Garrison Keillor: Beauty is truth and truth is factual (Washington Post)
And truth has a way of catching up with presidents.
Kathleen Parker: Trump just can't seem to stop telling the truth (Washington Post)
Trump can't help himself. Lies seem to bore him, even when told in his defense. They're too much trouble. And, besides, he's always gotten his way by speaking his and everyone else's mind. His impulse to share his unfiltered thoughts is precisely what makes him both entertaining and a terrible president.
Mark Morford: How do you like your End Times, America? (SF Gate)
Is it God's wrath, come 'round again? Are the heavens furious over, say, Houston's lesbian mayor? Or Florida's idiotic, science-denying governor? What about all the open-carry trolls with guns? Is it the inbred neo-Nazis? The gays? The Muslim ban? What about the Orange Goblin? Surely the gods are none too pleased that America has selected a flatulent, cruel, insane old demon gameshow host to lead the world's most powerful nation into tar pits of karmic hell?
Cecilia Saixue Watt: Are these clowns really gang members? Juggalos protest FBI's label (The Guardian)
Insane Clown Posse fans are fighting a government report calling them a gang - which they say is emblematic of broader injustices against the working class.
Jon Ronson: "Insane Clown Posse: And God created controversy" (The Guardian)
America's nastiest rappers in shocking revelation - they've been evangelical Christians all along.
Adam Gabbatt: "Juggalo March on Washington: Insane Clown Posse fans to demand end to 'gang' designation" (The Guardian)
Demonstration organized by horrorcore band and its label seeks to highlight FBI's 2011 classification of fans, which they say has prompted discrimination.
Jonathan Jones: Why we can't escape the rise of 'plop art' (The Guardian)
Rachel Whiteread is right - Britain is full of bad public art. But debates on the subject are irreconcilable: one person's plop is another's poetic vision.
Jill Lawless: Visionary British theater director Peter Hall dies at 86 (Associated Press)
LONDON (AP) - Peter Hall, a visionary theater director and impresario who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company and helped build Britain's National Theatre into a producing powerhouse, has died. He was 86.
Michael Billingham: "Peter Hall: a titan of the theatre and a vulnerable, sensitive man" (The Guardian)
In conversations with Hall over 40 years, I encountered a creative powerhouse who exuded confidence yet could be a strangely solitary figure.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
EVERYONE hates Ted Cruz. Twitter slays the Master Debater in this link. As awful as it is to look at his disgusting face, the series of tweets of various (orgasmic?) expressions is hilarious:
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"PAVE PARADISE. PUT UP A PARKING LOT."
THREE DAYS IN THE SWAMP.
MR. TRUMP MEETS THE POTATO HEADS.
TRANSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY! THIS IS NOT A JOKE.
TRUMP'S NEXT PARDON.
A WORD FROM MY SPONSOR.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Cozi TV replaced 'The Avengers' with 'Ironside'. Boo. Hiss.
Opens Hurricane Benefit
Music legend Stevie Wonder wants people who don't believe in climate change to open their eyes.
Wonder, of course, has been blind since shortly after birth.
Along with highlighting the devastating effects of climate change, Wonder also appealed for people to love each other and the planet.
"When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences and no political persuasions," he said. "It just loves."
Wonder then launched into "Lean On Me," backed by the Houston Gospel Choir.
Top Drama Premiere Since 'This Is Us'
First things first: Seth MacFarlane's "The Orville" is technically a drama. It is an hour-long show, and that's just how it works - right, "Orange Is the New Black"?
Now that we've got that out of the way: "The Orville" just landed broadcast's best series premiere for a drama since NBC's "This Is Us" debuted just over a year ago. (We're excluding post-Super Bowl premieres, by the way, because that's just unfair.)
In time-zone adjusted final Nielsen numbers, MacFarlane's out-of-this-world vehicle drew a 2.8 rating in the key 18-49 demographic on Sunday, and 8.6 million total viewers that night. The 2.8 is actually tied for the best rating of any broadcast entertainment show since the "This Is Us" season finale aired in May.
There's obviously a lot of things to note in this post, and here's another: Nielsen's Florida data-collection center was evacuated for Hurricane Irma, causing reporting delays from Sunday through Tuesday, which explains why we're sharing Sunday night numbers for the first time on a Wednesday. And then there was football to unpack out of Fox's first figures, as live sports impact primetime's initial averages. Now here we are.
After this coming Sunday, however, the space dramedy will move to its regular Thursdays at 9 p.m. time slot, with "Gotham" as its (much lower-rated) lead-in. So, ah, good luck with those Week 3 comparisons, Seth.
Hide By Day, Forage At Night
Like escaped convicts, elephants in eastern Africa have learned to travel at night and hide during the day to avoid poachers who are hunting tuskers into extinction, researchers reported Wednesday.
Normally elephants forage for food and migrate in daylight, while resting under cover of darkness.
"As most poaching occurs during the daytime, their transition to nocturnal behaviour appears to be a direct result of prevailing poaching levels," said Festus Ihwagi, a researcher at the University of Twente in The Netherlands.
In an upcoming study, Ihwagi details his findings, based on data gathered from 60 elephants in northern Kenya tracked with GPS devices for up to three years during the period 2002 to 2012.
Working with the NGO Save the Elephants, which has fitted more than 100 of the animals with GPS collars, Ihwagi monitored the movements of 28 females and 32 males in and around the Laikipa-Samburu ecosystem.
Following in his predecessors' footsteps, President-for-now Trump (R-Crooked) has tapped generous political supporters to join the ranks of America's ambassadors. Among their official, administration-vetted qualifications: church choir singer, cookbook writer, and Fox News punditry.
Trump isn't the first president whose "ambassadonors" have boasted of sometimes curious qualifications for the job. As Yahoo News documented in 2014, the Obama administration underlined that its nominee to be ambassador to Hungary, soap opera producer Colleen Bell, "speaks conversational Spanish." (The Senate confirmed her to the post).
Still, the "Certificates of Competency" that the Trump administration is required to produce for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee can make for interesting reading. The mini-biographies are designed to be formal explanations for why a nominee deserves confirmation. But they sometimes reach well beyond standard diplomatic skill sets or typical professional achievements in a way that adds a personal - though not necessarily relevant - touch.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Jamie McCourt has spread her political donations around over the years - giving to Democrats as well as Republicans. Trump nominated her to be ambassador to France and to Monaco in early August. Nestled among the long list of her private-sector achievements and stints as an adjunct business school professor is this: "She has written a cookbook, to be published later this year." (It had, in fact, come out a few months before her nomination. A blurb for "Jamie's Road: Cooking in a Crowded Life," notes that she studied cooking in Provence, France, and learned to appreciate its "buttery classics.")
Adultress Callista Gingrich, nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, is "the author of the New York Times bestselling Ellis the Elephant children's series." And "she has sung for over 20 years at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C." Gingrich's certificate plays up her Catholic faith, a reflection not just of her presumed posting but of concerns among some in the administration about sending someone to the Vatican whose husband's marital history - she is former House speaker Newt Gingrich's third wife - is not especially in line with Catholic doctrine.
House Rejects Order
U.S. House lawmakers on Tuesday adopted a trio of bipartisan measures meant to rein in civil asset forfeiture, a controversial law enforcement practice that allows police to confiscate property from individuals without ever convicting them of a crime, and often without even charging them.
In a series of unanimous voice votes, the House moved to block the implementation of a Justice Department directive earlier this year that encouraged these types of seizures. In July, Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-Greedy Elf) announced he was reversing Obama-era restrictions on adoptive forfeitures, which had allowed state and local law enforcement agencies to seize property suspected of being linked to a crime, before passing the civil cases off to federal prosecutors.
Under this process, local police agencies could evade stricter state laws on civil forfeiture by deferring to more lax federal standards. Critics saw Sessions' directive as a threat to the growing movement to clamp down on civil forfeiture at the state level. Since 2014, more than 20 states and Washington, D.C., have passed reforms addressing the practice, often adding protections for property owners that extend far beyond those at the federal level.
