Tuesday, January 31, 2017


NY Times: The Republican Fausts by David Brooks
...if Trump’s ideology were not noxious, his incompetence is a threat to all around him. To say that it is amateur hour at the White House is to slander amateurs. The recent executive orders were drafted and signed without any normal agency review or even semicoherent legal advice, filled with elemental errors that any nursery school student would have caught.


The Atlantic: A Clarifying Moment in American History - There should be nothing surprising about what Donald Trump has done in his first week—but he has underestimated the resilience of Americans and their institutions. by Eliot A. Cohen

Neil Gorsuch

NY Times: Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and MARK LANDLER


NY Times: State Dept. Dissent Cable on Trump’s Ban Draws 1,000 Signatures By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Paul Tweets

  You're seeing four tweets compiled. You're only allowed 140 characters on Twitter.
Paul Krugman tweets - “Given the rate at which things are coming to a head, "President Trump" -- the sort-of legitimate head of a republic -- won't last long. Either he or the republic, in any meaningful sense, will be gone quite soon. I have a hard time seeing one year, let alone four. What this means is that anyone considering working for or with this White House -- Senators, officials, businessmen -- shouldn’t. Either you're going to go down with a disgraced president, or you're going to be complicit in the death of democracy. Just say no.”

Go Dems

BBC: Trump cabinet: Democrats boycott health and treasury picks

Wise Up

Salon: Donald Trump’s primetime SCOTUS circus: Is his empty showmanship starting to lose its power? After just 10 days in the White House, Trump tries to recapture the narrative. Is the media getting wise to him? by Gary Legum

The Onion - Trump Supporter Has Few Backup Scapegoats Ready To Go In Case Crackdown On Immigrants Doesn’t Fix Everything

The Onion: Trump Supporter Has Few Backup Scapegoats Ready To Go In Case Crackdown On Immigrants Doesn’t Fix Everything

Water Purification

Science Daily: Move over Bear Grylls! Academics build ultimate solar-powered water purifier - The device could aid people lacking drinking water and those affected by natural disasters
summary - ...a highly efficient and inexpensive way to turn saltwater and contaminated water into potable water for personal use. The system could help address global drinking water shortages...

Have An Excellent Tuesday

work by Patrick Dougherty

Maddow And Lawrence O'Donnell - Destabilizing Chaos A Trump Hallmark


Guardian UK: 'The world's doors were closed': Jared Kushner's grandma on refugee life - Grandmother of Trump’s son-in-law gave interview criticising America’s refusal to accept Jews fleeing Holocaust
“But we had a problem. We didn’t know where to run. There was no Israel like there is today. There was no place that you could legally go to. It was very hard to get a visa to the United States; it would take years and years.

“For a family with small kids to pick themselves up and go it was very hard. But a few families left to Palestine and they stayed alive. We felt the antisemitism. We felt something was coming, but we couldn’t help ourselves.

“The doors of the world were closed to us. You know how hard it was to get to Israel? Boys and girls used to sit in a camp for three or four years before they could go to Palestine. To go to America was harder. You sent your papers and you waited for years before you could get a visa.”


Guardian UK: Ellen DeGeneres hits back at Trump by explaining Finding Dory plot - The talkshow host has criticised the president’s ban on entrants to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries by highlighting the inclusivity of the first movie to screen at Trump’s White House
“They all have to get over the wall and you won’t believe it, but that wall has almost no effect in keeping them out,” said DeGeneres.

De Facto

NY Times: President Bannon? By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
But a new executive order, politicizing the process for national security decisions, suggests Mr. Bannon is positioning himself not merely as a Svengali but as the de facto president.

No Dissent Allowed

NY Times: Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, MARK LANDLER, MATT APUZZO and ERIC LICHTBLAU
“Ms. Yates is an Obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration,” the statement said.

The Market On Tuesday

  Good morning. It is sunny and 18 degrees here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts temperatures around 30 degrees this afternoon and possibly light snow too. Well let's see what Very Ill Duce has violated today, no doubt human rights are at the top of the list along with ripping up the Constitution and any semblance of democracy.

  At 9:20 a.m. ET DOW futures are -36 and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open moderately lower.

  Looks like the Trump market has gone a little haywire lately. Is it any surprise? Meanwhile there is a new Fed meeting about to take place and that is something to keep an eye on. Lots of corporate earnings coming through today and the market's direction will also express the quality of these corporate results.

CNN: Earnings bonanza; Fed meeting; Deutsche Bank faces fines by Alanna Petroff
Fed chair Janet Yellen said earlier this month that the economy is near maximum employment and inflation was moving closer to the central bank's goal. Yellen reiterated that she and other Fed leaders expect to raise rates a "few times a year" until 2019.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cleaning House

  Possibly one of the reasons for the ban to begin with - a way to clean house.

NY Times: White House to Dissenting U.S. Diplomats: ‘Get With the Program’ or Leave By MARK LANDLER and DAVID E. SANGER

Obama Speaks Out

NPR: Obama Criticizes Trump's Travel Ban, Says 'Values Are At Stake'

Stuck Unstuck

Rosa Brooks is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a former Pentagon official.

Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Are we really stuck with President Donald Trump? by Rosa Brooks

Please Read This

Shock Event.

From US/GOP historian, BC professor Heather Cox Richardson:
I don't like to talk about politics on Facebook-- political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends-- but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night's ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries-- is creating what is known as a "shock event." Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order. When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Last night's Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counter terrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won't like. I don't know what Bannon is up to-- although I have some guesses-- but because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle-- and my friends range pretty widely-- who will benefit from whatever it is. If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.

But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event. A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union. If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power. Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.


  Artists are interpreting today's political arena. work by James Ostrer

Master Plan

Salon: Trump’s Rasputin seizes the moment: A week of chaos may suit Steve Bannon’s master plan - Alt-right guru turned Trump adviser is using both the "Muslim ban" and bogus voter-fraud charges to spread disorder by Heather Digby Parton

The Onion - Trump Claims Waterboarding Doesn’t Come Close To The Excruciating Torment He Experiences At Every Moment

The Onion: Trump Claims Waterboarding Doesn’t Come Close To The Excruciating Torment He Experiences At Every Moment

A Vast Complex Hologram

Science Daily: Substantial evidence of holographic universe
summary - A UK, Canadian and Italian study has provided what researchers believe is the first observational evidence that our universe could be a vast and complex hologram. Theoretical physicists and astrophysicists, investigating irregularities in the cosmic microwave background (the 'afterglow' of the Big Bang), have found there is substantial evidence supporting a holographic explanation of the universe -- in fact, as much as there is for the traditional explanation of these irregularities using the theory of cosmic inflation

Rachel Maddow Provides Excellent Insight Into Trump's Executive Orders

Have An Excellent Monday

work by Patrick Dougherty

ACLU - Trump Ban An Anti-Muslim 'Dog Whistle'


Guardian UK: Starbucks vows to hire 10,000 refugees after Trump travel ban - Coffee chain unveils plan to hire staff first in US and then across its global operations amid ‘deep concern’ over president’s order

'Constitutional Crisis'

Four years of this folks, four years.

Guardian UK: Border agents defy courts on Trump travel ban, congressmen and lawyers say - Democrat Don Beyer says ‘we have a constitutional crisis’ over refusal to release travellers from Muslim-majority countries after judge grants temporary stay
“Four members of Congress asked CBP officials to enforce a federal court order and were turned away.”

Of Course

NY Times: Who Hasn’t Trump Banned? People From Places Where He’s Done Business By RICHARD W. PAINTER and NORMAN L. EISEN


NY Times: Travelers Stranded and Protests Swell Over Trump Order By PETER BAKER
At a news conference, Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader from New York, choked up as he vowed to “claw, scrap and fight with every fiber of my being until these orders are overturned.”


  I agree with GK, this is not going to happen. However it is noteworthy that a Brandeis University professor is laying out the steps and reasons for Trump's impeachment. Interesting that people are already talking the talk.

HuffPo: The Inevitability Of Impeachment - After just one week. by Robert Kuttner

The Market On Monday

  Good morning. It is 27 degrees and sunny here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a cloudy day with temperatures around 30 degrees this afternoon. As February is about to roll in, looks like we might be getting a little more seasonable weather. It's been an extremely mild winter so far.

  At 9:20 a.m. ET DOW futures are down -102 and the price of oil per barrel is slightly lower trading at $53.12. The market is poised to tank at the opening bell

  Trump's incredibly poorly thought out ban is roiling world markets this morning. Travel stocks are hurting, high tech companies are in a fury, and people around the world are pledging to fight Trump. Hey, this is only the beginning of week two, we got four years ahead.

CNN: Travel ban fallout; Vodafone exits; Volkswagen takes the crown by Ivana Kottasova
Starbucks said it would hire 10,000 refugees over five years in response to the ban. General Electric and JPMorgan Chase have also expressed concerns about how the order will affect their employees.

Friday, January 27, 2017


  The blog is closed on weekends. See you bright and early Monday morning.

work by Paul Sérusier

Maher - FOX Pleasing 'Dear Leader'

Bill Maher Blog: Full Court Fox

The Borowitz Report - G.O.P. Unveils Immigration Plan - 'We Must Make America Somewhere No One Wants to Live'

New Yorker: G.O.P. Unveils Immigration Plan: “We Must Make America Somewhere No One Wants to Live”

Just Go With It

Make Toasted Coconut Milk

Nine For Nine

Salon: 9 terrible things President Trump has done in just a week - There are four more years of this to come by Kali Holloway, Alternet

The Onion - Lab Mouse Nervous For First Day Of New Job Getting Cancer

The Onion: Lab Mouse Nervous For First Day Of New Job Getting Cancer


Science Daily: Answers to how our brains make meaning, with the help of a little LSD
summary - We all have particular experiences or particular things -- a favorite song, for example -- that mean much more to us than others. Now, researchers who've studied how perceptions of meaning change when people take the psychedelic drug known as LSD have traced that sense of meaningfulness to particular neurochemicals and receptors in the brain.

