Rant of the Week: Jenny Hagel – Pope Francis and Homophobia

Late Night writer Jenny Hagel takes a moment to respond to Pope Francis writing that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to be priests.


Wardrobe Malfunction

Look, I think we have lots of patriarchal Puritan restrictions on female body exposure. Any beach you can parade your ball hugger Speedo on is fair game. I myself tend to be modest in my Vacation kit because I’m not very fit. I am old and I burn easily. Normally I wear flashy Hawaiian shirts and Cargp Shorts, and when forced into a bathing suit definitely Jams.

Not trying to beat the clock anymore, no need for Sharkskins.

So I have body issues, but I respect people who don’t and tits? Everybody got ’em.

But I understand they’re an object of erotic fascination to some and so it was with mild amusement I watched Miley Cyrus. No, I’ll not post the videos of her performances, I’ve known her since Hannah Montana (bad on sooo many levels) and her Country Pop has no attraction to me so I won’t subject you to it.

Still I applaud her fashion forward statement and if celebrity side boob it the kind of thing that floats your boat there was plenty of that. I found myself puzzling over the anchor points.

Oh, you want Christmas themed SNL. Well…

Every time a bell rings, someone you know quits, or goes to jail.

The Best Christmas Ever

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

We Kid, We Kid

The Backside

Secret Santa

Theresa May

Not Particularly Christmas Related


Not a Cell Phone Video

The Kennel Club


You know, I featured Weezer earlier today, this is their big hit-

Yes they did that and it was a really big deal.

Pork and Beans

This is a cut off The Black Album, their 5th eponymous release-

That was October, in November we have this-

Know my Weezer? Damn Straight!

Oh, you want news. Sure, I guess..

Weekend Update

The Breakfast Club (fresh enough)

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 December 16th


The Boston Tea Party takes place; World War Two’s Battle of the Bulge begins; Ludwig van Beethoven is born.


Breakfast Tune Lady Sou & Mister Banjo -Gertrudium Haldensleben 2017 -down by the riverside



Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Sharon Lerner, The Intercept

DUPONT OPENED A factory in Saudi Arabia last week that will produce reverse osmosis water filters. The filters use ultra-thin membranes to remove water impurities, including PFAS — chemicals made and used by DuPont that have caused widespread water contamination around the world.

Reverse osmosis is one of the technologies that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends for reducing water contamination from PFAS chemicals, which are associated with cancers, immune dysfunction, reproductive issues, and other health problems. According to the agency’s website, reverse osmosis “membranes are typically more than 90 percent effective at removing a wide range of PFAS, including shorter chain PFAS.”

DuPont Water Solutions, a division of DowDuPont that focuses on water filtration, opened the plant with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, on December 3. “Milestone achievement improves direct access to potable and industrial water solutions,” announced a DuPont press release about the plant, which is expected to begin production early next year.

An executive from DuPont Water Solutions who was also at the ribbon-cutting, H.P. Nanda, emphasized the company’s role in cleaning up water contamination. “We remain committed to delivering solutions that help purify and reclaim water sources, especially in areas facing water scarcity and resource challenges.”

But Al Telsey, an attorney suing DuPont over massive contamination from PFOA and more than 1,000 other chemicals in New Jersey, is one of the many people contending with PFAS contamination from DuPont who may be more focused on the company’s role putting the chemicals into water than removing them.

“These guys are polluters, not water cleaners,” said Telsey, who nevertheless acknowledged the business acumen involved in getting into the filtration business.

“DuPont has learned the art of making money coming and going,” said Telsey. “They profited off the environmental contamination and now can profit on cleaning it up. It’s quite a feat.”

Rebecca Nathanson, The Intercept

THE GUILTY VERDICT arrived around lunchtime on December 10 — Human Rights Day, which this year marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It signaled the end of a nine-week trial and three days of jury deliberations in Chelmsford Crown Court, about 30 miles northeast of London. More than a year and a half after the 15 defendants had locked themselves around a deportation charter flight at London’s Stansted Airport, successfully stopping it from taking off, the defendants were convicted of intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome, a terrorism-related offense with a potential life sentence.

