Marc Dion: First Date With Russia (Creators Syndicate)
America, having spent Valentine's Day 2016 alone, was searching for a soulmate. America's been talking to Russia online, exchanging emails, keeping things on the down low, and it's been looking pretty good. Russia is manly. Russia is strong. Russia has plans for global expansion. We heard Russia beat up the Crimea, and it made us America hot. So, America got one of those spray tans, and dyed its hair orange. America put on some Ivanka Trump sleaze heels and a blouse that shows off quite a bit of the Rocky Mountains, and went on a first date with big, strong Russia.
Molly Reilly: "Donald Trump Calls The Media 'The Enemy Of The American People'" (Huffington Post)
The president is again lashing out at the press.
Christian Christensen: Europe's biggest paper ran a bogus refugee 'sex mob' story. What now? (The Guardian)
No quantity of retractions, excuses or apologies from the outlets that ran with it will heal the damage. That goes for 'Bowling Green' and other false stories, too.
Phil McDuff: Donald Trump isn't mad - he's the arrogant boss we've all seen before (The Guardian)
For millennia, entitled men have had their boorish behaviour rewarded. Far from insane, the US president is the epitome of a depressingly recognisable type.
Carole Cadwalladr: "Daniel Dennett: 'I begrudge every hour I have to spend worrying about politics'"(The Guardian)
Truth has long been a key concern for the American philosopher. He's in the UK to discuss his latest book on consciousness, but there's just no escaping Trumpů
Felix Clay: 4 Ways A Normal American Day Is Absolutely Bonkers To Others (Cracked)
4. Eating Junk Food
David Barnett: Neil Gaiman announces Neverwhere sequel, The Seven Sisters (The Guardian)
Author says the new fantasy novel has been inspired by his work with UN refugee agency and 'the shape London is in now.'
Mike McCahill: John Wick: Chapter 2 review - a bigger, bloodier, broodier sequel (The Guardian)
Well-executed follow-up ramps up the shootouts, leaving monosyllabic Keanu Reeves never more than 9mm from a bloody gun battle.
Jordan Freiman: Family absolutely destroys dead relative with brutal obituary (Death and Taxes Magazine)
With Leslie's passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend. No services will be held, there will be no prayers for eternal peace and no apologizes to the family he tortured. Leslie's remains will be cremated and kept in the barn until "Ray", the family donkey's wood shavings run out. Leslie's passing proves that evil does in fact die and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.
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"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
Drinking coffee, completing that poll and sharing on social media. Talk about trolling! I haven't had this much fun before breakfast in a while. Heh.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
A SUCCESSFUL TRAIN WRECK.
THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU PEE!
LEAK ME A RIVER!
FUN AND GAMES WITH THE TRUMPSTER!
WHAT DID HE KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
The last storm dumped 2.7" of rain, most of it in under 3 hours.
Lincoln, Washington and Roosevelt
Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt were ranked as the top three U.S. presidents in history respectively while Barack Obama entered the rankings in the 12th spot, based on a survey of historians released on Friday.
Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower rounded out the top five of 43 presidents in U.S. history, a survey of historians' rankings of presidential leadership found.
It was the third such survey released by the C-SPAN television network ahead of the Presidents Day weekend.
The survey, which was held twice before in 2000 and 2009, asked 91 presidential historians to rank the 43 former presidents based on 10 attributes of leadership.
Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan were ranked as the worst presidents in U.S. history, even lower than William Henry Harrison, who served for only one month.
States in the American West are marking the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that forced 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans into internment camps.
Most were from Oregon, California and Washington state. Adults, including the elderly, and children could only bring what they could carry and were transported by bus and train, often with blacked-out windows, They were sent, ostensibly to avoid sabotage and spying, to camps in California, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and other states as far away as Arkansas.
Oregon, California and Washington are not only marking Sunday's anniversary, but politicians and activists say America must learn from this dark chapter of history.
Washington state began recognizing Feb. 19 as an annual Day of Remembrance 14 years ago.
In California, the Legislature has passed resolutions proclaiming Feb. 19 as the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and recognizing a Day of Remembrance.
New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday blocked a bill that would have allowed employees in union-represented jobs to opt out of paying their dues, a rare defeat in a Republican-controlled legislature for one of the party's national priorities.
Lawmakers in Missouri and Kentucky this year had already passed similar "right to work" measures, which are now in place in 28 U.S. states.
Despite support from New Hampshire's Republican Governor Chris Sununu, even advocates had acknowledged before the vote that it could fail, and the 200-177 margin showed significant numbers of Republicans voted against it.
One was a Republican representative, firefighter and Iraq war veteran who told his colleagues at the statehouse in Concord that unions had been instrumental in helping his fellow soldiers find well-paying work after returning home from war.
"Do we really want lower wages for our constituents?" asked the firefighter, Representative Sean Morrison. "Let us really work on what really brings jobs to our state."
Biologists Find Weird Cave Life
In a Mexican cave system so beautiful and hot that it is called both Fairyland and hell, scientists have discovered life trapped in crystals that could be 50,000 years old.
The bizarre and ancient microbes were found dormant in caves in Naica, Mexico, and were able to exist by living on minerals such as iron and manganese, said Penelope Boston, head of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.
If confirmed, the find is yet another example of how microbes can survive in extremely punishing conditions on Earth.
Though it was presented at a science conference and was the result of nine years of work, the findings haven't yet been published in a scientific journal and haven't been peer reviewed. Boston planned more genetic tests for the microbes she revived both in the lab and on site.
The life forms - 40 different strains of microbes and even some viruses - are so weird that their nearest relatives are still 10 percent different genetically. That makes their closest relative still pretty far away, about as far away as humans are from mushrooms, Boston said.
Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!
The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has refused Democratic requests to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump, is seeking criminal charges against a former State Department employee who helped set up Hillary Clinton's private email server.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Witch Hunt) of Utah sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-Racist) on Thursday asking him to convene a grand jury or charge Bryan Pagliano, the computer specialist who helped establish Clinton's server while she was secretary of state.
Pagliano did not comply with two subpoenas ordering him to appear before the oversight panel. The GOP-led committee later voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
Earlier this month, Chaffetz met with Trump at the White House and agreed not to discuss oversight. He has rebuffed calls for his panel to look into Trump's businesses and possible conflicts.
"Apparently, Chairman Chaffetz and President Trump are the only two people in Washington today who think we should still be investigating Secretary Clinton," Rep. Elijah Cumming said in a statement. He added: "The Oversight Committee can't afford to be distracted by political vendettas against Hillary Clinton while our constituents are begging us to conduct responsible oversight of President Trump."
Correlates Fracking With Quakes
Pennsylvania environmental regulators have found a likely correlation between a natural gas company's fracking operation and a series of tiny earthquakes in western Pennsylvania last year.
The quakes were recorded last April in Lawrence County, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh and close to a natural gas well pad owned by Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. They were too weak to be felt by humans and no damage was reported.
Fracking, a method to extract gas or oil from underground shale rock, has been tied to earthquakes in neighboring Ohio and other states, but never before in Pennsylvania, the nation's No. 2 natural gas-producing state.
Hilcorp stopped fracking at the well pad after the quakes. Company spokesman Justin Furnace said Friday the company has no plans to resume fracking at the site and will continue to work with the state to address any future concerns.
The company was using a technique at the well called "zipper fracturing," essentially the simultaneous fracking of two abutting horizontal wells. To reduce the likelihood of future quakes, Hilcorp agreed to discontinue the practice for wells less than a quarter-mile apart in the three townships where the quakes were recorded, DEP officials said.
T-rump's Winery Seeks More
The Trump Winery, owned by President Donald Trump's son Eric (R-The Spare), has sought to get more foreign workers to plant and harvest grapes this spring, a petition posted by the Department of Labor on Thursday stated. This comes after Trump, throughout his campaign trail, vowed to save American jobs and blamed immigrants for the job scene in the U.S.
