Friday, May 31, 2019


“And perhaps most importantly, it calls for us to be honest with ourselves. What better place to begin to do so than here, in this place where so many young people from all over the world come to learn, research, and discuss the issues of our time under the maxim of truth? That requires us not to describe lies as truth and truth as lies.” -- German Chancellor and leader of the free world Angela Merkel, in her Harvard commencement speech yesterday (receiving a standing ovation at that point). She was remarking on the need to have "courage and truthfulness" when dealing with others, and taking a not- subtle jab at world- class liar Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump.  Danke!

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader, KY)

(Kevin Kallaugher, Baltimore Sun)

(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Neil Dvorak, The New Yorker)

Weekend Theme Music

We're going waaay back to revive three of the most memorable (to us) early television theme songs (that we haven't already played) -- you know, back when networks were actually airing tons of scripted series:  the themes from "Mr. Lucky," which ran from 1959-60;  "Dr. Kildare," 1961-66);  and "Route 66," 1960-64.

"Mr. Lucky" (composer Henry Mancini)

"Dr. Kildare"  (Jerry Goldsmith)

"Route 66" (Nelson Riddle)

Trump Threatens Tariffs On Mexico

Extremely Stable Genius Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump once again takes dead aim at his foot:
Trump announced Thursday his intentions to levy 5 percent tariffs on Mexican imports starting June 10, penance for what he sees as a failure to stop the flow of Central American migrants through the southern border. With every month that passes without action from Mexico, the tariff would jump in 5 percent increments until they hit 25 percent on Oct. 1, according to a White House statement. They’d stay at that threshold until Mexico substantially stops the inflow of illegal immigration, the statement said.
Needless to say this has some otherwise compliant and complicit Republicans howling about the harm this would do to the farmers in their states.  But it would also gravely impact the auto and other manufacturing industries and derail Trump's own tweaked version of NAFTA, the USMCA.  And the US and European stock markets and business community reacted negatively to the news that, once again, the Extremely Stable Genius was playing chicken with the world economy.

Well, as they say, when you elect a clown, expect a circus.


BONUS IIAnd dolts like this are standing with him even at the expense of their livelihood.  Clearly, it's not a case of "economic anxiety."

Census Citizenship Question's Racist Republican Origin Exposed

They know they can't win fairly, so they lie, cheat and steal
Just weeks before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, new evidence emerged Thursday suggesting the question was crafted specifically to give an electoral advantage to Republicans and whites.
The evidence was found in the files of the prominent Republican redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller after his death in August. It reveals that Hofeller “played a significant role in orchestrating the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census in order to create a structural electoral advantage for, in his own words, ‘Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites,’ ” plaintiffs’ lawyers challenging the question wrote in a letter Thursday morning to U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman, one of three federal judges who ruled against the question this year. The lawyers also argued that Trump administration officials purposely obscured Hofeller’s role in court proceedings. [snip]
The files show that Hofeller concluded in a 2015 study that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census “would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats” and benefit white Republicans in redistricting. Hofeller then pushed the idea with the Trump administration in 2017, according to the lawyers’ letter to Furman.
The evidence, first reported by the New York Times, contradicts sworn testimony by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s expert adviser A. Mark Neuman and senior Justice Department official John Gore, as well as other testimony by defendants, the letter said. (our emphasis)
It may already be too late, since the Republican Supreme Court has already heard arguments in the case, and appears ready to side with its rotted out reactionary brethren:
The Supreme Court heard the case April 23. Evidence in the case concluded with oral arguments that day, and it appeared that the conservative majority seemed inclined to agree with the government that the decision to add the question was within the authority of the commerce secretary.
If the court followed normal procedure, it voted that week on the outcome of the case, and the justices are now writing the opinion.
Reason # infinity why we need a Democratic Senate, as well as a President, in this case to pass and sign a law prohibiting the census from being politicized like this.  The exit for "bipartisan comity" was passed a long time ago;  we've been in an all- out struggle for our democracy for some time now.  Be nice if we all agreed on that fact.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Russian Asset Says What?

Apparently it's a day off for his adult day care sitters:

"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected." Thank you for that better-late-than-never admission, moron.

