Saturday, December 31, 2016

Blog: Putin declines to retaliate on Obama’s sanctions

Blog: Putin declines to retaliate on Obama’s sanctions

There’s a Patron Saint for That? - Crisis Magazine

There’s a Patron Saint for That? - Crisis Magazine: It may strike many Catholics as odd, improper, even irreverent, that there would be a patron saint of hangovers. We know from personal experience that through the prayers of the saints we are healed of serious ailments, protected in our travels, find stuff we’ve lost, and are granted a host of other graces. Why, then, …

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Chicago's Most Dangerous Block Plagued By Drugs, Shootings And Murder

Chicago's Most Dangerous Block Plagued By Drugs, Shootings And Murder: "You should never come around here alone."

DNAInfo: Murders Skyrocket, But Too Many In City Remain 'Silent,' Critics Say

Get a handle on the violence and Chicago's neigborhoods would flourish.

Murders Skyrocket, But Too Many In City Remain 'Silent,' Critics Say:
Hundreds have been murdered in Chicago this year, but residents fear the violence will only get worse.

[***]

On a cold December day, a landlord who rents apartments in the 4400 block of West Monroe Street — a Garfield Park block that’s had more shootings than any other in the city this year — said he’ll only come to the area when he has a gun and someone else with him, though there’s a daycare and seniors living on the street.

“I don’t think it’s safe here anytime,” he said of the block, which has seen one person killed and 11 wounded in shootings this year. “I think this is one of the most dangerous blocks” in the world.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Moscow Gold and American Elections

Russians have been involved in American Elections for decades.  Some pages from 

In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage 

on finding a receipt in the Moscow archives signed by Gus Hall for $3 million in 1988.  The CPUSA was usually endorsing Democrats for President too by the way.

Friday, December 09, 2016

After Repeal

After Repeal: It’s the opportunity Republicans have been awaiting for six years, which invites the obvious question: Are they going to screw it up? In January, a united Republican Congress and Republican White House will finally have the ability to dispose of Obamacare, the unpopular and destructive health-insurance law. After running four straight national elections against the jammed-through, unconstitutional, failing, expensive, and disastrous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the GOP finally has the power to do something about it.

It didn't take long for Republican leadership in both houses of Congress to get over the shock of winning the election last month and start gaming out a repeal plan. The details remain under discussion, but House speaker Paul Ryan, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (who is working closely with Ryan and McConnell on repeal) are already coalescing around a rough legislative framework. The plan might be summed up as: repeal, delay, replace. More precisely, Republicans plan to repeal most of the law, delay the implementation of most of that repeal for at least two years—and figure out what to replace it with in the interim.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Trump's EPA Pick Spooks Liberals and the Environmental Lobby

Trump's EPA Pick Spooks Liberals and the Environmental Lobby: Liberals and the environmental left have gone into a tizzy over the selection of Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as Donald Trump's pick to head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says the Pruitt nomination must be blocked for the sake of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we will leave our children. New York AG Eric Schneiderman says Pruitt is a dangerous and an unqualified choice. Independent socialist senator Bernie Sanders declares the Pruitt pick is not only dangerous but also sad. The League of Conservation Voters calls Pruitt not just a global warming skeptic but an outright climate denier.
Whew! That's strong stuff. But what is Pruitt's actual offense? He has challenged the EPA's practice of going far beyond its authority to attack the energy industry and thus affect practically every industry in the country. The EPA needs a leash, and Pruitt and other state attorneys general have gone to court to attach it.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit against Department of Justice Seeking FBI Interviews with Obama, Jarret, and Emanuel Relating to Criminal Investigation of Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

About time... Our only President deposed in a criminal matter the day after his election.  Judical Watch's Press Release.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice seeking access to FBI reports of interviews – “302s” – of President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Rahm Emanuel. The interviews were taken as part of the FBI’s criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-01888)). 
In 2008, Blagojevich sought political favors in exchange for deciding who to appoint to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then-President-Elect Obama. Among the persons Blagojevich approached were the President-elect and his intermediaries. Obama reportedly declined to make a deal. Blagojevich then turned to supporters of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., offering the U.S. Senate seat in return for a $1.5 million “campaign contribution.” Blagojevich broke off negotiations with Rep. Jackson’s supporters when he learned that he was being wiretapped by federal investigators. 
Over the course of two criminal trials in 2010 and 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of 18 separate offenses and, in December 2011, was sentenced to 168 months in jail. In 2015, an appellate court overturned five of Blagojevich’s convictions and affirmed the remainder. On August 12, 2016, Blagojevich was resentenced to the same, 68-month jail term he had received previously. Judicial Watch had asked the FBI to produce the 302s, pursuant to FOIA, in June 2011. The FBI confirmed the records’ existence in 2012, but denied the request, asserting that the 302s were exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(A) because Blagojevich’s criminal case was still ongoing at the time. 
Judicial Watch filed suit to try to obtain the 302s in May 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Blagojevich’s convictions. It closed that initial lawsuit while Blagojevich was being resentenced. Judicial Watch refiled its lawsuit after Blagojevich was resentenced. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit asks the court to order the interview reports’ release, noting:
[U]nder the circumstances it cannot be said that release of the requested records could reasonably be expected to interfere with whatever is left of Blagojevich’s criminal prosecution. The public should not be forced to wait any longer to review the FBI 302s of President Obama, former White House Chief of Staff and now City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, or Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett while Blagojevich pursues his second, plainly futile appeal.
“The FBI interviewed Barack Obama eight years ago about the selling of his Senate seat. The American people should finally get to see these FBI interview reports,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The public has a right to know precisely how Obama and his senior White House advisors Emanuel and Jarrett responded to Blagojevich’s corrupt attempts sell Obama’s Senate seat.” ###

DNAInfo: How Chicagoans say Gyros


Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Priest (Russian movie with English subtitles)

I've been watching contemporary Russian films with English subtitles when I can find them. This is a good one about a Russian Orthodox Priest during the war. Here's a review over at Orthodox Christian Network.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Beer of the Deplorables.

....Domingues said she was surprised to hear from one of her bartenders that Pete Coors, vice chairman of the board of the parent company of MillerCoors, co-hosted a Trump fundraiser in June. And while Miller Lite and Miller High Life aren't big sellers compared to local craft beers at The Green Lady, Domingues said she is taking them off her shelves for good. 
"The post-election climate in this country is changing, and it will continue to change, and there will be some dark times," Domingues said Thursday. "We need to get in front of it and make sure that the choices that we make are standing behind what we believe in." 
The Green Lady, at 3328 N. Lincoln Ave., only had Miller beers on hand for "at the end of the night, when customers go to macro, or something a little lighter," Domingues said. 
"We're not really a Miller Lite bar, anyway," she added
If Miller's for the deplorable I wonder where that leaves us Huber's fans?  

2016 Election Post Scripts #1

Trump's win surprised me but it didn't shock me either.  I was driving back and forth from Sister Bay a lot during the season and heard political ads over and over on the radio.   The Russ Feingold ads could have been Trump ads,
But Sen. Johnson has spent nearly six years working for big corporations and billion-dollar special interests -- not Wisconsin’s working families. He supports bad trade deals and protects billion-dollar loopholes for big corporations that ship jobs overseas. Wisconsin’s middle class and working families just can’t afford another six years of Sen. Johnson protecting his billionaire backers at the expense of working people.
That sounded way too much like Trump on Carrier or Nabisco, and an inkling this wasn't going to be a "normal" sort of election.