Feb 11

Not a rant.

I don’t recognize my country anymore

Feb 11

He can’t read!

As in actually functionally illiterate. Sam Bee explains-

The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!

— Donald J. Trump

Ten pages! tl;dr. Proper form is lots of cartoons and pictures and charts and favorable mentions of the awesomeness of Donald J. Trump from Faux and Fiends. And then there’s this-

Breaking with tradition, Trump skips president’s written intelligence report and relies on oral briefings
By Carol D. Leonnig, Shane Harris and Greg Jaffe, Washington Post
February 9, 2018

He rarely if ever reads the President’s Daily Brief, a document that lays out the most pressing information collected by U.S. intelligence agencies from hot spots around the world.

Trump has opted to rely on an oral briefing of select intelligence issues in the Oval Office rather than getting the full written document delivered to review separately each day, according to three people familiar with his briefings.

Reading the traditionally dense intelligence book is not Trump’s preferred “style of learning,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

And that despite the fact they deliver it in the proper form.

He can’t read! A totally real, 100% valid theory.

Feb 11

The Breakfast Club (Florida)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for February 11th

South Africa frees Nelson Mandela; Allied leaders in the last months of World War II sign the Yalta accords; Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers seize power in Iran; inventor Thomas Edison born.


Breakfast Tune Van Eps Trio – Florida Rag 1912 Banjo Instrumental


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below








Something to think about over coffee prozac

Loaded grenade launcher left at Florida Goodwill store

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Talk about one heckuva an explosive donation.

Authorities say a grenade launcher, loaded with a live grenade, was left with other donated items at a Florida Goodwill store.

The Bradenton Herald reports that employees at a Goodwill store near Tampa reported the weapon on Sunday.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says the store manager told deputies that the grenade launcher had come in a shipment from another store several days earlier. The employees at the other location said they sent it along because they didn’t know what it was.

Deputies say they disposed of the active grenade in a Hazmat locker, and the launcher was stored in the agency’s property room.

It’s not clear who donated the items.

Feb 10

The XXIII Winter Olympics: Day 3

Ok, I decided to skip a day in the numbering because the upcoming events looks a day forward to tomorrow.

Becca and Matt Hamilton were drawing dead today. Last night’s loss to China didn’t quite make a trip to the semi-finals impossible, but the first victory by anyone else today sure did. As I write this they have one more match against the Finns, the only team below them in the standings, to play.

I’d like to talk about their style before it’s all over because to me it’s very instructive if not very successful, this year.

On most teams when the guy is throwing the gal stands at the other end and provides a target with her broom. After the guy lets go of the rock he pops right up and scoots down the ice so he can sweep. The gal stays firmly planted at the other end and claps in encouragement. The guy in fact does all the sweeping for the team. When she throws he provides the target and scoots down the ice to pick up her rock wherever.

Seem slightly sexist to you? Me too. It’s not that women can’t sweep, they do it all the time on the Women’s Teams, just that it’s a critically important job and there’s definitely this vibe of “I’ll do all the important bits myself Honey. Stand in the corner and look cute.”

Becca Hamilton is one of the 5 best sweepers in the world, male or female (she’s also a better shot than Matt). When the Hamiltons throw the one doing it concentrates on that and the other one is right there to sweep, no frantic scooting, no constant exercise, no distraction.

Today they had an excellent game against the Norwegians, 4 – 1 and tied with Russia, Switzerland, and Canada for first (there’s your medal round pool btw). They scored a 4 point steal in the 4th End and a 3 point steal in the 6th for a 10 – 3 lead and a concession. Their two wins were against teams that advanced. First Olympics jitters I guess. I hope they’re back next time because I really want to see their egalitarian style of play become the norm.

And they’re funny too.

In other news the Unified Korea Women’s Hockey Team lost to Switzerland 8 – 0. North Korea has more than 200 Cheerleaders attending the events and everyone wants a selfie with Kim Yo Jong.

Mike Pence is a lonely, ignored, and forgotten man.


