Hispanic for going to jail for eight years for confusion in voting which she herself confessed to and did not change a damn thing in the election.

Interestingly the AG himself has been charged with violating the law.  Anybody want to know the odds on his ever going to jail, well start with 100,000 to 1 and go up from there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Department of Education Corrects Typo on W. E. DuBois with Typo

Betsy DeVos Has Already Made a Difference

In trying to make a point, although we are not sure what the point was, the Department of Education did this, from the Washington Post.

Education must not simply teach work - it must teach life. – W.E.B. DeBois

Okay, so they mispelled his name, the new people followng Bets to the DOE had probably never heard of the man or seen a black person before.  But to correct the situation they did this.

"Hours after the tweet was posted — and after the error was lampooned by a number of people on Twitter, it was corrected, with an apology:

Again, not their fault, Bets has probably never issued apologizes in her life, having $Billions means you don't have to. 

Trump’s Mara-a-Lago Club Increase Initiation Fee by $100,000 – And Trump Appoints An Ethics Team

It’s a Joke Son, It’s a Joke

When Donnie ran for President his winter home which is a country club called Mar-a-Lago , or as we refer to it, ‘Crassness ‘R Us’ became newsworthy.  So after the election the club doubled its initiation fee to $200,000, a $100,000 increase.

“. . . . Bernd Lembcke, the managing director of the 118-room club in Palm Beach, Fla. — which Mr. Trump recently labeled the Winter White House — confirmed on Wednesday that the price of new memberships had increased to $200,000 from $100,000, and that applications had surged since Mr. Trump won the election in November.

Who can eat at the club after seeing this?  NYTimes photo

So Trumpie is going to cash in to the tune of a million or two as one of his first acts as President.  No surprise there, the only surprise being that the existing membership didn’t run as fast as they could away, and of course this is just the first of many great business decisions by the Exploiter of the Presidency in Chief. 

But what struck everyone was the fact that he has an ethic team.  Really, which is a good thing until we look at who populates it.

“Mr. Lembcke’s acknowledgment came hours after the Trump Organization announced that it had named Bobby Burchfield, a longtime Republican Party lawyer and corporate litigator, as an “independent ethics adviser.” The Trump Organization pointed to the move as a sign of its commitment to addressing questions about potential conflicts of interest.

Okay everyone stop laughing about a longtime Republican lawyer being an independent anything.  Because there is also this.

“The White House also announced on Wednesday that it had appointed a legal team to handle compliance and ethics matters. The team will serve under Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, and consists of four lawyers, including Stefan C. Passantino, who has specialized in campaign compliance and election law issues for clients like Newt Gingrich and J. Dennis Hastert, both former Republican House speakers.” 

See in Trump world their concept of independence is an ‘alternative fact’, not the real concept the rest of us have.  And of course both Gingrich and Hastert were leaders in unethics.

France Has Its Own Donald Trump - And She Could be the Next President

But When Did a Murdering Thug Like Putin Become the Hero of Conservatives?

From the British newspaper The Independent comes this ugly news.

"French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Crimea “has always been Russian” in a series of astonishing claims that defy the evidence that Moscow invaded Ukraine.
The Front National leader vehemently denied any invasion had taken place and instead claimed a “coup d’├ętat” in Ukraine resulted in a transferring of power. 
Ms Le Pen also called for sanctions against the Kremlin to be removed, calling them “completely stupid” and the cause of “major problems for the EU.”
It's like the anti-communist hard line policies of Reagan and Thatcher never resonated with conservatives.  But why?

Marine LePen - Trump you ugly American, meet LePen an ugly French person.

And no, not ugly in the appearance sense, ugly in the policy sense.

Michael Flynn the Latest Liar Exposed in the Trump Administration

Diogenes, You Can Skip the White House

[Update:  Flynn has resigned (You're Fired!).  the WaPo described it this way.

Flynn says he ‘inadvertently briefed’ Pence and others with ‘incomplete information’

or as we like to interpret it, 'Flynn lied his ass off'.  ]

It's like the Original Amateur Hour at the White House, no one there knows how to even lie effectively.  From the WSJ here is the saga of Trump adviser and all around good fellow Michael Flynn who as a private citizen conducted diplomacy and undermined Obama's sanctions against Russia.

Mr. Flynn initially said that in a conversation Dec. 29 with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, he didn’t discuss sanctions imposed that day by the outgoing Obama administration, which were levied in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Flynn now concedes that he did, administration officials said, after transcripts of his phone calls show as much. He also admits he spoke with the ambassador more than once on Dec. 29, despite weeks of the Trump team’s insisting it was just one phone call, officials said.

Image result for images of diogenes
Skip 1600 Pennsylvania Ave Buddy

And good ole Flynn made VP Pence look like a fool, not that Pence needed any help in that area.

Mr. Pence, in television interviews, vouched for Mr. Flynn, based on a private conversation, and he was angered he repeated information publicly that turned out to be untrue, administration officials said. Messrs. Pence and Flynn spoke twice on Friday, one official said.

No we don't know wha Pence and Flynn said, but we are pretty sure it was something like Flynn telling Pence that if he (Pence) was dumb enough to believe him (Flynn) he deserved being made to look like a horse's rear end.