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Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,025

Journal Archives

Seth Abramson with a point-by-point take down of Huckabee-Sanders lies today

For those without twitter, I'm going to copy/paste the thread below. It's long!!

This is the tweet that starts the thread:


1/ Trump has no intention or plan to fire Mueller. FALSE. Trump told the NYT that if Mueller crosses a certain "red line" he could be fired.
2/ The charges and plea announced today had "nothing to do with the President's campaign or campaign activity." FALSE. And here's why:
3/ Manafort lied to the FBI *while Trump's Campaign Manager* and used his illegally gotten, Putin-linked funds to work for Trump "for free."
4/ So Trump was the direct beneficiary—to the tune of saving *many millions* in consulting fees—of the fact Manafort got money from Russia.
5/ All Papadopoulos' lies—which he's plead to—involved high-ranking Trump officials, Trump campaign activity, and protecting Trump himself.
6/ "There's clear evidence" Clinton colluded with Russian intelligence. FALSE. This is false on almost too many grounds to mention. A start:
7/ Clinton's camp *continued* payments started by *Republicans* to a firm that contracted with *another* firm whose sources were *non-FSB*.
8/ The dossier "influenced" the election. FALSE. Barring 1 article, the dossier wasn't reported on in any significant way until January '17.
9/ The dossier "smears" the President. FALSE. Every piece of information in the dossier that can be confirmed so far *has* been confirmed.
10/ Clinton's camp didn't know what research they would receive and had nothing to do with its collection. And—the FBI believes the dossier.
11/ There's been no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. FALSE. Not only is the Papadopoulos plea a smoking gun—Sessions' perjuries were too.
12/ Indeed—both the ongoing secret sanctions negotiations between Trump and Russia and the GOP platform change were the result of collusion.
13/ Papadopoulos is in trouble only for not telling the truth. FALSE. The WH implies the underlying activities were all okay. They were not.
14/ Papadopoulos plead to Making False Statements so that he *wouldn't* have to plead to greater charges and *could* cooperate with the FBI.
15/ There's no "official capacity" in which the campaign was involved with Papadopoulos' acts. FALSE—his actions were *campaign-sanctioned*.
16/ The Manafort/Gates indictments deal with crimes in a time "well before" the Trump campaign existed. FALSE. Both were ongoing in 2015.
17/ Papadopoulos had a "limited" campaign role. FALSE. He was a top adviser and a primary liaison to other nations on Trump's Russia policy.
18/ Papadopoulos went overseas for Trump and was one of the *only* NatSec team members kept on when the team disbanded in late July of 2016.
19/ Papadopoulos was giving interviews on Trump's Russia policy to Russian media as late—possibly later—than *late September of 2016*.
20/ All told, George Papadopoulos worked for Trump for *at least* seven months of the eleven-month campaign primary/general "voting" season.
21/ (Brief delay to do a media interview—will return to this thread shortly. Please share the *first tweet* in this thread in the meantime.)
22/ Papadopoulos' outreach on the Kremlin's behalf was "repeatedly denied." FALSE. At all turns he was openly, clearly encouraged by emails.
23/ Papadopoulos had no role in extra-campaign outreach. FALSE—he went to Israel for Trump, talked to Russian media for Trump and much else.
24/ And of course we know from his sworn plea docs that "high-ranking campaign officials" authorized him to speak to (other) Kremlin agents.
25/ "We expect Mueller to conclude his work soon." FALSE. Recent articles confirm Trump and his lawyers are battening down for a long haul.
26/ Sanders says Trump's last Manafort contact was in February. TRUE/FALSE? In this case it doesn't matter—because it's damning. Here's why:
27/ We were told Manafort called Priebus just before the inauguration—to urge Trump to release dirt on HRC—because he couldn't access Trump.
28/ The campaign wanted to distance Trump from Manafort *and the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting* by saying Manafort *could not access* Trump.
29/ Today Sanders inadvertently revealed that Manafort was still able to talk to Trump—and we know his subject was "HRC dirt"—in *February*.
30/ Sanders now says that Donald Trump can't recall *anything* about his March 31st, 2016 meeting at Trump International Hotel in DC. FALSE.
31/ Trump is always lauding his perfect memory and appears to have excellent recall for (for instance) any person who has ever slighted him.
32/ Moreover, others at the TIHDC meeting have excellent recall: they told The Daily Caller Trump was "flattered" by Papadopoulos' proposal.
33/ Sanders says she's had "no conversations" with Trump on pardons. FALSE. We know Trump has discussed the pardon power with his top aides.
34/ Sanders: it's "not clear how Sessions could be said to be involved" in the Papadopoulos case. FALSE—Sessions was the kid's *supervisor*.
35/ Moreover, Sessions received at least some—maybe all—of Papadopoulos' March (and April, and May) emails. And he *heard him at the TIHDC*.
36/ Sanders says she's not sure when Trump first heard of the stolen emails. Possibly TRUE, but Papadopoulos implies it was in *April 2016*.
37/ Sanders: the indictments/plea "don't have anything to do with us." FALSE. See preceding tweets—this is, simply put, an *outrageous* lie.
38/ Papadopoulos "volunteered" for Trump's NatSec Advisory Committee. FALSE. He was recruited by Sam Clovis; he didn't come out of nowhere.
39/ This push to make Papadopoulos—an unqualified kid in touch with Trump's pal Millian—sound like a mere intern is absolutely *outrageous*.
40/ Papadopoulos was *chosen* by Trump's team, then *featured* by Trump in print/pictures, then *promoted* by Trump to a larger Russia role.
41/ Trump's NatSec Committee "met only once"? FALSE. They were in constant contact via email threads—so this is a *deeply* misleading claim.
42/ "He [Papadopoulos] wasn't responded to in any way when he reached out"—FALSE—for *months* he was responded to *throughout* the campaign.
43/ Sanders says the dossier is "fake information" and the Clinton campaign knew that. FALSE. The dossier is substantially verified *and*...
44/ ...everyone who's looked at the dossier, including Steele, Fusion GPS, FBI, and others in law enforcement have *believed it to be true*.
45/ So the idea the Clinton campaign was in a position to know "false" a dossier that (a) is *true* and (b) the FBI believed true, is crazy.

