Cartoon: Trump vs Plato

Bizarro Trump

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Water works lawsuit puts Agribusiness on notice for nitrate pollution

Depending on your perspective, the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against three agriculture-heavy Iowa counties to hold them accountable for harmful nitrate contamination in the Raccoon River water supply can be a few things: a battle between farmers upstream and urban water users downstream, a common sense plan to get polluters to pay or a costly intrusion into private land use…

For Bill Stowe, general manager of the Des Moines Water Works, the nitrate problem was so acute in 2015 that the decision to sue was necessary…

We have spent several decades trying to work collaboratively with agriculture groups. Realistically that has gotten us nowhere. The curve continues to deteriorate in terms of water quality that we are experiencing here in central Iowa. We think that we are in a water quality crisis…It’s clear that we are facing a far worse condition in 2016 than we did 25 years ago.

The federal lawsuit came in 2015 after the Water Works was forced to operate their nitrate removal system for long stretches when record-high levels of the toxic nitrogen compound were present in the Raccoon River, the water supply for 500,000 people in the Mississippi River basin. Sac County, named in the suit, had testing done on its waterways that empty into the Raccoon and some were found to be five times higher than the standards EPA deems safe, according to the utility. Besides simply recovering the $1.5 million it cost to run the denitrification system in 2015, the utility had higher aims of halting pollution at its source. In this case the utility established that the primary pollution source is runoff from farm fields and animal operations that flow from tile drainage (subsurface drains) and end up in streams, lakes, rivers and, eventually, the mighty Mississippi.

Farmers and producers offer the usual crap conservative solution: voluntary compliance. Hasn’t worked. Never will.

Frustration and lack of an aggressive water quality plan led Water Works to the courts to pursue a novel legal strategy that asserts that county drainage districts are point-source polluters that are directly identifiable because their infrastructure carries nutrient-rich farm runoff. The districts manage and maintain this infrastructure, so it’s the Water Works claim that the districts, supervised by the counties, are on the hook for the water…

Agribiz has their knickers in a bunch because any reasonable finding of responsibility leaves them open to lawsuits from everyone downstream from their pollution. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for them to free up a little money from their favorite hedge funds and act responsibly.

Posted in Business, Environment, Health | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cartoon: Revolution Republican-style

Politics 1474

I forget who suggested this.

Posted in Corruption, Culture, Humor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Now we know where Trump learned about styling hair

In the picture, Mrs Trump’s hair bears a striking resemblance to that of the Republican presidential nominee’s.

Born Mary Macleod in Stornoway, the seventh child of crofter Malcolm Macleod and Mary Smith was raised on the island of Lewis.

Mystery surrounds her emigration to the United States and her subsequent marriage to Fred Trump in 1936.

Mrs Trump died in New York in August 2000.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 6.19.01 PM

Posted in Culture, Humor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cartoon: same difference

While I haven’t an overwhelming feeling of confidence in American voters – after all, they elected both Reagan and Bush the Little twice – I have a lot more hope for good sense in Bernie supporters.

My extended family are Bernie supporters for many different reasons. They all understand we still need a functioning Constitution, at least an opportunity to push the Tea Party fools and populists out of Congress.

If you understand how the Republican wing on Wall Street damned near crushed the world economy with Bush in office, you ain’t seen nothing if Trump and his 19th Century band of brigands gets to be in charge.

Posted in Culture, Food, Humor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Any good reasons why Florida hasn’t allowed in the CDC’s emergency response team to fight Zika?


Reuters/Paulo Whitaker/file photo

The state of Florida, the first to report the arrival of Zika in the continental United States, has yet to invite a dedicated team of the federal government’s disease hunters to assist with the investigation on the ground, health officials told Reuters.

Coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the state reported possible local Zika transmission on July 19 has been conducted largely at a distance, they said. That is surprising to some infectious disease experts, who say a less robust response could lead to a higher number of infections.