BONUS:  Jack Holmes at Esquire examines today's droppings by the dangerous loon that the media and others want to believe is just "eccentric." (h/t Mock Paper Scissors)

Climate Change Fueling Violent Weather, While Trump Attacks Climate Science

Two interrelated stories concerning the unusually violent weather across the US this spring. First, looking at the effect of the warming temperatures in the Arctic on the jet stream:
The immediate driver of the violent weather is the jet stream, the powerful winds at high altitudes that sweep west to east across North America. The jet stream since May 14 has created conditions ripe for twisters. Seven deaths have been reported so far in the tornado assault of May. That’s a low death toll compared to some tornado seasons, but the steady, percussive nature of the storms — the daily pounding — has been anomalous. [snip]
There’s plenty of water in the mix, too. The Mississippi River is projected to reach 14 feet above flood stage in St. Louis, the second-highest on record. The river has been above flood stage at Vicksburg, Miss., since Feb. 17, the longest stretch of flooding since 1927, the year of the famed “Great Flood.” And the Arkansas River is rising rapidly and poised to approach record flood stages in Tulsa and other cities. There’s been too much rain and not enough places to put it.
Meanwhile it’s been so cold and wet in California that the ski resort of Mammoth has seen more than two feet of snow this month and may stay open until August.
What's going on?  Here's Jennifer Francis, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center:
Francis believes there’s a climate change signal in the extreme weather, including the tornadoes. Extreme warmth in and around Alaska, along with the reduction of Arctic sea ice, affects the flow of the jet stream, she said. A blob of warm air, and high atmospheric pressure, near Alaska has been fingered by many meteorologists as a flashing red light that something is very different about climate these days.
"... [S]omething is very different about climate these days."  Gee. What could it be?

The klaxon horns have been sounding for decades.

Meanwhile, the Trump regime is accelerating our march into ignorance and a dystopian future:
In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.

And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests. [snip]
As a result, parts of the federal government will no longer fulfill what scientists say is one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies: reporting on the future effects of a rapidly warming planet and presenting a picture of what the earth could look like by the end of the century if the global economy continues to emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels. (our emphasis)
Layering upon the undying fealty of the rotted out Republican Party to the fossil fuel industry, the shitheels now have a narcissistic moron in the highest office in the land whose main motivation seems to be undoing any achievement of President Obama that could be measured against that same sick, weak, narcissistic moron.  No matter what the consequences.

You might call it the perfect storm.

Letters We Wish We'd Written Dept.

In this morning's WaPo:
Regarding the May 26 Sunday Opinion essay by Robert S. Litt and Benjamin Wittes, “20 questions for Robert Mueller”:
As interested as we may be in impeachment (for, inter alia, obstruction of justice) or in hearing more from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, it is far more critical that readers be educated about the true nature of congressional dysfunction. The House, under the leadership of a Democrat, has passed roughly 200 pieces of legislation and sent these bills to the Senate. The Senate, under the leadership of Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has refused to allow a vote on the vast majority of these bills. That’s not gridlock; that’s obstruction of democracy.
Because most people do not understand this procedural coup, they tend to assign blame to those who do not deserve it. Instead of endless discussion about the relative merits of those running for president, do them and us the favor of explaining the actual problem.
The senator who blocked the Democrats’ choice for the Supreme Court and then-President Barack Obama’s agenda is now obstructing democracy and must be exposed.
Nancy Luque, Washington
We'll say it again:  McConnell is one of the most evil creatures that ever lived in the swamps of Washington, DC.

BONUS:  On a related note, be sure to read E.J. Dionne, Jr.'s op/ ed on McConnell's willingness to do anything to pack the Supreme Court with reactionary stooges.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune)

(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)

(Tim Eagan,

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

Navy Hid USS McCain From Trump In Japan

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal via Raw Story, Navy officials were told to hide the USS John McCain from petty, unhinged demagogue Donald "Cadet Bone Spurs" Trump during his recent trip to Japan. The late Sen. McCain is the bête noire for Bone Spurs for many reasons, including his honorable and heroic service in the Navy during the Viet Nam war which Bone Spurs disgracefully dodged and his "thumbs down" vote on gutting the Affordable Care Act, an Obama achievement and therefore a target of Trump's. The White (Supremacist) House has denied the report, but according to a Washington Post reporter, e-mails exist proving the accuracy of the WSJ report.

When he was serving in office and during his 2008 campaign for President, we had many problems with McCain on the issues, but Bone Spurs' petty vindictiveness toward McCain is beyond the pale. It again demonstrates his emotional and psychological unfitness for office, and the Navy should have ignored the request.

BONUS: Another U.S. hero responds.
BONUS II:  Trump takes his maiden voyage on the USS Trump.


