Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Craft Of Writing Effectively

Robert Crumb Interview


Axios: Illinois governor pardons 11,000 pot convictions ahead of Jan. 1 legalization


Post Truth America

Salon: Best of 2019: In the house of alternative facts, my parents' lies prepared me for post-truth America - Before we all lived in a country where truth doesn't matter, there was no shared objective reality in my family by Ona Gritz

The Onion - Paralyzed Mike Pence Lies Against Bathroom Wall For Hours After Encountering Doorknob That Looks Like Female Breast

The Onion: Paralyzed Mike Pence Lies Against Bathroom Wall For Hours After Encountering Doorknob That Looks Like Female Breast


CNN: All the cadets pictured giving a Nazi salute will be fired, West Virginia governor says By Scottie Andrew and Carma Hassan
The image, discovered in early December, shows the members of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Basic Training Class 18 with one arm raised.


Have An Excellent Tuesday

work by José Manuel Capuletti 1925-1978

Lawrence O'Donnell - All The President's Men Must Testify In Senate Impeachment Trial

MIT OpenCourseWare - How To Speak By Patrick Winston


The Palmer Report: Nancy Pelosi just won big by Bill Palmer

Rhesus Macques

Guardian UK: Furry, cute and drooling herpes: what to do with Florida's invasive monkeys? Rhesus macaques were introduced to Silver Springs state park in the 30s but, now 400 strong, they harbor a disease fatal to humans

Voter Purging

Guardian UK: Voter purges: how a controversial tactic could help Republicans win in 2020 - Alarm is growing in the United States over the way people are aggressively removed from the voter rolls


Washington Post: What’s Mitch McConnell’s endgame in shaping the Senate impeachment trial to benefit Trump? By Amber Phillips
Opening up the trial to witnesses is a can of worms for McConnell. Senate Democrats — and 71 percent of Americans, including nearly two in three Republicans — want to hear from Trump’s top aides in a Senate trial.


Washington Post: Trump’s threat to democracy By Joe Scarborough
All versions of Trump have been cynical and manipulative, but his latest incarnation has proved to be destructive to his party, his country and the world.

Though you may not know Trump as I once did, you do know that only a weak man speaks endlessly of his strength and only an ignorant man brags incessantly of his wisdom.


NY Times: American Airstrikes Rally Iraqis Against U.S. - Iraqi leaders say the United States violated Iraqi sovereignty with attacks that killed 24 people in retaliation for the death of an American contractor. By Alissa J. Rubin and Ben Hubbard

Iran Tensions Boiling

NY Times: Protesters Attack U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Chanting ‘Death to America’ - President Trump blamed Iran after demonstrators breached the compound’s outer wall. Tensions are high after American airstrikes killed members of an Iran-backed militia. By Falih Hassan and Ben Hubbard
...express their anger over American airstrikes that killed 24 members of an Iranian-backed militia over the weekend.

The Market On Tuesday

  Good morning. At 9:17 a.m. ET DOW futures are -45 and the price of oil per barrel is down. The market is poised to open moderately lower.

CNN: What we don't know about Carlos Ghosn's dramatic escape from Japan By Charles Riley

Monday, December 30, 2019

Venezuela Again

The Hill: US officials say Erik Prince may have violated Venezuela sanctions: report By John Bowden


The Daily Beast: Joe Biden Says He’d Be Open to Picking a Republican Running Mate

The Only Way

Guardian UK: The only way to fight antisemitism is solidarity and compassion – not division by Joshua Leifer


AP News: With births down, U.S. had slowest growth rate in a century By MIKE SCHNEIDER

Top Ten

Washington Post: The 10 worst things Trump did in 2019 By Marc A. Thiessen
1. He gave Turkey a green light to invade Syria and attack our Kurdish allies.


Politico: The Worst Political Predictions of 2019 - No one knows what the future holds, but these pundits and politicians knew even less than the rest.


Axios: Bernie Sanders releases letters from doctors deeming him fit for presidency

Good Call

NBC News: Greta Thunberg: 'I wouldn't have wasted my time' talking to Trump about climate change - "He's not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me?" she said.


  Can we stop calling them 'false claims' please. They are lies.

Washington Post: President Trump has made 15,413 false or misleading claims over 1,055 days By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly
As of Dec. 10, his 1,055th day in office, Trump had made 15,413 false or misleading claims, according to the Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement he has uttered. That’s an average of more than 32 claims a day...