Muscular And Gorgeous

Have An Excellent Friday

work by Alyson Shotz

Maddow - Senator Franken On Resisting Trump - 'We Have A Strategy'

God Help US

MSNBC: Ignoring advice, Trump is still using his ‘old, unsecured’ phone By Steve Benen

The Tohono O’odham Nation

  Since when has American policy ever concerned itself with the well being of native Americans?

Guardian UK: 'Over my dead body': tribe aims to block Trump's border wall on Arizona land - Controlling 2.8m acres of a reservation, the Tohono O’odham Nation vowed to oppose construction on its land and called for a meeting with the president

Dumb As A Bag Of Hammers And Proud Of It

Guardian UK: Macomb v media: voters who read little news think Trump had a great first week - In a Michigan county that helped get Donald Trump elected, people are actively choosing to ignore news they don’t want to hear – or not receiving news at all
Redmond was unaware of the critical coverage that has saturated newspaper front pages and cable news reports since inauguration day. “Papers? I’ve no idea what they are talking about – I don’t see them. If it don’t put a dime in my pocket, I don’t worry about it.”


NY Times: The Closing of Trump’s America by Roger Cohen
Great. Terrific. Phenomenal. Tremendous. Fabulous. Beautiful. How Trump has hollowed out these words. How arid, even nauseating, he has made them. They mean nothing. They are space-fillers issuing with a thudding regularity from his uncurious mind...


  Interesting the way David Brooks is slowly coming to his senses. It's like watching a once every ten year flower begin to show signs of life.

NY Times: The Politics of Cowardice by David Brooks
But he seems to suffer from an angry form of anhedonia, the inability to experience happiness.

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. It is 37 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a cloudy day with temperatures around 39 degrees this afternoon. I love the way Trump is issuing executive orders as if he were throwing out bird seed from a 2,000 pound sack, and the way this is no problem for the GOP. You see it's only a Constitutional crisis when a Democratic president issues an executive order, a president who was actually elected with the vast majority of voters in the country, unlike Trump. See how that works.

  At 9:20 a.m. ET DOW futures are a -16 and the price of oil per barrel is down. Oil is now trading around $53.62. The DOW is poised to open slightly lower

  Alienating Mexico, oh that's really going to help. Theresa may, England's version of a nationalistic bigot, can go f herself.

CNN: Trump meets Theresa May; U.S. GDP; American Airlines earnings by Alanna Petroff
...Trump has been alienating other trading partners, in particular Mexico.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hate Hate

Slate: The More Trump Hates, the More America Rejects His Hatred - Whites and men elected him. But polls show they didn’t support his attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and women. By William Saletan


NPR: 'It's A Big One': Iowa Pipeline Leaks Nearly 140,000 Gallons Of Diesel


  Dan Rather's answer to 'alternative facts'.

News And Guts, on Facebook


NY Times: In a Swirl of ‘Untruths’ and ‘Falsehoods,’ Calling a Lie a Lie By DAN BARRY


Salon: Donald Trump can’t come to terms with his popular vote loss, ABC News interview reveals - The president had a rambling, evasive interview on Wednesday night, and still believes he won the popular vote by Matthew Rozsa
He thinks he’s a celebrity in the eyes of the CIA

The Onion - Cockroaches Feeling Very Optimistic About Future Of Planet

The Onion: Cockroaches Feeling Very Optimistic About Future Of Planet

Another Clue

medical news today: HIV exploitation of gap in immune cell defenses 'could be barrier to cure' Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
They suggest that the discovery solves another clue in the puzzle of how to cure people infected with HIV.

Not Stable

Raw Story: Carl Bernstein: Nervous Republican officials are questioning President Trump’s ’emotional stability’

Have An Excellent Thursday

work by Max Pechstein

Maddow - Dan Rather - 'We've Never Had This Before'


Guardian UK: Trump's impending executive order heralds 'dangerous' return to torture, official warns - Adviser to team that interrogates terror suspects says politicians like Trump ‘have no idea how little they know’ about the perils of reinstating torture
“If the US was to make it once again the policy of the country to coerce, and to detain at length in an extrajudicial fashion, the costs would be beyond substantial – they’d be potentially existential. We’ve seen how [torture] promotes violent extremism, how it degrades alliances. We’ve seen how it only serves to provide information that policymakers want to support [desired policies], not what they need,” Kleinman said.

Torture Is Back

  Meanwhile, the USA is constantly tortured simply by the existence and presence of this unstable president.

Guardian UK: Trump claims torture works but experts warn of its 'potentially existential' costs - Trump gives first presidential TV interview as draft executive order points to return to practices such as waterboarding


NY Times: 'Sanctuary City’ Mayors Vow to Defy Trump’s Immigration Order By LIZ ROBBINS
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared: “I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city.

The Wall

NY Times: Trump Blocks Syrian Refugees and Orders Mexican Border Wall to Be Built By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
...paved the way for a border wall and called for a newly expanded force to sweep up immigrants who are in the country illegally.

The Market On Thursday

  Good morning. It is 37 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a cloudy day with temperatures around 46 degrees this afternoon. The snow is once again making a steady retreat.

  At 9:25 a.m. ET DOW futures are +16 and the price of oil per barrel is down. The market is poised to open marginally higher.