While Florida has a strong record of battling limited outbreaks of similar mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue and chikungunya, the risk of birth defects caused by Zika adds greater urgency to containing its spread with every available means, they say. Other states have quickly called in CDC teams to help track high-profile diseases.

You only have a small window. This is the window” to prevent a small-scale outbreak from spreading, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine…who expressed impatience with the pace of the Florida investigation.

Florida on Friday said that four cases of Zika in the state were likely caused by mosquito, the first sign that the virus is circulating locally, though it has yet to identify mosquitoes carrying the disease.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state health department was working with the CDC as it continues its Zika investigation…Dr Marc Fischer, a CDC epidemiologist, has gone to Florida at the state’s request.

But the state has not invited in the CDC’s wider emergency response team of experts in epidemiology, risk communication, vector control and logistics…

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the agency has several teams ready for when states request help with Zika, including Florida…

“Florida does what Florida does,” said one public health expert familiar with the investigation. “If I were health commissioner, I would have asked for their (CDC’s) help immediately.”

Still Floriduh, ain’t it. Even more so with Rick Scott in charge.

Posted in Culture, Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When will police departments stop using cheapo drug tests that give false positives?


Mr. Rushing buys a doughnut every other weekOrlando Sentinel

Daniel Rushing probably won’t be eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts in his car any more.

The 64-year-old was arrested on drug charges when Orlando police officers spotted four tiny flakes of glaze on his floorboard and thought they were pieces of crystal methamphetamine…

Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins wrote in an arrest report that during a traffic stop on 11 December she noticed the flakes on the floorboard. Two roadside drug tests were positive for the illegal substance and Rushing was arrested. But a state crime laboratory test cleared him several weeks later.

“It was incredible,” Rushing said. “It feels scary when you haven’t done anything wrong and get arrested … It’s just a terrible feeling.”

It started on a Friday afternoon when Rushing dropped off a neighbor at a hospital for a weekly chemotherapy session. Then, he drove to a convenience store to pick up a friend who needed a ride home.

Riggs-Hopkins said she was staking out the area for drug activity. Rushing told her he had a concealed weapons permit, according to an arrest report. She asked him to step out of his car and noticed a “rock like substance” on the floorboard.

“I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic,” she wrote…

Uh-huh.

Riggs-Hopkins and other officers spotted three other pieces of the substance.

“I kept telling them, ‘That’s … glaze from a doughnut,” Rushing said.

He was charged with possession of methamphetamine with a firearm and spent 10 hours in jail before being released on bond.

The Florida’s law enforcement department told the newspaper that an analyst in its Orlando crime lab did not try to identify what police found in the car, only to determine whether it was an illegal drug. They determined it was not and three days after Rushing’s arrest the state attorney’s office dropped the charges.

Mr. Rushing is going to sue the city. The coppers – of course – say the bust was lawful. Going by the book is sufficient as far as they’re concerned.

I think he should sue them for stupid. And probably for cheap. For using a test that gives false positives for doughnuts.

Thanks, Honeyman

Posted in Crime, Humor, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pentagon supports release of Gitmo detainee who wrote bestseller exposing prisoner abuse

A Guantánamo Bay detainee whose memoir recounting abuse by American interrogators became a best-seller last year has been recommended for transfer out of the wartime prison…

The detainee, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, 45, is a Mauritanian and the author of “Guantánamo Diary,” which he wrote by hand at the prison in 2005.

His lawyers fought for years with the government for permission to publish the book. It finally appeared in bookstores in January 2015 — with many redactions — sold briskly, and has since been optioned for a movie.

Mr. Slahi appeared June 2 before a parole-board-like six-agency panel, the Periodic Review Board, that interviews prisoners and reviews their files. It decides whether they are enough of a threat to national security to continue to be detained. In a July 14 decision memo that was recently made public the board determined that Mr. Slahi should be transferred…

Of the 76 detainees remaining at the prison, 31 are recommended for transfer if security conditions can be met in the receiving country.

