Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, May 19, 2018

John Fetterman

There is some real energy on the Democratic side of the voting populace this time around. Hopefully, Dems will re-take the House and, if we're lucky and tough, will re-take the Senate too. And then they better play some hardball with this thug Trump!

Here's another rising Dem, John Fetterman.

John Fetterman: Pennsylvania Democrats’ tattooed rising star, explained

Two days ago, John Fetterman was the mayor of a 2,000-person western Pennsylvania Rust Belt town, running in a hotly contested primary for statewide office. Today he’s the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

Fetterman, 48, is unmistakable: 6-foot-8, with a goatee and tattoos. And he dealt incumbent Democrat Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, an established name in Pennsylvania Democratic Party politics, a major upset Tuesday night. He also happens to have the backing of Bernie Sanders.
Fetterman drew 40 percent of the vote to clinch the nomination, emerging from a crowded field of four Democrats who were challenging Stack. The incumbent lieutenant governor has been mired in several scandals over excessive spending and mistreatment of staff, and failed to even gain incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s endorsement. Stack ended the night in third place, becoming the first lieutenant governor in modern Pennsylvania history to lose a primary reelection race.
Fetterman is now Wolf’s running mate, and the two will face Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner and real estate executive Jeff Bartos in November.
Fetterman’s rise has caught the nation’s eye. Over the past decade, he has made it in and out of national headlines — and Colbert Report appearances — as the Harvard University graduate who made it his mission to breathe life back into the predominantly black steel town of Braddock, Pennsylvania. But in the context of this midterm election cycle, Fetterman is almost a caricature of the 2016 presidential election postmortem.
“John Fetterman being the first person in Pennsylvania history to defeat a sitting Lt. Gov in a primary seems to obliterate the ‘Bernie-endorsed candidates can’t win’ fiction,” David Sirota, a prominent progressive commentator, tweeted.
But as stylistically different as Fetterman is to his running mate, there’s not a lot of daylight between the two on policy.
Wolf (Left) and Fetterman (Right)

Fetterman’s career in politics is atypical. After graduating college, he followed his father’s path into the insurance business, but the death of a friend made him reconsider his career. He began working with Big Brothers Big Sisters, quit the insurance gig, and joined AmeriCorps, moving to Pittsburgh.

He went to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for a master’s degree in public policy and settled in Braddock, a town that had gone from holding 20,000 people and part of Andrew Carnegie’s steel empire to a population of just over 2,000, with unemployment at three times the state average. The town has been ravaged by drug abuse and a homicide rate in the double digits.
Fetterman won the Braddock mayoral election in 2005 by one vote. Four years later, he won in a landslide and appeared The Colbert Report, explaining the five dates tattooed on his arm to Stephen Colbert on national television. Each one represented a murder that had occurred in his town under his leadership.
more at the Original.

Friday, May 18, 2018

family suicide

A new wrinkle in suicide bombing: families! 

From Patheos, a gathering of freethinkers, atheists, and heathens.

Muslim Couples and Their Children Blow Themselves Up in Indonesia, Killing Many

You know that the morals of deeply religious people totally set them apart from ethically compromised heathens like you and me, right?
Well, about that:
A wave of deadly bombings on Sunday and Monday and evidence of more planned have shaken Indonesia just ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, with entire families — including children — carrying out suicide attacks against Christian worshipers and the police. …
[M]embers of a single family carried out three attacks against separate churches in the city around Mass time, killing seven people.
According to CNN, here’s how that went down:
The father, identified by police as Dita Oepriarto, was said to have driven his wife Puji Kuswati and their two daughters, aged 9 and 12 [pictured above in an old family photo], to the Indonesian Christian Church. The trio went inside and detonated a bomb.
Oepriarto then drove the van to the Pentecostal Central Church, where, from inside the vehicle, he detonated another bomb, police said.
Around the same time the couple’s two teenage sons, aged 16 and 18, drove motorcycles to the Santa Maria Catholic Church, where they also detonated bombs.
But that’s not all. Two other Muslim families went on bombing missions, too. Apparently, in these cases, the family that prays together slays together.
On Sunday night, three members of another family, including a child, were killed when a bomb exploded at their apartment outside Surabaya when the police moved in to arrest them.
And on Monday morning, a family of five riding on two motorbikes detonated a bomb at the entrance of the Surabaya Police Headquarters — killing all but one of them and injuring four police officers.
We’ve seen children used as suicide bombers on religious missions before, but I can’t recall a situation where an entire family, minors included, decided to blow other people to smithereens for the greater glory of Allah. Times three.
Ah, religious fundamentalism — always astonishing you with new lows.
All told, 12 civilians and 13 terrorist suspects were dead from two days of violence, with at least 46 people injured, including police officers.
The Times notes that
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, practices one of the most moderate forms of Islam in the world, but still has a homegrown terrorism problem. The country has experienced numerous attacks in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, including deadly terrorist bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 and 2005, and bombings of international hotels in Jakarta in 2003 and 2009.
If these are the kinds of acts that occur in a climate dominated by “moderate forms of Islam,” I’d hate to ponder (again) what those who grow up around extremist Islam are capable of.
ISIS, truthfully or not, has claimed responsibility for the Indonesian attacks, calling them “martyrdom operations.” 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Rob Reiner