  The DOW surpassed the magic number of 20,000 yesterday for the first time ever. The bulls remain and so does the biggest bullshitter.

CNN: Big day for earnings; $29 billion deal; Dow above 20k by Alanna Petroff
The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed the 20,000 point level on Wednesday for the first time ever.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kellyanne Conway Does Standup Comedy And Sings

  The year is 1998. This is real.

He's Unstable

Washington Post: Maybe Trump isn’t ‘lying’ By Jennifer Rubin
(If Trump is) unable to separate what he wants to believe and what exists, literally, in front of his eyes...they (the GOP) — and we all — have a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen.

The Regime

Guardian UK: Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest - A documentary producer, a photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted
In all, more than 200 people were arrested on Friday, after property was vandalized in the US capital in the hours around Trump’s swearing-in as president. Police said that six officers suffered minor injuries.

The 25th Section 4

The 25th Amendment Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution - Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Digby's Latest - Take The 25th

Salon: Don’t look now: It’s President Pence! Donald Trump can be deposed, even without impeachment Given Trump's erratic behavior in his first few days, Washington is starting to murmur about the 25th Amendment by Heather Digby Parton
From last Saturday through Tuesday night, it’s been one surreal event after another, starting with Trump’s visit to the CIA headquarters where he stood in front of the Memorial Wall — marked with 117 stars honoring agents who have died in the line of duty — and acted like he was at a rally in a high school gym in Indiana.

The Onion - Study Finds Health Benefits Associated With Seriously Considering Going Vegetarian For A While Now

The Onion: Study Finds Health Benefits Associated With Seriously Considering Going Vegetarian For A While Now


The Scripps Research Institute: TSRI Scientists Create First Stable Semisynthetic Organism
“We’ve made this semisynthetic organism more life-like,” said Romesberg, senior author of the new study.

Have An Excellent Wednesday

'How Do You Make Policy If You Don't Believe Facts?'

Bizarro World Is Back

Guardian UK: Republicans hoping to focus on policy irritated as Trump continues false claims - Although the first days of the administration have seen a number of policy wins for the GOP, Trump has focused on controversial and untrue statements instead

Of Course

Guardian UK: Republicans push ahead with plans to hinder insurance coverage for abortions - A proposed bill would impose a far-reaching ban on private insurance coverage for abortions under Obamacare, and could see tens of thousands lose out

Here Comes More Wall

NY Times: Trump to Order Mexican Border Wall and Curtail Immigration By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, DAVID E. SANGER and MAGGIE HABERMA

Voter Fraud

NY Times: Trump Promises ‘Major Investigation’ of Voter Fraud in 2016 Election By JONATHAN WEISMAN and STEVE EDER

The Market On Wednesday

  Good morning. It is 34 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a cloudy day with temperatures in the low 40s this afternoon. Our poor country.

  At 9:20 a.m. ET DOW futures are a +96 and the price of oil per barrel is down. Oil continues to trade in the $49 to $53 per barrel range. The market is poised to open moderately higher.

  Today Trump will sign an executive order allocating resources to building his ridiculous wall paid for by us.I seem to recall GOPers calling Obama's use of the executive order as being unconstitutional and against the will of the people. I guess that little piece of hypocritical bullshit is going to be tucked away for a future date. Pipelines, we got em. You knew it would happen eventually.

CNN: Trump builds a wall; Investors cheer; Earnings galore by Alanna Petroff
President Trump is expected to sign an executive action Wednesday directing federal resources toward building a border wall with Mexico.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Salon - Women Getting Political Tattoos

Conflict Of Interest

Huffington Post: Donald Trump’s Company Is Receiving Direct Payments From Foreign Agents Right Now - It’s not a possible conflict of interest. It’s an actual conflict of interest.

Not A Lie

Slate: OK, but Lie Isn’t Really the Right Way to Describe Trump’s Illegal-Voters BS Either By Ben Mathis-Lilley
...viral conspiracy bullshit...

Cut The Crap Out

NBC News: Lindsey Graham to Trump: Stop Claiming ‘Illegals’ Cost You Popular Vote by Frank Thorp V and Corky Siemaszko

Couch Potato

  Have you ever read the NY Post? It's trash, even the coverage of the NY Knicks, which is the only possible saving grace in an otherwise piece of trash, is done poorly. It tends to trash black players as being lazy, undeserving, unmotivated, it's pure racist crap. 

Salon: Donald Trump’s watching a lot of television, and it’s worrying his aides: reports - To understand the president's erratic behavior, you must understand his media addiction, reports indicate by Matthew Rozsa
...“The New York Post” (which one friend referred to as “the paper of record for him”)...

The Onion - Compassionate Fisherman Doesn’t Have Heart To Throw Trout Back Into Incredibly Polluted Lake

The Onion: Compassionate Fisherman Doesn’t Have Heart To Throw Trout Back Into Incredibly Polluted Lake


Science Daily: E-cigarettes are expanding tobacco product use among youth - First national analysis shows e-cigarettes attract low-risk adolescents who were unlikely to start smoking
summary - E-cigarettes are actually attracting a new population of adolescents who might not otherwise have smoked tobacco products, according to a new American study.