Network Time Events
NBCSN 2:40-5 am Women’s hockey, U.S.-Finland (LIVE)
NBCSN 5-9 am Men’s biathlon, 10km sprint gold (LIVE); men’s speedskating, 5,000 gold; men’s cross-country, skiathlon gold
USA 7-9:30 am Women’s hockey, Canada-OAR (LIVE)
NBCSN 1:30-5:30 pm Mixed doubles curling, tiebreaker; men’s luge, singles gold
NBC 3-6 pm Men’s speedskating, 5,000-meter gold; men’s biathlon, 10km sprint gold; men’s cross-country, skiathlon gold
NBCSN 5:30-8 pm Men’s biathlon, 10km sprint gold
NBC 7-11 pm Figure skating, team event, men’s, women’s, dance free skates, gold (LIVE); women’s skiing, giant slalom (LIVE); women’s freestyle skiing, moguls gold; women’s snowboarding, slopestyle gold; men’s luge, singles gold
NBCSN 8-11:30 pm Women’s snowboarding, slopestyle gold (LIVE); mixed doubles curling, semifinal
NBC 11:35 pm-1 am Women’s skiing, giant slalom gold (LIVE); women’s snowboarding, halfpipe (LIVE)
NBCSN 11:30 pm-2:40 am Men’s speedskating, 5,000 gold

Feb 10

Good morning Mr. Phelps

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck.

Kelly who?

If Kelly goes, get ready for the White House to downplay his limited-time role
By Callum Borchers, Washington Post
February 10

If (Marine Major General and White House Chief of Staff John) Kelly exits the White House — The Washington Post reported Friday that he is willing to resign — expect Trump’s remaining team to do what it often does to former aides: downplay their significance.

The reasons vary. Sometimes the goal is to discredit an ally-turned-critic. Other times the objective is to distance Trump from someone who appears to have become a liability. Another aim might be to counter the perception (reality) that retaining key staffers has been a challenge.

Whatever the motivation, the message is that someone who leaves Trump’s orbit probably was not very important in the first place.

Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah read from this familiar script Thursday when asked during a media briefing about Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former director of communications at the White House Office of Public Liaison.

“She had limited contact with the president while here,” Shah said.

Translation: Manigault Newman does not know what she’s talking about when she says the Trump White House is “not going to be okay,” as she did on “Celebrity Big Brother,” because she was never really involved.

Sean Spicer, when he was the White House press secretary, memorably claimed during one briefing that Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”

Spicer also described former national security adviser Michael Flynn as “a volunteer of the campaign” and dismissed longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone as someone who “worked briefly on the campaign.”

Remember George Papadopoulos, the former foreign policy adviser who pleaded guilty to making a false statement to FBI investigators? White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hardly does, even though Trump once touted him as an “excellent guy” in an interview with The Post’s editorial board.

“I’m telling you that he was a volunteer member of an advisory council that literally met one time,” Sanders told reporters in October.

What about Carter Page, another former foreign policy adviser, whose contacts with Russians were probed by the FBI during the presidential race? Trump campaign communications director Jason Miller told the Hill in September 2016 that Page had “never been a part of our campaign, period.”

“Carter Page is an individual who the president-elect does not know,” Spicer said at a news conference in January 2017.

“I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to him,” Trump added the next month. “I don’t think I’ve ever met him.”

Lately, Trump has decided that Page was part of the team after all, arguing that the FBI’s surveillance of Page amounted to inappropriate spying on the Trump campaign.

No one has been erased from Trump history more thoroughly than former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who, according to the president, “had very little to do with our historic victory.” Bannon was chief executive of Trump’s campaign.

“Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue,” Trump said in January.

“His role has been greatly exaggerated,” White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said of Bannon on CNN last month.

Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley told CNN in a separate interview that “obviously, over the course of Mr. Bannon’s time in the White House, you’ve seen the results that he produced, which was zero.”

