Not for the hard of thinking Nov 24-30

Sometimes I feel like I belong to the tribe of the “hard of thinking” but then I read or hear someone make a statement totally void of fact or reason and I realize I’m not as bad as I think.

My head is still spinning from the news of Thanksgiving week, but now I understand that living in abnormal America is going to take living abnormally until this national nightmare ends.  It’s always going to be something, and now it’s this.

This post will run for one week.  Don’t be shy, leave a comment.

18 thoughts on “Not for the hard of thinking Nov 24-30

  1. NASA’s Martian quake sensor InSight lands at slight angle

    LOS ANGELES (AFP) –
    NASA’s unmanned Martian quake sensor, InSight, has landed at a slight angle on the Red Planet, and experts are hopeful the spacecraft will work as planned, the US space agency said Friday.

    The $993 million lander arrived Monday at its target, a lava plain named Elysium Planitia, for a two-year mission aimed at better understanding how Earth’s neighboring planet formed.

    “The vehicle sits slightly tilted (about 4 degrees) in a shallow dust- and sand-filled impact crater known as a ‘hollow,'” NASA said in a statement.

    Read more..

  2. Newsworthy for 11/30
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .


    Opinion
    Trump Is Compromised by Russia
    Michael Cohen’s latest plea is proof.

    One of the chief questions in the Trump-Russia scandal has been whether Vladimir Putin has leverage over the president of the United States, and, if so, what that leverage looks like. The significance of the fabled “pee tape,” after all, is not that it would reveal Donald Trump to be a pervert bent on defiling the place where Barack Obama slept. Rather, the tape matters because, if real, it would show the president to be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

    Read more..


    Opinion
    It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
    How to conduct economic policy in an age of social collapse. is proof.

    This is an eye-opener that covers the disparity in America where the economy is soaring but the social fabric is being ripped to shreds for everyone not on the receiving end of the “goodies”. David Brooks has written many good pieces covering working/middle class socio-economic problems in the Trump era. Maybe he wrote these before but I didn’t read him when Obama was President. I did listen to him every Friday on NPR when he soft-debated E.J. Dionne on All Things Considered, but nowadays he has spent a lot of time on the plight of the non-rich. I don’t agree with him 100%, but I don’t agree 100% with anyone. I do agree with this truth he wrote:

    Conservatives were wrong to think that economic growth would lead to healthy families and communities all by itself. Moderate Democrats were wrong to think it was sufficient to maximize growth and then address inequalities with transfer payments. The progressives are wrong to think life would be better if we just made our political economy look more like Denmark’s. The Danes and the Swedes take for granted a cohesive social fabric that simply does not exist here.

    Read more..


    Interview
    Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy on addiction, obsession and politics: ‘White men are very fragile’
    Over 30 years, Tweedy has battled drugs, alcohol and in-fighting to become one of the US’s most revered musicians. Now he has turned his experiences into a memoir and a solo album

    The Wilco loft is situated in a broad, pale-bricked warehouse, repurposed into offices for tech companies and counseling services in a quiet corner of Chicago. The band that lends its name to the site occupy two floors, their vast space housing a recording studio and a rehearsal area, filled with all the paraphernalia and kitsch that accompany a career spanning nearly 25 years. It is dark, curious and smells of wood and cleaning fluid. There are instruments everywhere: rack upon rack of guitars and pianos that face each other as if in consultation.

    Read more..


    Science
    Curiosity Rover Just Spotted This Super-Shiny Object on Mars

    An unusually smooth and reflective Martian rock has caught the attention of NASA scientists, prompting an investigation by the Curiosity rover.

    With the spectacularly successful landing of the InSight probe on Mars earlier this week, our attention has understandably been diverted away from Curiosity, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012. While we’ve been gushing over InSight, the six-wheeled NASA rover has been working at Vera Rubin Ridge, investigating the Highfield outcrop, a unique patch of grey bedrock.

    Read more..