Known as the Stansted 15, the defendants had all pleaded not guilty to the charge, which falls under the United Kingdom’s Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, an obscure law intended to fight terrorism. The activists were originally charged with aggravated trespass, but that charge was later upgraded to intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome — under the “endangering safety at an aerodrome” section of the act — and seen by many as a disproportionate response to peaceful protest. Now, the guilty verdict has sent a chilling message to those who may wish to follow in the Stansted 15’s footsteps. Amnesty International, which had been observing the trial, tweeted, “The rights and freedoms of all of us are being eroded. The UK should not be targeting human rights defenders in this way.”

In a statement released minutes after the verdict was announced, the defendants wrote, “We are guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm. The real crime is the government’s cowardly, inhumane and barely legal deportation flights and the unprecedented use of terror law to crack down on peaceful protest. We must challenge this shocking use of draconian legislation, and continue to demand an immediate end to these secretive deportation charter flights and a full independent public inquiry into the government’s ‘hostile environment’.”

The Crown Prosecution Service published a press release about the verdict, outlining the disruption to airport operations, such as delayed and rerouted flights, caused by the Stansted 15’s action. Judith Reed, a deputy chief crown prosecutor, stated, “The [Crown Prosecution Service] worked with the police to build a strong case which reflected the criminality of the defendant’s actions, regardless of their motivation.” Tony Badenoch, who represented the prosecution in court, declined to comment.







Something to think about over coffee prozac

Man puts up sculpture of middle finger as a message to town

WESTFORD, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man who is in an ongoing dispute with his town has let officials know exactly how he feels by erecting a large wooden sculpture of a fist with the middle finger raised on his front lawn.

Ted Pelkey said Thursday that he has been trying for about 10 years to move his truck repair and recycling business to his property but has been unable to get a permit. He paid about $3,000 to have the roughly 7-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) sculpture carved with a chain saw. In November, he put it on a 16-foot (4.8-meter) pole with lights where it can be seen from the road.

“I wasn’t trying to get fame out of it at all…. I’m just mad,” he said. “I just got pushed in the corner, and it’s just I’m done with it.”

Since the sculpture went up, people have been stopping by during the day and even night to take photos of it and with it.

“Oh, God. It’s crazy,” Pelkey said. “People are out there at 11 o’clock at night taking pictures with their Santa hats on. It’s wonderful, I think.”

Late Thursday morning, three people pulled off of Route 128 to snap photos within an hour, including a woman from Maine who was in Vermont for work.

Westford Select Board Chairwoman Allison Hope said she could not comment on Pelkey’s case. He has appealed a recent decision.

“So we’re in the middle of an appeal that’s been going on for a while,” she said. “So I want to make sure that we use the process that Mr. Pelkey has a right to avail himself of, and I don’t want to mess with that process.”

She added that the town office has “a really great, really professional staff.”

“In terms of other folks, they do a really wonderful job no matter who comes to talk to them about permit applications,” she added. “They want to get to yes, but they also need to follow the zoning regulations that we have in town.”



Africa – Weezer w/ Weird Al Yankovic

Sounds just like Toto.

Immigrant Song – Karen O with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Next week- more Trent Reznor.

Cut Me Some Slack – Paul McCartney & Nirvana (less Kurt)

Sandy Relief.

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

On Sunday mornings we present a preview of the guests on the morning talk shows so you can choose which ones to watch or some do something more worth your time on a Sunday morning.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: Personal attorney to the President, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R); Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME); and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

The roundtable guests are: New York Times correspondent Peter Baker; TIME correspondent Molly Ball; managing editor for #RolandMartinUnfiltered, Roland Martin; and American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp.

Face the Nation: Host Margaret Brennan’s guests are: Trump’s Senior Adviser, Stephen Miller; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MI); Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY); adviser to Michael Cohen, Lannie Davis; and former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter.

Her panel guests are: Ben Domenech, The Federalist; Kelsey Nell, NPR; Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News; and Edward Wong, The New York Times.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO); and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

His panel guests are: Otherwise unemployable former Sen. Rich Santorum; Democratic strategist Bakari Sellers; Conservative Amanda Carpenter; Republican strategist David Urban; and Democratic strategist Jen Psaki.

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

People think I’m paranoid because I write pseudonymously and my Cell Phone In Box is full and I screen calls on my land line. My Answering Machine message is- “The number you have reached, (###) ###-#### is not in service at this time. Please check the number and dial again. Beeeep.” I feel I’m perfectly rational. I don’t want to be bugged by dopey spam.

