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Stonepounder's Journal
Stonepounder's Journal
August 2, 2019

"Moscow Mitch" is Now the Song of the Summer, Thanks to Ben Folds


“Moscow Mitch” is Now the Song of the Summer, Thanks to Ben Folds

During a concert in New York City Thursday night, Kesha collaborator Ben Folds debuted the unrivaled song of the summer: “Moscow Mitch”—a nickname given to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell due to his role in blocking election security legislation last week.

Performing on the roof of Pier 17, the former Ben Folds Five frontrunner paused his concert to address the audience: “What I want to do is put a little cool stutter in it, like, you know, ‘My-my-my-my-my-my Sharona.’ So what we’ll do is, we’ll go: Mah-mah-mah-Moscow Mitch. That’s it, okay?” While the song is mostly instrumental—save for two verses of Folds and the crowd yelling, “Mah-mah-mah-Moscow Mitch!” followed by a few laughs from the audience—it’s an undeniable banger.

The nickname has become immensely popular, trending on Twitter and spurring official fundraising merchandise. The name originated with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough after he lambasted the GOP leader for “aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy.” We’ll forgive the provenance of “Moscow Mitch,” the mild Russophobia, and the utter lack of creativity on the grounds that anything that gets under Mitch McConnell’s skin can’t be all bad.
July 21, 2019

Today's Republican Senators:

When the Clerk of the Senate calls the roll, our Republican Senators are unsure whether to answer "Present" or "Not Guilty".

-Teddy Roosevelt

July 15, 2019

Trump Administration Implementing '3rd Country' Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum

Source: National Public Radio (NPR)

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

The interim final rule will take effect immediately after it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, according to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

The new policy applies specifically to the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that "an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien's country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum."

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/15/741769333/u-s-sets-new-asylum-rule-telling-potential-refugees-to-apply-elsewhere

I am beyond speechless.
July 14, 2019

K Appoints London Mayor Sadiq Khan As Ambassador To The United States (Satire)


UK Appoints London Mayor Sadiq Khan As Ambassador To The United States

With Sir Kim Darroch having stepped down early, the UK Government has wasted no time appointing current London Mayor Sadiq Khan to the role of UK Ambassador to the United States.
“He comes with a great deal of relevant experience.”

Khan said he was looking forward to getting ‘stuck in’ to the job.
“It’s long been a dream of mine to offer my candid opinion of Donald Trump in an official capacity.”

In his interview for the job, Khan impressed members of the diplomatic community with an impressive array of synonyms for inept and incompetant.
“The guy was born for this job.”

A government spokesperson said they hope the swiftness of the appointment sends the right message to Washington.
“And if Sadiq is unable to carry out his duties for any reason, we have a runner-up candidate called Meghan Markle eager to replace him.”

July 11, 2019

British Ambassador Concealed Insults from Trump by Writing Messages in English (Borowitz)


LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—The British Ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, explained on Monday that he had tried to conceal insulting remarks from Donald Trump by writing his cables in English.

“I believed that, by writing these messages in English, that would serve the same purpose as encryption,” Darroch said. “The fact that Trump was somehow able to decode them remains deeply mysterious to me.”

Darroch said that, “out of an abundance of caution,” he took further steps to make the cables indecipherable to Trump, deploying multisyllabic words such as “dysfunctional.” “Clearly, I did not take into account the possibility that one of his aides might read these cables aloud to him and explain what all of the long words meant,” he said. “I was not aware that there was anyone at the White House capable of performing such duties.”

In Washington, Trump appeared not to be taking the insulting cables personally. “The British are just mad at us for taking over their airports in the eighteenth century,” he said.
July 11, 2019

A message to Trump Supporters

A message to all tRump supporters:

When this national nightmare is over....and it WILL be over, hopefully sooner rather than later....and the country is returned to normalcy, order is restored, and patriotism and common sense replaces bigotry, hate and stupidity, don't expect to regain the stature you once enjoyed as a citizen and return to the society you ransomed to placate your hate. Everything this country once stood for....everything better men and women than you sacrificed their lives to protect and preserve....everything we held dear to our hearts, was cast aside, thrown away, denigrated, defiled, stepped on, ridiculed, and despised by you in order to support the most corrupt, dishonest, fascist traitor to every occupy the people's house.