"While I felt almost no ideological kinship with these unreconstructed rebels, I'd come to recognize that in one sense they were right. The issues at stake in the Civil War -- race in particular -- remained raw and unresolved, as did the broad question the conflict posed: Would America remain one nation? In 1861, this was a regional dilemma, which it wasn't anymore.  But socially and culturally, there were ample signs of separatism and disunion along class, race, ethnic and gender lines.  The whole notion of a common people united by common principles -- even a common language -- seemed more open to question than at any period in my lifetime."  --  Tony Horwitz in "Confederates in the Attic," his highly- regarded 1998 book that looked at the "unfinished Civil War" in the American South.  Horwitz died unexpectedly on May 27.  Although it's been more than 20 years since these words were written, the book offers insights as fresh today as they were then about the South, and the complicated stories of white nationalism that echo even louder in today's politics (often told with great humor by Horwitz).  His latest book, "Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide," is a more recent look at the same region two decades on.  The next read. (h/t FOB P.E.C.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bye Bye Bibi?

The flop sweat on Bibi Netanyahu (Israel's Trump in every sense) now must be biblical:
In an unprecedented move, Israel will head to elections for a second time in less than six months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a government before a midnight deadline.
The stakes for Bibi involve holding onto power for a particular, very Trumpian reason:
Netanyahu’s Likud is also forwarding legislation that would give Knesset members, including the prime minister, immunity from prosecution, while attempting to roll back the powers of the Supreme Court to overturn Knesset legislation that it deems unconstitutional.

Netanyahu’s pre-indictment hearing for charges in three criminal cases against him is expected in October. He denies the allegations of corruption, bribery and breach of trust. His wife, Sara Netanyahu, agreed to a plea deal on Wednesday in a separate case on the misuse of public funds, Israel’s public broadcaster reported. She agreed to pay a fine of 55,000 shekels ($15,200) it said.  (our emphasis)
The legislation mentioned above (the "Save Bibi's Tuchas Act") is now not going anywhere pending new elections in September.  Then, perhaps, Israelis will end the career of this corrupt and dangerous man.  We might have to wait a little longer to end the career of ours.

(photo: Matching outfits, matching problems)

The Magic Of The Trump Brand

It's exactly as appealing and worthy as its namesake:
"The road to Donald J. Trump State Park in Hudson Valley is filled with potholes, and it's difficult to find, situated at the end of an unmarked dead-end street. The park itself has no restrooms or garbage cans, no rangers or employees, no picnic tables, not even an entry booth. It does have plenty of weeds, dandelions, brush and trash."
Here are actual photos taken in the "park" (click on image to enlarge):

As the Extremely Stable Genius has said, "You've got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you."


(Photos:  Donald J. Trump State Park, Westchester Co., NY/ mogaz news en)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News)

QOTD: A Criminal Enterprise

Prominent among the Trump den of thieves and bigots was derelict impersonator and "alt-Right" crusader Steve "Loose Cannon" Bannon. Since being booted from the White "Supremacist" House in 2017, Bannon has been freelancing his toxic stew of nativism and racism in Western Europe and elsewhere. He's also been taking potshots at his former benefactor, sociopath and demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump (a.k.a. Individual-1), the latest being these gems from Michael Wolff's sequel to "Fire and Fury":
"The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the president’s finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be 'not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag'. [snip]

The startling remarks are contained in Siege: Trump Under Fire, the author Michael Wolff’s forthcoming account of the second year of the Trump administration. The book, published on 4 June, is a sequel to Fire and Fury: Trump in the White House, which was a bestseller in 2018. The Guardian obtained a copy.

In a key passage, Bannon is reported as saying he believes investigations of Donald Trump’s financial history will provide proof of the underlying criminality of his eponymous company.

Assessing the president’s exposure to various investigations, many seeded by the special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of Russian election interference, Wolff writes: 'Trump was vulnerable because for 40 years he had run what increasingly seemed to resemble a semi-criminal enterprise.'

He then quotes Bannon as saying: “I think we can drop the ‘semi’ part.” (our emphasis)
Wolff was relentlessly attacked by the White (Supremacist) House after his last book was released. Expect new charges of "fiction," "fake news," etc. from Trump and his obsequious stooges this time, too.

Mid-Week Faded Song

Happy 57th birthday to singer-songwriter and human rights activist Melissa Etheridge. A two-time Grammy winner and winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song ("I Need To Wake Up" from the film "Inconvenient Truth"), Etheridge has a new studio album out entitled "The Medicine Show." We have a track from that album today, "Faded by Design." Hope you enjoy.

Robert Mueller's Statement On The Russia Probe

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that
-- Robert Mueller, once again for emphasis.