In a short statement on its “consensus” decision, the board cited Mr. Slahi’s “highly compliant behavior in detention.”

“The board also noted the detainee’s candid responses to the board’s questions, to include recognition of his past activities, clear indications of a change in the detainee’s mind-set,” it said. “Furthermore, the board considered the extensive support network available to the detainee from multiple sources, including strong family connections, and the detainee’s robust and realistic plan for the future.”…

Mr. Slahi studied electrical engineering in Germany and then joined Al Qaeda to help the Afghan anti-Communist resistance in the early 1990s, a time when Osama bin Laden’s mujahedeen fighters were backed by the United States.

He returned to Germany and later crossed paths with one of the accused plotters of the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Slahi was back in Mauritania by the time of those attacks, and he was arrested and sent to Jordan, which later transferred him to the United States.

Mr. Slahi was taken to Guantánamo and in 2003 was subjected to a special interrogation torture approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Mr. Slahi wrote of extensive sleep deprivation, beatings, dousings with ice water, and of being shackled for days in a freezing cell. He denied involvement with terrorism and was never charged with a crime.

One more lesson in American hypocrisy the whole world is learning from our self-assigned role as cops of the world. Liberal or conservative in the White House, some things never change.

Posted in Crime, Government, Military | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cartoon: the real Republican ticket for 2016

Thanks, gocomics.org

Posted in Culture, Humor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Republican war on a Free Press escalates at rally for Trump running mate, Mike Pence


“I’m a Christian, conservative and a Republican, in that order”

Donald Trump’s campaign has denied press credentials to a number of disfavored media organizations, including The Washington Post, but on Wednesday, the campaign of his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, went even further.

At Pence’s first public event since he was introduced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate two weeks ago, a Post reporter was barred from entering the venue after security staffers summoned local police to pat him down in a search for his cellphone…

Post reporter Jose A. DelReal sought to cover Pence’s rally at the Waukesha County Exposition Center outside Milwaukee, but he was turned down for a credential beforehand by volunteers at a press check-in table.

DelReal then tried to enter via the general-admission line, as Post reporters have done without incident since Trump last month banned the newspaper from his events. He was stopped there by a private security official who told him he couldn’t enter the building with his laptop and cellphone. When DelReal asked whether others attending the rally could enter with their cellphones, he said the unidentified official replied, “Not if they work for The Washington Post.”

After placing his computer and phone in his car, DelReal returned to the line and was detained again by security personnel, who summoned two county sheriff’s deputies. The officers patted down DelReal’s legs and torso, seeking his phone, the reporter said.

When the officers — whom DelReal identified as Deputy John Lappley and Capt. Michelle Larsuel — verified that he wasn’t carrying a phone, the reporter asked to be admitted. The security person declined. “He said, ‘I don’t want you here. You have to go,’ ” DelReal said…

Trump has banned nearly a dozen news organizations whose coverage has displeased him, but reporters have generally been able to cover his events by going through general admission lines.

DelReal’s experience on Wednesday elicited a rebuke from Post Executive Editor Martin Baron.

“First, press credentials for The Washington Post were revoked by Donald Trump,” he said. “Now, law enforcement officers, in collusion with private security officials, subjected a reporter to bullying treatment that no ordinary citizen has to endure. All of this took place in a public facility no less. The harassment of an independent press isn’t coming to an end. It’s getting worse.”…

In a statement, Pence press secretary Marc Lotter said blah, blah, blah.

Nothing new about any politicians trying to manage press access to a certain extent. Banning the press is another story altogether. A free press plays a constitutional role in our history starting right from our revolutionary beginnings.

Crap like this is another symptom of the fascist-minded crew in charge under Trump and his populist followers. The herd mentality that rejects constitutional law, history and civil rights controls what used to be the Republican Party. Plausible deniability or not.

Posted in Corruption, Culture, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment