Dec 18 2018


Ho, Ho, Ho

Dec 18 2018

The Breakfast Club (Strengthening)

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

U.S. Supreme Court upholds the relocation and detention of Japanese-Americans during World War Two; U.S. begins 12 days of heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets; Steven Spielberg is born; Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ – publicly premieres in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Struggle is strengthening. Battling with evil gives us the power to battle evil even more.

Ossie Davis

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Dec 17 2018

No Confidence

Today we find out that Theresa May won’t put the Brexit deal on the table again until January 14th which will give you 2 weeks to critique the Dr. Who New Year’s special episode.

Having survived an intra-Party challenge and thus gaining a year’s worth of immunity in that forum May is playing the rope-a-dope deadline game so familiar to those of us here in the United States (Lame Duck? Government shutdown?).

She has been thoroughly rebuffed in her attempt to extract more concessions from the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn is, wisely I think, putting a motion of No Confidence before the full Parliament based on the delay, contending that it reduces the ability of Parliament to debate and modify the deal which is true enough but the kind of “process” argument I find lame and feckless. It might find some resonance among MPs however since they have a highly inflated estimation of their own self importance.

Votes need to happen and unfortunately for the Tories and May they look poised to lose them all and even a single loss spells doom.

There is this No Confidence Vote.

If May wins there will be a vote in Parliament on Brexit. She didn’t have the votes last week and nothing has changed. When she does there will be another No Confidence vote.

There will be a motion to call a second referendum which even hard core Brexiteers now favor. Hard to see how that doesn’t pass and, set before the people again, equally hard to see Remain not winning the rematch.

In any event May personally is cooked. She gave binding assurances to her own caucus that after Brexit she is done.

Now you might conceive a parallel between May and Pelosi who, foolishly in my estimation, term limited herself to 2 more Congresses. She didn’t need to do that to win this Leadership challenge, her opposition has no candidate (and they’re Republicans anyway).

On the other hand she’ll be 82 which is pretty old, it’s likely term limits will not survive a Democratic Caucus vote (Steny Hoyer and the Congressional Black Caucus hate them and they have their own constituency which amounts to a thumping majority among Democrats), and rules adopted by one Congress are not at all binding on the next body which will be elected in 2020.

So all bets are off. A nothingburger of nothing. Pretty, empty, mouth noises and posturing.

The situations are in no way comparable. May is a dead woman walking, Pelosi hardly dented despite the mileage. My Great Grandmother had 2 Buick Skylarks parked in her garage, a Pink one and a Blue one, both barely driven. Kind of disappointed I didn’t inherit at least one.

Dec 17 2018

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie

Single Payer

2 Years In The Resistance

Dec 17 2018

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

Robert Reich: In Trump’s mind, all deals are private. ‘Public interest’ means nothing to him

Trump has described the payments his bag man, Michael Cohen, made to two women during the 2016 campaign so they wouldn’t discuss their alleged affairs with him, as “a simple private transaction”.

Last Saturday, when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Cohen if Trump knew the payments were wrong and were made to help his election, Cohen replied “Of course … He was very concerned about how this would affect the election.”

But even if Trump intended that the payments aid his presidential bid, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he knew they were wrong.

Trump might have reasoned that a deal is a deal: the women got hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for agreeing not to talk about his affairs with them. So where’s the harm?

After two years of Trump we may have overlooked the essence of his insanity: his brain sees only private interests transacting. It doesn’t comprehend the public interest.

Collin O’Mara: Ryan Zinke’s most lasting failure

Secretaries of the interior have a sacred obligation to steward America’s public lands, tribal commitments, wildlife heritage and natural resources to ensure they endure for future generations — responsibilities more important than ever in the face of cascading climate impacts.

Most of the articles about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s resignation have focused on investigations and alleged improprieties, rather than his failure to fulfill these essential duties. But Zinke’s most lasting legacy will be the millions of acres of public lands degraded, the climate pollution increased, the outdoor recreational opportunities forsaken, the national monuments decimated and the wildlife species imperiled by an all-consuming energy-dominance agenda that irreparably violated President Theodore Roosevelt’s “great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.” [..]

Theodore Roosevelt once said of a successor, “He means well, but he means well feebly.” No one expected an appointee of this administration to emulate conservation giants such as former interior secretaries Stewart Udall or Harold Ickes, but Zinke’s dogged pursuit of unfettered fossil-fuel extraction makes James Watt’s disastrous tenure look timid. Zinke never lived up to the Rooseveltian conservation standard he set for himself on his first day in office.

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Dec 17 2018


Hippety Hoppety

Dec 17 2018

The Breakfast Club (Matters of Principle)

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

Wright brothers conduct the first successful manned, powered flight of the airplane. U.S. test-fires the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile; Simon Bolivar dies in Colombia; television’s Tiny Tim marries his fiancee, Miss Vicky.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson

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Dec 16 2018

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.


Dec 16 2018

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

Dec 16 2018

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.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg


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.”

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