The Widdershins

Can I quote you…

Posted on: March 10, 2017

Noted scholar and transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” So to begin my self-allotted 800 words, what do I do? I quote a smart man explaining his utter disdain for quotes.

True story. I love quotes. Collect them I do. I’m always looking for smart words from those who have journeyed before. Their wisdom is manifest and unmistakable. I find comfort in that.

So this week while thinking about this post, I began looking for a quote about shame. There weren’t that many shame quotes and the few I found were all wrong. They talked about shame as a regulator of behavior – as something to be “ashamed of”. There weren’t any quotes about the lack of shame.

Given the lack of quotes about shamelessness, it might indicate we are regressing along the evolutionary continuum. I imagine shamelessness requires less higher reasoning and a greater reliance on the lower brain stem – which brings me to Supreme Commander Monkey Butt (hereinafter “His Redness” or sometimes “Dolt 45” or “His High Assholiness”).

When I’ve described Dolt 45’s personality traits, I’ve been quite reticent about his mental health. With a high degree of probability I can surmise his behavior patterns, but his mental condition I will leave to others.

This brings me to his shamelessness. The only shame he fears is being labeled a fraud which is his primary and paramount behavioral avoidance priority. For all other types of normal, human shame – he has none. The shame a normal human would suffer does not faze him.

Within the last forty-eight hours, he told Tea Party groups not to worry if the Trump/RyanCare plan failed because he would make sure the ACA failed so he could blame the Democrats. Or telling the same groups he was fine with accelerating the human suffering by speeding up the Medicaid cutbacks by two years if that’s what it takes to win. Sociopathic behavior for sure, but no evidence of shame.

My point is this: While His High Assholiness’ behavior is abhorrent, it is the new Republican Trumpism. He is near the perfect Republican or so says at least 89% of self-described Republicans. Again, my feeble mind is called to a quote from H.L. Mencken:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

The great and glorious day has arrived and the White House is now resplendently adorned by the consummate “downright moron” who happens to be unburdened by shame. He was the apple-eyed desire of the plain folks or at least 70,000 under-educated white men in three states. That desire still burns white-hot in nine out of ten Republican hearts.

The areas in green fare better under Trump/Ryan Care while the areas shaded in maroon fare better under the ACA.

These Trumpian sycophants know no shame. Just consider: Passing legislation affecting one-sixth of the economy without a hearing in the dead of night. Or ending life-sustaining medical care for maybe 15,000,000 people. Or ending opioid therapy or mental health treatment for millions. Or ending health clinics and outreach for the poorest and most under-served populations. Or doing all of this without an estimate of the costs.

All of this to give the wealthiest, most secure, and most powerful a massive tax cut. And on top of that giving insurance companies and medical device manufacturers a tax cut. And on top of that making sure the inadequate tax credits are as regressive as possible without regard to need or ability to pay. And on top of that, and this is where the shamelessness is extraordinary, financing the whole damn thing by draconian cuts to Medicaid – cuts to the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable among us.

This bill isn’t a health care plan, it is a massive tax cut disguised as a political slogan to repeal the ACA. It is a WealthCare plan. It is a risible act of ignominy so outrageous it wouldn’t even make the SNL trashcan.

Not for a second do I believe this nasty pettiness wasn’t planned as a feature to make Grandpa Grumpy happy…

As discerning Widdershins, you are asking, “Why isn’t he mentioning the hypocrisy?” The answer is simple – without shame there is no hypocrisy. Talking to these people about hypocrisy is like talking to a cobra about venom or a skunk about stink. It is what makes them who they are.

The inimitable Mr. Emerson was a transcendentalist meaning he believed in the inherent goodness of individuals. I want to believe that too since there’s no shame in that – at least not yet.

I’m going to leave you with a musical interlude then I’ll list some links for interesting stories I couldn’t work into my self-indulgent rant/therapy. As always, take the safety off, comment at will, and thanks for listening.


Speaking of clowns, here’s one, and he’s a substitute for the Presidential Daily Briefing:


A wonderfully researched study of 1.25 million stories by the Columbia Journalism Review indicating Breitbart to be the right-wing media anchor hub of a distinct and insulated media system that appears to have set the agenda and overall tone for Hillary’s negative coverage.

An interactive demonstration that the “higher premium” lamentation by the shameless Republicans is, like so many things, made of whole cloth.

The lackadaisical use of military force is troubling and a bad omen of things to come. One week of bombing is equal to one year of missions under Obama.

Watch Paul Ryan’s Adam’s Apple when he’s asked about his “good, best friends” the rich.

One way the Trump Administration is a fine-tooled machine.