Occasionally some sneaks through, but not nearly the amount I see other people experience.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto Mata o hima de,
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto Himitsu wo shiri tai,

You’re wondering who I am,
Machine or mannequin,
With parts made in Japan,
I am the modern man,

I’ve got a secret I’ve been hiding under my skin,
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain ibm,
So if you see me acting strangely, don’t be surprised,
I’m just a man who needed someone and somewhere to hide,
To keep me alive, just keep me alive,
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive,

I’m not a robot without emotions, I’m not what you see,
I’ve come to help you with your problems so we can be free,
I’m not a hero, I’m not a savior, forget what you know,
I’m just a man who’s circumstances went beyond his control,
Beyond my control, We all need control,
I need control, We all need control,

I am the modern man,
Who hides behind a mask,
So no one else can see,
My true identity,

The problem’s plain to see,
Too much technology,
Machines to save our lives,
Machines de-humanize,

The time has come at last,
To throw away this mask,
Now everyone can see,
My true identity.

Thank you very much Mr. Roboto for doing the jobs that nobody wants to. And thank you very much Mr. Roboto for helping me escape just when I needed to.

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

In October of 2009, the parent company of Epicurious, printed the last issue of Gourmet magazine. The November Thanksgiving issue was the last released. (I still have it, along with other holiday issues of Gourmet.) The recipes for the December issue, apparently thought lost forever, were left in a file, along with pictures, were recently rediscovered. The cooking editors decided to test the recipes and if they were any good publish at Epicurious. They were. From appetizers and drinks to luscious desserts, it’s a grand twelve course meal, reminiscent of Christmases long ago. So here is a sample of the “Lost Christmas Recipes of Gourmet. Bon Appétit!

Beef Rib Roast with Garlic and Rosemary

A standing rib roast combines deep beefiness with marvelous tenderness and, naturally, has a price tag to match. But don’t be intimidated. It’s still a roast, after all, and that means it’s easy to cook.

Citrusy Haricots Verts

It doesn’t take much to make slender, tender green beans memorable—lemon zest and orange zest warmed in olive oil provide sensational sparkle.

Creamy Potato and Leek Gratin

Cutting leeks into large pieces (they almost dissolve when thinly sliced) gives them a presence equal to disks of potato, while cooking the vegetables separately—the leeks are braised in butter, the spuds are simmered in milk and cream—preserves their distinct flavors.

Watercress and Persimmon Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Fuyu persimmons, which resemble tomatoes in shape, are best enjoyed while still firm and slightly crisp. The sweet, meaty wedges make a gorgeous counterpoint to the tangle of peppery greens.

Porcini Popovers

Popovers are an appealing alternative to Yorkshire pudding (the same batter is used for both), and embellishing with dried porcini mushrooms imparts an unexpected woodsy dimension.

Cranberry-Pistachio Baked Alaska

Underneath the toasted meringue, you’ll find a surprising lightness that comes from cheery red cranberry sorbet layered with pale green pistachio ice cream and buttery pound cake (store-bought works just fine).

Chocolate-Hazelnut Napoleons

Weighting the puff pastry with an extra sheet pan while it blind-bakes is a classic way to get the crackle without the height and also gives the pastries a sleek, modern look.

Pomegranate Prosecco Punch

The holiday season calls for toasts, which, in turn, call for bubbly. Sure, you could pour a glass of sparkling Prosecco, but turning it into a celebratory punch rich with fruity, tart pomegranate juice takes things in an even livelier direction.

Continue reading


Don’t listen to the lyrics. Nobody does except DJs.

We Appreciate Power – Grimes

Seven Nation Army – White Stripes

A Forest – The Cure

The Breakfast Club (That Time Of Year)

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

Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann sentenced to death; Bandleader Glenn Miller disappears over the English Channel; The Bill of Rights takes effect; Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull killed; Walt Disney dies at age 65.

Breakfast Tunes

Nancy Wilson (February 20, 1937 – December 13, 2018)

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land.

Sitting Bull (1831 – December 15, 1890

Continue reading

Tired of Winning?

                  12/14/17   12/14/18      YTD

        Dow      24,585.43  24,100.51  -484.92
        S&P 500    2662.85    2599.95   -62.90
        NASDAQ     6875.80    6910.66    34.86

So much winning!