Salon: The president and the killer: Why Donald Trump's embrace of Eddie Gallagher is so dangerous - Eddie Gallagher was such a toxic Navy SEAL his own men turned on him. To Donald Trump, he's a political weapon by Heather Digby Parton

The Onion - GOP Lawmakers Watch Silently As Trump Strangles Each Of Their Loved Ones In Turn

The Onion: GOP Lawmakers Watch Silently As Trump Strangles Each Of Their Loved Ones In Turn

Room Temperature And Sleep

The Atlantic: Your Bedroom Is Too Hot - What is the ideal temperature for sleep? by James Hamblin

'Revenge Cowboy Revenge'

Have An Excellent Monday

work by Felix Vallotton 1865 - 1925


Leonard Cohen

AM Joy - Evangelicals And Trump - Facing A Final Split?

Hater In Chief

The Palmer Report: PSYCHOPATH by Bill Palmer

John Lewis

Guardian UK: Civil rights leader John Lewis says he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer - Democrat is ‘clear-eyed about the prognosis’ but plans to return to Washington soon


Guardian UK: New York's Jewish community on edge after string of Hanukah attacks - Stabbings in Monsey, Rockland county, are latest antisemitic incident in region - Five wounded in ‘act of domestic terrorism’ in New York state

Rudy In Venezuela

Washington Post: Trump’s lawyer and the Venezuelan president: How Giuliani got involved in back-channel talks with Maduro By Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger, Anthony Faiola and Josh Dawsey
Both (Sessions and Giuliani) were part of a shadow diplomatic effort, backed in part by private interests, aimed at engineering a negotiated exit to ease President Nicolás Maduro from power and reopen resource-rich Venezuela to business, according to people familiar with the endeavor.

Disgraced Bishop

Washington Post: Disgraced bishop spent $4.6 million on mansion that sold for only $1.2 million By Aaron C. Davis
More than just an opulent private retreat for a high-spending bishop, Elmcrest was the site where the heavy-drinking cleric quaffed Cointreau and made unwanted sexual overtures toward younger priests in a basement with a custom-made sunken bar...


NY Times: Intruder in Monsey Screamed ‘I’ll Get You’ in Machete Attack on Jews - The rampage at a rabbi’s home in the New York suburbs wounded five people and traumatized the Jewish community in the region. By Rebecca Liebson, Christina Goldbaum, Joseph Goldstein and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
The police have not disclosed a motive, and much about the attack remained a mystery on Sunday, including why the assailant chose the rabbi’s house. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo referred to the rampage as an “act of domestic terrorism.”

The Last Decade Of Change

NY Times: The Decade We Changed Our Minds - America in the 2010s saw significant cultural and political shifts that pushed us forward. By Charles M. Blow
"The deadliest years yet were 2017 and 2018, and this year is shaping up to rival them, with at least 60 killed in mass shootings, 38 of them in the last five weeks.”

The Market On Monday

  Good morning. At 8:50 a.m. ET DOW futures are +24 and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open modestly higher.

CNN: This is the end of a middling decade for US stocks By Charles Riley

Behind The Scenes

NY Times: Behind the Ukraine Aid Freeze: 84 Days of Conflict and Confusion - The inside story of President Trump’s demand to halt military assistance to an ally shows the price he was willing to pay to carry out his agenda. By Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman and Mark Mazzetti
In late August, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser at the time, for a previously undisclosed Oval Office meeting with the president where they tried but failed to convince him that releasing the aid was in interests of the United States. (note - Jim here - this is why Trump does not want them to testify, or at least one main reason).

Read This

  Truly a stunning story, please read.

gen.medium: My Semester With the Snowflakes At 52, I was accepted to Yale as a freshman. The students I met there surprised me. by James Hatch

Much Too Sane For America

The Wild Child: Empathy Is Taught To Students Ages 6 To 16 In Denmark Schools By Josien Hofman

Friday, December 27, 2019


  Have an excellent weekend and see you bright and early Monday morning.

work by Albert Gleizes 1881 - 1953

Bigger Threat

Newsweek: Trump Is Bigger Threat to World Peace Than Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, Quarter of Americans Say in New Poll By Alexandra Hutzler


  I must admit of all the depraved things I've read about in my life, this is new. Yet to be quite honest this is similar to Trump's punching down. Here the son is already suffering from cancer, then we have the additional outrage that the mother enacts. With Trump we have a dead person, Dingell. Here Trump adds insult to injury and laughingly tells his morbid audience that perhaps he's in hell. The reality to both these situations is the same. The mother already exists in hell, and so does Trump.

CNN: Mother charged with injecting feces to son's IV during cancer treatment By Shachar Peled

Don Imus Dies

ABC News: Controversial former radio host Don Imus dead at age 79 - The former "shock jock" host was 79 years old. By William Mansell


CNN: The patriotic move is for Trump to resign Opinion by F. Michael Higginbotham
The sole question should be what is best for the country.

