Worst People in the World – The Heartland Institute

These people are climate change denier central, the go to denier think tank coming up with most of the materials and  talking points you will hear deniers spout.  They’re super capitalists who know, as Naomi Klein has written, that really addressing climate change means really addressing capitalism.  Thus, they will deny the science, deny the statistics, deny anything they need to deny to prevent society from seriously addressing climate change.

They’re trying to influence elementary school teachers to be climate change skeptics.  get ’em while they’re young, right?  Get the teachers, you have the students.  They’re absolutely Trotsky-like in their pro-corporate tactics.

Twenty-five thousand science teachers opened their mailboxes this month and found a package from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank that rejects the scientific consensus on climate change… the material will be sent to an additional 25,000 teachers every two weeks until every public-school science teacher in the nation has a copy, Heartland president and CEO Joseph Bast said in an interview last week. If so, the campaign would reach more than 200,000 K-12 science teachers.

They are the worst people ever.




More Stupid in the State Dept.

Don’t make eye contact with Tillerson.  Again, you’d think it was the Onion, but it’s not.

Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.

Private elevators, “reading time”, no visits with his employees in embassies, isolated from professionals… it’s mind blowing.




Yesterday Was Yuge – Flynn Immunity, Senate Hearings; But Congress Continues Clown Show

Yesterday may have been the date that we can look back on as the beginning of the end of the Trump administration.  But back in the lazy, hazy House of Representatives where they serve Mint Juleps to the members on their own porch swings from 9:30 am-4:30 pm, Jason Chaffetz and crew aren’t at all in a tizzy over the Trumps.

Chaffetz not worried about Trump profiting from presidency: ‘He’s already rich’

“He’s already rich,” Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told The Atlantic in an interview published Friday. “He’s very rich. I don’t think that he ran for this office to line his pockets even more. I just don’t see it like that.”

There’s nothing that can get Ol’ Chaffetz off a his porch this time a year.  He’s just not an excitable sort, ya know?  An’ he just loves that ol’ porch swing.  They say the whole town could be a burnin’ down and Jason won’t lift a blessed finger or furrow his brow.

Unless there’s e-mails involved and a certain harlot from the Democrat party, he’s just not all that interested in the oversightin’.

And don’t get me started on that trifflin’ Devin Nu-nes!


Today in Stupid

Albert L. Lord is a Penn State trustee who says he is running out of sympathy for the sexual assault victims of Gerry Sandusky.

“Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth,” Lord said in the email sent Saturday. “Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone.”

People with names like Albert L. Lord never really master the inside voice.


Okay, I don’t know if this is stupid or brilliant (for which we know there is a very thin line ‘tween).

Plans to hang ‘world’s tallest’ skyscraper from asteroid orbiting Earth unveiled.  I read this and I thought, this the Onion?  They’re serious about this?  Okay, so how do folks get in and out of this building?


Not to mention that the upper most floors would have serious need of fool proof HVAC.

“While there may be a benefit to having 45 extra minutes of daylight at an elevation of 32,000 metres, the near vacuum and -40C temperature would prevent people from going outside without a protective suit,” the firm said.


Mike Pence, Super Christian

Mike Pence will not have lunch with any woman without his wife being there (to cut his food?)

But he has no problem voting to take health care away from those women he will not eat with.

I did not read this, but I will bet he calls his wife “mother.”

Headlines blare Mike Pence will only eat with one woman – his wife.  But another thing I know is he won’t even eat her.

Onion: Mike Pence Asks Waitress to Remove Mrs. Butterworths From Table Until Wife Arrives

On the almost serious side this kind of Christian relationship has a name.  It’s called the Billy Graham Rule.

But good intentions do not always produce helpful consequences. In this case, the Billy Graham Rule risks reducing women to sexual temptations, objects, things to be avoided. It perpetuates an old boys’ club mentality, excluding women from important work and career conversations simply by virtue of their sex.



Trump’s Russian Real Estate Connection

On the Russian interference front, an FBI agent testified that as an intelligence officer his biggest fear isn’t Putin, but that his own government (under Trump) does not have his back.

