Friday, October 5, 2018

Air Force #2

BBC Video captured the scene at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport as the president had a piece of toilet paper stuck to his left shoe.

The toilet tissue stayed attached to Trump’s shoe as he exited the presidential limo and walked up the steps to Air Force #2.

Eventually, a member of the president’s entourage picked it up.

Of course, the internet had a field day. “How’s that for a metaphor?“

“I honestly cannot believe it’s taken this long for Trump to board with toilet paper trailing from his shoe.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October is...

A Yale Law School classmate of Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Osler, tells Ari Melber that Kavanaugh’s failure to maintain “civility” during the hearings regarding his alleged assault of Dr. Ford was the turning point in his changing view.

Before a crowd Tuesday night in Southaven, Mississippi, Trump imitated Ford during her testimony, mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions...

Trump Inherited His Self-Made Myth and his wealth had everything to do with his father, including the fable of how it happened.

The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.

(R) stands for rectum.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Flake Off!

Jeff Flake's call for a delay in a full Senate vote until a quick FBI investigation can be conducted cornered Republican leadership.

Republican leaders had no choice but to delay a confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh and call for an FBI investigation and the consequences could be dire for the nominee.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) took the podium and said he would not sustain his support for Kavanaugh unless his nomination was put on ice for a week.

Flake has no authority but his demand carried such political clout that the GOP’s Senate leadership quickly caved.

Mark Zauderer, an appellate lawyer, said Flake’s ultimatum was successful because Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recognized he was running a high risk of not being able to confirm Kavanaugh.

With a slim 51-49 majority, McConnell can only afford to lose one Republican vote granted that Democrats are able to hold ranks and uniformly vote against him.

Later Friday, President Trump took Republicans up on their request, ordering the FBI to “conduct a supplemental investigation” into claims against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh’s nomination is likely to be derailed.

“Today the sensitivity to allegations of the kind involved here is much greater than it was over 25 years ago,” Zauderer said.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Illinois, said the bureau will be able to conduct all the interviews and gather all the records that were blocked by Republicans, who refused to allow testimony from any other witnesses than Ford and Kavanaugh.

“The FBI will interview everyone involved, like Mark Judge for example,” Mariotti said.

“As we saw (Thursday), the committee process is not very productive when it comes to finding out what really happened...” Mariotti said, referencing the testimony from both Ford and Kavanaugh. “FBI agents are neutral and are better at finding facts because they’re not trying to satisfy an agenda.”

“This will send a message to Dr. Ford and other sexual assault victims that when they come forward their claims will be fully investigated,” Mariotti said. “I think that’s a positive development for victims everywhere and the country in general.”

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Greco-Buddhism, or Graeco-Buddhism, is the Hellenized version of Buddhism which developed over approximately 500 years in areas corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan between the 4th century BCE and the 2th century CE. Greco-Buddhism influenced the conceptual development of Mahayana (Great Vehicle) Buddhism before it spread into China, Korea and Japan. Christianity borrowed heavily from this school of thought (and the Zoroastrians from whom the Judaists borrowed monotheism). There is enough room in the big boat (Vehicle) for everyone.

Rome replaced her old gods (e.g. Jupiter, Minerva) with new ones (e.g. St. Peter, Mary). The old Roman Empire was replaced with the new Roman Catholic Empire.

The Chi-Rho of the Ptolemy family became the Christogram of the new Roman hierarchy.

From these humble (and stolen) beginnings, we fast forward to August 2018.

Pope Francis acknowledged the “atrocities” committed by pedophile priests and the church hierarchy that systematically covered up their crimes. More than one priest was relocated to another archdiocese thereby compelled to leave his altar boys behind.

The pontiff suggested dropping Rome’s long-standing opposition to allowing decades-old cases of rape and molestation by priests to be subject to prosecution and lawsuits. However, there is institutional resistance among Cardinals in the Vatican and Archbishops worldwide to block victims from seeking justice and recompense.

Throughout the United States, top church officials routinely press state lawmakers not to extend the time frame for prosecutors to bring charges against abusive priests or for victims to file civil suits.

There has been no significant reduction in the church’s opposition to extending the statutes of limitations — certainly not since the 2002 revelations of pervasive abuse in Massachusetts, nor after similar exposés in other cities, dioceses, and countries world-wide.

The publication of an exhaustive grand jury report in Pennsylvania provided stunning detail on at least 1,000 children raped or abused by more than 300 priests. That report alone should serve as the conclusion that the institution itself is irredeemable.

The church has spent millions of dollars fighting changes in statutes of limitations to give victims, who often cannot speak for decades about the abuse they suffered as children, more time to bring civil lawsuits.

The grand jury in Pennsylvania recommended eliminating the state’s statute of limitations that would enable people victimized as children to sue.

There is no sign that the church will relax its attacks on such legislation — and on individual lawmakers — favoring extended limits for prosecution or lawsuits.

In some instances, the church has singled out Catholic lawmakers who have backed such changes, telling them they had betrayed their faith.

In 1972, while drafting the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, Justice Harry Blackmun asked fellow justice William J. Brennan Jr. to review a section in the opinion concerning the Roman Catholic Church.

Blackmun turned to Brennan for clarification of the church’s position on abortion because he expected his colleague would know it by heart. Brennan was the court’s lone Catholic. Blackmun’s side — to legalize abortion amounted to the Roman Church be damned.

Trump considered two Catholic judges, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, as nominees to fill the seat being vacated by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Trump chose Kavanaugh, a judge trained in Washington’s Jesuit Georgetown Preparatory School. Kavanaugh is active in several Catholic organizations in the area.

A majority of voters say they won't re-elect senators if they confirm Kavanaugh,