God Help Us

Politico: POLITICO Playbook: Trump’s next secretary of State search is on By ANNA PALMER and JAKE SHERMAN

Trump's Witness Jonathan Turley - Trump Was Indeed Impeached

Washington Post: I testified against Trump’s impeachment. But let’s not pretend it didn’t happen. Constitutional reality doesn’t rest on the House sending the articles over to the Senate. By Jonathan Turley


Axios: Eddie Gallagher's Navy SEAL platoon members blast him in leaked videos

The Warning Bells Are Screaming He's Nuts Already

  Read this.

Salon: Pelosi “has the right” to submit Trump to an “involuntary evaluation": Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee - “I am beginning to believe that a mental health hold . . . will become inevitable," Lee tells Salon in an interview by Igor Derysh

The Onion - Devastated Family Struggling To Get Through First Christmas Since Dad Returned

The Onion: Devastated Family Struggling To Get Through First Christmas Since Dad Returned

One Lousy Dollar

CNN: You can still buy $1 homes all over Italy

Have An Excellent Friday

work by Dorothea Tanning 1910 - 2012

Chris Hayes On Mitch McConnell’s ‘Big Tactical Error’

MSNBC - Trump Bullying, Scapegoating Is Decimating U.S. Foreign Service


The Palmer Report: This is bizarre even for Donald Trump by Bill Palmer

Vile And Reprehensible As Usual

Guardian UK: Trump condemned for trivializing homeless crisis in attack on Pelosi - President’s tweets denounced as ‘vile and reprehensible’ - Trump: speaker’s ‘filthy dirty’ district is worst for homelessness
In another post, he wrote: “Crazy Nancy should clean up her filthy dirty District & help the homeless there.”

Microplastic Rain

  Is it time for us to start wearing very precise air filter masks when we go outside?

Guardian UK: Revealed: microplastic pollution is raining down on city dwellers - Exclusive: London has highest level yet recorded but health impacts of breathing particles are unknown
The microplastic particles in London were between 0.02mm and 0.5mm. These are large enough to be deposited on to the airways when inhaled and would be swallowed in saliva. Smaller particles that can get into the lungs and bloodstream represent the greatest potential health hazard. These were seen in the samples but their composition could not be identified with current technology.


Washington Post: Why millions of Americans — including men — will get a separate bill for abortion coverage starting in June - FAQ: The battle behind the $1.25 billion Health and Human Services rule change and what it means for you. By Ariana Eunjung Cha

American Farmers Getting Crushed By Trump And In Trump Country

Washington Post: In Trump Country, a season of need on family farms By Annie Gowen
“We’re supposed to be feeding the world, and we can’t even put food on our own table,” Anne said.

Mexican Women

NY Times: ‘It Was Not My Fault’: Women in Mexico Fight Back Against Violence - A new generation is demanding change, casting off the entrenched notion that women somehow provoke attacks against them. By Paulina Villegas and Elisabeth Malkin
Itan Flores was a young teenager when her first boyfriend imprisoned her for six weeks in a room furnished with just a mattress and a radio. He returned only to rape her, she said, often withholding food and water.

One out of every three women in Latin America has experienced sexual or physical violence, according to the United Nations...


NY Times: Anguish and Anger From the Navy SEALS Who Turned In Edward Gallagher - Video interviews and group texts obtained by The Times show men describing their platoon leader in grim terms. By Dave Philipps
“The guy is freaking evil,” Special Operator Miller told investigators. “The guy was toxic,” Special Operator First Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, said in a separate interview. “You could tell he was perfectly O.K. with killing anybody that was moving,”

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. At 8:45 a.m. ET DOW futures are +86 and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open significantly higher.

CNN: Stocks close at historic highs, Nasdaq finishes above 9,000 points for the first time By Anneken Tappe

Thursday, December 26, 2019


  The article is from May 2019. The group is called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS. They are a right wing nationalist Hindu group in India.

NPR: The Powerful Group Shaping The Rise Of Hindu Nationalism In India

Higher Than Ever

Yahoo: Public support for Trump conviction at all-time high, poll finds

55% Want Him Out

Inquisitr: Donald Trump’s Removal From Office Now Supported By Over Half Of Americans, New Poll Reveals - 'This polling is a clear sign that [the] Republican policy of complete obstruction is not selling well to [the] voting public,' says one researcher.
According to the latest MSN poll, conducted on Christmas Day, 55 percent of poll respondents said they supported convicting Trump in the Senate and removing him from office. That number is significant because it’s the highest level of support for Trump’s removal from office so far.



Politico: Democratic insiders: Bernie could win the nomination - His resiliency in the primary has caught the attention of the party establishment.

