SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS Feb 10 2017- Our Fake President Wants Tanks On The Streets

WE WERE OFFLINE for a couple of days.  Google told me to change my password and everything stopped working. Thanks to wonderful Cory from Cornerstone Computers, we’re back in business. 

SPACEX- What a pleasure to have some good news! That was really fun!! I take back everything  I said about  Elon  being a  goofball.  Still not too sold on those flamethrowers, though.

TRUMP WANTS A PARADE to honor him and his glory.  He’s looking more like Mussolini every day. And the cretins in the White House who enable him should burn in the deepest circle of Hell..  I didn’t used to believe in Hell, but a year of Trump is changing my mind.

NEW AT COSTCO- a wonderful snack food from British Columbia called InnoFood Coconut Clusters.  They’re NOT overwhelmingly sweet or cocoanut flavored and  ARE organic, gluten-free wheat-free etc.  You can’ t stop eating them. In the freezer, they are now selling BB GO dumplings that you microwave in a plastic tray.  Darn good.

CURMUDGEON CORNER-  When did “drop the mike” become a thing? I was a Broadcasting student at San Francisco State and have a whole 2 units of Audio Studies under my belt and I can tell you, any of us who had dropped a mike would have been escorted out of class.  We got to work with the old classic broadcast mikes, the ribbon mikes on a stand. They would have killed us. Mikes must be cheaper nowadays.  But they’re not any better.

AND ANOTHER THING-  While we’re talking about annoying commercials, what about those Farmers ads–“WE ARE FARMERS! DUM DE DUM DE DUM DUM DUM”  that sound like they’re sung by the Russian Army Chorus.  Then they show Asian people following JK Simmons around an insurance museum. What a horrible idea!  Someone should set them free.  Does anyone actually buy insurance because of these ads?  Do women,  who control most families’ pursestrings?  I doubt it.

CARTER PAGES’ HAT-  Carter Page,  the goofball who loves being in front of the the  camera and may be looking at jail time for his excessive friendliness with the Rooskies,  has one thing going for him: THAT HAT.  It’s like someone took a deerstalker hat and cut some of it off. Remember the old vaudeville song,  “Where did you get that hat boy? Where did you get that hat?  I must have one like that!”  I want one. I don’t want to WEAR it, I just want one.   BTW. I goggled “Carter Page’s  Hat” and got a site showing him wearing a RED hat, not what I would want at all.

ARE YOU STILL ON FACEBOOK? WHY????  You like having your every keystroke sold to merchandisers?  Too lazy to make/keep REAL friends so you settle for the FB version? Too lazy to keep up with the news so you settle for someone  else’s news feed?  Make your own news feed! Are you aware that FB sold ads to the Russians during the 2016 campaign? I have a FB account which I use when I have NO other way of reaching people but I’m limiting myself to five minutes a day, most of which goes to “I Remember In Eureka When…”

According to POLITICO,  Tony V is now within 2 points of Gavin Loathesome in the gubernatorial polls.  And Tom Steyer is hiring 50- that’s FIFTY- campaign workers.

END

Chiang Studying Cannabis Banking Options

From the Sacramento Business News

The state of California is looking for a consultant to develop a public bank to service the state’s legal cannabis industry.

California State Treasurer John Chiang today announced the move with the state’s Attorney General’s Office to begin a “methodical and disciplined evaluation structured as a two-part feasibility study.”

The study will answer questions about costs, benefits, risks and legal and regulatory issues, according to a press release from Chiang’s office.

With the passage of Proposition 64 two years ago, California moved to legalize the recreational use of marijuana on Jan. 1 this year. However, under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, so banks, credit unions and brokerages — all of which have federal oversight — are at risk of losing their licenses to operate if they take money associated with cannabis.

Chiang is concerned that so much money is stuck in cash, posing a potential danger to the cannabis industry and also to state offices that have to collect taxes from the industry.