He also testified that Trump used Russian tactics, in fact is still using them.

He’s sold an awful lot of apartments to Russians.  Which may not be odd, or criminal.  But many of them allegedly met with him.  That is odd.  What?  To go over the floor plan with him?

The Russian connection is not just that Putin’s agents likely tried to influence the election, it’s a longer established story of potential money laundering issues that certainly should have been explored during the campaign, or the primaries.

New York City real estate broker Dolly Lenz told USA TODAY she sold about 65 condos in Trump World at 845 U.N. Plaza in Manhattan to Russian investors, many of whom sought personal meetings with Trump for his business expertise.

“I had contacts in Moscow looking to invest in the United States,” Lenz said. “They all wanted to meet Donald. They became very friendly.” Many of those meetings happened in Trump’s office at Trump Tower or at sales events, Lenz said.

And it’s not just the usual clean cut Russian oligarch that’s buying his properties, there are also some shady characters too.

The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.

Among them:

• A member of the firm that developed the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York is a twice-convicted felon who spent a year in prison for stabbing a man and later scouted for Trump investments in Russia.

•  An investor in the SoHo project was accused by Belgian authorities in 2011 in a $55 million money-laundering scheme.

• Three owners of Trump condos in Florida and Manhattan were accused in federal indictments of belonging to a Russian-American organized crime group and working for a major international crime boss based in Russia.

•  A former mayor from Kazakhstan was accused in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2014 of hiding millions of dollars looted from his city, some of which was spent on three Trump SoHo units.

•  A Ukrainian owner of two Trump condos in Florida was indicted in a money-laundering scheme involving a former prime minister of Ukraine.

Another day, another drip, drip, drip.  Can he go below 35% approval?  I think he can.

And the Chris Christie lesson is, even if you somehow get out of being convicted or indicted of criminal activity that was done, at the very least, for your benefit, nobody will believe you weren’t involved and you will be irreparably tarred.  Trump can avoid the worst for a while, with his party going to the mattresses to defend, but that will drag the GOP to defeat in 2018 and then it’s every man for himself.  The GOP infrastructure in 1974 did not have a Lemming-like suicide wish.  These GOPers today aren’t just ethics challenged gangsters, they’re nihilists.

Trump Admin. Continuing Foreign Interventions Trump Voters Hated Under Obama

A lot of Trump voters, like Bernie people, wanted to curb our military participation in the Middle East other than directly fighting Isis.  He made a lot of noises about getting out of stupid entanglements, but of course with Trump you NEVER listen to what he says because 1. he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and 2. he’s incredibly dishonest.

We’re not only continuing our engagements with no end game in Yemen, etc. but they’re ratcheting up, and with the promised budget increases for the Pentagon, that looks to increase further.

Robert Malley, a former senior official in the Obama administration and now vice president for policy at the International Crisis Group, said the uptick in military involvement since Mr. Trump took office did not appear to have been accompanied by increased planning for the day after potential military victories.

“The military will be the first to tell you that a military operation is only as good as the diplomatic and political plan that comes with it,” Mr. Malley said.

The lack of diplomacy and planning for the future in places like Yemen and Syria could render victories there by the United States and its allies unsustainable.

Oof!  That’s too bad because we barely have State Dept. right now and our foreign policy is pretty much whatever the last person who spoke to Trump before bedtime told him it was.

The activity in Yemen is in support of our Saudi friends who have purchased a massive air force from us (thank you!!) but still need us to fight their problems for them.  Understandable, they are awfully busy keeping women subjugated, beating their Indian servants and cutting off miscreant body parts so give them that – it’s not like they’re lazy.

Just another reason many of his “give him a chance” voters should be regretting their generosity with our democracy.  (How nice of them to give the levers of power to complete novices, so they can learn on the job – that’s American exceptionalism!)

On the cynical side, Hillary probably would have continued Obama’s policies too.