So What

Axios: Murkowski "disturbed" by McConnell's coordination with White House on impeachment Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Salon: Pundits yearn for an Amy Klobuchar "surge" — but where's the evidence? Sen. Amy Klobuchar scored points against Mayor Pete Buttigieg last week. Does that really make her a contender? by Matthew Rozsa

The Onion - Diners Eating Impossible Burgers Doused With Beet Juice By Protesting Meat-Rights Activists

The Onion: Diners Eating Impossible Burgers Doused With Beet Juice By Protesting Meat-Rights Activists


Get Pocket: My Dad Taught Me How To Deal With Bullies, Because He Was One - Lifelong lessons no kid should ever have to learn.

Have An Excellent Thursday

work by Austin Briggs 1908 - 1973

Lawrence O'Donnell - Rep. Katie Porter’s Master Class In Witness Questioning

MSNBC - 'Thug,' 'Threat' - Endorsing Impeachment, Top Newspapers Unload On Trump

'Merry Merry Christmas'

Keb Moe


The Palmer Report: John Bolton gets burned on Christmas by Bill Palmer

Care But Don't Care

Guardian UK: More US voters than ever care about climate – but will they go to the polls? New poll shows climate and environment the top priority for 14% of voters, raising prospect of large turnout for green issues

Reich's Latest

Guardian UK: How Trump has betrayed the working class by Robert Reich

Online Scams

Washington Post: ‘I feel cheated’: Thousands of fake online stores are rushing to cash in By Abha Bhattarai
“These sites are stealing our images and sending customers horrendous-looking knockoffs — or nothing at all — in exchange for their money.”


Washington Post: Number of children swallowing dangerous magnets surges as industry largely polices itself By Todd C. Frankel
The number of children ingesting rare-earth magnets — powerful tiny balls that are a popular desk toy and can shred a child’s intestines — has skyrocketed...

What Will It Take

NY Times: What Will It Take to Beat Donald Trump? It’s not what the progressive left is talking about. By Bret Stephens
Nearly three years into Donald Trump’s presidency, America needs a hard scrub and a deep cleanse. It needs to wash out the grime and grease of an administration that every day does something to make the country feel soiled.

The Ridiculous Wall

NY Times: A Barrier to Trump’s Border Wall: Landowners in Texas - Construction of President Trump’s border wall has been slow going, in part because the Texans who own the land have to be coaxed or coerced to sell it, whether they want to or not. By Zolan Kanno-Youngs

The Market On Thursday

  Good morning. At 8:15 a.m. ET DOW futures are +28 and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open modestly higher. Recall that when many traders are on vacation, like today and tomorrow, the market tends to be a little more erratic.

CNN: Why this is the 'most hated' bull market of all time By Julia Horowitz and Charles Riley

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

'The Noble Waltz'

Why Indeed

Get Pocket: Why Do People Mistake Narcissism for High Self-Esteem? Why people form such positive first impressions of narcissists.

'Negative Space'

***** - five stars - Sande

Still No

Salon: There is (still) no "War on Christmas" - Henry Ford started it. And like absolutely nothing good ever, the modern War on Christmas began with Bill O'Reilly by Matthew Rozsa

There Are No Words

The Hill: Trump calls for 'deeper understanding and respect' in Christmas message By Rebecca Klar


Get Pocket: The Evolutionary Mystery of Left-Handedness - From Medieval sword-fighters to Broca’s brains, or why the hand may hold the key to the link between creativity and mental illness.

Sick Human Being

Washington Post: What a shame that cruelty isn’t an impeachable offense By Kathleen Parker
No news here, but the president of the United States is a sick human being — charitably speaking. His recent behavior at a campaign rally in Michigan on the very night of his impeachment was several notches below even his usual flair for giving offense.

Rachel Maddow - NRA Collapsing Under Scandal, Criminal Investigation

In Numbers

Have A Very Merry Christmas

2019 In Pictures

Guardian UK: 2019: the photographs that defined America's year – in pictures


Guardian UK: Pope: God loves even those who make 'a complete mess of things' - Pontiff holds midnight Mass after pilgrims gather in Bethlehem, while Justin Welby will reflect on London Bridge attack


Washington Post: Stories of forgiveness - Four people choose different paths in their search for renewal By Antonia Farzan, Maura Judkis, Ian Shapira, Rebecca Tan
To forgive is to reach beyond the storms of the moment.

The Emotionally Ill President

Washington Post: Trump lashes out at Pelosi, Democrats after exchanging holiday greetings with troops By Toluse Olorunnipa and John Wagner
“She hates the Republican Party,” Trump said of Pelosi, predicting that she would lose her speakership. “She hates all of the people who voted for me and the Republican Party. . . . She’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country.”