Some of the details the consultants will consider are a public bank’s need for capital, deposit insurance and access to the banking system.

“We want California to get the most bang for its buck. So today I am issuing a Request for Information, or RFI, to get the expert help we need to establish the scope of our feasibility study,” Chiang said in a teleconference.

“I want to conclude by saying that California — and other states — will need to lead when it comes to bringing the cannabis industry out of the shadows so that it can be properly regulated to prevent sales to minors, to protect the public’s health and safety, and ensure cannabis businesses behave as legitimate, tax-paying members of our economy,” he said.

Chiang went on to say that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the federal government’s position “crystal clear” earlier this month when he said he would end Obama-era cannabis guidelines “that essentially remove cannabis from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities.”

 

 

 
 
 

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS SOTU Edition, plus “Fire and Fury”

I won’t go through the excruciating review of Our Fake President’s State of the Union speech since Cong. Huffman has already provided a good summary.  The most divisive President in history  says the SOTU is “strong”.  A lot of us would disagree.  Meanwhile the despicable Devin Nunes ought to be brought up on treason charges himself for disclosing sensitive info for political reasons.  Let’s hope he’s stopped before lasting damage is done.  Trump is waging a war against the FBI, the intel agencies and everyone  else who stands between him and his alternate reality. This is going to be a very long three years. As of this writing, Trump, and his staff- the most incompetent in history- and his stooge Nunes are hell-bent on destroying our government and those who work there and they  have nothing better to offer.  And Trump is hell-bent on leaving  us defenseless against the ongoing cyberattacks.  Disgusting.

BTW Nunes has at least seven opponents this year.  Give generously to any of them.

“Fire and Fury”-   We finally got our copy from Eureka Books ($33) and it IS a juicy read,  Did you know that Trump is so out of it he thinks Nixon was framed???? Even Nixon didn’t claim that. It’s the ignorance, again.  I also hadn’t realized how pivotal a figure Jared Kushner is- he’s been behind every bad decision Trump has made. ‘(His West Wing nickname is “The Butler” because he hovers a lot and does little.) No less than NINE solid DC law firms turned down the dubious honor  of representing Trump in the Mueller inquiry. This is good:  “This was Bannon’s fundamental insight about Trump: he made everything personal and he was helpless not to.”  Bannon was obviously the smart one of the bunch. The part about Nicky Haley is not as was publicized;  no indication that she had an affair with anyone although she is regarded as being “as ambitious as Lucifer” .  Perhaps she’ll be picking over the bones  when the Trump thing collapses.

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS- Davos Edition

Well, our Fake President took a huge retinue to Davos, including the one with the trophy wife- is it Munchkin? It wasn’t cheap.  When I was there 20 years ago a plate of spaghetti at an outdoor café was $17.   That was in Bern, not Davos.  Davos would be twice that. Davos is close to Klosters where Audrey Hepburn, the most elegant woman who ever lived( including Nefertiti) had her residence.  She was married to a rich Italian doctor, which didn’t save her from dying of cancer at 63.

Yes, the good die young , which means we’ll be stuck with Trump and his gang of robber barons for awhile. Everyone was relieved that he stuck to his  teleprompter speech but the next morning he started in on his Greatest Hits List again,  bashing Hillary and the Fake Media again 15 months after the election. His 71 year-old brain apparently cannot accept new data like THE ELECTION’S OVER.  If they invite him back next year will they/we have to listen to the same crap?

BTW the way to stay on a budget in Switzerland is to hang in the train stations,  which have wonderful takeout food. Everyone  goes there.  The train stations are clean and busy and right in the heart of whatever town you’re going to.  Not like our poor sad neglected stations.  

Short edition today because I believe I’m coming down with that damn flu.  Wish me luck. 

END

From Moonbeam to Mainstream

This piece from the Hill is a good summary of Jerry Brown’s career.  Unbelievably, there are ignoramuses right here in Humboldt County who still think it’s smart to call him “Moonbeam”.