162 Responses to "Can I quote you…"

Haven’t read the post yet, will be back later. But this:

Ugh, sometimes it doesn’t post what it’s in response to. #1 post is in response to this:

@1 & 2, Marcus and Michele Bachmann are in mourning locked away in a totally non-gay location in non-gay prayer while spritzing their “gay-away” atomizer at suicidal teenagers while collecting their millions in non-gay Medicaid reimbursements.

@3> LOL. So many Republicans are in mourning. Someone tweeted their condolences at Mike Pence.

I started googling “shame quotes” and they’re all wrong. Because there seem to be no quotes about lack of shame. All I can come up with is:

@5, I started with Brainy Quotes, which never fails to provide, but it did when it comes to shame. Even came up empty with the Bible. There’s Jeremiah 6:15 and few more verses within Jeremiah (seems like he could have used a little therapy), but still not shamelessness.

This is one of the first encounters of a regretful Trump voter. There’s a whole thread here. Brain tumor victim saved by Medicaid who, “wasn’t paying that much attention to the election, but voted for the first time and wanted something to happen…”


@7> “wasn’t paying that much to the election.” I don’t understand that. It lasted 2 bloody years. Even if you’re busy – most of us are busy – how do you avoid 2 years worth of news? It’s idiotic.

Here’s a definition for shamelessness and a picture to illustrate:


Oh “And I just don’t like Hillary” he says. Well, there you have it.

@9, not that this is dispositive of the issue, but when the reporter was interviewing the dissatisfied Dolt 45 voter, he was smoking a joint. So I would imagine he might have self-medicated himself through the 2 years of the campaign.

@8, Asstrange, err, Assange better watch out for Russians bearing polonium milkshakes.

The areas in green fare better under Trump/Ryan Care while the areas shaded in maroon fare better under the ACA.

Still reading the new thread, but looking at the graph of 20-40 year olds in green…the people that fare better are only those who are NOT sick and can afford to not have insurance. No one knows how much tax savings individuals will get to buy health insurance, or if they can only afford coverage with high deductibles.

The rethugs rely on young people that don’t want to pay for insurance and don’t need it, until they are in an accident or come down with a serious illness…….who will pay for their health care when they are rushed to the emergency room?????

And on top of that, and this is where the shamelessness is extraordinary, financing the whole damn thing by draconian cuts to Medicaid – cuts to the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable among us.
This bill isn’t a health care plan, it is a massive tax cut disguised as a political slogan to repeal the ACA. It is a WealthCare plan. It is a risible act of ignominy so outrageous it wouldn’t even make the SNL trashcan.

Freakin’, absolutely. The Medicaid cuts also include people on disability that are too sick to work, also mental health patients and anyone that is homeless, working poor and have been laid off with no job.

Also, the ‘tax savings’ on TRUMPCare can be degraded at any time, not to mention they haven’t started to screw over Social Security and Medicare YET!

“America first”, unless you are the working poor, or have no job.

Rethugs are all for the American cast system. The haves and the have nots.

‘Make America Suffer Again.’

@7, well “something” did happen, you chump. Maybe you’ll remember that next time. Be careful what you wish for.

As for “just not liking Hillary,” we know that translates to “just scared by smart women.”

@12, and when Sessions tells his staff to go after states with legal marijuana, he’ll get to regret his vote all over again.

Have you no shame?

(couldn’t resist)

@15 & 16, Shadow, you are exactly right, but crawling down into the weeds it gets even more sinister. The cohort of 27 year olds to 40 year olds up until 60, are people who most likely will be covered by employer insurance plans. Therefore, they do not fall within the risk pool of the independent market. That means, those people who would help stabilize an independent/individual risk pool are not going to be there. That creates a real death spiral. In poorer parts of the country like Appalachia, the deep South, Southwest, and upper plains, there will be NO companies writing these policies unless they are junk policies covering nothing with deductibles of $10K.

It is evil shamelessness.

@18 & 19, Luna, I’m having trouble finding my empathy for these folks who claim they didn’t know better. I know I should feel sorry for them, but it is difficult for me. You are so good — how do you deal with that?

@20, that is inspired — LOL.

@21, Prolix, agree, and it also cuts down on the number of people willing to start their own businesses or join a small company, because of no or hugely expensive health insurance.

This is from Andy Slavitt. He ran Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA for Obama.


Dun dundun duh…

@22, either my sarcasm isn’t getting through or yours isn’t! Also, you didn’t hear what I was swearing before I typed those.

@26, was a young woman in an LOL sweatshirt seen in the vicinity?

Prolix, I also can’t find the pity for them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Because they have no pity for anyone except themselves.

@27, LOL. My empathy gene was removed at birth. I just don’t have it in me to care about these people. I wish I could, but it is like my upcoming modeling career — ain’t gonna happen.

@26> Hmmm…. I’m sure it’s nothing….. definitely nothing…. absolutely….

BTW, today is 20th anniversary of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” A hero we need.