NY Times: Be Paranoid About Privacy - We need to take back our privacy from tech companies — even if that means sacrificing convenience. By Kara Swisher

Money And Health

NY Times: Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt - First Big Pharma fled the field, and now start-ups are going belly up, threatening to stifle the development of new drugs. By Andrew Jacobs
The problem is straightforward: The companies that have invested billions to develop the drugs have not found a way to make money selling them.


Get Pocket: 9 Toxic Mental Habits That the Most Emotionally Intelligent People Avoid - To avoid being caught in the grips of negative and unproductive thinking, emotional intelligence is your antidote.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

'Swan Lane Lullaby'

Live Looping

  This guy is very good.

Great Drummer


NBC News: Trump vs. Nixon: The difference between 2019's impeachment and Watergate is shame - Nixon, a canny political analyst, knew the jig was up. But Trump will do almost anything to avoid acknowledging defeat. by Suzanne Garment

Hiding Something

CNN: The Trump administration is hiding something

Because He's Nuts

Axios: Trump laments the state of toilets, windmills

It Can Change

Salon: Things may look bleak at decade's end — but the world can shift rapidly - Looking at the last three decades offers an encouraging lesson in how swiftly the tides of history can turn by Amanda Marcotte

The Onion - Trump Claims He Knows John Dingell Is In Hell Because He Sees Window Into Terrifying Inferno Every Time He Closes His Eyes

The Onion: Trump Claims He Knows John Dingell Is In Hell Because He Sees Window Into Terrifying Inferno Every Time He Closes His Eyes

No Tea

Shunryu Suzuki

Leave your front door and your back door open.
Allow your thoughts to come and go.
Just don’t serve them tea.



I know I do at least one of these things...

Get Pocket: 10 Things Incredibly Likable People Never, Ever Do (and Why You Love Them for It) - What you do can make you extremely likable. So can what you don’t choose to do.

Have An Excellent Wednesday

drawings by Egon Schiele 1890 - 1918

Brian Williams - Admiral James Stavridis - 100% Trump Got Played By North Korea

MSNBC - Dems Ramp Up Call For Impeachment Witnesses Following 'Explosive' Emails'

Another Call for Impeachment From The Religious Right

The Christian Post: Convict Trump: The Constitution is more important than abortion - Convict Trump: The Constitution is more important than abortion By Paul D. Miller

Second That

The Palmer Report: Donald Trump hits the panic button after second major evangelical publication calls for him to be removed from office by Bill Palmer

Disgrace Number 56,000

Guardian UK: Navy Seal accused of war crimes meets Trump and thanks him for pardon - Eddie Gallagher convicted of posing with dead body of teenage Islamic State terrorist posts photographs with Trump by Richard Luscombe

Counter Bizarre Rants

Guardian UK: How to fend off your conspiracy obsessed relatives during the holiday season - When Uncle Ted has a few drinks and starts screaming that the world is flat, have a few tactics ready to counter his bizarre rants by Matthew Cantor

Merry Trump

Washington Post: A Trump Christmas, with ill will to all by Dana Milbank
During the past two weeks of impeachment, my stocking has been stuffed with good cheer from President Trump’s supporters. They describe me variously as a woman, unprintable epithets for a gay person, a Democrat, a “f---ing clown” and an “intel mouthpiece,” a hack and a fraud, a “scumbag” and a “s---head,” a hater who is insufficiently grateful to “white people” and who performs certain unmentionable sexual acts.

Roll Back

Washington Post: Trump attacks on wind turbines, low-flow toilets and LED lightbulbs set up key campaign clash with Democrats By Toluse Olorunnipa and Juliet Eilperin
...President Trump is promising voters a world free of the everyday inconveniences associated with combating climate change — rolling back lightbulb regulations, ordering a study on low-flow toilets and turning bans on plastic straws into a campaign rallying cry.

Trap Or Not

NY Times: Is Nancy Pelosi Caught in a Trap or Setting One? Even if the outcome of a Senate trial is predictable, the political consequences of impeachment are not. By Gail Collins and Bret Stephens

Absolving Environmental Responsibility

  Recall that just a few days ago, Trump gave a rambling nutty speech that included words on how wind turbines kill birds. He presented himself as some kind of defender of birds. Well take a look at this and remember, never ever believe a single word out of Trump's mouth.

NY Times: A Trump Policy ‘Clarification’ All but Ends Punishment for Bird Deaths By Lisa Friedman
A new interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 2017 means that as of now, companies are no longer subject to prosecution or fines even after a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 that destroyed or injured about one million birds and for which BP paid $100 million in fines.

The Market On Tuesday

  Good morning. At 8:55 a.m. ET DOW futures are +24 and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open moderately higher.