Although the DOJ's policy change was accompanied by a handful of safeguards that officials claimed would protect against abuse, some House lawmakers were apparently not convinced. The three amendments all seek to deny federal funds to the department's adoptive forfeiture program, effectively nullifying July's announcement.
A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered Martin Shkreli to be jailed while he awaits sentencing for securities fraud, citing a Facebook post in which the former drug company offered a $5,000 reward for a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair.
Shkreli, who had been free on $5 million bail since his December 2015 arrest, was silent and stony-faced as U.S. marshals led out of U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto's Brooklyn courtroom.
Matsumoto ruled that Shkreli's Sept. 4 post, made shortly before Clinton embarked on a book tour, showed he posed a danger to the public. She rejected arguments by Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, that the post was protected free speech.
"This is a solicitation of assault in exchange for money," the judge said. "That is not protected by the First Amendment."
Matsumoto rebuffed Brafman's repeated pleas to reconsider her decision, or at least give Shkreli until Monday to prove he was not a danger.
Arrive in Europe
The U.S. Army docked tanks and other fighting vehicles in northern Poland Wednesday, swelling its presence to two armored brigades in Europe. The reinforcement is a response to regional fears that Moscow may attempt another landgrab in its former sphere of influence, following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
NATO has already deployed four multinational battalions across Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to assure Russia's western neighbors their allies will defend them if needed. In a separate move to the allied troops' tour, the U.S. military has now sent the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, to Gdansk on a year-round basis, according to the Pentagon's Stars and Stripes newspaper. The arrival, although pre-planned, takes place days before Russia's large military drill in nearby Belarus. Poland and many of its neighbors have expressed suspicions that the exercise is a practice for a future invasion.
The nine-month-long rotational tour will coincide with a U.S. armored brigade, already on duty in Europe-the Colorado-based 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson.
"This will be the first time two armored brigades transition within the European theater sending a full complement of soldiers and equipment into Germany and Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve," said Master Sergeant Brent Williams, a spokesman for the command element overseeing operations in eastern Europe. The operation is part of a series of exercises across the eastern flank of Europe, touring from Bulgaria to Estonia and training alongside local forces.
In the coming weeks the 3rd brigade will help ease their newly arrived peers, teaching them lessons they have learned themselves during their deployment. The 2nd brigade has spent the past year training for the tour, the units commander, Colonel David Gardner said.
Lands $600M Contract
The U.S. Air Force on Tuesday awarded Boeing a contract worth just less than $600 million to begin the preliminary design of the next Air Force One planes.
As the Republican presidential candidate, President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Grifter) critiqued the cost of the program, bringing much public attention to one of the Air Force's smaller procurement efforts. But while the service has stated that it was able to get a good deal on the two Boeing 747-8s that will become the next Air Force Ones, it reiterated that cost-saving work will continue during the preliminary design phase.
The Air Force added in a statement to reporters: "Those [cost-saving] opportunities identified will be reviewed to ensure mission capabilities are not degraded. The entire preliminary design effort will keep a focus on affordability. … The Air Force is committed to working with Boeing to ensure the PAR program meets presidential airlift mission requirements, as well as the president's affordability expectations."
Due to the attention from Trump, the Air Force and White House worked together to reevaluate the Air Force requirements with an eye on shearing off expensive and non-vital capabilities.
The service has disclosed some changes to the overall design, such as nixing a requirement for aerial refueling. However, for the most part, it has kept mum about how requirements have changed and how much money has been saved on the program.
Corporate Bio Drops Birther Reference
Donald Trump's (R-Buffoon) involvement with the birther movement, which centred around the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, has been removed from his corporate biography.
The line, which has been included in the President's biography since 2015, was removed at some point between 13 January and 24 January this year, by the Trump Organisation.
On multiple occasions he challenged Mr Obama to release his birth certificate, which he eventually did.
The long form version showed he was born in Hawaii. Mr Trump finally stopped the accusations in September 2016.
His role in the conspiracy theory was previously mentioned in his corporate biography but it has now been removed completely.