Sunday News: The roar still echoes

DEFIANT VOICES FLOOD U.S. CITIES AS WOMEN RALLY FOR RIGHTS (New York Times) -- On successive days, two parallel and separate Americas were on display in virtually the same location. First there was President Donald Trump’s inauguration, his message of an ailing society he would restore to greatness aimed at the triumphant supporters who thronged Washington on Friday. Then on Saturday, in what amounted to a counterinauguration, the speakers, performers and marchers proclaimed allegiance to a profoundly different vision of the nation. They voiced determination to protect an array of rights that they believe Mr. Trump threatens, and that they thought only recently were secure.

Hey Tami. Let's talk family values!

It's hard to do anything but laugh these days at Tami Fitzgerald and her family values happy talk. It's really quite remarkable. For a group that professes to be all about heartland values and the sanctity of marriage, they sure do associate with a whole bunch of sleaze. Like a middle-aged man who brags about having sex with disturbed teenagers. A guy who married a prostitute, who grabs woman by the pussy. A man who pays women to have abortions.

How does it feel to know you're supporting a morally empty human being? You must be proud.

My recent letter to Sen. Burr ref Sec Ed nominee DeVos

I just sent this email to one of my senators .....

Recently you stated that Betsy DeVos has an unmatched "... commitment to improving education and expanding opportunity for our students ..."

Really. I am curious as to what facts in her background demonstrated her "unmatched commitment to improving education...".

Snowflakes and deplorables

In the run-up to my 45th Annapolis reunion this fall, I had an email exchange with a former classmate. He's a career Navy officer, a good Christian, and as it turns out, a deplorable. I, on the other hand, am a pinko-liberal-snowflake. Here's how it went.

Hey. I'd love for you to share my email address with (name). In these dark days of ugliness and intolerance, his would be a welcome voice in my life. Thank you for connecting us. Happy new year!

Saturday News: Women march for the future

THOUSANDS OF NORTH CAROLINIANS TO MARCH FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS (WUNC-FM) -- Thousands plan to march in North Carolina for women's rights Saturday. Events in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh will begin at 10 a.m. and coincide with the Women's March on Washington . That event, expected to draw crowds in the hundreds of thousands, was planned shortly after Donald Trump's presidential victory and takes place during his first official day in office. It has inspired similar marches in hundreds of cities around the country and world.

Friday News: Corrupt to the very end


MCCRORY ORDERED $166,000 PAYOUTS TO DEPARTING CABINET HEADS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- On his way out of office, Gov. Pat McCrory ordered accrued vacation and bonus leave payouts worth about $166,000 to his 10 Cabinet secretaries — money they would not otherwise have been entitled to receive. The top executives were exempt from state personnel regulations, and so were not eligible to receive the payouts under typical circumstances. McCrory on Dec. 29 wrote to the state controller and the interim director of the Office of State Human Resources telling them to send the payouts “as if they were regular state employees,” retroactive to their first day of employment in the exempt position.

Excellent primer on Russian hacking and Trump/Putin involvement

I have to give McClatchy two blue stars for this intel brief:

The informal, inter-agency working group began to explore possible Russian interference last spring, long before the FBI received information from a former British spy hired to develop politically damaging and unverified research about Trump, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry.

Steele’s reports also alleged that Russian consulates in New York, Washington and Miami were used to deliver “tens of thousands of dollars” to Kremlin-hired operatives using fictitious names as if they were legitimate Russian-American pensioners. That “ruse” was designed to give Russia “plausible deniability,” Steele’s reports suggested. However, Russia does not operate a consulate in Miami.

The quality of Steele's intelligence-gathering efforts should be suspect, to a certain degree. When you're paid (originally by a Republican, and later by a Democrat) to find damaging information, you will find damaging information, even if it doesn't exist or is created by somebody else for you to find. But Steele isn't an amateur. He worked for 6 long enough to spot bullshit a mile away. So, there are probably some kernels of truth in his report, but verifying them will be difficult, at best. What we should be concerned about (as of tomorrow, or Monday, if Dingus does take the weekend off) is the likelihood the incoming President will quash any ongoing investigations being pursued by Executive Branch agencies. Which covers all six agencies in this working group. And it's a good bet Putin wants them to stop ASAP:


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