CNN: Asian markets mixed as leaders from China, Japan and South Korea meet By Laura He

Monday, December 23, 2019


Newsweek: Trump Has Ushered in the 'Death of Decency,' Former Federal Prosecutor Says After President Meets With Disgraced Navy SEAL By David Brennan

SNL - PBS Democratic Debate Cold Open

SNL - Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood 2019

SNL - Home For The Holidays

MAGA Scamming

Washington Post: 63 million suckers, just waiting to be conned By Paul Waldman
So all you need to do is come up with a name that sounds legit (“Trump MAGA 2020 Committee” or some such); buy yourself a list with email addresses of marks (or, ahem, leads); start blasting out emails begging for donations to hold off the despicable Democrat secularist socialist elites who want to destroy America; and watch the money pour in.

Both Ways

Washington Post: Evangelicals can’t have it both ways By Eugene Robinson
Can a Christian movement completely ignore morality? Can it pretend not to know the difference between a leader who strives to be good and one who doesn’t? Tell me: Where in the Bible does it say anything goes?

But The Emails

Washington Post: New emails help peel back the layers of pressure surrounding Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky By Philip Bump
“Based on guidance I have received and in light of the Administration’s plan to review assistance to Ukraine,” Duffey wrote, “including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, please hold off on any additional DoD obligations of these funds, pending direction from that process.” Later, he added, that “[g]iven the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute the direction.”

Bloody Rudy

NY Mag: A Conversation With Rudy Giuliani Over Bloody Marys at the Mark Hotel By Olivia Nuzzi
He said former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom he calls Santa Maria Yovanovitch, is “controlled” by George Soros. “He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents.” I told him he sounded crazy, but he insisted he wasn’t.

“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” he said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is.
Raw Story: Here are the 5 craziest details from Rudy Giuliani’s new off-the-wall interview

Streets Full Of Tents - The Other Side Of L.A.

Australia On Fire

Axios: In photos: Deadly wildfires rage across Australia


Salon: In Trump's America "Christian" is no longer a religious faith — it's white identity politics - Conservatives reject Christianity Today's position on impeachment, because it's about power, not morality or faith by Amanda Marcotte

The Onion - Prominent Evangelical Magazine Calls For Removing Trump From Holy Trinity

The Onion: Prominent Evangelical Magazine Calls For Removing Trump From Holy Trinity


NY Times: That Christianity Today Editorial Won’t Change Anything - Evangelicals continue to support Trump in overwhelming numbers. By Sarah Posner - Ms. Posner is the author of the forthcoming book “Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump.”
In this insular ecosystem, the president is seen as a divinely anointed leader, sent by God to save America at a critical moment in history, when, supporters claim, their religious freedom is under attack by secularists.

Read This

CNN: Living in her car, she was afraid and harassed. Then she found an unexpected refuge By Dan Simon

Jeff Flake

Washington Post: Jeff Flake: The president is on trial. So are my Senate Republican colleagues.

Have An Excellent Monday

photography by Katrin Korfmann

The Last Word - Nancy Pelosi Checks President Donald Trump

SNL - Eddie Murphy Monologue

The Last Word - Michael Moore - GOP ‘Dying Dinosaurs,’ Impeach Them


The Palmer Report: What the heck is going on with Donald Trump’s Twitter right now? by Bill Palmer


Guardian UK: Sixty-nine-vehicle pile-up in Virginia injures more than 50 - Police say fog and icy road conditions contributed to crash on Interstate 64


Guardian UK: Nancy Pelosi: the woman who stood up to Trump - The veteran Democrat began 2019 by being elected speaker of the House for a second, historic time and ended it by leading the president’s impeachment by Lauren Gambino
That 15-minute Oval Office meeting marked the beginning of a struggle between Pelosi and Trump that culminated last week in the president’s impeachment by the House of Representatives for “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Pelosi, dressed in funeral black, banged down her speaker’s gavel to finalize the vote, binding together their legacies for all time.


Guardian UK: Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for murder of Jamal Khashoggi - Former royal adviser Saud al-Qahtani was investigated but released without being charged


Washington Post: Abortion. Transgender rights. Voting access. Polarizing issues could dominate statehouse agendas in 2020. By Tim Craig and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux


Washington Post: All his life, his health was poor. It took more than 50 years to find out why. By Sandra G. Boodman
...a little-known form of a progressive, life-shortening disorder typically diagnosed in infancy.


Washington Post: Impeachment live updates: McConnell chides Pelosi for ‘absurd position’ on sending articles of impeachment to Senate By John Wagner
Democrats, meanwhile, are seeking to use newly released emails showing that the White House put a hold on military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after Trump’s July call with the country’s leader to bolster their case that a Senate trial should include witnesses.

