Marc Dion: The Man Who Wouldn't Pledge the Flag (Creators Syndicate)
"Some of my family fought in the Revolutionary War," she said. "They didn't want to salute ANYTHING!"
Amanda Holpuch and Lauren Gambino: "'Close to genocide': San Juan mayor's dire appeal to US for Puerto Rico relief" (The Guardian)
Carmen Yulín Cruz makes direct call to Donald Trump: 'I am begging you to take charge and save lives. Enough is enough'
Josh Marshall: Livin' La Vida Trumpa (TPM)
If you work for Trump as one of his people - not the thousands who must work for various Trump businesses but the high level, visible retainers - you get to enjoy the lifestyle. But the price is total loyalty, total self-abnegation and whatever loss of dignity is required to serve Trump. Many people seem to be happy with that bargain.
Alison Flood: Melania Trump book donation rejected by school librarian (The Guardian)
Massachusetts librarian turns down the first lady's offer of Dr Seuss books, saying they should go to less privileged communities.
Cameron Joseph: National GOP Groups Spent $81K To Defend Price's House Seat For Every Day In Cabinet (TPM)
Former Rep. Tom Price's (R-GA) move to President Trump's cabinet opened up a seat that ended up costing national Republican groups $18.8 million to keep in their hands, part of the $60 million spent total on the most expensive House race in U.S. history. Now he's been pushed out after spending hundreds of thousands of government money on unnecessary private jet travel.
Peter Bradshaw: Blade Runner 2049 review - a gigantic spectacle of pure hallucinatory craziness (The Guardian)
Ryan Gosling plays an LAPD officer heading for an encounter with Harrison Ford's Deckard in a film whose sheer scale leaves you hyperventilating.
Hadley Freeman: Let's have more sex in the movies - but please can it be the fun type? (The Guardian)
Movies like Daphne depict casual sex among women as a sign of low self-esteem, wholly divorced from desire.
Bim Adewunmi: It feels ridiculous to say 'I like jazz', but this gig was something special (The Guardian)
It always feels slightly ridiculous to say, "I like jazz", because in the public imagination people who like jazz are often horrible chin-strokers who want to tell you all about something obscure and unlistenable. Which is fair because, in truth, some of the worst conversations I've endured were ostensibly wrapped around jazz - I say "ostensibly" because, honestly, the subject's incidental. The common denominator is know-it-all men. And no one on Earth is worse than a man who is generous with his music opinions.
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Michelle in AZ
Lovely trip with friends!
Such a lovely trip and even managed to do a little business while spending our dollars! More details about the VA idiot:
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
TAKE A WALK.
IT'S TIME TO FLUSH TRUMP DOWN THE TOILET.
HOW TO RUN A GOVERNMENT. HEE HAW!
THE HIGH PRICE OF TRUMP.
HOW TO HELP.
FROM LA TO ANYWHERE.
"THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!"
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Man With An Opinion
American author Stephen King has returned to Twitter to blast President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Odious), this time attacking him over his tax reform plan.
The prolific author of The Shining, It and Carrie took to the social media site on Thursday after Trump unveiled his plan.
"Trump's no friend of the working man. If you're working for wages, brothers and sisters, he couldn't give Shit One about you," King tweeted.
"Check his tax plan. Same old same old. The fat man's busy dancing while the poor man pays the band."
It is not the first time King has attacked the president using profanity-laden tweets. Earlier this month the horror author said Trump was "fucked-up" over a tweet he had posted mocking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Buy Xbox For 10-Year-Old Boy
A young Dallas Cowboys fan wearing a San Francisco 49ers jersey walked into a GameStop in Virginia and left with an Xbox One purchased by two Washington Redskins players.
The reason? Ten-year-old Jaden Watts was wearing Colin Kaepernick's number.
The heartwarming moment, which took place in Dulles earlier this week, captured the current spirit of the NFL. In recent months, many players across the league have followed Kaepernick's lead and peacefully protested against police brutality, racial injustice and in defiance of President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Crooked).