@29, D, you are right. Can’t disagree at all. What is most troubling for me is this: If you take the Republican philosophy on this — everyone is on your own, childless people shouldn’t pay school taxes. I don’t personally believe that, but that is the Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, thesis.

On “Buffy” and its creator Joss Whedon. Read this fascinating summary of all the times he’s been asked why he writes strong female characters.

“So, why do you always write these strong women characters?”

Because you’re still asking me that question.”

Comic interlude:


“Love your enemy, it will scare the hell out of them.” — Mark Twain

Although I tend to get that confused with ““Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ― Oscar Wilde

When I’m not outraged and appalled, I feel sorry for them. Their hearts are so small, and they are filled with anger. Angry people are unhappy people. I’m mostly a Neopagan Buddhist Nature-worshipper, so “my religion is kindness,” as the Dalai Llama says. Times like this, one needs to practice more than ever.

@35, Hah! So true.

@38, did you see the Dalai Llama with John Oliver? The Dalai Llama has a good sense of humor.

Sigh. @40 in re:

I heard King had another Hillary hit piece, but I refuse to read it. That’s 3 major hit pieces in a couple of days. (Vox and WaPo, the other two.)

@41, H.H. has a very good sense of humor! He can laugh at himself so easily.

First time I saw him was over 20 yrs ago at an event with about 200 people. He was leading a Buddhist ritual, part which involved imagery of various Buddhist avatars — you were supposed to visualize them sortof like little statues sitting on his head — “but with my bald round head, they’d probably slip off” he said, in his deep voice, right in the middle of the formal invoking language, without missing a beat, and then he started chuckling. It took most of us a while to realize it was OK to laugh with him. We were far more serious than he was. At another event I was only about 8 rows back from the stage. He moves and speaks in complete unselfconsciousness. It was truly amazing.

The other thing — I’m a very evidence-based person, always wanting to know what the basis is for a conclusion, always asking questions. (I was an annoying child, lol.) Always thought the concept of reincarnation was just more superstitious wishful thinking. (Properly speaking, Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion — it has no creator god.) But there is something about the Dalai Llama in person, in real time, which doesn’t come through in recordings. He is the embodiment of good in a human being.

@44, OTOH, perhaps there’s something there. With Hillary there was nothing there, but Comey was “I know there’s something! We need more agents!”

Berman has and is doing important work.

I have a google search for Hillary. I see whenever something good comes out about her, a photo, a tweet, a speech…there are just as many, if not more faux articles about how no one wants, cares or respects Hillary.

This is pure bull$hit and I refuse to read their articles on any site, Politico, HuffNPuff…or anywhere. She won the damn election, period!

I will only call the rape of our health care, ‘TrumpCare’! He did it and he will never get my respect for any of the trash he creates.

@50> It should definitely be TrumpCare. Especially because he has stated he doesn’t want it to be called that. He’s pushing for it, but doesn’t want his name attached.

@45, I really like to hear that. I’ve read accounts like you relate here about him. Even on television you can tell he is other worldly extraordinary.

@44, not that I know this for sure, but counter-surveillance is a much smaller and compartmentalized part of the FBI. This part of the FBI is really secretive and closed loop. The regular FBI suits, especially the NYC office, is a bunch of cowboys.

@50, I agree it will become TrumpCare if it passes, but I also think this is a good opportunity to end, once and for all, the nonsense that Ryan is some type of thinking conservative intellectual. Ryan is nothing more than a stunted college sophomore who masturbated to the fantasies of a Russian who wasn’t a very good writer.

He’s just not very bright. I watched his entire “Ted-talk-lite” yesterday. It was nothing more than a word salad heavy on “if, should, ought to” foolishness. It would have gotten about a C minus in any of my undergrad classes. Krugman has been right all along — Ryan is a fraud that is why he is so comfortable with Dolt 45.

That paragon of head in his arse reasoning — Steve King, just said, “Trump needs to purge the government of all Obama people.” Here is the fact — the average government employee has worked for 11 years and in case they can’t count, that means they were hired during the Bush administration. These people are chronic victims. I bet they jump out in the streets in front of cars in their dreams.

Folks, I am doing a favor for some friends, taking them to the airport in Indy (thereby driving past three other perfectly good airports) so they can do some medical mission work in Haiti. I won’t be around this evening to read and/or respond to your most excellent comments.

I’ll be back in the morning so see you then.

Phew! Too many comments and good links to look at. I’ll be back later to catch up.

I follow the Trump Regrets page on Twitter – and sometimes I wonder if most of these are fake. It feels that way because people are complaining at Trump about things that, well, why are they surprised by them? I really genuinely can’t understand. That people can be so dumb. Someone just wrote: “Removal of clean water act? You’re a piece of s#*t.” Really?? This feed is full of things like this. I remember people there being mortified about Standing Rock getting shut down. Now Obamacare. I mean, the person we discussed above who said he just didn’t pay attention don’t make any sense to me. What cave do you have to live in to be surprised by anything that’s happening. This guy here is upset about the clean water act?????? OMG.