Have An Excellent Tuesday

work by Max Pechstein

Lawsuit - Trump Violated Constitution's Ban On Foreign Gifts

One Photo

Guardian UK: This photo sums up Trump’s assault on women’s rights - After a weekend of inspiring protest, we had to watch the world’s most powerful man sign away the reproductive rights of women in developing countries by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett


Guardian UK: Trump withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership amid flurry of orders - President begins effort to dismantle Obama legacy by scrapping trade deal, and reinstates ban on providing federal funding to aid groups that perform abortions
Nancy Pelosi...said: “Now, foreign non-governmental organisations will be forced to give women incomplete medical information, advice and care in order to participate in US-supported programs abroad. When last in place, the global gag rule had the effect of decreasing access to family planning services around the world. Study after study shows that when women have increased access to family planning services and supplies, such as contraceptives, the incidence of abortion decreases.

'Knee Deep In Cronies'

NY Times: President Trump’s Big-Money Establishment By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Mr Lying Lunatic

NY Times: Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and EMMARIE HUETTEMAN
...Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results...

The Market On Tuesday

  Good morning. It is 34 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts temperatures around 36 degrees and a mix of rain and snow this afternoon. We got a few inches of snow overnight, at least it looks more like January out there. The extraordinarily mild January is about global warming. I would suspect this is the warmest January in this part of the Northeast.

  At 9:15 a.m. ET the pre-market DOW is a +10 and the price of oil per barrel up. The market is poised to open slightly higher.

  England has decided that the Brexit must pass through a vote from their Supreme Court. Let's see what happens next. Investors seem to be standing down at the moment. Can we blame them given the quixotic and unstable nature of the new administration.

CNN: Trump meets the Big 3; Earnings bonanza; Brexit ruling by Alanna Petroff
The (U.K. Supreme) court ruled that the U.K. government must hold a vote in parliament before beginning the process of leaving the European Union.

Investors seem to be in wait-and-see mode right now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

SNL - Kellyanne Conway Musical

TRNN - Leading Ocean Researcher Says We Could See An Iceless Arctic In 2017


NY Times: Trump Abandons Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s Signature Trade Deal By PETER BAKER

'Global Gag Rule'

Slate: Trump Reinstates the Anti-Abortion “Global Gag Rule” That Has Been a Public Health Disaster By L.V. Anderson

The Hill: Trump reinstates ban on US funds promoting abortion overseas By Jessie Hellmann

Sign Of The Times

The Borowitz Report - Disturbed Man Gets Past White House Security, Gives Press Conference

New Yorker: Disturbed Man Gets Past White House Security, Gives Press Conference

Who Does?

  It's a rhetorical question. No one has confidence in this guy, come on now. The interesting thing is, if Trump were able to somehow show the slightest semblance of humility, people would then find confidence in him.

Salon: John McCain isn’t sure he has confidence in President Trump - McCain pointed to Trump's contradictory statements, marking a major rift in Trump's third day in office by Matthew Rozsa

The Onion - Mike Pence Disappointed In The 200,000 Husbands And Fathers Who Permitted Women To Attend March

The Onion: Mike Pence Disappointed In The 200,000 Husbands And Fathers Who Permitted Women To Attend March


Science Daily: 3-D bioprinter to print human skin
summary - Scientists have presented a prototype for a 3D bioprinter that can create totally functional human skin. This skin is adequate for transplanting to patients or for use in research or the testing of cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical products.

Have An Excellent Monday

work by Max Pechstein

Grow Up Trump

MSNBC: Trump on march: Why didn't these people vote? President Trump tweeted his reaction to the historic Women's Marches Saturday. NBC's Jane Timm discusses.

Sean Spicer - Laughing Stock

Guardian UK: Sean Spicer is a Groucho Marxist, asking us not to believe our own eyes - All the data confirms his inauguration crowd claims to be false. So why did Trump’s press secretary turn himself into a laughing stock? by Jonathan Freedland

Thanks A Lot Trump

Guardian UK: Death toll rises to 19 amid reports of tornadoes across south-eastern US - Storm system in Georgia, Mississippi and beyond tears up mobile homes, with 39 possible tornadoes reported on Saturday and Sunday

Hell Beasts And Garbage

  Save yourself a headache, don't place an ounce of credence in anything this monstrously flawed administration says. Just pay attention to what they actually do.

NY Times: Rocky First Weekend for Trump Troubles Even His Top Aides By PETER BAKER, GLENN THRUSH and MAGGIE HABERMAN
...angry Twitter messages, a familiar obsession with slights and a series of meandering and at times untrue statements, all eventually giving way to attempts at damage control.

'Alternative Facts'

  Conway is a hell beast.

NY Times: White House Pushes ‘Alternative Facts.’ Here Are the Real Ones. By NICHOLAS FANDOS
An analysis by The New York Times, comparing photographs from Friday to ones taken of Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, showed that Mr. Trump’s crowd was significantly smaller and less than the 1.5 million people he claimed. An expert hired by The Times found that Mr. Trump’s crowd on the National Mall was about a third of the size of Mr. Obama’s in 2009.

