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Friday, June 15, 2018

Two Quick, Easy Examples Today of Stunning Admissions From Trump's Himself


Both of these took place earlier today on the White House lawn. Here's the first.

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President Trump Said He Wants People to 'Sit Up at Attention' for Him Like They Do for Kim Jong Un


The president strode out from the White House in the morning, first appearing on Fox and Friends alongside Steve Doocy, and then taking some questions from reporters on the lawn of the executive mansion. While he covered a range of topics, and went through many of his greatest hits, the most notable elements were his praise for the totalitarian rule of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, his own declarations of criminal behavior by political opponents, and a series of easily disprovable statements about immigration law and a Justice Department inspector general’s report released Thursday.

While Trump has shown surprising deference and affection for autocratic rulers in the past, including effusive praise for Kim after the summit earlier this week, Friday’s comments were still unusual.

Here's the money line:

“He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump said. “Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Got that, America? Get that? This is what he wants from us. America? Land of the free? Not if he has his way.

Then there was this beauty.

Trump’s Remarkable Admission About Dishonesty


The other most notable moment came during the gaggle, when reporters asked Trump about a statement to The New York Times concerning a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, along with a Russian lawyer. The president dictated the statement, as his lawyers acknowledged in a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller. That statement was false and quickly debunked.

“That's irrelevant,” Trump said Friday. “It's a statement to The New York Times, the phony, failing New York Times. That's not a statement to a high tribunal of judges. That's a statement to the phony New York Times.”

In short, the president is saying that it’s totally acceptable to lie to the press, and by extension the public, as long as he is not under oath in the justice system.

Trump admits he dictated lie 

about his son's meeting with a Russian

 lawyer, says it doesn't matter


From his own mouth, ladies and gentlemen. No interpreter. No other source. His own mouth.


American Guild of Organists Convention Here In Kansas City This Summer


I just learned the American Guild of Organists is meeting here in Kansas City this year for their national convention.

AGO 2018 National Convention - 

American Guild of Organists


The 2018 AGO National Convention 


It will be July 2 through 6th in venues across the city. Here's a bit about it from their website:

The AGO National Convention

At the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City you will see and hear incredible performances by world-class organists and choirs, hear new music by some of the world’s best modern composers, be able to check out dozens of workshops and seminars, and enjoy creative worship services in some of the most beautiful and historic organ venues in the country. The members of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of The American Guild of Organists look forward to sharing the grandeur of the city’s organs and performance venues with you from July 2 – 6, 2018.

Our own local Joyce Didonato took a moment to welcome guests to the city and event.


It will, without doubt, be some fantastic moments, times and events at these different venues to enjoy the music but also the locations, people and energy, all.

Enjoy, Kansas City. And enjoy Kansas City!

Link:


KCPD: "To Protect and Serve"?


Image result for kc mo pd


KC police kill 3 in 1 day, say they met 'criteria for lethal force.' 

Questions remain



Maybe.

Could be.

We certainly hope.


First Lie of the New Single Terminal Airport Confirmed


This hit yesterday in the Star.

Image result for opening of new kci terminal,


So that's the first promise shattered on this airport and all the promises made. The first lie broached.

The next one?

That it "will cost less than one billion dollars."

It will shatter that figure.

Watch for it.

Wait for it.

All so we could walk away from a very usable, fixable, intelligently designed, convenient airport.

Brilliant.

Suckers.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Wonderful Irony of Kansas City Trying to Get Soccer's World Cup



So it's big local news yesterday. This, from the Star.


Leaders in Kansas City want to have the soccer World Cup come to Kansas City.

Terrific.

By 2020, we'll have our new downtown hotel, right?

And our new, single terminal airport?  So what if it costs us more than 1 billion dollars--and far, far higher prices to fly in and out of town. Right?

The irony, of course, is that, to do so, to get this World Cup Soccer and all the attention and recognition it would bring us, the city? The irony is, we need to have more mass transit, they make clear.

And there's the rub.

Kansas Citians have been ignoring or even out and out fighting against mass transit----but this would require it.

Fantastic.

Maybe we'll get it yet.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I Ask You, Which Is It With Trump?