(runs away screaming and vomiting)

Right-wing commentator, conspiracy theorist and Donald Trump-obsessed sycophant Wayne Allyn Root recently declared that for business owners, the president is like a beautiful wife who “makes passionate love to you every day, seven days a week.”

How many people post on there that they are sick of Trump tweeting. I mean, GET THE FUDGE OUT OF HERE PEOPLE!!!!

Drive carefully Prolix!

@58, Prolix, good on you and your friends!

@61> “makes love to you” and then pees on you? I mean, hey, whatever floats his boat, but still.

Roger Stone admits to having communicated with Guccifer 2.0 (which is Russian intel.) But it was totally “innocuous.”

(:snarls about the total of 3 sunny days since start of Oct:)

You’re welcome, USA: Northwest’s chilly February prevents national heat record

While many areas of the Pacific Northwest shivered through its third straight month of chilly winter, the rest of the nation was wondering if it already missed winter and had already spring.

More than 11,700 daily heat records were broken across much of the U.S., but as a whole, the nation ended up just shy of the record set in 1954.

…. a cool Pacific Northwest kept the national record from falling, said NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch.

@66, Riiiiiight. Totally, dude.

@67> In NYC we’ve had wild temperature swings for about a month. Yesterday was 65. Today is 30 and snowing. It’s freezing the rest of the week. But we’ve gone up as high as upper 70s, then to plunge into the 30s the following day.

This Roger Stone and Guccifer 2.0 thing is just bonkers. And he forgot about it? Because yes, chatting with a persona you know is Russian intelligence is totally forgettable! Like the Russian ambassador. Who can remember these things?! We have forgettable conversations with Russian intelligence all the time! I was having just the other day, I think. I can’t remember.

Fredster> per the article you posted yesterday about LGBTQ Veterans being banned from Boston’s St. Patty’s Parade – AP reports the parade organizers have changed their minds and are allowing the group to march.

Mike Pence lied to FOX “news” last night when he said, the reports about Flynn yesterday were the first he’d heard of it. Go Elijah!!

But Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent Pence a letter on November 18 requesting more information about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Flynn’s lobbying work.

Cummings sent the letter four days after both The Daily Caller and Politico reported that Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group Inc., had been hired to lobby for Turkish interests.

“Recent news reports have revealed that Lt. Gen. Flynn was receiving classified briefings during the presidential campaign while his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., was being paid to lobby the U.S. Government on behalf of a foreign government’s interests,” Cummings wrote.</em<

Dang, I keep messing up my quotes. Oh well, it sorta worked.

@72, GAgal, we’ll find out that Pence has been in deep with all the collusion all along. Impeach ’em all!

@71: Oh that’s good news.

@61, DITTO!!! Also, loved the cute kitty winding yarn cartoon!

I just watched a clip of Dem Tim Ryan from OH on Morning Joe. Among other things, he just had to slip in there – “I’m more disappointed with the Democratic party than anyone else, for letting down the working class'”. Naturally, Meeeka agreed.

Are we the only people in this country who actually watched speech after speech of Hillary talking about her plans for jobs and the economy? God knows we had to go out of our way to look them up on line, because the media never bothered to cover them. For him to insinuate she had no plans for the working class makes me sick. I am fed up with this.

If any one Democrat “let down” the working class, it was Obama. What was he suppose to do? He inherited a financial meltdown. Plenty of people lost their jobs then, not just the WC. I will say this. Trump/Ryan are making the same mistake Obama did we he first got into office. Instead of going straight to healthcare, he should have focused more on jobs/economy. Eventually that improved, just not for everyone. People expect miracles I guess.

Furthermore, about Ryan and every other elected Democrat from last year… I’d like to know what they did to help get Hillary elected. Did they go out in their communities and talk her up? Maybe get themselves in front of a camera and talk Dem policy? Was that too much to ask? No. People like Ryan expected her to pull all the weight. I’d really like to know. I’m thankful for those who did to work to try, like Cory Booker, etc. But the rest of them can go take a flying leap as far as I’m concerned.

Hey folks, listen I’m going to be in and out of here this weekend.

I have a friend, a dear long-time friend (we went to college together) who is back in the hospital for the 2nd time with an ammonia build up in her system. She has liver cancer and was doing pretty well – she and her hubby just did a quickie trip to Vegas one of her fave spots.

She went through TACE treatments at the James Cancer center at Ohio State but reached the point where those would not be helpful any longer. The treatments did shrink her tumors and she was pretty stable. She was in good enough shape last summer that she, hubby and two friends went to Scotland and England for a vacay.

But as I said, this is the 2nd time with the ammonia buildup. Apparently when it happens she gets very confused and out of it mentally. Her husband came in today after a 1/2 day of work and found her really out of it. So he called the EMTs to get her to the hospital and she’s admitted now. Don’t know if this is a side effect of the chemo pill she’s taking or what.

So bottom line I’m a mess right now and I’ll come back by later.

@77: “Are we the only people in this country who actually watched speech after speech of Hillary talking about her plans for jobs and the economy?”

Apparently so. I’m also fed up with these nincompoops in the red states whining how Hillary and her campaign “ignored” them. Bullshit. Her plans would have helped them the most. Tim Ryan is pandering to them, which looks weak. The party should be standing strong and saying the opposite. And agree with 100% that Ryan and others in the swings should have been out there telling the cititzens in their states what Hillary’s plans were for them.

Prolix, loved the funny post (and that HL Mencken quote…perfection!). Very sweet of you to drive your friends. Have a safe trip!

After my stepson died, his fiancé spent a couple of years in Haiti working at an orphanage. It helped her take her mind off her grief, and she loved being able to help them. She was in a couple of documentaries that were filmed there. Incidentally, she gave up what was considered a glamour job to go there, but amazingly, they took her back when she was finally ready to come home.

Fredster, am so sorry that your friend isn’t doing well, it’s been up and down for her hasn’t it? I’m glad she was able to take the trip last summer. Poor thing, chemo is just brutal. I hope she’ll be feeling better very soon.

Oh goodie! Where Eagles Dare just started on TCM. BBL

Fredster, sorry to hear about your friend’s troubles. You’re a mensch to do what you can to be there for her.

@82: Thanks quixote. She has been doing pretty well considering what she’s fighting. None of her 3 tumors has grown and nothing had started anywhere else. I’m not sure if this is something from the chemo med or the liver having issues.

She and her husband live outside of Cincy but she started a Caring Bridge website where she kept everyone updated on how things are going. Her husband did the two posts today so I’m sure he will keep everyone updated from there.

@77> GAgal, I agree with every word of that! Vox put every Clinton speech from primary and general in a word document and tabulated topics of discussion. Jobs and economy was the single most discussed topic, by far. But news carried Trump rallies in their entirety – not Clinton’s. Nightly News shows on ABC/CBS/NBC covered e-mails x3 more than all policy combined. So when people like Ryan or Bernie or anyone else goes out and says “Democrats let them down” or “she didn’t talk about jobs about” – I want to punch them in the face. It is simply false. But by perpetuating that lie they are digging a bigger hole for Democrats than is necessary. Clinton won popular vote by almost 3,000,000. Only Democrats could spin that into a loss.

Sometimes I just want to give up on all of it.

@78> Sorry to hear that Fredster about your friend! Don’t worry about us, we’ll all still be here!

That H.L. Mencken quote is really one of the most amazing things ever. Written in 1920. Mencken really foresaw all of this. For example:

“Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

And a bit more from that 1920 essay:

“All of us, if we are of reflective habit, like and admire men whose fundamental beliefs differ radically from our own. But when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or count himself lost. … All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

A fascinating Twitter-storm from (supposedly) Anonymous to Adam Khan – on Julian Assange. Anonymous does not like Assange.–Anonymous-squeals-on-Wikileaks-Julian-Assange

My favorite part of this where they say: We can not confirm the salacious parts of the dossier. We’ve never reported the salacious parts. We would not report the salacious parts. So no salacious parts of the dossier here. Nothing salacious. Nope. But other than the salacious parts, some of the non-salacious parts are checking out.

It seems so odd to me that narcissists like Trump (or whatever his mental issues are) are capable of emotion when it comes to hate, rage, vindictiveness, etc. but they lack any emotion at all when it comes to empathy, sympathy, caring for others, etc.

@89> Others? Who’s that?! Who are these others precious? Trump only knows himself. How does everything affect him? That’s all he cares about. But enough about me. What do you think about me?

That CNN report @88. They needed 3 people to deliver the news that they can’t really say anythings specific. It’s a little hilarious.

Jake Tapper has been kicking some Stump trunk lately. Occasionally, I drift off into a dream world where he’s doing it from the guilt he feels for his complicity in getting Stump elected. Then, I snap back to reality and realize it’s only because Spicey froze out CNN a couple weeks ago. I’ve still not seen a single pundit admit their role in the result of the election.

Fredster, good thoughts to you and your friends. Ammonia buildup will definitely unbalance cognitive ability and other physiological processes. Hope they get that reversed pronto.

Odd about people getting bent out of shape about the Veterans with a rainbow flag. VA Medical Ctrs all have a LGBT office, and there is a national program. Still, until Trumptantrum axes it.