Feb 10

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt


What To Cook This Weekend

Sunday Stash Marinara Sauce

This simple, flavorful tomato sauce is a weeknight savior. Make a big batch and stash it in the freezer. Add to pastas, braises, soups, and stews in the weeks to come.

Salmon Roasted in Parchment Paper

This classic technique gets a modern punch of flavor from briny olives and capers, sweet raisins, a splash of rum, and a squeeze of bright lime juice.

Cacio e Pepe Chips

This genius potato chip recipe is a great example of our obsession with the combination of Pecorino and black pepper—and it goes so well with cocktails.

Blistered Green Beans With Tomato-Almond Pesto

This sauce, inspired by Spanish romesco, uses cherry tomatoes and coats just-starting-to-char green beans.

Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans

The ribbon of brown butter plays a raw cookie dough role in the center of these pecan blondies.

Health and Fitness News

Miserable Flu Season Is Breaking Records

Women Fare Worse Than Men After a Stroke

Head Injuries Hit 1 in 14 Kids, CDC Reports

More Norovirus Infections at Olympics in S. Korea

Mental Illnesses Share Genetic Similarities

How should you sleep if you have lower back pain?

Cancer-Causing HPV Can Hide in the Throat

Attitude About Aging May Affect Odds for Dementia

Heart Meds Not to Blame for Impotence, Study Says

Crash Diets Might Derail Your Heart Health

Menopause May Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Feb 10

The Breakfast Club (Better Instructions)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

A Cold War prisoner exchange; boxer Mike Tyson convicted of rape; Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ opens on Broadway; Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a Changin” released.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The most important thing about Spaceship Earth – an instruction book didn’t come with it.

R. Buckminster Fuller

Continue reading

Feb 09

The XXIII Winter Olympics: Opening Ceremony

So you want to see it from the beginning? Too bad, Mixed Doubles Curling (what a great sport!) has been going on for 2 days now and Team USA (the highly likeable and very talented Brother/Sister Pair of Becca and Matt Hamilton) are already behind 1 – 3 in the Round Robin having crushed the Russians in their opening match, lost tight contests to the Canadians and Swiss (so far undefeated), and electing to concede after 6 Ends to the South Koreans. They haven’t scored a double in over 20 Ends.

C’mon, of course I know what I’m talking about.

In other developments Team Figure Skating has commenced with Short Programs (they can use songs with lyrics now) and Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Mogul have started their qualifying. Practice runs in Downhill, Ski Jumping, and Luge are pretty complete (at least the Men’s brackets).

Tonight it’s all Opening Ceremony all the time and I find that an incredible bore, so I’ll be watching Gold Rush– getting to the end of mining season, Tony Beets is less than halfway through the disassembly of his new barge, Parker is coining money and panting for the day he can give Tony the bird, and Todd Hoffman is looking to salvage anything out of a terrible year, just like always.

C’mon, of course I know what I’m talking about.

As is their practice NBC is delaying coverage of what they consider significant events until Prime Time so everything you see tonight actually happened like 18 hours ago.

I’ve got a schedule from the Washington Post (I have a digital subscription and I can’t seem to get Amazon to stop charging me for it, go figure) but I’m not entirely happy with it so, we’ll see.

Starting tonight I’ll try and post the upcoming coverage so you can view or tape your favorite events. For me this is going to be Curling Nirvana with over 50 hours of the USA Teams alone. I also like the sliding sports (Skelton especially), Skiing (Downhill), and Hockey (Women’s). Skating (Speed and Figure), Cross Country, Freestyle, Snowboarding (except the match racing) not so much. Biathalon I’m neutral about, Ski Jumping is ok I guess.

I’ll follow what I follow. I’ve been writing on the Internet 13 years this April and franchise formulas don’t interest me as much as they used to. Plus I have more outside interests I don’t report on. My Therapist thinks I’m making great progress, but then, she encourages daily journaling too. Me, who knows? I might go back to that style any day, as my whimsy takes me.