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So with all of Donald Trump's ignorance and kow-towing to Russia and Vladimir Putin and overtures to him and them while attacking our allies, what is it? Is it that--

--Vladimir Putin and Russia are all blackmailing him because he owes them all too much money or

--there really is some "pee tape", ugh, or

--he actually is really just this stupid?

Which is it, exactly?

Links:

NRA, Russia and Trump: Money laundering 

poisoning US democracy 





Capitalism--And Our American Suicide Rates


There is a new study out from the Center for Disease Control, the CDC, on suicide in America. It's fascinating. Very telling, in fact.

New Study on Rising Suicide Rates Suggests 

Capitalism Is Quite Literally Killing Us


A bit from the article:

A study released late last week showed that suicide rates have risen significantly across the country. The culprit appears to be capitalism.

It’s largely assumed that people who decide to kill themselves are suffering from a mental illness. Mental Health America estimates that 30 to 70 percent of Americans who end their own lives are suffering from either severe depression or bipolar disorder. However, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 54 percent of Americans who committed suicide in 27 states in 2015 had no known mental health condition.

The CDC study, which examined suicide rates in all 50 states between 1999 and 2016, found that the rate of Americans taking their own lives increased by an alarming 38 to 58 percent in 12 states, 31 to 37 percent in another 12 states, and 19 percent to 30 percent in another 12 states. The CDC found that on average, suicide rates jumped by more than 30 percent for all 50 states.

The fact that more than half of these suicides were not attributed to any mental illness in a majority of states for at least one year of the period the CDC studied is remarkable, and begs the question of what other factors led to thousands of Americans taking their own lives. CDC researchers discovered that, outside of problems with intimate partners, the prime causes of suicide for Americans with no known mental illnesses were primarily financial in nature.
And really, think about it. Think about what's true for the most of us. We have--

--Long work hours, the longest of the industrialized nations.
--Highest costs for
     --health care:  worst outcomes and lowest mortality rate of the industrialized nations
     --internet:  highest costs, slowest speeds of the industrialized nations
--Highest bankruptcy rate of the industrialized nations (40% due to health care costs)
--Short, very short vacation time, shortest of any industrialized nation
--High education costs, highest costs of secondary education of any industrialized nation
--Highest wealth inequality of any industrialized nation
--Highest poverty rate of the industrialized nations
--Highest child poverty rate of the industrialized nations

And this is just a partial list.

But we have high suicide rates why?

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Links:


Sunday, June 10, 2018

President Trump: Openly Insulting Our Allies, Courting Our Enemy



After this G-7 meeting in Quebec, Canada this week, in the last few days, it seems clear President Trump is more truly showing himself for what and who he is. He's also actively courting Russia and Vladimir Putin and officially, publicly trashing our allies. All our allies.


Michael D. Shear and Catherine Porter of the New York Times describe the G-7 trainwreck this way:

The result was a slow-rolling collapse of the fragile alliances that officials at the summit — and even Mr. Thump’s own White House advisers — insisted throughout the day could be maintained in the face of fundamental disagreements. . . .

Mr. Trump confronted several of the leaders individually, giving examples of how, in his view, each of their countries had mistreated the United States, whether it be through trade barriers or security commitments, according to a European official.


After Trump’s G-7 summit fiasco, be afraid


After President Trump’s atrocious and irrational behavior leading up to and at the Group of Seven summit, the disintegration of the liberal world order in place since the end of World War II and the potential for a serious international crisis no longer seem hard to imagine. The president, unmoved by history, ignorant of facts and guided by sycophants, has not been forced to grapple with the real world nor to hear views that don’t coincide with his twisted worldview, in which allies are ripping us off and aggressive strongmen are to be admired and accommodated.

Trump is no joke


What they had to say about this President Trump and our current situation.

Laugh if you want but our Democracy is at stake

Some of President Trump’s detractors regard him as an object of ridicule to be laughed at and dismissed as a narcissistic, bombastic, uncouth showman, totally lacking in class.

Trump may be all that. But there is nothing amusing about him.

This president may well be the single greatest threat to our constitutional form of government and the rule of law to have ever occupied the White House. Considering our traumatic national experience with President Richard M. Nixon, that is saying something.

Trump is hell-bent on overriding long-standing constitutional controls over the arbitrary exercise of executive powers
.
This just hit this morning, too. Just look at the associated picture. It's been making the rounds on the internet.

Actor Rob Reiner said it very well today.