VA Takes Pride in Serving LGBT Veterans

LGBT Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare. The VA strives to be a national leader in the provision of health care to LGBT Veterans and assure that care is provided in a sensitive, safe environment at VA health facilities nationwide.

VHA’s commitment to LGBT Veterans includes:
– Promoting a welcoming health and work environment that is inclusive of LGBT Veterans and employees.
– Providing information, guidance and education to VHA providers about LGBT health issues.

In 2012, the Office of Patient Care Services created the LGBT Health Program (10P4Y), which provides policy recommendations, provider-education programs, and clinical services to support personalized, pro-active, patient-driven healthcare for LGBT Veterans. For more information about the LGBT Health Program, via email at

hmmm, I’m in moderation and I do not have 2 links.

@94 Luna, what a great idea! Then they will only have to worry about all those closeted Repub men peeking under the stalls!

I tried to release your comment from moderation, but I guess Fredster’s gonna have to give me another lesson in that. The email at the end of the text is posting as a link. Thus, two links. Someone (who knows what they are doing) will free you. 🙂

@96, ah, at least now I know what it was that triggered spammy’s appetite.

@94> Luna, you’re out!

@92> GAgal, nope the pundits have not admitted. No media has. When someone calls them out on it, like Nick Merrill called out NY Times yesterday on the Russian Banks/Trump story, they just say “Oh no we covered it.” Even though “covered it” is really stretching it.

There will never be reckoning from the media. They will never admit being wrong. If they didn’t really admit to being wrong on WMDs, they will never admit to anything.

I don’t know if you remember this segment from CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Soledad O’Brien. She’s one of the few people in the industry who I think has real integrity. (I worked briefly on a documentary she produced about juvenile prisons in America and she really does strike me as the real deal.) Anyway, watch this clip. She criticizes the media during the campaign for normalizing Trump’s white supremacy. See the NY Times reported bash Hillary. Then see another person say there will one day a reckoning for the media on how it’s behaved during the election. She doesn’t correct him right away, but she circles back to that point at the end of the segment.

@99 DYB, yes I saw that at the time. In fact I posted a clip here. Here is what I can find now even though the end is cut. (YT is a cesspool now when searching for things!)

So, Jeff Sessions has requested resignations from the remaining 46 Attorney Generals appointed by Obama. That’s not unusual. Except for the fact that the AG making the request committed perjury during his nomination hearings. There’s that. Oh, well. I’m sure everything will be just fine.

That reminds me – now that Tillerson has recused himself from all things about the Keystone pipeline – will he now recuse himself from lifting Russian sanctions so his buds at Exxon and Putin can go forward with their half a trillion dollar oil deal? It’s still, after all this time, ALL about the oil. This country will never learn…

@102: Oh I wouldn’t hold my breath on his recusal on anything involving his good buddy Vlad – Giver of Medals. LOL

Yeah. Strange dynamic. Even if he did recuse, the deal’s going through anyway if they think they can.. We’ll see if the Stump administration has the gall to do so with all the intelligence agencies on his back. Not to mention people in the streets.

Enough is enough with this Mar-a-Lago crap. And Melania and Barron need to get their asses to the White House too.

Other presidents have had regular private vacation retreats away from the secure federal compound at Camp David, in western Maryland. The California estates owned by Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were both referred to as the Western White House. President George H.W. Bush vacationed at Kennebunkport, Maine, and President George W. Bush traveled frequently to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

But all of those were private homes, off-limits except to people invited by the president. The same was true of the rambling Martha’s Vineyard escape used by President Barack Obama and his family.

“No one ever ran a residence that served as a hotel,” said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. “It’s a security nightmare by having such a turnstile of folks coming and going.”

Nixon, Reagan, HW Bush, W Bush. Notice which President didn’t have a retreat or private residence/estate to go hide? That would be Bill Clinton. Come to think of it, neither did Jimmy Carter. Hmm…

@105: And no one else thought about the possibility of making money off of their “vacay” residences.

Shit no one seems to think about. (except the Bros)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is publicly declaring what she’s been saying privately since after the election: Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency, the longtime Democratic leader was planning to ditch Congress.

“If Hillary had won, I was ready to go home,” Pelosi told reporters Friday, saying she now is motivated to stay to protect Obamacare. “If she were there, then I would not worry about that.”

Oh, and speaking of Tim Ryan, as I did earlier up thread…

Pelosi beat back a challenge to her leadership after the November election, besting Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) to hold onto her spot as House minority leader. But Pelosi, 76, has faced lingering questions about when she’ll leave since she lost the speakership in 2010.

Good for her. But who, what woman is she mentoring, to replace her? It’s probably best she doesn’t say because the whackos on the right will attack. Whoever it is, needs to get use to it.

@107: saying she now is motivated to stay to protect Obamacare.