Network Time Events
NBCSN 2-5 am Women’s cross-country, skiathlon gold (LIVE); mixed doubles curling, U.S.-China
NBCSN 5-7:35 am Men’s short-track speedskating, 1,500 gold (LIVE)
NBCSN 7:35-11:30 am Men’s ski jumping, normal hill gold (LIVE); men’s snowboarding, slopestyle
USA 7-9:30 am Women’s hockey, Switzerland-Koreas (LIVE)
NBCSN 11:30 am-1 pm Men’s luge, singles
NBCSN 1-5 pm Women’s speedskating, 3,000 gold; women’s biathlon, 7.5km sprint gold; mixed doubles curling, U.S.-Norway
NBC 3-6 pm Men’s snowboarding, slopestyle; short-track speedskating, men’s 1,500-meter gold; men’s ski jumping normal hill gold; men’s luge, singles
NBCSN 7-9:45 pm Men’s snowboarding, slopestyle gold (LIVE)
NBC 8-11 pm Figure skating, team event, ice dancing and women’s short programs (LIVE); men’s downhill gold
NBCSN 9:45 pm-1:30 am Mixed doubles curling, U.S.-Finland; women’s snowboarding, slopestyle (LIVE)
NBC 11:30 pm-12:30 am Figure skating, team event, pairs free skate
NBCSN 1:30-2:40 am Mixed doubles curling, Canada-South Korea

Feb 09


Or Theresa May and the Tories, or, maybe, both.

You might recall that after the snap General Election where Labour under Corbyn performed especially well (and not so incidentally crushed the hopes and dreams of Qusling Neo Liberal Torylite Blairites) and the Conservatives lost their Parliamentary majority, the Tories were forced into a coalition Government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

While it’s pretty distasteful that the Conservatives were willing to accept association with the Paisley Party, the political arm of the Protestant Terrorists, they, like our own Conservatives, don’t know the meaning of shame and hypocrisy and basically have no morals or ethics at all.

One manifestation of this uncomfortable alliance is that the DUP threatened to bring down Theresa May’s Government and force a new Election, one that Labour is likely to win, unless she agreed to what is called “Paragraph 50”. Being the pro-Union with the UK fanatics that they are, the DUP insisted the Tories promise that there would never be a customs or any other border between Northern Ireland and the UK.

Well, ok you say, why is that a big deal?

Because Ireland is going to stay in the EU and there is this big long border between them and Northern Ireland.

You see part of the Good Friday agreement that ended the terrorist war in 1998 between Paisley’s Partisans and the British Army on the one hand and the IRA on the other is that there would never be a customs or any other border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

So where do you put the border between the EU and the UK?

Can’t have it at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland because of the Good Friday agreement. Can’t have it at sea or in British ports because of Paragraph 50.

Who cares about Ireland? Just put it at the border between them and Northern Ireland.

Well, that would be incredibly dangerous. From The Guardian

Earlier this week George Hamilton, chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, warned that any infrastructure at the border, however light, would become a target for armed groups and pose a danger to his officers. “The terrorists only have to be lucky once and get a result with catastrophic consequences,” he said.

Gotta love those Brits, such a talent for understatement. At best there would be rampant smuggling and the odd pot shot with a rifle. At worst it could reignite what was called “The Troubles” which was basically a state of open warfare between Ireland and the UK between 1922 and 1998. And it was damn successful too, you think the odd Al-Queda or Daesh attack is pretty terrible? The IRA taught them all they know.

Then there is that little matter of Brexit. Ireland, as a member of the EU, has an absolute single member veto power over any agreement between the EU and the UK. If they say no when Brexit day is come and gone Britain will have nothing but its membership in the WTO to trade under, not even the Most Favored Nations status China enjoys. All its previous Trade Agreements got folded into the EU and don’t apply anymore. To say it would be economically devastating is to be almost British in understatement.

Ok, so enforce Customs and Borders at sea or in the ports.

Then you violate Paragraph 50, piss off the DUP, they drop the Tories as coalition partners ending their working majority, and new Elections are held which the Conservatives will lose- badly. MPs will be booted from their seats in droves. Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

Do nothing you say?