From Moonbeam to mainstream: Jerry Brown in winter

 
 

SACRAMENTO — At a morning meeting early in 1975, about three months after Jerry Brown became the youngest governor in California’s history, Brown’s chief of staff, Gray Davis, told the governor he had asked the capital’s general services staff to mend a hole in the carpet.

Brown stopped the meeting. “Do you know how much that hole has saved taxpayers,” he asked. When a legislator came to Brown’s office with his hand out, looking for money for a new project, Brown could point to the hole in the carpet as evidence that the state needed to save money.

Forty years later, when Brown offers his State of the State address Thursday for the final time during his second tenure as governor, he will be speaking to a dramatically different state than the one he first took over.

Brown’s first budget proposed $9.1 billion in discretionary spending. His proposal this year, unveiled earlier this month, would spend $131.7 billion. California’s population has doubled. Its gross domestic product has increased more than tenfold.

The political universe has changed, too, and in Brown’s direction. What were once outlandish ideas that led a Chicago columnist to dub him “Governor Moonbeam” — on alternative energy, banning the death penalty and even space exploration — are now firmly within the political mainstream.

When you talk about solar energy, wind, geothermal, those were radical thoughts in the ’70s,” said Steve Glazer, a California state senator and Brown’s on-again, off-again political adviser who managed his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. “He got the Moonbeam label for things that you’d think were just normal today.”

“In a lot of ways, the state and the country have moved to the left,” said John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College and a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “So what seemed like a very liberal position back then is mainstream today.”

But Jerry — there is only one Jerry in California political circles — has changed little. He is still a penny-pinching fiscal hawk, ever concerned about the state’s financial health, at times to the chagrin of his overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. His budget proposal won stronger praise from Republican legislative leaders, who praised his proposal to fill the state’s rainy day coffers to the brim, than from Democrats, who anticipate negotiations and fights over spending on new social programs.

He is still cerebral and intellectual, the man who quotes the 16th century Dutch legal scholar Hugo Grotius and the 16th century French author Michel de Montaigne not because he found a clever line in Bartlett’s but because he has read their work.

He is still acerbic and at times aloof. Even those who count him as a friend say he rarely asks after their families or offers political help. Asked recently whether he was enjoying a United Nations conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany, he deadpanned: “No, I hate everything.”

And he still keeps the counsel of a coterie of close aides and friends. He listens most to his two closest advisers, his wife Anne Gust Brown and his executive secretary — or chief of staff — Nancy McFadden. Few political advisers remain.

“He’s the same person, just older and wiser,” said Davis, who served five years as governor two decades after Brown left office. Brown will turn 80 in April.

The son of Gov. Pat Brown, whose legacy endures in the infrastructure boom of the post-war years, Jerry Brown can frustrate some of his liberal allies who care more about social services than the high-speed rail system Brown has advanced or the massive water tunnels he would like to build.

“He will talk about planes, trains, automobiles and tunnels all day long,” said Holly Mitchell, the chair of the state Senate Budget Committee. “But not people.”

Evan Westrup, Brown’s spokesman, disputed the notion that infrastructure comes first in the governor’s mind.
 
“Our future depends on investing in both people and infrastructure and that’s exactly what we’ve done — working closely with the state’s legislative leaders, including the Senate Budget Chair. There is no state doing more on both fronts,” Westrup said.

If many of Brown’s positions haven’t changed over time, his ambitions have. He was once a young man in a hurry; he launched his first of three unsuccessful bids for the White House just over a year after becoming governor. He ran a second time in 1980, against an incumbent Democratic president and a man named Kennedy, a campaign he has told friends was the biggest mistake of his political career.

Brown’s last run for president, in 1992, effectively ended when Bill Clintonbeat him in crucial primaries in New York and Wisconsin. One source close to Brown said he had mulled a fourth run, in 2016, but that he concluded he could not beat Hillary Clinton in a primary.