The Market On Monday

  Good morning. It is 37 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts temperatures around 39 degrees this afternoon along with mixed rain and snow. How about that weekend, America's actual silent majority showed up throughout the country with major demonstrations and rallies. Take note, it has to keep happening, don't stop now.

  At 9:25 a.m. ET the DOW is a +7 and the price of oil per barrel is down. The market is poised to open in the flat area.

  Read the short line I have in quotes below. The dollar is losing value which has its good and bad aspects. The investment world is now working on understanding President Trump's ultra-radical approach.

CNN: Dollar slump; Samsung's blame game; McDonald's earnings by Alanna Petroff
"President Trump's inaugural address has been interpreted as a retreat from America's global leadership role," said Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management. "The vehemence in his address is causing markets to reassess other parts of the campaign rhetoric as it seems candidate Trump is occupying the Oval Office with little moderation of tone."

Friday, January 20, 2017


  The blog is closed on weekends. See you bright and early Monday morning.

work by Paul Sérusier


GQ: No One Showed Up to Donald Trump's Inauguration, So He Stole a Photo From President Obama's Instead

Krugman's Latest

NY Times: Donald the Unready
So the typical Trump nominee, in everything from economics to diplomacy to national security, is ethically challenged, ignorant about the area of policy he or she is supposed to manage and deeply incurious.

The Speech

  A few favorite lines -

"...we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People."

"January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again."

"We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American."

"We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again"

"We will make wealthy again."

CNN: Inaugural address: Trump's full speech

Bye Bye

The Hill: White House climate change webpage disappears after Trump's inauguration

The Onion - ‘I Promise To Work Tirelessly To Achieve My Campaign’s Goals,’ Threatens Trump In Terrifying Address

The Onion: ‘I Promise To Work Tirelessly To Achieve My Campaign’s Goals,’ Threatens Trump In Terrifying Address


Salon: A poem for Donald Trump’s America: “Let them not say we did not see it. We saw” - Acclaimed poet Jane Hirshfield offers some words on "a day worth remembering the fate of our shared planet" by Jane Hirshfield
Let them not say: we did not see it.
We saw.
Let them not say: we did not hear it.
We heard.
Let them not say: they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.
Let them not say: it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.
Let them not say: they did nothing.
We did not-enough.
Let them say, as they must say something:
A kerosene beauty.
It burned.
Let them say we warmed ourselves by it,
read by its light, praised,
and it burned.

Wolf 1061

phys.org: Astronomers search for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
...the (upcoming) James Webb Space Telescope...will be able to detect atmospheric components of the exoplanets and show what's happening on the surface.

Have An Excellent Friday

work by Max Pechstein


  Power to shut it down? This will be his first act.

MSNBC: New details from investigation cast cloud over Trump inauguration by Steve Benen
In other words, officials working on this counterintelligence investigation realize that, by this afternoon, Donald Trump will have the authority to shut down their probe. Those intelligence professionals pursuing this controversy will be his employees, and he’ll have the power to order them to drop the matter.

Another Day In Paradise

Guardian UK: DeploraBall: Trump lovers and haters clash at Washington DC event - Hundreds of demonstrators gather to wave placards and shout slogans at the National Press Club where pro-Trump event was held
A woman held a sign that read “Look, Ma. It’s a racist misogynist” with an arrow pointed toward the guest line.

“Watch your pussies, ladies” a woman shouted at female attendees.

“I don’t think most of these people know what they’re talking about,” said Daniel, a Trump supporter, who asked that his full name not be used for fear of being harassed online. “It’s pretty ironic that they call themselves the party of anti-violence and free speech.”


Guardian UK: The Trump effect has rallied US markets – but it's based on illusion - The perception that the president-elect is a business genius and too much focus on the Dow Jones have led to excessive optimism by Robert Shiller
Many people appear not to understand that inflation is a change in the units of measurement. Unfortunately, though the 2% inflation target is largely a feelgood policy, people tend to draw too much inspiration from it. Irving Fisher called this fixation on nominal price growth the “money illusion” in an eponymous 1928 book.


NY Times: President Trump: Washington Prepares to Be Upended By PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR
With the completion of the oath, the Marine Band is scheduled to play “Ruffles and Flourishes” four times and then “Hail to the Chief,” followed by a 21-gun salute.

Under Investigation

NY Times: Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO
Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. It is 36 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a cloudy day with temperatures in the low 40s this afternoon. The forecast for the upcoming week through to next Friday has temperatures above freezing mostly in the 40s and 30s.

  At 9:20 a.m. ET futures are modestly higher and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open modestly higher.

  God help us.

CNN: Investors await Trump inauguration; Drugs battle; GE earnings by Alanna Petroff
Since his election, he has shown an uncanny ability to move markets. Investors have pushed U.S. and global stock markets higher in response to his pro-business rhetoric.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Who Needs Art In Trumpworld

Art Net: Trump Reportedly Wants to Eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities - Republicans and the NEA have a long history of conflict. by Brian Boucher



Slate: The Best-Case Scenario for the Trump Presidency - Sorry, it’s not impeachment. By Yascha Mounk

Paranoid America In Ascendance

Salon: Donald Trump’s biographers: He’s narcissistic, belligerent and deeply fears that he’s illegitimate - A collection of professional Trump soothsayers arrived at some troubling conclusions about the president-elect by Matthew Rozsa

The Onion - Biden Searching White House One Last Time For Missing Pet Snake

The Onion: Biden Searching White House One Last Time For Missing Pet Snake


NY Times: Most Primate Species Threatened With Extinction, Scientists Find by Carl Zimmer
From gorillas to gibbons, primates are in significantly worse shape now than in recent decades because of the devastation from agriculture, hunting and mining.