Sigh, among the Tories there is a significant fraction of ardent Brexiteers who think May is a squish to begin with and are not so sure about the others. Something must happen or they’ll split and form their own Brexit Party. That’s why Cameron held the Brexit referendum in the first place and why May was forced to set a date.

Of course, since she did, the EU could just take it as a done deal and give the Brits the boot.

What I think is likely to happen is that conditions will deteriorate and May will either resign or be forced to call new Elections soon. Resignation doesn’t really solve the Tories’ problems as it’s not so much that she’s feckless (though she is) as it is that they are deeply divided. The Corporatists and Financial Toadies don’t like Brexit at all.

Feb 09

National Security: Classified 101

Who knew who Rob Porter was or, even, how important his job was? Porter’ job as White House Staff Secretary entailed handling the most classified information from the military, intelligence community, as well as, the Justice and State Departments. The job requires the highest of security clearances. Possibly, as long as a year ago White House counsel Don McGahn was informed by the FBI that Porter would probably not get a clearance. Chief of Staff John Kelly learned about it this past Fall. The allegations by his two ex-wives that Porter had physically and mentally abused them are serious enough to withhold it. This latest personnel incident exposes two problems for the White House. tolerance of domestic abusers and people viewing classified information who are not cleared to do so. The latter is a major national security problem: How many people are working in the White House without full security clearances?

Leaving aside that Donald Trump, if he were not president*, would not have been given a clearance due to his four bankruptcies, allegations of fraud and sexual misconduct, we already know that several former “advisors,” who were dismissed or resigned, could not clear the hurdles. We know that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has had to amend his application numerous times due to omissions about contacts with foreigners, travel and financial dealings. We also know that Steve Bannon could not get clearance due to past history of spousal abuse.

Security-clearance investigations aim to determine whether individuals pose a risk of revealing sensitive government information, based on a variety of factors, including their loyalty to the country, potential foreign influences in their lives or problems of a sexual, criminal, financial or psychological nature.

If such issues are found, federal guidelines say, they should be assessed in terms of how recently they occurred, how frequently and how likely they are to recur.

Law enforcement officials say the biggest red flags in clearance reviews tend to be when investigators catch a person lying — either on disclosure forms or in face-to-face interviews with agents.

The Trump administration’s failure to properly vet staff has led to scandals, resignations and security lapses, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow examines the high turnover of top officials in the Donald Trump administration that has become a symptom of the poor job Trump is doing vetting the people he hires to work for the American people.

Representative Sean Patrick Murphy, who held Porter’s position under President Barack Obama, joins Rachel to discuss the job of staff secretary, the White House’s lack of action despite knowing Porter’s issue and the possible legal ramifications.

This also begs to question why Kelly and McGahn still have jobs. How many more staffers are there with skeletons in their closets? Not only that, the silence from congressional Republicans is deafening. If this were a Democratic president, Rep. Trey Gowdy’s head would be exploding. There would have already been numerous hearings, investigations and calls for impeachment. Now, you can hear a pin drop in the House Oversight Committee room. National Security be damned.

Feb 09

The Breakfast Club (Tribal Myth)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

The Beatles appear on TV’s ‘Ed Sullivan’; Sen. Joseph McCarthy launches his anti-communist crusade; World War II’s Battle of Guadalcanal ends; Soviet leader Yuri Andropov dies; author Alice Walker born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

I believe the Republicans have never thought that democracy was anything but a tribal myth.

Hunter S. Thompson

Continue reading

Feb 08

The Real Deal

C’mon, it’s just a parade.

Triumph of the Will (English Subtitles)

The documentary of the Reich Party Congress, 1934. Produced by order of the Führer. Created by Leni Riefenstahl.

5 September, 1934. Twenty years after the outbreak of the World War, sixteen years after the start of German suffering, nineteen months after the start of Germany’s rebirth, Adolf Hitler flew once again to Nürnberg to hold a military display.

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