BONUS II:  CNN's side-by-side of lying, corrupt Trump defense attorney William Barr talking about the special counsel report, and Mueller's remarks today:

Tweets Of The Day -- Trump's Kryptonite

Congressional Report: Trump Tax Cut A Flop

A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) confirmed what most analysts have known for a while: that 2017's huge, trickle-down tax giveaway to the top 1% and multinational corporations which was engineered by corporate Rethugs and their Great Leader, moron Donald "Rump" Trump, has been an abject failure.

The report, "The Economic Effects of the 2017 Tax Revision: Preliminary Observations," is a devastating rebuke to Rethuglicans and Trump who have been lying prolifically about the positive economic effects of their boondoggle for the hyper wealthy. From the WaPo article:
"Last month, President Trump revived one of his preferred descriptors for the tax cuts that he signed into law in December 2017.

'We promised that these tax cuts would be rocke
t fuel for the American economy, and we were absolutely right,' Trump said at a roundtable event in Minnesota.
He used that 'rocket fuel' line before the tax cuts passed, too, pledging that the cuts would inject new energy into an already strong economy. Sure, independent analysis figured that the cuts would cause the deficit to spike. But Trump allies pledged that the cuts would spur so much economic growth that the bill would end up increasing tax receipts, as people and companies paid higher taxes on their higher incomes."
And the results from the CRS report?
"In 2018, gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 2.9%, about the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) projected rate published in 2017 before the tax cut. On the whole, the growth effects tend to show a relatively small (if any) first-year effect on the economy,” the report's summary reads in part. “Although growth rates cannot indicate the tax cut’s effects on GDP, they tend to rule out very large effects particularly in the short run." (our emphasis)
Here's a rundown of the "Plutocrat Recovery Act" per the report:
  • the cuts came nowhere close to paying for themselves;
  • wages grew more slowly than GDP;
  • money was repatriated from offshore tax shelters, but the money doesn’t appear to have been used for investment in expanding the companies, and
  • “relatively little” of the repatriated money went to the worker bonuses that Trump boasted about.
As part of their 2020 economic message to voters, Dems need to keep this flop front and center as a way of explaining how Trump isn't working for them at all, only for himself.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Lone Rethug Again Stops Disaster Aid Bill

Last week it was right-wing dead-ender Rethuglican Rep. Chip "Cow Chip" Roy (Loon-TX) who stopped a unanimous consent vote in the House, blocking a $19.1 billion aid package to states affected by hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes, including funding for Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017. This week it was another right-wing dead-ender Rethuglican Rep. Thomas "Assie" Massie (Loon-KY) who blocked the measure. With the House in recess until June 4, passage of any bill during this period has to be by unanimous consent, rather than a recorded vote.

Massie, a member of the far-right "libertarian" Liberty Caucus, has a reputation for voting no on many bills, apparently believing that no Government is good Government.  He also likes to think he's a man of acid wit, especially in his knowledge of "pseudo- science." Here, his vote screwed millions of Americans out of the relief they need to recover from natural disasters. In a just world, he should find himself on the other side, needing disaster assistance for his district or home and having some numbnut jerk blocking it.

(photo: Massie dreaming of his Dungeons and Dragons days)

Pray For Godly Trump!

This is from Jesus grifter and toxic pharisee Franklin Graham, who runs the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (, a shakedown outfit whose 501(c)(3) non- profit, tax exempt status should be revoked for Graham's political activities, along with countless other "Christian"/ right- wing Republican fronts (click on image to enlarge):

Graham and his fellow Elmer Gantrys are Republican political operatives and about as far away from anything that could be called a religion as could be.  They need to be stripped of their non- profit status as soon as Democrats get their hands back on the levers of power.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Monte Wolverton,

(Rob Rogers,

(Ken Catalino,

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

(Jen Sorensen,

Trump Lies About Veterans' Care

As his lies climb on an hourly basis, demagogue and pathological liar Donald "Rump" Trump couldn't resist telling a whopper on the solemn occasion of Memorial Day. Bragging that he passed the "Veterans Choice" bill after "45 years" of other Administrations failing, the truth is that President Obama's choice program allowing veterans to see doctors outside the VA system at Government expense was passed in 2014.

Trump's Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie has also caught Trump's lying virus, claiming credit for bringing down wait times at veterans hospitals, when in fact the wait times have been declining since 2014 during the Obama Administration.

On a related topic, Trump should thank President Obama  every day for handing him a robust economy after rescuing it in 2009 from years of Rethuglican mismanagement. Not gonna happen, of course.