  3. @chris: Regarding the story about Bernie’s resolution to open a debate on the war in Yemen, it’s no surprise that the string of illegal wars Congress has allowed Presidents to get us into, have devolved into the carnage catastrophe in Yemen. I hope the Senate finds its spine and debates this resolution into veto proof legislation.

    It will be a crippling blow to the mindless foreign policy coming out of trump’s gut.

  4. Newsworthy for 11/29
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .


    Opinion
    Deck the Halls With Democrats
    ’Tis the season to be running …

    One of the first “End of the year” reflective pieces by Gail Collins at WaPo. I always read her stuff to 1) Get up to speed and 2) Have a bunch of laughs. Soon as you stop laughing, it’s over imho.

    Read more..


    From the “I can’t believe this shit department”
    Cliven Bundy rebukes Trump over attack on migrants: ‘We should have a heart’
    The Trump-supporting rancher and his sons have now become unexpected critics, telling the Guardian: ‘I don’t like walls’

    “I really question his doctrine ever since he started it about building a wall,” Bundy, 72, told the Guardian on Wednesday. “I don’t like walls. I think we oughta be able to get along with neighbors … Trump’s wall never did sit very good with me.”

    Read more..


    In a Rebuke to Trump, the Senate Just Voted to Open Debate on US Support of Saudi War in Yemen
    A resolution sponsored by Bernie Sanders breaks the deadlock, with a 63-37 vote.
    By John Nichols

    Sanders has stood on the losing side of many battles to reclaim the Senate’s authority in matters of war and peace, and to dial back the US role in distant conflicts. But, this time, his call “for the United States to redefine our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” was heard. And embraced.

    Read more..


    Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress, in deal with special counsel Robert Mueller

    President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about a real estate project in Russia, as part of a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Cohen made a surprise court appearance at federal court in Manhattan on Thursday morning, where he admitted to making the false statements.

    Read more..




  5. @Cat Chew: I find a mix of hard news, opinions, science and just plain goofy makes the whole thing tolerable. Have to fight the urge to just check out.

    I just burned out on Facebook. Yes, it’s an endless stream of news but you have to sift through it all and as long as you play on that space you are just feeding your data to the giant blood sucking squid. 😉

    You should try embedding some TED talks or tasty cartoons.

  6. I do like what you’ve done with the place, and was so happy to see li’l blue (and Tom, too) again. Surprised how much I enjoyed the opinion pieces you posted. Not got much to say lately. Mostly still struck wordless by the stupidity, greed and narcissism, which was always there in politics and the media but not so proudly displayed. Yeesh.

  7. Newsworthy for 11/28
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .


    In Courting New Liberals, Pelosi Runs a Risk: A Freedom Caucus of the Left

    ..by empowering newcomers like Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Pelosi risks creating a headache for herself down the road: a Democratic version of the House Freedom Caucus, the far-right group that consistently defies Republican leadership, making life difficult for Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

    Read more..


    Normally I don’t give a damn what they say on Fox News but…


    From the “We all need a little beauty in our lives department”


  8. Newsworthy for 11/27
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .


    Opinion
    Maybe They’re Just Bad People
    Not all Trump support is ideological.

    …Trump is unique as a magnet for grifters, climbers and self-promoters, in part because decent people won’t associate with him. With the exception of national security professionals sticking around to stop Trump from blowing up the world, there are two kinds of people in the president’s orbit — the immoral and the amoral. There are sincere nativists, like Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller, and people of almost incomprehensible insincerity.

    . Read more..


    From the Save the planet department
    Five Affordable, Effective Alternatives to Disposable Cleaning Products
    From single-use cleaning wipes to detachable toilet wands, disposable cleaning products are often more expensive and less effective than the reusable products they replace.

    Disposable cleaning products like disinfecting wipes and toilet wands are popular and convenient, but one price for that convenience is waste: Those single-use cleaning wipes and Swiffer dusters and stainless steel polishing wipes have to go somewhere after they’ve been single-used, and that somewhere is the trash.

    Read more..


    Opinion
    Republicans say they want free-market innovation. Then they should want a carbon tax.

    Republicans’ latest excuse for ignoring climate change — like all their other excuses — gets the problem exactly backward.