When our free press told you the truth about him, you rallied behind his cries of "fake news" and supported his attack on our free press.

When fake "Christian" religious frauds attempted to hijack religious freedom in order to force feed their own deluded brand of bigotry and hate disguised as "Christian values" you stood by and let them stoke your inbred prejudices.

When the same mindset that turned Germany into Nazi Germany in the 1930's tried to establish a foothold here, you again showed your true colors and instead of quashing it in its tracks, you abandoned the spirit of this country, forgot history, and allowed its hatred and division to seep into our society.

When healthcare was taken away from the most at-risk of our society, you allowed it to happen.

When children were denied food and healthcare, you supported it.

When innocent African-Americans were murdered by law enforcement, you remained silent, only to finally raise your voices in disgust and hatred when they knelt in protest.

When children were murdered in schools and sane gun legislation was called for, you sided with the gun lobby and decided that the murder of school children was more favorable than sensible gun laws.

When hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens were denied their constitutional and human rights simply because of who they chose to love, you allowed discrimination and hate to overtake your sensibility and relegated them to second-class citizenry, using YOUR "religious freedom" as the rationalization for the hatred you hid behind.

When environmental policies that demanded clean water and clean air were thrown aside in order to coddle to the monetary interests of the polluters, you remained silent.

When policies that assisted the homeless, the elderly, the needy, the hungry, the veterans, the retired, and the sick were systematically nullified and terminated in order to transfer that tax money into the pockets of billionaires, you turned a blind eye to their struggles.

When children seeking refuge were taken from their parents and housed in cages, instead of outrage you supported the victimization and maltreatment of refugees seeking asylum.

When the reputation of this country and our commitment to our steadfast allies were trashed in order to appease our most rabid enemies, you supported the traitors who betrayed the country and everything we once stood for.

In every instance where compassion, civility, sympathy, acceptance, inclusion, humanity, fairness, justice, and respectability were needed, you supported the policies and the people who showed no compassion, no civility, no sympathy, no acceptance, no inclusion, no humanity, no fairness, no justice, and no respectability to anyone whose very existence they disregarded and refused to legitimize.

So again, when this is finally over, don't expect to be accepted back into the society of the REAL Americans you stabbed in the back simply to legitimize your own prejudices. At every turn....at every chance....at every opportunity, when you were called on to support the foundation and pillars that this country was built on, you looked the other way and were willing to support those who were tearing down those pillars and destroying that foundation. You had no qualms about sacrificing this country to justify your own intolerance. When the choice was to support your country and its constitutional guarantees for everyone, or support the traitor who has worked tirelessly to destroy those constitutional guarantees, you chose the corrupt wannabe dictator over the constitution. Please know that there are many of us, this person especially, who truly love this country, and are intelligent enough to see the damage your misguided support of this administration has reaped. I, for one, will NEVER FORGET and NEVER FORGIVE you for the choice you made and what that choice did to this country.'

July 9, 2019

Just a little good news story about our eldest.

We almost all of us know the pain of losing one of our fur babies. I thought I might post a sort of good news story about NOT losing one. Our oldest, Bosley, who will turn 16 next month, seemed to be going rapidly downhill. He wasn't eating, was staggering when he walked - to the extent he would occasionally simply collapse when walking on a tile floor, like he couldn't keep control of his feet. We started trying to prepare ourselves for that dreaded one-way trip to vet. Bosley has been with us for 12 years. He was rescued from a Missouri puppy mill and we adopted him from Pet Smart on an adoption day. When we first brought him home he didn't know how to go up or down steps, would come when we called him with his tail between his legs thinking he had done something wrong and was about to be punished. A few days after we brought him home I had to go into our 'storage' room. Bosley followed me in and was to interested in the stuff in there to want to come out. I finally used the voice you use when you want a child to understand you are serious. Bosley literally went into hysterics, thinking that I was really, really angry with him. He cried and cried and wouldn't stop until I picked him up and stroked him and told him it was OK. It didn't take long for him to realize his life had changed for the better and for us to realize we had an absolute gem.

Bosley has known every cat and dog we have had and has gotten along with them all. As he approached 16 he started showing his age, but was still eating everything placed in front of him. Then the above started happening, trouble walking, not eating, having accidents in the house and so on.