Papadopoulos secretly pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI *about HRC's emails*


Just sayin'. It's starting to pile up. Papadopoulos may be FAR more interesting to watch than Manafort.

Perhaps President Donald Trump Is Actually A Dumb Liar With A Terrible Memory

Cracked still pulling everything together in one place better than most actual news programs:

Side dish time! Pan sauteed brussel sprouts with walnuts

Like many children, I hated brussel sprouts when I was growing up. Plot twist! My mom hated them, too, so we almost never had them. I feel like most people who hate brussel sprouts have only eaten them overcooked, boiled, or both. That kind of cooking brings out the bitterness in them, and also ruins the nice crunchy texture of them! I think hubby was the first person who put a plate of brussel sprouts in front of me that I really enjoyed.

Now, in this recipe he chiffonades the brussel sprouts, which does wonders for the texture. If that's too much work (and it -is- time consuming), you can just halve or quarter them along the stem, and give them a nice sear in the pan, and the flavour and texture will be maintained. They honestly don't need very long in the pan, and the little dash of something acidic at the end (we used vermouth, but you can use lemon juice, white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or even some Tobasco sauce!) gives them a final little blast of steam after giving them a little bit of nice colour in the pan.

Of course, the walnuts are optional (especially if you're allergic to nuts!) but they do add a really excellent flavour and texture. It's one of those non-intuitive food pairings that surprises you a little when you find it. And you can keep the whole recipe vegan by using olive oil or vegetable oil instead of butter!

US reportedly putting nuclear bombers back on high alert

Source: CNBC

B-52 bombers rigged with nuclear weapons are being prepared for 24-hour alert for the first time since the Cold War, a senior U.S. Air Force official has reportedly said.

In a report by security news website Defense One General David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said U.S. military leaders are reacting to new threat levels.

"The world is a dangerous place and we've got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons," he said, according to the report. Goldfein said no official order had been given to put nuclear bombers on alert, but said preparations are underway. The U.S. Department of Defense was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

"This is yet one more step in ensuring that we're prepared," he said during a tour of Air Force bases home to nuclear bombers. "I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we're prepared going forward."

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/23/us-nuclear-bombers-on-high-alert-as-north-korean-threat-grows.html

Hey, happy Monday, everyone!

Astroturf Group Run by Ex-Kellie Leitch Campaign Manager Targets BCs Electoral Reform Vote

From Press Progress: https://pressprogress.ca/astroturf-group-run-by-ex-kellie-leitch-campaign-manager-targets-bcs-electoral-reform-vote/

Guess who is quietly lining up to fight British Columbia's upcoming referendum on electoral reform?

An astroturf group headed by Nick Kouvalis, who previously managed Kellie Leitch’s controversial Conservative leadership campaign, says it’s working to sway the outcome of British Columbia’s upcoming electoral reform vote.

In a recent e-mail blast, the group Keep Voting Simple tells its supporters BC’s upcoming electoral reform referendum is an “obvious attempt to confuse and manipulate voters” as part of a scheme to “transform BC’s electoral system”

The e-mail ends with an appeal for donations to “help us keep voting simple in BC,” something that is accompanied by a PO Box address in Markham, Ontario.