He began a long political comeback that began as mayor of Oakland, where he felt the burden of statewide regulations on local government. The experience has led to his efforts to devolve at least some control from Sacramento back to localities.

“Oakland really ground Jerry Brown to be the governor he is now,” said Xavier Becerra, the state attorney general. “He got schooled. Oakland is a tough town. It’s a great town.”

Today, Brown’s ambition seems to lie in sounding the alarm.

He is worried about the existential threat of climate change. As the Trump administration rolls back Obama-era environmental rules, Brown has become the most outspoken advocate of swift action to curb emissions, striking deals with Chinese President Xi Jingping and European leaders. He will host world leaders in San Francisco for a Climate Action Summit in September, just months before he leaves office.

He is worried about the dangers of nuclear weapons in an uncertain world. Last year, Brown wrote 3,700 words — not including eleven footnotes — reviewing former Defense Secretary William Perry’s biography of the nuclear age.

And after eight years of economic recovery, during which California went from $20 billion budget deficits to a projected $7 billion surplus, Brown is worried about a recession he sees just around the corner — one reason he wants to squirrel away half of that surplus into the rainy day fund.

“We have a whole political system that judges our executives by the state of the economy, over which they have virtually no impact,” Brown said when he rolled out his budget. “The next governor is going to be on the cliff. … What’s out there is darkness, uncertainty, decline and recession. So good luck, baby.”

Most politicians would take credit for jobs created during a recovery, or the extra money pouring into their coffers. Brown, sources close to him say, is acutely aware that he has inherited an extremely lucky circumstance that allows him to pass a healthy economy to his successor, luck he does not believe will hold.

“Other politicians may have dark foreboding images of the future, but they keep it to themselves. He doesn’t have to do that,” Pitney said. “He’s the freest man in politics.”

Brown reviles talk of his political legacy. His interest in history makes him reflective, friends say, but not necessarily introspective. But the budget turnaround, which even Brown admits is not entirely of his own doing, will be what he is remembered for after he leaves office.

“His legacy, more than any of these other things that people talk about, will be that he brought fiscal stability to the state in a way unimaginable at the time he was elected,” Glazer said.

Brown declined interview requests for this story. But those close to him over the years say they have tried, without much success, to get him to talk less in doom-and-gloom terms and more about what he can do for his state. Those advisers say his outlook is borne of his own history, and the history he began learning as a classics major at Berkeley.

During his first tenure in office, voters passed Proposition 13, vastly reducing property taxes and sending the state into fiscal oblivion. That forced Brown to cut social programs deeply while raising other taxes.

“He suffered because there was not a rainy day fund. He had to raise taxes. He had to make enormous cuts. So it’s out of practical and personal experiences that make him very careful on spending,” Glazer said. “Combine that with his longer-term view of the world and events and it creates a little bit of pessimism about the ability of the human race to act responsibly.”

The young man in a hurry has also evolved into a politician who sees little value in having his name in the paper. During his first stint in office, he was known to share a glass of wine with reporters at David’s Brass Rail, a bar that once sat across the street from the Capitol. Now, he rarely interacts with the media, and sources say he had to be pushed early in his third term to hold brown-bag lunch sessions with reporters.

If Brown has missed an opportunity, it is to shape those who come after him in his own mold. In a state as big as California, progress takes decades.

“Real change takes more than one governor,” Davis said. “I believe in the theory of relay races. One governor can plant a flag. The next governor has to make sure it’s implemented.”

The race to replace Brown includes many ambitious younger Democrats, eager at a platform that could be a launching pad to the presidency. Neither of the two leading contenders, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), have pledged the same sort of fiscal restraint that is the cornerstone of Brown’s legacy.

“He hasn’t taken his style of governing, his philosophy, and tried to imbue it in the leaders that will follow him,” Glazer said. “If you’re trying to create a legacy, that’s the opportunity that you really do have, is trying to build a philosophy of governing that will carry on long beyond the deterioration of the asphalt or the rails of the high speed trains. He’s never tried to do that, and I think it’s the biggest missed opportunity.”