Not that Stock Indexes are any indicator of prosperity.


Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: Manhood, Moola, McConnell and Trumpism

After Tuesday’s testy exchange between Donald Trump and Democratic leaders, it seems quite possible that the tweeter in chief will shut down the government in an attempt to get funding for a wall on the Mexican border. What’s remarkable about this prospect is that the wall is an utterly stupid idea. Even if you’re bitterly opposed to immigration, legal or otherwise, spending tens of billions of dollars on an ostentatious physical barrier is neither a necessary nor an effective way to stop immigrants from coming.

So what’s it about? Nancy Pelosi, almost sure to be the next speaker of the House, reportedly told colleagues that for Trump, the wall is a “manhood thing.” That sounds right. But that got me thinking. What other policies are driven by Trump’s insecurity? What’s driving this administration’s policy in general?

The answer to these questions, I’d argue, is that there are actually three major motives behind Trumpist policy, which we can label Manhood, McConnell and Moola.

George T. Conway III, Trevor Potter and Neal Katyal: Trump’s claim that he didn’t violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous

Last week, in their case against Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York filed a sentencing brief concluding that, in committing the felony campaign-finance violations to which he pleaded guilty, Cohen had “acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” President Trump. And this week, prosecutors revealed that they had obtained an agreement from AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, in which AMI admitted that it, too, had made an illegal payment to influence the election. The AMI payment was the product of a meeting in which Trump was in the room with Cohen and AMI President David Pecker.

This all suggests Trump could become a target of a very serious criminal campaign finance investigation. In response, Trump has offered up three defenses. His first was to repeatedly lie. For quite some time, he flatly denied knowledge about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. But now he seems to be acknowledging that he knew (since his personal company reimbursed Cohen for the payment, he ought to). Now Trump and his acolytes have turned to two other excuses: They point to an earlier case involving former senator John Edwards to argue that what Trump did wasn’t a crime; and they say, even if it was a crime, it wasn’t a biggie — there are lots of crimes, so what, who cares.

The former is a very weak legal argument, and the latter a dangerous one. Indeed, the campaign finance violations here are among the most important ever in the history of this nation — given the razor-thin win by Trump and the timing of the crimes, they very well may have swung a presidential election.

Continue reading

The Third Man

You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax – the only way you can save money nowadays.

Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.

So let me tell you about my dead Uncle. His primary occupation was collecting film quotes like that but for amusement he’d rely on The Weekly World News, delighting in the saga of “Bat Boy” in particular.

Yes, he had seen Men In Black 1 & 2. He was into Bat Boy waaay before that.

Anyway, you understand why I was pleased to hear when they sealed off the Headquarters because of the Anthrax Attack (you remember that?) David Pecker was allowed to take 2 items as he evacuated and chose… of all the things in The Vault… the original picture of Bat Boy and the photo of dead Elvis in his coffin.

Welcome to ‘Murika folks.

Hear now, the news. It seems due to the “Co-Operative” testimony of that same David Pecker (minds out of the gutter folks) that in August, 2015, much earlier than previously thought, there was a meeting on the 26th Floor of Trump Tower Manhattan between Michael Cohen, the selfsame David Pecker, and a Third Man.

Only, it’s not new news. Yesterday was a good one for the Wall Street Journal, other than Butina (I may get to that later, it’s complicated) their stories were the only thing anyone talked about.

The odd thing on this one is the dateline, Nov. 9, 2018, more than a month ago. I must admit it eluded me also but I don’t frequent the WSJ since they are notorious for their paywalls.

Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal
By Joe Palazzolo, Nicole Hong, Michael Rothfeld, Rebecca Davis O’Brien, and Rebecca Ballhaus, Wall Street Journal
Nov. 9, 2018

As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request.

What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.

Less than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair. Mr. Pecker’s company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to keep her from speaking publicly about it. Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance.

The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents.

Taken together, the accounts refute a two-year pattern of denials by Mr. Trump, his legal team and his advisers that he was involved in payoffs to Ms. McDougal and a former adult-film star. They also raise the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws.

The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others. The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has gathered evidence of Mr. Trump’s participation in the transactions.

There’s much more but why step on the lede?

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