Kouvalis is a backroom political operative notorious for helping elect Rob Ford Mayor of Toronto and running the Conservative leadership campaign of Kellie Leitch earlier this year – considered one of the most controversial in recent Canadian history for its xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Kouvalis stepped away from Leitch’s leadership campaign in January after a profanity-laced Twitter tirade that saw him denounce a prominent constitutional scholar as a “cuck.”

Ironically, the 2017 Conservative leadership race made use of a ranked vote – but Keep Voting Simple now implies the same model is designed to “manipulate voters” and would be too complicated for BC voters to grasp.

The group made use of a similar argument when it opposed the federal Liberals’ (since abandoned) promise to change Canada’s electoral system, work the group showcased on Ezra Levant’s far-right Rebel Media website.

If BC opts to eliminate First-Past-the-Post, it will become the first province in Canada to do so – but some 80% of OECD countries already make use of proportional voting systems.

Cold weather is coming, so time for cottage pie!

Our video this week is a little longer (only because there are more steps). Cold weather is coming quickly, so it's time to start looking at heartier and warmer dishes. Here we've got a recipe for cottage pie (or shepherd's pie if you use lamb instead of beef!). We made a couple of potentially controversial changes in this one, first by adding mushrooms, second by covering it in cheese, and third by not adding any kind of gravy. We don't use a super lean ground beef for this recipe, so it tends to hold together okay at the end. It's nice and moist without having to add a gravy, but of course you're welcome to wet your whistle however you like. You can add beer while the and vegetable mixture is cooking, or you can go whole hog and make a nice brown roux to mix with pan drippings and wine (or beer!!). Years ago, I worked as a short order cook in an Irish Pub, and we'd add Guinness to the shepherd's pie.

Anyway, lots of ways to customize. You can change the flavour profile significantly by changing the spice mix you use on the beef at the beginning when it hits the pan, but please do season your meat! If you don't season it when it hits the pan, you may find your final result a little lifeless.

What you need to know about Quebec's "religious neutrality" legislation

From the CBC: Full Article

A bill that requires people in Quebec who give or receive any public service to uncover their faces has been adopted into law.

The vote was passed Wednesday at the National Assembly in Quebec City.

Many important details still need to be crafted, and its implications may be decided by the courts.

It does not specifically mention the niqab or burka, two styles of traditional garments that cover the face, worn by some Muslim women.

Initially, the bill was only to apply to provincial public-sector services and provincially funded institutions, including universities and schools.

In August, Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée proposed amendments that make the legislation apply to municipalities, metropolitan communities and public transit organizations.

That means, according to the justice minister, anyone who rides a bus or the Metro must be unveiled.

On Monday, Vallée told CBC Montreal's Daybreak that a woman who normally wears a burka or niqab would have to show her face for the duration of her ride — "as long as the service is being rendered."

Under the rules for religious accommodation requests, a woman who wears a niqab or burka when receiving public services can apply for an exemption, leading many critics to question how far-reaching the ban will actually be.

"This is the whole problem with the law. No one knows how it will be applied," said the Parti Québécois's critic for issues related to secularism, Agnes Maltais.

Several legal observers said they expect people who cover their faces for religious reasons to mount a constitutional challenge of the legislation.

Of course there is a great deal of controversy about the bill itself. More from the CBC:
There's nothing neutral about Quebec's religious neutrality bill, Muslim advocate says
Jagmeet Singh hopeful Quebec's controversial Bill 62 will be overturned
Quebec's new religious neutrality law offers a special level of hypocrisy: Neil Macdonald

Tragically Hip's Gord Downie dead at 53

From the CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/gord-downie-obit-1.4359906

And a statement from his family:

The Tragically Hip has been closely tied with Canadian identity for years. Canadians mourned last year when his cancer diagnosis was revealed, and we'll mourn again now he's actually gone. I'm fairly shattered today.

G'night, Gord. Keep your stick on the ice, eh?

My favourite Hip song:

Urban wildlife encounter!

I live in Toronto, and there is lots of urban wildlife around here. Commonly seen are black and grey squirrels, many many extremely fat raccoons, more rarely we'll see possums, and then last night I ran into this fellow leaving my curling club!


I was a little worried because it was lingering around the door to the club, and there were still people inside. I was worried that if someone came out and opened the door fast enough to startle the poor thing that someone would end up sprayed! Sadly, the club door was locked from the outside, so I was unable to warn anyone. Hopefully it wandered off and no one got sprayed!
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