Damn The Catapults, Full Speed Reverse

Extremely Stable Genius Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump's knowledge apparently extends to naval architecture and systems. For years, the Navy has used steam-powered catapults to launch aircraft off of carriers, but has decided that for the new Gerald Ford class carriers, the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) will replace the steam-powered system. Enter naval engineer Trump. In a speech to soldiers and sailors stationed in Japan, Trump took issue with EMALS, complaining about cost overruns, and announced that future carriers would use steam-powered launch systems. Cost overruns -- sunk costs -- aside (what Pentagon system doesn't have them?), EMALS has some advantages:
"Its main advantage is that it accelerates aircraft more smoothly, putting less stress on their airframes. Compared to steam catapults, the EMALS also weighs less, is expected to cost less and require less maintenance, and can launch both heavier and lighter aircraft than a steam piston-driven system. It also reduces the carrier's requirement of fresh water, thus reducing the demand for energy-intensive desalination.

China is reportedly developing a similar system."
(our emphasis)
So the Extremely Stable Genius has waved away the studies of competent Naval experts and decided that the old way will do. It's a good bet that he heard that EMALS was signed off on by President Obama, thus it needs to be erased.

(photo: Extremely Stable Genius at work)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Trump's Ego Tour Of Japan

As we celebrate Memorial Day with our troops still in harms way abroad, we noted that while cowardly buffoon Donald "Cadet Bone Spurs" Trump is getting his ego stroked by the Japanese, there are things to be attended to:

1) Trump wishes to ignore the recent missile tests by North Korea that his own administration has called out. Saying that he "trusts" North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un, Trump alarmed both his Japanese hosts and even members of his own rotted-out party with his desire to distract from the fact that he's been badly played by Kim. He also sided with his friend Kim's attack on Joe Biden. Now that Kim's attacked crazy John "Yosemite Sam" Bolton, will he side with Kim again?

2) Trump's loyal bootlicker Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham said that the U.S. should consider invading Venezuela, just like St. Ronnie of Hollywood invaded Grenada in 1983, except that Venezuela's not Grenada. Only if you lead the assault, Huckleberry.

3) Severe flooding in the Midwest, coupled with Trump's disastrous trade wars, is crippling our agricultural sector and promising to drive consumer prices ever higher. Trump's not made one trip to the devastated areas (in red states at that) to assess the damage (and offer hollow "thoughts and prayers"). He dragged his feet on broad disaster relief because he didn't understand the aid going to Puerto Rico wasn't what he thought.

Next month, he travels to England for another ego stroking from the British royal family. Ah, the percs of office.

Memorial Day 2019

As has become a tradition with us, we're recognizing Memorial Day with "Beneath the Southern Cross," part of the original Richard Rodgers' soundtrack for the NBC "Victory at Sea" World War II documentary series from the early 1950s.  The title refers to the constellation Crux (or Southern Cross) easily visible in the South Pacific.  The RCA Victor Orchestra led by Robert Russell Bennett performs the song, also familiarly known as "No Other Love Have I."

Memorial Day in America is a day we remember those service men and women in all wars who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We gratefully honor your service.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Stairway To Heaven?

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ESA, May 20, 2019This Picture of the Week stars Messier 90, a beautiful spiral galaxy located roughly 60 million light-years from the Milky Way in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin). The galaxy is part of the Virgo Cluster, a gathering of galaxies that is over 1200 strong.

This image combines infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light gathered by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This camera was operational between 1994 and 2010, producing images with an unusual staircase-like shape as seen here. This is because the camera was made up of four light detectors with overlapping fields of view, one of which gave a higher magnification than the other three. When the four images are combined together in one picture, the high magnification image needs to be reduced in size in order for the image to align properly. This produces an image with a layout that looks like three steps.

Messier 90 is remarkable; it is one of the few galaxies seen to be travelling toward the Milky Way, not away from it. The galaxy’s light reveals this incoming motion in that it is blueshifted. In simple terms, the galaxy is compressing the wavelength of its light as it moves towards us, like a slinky being squashed when you push on one end. This increases the frequency of the light and shifts it towards the blue end of the spectrum. As our Universe is expanding, almost all of the galaxies we see in the Universe are moving away from us, and we therefore see their light as redshifted, but Messier 90 appears to be a rare exception.