Have An Excellent Thursday

work by Max Kurzweil

Maddow - Trump Pushes Inauguration Attendance With Sketchy Facebook Ads


Guardian UK: The women who won't march: 'silenced' conservatives vow to stay home - Conservative women are sticking to their beliefs ahead of the inauguration – and that means skipping the Women’s March, where they don’t feel welcome
Tomi Lahren: protesters are ‘a bunch of sore losers’.

Global Warming - The Guardian's Forum Is Live

Guardian UK: Global warning: everything you wanted to know about climate change – live With climate sceptics moving into the White House, the Guardian is spending 24 hours focusing on climate change. Right now we’re hearing from top experts in the field on what they want to say to President Trump today
If President Trump wants to deliver greater job security for Americans, he should focus on clean and sustainable industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Those are the sectors that are set to prosper. He needs to build an economy for 2050, not one for 1950!

Crap Show

NY Times: Donald Trump’s Cabinet Choices Stumble By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
She seemed unaware of some of the basic functions of the education department.


NY Times: 10 Times Trump Spread Fake News By SAPNA MAHESHWARI
Mr. Trump has also tweeted links from right-wing blogs like WND.com and TheRightScoop.com that often promote sensational conspiracy theories and contain little original reporting.

The Market On Thursday

  Good morning. It is 36 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a cloudy day with temperatures in the 40s this afternoon. Even Winter is afraid to show up for Trump. Speaking of Trump, our new uninspiring and seriously flawed president will be handed the reigns to the world in 24 hours. Look on the bright side, the word 'pussy' is now out on full display as it were, found in all levels of discourse. Has Trump inadvertently helped the re-arisng of the feminine principle?

  At 9:15 a.m. futures are slightly lower and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open slightly lower.

  Air bag manufacturer Takata is out of control. Toshiba is headed for basket case status. Mario Draghi is holding the eurozone fate in his hands. Let's be serious for a moment, who the hell can calmly talk about the markets right now, Trump, Donald Trump of all f-ing people, is about to become president. Major f-up America, what a f-ing joke, except the joke is on us.

CNN: Trouble for Toshiba and Takata; ECB announcement; Watching Netflix by Alanna Petroff
...investors will be watching ECB chief Mario Draghi during his 8:30 a.m. press conference for clues about whether the central bank thinks its bond-buying stimulus program is working.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Borowitz Report - Moving Vans Arrive At White House To Remove All Traces Of Competence, Dignity

New Yorker: Moving Vans Arrive at White House to Remove All Traces of Competence, Dignity


Huffington Post: The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight


Palmer Report: Donald Trump puts up hideous Jumbotron blocking Lincoln Memorial By Bill Palmer

Al Franken To DeVos


Slate: Attending the Inauguration Is Morally Indefensible. Here Are the Democrats Who Might Anyway. By Osita Nwanevu


Psychology Today: 15 Ways To Become Closer To Others - How To Be Closer And Less Lonely in Relationships
1. Ask questions.

How's It Taste?

Psychology Today: How Good Is Your Dog's Sense of Taste? In a taste sensitivity contest with dogs humans clearly win.
Humans win the sensitivity contest for taste, with around 9000 taste buds as compared with only 1700 for the dog, but dogs have considerably more taste buds than cats, which average only about 470.

WaPo - Six Astonishing Things Betsy DeVos Said

The Onion - Republicans Vow Not To Repeal Obamacare Without Detailed Plan For Disposing Of Patients’ Disease-Ridden Corpses

The Onion: Republicans Vow Not To Repeal Obamacare Without Detailed Plan For Disposing Of Patients’ Disease-Ridden Corpses

Global Warmiing - Record Heat Again

  Don't worry Trump supporters, any moment now the Great Don will reveal that it's more fake news.

NY Times: Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year By JUSTIN GILLIS and JOHN SCHWARTZ

MadTV - Darlene McBride - Take Back America Tour

Have An Excellent Wednesday

work by Max Kurzweil

Maddow - Prostitutes, Hidden Hotel Cameras Familiar Putin Tools


Watch the video

Guardian UK: Inside Northampton County, where voters flipped from Obama to Trump - Tom McCarthy seeks out Trump supporters jaded by the Obama presidency and hoping for renewed prosperity in the home of the shuttered Bethlehem Steel mill


Guardian UK: Barack Obama transfers $500m to Green Climate Fund in attempt to protect Paris deal - New installment leaves $2bn owing, with Donald Trump expected to cease any further payments


NY Times: Trump Entering White House Unbent and Unpopular By PETER BAKER
Indeed, Mr. Trump will take office on Friday with less popular support than any new president in modern times


NY Times: Obama Commutes Bulk Of Chelsea Manning's Sentence

The Market On Wednesday

  Good morning. It is raining and 34 degrees here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts a rainy day with temperatures in the high 30s this afternoon. The future forecast still shows a warming trend over the entire next week with temperatures in the 40s and then into the 50s. Around here, there's no snow to speak of, it's January traditionally one of the two coldest months of the year, and instead we have temperatures in the 40s and rain. Hey 48 hours to go and then all of America can sit in front of the TV and pretend we're psychologists. Let the show begin.