I’m not sure she or the Dems can do much in the House. It’s going to take some Repubs in the Senate to possibly kill it or mortally wound it. Still I’m expecting the worst and that the Repub crap is going to pass. (sigh) Better to be prepared for that outcome.

Later GAgal.

@101> Yes, I think Sessions’ actions are problematic. Besides the perjury (!), it sounds like it’s unprecedented to demand all the resignations by end of day. Previous Presidents have done the replacements gradually, over months or even years. Sessions told them to clear out by end of day. Someone pointed out that many of these people are traveling, so resigning by end of day means they can’t even clear out their own desks. And the cases they are working on are just dumped.

Sessions also demanded resignations from people who Trump had previous said he would keep on, including NY’s lawyer. Trump had previously personally told the guy he wanted him to stay on.

Oh and every replacement has to be approved by Congress. Trump hasn’t even nominated 1.

Oh this is fun: the NY Attorney Trump previously said could stay, says he will not resign. Trump will have to fire him!

@110: I heard last night and this morning that the sudden clearing out of the attorneys was in response to advice given to 45 to “purge” the administration of Obama “people” who are more than likely responsible for the revealing leaks. I think however that clearing out the highly successful NY office has other implications. That one kick ass US attorney, Preet Bharara, the one 45 originally asked to stay, would have had jurisdiction over 45s many alleged crime scenes. If there are to be investigations, 45 needs the most incompetent and/or partisan, Putin friendly people he can find.

@112: Well I sure am slow. Great news. I was hoping Preet (love his name) would dig in his heels, Rachel said there was precedent for that.

Bharara refusing to resign is going to be interesting. Trump and Sessions will have to start a very public fight to fire him. Of course now that he has publicly said he will not resign, he’s raising the stakes. Dump/Sessions mistake was starting the fight in the first place. I think if they had contacted him privately first this may not have escalated. One article I read said the 2nd in command, Potente (the guy who is taking over for Sessions when Sessions recuses himself) was in the middle of making some phone calls to people when DoJ just dropped the news, so many Attorneys learned they were losing their jobs by end of day via news media. It’s just incompetence and stupidity. I can’t see anything they gain by starting a public fight with someone like Bharara.

UNLESS they just want a distraction for something….

Federal court rules on another case of gerrymandering in Texas.

@118 From your link:

“It was obvious, from the start, that the DoJ attorneys viewed state officials and the legislative majority and their staffs as a bunch of backwoods hayseed bigots who bemoan the abolition of the poll tax and pine for the days of literacy tests and lynchings,” wrote Smith, an appointee of former Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Hey if the shoe fits…

@101 and 110: And another “normal” action is that the Prez and Justice will seek input from the Senators of the states where they are nominating new U.S. Attorneys. Colonel Cornpone the garden gnome knows this from having been in Justice before and in the Senate. But then there’s nothing normal about this group.


@121: that didn’t take long, I feel like I am watching a building implode. A few strategically placed charges, boom, just a pile of rubble to be bulldozed away. What will be put in its place?

@122: Good analogy there Cats3. Bannon said he wanted to tear everything down.

Haven’t seen Contrask around for a few days but if you come by Contrask say something about how you’re doing. Also if Native1 stops by please give us an update.

What could possibly go wrong?

First-year doctors will be allowed to work 24-hour shifts starting in July

The controversial decision ends the latest phase in a decades-old discussion over how to balance physician training with the safety and needs of patients whose care is sometimes handled by young, sleep-deprived doctors — a practice that a consumer group and a medical students’ organization oppose as dangerous. The council said Friday that under the amended standards, the physicians’ mental and physical health actually will be bolstered by requiring their supervisors to more closely monitor their well-being.

Those standards will allow four hours to transition patients from one doctor to the next, so first-year residents could work as long as 28 straight hours, the same as more senior medical residents. The 125,000 doctors in training, known as “residents” and “fellows” depending on how many years they’ve completed, are the backbone of staffs at about 800 hospitals across the country, from large medical centers to smaller community facilities.

Of course.

Fredster, did you see the RT from @darth about the senior doxie rescue? I was going to post a pic, but that might be too much tugging at heartstrings, darn it.

@125: Chat used to say that there was *some* timeframe/date when you definitely did not want to go to a hospital e.r. because that date was when the newbie interns, residents too (?) got turned loose for the first time on an unsuspecting public.

@127: No! Let me check that. Thanks for mentioning it.

ACLU resistance training — livestreaming now at

@127: I just looked through all the ones available for adoption.

Had to stop that and just go make a donation.

“Colonel Cornpone the garden gnome” Love that Fredster!

@125, that’s really scary.

Good one, socal!

@132, there are even bonded pairs! so cute. But: travel costs from LA.

Apologize for the double comment posts on the ACLU event. Basically a know-your-rights-when-protesting and/or immigrant, plus pep talk. But good.