The Market On Monday

  Good morning. At 8:45 a.m. ET DOW futures are +59 and the price of oil per barrel is down. The market is poised to open moderately higher.

CNN: Investors can bank on a year-end gift after a stellar 2019 By Julia Horowitz

Friday, December 20, 2019


  Have an excellent weekend and see you bright and early Monday morning.


Get Pocket: The Hypersane Are Among Us, If Only We Are Prepared to Look - Sometimes those who seem a little crazy are the ones who really get it.


Get Pocket: Why You Can’t Break Your Bad Habits - Why advice about habits is misunderstood. by Darius Foroux

It's Real

Washington Post: How we know global warming is real - The answer includes Benjamin Franklin, Mutiny on the Bounty and centuries of records.


  Long story short, it's Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar. Right now I'm most interested in Amy.

Axios: Who has qualified for the January Democratic debate

Trump's Letter A Study Into The Psychotic Mind

Salon: Mental health professionals read Trump's letter: A study in "the psychotic mind" at work - Bandy Lee, Justin Frank, Lance Dodes, David Reiss and others unpack a "venomous and vitriolic" historic document by Chauncey DeVega

The Onion - Caroler Who Forgot Lyrics Getting Pretty Far Just Saying ‘Bell’ Every Few Seconds

The Onion: Caroler Who Forgot Lyrics Getting Pretty Far Just Saying ‘Bell’ Every Few Seconds


CNN: Antibiotics in infancy tied to allergies in childhood, new research suggests By Jacqueline Howard

The Roaring 20s

inc.com: 11 Questions to Help You Set Meaningful Goals for the Next Decade - Set powerful goals for 2020 and beyond by asking yourself this set of potent questions. by Scott Mautz

Earl 'Snake Hips' Tucker

  Great dancer, way ahead of his time.


NY Times: The Tyranny of the 63 Million - Impeachment didn’t undermine democracy. It vindicated it. By Michelle Goldberg

Have An Excellent Friday

work by Adrian Ghenie

Rachel Maddow - Expect Trump To Seek Revenge For Impeachment

Lawrence O'Donnell - Christianity Today Editorial Calls For Trump’s Removal From Office

Seth Meyers - Trump Melts Down at Rally After Getting Impeached


The Palmer Report: Donald Trump’s impeachment has Republicans in complete disarray by James Sullivan

True That

Guardian UK: Why Trump’s impeachment trial is unlikely to result in removal from office by Tom McCarthy

Matt Shea Terrorist

Guardian UK: Republican Matt Shea 'participated in act of domestic terrorism', says report - Report produced for Washingotn state legislature following reporting from the Guardian and other outlets on Shea’s activities by Jason Wilson
...Shea “advocated the replacement of US democracy with a theocracy and the killing of all males who do not agree”

Morally Lost And Confused

Washington Post: Christianity Today, an influential evangelical magazine, says Trump ‘should be removed from office’ By Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Kayla Epstein
...editor in chief Mark Galli, who called Trump “a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”


Washington Post: Pelosi’s delay sparks standoff with Senate GOP over Trump impeachment trial By Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Rachael Bade
...Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed acting to initiate the Senate trial that will determine whether Trump remains in office...


NY Times: Winners and Losers of the Democratic Debate By The New York Times Opinion
Amy Klobuchar


NY Times: Trump Impeachment Trial in Doubt as Democrats Weigh Withholding Articles - Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would wait to see what the trial in the Senate would look like before sending the two charges there. By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos
...Speaker Nancy Pelosi put an abrupt halt on the proceedings, holding back from sending the charges to the Republican-led Senate in a politically risky bid to exert influence over the contours of an election-year trial.

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. At 8:40 a.m. ET DOW futures are +32 and the price of oil per barrel is down. The DOW is poised to open modestly higher.

CNN: 3M is a dog of the Dow -- and it may not get better in 2020 By Paul R. La Monica

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Hell Freezes Over

Yahoo: US evangelical magazine calls for removal of 'grossly immoral' Trump


Washington Post: Former White House officials say they feared Putin influenced the president’s views on Ukraine and 2016 campaign By Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey and Carol D. Leonnig

Lev And Igor

NY Times: How 2 Soviet Émigrés Fueled the Trump Impeachment Flames - “Lev and Igor” were obscure businessmen who became fixtures of the Republican donor set. Then they played an unlikely role in the proceedings gripping the nation. By Michael Rothfeld, Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum, Kenneth P. Vogel and Andrew E. Kramer
Mr. Parnas, now 47...tooled around in a Ferrari and wooed new sources of capital with boasts of ties to important people.

Mr. Fruman...53...invested in a sprawl of businesses there that were once worth millions of dollars — nightspots, a beach club, a dealership selling Jaguars that was part-owned by a local politician — as well as a New York-based import-export company.