In comments posted to Facebook, Saundra Watts said her grandson Jaden walked into a GameStop while she was next door at a makeup store. He then ran back to her saying that some guys wanted to buy him an Xbox One. "So I go next door and as I am walking over there I am thinking what pervert wants to buy my grandson an Xbox," Saundra wrote on Facebook. "I am thinking he is going to be in for a rude awakening when I bust through these doors. (I am an advocate for abused and neglected kids)."
But the two men were Washington Redskins players Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley. Jaden said they complimented his jersey, noticed he was asking about an Xbox for his birthday and offered to buy it for him.
"Me nor my granson [sic] had a clue who they were," Saundra wrote. "They now have 2 fans for life."
Building Massive Mars Prototype City In Desert
Dubai certainly doesn't shy away from grand, magnificent projects, but this is truly something else.
The United Arab Emirates government has assigned world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels, founder of the aptly named BIG study, to build nothing less than a prototype Mars city in the desert, and the designs are stunning.
The announcement came a few days before Elon Musk said SpaceX will start robotic flights to Mars by 2022, with humans on Mars by 2024.
That timeline is considerably quicker than the UAE's plans for a "mini-city" on Mars by 2117. In February, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a series of tweets that "Mars 2117" will involve Emirati and international scientists. "We're building a space pioneering passion among our young people," he said.
The Mars Science City project is another step in that direction. At a cost of nearly $140 million, it will cover 1.9 million square feet and will provide "a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars."
Putin Critic Detained By Police
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained by police as he left his Moscow home on Friday to attend a pre-election rally in a provincial town.
Russia holds a presidential election in March which incumbent Vladimir Putin is widely expected to contest. Navalny hopes to run despite Russia's central election commission declaring him ineligible because of a suspended prison sentence which he says was politically-motivated.
Navalny said on social media on Friday that police had detained him in the lobby of his apartment block and told him they wanted to interview him at a police station.
He was released around 11 hours later and told to appear in court on Monday to face charges of repeatedly violating laws governing the organization of public meetings and rallies, Navalny's spokeswoman told Reuters. He faces up to 30 days in jail if found guilty, she said.
Justice Department, FBI Resist Demands For Files
The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI are resisting demands from a Republican lawmaker to hand over documents about a former British spy's dossier on purported Russian support for Donald Trump's (R-Golden Shower) 2016 election campaign, because the FBI has its own open criminal investigation, officials said.
The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas in August seeking "any and all documents" about both agencies' dealings with former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, according to a letter seen by Reuters from committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump supporter.
Steele compiled the so-called Trump dossier, which Trump was told by FBI director James Comey contained salacious material about the businessman-turned president. Trump and his associates have said the dossier's contents were false.
Law enforcement and congressional officials said that the Justice Department and the FBI were reluctant to comply with the demand for documents as the FBI had its own probe, under the supervision of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into U.S. allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign to tilt the November election in Trump's favor.
Two officials said Nunes met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein behind closed doors on Thursday to discuss the subpoenas.
FEMA Insists Containers Aren't Filled With Aid
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CBS just two days ago that thousands of shipping containers with food, water and medicine are just sitting in the port of San Juan not being distributed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is disputing those claims.
On Friday morning, Deputy FEMA Administrator Daniel Kaniewski told CNN that the containers in the San Juan port likely hold retail goods and not hurricane relief supplies.
"There are millions of meals and millions of liters of water that are on the island right now that are in the process of being distributed," Kaniewski said during a live interview. "Now, we've seen video images of cargo containers sitting in the port. I can assure you that those are not FEMA containers. Those are retail goods that have probably been sitting there for days or weeks."
"FEMA containers and commodities are going and have been received at regional distribution centers," Kaniewski continued. "Those regional distribution centers then distribute it to the 78 municipalities" that make up Puerto Rico.
The Washington Post similarly reported on Thursday that some of those containers sitting in port were filled with commercial goods for stores such as Home Depot and Walgreens. Jose Ayala, vice president for Puerto Rico services at the Crowley shipping company, told the paper that post-Hurricane Maria, "there is damage to the trucking infrastructure" that normally moves the goods from the port to supermarkets and stores.
67th Day Golfing
While Puerto Rico's infrastructure lies in tatters and food and medicine shortages endanger survivors on the hurricane-stricken island, Donald Trump (R-Execrable) appears to have been busy practicising his favourite pastime.