  At 9:15 a.m. ET DOW futures are a +35 and the price of oil per barrel is down. The market is poised to open moderately higher.

  The most striking part of the investing day might be another speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellin. Investors will once again be carefully picking her words apart to determine if there is another base interest rate hike coming. Notice that investors are betting on rising inflation during the Trump presidency.

CNN: Janet Yellen set to speak; Goldman Sachs earnings; Muddled markets by Alanna Petroff
Wall Street is betting Trump's economic plans will push inflation higher.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Richard Cohen On Trump

Washington Post: Trump’s presidency is doomed By Richard Cohen


Believe Me by Bruce Robinson

I’m writing this poem and
it’s a tremendous success,
very very successful, as you
can see. It even says so,

right there in the poem,
I know this for a fact. And
in fact, I heard it from
an extremely credible source,

absolutely, I guarantee you,
in fact, it’s really rather amazing
that, well, I hate to tell you,
but this is going to be a big,

big incredible event. I’m going to
write a great, great work and
I’m going to make editors
pay dearly for that work. Mark my words.

Glory Glory Glory

Slate: National Solipsism - Donald Trump has a foreign policy of self-glorification and nothing else. By William Saletan

John Dean On Trump

The Atlantic: 'He Is Going to Test Our Democracy as It Has Never Been Tested' - Why Nixon's former lawyer John Dean worries Trump could be one of the most corrupt presidents ever—and get away with it by McKay Coppins
“I don’t think Richard Nixon even comes to close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.”

“By nature, I am an optimist...But Trump as president is going to be about surviving disaster.”

Party, Sleep, Rest

Salon: Donald Trump is micromanaging his inauguration parties, then taking the weekend off - Donald Trump is doing more about the parties in the two days before being sworn in than for the two days after by Matthew Rozsa

The Onion - Struggling Media Company Almost Desperate Enough To Hire Someone Qualified For Job

The Onion: Struggling Media Company Almost Desperate Enough To Hire Someone Qualified For Job

The Brain

Science Daily: New research study creates new opportunities for treating brain diseases
summary - Immunotherapy has proven to be effective against many serious diseases. But to treat diseases in the brain, the antibodies must first get past the obstacle of the blood-brain barrier. In a new study, a research group describes their development of a new antibody design that increases brain uptake of antibodies almost 100-fold.

Have An Excellent Tuesday

work by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Maddow - Protests

MSNBC: Protests off to early start ahead of Trump inauguration - Rachel Maddow reports on widespread protests ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration, including Obamacare rallies, boycotts by members of Congress, and constituents confronting members of Congress at local meetings.

Boycott Grows

Guardian UK: Inauguration boycott grows as Donald Trump meets Martin Luther King III - As son of civil rights hero attends Trump Tower for ‘constructive’ meeting, more than 30 Democrats say they will not attend after Trump spat with John Lewis
“I think my father would be very concerned about the 50 to 60 million people living in poverty. It’s insanity that we have poor people in this nation, it’s unacceptable. We need to be talking about how to clothe people, how do we feed people."

Death Spiral

NY Times: The G.O.P.’s Health Care Death Spiral By J. B. SILVERS
By April, when filings from insurance company plans and premiums for 2018 are due, there will be a sizable exit — of insurers running away from the greatly increased and unpredictable risk and of individuals not able to afford insurance without the subsidies.


NY Times: As Trump Era Arrives, a Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World By STEVEN ERLANGER

The Market On Tuesday

  Good morning. It is 27 degrees and cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley, the forecast predicts rain and temperatures in the high 30s this afternoon. The long range forecast has the entire week steadily warming with temperatures once again in the 50s in a week or so. If this isn't global warming, then what the hell is it? It's January FFS, it's supposed to be unbearably cold not with a forecast that has the temperature increasing. The ground is completely snow free, and it's the middle of January. Meanwhile the new president thinks global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Oh yeah, we are really going to make great progress going straight to hell.

  At 9:20 a.m. ET DOW futures are moderately lower and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open moderately lower.

  The world is bracing for Trump, I certainly am. The Brexit has sent the pound tumbling, there's a cost to nationalism and isolation. Meanwhile notice that there's been a huge cigarette company merger with British American Tobacco taking over Reynolds American. Smoking, if you smoke then just stop already okay, it's just plain ugly and pretty disgusting too.

CNN: Takeover Tuesday; Brexit speech; Watching the World Economic Forum by Alanna Petroff
Top business and political leaders from around the world are convening in Davos, Switzerland, to kick off the annual World Economic Forum.

Monday, January 16, 2017


The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.