The labor department's posting stated that Trump Vineyard Estates, LLC, is looking to bring in 23 workers under the federal H-2 visa program that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers if there are not enough Americans workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
According to Thursday's posting the workers will be paid $11.27 on hourly basis from April 3 to as late as Oct. 27. BuzzFeed, which was the first to report on the Trump Winery issue, said that over 100,000 foreigners have been employed in the U.S. annually since 2003, and that the program has benefited businesses related to the Trump family.
Furthermore, Trump-related companies have sought to bring in at least 286 foreign workers since he announced his presidential bid in June 2015, according to BuzzFeed. Several of those laborers are now employed as servers and housecleaners at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's luxury resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the report added.
While Trump Winery is seeking foreign labor, Wegmans - a Rochester, New York-based supermarket chain - is facing pressure from customers who are demanding the store to stop selling products from the company.
Phone Up For Auction
Adolf Hitler's personal telephone, which the Fuehrer used to dictate many of his deadly World War II commands, will hit the auction block this weekend, the US house selling it announced.
Originally a black Bakelite phone that was later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler's name, the relic was found in the Nazi leader's Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime's defeat.
Auction house Alexander Historical Auctions estimates its worth between $200,000 and $300,000.
Russian officers gifted the device to British Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner during a tour of the bunker shortly after Germany's surrender.
Increase In Wild Population
Mexican Gray Wolves
There are now more Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest than at any time since the federal government began trying to reintroduce the predators nearly two decades ago.
The annual survey released Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows at least 113 wolves are spread between southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona, marking an improvement over the 97 wolves that were documented the previous year.
The survey comes as the agency gathers comments on plans to release two packs of Mexican gray wolves in wilderness areas near the Arizona-New Mexico border this year in an effort to bolster a struggling population threatened by inbreeding.
The Fish and Wildlife Service released details this week of its latest plan, saying it will submit the public comments along with a request to the state of New Mexico for a permit to release the animals.
It will ultimately be up to New Mexico and a federal court whether the releases happen because the state and the agency are locked in a legal battle over the endangered predator, marking just the latest skirmish in a broader fight over states' rights and the Endangered Species Act.
Mexican Gray Wolves
Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff at the center of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that expanded abortion rights in the United States, has died. She was 69 and her death was confirmed by a journalist writing a book about the case, the Washington Post reports.
McCorvey, who was in an assisted-living facility in Texas at the time of her death, took on the pseudonym Jane Roe more than 40 years ago, when she was reportedly battling addiction and poverty. McCorvey, then 22, was struggling with an unwanted pregnancy. By the time the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in her favor, in a ruling celebrated by liberals and decried by conservatives ever since, McCorvey had already given birth. The child was eventually given up for adoption.
The cause of McCorvey's death was a heart ailment, the Post reports. While she spoke out in support of abortion rights in the 1980s, she later became an opponent of abortion.
Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's one-time drummer and the creator of one of hip-hop's most popular samples, has died at the age of 73. Stubblefield's wife Jody Hannon confirmed to Rolling Stone that Stubblefield died of kidney failure on Saturday.
Stubblefield, while a member of Brown's backing unit, performed on the funk legend's classic cuts like "Cold Sweat," "Ain't It Funky Now," "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got the Feelin'" and Brown's landmark LP Cold Sweat and Sex Machine.
However, it's a brief drum break, a snippet of a Stubblefield solo found on Brown's 1970 single for "Funky Drummer," that marked the drummer's biggest impact on music.
The drum break served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, ranging from Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," "Bring the Noise" and "Rebel Without a Cause" to N.W.A.'s "Fuck tha Police" and Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride," LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" and Run-D.M.C.'s "Run's House" to Beastie Boys' "Shadrach." Even Ed Sheeran's "Shirtsleeves" and George Michael's "Freedom '90" were among the over a thousand songs to sample Stubblefield's beat.