"When an American President attacks our closest allies and embraces a hostile enemy power who is trying to destroy our Democracy and democracies around the world, we can only conclude that he has been compromised and is in a conspiracy to commit treason."

If this is not true and this President hasn't been compromised and isn't willfully committing treason, then he is, honestly, no exaggeration, more stupid than we thought.

One thing seems certain.

John Bolton must be loving this.

Not done there, not done putting the G-7 Summit into disarray, single-handedly, Trump had to go on to insult Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau.

Donald Trump rejects G7 summit statement, 

insults Justin Trudeau


Again, not done there, he went on, Mr. Trump did.


Not done there, President Trump's aides had to go out of their way to also insult.


And to, as I said, court our enemy, Mr. Trump fights for Russia and Vladimir Putin at the G-7 before it even took place

President Trump says Russia 

should be at G7 meeting


Meanwhile, across the planet, China and India and a few other nations just had a very successful and harmonious meeting, in sharp contrast to the G-7, thanks to Mr. Trump.



Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the "pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit" at the final day of a meeting by a Beijing and Moscow-led bloc, hours after the G7 meeting in Canadaended in disarray.

Xi made his remarks on Sunday on the second and final day of an annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the coastal city of Qingdao, China.

He also called on his regional partners to "boost harmony and unity by seeking common ground and setting aside differences".


The best headline on this G-& Summit and what Mr. Trump did comes in this headline.

Trump hits the world stage, Day 1: Come late, leave early, offend host, alienate allies

Now Mr. Trump is off to Singapore.

To wreak yet more international havoc?

God help him.

God help us.


Sunday Reflections


No automatic alt text available.

God love 'em.

Or something.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Look Who Was In Town Yesterday


So I ran to the grocery yesterday morning here in Brookside at the Price Chopper. I got what I needed quickly, came out and who was there?


None other than our own come and go Clay Chastain, in the flesh.

He seemed to be approaching (accosting?) people, yet one more time with one of his seemingly countless, endless petitions, no doubt for light rail in the city.

What is it about this guy? What does he have in for Kansas City? What is his goal? What's with the cross-country preoccupation?

I wish someone like Steve Kraske on KCUR or someone, somewhere would interview this guy and ask him what he and this is all about. I'd love to know. It's never ending.

And the heck of it is, I'm personally all for mass transit.

But what is it with his obsessive preoccupation with it all and this city?


Friday, June 8, 2018

Quote of the Day -- Poetry Version


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Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

― Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Donald Trump and His Very Bizarre Treatment of the G-7 Meeting




Breaking news this morning, again, on this President Donald John Trump and his antics.

Image result for stupid trump

First this, the coward leaves the G7 Summit early.

Trump to leave G7 summit early amid feud with world leaders, 

calls Trudeau 'so indignant'


He clearly resents Canada's Trudeau being "indignant." Yeah, imagine that. The Orange One chooses to arbitrarily, out of the blue, raise tariffs on products on an ally and neighbor, Trudeau's nation, and he's surprised he, Trudeau, is upset. In this case, Trudeau's being indignant is an extremely natural result and outcome of his, Trump's, actions.

And then, the second headline today due to The Orange One, is this.

Trump says Russia should be at G7 meeting


Just who, exactly, is this Donald Trump working for, anyway? 

It seems he doesn't know Russia's Vladimir Putin sees himself as our own, sworn national enemy and would like nothing better than for us to fail at any and every endeavor we undertake.This seems to be yet more evidence of this Republican Party President not knowing any national and/or international history whatever.

Republicans. Really. Seriously. Could you please, please reign in this idiot, this dolt of yours?

Please?


Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Big Reason Our Kansas City Star Will Likely Fail?



Image result for kansas city star masthead

So, I've been thinking for a while I should maybe subscribe to the Kansas City Star to support local reporting, important as I think it is. If they don't have the reporters out there, covering local news, local government and keeping our representatives in check, who else is going to? Some local blogger, in his  mother's basement, practicing caustic "yellow journalism" at its worst, posting sexist, misogynistic photos of scantily clad women and using ALL CAPS HEADLINES, inciting his very racist readers and commenters?

I don't think so.

So I tried to get an unlimited online subscription.

Wow.

You would not believe how difficult they make it to do this.