The President-for-now started his day at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster in New Jersey. This is the billionaire businessman's 67th day at a golf course and 87th day at a Trump property since becoming president.
Trump, who has spent a substantial proportion of his presidency teeing off, regularly rebuked Barack Obama for playing too much golf but has radically outpaced his predecessor.
"Trump starts his day at Trump Nat'l Golf Club in NJ. This is his 67th day at a golf course, 87th day at a Trump property as president," said Kyle Griffin, a producer for MSNBC's The Last Word.
The tragedy unfolding in Puerto Rico prompted few mentions from Trump in the days after Hurricane Maria despite him tweeting about numerous other subjects.
'God Makes No Mistakes'
A mother ignored a midwife's warning their newborn baby could die of jaundice on religious grounds and refused to seek treatment for her child.
Rachel Joy Piland, from Michigan, told the midwife "God makes no mistakes", according to a police detective who testified in court last week.
Detective Peter Scaccia said: "Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating God makes no mistakes. She indicated to the midwife that the baby was fine."
Two days later on 9 February her daughter died from unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus, according to an autopsy by a medical examiner. Both of these conditions are linked to jaundice - a common condition in newborn babies that can resolve itself on its own but requires a doctor to monitor.
The case is likely to put the Pilands' apparent belief in divine healing and the religious group they have been involved in Faith Tech Ministries directly against government officials who argue parents are responsible for obtaining medical care for their infant.
'God Makes No Mistakes'
This is the footage which shows the British ambassador to Burma cutting off Boris Johnson's recitation of a colonial-era poem in the country's holiest site, in what has been labelled a "stunning" gaffe.
Visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon earlier this year, the Foreign Secretary began quoting the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling's Mandalay.
The poem is written through the eyes of a retired British serviceman in Burma and also references kissing a local girl.
During the visit, after describing a golden Buddhist statue as a "very big guinea pig", Mr Johnson burst into prose.
The footage was shot by Channel 4 as part of a documentary on Mr Johnson's fitness for Prime Ministerial office.
Monty Hall, one of the most popular game show hosts in American television history as he presided over a throng of outrageously costumed and nearly delirious contestants on "Let's Make a Deal" for almost three decades, died on Saturday at age 96, his son, Richard said.
Members of his audiences, dressed as clowns, playing cards or giant tomatoes, would shriek "Monty, Monty, Monty!" as they tried to convince Hall to give them a chance to win a washing machine or a new Cadillac. Sometimes the prizes were a "zonk" - a gag gift such as a live donkey or a wrecked car.
Hall was the co-creator of "Let's Make a Deal" and hosted more than 4,000 episodes from 1963 to 1986 (with occasional hiatuses) and then again in 1990 and 1991. The show drew good ratings even as it jumped from network to network and into syndication.
"Let's Make a Deal" became a part of American pop culture, with Hall one of the most recognizable stars on TV.
Hall also produced other game shows, hosted variety shows and appeared as a guest star on television series. He was known for charity work for organizations including Variety Clubs International, which raised money for disadvantaged children.
He was born Monte Halperin on Aug. 25, 1921, in Winnipeg, the son of a slaughterhouse owner father and an actress mother. After working in radio in Canada, he came to the United States in 1955.
In the early 1960s, he was developing game shows and joined forces with TV veteran Stefan Hatos. They devised "Let's Make a Deal" in which Hall picked people from the audience to become contestants in sort of a trading game. Initially, audience members wore normal clothing but started wearing costumes and carrying funny signs to get Hall's attention.
Hall would offer contestants a modest prize, then give them a chance to trade it for a mystery prize hidden by a curtain, stashed in a big box or concealed behind door No. 1, door No. 2 or door No. 3. That prize might be worth thousands of dollars or might be a "zonk" like a farm animal. Audience members jumped up and down, shouted, cried and kissed Hall when they won, and sometimes even when they lost.
Hall made appearances on revivals of the show, including the version hosted by comedian Wayne Brady starting in 2009.
In 1991, the New York Times published an article about what became known as "the Monty Hall problem" - a probability puzzle hotly debated by mathematicians centering on the advisability of switching choices when given options like those on his show. The conundrum was featured in the 2008 film "21" with Kevin Spacey.