Astronomers think that this blueshift is likely caused by the cluster’s colossal mass accelerating its members to high velocities on bizarre and peculiar orbits, sending them whirling around on odd paths that take them both towards and away from us over time. While the cluster itself is moving away from us, some of its constituent galaxies, such as Messier 90, are moving faster than the cluster as a whole, making it so that from Earth we see the galaxy heading towards us. However, some are also moving in the opposite direction within the cluster, and thus seem to be streaking away from us at very high velocity.

Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Sargent et al.

Disaster Relief Blocked By Lone Rethug

Last Thursday, the Senate passed a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill by a margin of 85 -8. The bill provides needed help for Puerto Rico and victims of other natural disasters, including wildfires and floods. It was expected to clear the House on by a wide margin, especially after sociopath and bigot Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump reluctantly agreed to sign it, after balking at the amount of funds for Puerto Rico given his bias. That was before Texas Congressman and shitheel Chip "Cow Chip" Roy blocked a unanimous consent vote on the House floor as members were leaving for Memorial Day recess.

Roy risibly claimed that his objection was over "fiscal responsibility." This, from a clown who voted for the massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and for Trump's vanity border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for. Not surprisingly, Roy is a member of the so-called "Freedom Caucus" of extreme right-wing Rethugs in the House. His campaign slogan when he ran in 2018 ironically was "Stand For Life," i.e. of the fetus, not postpartum.

Roy can't stop the vote on the bill when the House reconvenes on June 4, when it's expect to pass by an overwhelming majority. But he manages to soil the House with his cruel presence.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune)

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)

Sorry About The Tornadoes And Flooding. Now Watch This Drive

While Trump country suffered a week of record breaking flooding and a rash of deadly tornadoes, blimp- who- lives- to- play- golf Donald "Rump" Trump is in Japan tooling around with despicable bootlick Shinzo Abe at the Mobara Country Club in Chiba Prefecture.  (Reminds us of that infamous George Bush moment when his golf game was temporarily interrupted by news of a terrorist attack.)

He sure cares about "his people," amirite?  But it was important for Extremely Stable Genius Trump to be in Japan to conduct the affairs of state, of which he is singularly ignorant.

Making good use of his time, when he wasn't golfing, Trump was watching a sumo tournament (insert Trump as sumo jokes here), presenting a trophy modestly named after himself:

Do you see two asses in the picture? So do we.

This after he wasted no time slapping his kowtowing hosts on arrival, criticizing Japan for a "substantial edge" in trade.

Americans will remember the nations and the leaders who flattered and enabled our puerile monster, starting with Japan's Abe, who doubtless was responsible for this very mini- demonstration:

"Japan Loves Trump"?  "Japan Stands With Trump"?  Looks like the size of the crowd at Trump's inaugural.

(Photos:  Top - POOL/VIA KYODO;  Middle - Jonathan Ernst/Reuters;  Bottom - Erin Schaff, New York Times)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Twit Tweet, Thwap: Sundowning Rudy Edition

Twit tweet:

Review? What review?


Ah, here's the missing review:

Queuing Up At 29,000 Feet

(click on image to enlarge)

Really? The volume of people climbing Mt. Everest has reached the point that there's a line to get to the summit, as this disturbing picture illustrates.  And that's a problem:
Traffic jams create dangerous situations for climbers, who are often already exhausted and carrying heavy loads while battling altitude sickness, which can make people dizzy and nauseated.
Gordon Janow, director of programs at Alpine Ascents International, has been organizing treks to Everest for about 30 years. He said overcrowding often occurs, but “every year seems to be worse and worse.”
When a line starts to back up, “you’re changing your natural pace so you’re spending more time in this high altitude zone than might be necessary if you were climbing 10 to 15 years ago,” he said.
Human pollution also takes another form.  Earlier this month, three metric tons of garbage generated by climbers was taken off Mt. Everest in just 2 weeks.  Officials hope to recover a total of 10 metric tons before the cleanup project is completed sometime next month.  Here's some of what they are dealing with:

Such are the selfish, ego- driven impulses that lead us to despoil our only home.  The land, the waters, the air.  It's hard to imagine we deserve this blue jewel that we're doing so much to destroy.

BONUS:  All Earth needs is something like this to rid it of its plundereers.

(Photos:  Top - Climbers line up to stand at the summit of Mt. Everest in this May 22 photo, released by climber Nirmal Purja's Project Possible expedition. (AFP/Getty Images) (Project Possible/AFP photo). Bottom - Mount Everest Biogas Project)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jimmy Margulies,

(Jeff Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Clay Jones,

(Kevin Kallaugher, Baltimore Sun)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(David Horsey, Seattle Times)

(John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune)

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)