I tried going online to subscribe but they don't offer, simply, an online subscription there. It's unlimited online plus the paper or nothing at all.

Already. Right there. Do you realize how crazy that is, in this day of people wanting their news online? They should offer the online subscription, right up front, period. People are wanting, possibly, to throw money at them but they don't give that option.  Insane. And that's just to start.

So I phone.

Oh, brother.

The first message there, on the phone, is that their "call volume is heavy and there may be a wait."

What the what??

Call volume may be heavy?

Are you freaking kidding me?

It's the Kansas City Star.  It's a newspaper.  Your subscriptions and list of readers has famously been falling FOR YEARS. People are DROPPING the paper, not picking it up. Everyone knows this. It's a nationwide, very well known phenomenon and it's local, as well. We all know this.

So they then give you a bunch of recorded options but all of them assume you are already a subscriber.

Get that.

They don't even put on an option to TAKE ON NEW SUBSCRIBERS.

All they can do is respond to you if you're already taking the paper. It's insane. No simple, "To become a new subscriber, press lucky 7" or anything like it. If you don't take the paper already, it doesn't recognize you, can't recognize you and so, you have to respond with something else, as though you are already subscribing, in hopes that someone will come on and help you actually GET AN ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION.

But here's the next problem. I did just that. Pushed the buttons, gave them the responses so I could actually get a person to speak to so I could subscribe.

I was put on hold.

Again.

It went on and on.

Frankly, I had to clean up to get to work.

Here's the deal.

You can't subscribe to the local paper, to the Kansas City Star. Or if you can, they certainly don't make it easy.

You would think they would have a link on their home page online to do so but no.

Then you would think they would have quick, easy prompts, to actually get to someone, on the phone, who could and would help you do just that, to get a subscription.

But they don't.

Honestly, at this point, I've no idea how to subscribe to the paper unless one has oodles of time in the middle of the day.

Good luck, Star.

I have no idea how you're going to survive. It's the 21st Century. Please join us.

And this from a guy who is convinced newspapers are important.


Women's--and So, Our--Election Gains This Past Tuesday


Herewith, some of the wins, gains by women in elections this past Tuesday.

NEW JERSEY: Former US Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill is running for Congress from New Jersey in the open seat being vacated by GOP Trump protégé Rodney Frelinghuysen. She won her primary Tuesday night, and she's the real deal. Donate here.

NEW MEXICO: Deb Haaland won her primary Tuesday, and is set to become the first Native American woman to ever serve in Congress. Donate here.



TEXAS: Veronica Escobar is set to become the first Latina congresswoman from Texas. Donate here.


ARIZONA: Kyrsten Sinema is running for the US Senate, and would be the first openly-bisexual US Senator. Donate here.


IOWA: Abby Finkenauer won her primary on Tuesday, and will be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she beats Tea Party Trump-supporting GOP congressman Rod Blum this fall. Donate here.

KENTUCKY: Former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath is running for Congress as a Democrat from the 6th district in Kentucky. McGrath just won her primary Tuesday. Now let's take her across the finish line. Donate here.


NEVADA: Jacky Rosen has the best chance to unseat a Republican US Senator this fall, in her battle against TrumpCare architect Dean Heller. Donate here.

Posted in a quest to get more women, hopefully, elected to public, government offices. They make up 52% of the population, after all, yet are vastly under-represented in those offices.

With thanks to John Aravosis and his Americablog for the summary, links and really, all of the above, honestly.

Links:



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

50 Years Ago Today


Image result for bobby kennedy

50 years ago today, June 5, 1968, Robert Francis Kennedy, RFK, Bobby Kennedy was shot and ultimately, killed, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, after addressing a campaign rally after his win there, that day, in the California primary.

Herewith, a few of his quotes, a few of his most memorable quotes. Back from a time when those with more tried to help those with less.

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Some men see things as they are, and ask "Why?". I dream of things that never were, and ask "Why not?".

I miss having more intelligent, altruistic, well-educated, well-spoken, thoughtful, introspective people in and leading our government, don't you? I miss having more people who realize that helping the middle- and lower- and working-classes strengthens not just them but the wealthy, as well. It strengthens the entire nation.

Frankly, I miss the entire concept of "noblesse oblige."