Nautilus: Memories Can Be Injected and Survive Amputation and Metamorphosis Posted By Marco Altamirano

Crude And Childish As Always

Axios: Trump mocks Rep. Debbie Dingell, suggests John Dingell may be in hell


Salon: Impeachment won't slow the global rise of the radical right — but an alternative vision might - Cas Mudde, expert on the far right, says it's pointless to tell people Donald Trump is bad. What else have we got? by Chauncey DeVega

The Onion - Poll Finds 54% Of Americans Approve Executing Trump But Leaving Him In Office

The Onion: Poll Finds 54% Of Americans Approve Executing Trump But Leaving Him In Office

Not Wit

The Hill: Pelosi slams Trump's attacks on Dingell: 'Cruelty is not wit'

GOP Congressman Meadows Wants Out

CNN: Top Trump ally in Congress not running for reelection By Phil Mattingly and Veronica Stracqualursi

Have An Excellent Thursday

work by Giorgio de Chirico 1888-1978

Lawrence O'Donnell - ‘Your Votes Made History Tonight’

Rachel Maddow - Schiff - Americans Should See Evidence Pence Has Made Classified

Stephen Colbert - Rudy Giuliani Returns From His Conspiracy Tour Of Ukraine

Stephen Colbert - Yes, The Trump Presidency Is Just A TV Show We All Have To Live Through

Graham Vs Giuliani

The Palmer Report: Looks like Lindsey Graham and Rudy Giuliani are about to eat each other alive by Bill Palmer


Guardian UK: Trump impeachment – what happens next? Trump on Wednesday became the third president in US history to be impeached but the process isn’t over yet

In Pictures

Guardian UK: A divided America: the moment Trump was impeached – in pictures


Washington Post: 4 takeaways from the impeachment of President Trump By Aaron Blake
2. The GOP’s devotion to Trump


Washington Post: Trump is impeached by the House, creating an indelible mark on his presidency By Philip Rucker, Felicia Sonmez and Colby Itkowitz
...branding an indelible mark on the most turbulent presidency of modern times.

Down The Drain They Go

NY Times: Trump Has Been Impeached. Republicans Are Following Him Down. Ignoring facts and trashing the impeachment process is no way to protect democracy. By The Editorial Board
...Mr. Trump has had the opportunity to rebut the charges. By his account, he could have extinguished both articles of impeachment by allowing top administration officials to testify under oath. If he really did nothing wrong, the testimony of these officials would exonerate him of the charge of abusing his power, and simply their appearance under oath would dissolve the charge of obstructing Congress.


NY Times: Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress - Voting nearly along party lines, the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him the third president in history to face removal by the Senate. By Nicholas Fandos and Michael D. Shear
The timing was uncertain, after Ms. Pelosi suggested late Wednesday that she might wait to send the articles to the Senate, holding them out as leverage in a negotiation on the terms of a trial.

The Market On Thursday

  Good morning. At 9:15 a.m. ET DOW futures are +5 and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open flat.

CNN: 3M is a dog of the Dow -- and it may not get better in 2020 By Paul R. La Monica

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Borowitz Report - Andrew Johnson Horrified That History Books Will Mention Him In Same Sentence As Trump

New Yorker: Andrew Johnson Horrified That History Books Will Mention Him in Same Sentence as Trump By Andy Borowitz

Trump Impeached!

  Trump, the most miserable, corrupt, vile, obnoxious, and toxic president ever, is now the third president to be impeached.

NY Times: Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress - Voting nearly along party lines, the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him the third president in history to face removal by the Senate. By Nicholas Fandos and Michael D. Shear

The Worst Conduct

'Ordinary World'

Sons Of Serendip

Faux Outrage

Full Cray Cray

Salon: Press Watch: Six pages of loony ranting, and journalists still won't question Trump's mental state - Trump's unhinged letter illustrates that something is deeply wrong with the man. Major media still can't go there by Dan Froomkin
...a view straight into the mind of a mad king unable to grasp basic facts, control his emotions or acknowledge any restraints on his behavior.

The Onion - Study Finds Comparing Yourself To Others Actually Pretty Good Way To Gauge Success

The Onion: Study Finds Comparing Yourself To Others Actually Pretty Good Way To Gauge Success

Turn Back The Clock

Get Pocket: Aging Is Reversible—at Least in Human Cells and Live Mice - Study shows changes to gene activity that occur with age can be turned back.

Good Listener

Guardian UK: How to be a good listener: the experts' guide - Step one: stop talking. From that friend in need to your nightmare colleague, here’s how to hear and make a difference

Moscow Mitch's Legacy

Just A Little

Have An Excellent Wednesday

work by Lucien Pissarro 1863 - 1944