TRUMP’S LIES, The Count

 

As of January 2, President Trump had made 1,950 false or misleading claims over 347 days, according to the Washington Post.  It’s hard to keep up with him. The following is a few days old but is a good summary.

 January 2
 3:08
President Trump’s top five false or misleading claims
 
 

As of Jan. 1, President Trump has made 1,950 false or misleading claims since taking office. Here are the five he says most regularly. 

 

With just 18 days before President Trump completes his first year as president, he is now on track to exceed 2,000 false or misleading claims, according to our database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

As of Monday, the total stood at 1,950 claims in 347 days, or an average of 5.6 claims a day. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.)

As regular readers know, the president has a tendency to repeat himself — often. There are now more than 60 claims that he has repeated three or more times. The president’s impromptu 30-minute interview with the New York Times over the holidays, in which he made at least 24 false or misleading claims, included many statements that we have previously fact-checked.

We currently have a tie for Trump’s most repeated claims, both made 61 times. Both of these claims date from the start of Trump’s presidency and to a large extent have faded as talking points.

One of these claims was some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and “essentially dead.” The Congressional Budget Office has said that the Obamacare exchanges, despite well-documented issues, are not imploding and are expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future. Indeed, healthy enrollment for the coming year has surprised health-care experts. Trump used to say this a lot, but he’s quieted down since his efforts to repeal the law flopped.

Trump also repeatedly takes credit for events or business decisions that happened before he took the oath of office — or had even been elected. Sixty-one times, he has touted that he secured business investments and job announcements that had been previously announced and could easily be found with a Google search.

With the successful push in Congress to pass a tax plan, two of Trump’s favorite talking points about taxes — that the tax plan will be the biggest tax cut in U.S. history and that the United States is one of the highest-taxed nations — have rapidly moved up the list.

Trump repeated the falsehood about having the biggest tax cut 53 times, even though Treasury Department data shows it would rank eighth. And 58 times Trump has claimed that the United States pays the highest corporate taxes (25 times) or that it is one of the highest-taxed nations (33 times). The latter is false; the former is misleading, as the effective U.S. corporate tax rate (what companies end up paying after deductions and benefits) ends up being lower than the statutory tax rate.

We also track the president’s flip-flops on our list, as they are so glaring. He spent the 2016 campaign telling supporters that the unemployment rate was really 42 percent and the official statistics were phony; now, on 46 occasions he has hailed the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years. It was already very low when he was elected — 4.6 percent, the lowest in a decade — so his failure to acknowledge that is misleading.

An astonishing 85 times, Trump has celebrated a rise in the stock market — even though in the campaign he repeatedly said it was a “bubble” that was ready to crash as soon as the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. Well, the Fed has raised rates three times since the election — and yet the stock market has not plunged as Trump predicted. It has continued a rise in stock prices that began under President Barack Obama in 2009. Again, Trump has never explained his shift in position on the stock market.

Moreover, the U.S. stock-market rise in 2017 was not unique and mirrored a global rise in equities. When looking at the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, it’s clear U.S. stocks haven’t rallied as robustly as their foreign equivalents. Yet Trump loves this claim so much that he has repeated it 28 times in the 49 days since our last update — more often than every other day.

We maintain the database by closely reading or watching Trump’s myriad public appearances and television and radio interviews. The interviews are especially hard to keep up with, in part because the White House does not routinely post on them on its website. In fact, a recent redesign of the White House website appears to make it difficult to find transcripts of Trump’s remarks at the White House.

This project originally started as a first-100-days database, but by popular demand we extended it to one year. We will soon face a decision about whether to maintain it beyond one year, even though it strains the resources (and weekends) of our staff. In at least one instance, the database was used for academic analysis. We welcome thoughts from readers about whether it remains a worthwhile endeavor.

 

 
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