Quote of the Day -- Timely Version




The Many Benefits of Higher Wages and a Better Paid Employee


Companies and people in companies seem to, more often than not, only think of the costs of higher wages to and for a company. They seem to virtually never consider the benefits of them. So herewith, at least some of those benefits. They are at least several, if not many, and they are huge.

--First, if a company offers a higher, better wage than other companies, they will attract better employees. They will attract employees who are more experienced, who have more and better education and who, frankly, have better manners. These are no small things. The benefits of those, alone, to the company are great. The company gets that better employee, then may have to, likely, train them less because they already have both the knowledge and experience needed, so the company reduces costs and expenses already.

Image result for happy employees


--Second, with a better, higher wage, the company can KEEP that better employee, those better employees. The cost savings here are, again, huge, and many. With keeping that employee, instead of having high turnover in the company, the company can cut the costs of advertising for new employees--no small thing---and the company can also reduce the costs of constantly training new employees since fewer people needed to do the work are going out the door. These are, again, huge costs cut and so, much more money can go to either growing business or straight to the bottom line, straight to profit and profits, the goal of all companies.

--Third, better, retained employees create a far better experience for the customers. With a better, more experienced, more educated, even more mature, more well-adjusted employee, one that is also retained, the experience for the customer is far more consistent and projects more and better just what, exactly, the company is about. This employee, these employees project the company culture and rules far better. There is far better and greater consistency for the customer and their experience with the customer. This ensures things are done right, the first time, and far more ensures that the customer will stay with the company but that they will also far more likely grow with the company and then that they will also help the company grow by seeing to it others come to the company. With their good and positive experience, they're far more likely to recommend the company to others. This helps to ensure growth, clearly.

These are just three quick but great reasons and examples of how a better paid employee creates a better company, a better company experience and so, finally, a more profitable company.

Companies that only look at the costs of employees and not the benefits, not looking at how a good employee, better paid, can actually help the company and help the company grow and help the company's profit and profits is a foolish, short-sighted company, for sure.

In employees, as with all products, the age old saying is also true here:

You get what you pay for.

And you pay for what you get.

Companies can't get or keep employees, good employees, if those employees can't afford, literally, to work there.

Links:

How Paying Employees More Can Make You More Profitable







If You Aren't Embarrassed, Kansans, You Should Be


This should do it.

Image result for kobach with car


Demagogue much?

Gun nut much?

First Brownback and now this guy?


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Question of the Day


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The Not Just Unprecedented But Also Bizarre Presidency That Is Donald Trump's


Image result for stupid trump

Once again, Donald Trump, Donald John Trump, President Trump, breaking rules and precedent. Here's what he did this past Friday morning.


A bit from the article:

For decades, federal officials have taken great care to prevent providing any early indications to investors about monthly jobs report data that can move markets.

On Friday, President Trump broke that longstanding protocol using his favorite communication tool — Twitter — triggering a jump in yields on the 10-year Treasury bond and an outcry from former White House officials.

Trump, who learned about the strong May jobs report Thursday night, tweeted Friday morning that he was “looking forward to seeing the employment numbers” scheduled to be released by the Labor Department about an hour later.

A top White House official emphasized that Trump didn’t reveal any of the numbers, but investors took it as a clear sign the numbers were good. And they weren’t disappointed.


In tweeting about the report when he did, Trump violated a longstanding prohibition against executive branch officials publicly commenting on the report before its official release or within an hour afterward.

“Except for members of the staff of the agency issuing the principal economic indicator who have been designated by the agency head to provide technical explanations of the data, employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time,” according to the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 3, adopted in 1985.


And then there’s him, again, as President, earning money while in the White House, smashing the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.


Not done there, he added yet more to the fuel of his own fire:


There are more examples of him--and his family--earning money because of his Presidency, too, but I'll move on.

There’s his using his own, unsecured cell phone.


So check out what's happening around the White House, since the world knows he uses an unsecured Android phone. This broke this past week.


And why wouldn’t there by that “sophisticated cellphone spying” near the White House? When you know the most powerful man in the world is using an unsecured Android phone, get a hotel room near the White House and see what you can find.

Then there's the tariffs on imports he wants to impose---and on our own allies, no less.


I tell you, folks, to repeat, this Presidency is, yes, bizarre, unprecedented and very likely, in more than one way, illegal.

Stay tuned.

And God--or somebody, something--help us.