Fredster, how’s your friend doing? Did they get the problem under control?

Luna, don’t apologize! Some things need to be emphasized!

Cats, yeah, that guy comes up with some clever stuff.

I think my hubs accepted a new job today. He announced he was retiring from LAUSD last week and immediately had half a dozen companies offering him positions. He had a meeting with one of them today and sent me an insanely excited text. More money, but we’ll have to move closer to the city. Farewell, mountains and clean air!

@137: Oh I saw one set of those bonded pairs, sniff. I know that frequently on DNRA (doxie rescue north america) they will even put restrictions on how far away the adopter can be, i.e. must be within 100 miles of N. Virginia, things like that. But, I’m not in a position to do it right now; Don’t have the fenced in yard, things like that.

@138: She’s doing a lot better. Her husband said they will probably discharge her tomorrow. Also, congrats on hubs retirement and job offers!

*** Eek! ***

Sorry GAgal, I thought that was annie asking. My bad.

Oh! Y’all don’t forget this:

Trump praises arrest of ‘troubled person’ who jumped fence at White House

Of course, no mention of the troubled person living inside the White House!

Socal, congrats on your hub’s exciting new job!

Fredster, 😦 on DST.

@144: Oh I know. I hate it. I am out of sorts for a good week after the time change.

@142, completely oblivious to the time change. Thanks, Fredster!

@139, great news socal, congrats to hubs!

@146: Cats3, the computer, tv and cell will update themselves but the clock radio, microwave and my vehicle don’t so I have to remind myself. LOL

Glad to see this.

Guilty Verdicts for 4 Men in Takeover of Oregon Wildlife Refuge

Guilty verdicts at a trial here on Friday offered prosecutors some measure of redemption after they failed last fall to convict the leaders of a group that had taken over a federal bird sanctuary.

On Friday, a jury convicted two men of conspiracy to impede federal officers during last year’s armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about 290 miles southeast of Portland. Two other men were convicted of a lesser charge. …

Prosecutors argued that any rational person would be impeded from work when someone with a gun was sitting at their desk, as images of the occupiers showed they did.

@148: At least it’s a conviction of some of them. Good.

The Shame-o-Meter seems to be broken from overuse:

Two of the biggest tax cuts in Republican proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act would deliver roughly $157 billion over the coming decade to those with incomes of $1 million or more, according to a congressional analysis.

The assessment was made by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan panel that provides research on tax issues.

@150: From the article:

The analysis found that by 2020, the repeal of the two tax provisions would save about $15.9 billion a year for those with incomes of $1 million or more. By 2026, the final year of the analysis, they would combine to save that group a little more than $20 billion a year.

For all the taxpayers who would benefit, the tax cuts would save nearly $37 billion in a single year by 2026.


@150, 151. Eff them. The very people who don’t need tax cuts.

Sorry about @140. Perhaps soon.

@152: Would love to be able to have two of those furbabies.

Sorry I was away all day guys. Did I miss anything? I’m sure nothing happened….

I did see Trump fired Bharara. One interesting news AP is reporting about that. Trump supposedly tried to call Bharara two days ago through a secretary. But Bharara did not take the call because it might have been inappropriate. He reported to the Justice Department that Trump tried to call him and was told not to speak to him. This story is weird.

@154: Yes indeed DYB, very odd.

Fredster, so happy your friend is doing better!

I’m with Cats, time change doesn’t bother me.

@148, am also glad to see this. That last verdict was ridiculous. I’m so sick of seeing Hillary, and people like her, constantly being persecuted for bullshit things, but no sweat if pious conservatives go on a law-breaking spree.

@154, Yes, very weird. I bet he was working on a case against someone in trumpland.

Oy, the time change already has me confused. It is now 4:30 Central but feels like 3:30. It will affect me for a few days.

annie, I hope the docs can figure out what is triggering this with her.

@159, While I’m sure it had nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with Mr. Bharara’s firing, I’m just going to leave this here. The dumbest man ever paid to talk on teevee is using a kangaroo-scrotum haired ventriloquist dummy to do his bidding. Only in ‘Murica!

I’ve been confused by why Bharara didn’t take the call, but someone just clarified on Twitter that there are rules about POTUSes speaking to US Attorneys.

So Bharara was following protocol by notifying Justice Department.

Trump has no idea what the protocol is and there is no one in the White House to tell him.

Sessions knew Trump tried to call Bharara – and without any warning, fired him anyway. Publicly.

Something is off there, Trump is too busy golfing to talk to Sessions?

Sessions knew Trump tried to call Bharara – and without any warning, fired him anyway. Publicly.

I’m sure they were all fired on behalf of Big Rump, the attorneys were getting too close to the truth that will eventually bring down the thugs in the Whitehouse.

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