And then the other day, I was going through the pet medicine drawer and found a prescription we had gotten for Bosley while back when he was being bothered with arthritis. I figured it couldn't hurt and started giving him one a day. Within two days all the the symptoms receded, he started eating everything in sight, started taking himself outside to do his business (I had been carrying him), and begging treats, and walking around.

We know he's almost 16 years old, and that is really old for one of our furkids, but at least it seems like he will be around for a while longer and for that we are grateful.

July 6, 2019

Luis Alverez - The 9/11 responder who died 3 days after testifying before Congress


Born in Cuba, Alvarez emigrated to the U.S. as a child, and after high school served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Once released from the service, he continued in public service: he joined the New York Police Department in 1990. After being promoted to Detective and working in narcotics, including undercover, he decided to do something “less stressful” — he volunteered for the Bomb Squad. When the 9/11 terrorist attacks hit New York, Alvarez responded to the scene. He worked there for three months, first looking for survivors, and then trying to find the remains of other first responders who were killed, so they could be identified and laid to rest. For his trouble, Alvarez was stricken with cancer, which was linked to his exposure to the toxic debris of the World Trade Center buildings. He retired early from the NYPD in 2010.

Alvarez’s name might sound familiar to you: earlier this month he testified before Congress in a heartfelt plea to remember the first responders who dropped everything and ran toward the World Trade Center to help, as everyone else was trying their best to get away. “I will not stand by and watch as my friends with cancer from 9/11 like me are valued less than anyone else because of when they get sick,” he told a House Judiciary subcommittee in Washington on June 11, asking for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to be fully funded. “You made me come here the day before my 69th round of chemo. I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.” Since Alvarez was on duty on 9/11, he had the health care he needed — but many others didn’t, he said, and that’s who he was fighting for. “I’m lucky to have the health care that I’ve got, but there are guys out there who don’t have it,” he said outside the committee hearing. “In terms of going through the stress of fighting cancer, they’re also fighting the financial stress of the health care.” And he had no regrets: “I did not want to be anywhere else but ground zero when I was there,” Alvarez told the subcommittee. But, “Now the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us, and we are all worried about our children, our spouses and our families, and what happens if we are not here.” He also pointed out the Ground Zero responders were lied to. “We were told the air was safe down there and it wasn’t,” Alvarez said. “But you know what, that doesn’t matter. Because we would have went in anyway. Because that’s what we do. It’s not a job for us. It’s a calling.” It turns out he never did his 69th round of chemotherapy: his liver was shutting down, and he instead went into care in a hospice on New York’s Long Island.

But Alvarez made one more statement from there: he sent something to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell through his friend John Feal, a supervisor at Ground Zero. When Feal shook McConnell’s hand, he left something in the Senator’s hand: Alvarez’s police badge. “For a New York City police officer to give up his badge,” Feal said afterward, “that’s like somebody donating an organ, and Luis wanted the Senate majority leader to understand the importance of this, and to be reminded that people are sick and dying.” Three days later, on June 29, Alvarez died in the hospice. Despite appearing to be in his 80s, that was just the cancer ravaging his body: he was only 53.

Author’s Note: Alvarez posted this on Facebook about 10 weeks before he died, and it’s pasted here with minor edits for clarity. The original is at the link.

Well worth the time to follow the link to read the Facebook referenced above. Just click in the like at top.
July 2, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence Called Back To White House, Cancels NH Event

Source: CBS Local Affilate

MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) — Vice President Mike Pence was set to speak about the opioid crisis in New Hampshire on Tuesday, but the event was abruptly canceled.

An official close to Pence told CNN that there is no emergency, and “the VP was called back to the White House but no cause for alarm.”

A spokeswoman for Pence tweeted that “something came up that required the VP to remain in Washington, DC.”

CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports that officials are not offering more details about the cancellation, but say it’s “not health related to the Pres or VP or national security related.”

Read more: https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/07/02/mike-pence-new-hampshire-event-white-house-vp/

July 2, 2019

Just started watching the latest season of 'Madam Secretary' on NETFLIX.

All I can say is OMG. While not quite up to 'West Wing' it comes close and boy is it topical. We watched the first two episodes and boy along with everything else, they were sticking it to Trump in every way, without ever referring to him. (They did have a cameo with Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Hillary Clinton.)

Strongly recommended!

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