Government Doesn’t Want to Know Who You Are, But They Want Corporations to Know What You Do

Pretty odd conundrum in the news this week.  Congress went ahead and voted for something nobody wanted except the telecom industry – being able to sell your personal internet/phone browsing information.

The bill not only gives cable companies and wireless providers free rein to do what they like with your browsing history, shopping habits, your location and other information gleaned from your online activity, but it would also prevent the Federal Communications Commission from ever again establishing similar consumer privacy protections.

This is literally something nobody would want and the best attack is the activist who is trying to buy the personal information for members of Congress to make it public.

Pretty outrageous.  And I couldn’t help connecting this to the debate about the NSA’s monitoring of domestic communications in their vast trawling net of information.  Even in that debate there was an argument that if you aren’t on the phone talking to Al Qaeda operatives then what do you have to fear?  But by popular demand that program was ended in 2015!

But the other story that this just intellectually conflicts with is the announcement that the GOP and the Trump administration has already stuck their fingers in the 2020 census and decided to leave out any check box for LGBTQ status.  They do that for the same reason they forbid funding studies on gun violence, or climate change.  If there’s no information, they can say anything.  If LGBTQ are not counted in the census, do they exist?

“Information from these surveys helps the government to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act and to determine how to allocate resources like housing supports and food stamps,” Maury said in a statement. “If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?”

Add that to the historical under count of black and brown people in inner cities, both for financial reasons and for reasons of compromising voting rights and we once again see how it’s never, ever okay to leave Republicans in charge.  Here we were thinking we learned the lessons of 2010 and we’ll be prepared for 2020, but you have to have control of the Census Bureau years prior to the census to determine what and who will be counted.

The GOP proves their values to be counter to that of thinking people on almost every issue.  No, our private information should not be sold to the public and yes, we should know exactly who we are and where, so we can determine what people need.  GOP thinking is it only matters what business wants and since government is the enemy they shouldn’t know anything.


The Definition of a Conflict

Jared Kushner, head of the Trump nepotism task force, wears a classic Mets cap forcing me to question everything.  And it’s not some new cap he had some flunky go buy for him with the stupid sticker still on the bill, no, it looks perfectly worn in, like he’s worn it at a bunch of games over the years at Shea and Citifield.  He’s chanted “Let’s Go Mets” trying to get a rally going.  He’s sat on the edge of his seat suffering through a Familia ninth as he walks two batters before striking out the side.  He knows my pain.  He shares my pain.

Ugh!  I just have to shake it off.

I’ve come to terms with Jets owner Woody Johnson (Johnson & Johnson heir), who is the definition of a clueless silver spoon Republican that sees the world through his own myopic privilege.   This guy is no different.  Maybe worse.  Marrying into the phoniest family since the Kardashians, supporting his antisemitic monster-in-law.

No, no!  Fuck this guy and his fake populist Mets cap.  He’s a greedy fucking elitist Yankee fan fronting in a Mets cap like he’s real people.  Mets fans don’t marry self-hating, handbag designing misogyny enablers.

Get the hat off and go testify about your meetings with Russian ambassadors, oligarchs and goons.


Two Christie Cronies Going to Jail Over Bridgegate – Christie Fate Much Worse

Going to jail sucks.  Bridget Anne Kelly, a mother of four, was sentenced to 18 months.   Bill Baroni got 2 years.  Christie (f/k/a “The Luckiest Man in Politics,” now known as “Mr. 18%” because of his microscopic approval rating in NJ) gets to continue being a licksplittle for Trump, who likes Christie, I suppose, because at 35% his approval looks mighty next to Christie’s.

There is no rehabilitating Christie.  So he’s on a constant, humiliating treadmill of effort (Christie and treadmill in the same sentence, first time!) to get back to the good graces of the politics gods.  But it’s not about the gods, it’s about the people.  And the people know that Christie should be in jail too and are baffled that he evaded indictment in the dysfunctional mess that was created in his name.

But really, isn’t being in the presence of Trump, being dependent on him for all hope and “salvation” a true hell on Earth?  At least if he were in jail Christie might actually take off the weight he didn’t shed after surgery.