Rob appeared recently on Morning Joe on MSNBC. He's got a new movie coming out called Shock and Awe, and it looks awesome. I'm glad he's fighting on our side.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New Rule

Bill Maher hits the nail on the head in this one.  The U.S. has been taken over by the Trump mafia. They act like gangsters...they look like gangsters.  When will Trump's supporters finally figure out that the mob is now in control? Never, if they continue to only watch Fox News.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

barrage of lies

Michael Bloomberg gave the commencement speech to the graduating class at Rice University in Houston recently.

Michael Bloomberg calls 'epidemic of dishonesty' bigger threat than terrorism
The Guardian

Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington that is more dangerous than terrorism or communism, according to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In a commencement speech on Saturday at Rice University in Houston, the billionaire said “an endless barrage of lies” and a trend toward “alternate realities” in national politics pose a dire threat to US democracy.
The 76-year-old, who flirted with an independent presidential run in 2016, did not call out any politicians by name. Although he derided Donald Trump as “a con” and a “dangerous demagogue” before his election, in an interview before the speech at Rice Bloomberg refused to comment specifically on the president. Fact checkers have determined that Trump has made hundreds of false and misleading statements since entering the Oval Office.
“This is bigger than any one person,” Bloomberg said. “It’s bigger than any one party.”
In his speech, Bloomberg evoked the legend of the nation’s first president, George Washington, who as a boy supposedly said he could not tell a lie when asked if he cut down a cherry tree.
“How did we go from a president who could not tell a lie to politicians who cannot tell the truth?” Bloomberg asked. He blamed “extreme partisanship” for an unprecedented tolerance of dishonesty in US politics and said people were now committed more to their political tribes than the truth, suggesting that the nation is more divided than any time since the civil war.
“There is now more tolerance for dishonesty in politics than I have seen in my lifetime,” Bloomberg said. “The only thing more dangerous than dishonest politicians who have no respect for the law is a chorus of enablers who defend their every lie.”
For example, he noted that Democrats spent much of the 1990s defending President Bill Clinton against charges of lying and personal immorality, just as Republicans attacked the lack of ethics and honesty in the White House. The reverse is happening today, he said.
In one jab at Trump, he noted that the vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is real. Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly called climate change a hoax promoted by America’s adversaries.
“If 99% of scientists whose research has been peer-reviewed reach the same general conclusion about a theory, then we ought to accept it as the best available information – even if it’s not a 100% certainty,” Bloomberg said. He added, in a direct reference to Trump’s past remarks: “That, graduates, is not a Chinese hoax.”
He warned that such deep levels of dishonesty could enable what he called “criminality”. Asked what specifically he meant, Bloomberg noted “lots of investigations” going on, but he declined to be more specific.
Several Trump associates are facing criminal charges as part of a federal investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Three have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Federal investigators want to interview Trump himself, although the president’s legal team has resisted so far.
“When elected officials speak as though they are above the truth, they will act as though they are above the law,” Bloomberg told graduates. “And when we tolerate dishonesty, we get criminality. Sometimes, it’s in the form of corruption. Sometimes, it’s abuse of power. And sometimes, it’s both.
“The greatest threat to American democracy isn’t communism, jihadism, or any other external force or foreign power. It’s our own willingness to tolerate dishonesty in service of party, and in pursuit of power.”