    Read more..


    Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say
    Trump ally met WikiLeaks founder months before emails hacked by Russia were published

    Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told.

    Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.

    Read more..


    GM’s Plant Closures Confirm the President is a Liar and a Fool
    He has never cared about the men and women who build cars in places like Michigan and Ohio.
    By John Nichols

    Donald Trump campaigned for president on a promise to Michigan auto workers that “If I’m elected, you won’t lose one plant, you’ll have plants coming into this country, you’re going to have jobs again, you won’t lose one plant, I promise you that.”

    Barely two years later, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, General Motors announced that it was closing major auto plants in Michigan, as well as Ohio and Maryland. Thousands of jobs are being cut, and the future for many of the remaining plants suddenly seems very insecure.

    Read more..

    MSNBC Refuses To Air Sarah Sanders Press Briefing


    Read the article @ WaPo


  9. Newsworthy for 11/26
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .

    It’s Not Just Trump in House Democrats’ Cross Hairs. His Family Is, Too.

    When two Republican members of Congress began formally questioning last week Ivanka Trump’s use of private email for government business, it was seen by people close to the White House as a sign of things to come for the president’s family. Read more..

    Mars probe faces daunting challenge to land safely
    Nasa braced for attempt to slow spacecraft from 12,000mph to 5mph for soft touchdown

    Nasa engineers will on Monday initiate a manoeuvre that is their least favourite activity in space: they will attempt to land a robot spaceship on Mars.

    In this case they will attempt to set down their probe, InSight, gently on to an area known as Elysium Planitia where it is intended to analyse seismic activity on the red planet. Read me..

    More for the Martian maniacs

    More, more, more Mars!

    Funny Pages
    It is not the heat

  10. Newsworthy for 11/25
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .

    Opinion
    Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook?
    The platform has been used to disrupt elections, disseminate propaganda and promote hate. Regular users should ask if they are implicated in these failings.

    In moral philosophy, it is common to draw a distinction between duties to oneself and duties to others. From a self-regarding perspective, there are numerous reasons one might have a duty to leave Facebook. For one thing, Facebook can be time-consuming and addictive, to no fruitful end. In addition, as researchers have demonstrated, Facebook use can worsen depression and anxiety. Someone who finds himself mindlessly and compulsively scrolling through Facebook, or who is constantly comparing himself unfavorably with his Facebook friends, might therefore have a duty of self-care to get off Facebook. Read more..

  11. Newsworthy for 11/24
    This comment will be updated throughout the day .

    Opinion
    Ohio Isn’t a Red State Yet
    But it will be if Democrats do not fight for working people in every corner of the state.

    I talked about this with Michele on the last IMT podcast. More than one TV pundit has latched on to the meme that Ohio is now a red state based solely on the recent election. I don’t buy the group-speak of the M$M and this op-ed explains why it ain’t over yet. Read more..

    ‘America’s straightest arrow’: Robert Mueller silent as urgency mounts

    Robert Swan Mueller III wears a $35 Casio watch with the face on the inside of his left wrist, in the style of an infantryman trying to avoid giving away his position with a glint of sunshine off the glass.

    Covert and careful, Mueller is still moving with stealth in Washington DC, 50 years after he was shot and wounded in Vietnam as a first lieutenant in the US Marines. Read more..


    Trump says he’s thankful for himself. But he has nothing to strut about.

    Strutting isn’t just for turkeys anymore.

    We’re reminded of this nearly every day, but Donald Trump outdid himself Thanksgiving Day when a reporter asked the president what he’s most grateful for. In a nutshell, with only a tiny bit of editing: himself. Okay, he mentioned his family first, but then he went on to extol his own virtues.

    Of course he did. Thanksgiving, after all, is really about Trump, n’est-ce pas? One can hardly wait for Christmas, when we’ll learn, oh joy, that unto the world a Trump was born. Read more..

    Science
    Can we grow our meat?

    As a rule I’m anti-genetic foods of any kind, but what if it’s necessary to keep an animal from going extinct? I still don’t know… Read more..

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