asthfghl: (Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!)
[personal profile] asthfghl

Notice something wrong on these pictures? Well yeah, duh! A famous church in Santorini, Greece, was used to advertise a Greek cheese product in one of the Lidl stores (a German chain). Except, the most prominent feature of that landmark (beside the blue roof) was removed:

Lidl airbrushes Christian cross from church pictured on its Greek food range because the supermarket chain 'does not wish to exclude any religious beliefs'

Well, guess what. You've done just that - excluded a religious belief. And I'm saying it as non-believer. Savor the irony.

There was indeed a huge backlash (mostly around the social networks) about this picture. Lidl even had to come up with an official apology for screwing up on this one. People were shocked, shocked I tell you! Selling Greek products while trying to remove an important part of the Greek identity from sight. People have called for boycott. And probably rightly so. Why?

Because this is schizophrenic, that`s why )
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[personal profile] nairiporter
I'm beginning to think Trump has put a secret goal ahead of himself, to set a new record in US history. A record of the fastest change of staff at the White House, and shortest terms of his top-ranking officials. That should be the only explanation for what happened with Anthony Scaramucci, who was first hired director of communications, a "step in the right direction" as the President said, and now is a gone less than a week later. Within a short period, Trump fired Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus (chief of staff), and now Scaramucci. This would have been just a source of puns and jokes on Colbert's show, if it didn't speak of a serious systematic problem with this administration. Despite assurances from the President himself, things are starting to look dramatic.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] kiaa
A secret automobile cartel between Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler has been alleged by a recent report that's threatening to engulf these companies in a huge scandal. The German car manufacturers conspired for two decades to have a unified policy in all areas of future development: from their diesel and gas engines, to brake systems, to the gear-box, etc. It is alleged that they secretly coordinated between themselves about which suppliers they would use, what the price of the car parts they produced would be, the way they would process the waste gases from the diesel engines, and the prices of their new car models.

The scandal could possibly turn out to be related to the earlier one about the diesel engines, if the investigation finds out that there were also secret agreements about using too small AdBlue carbamide tanks. The substance has the capability to extract nitrate oxides from waste gases. If all allegations are proven right, that would mean there was indeed a cartel agreement that helped these corporations artificially maintain high prices for the customers, and low prices for their sub-contractors.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] kiaa
"Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member have filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against President Trump’s campaign and a longtime informal adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., accusing them of conspiring in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public."

On one side, what's most damning here is that it's not just damaging information to Hillary that was used by Trump's campaign, but personal information that resulted in people attempting to steal their identities, and in one case, outing a man who was gay and in the closet. That not only crosses the line, but erases it entirely.

However, having said that, will the plaintiffs succeed? Republicans took information that was dumped by Wikileaks and ran with it. But, if I understand this correctly, the information the Republicans used was public domain when Wikileaks released it. So yeah, it's pretty sleazy, but I don't see the plaintiffs winning this case. The Trump campaign did not divulge this information. They only used it. Can Wikileaks be sued in an international court? If so, what are the plaintiff's chances there? And, if they can win there, can they collect? And, on the domestic front, is Trump liable for passing along information that was already dumped to the public by Wikileaks? It's not like these aren't important questions.

For the sake of discussion, let's don't assume a connection between the Trump campaign and Russia here. Let's just go with what we already know regarding Wikileaks and the lawsuit. Doesn't the whole case look more like a temper tantrum by the Dems? A case with no legs - yes or no?
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[personal profile] dreamville_bg
Here are a few competing standpoints on that infamous "liberal mosque" in Berlin... First, the context:

"Critical institutions in the Islamic world condemn a new liberal mosque in Berlin. As was announced on Wednesday, the Turkish religious authority Diyanet declared that the Ibn-Rushd-Goethe mosque in Berlin-Moabit "disregards the principles of our sublime religion". The aim was to "undermine and destroy the Islamic religion"."

There's your liberal Islam - not a snowball's chance in hell. When will the Islamophiles accept that this violent, misogynist (not to mention homophobic) ideology cannot be reformed? They have already been threatened with murder, according to an earlier article in Die Welt. Because, you know, that's normal when you disagree*, that you threaten to kill your opposition. No wait, only savages do that. **

Troll them mueslis harder, you liburl Krauts! )
tcpip: (This Man)
[personal profile] tcpip

If it isn't a brief jaunt to New Zealand your intrepid venturer found himself with a few week's worth of conferences in Europe. As a result, gentle readers, you must excuse the delay in the recordings of The Shambling Mound, lord mayor of the most important village on Earth. It is not as if the pace of shambling has decreased at all - indeed it is fair to say that it has become every more shambolic, as the lurching and heaving becomes even more destructive and chaotic. A normal rate of transmissions will return in due course. Meanwhile, an attempt will be made to cover recent events.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
During the campaign trail, Trump told Hillary during a debate between the two that if he became president, he'd appoint a special investigation into her wrongdoings.

Now he's got just that.

Robert Mueller is a nightmare for Trump, because he'll have much more powers to investigate into the president's ties to Russia than Comey would ever have, what with the FBI director being a political position that could be influenced.

Of course it's too early to talk of impeachment, if anything comes out that is. The Democrats should be very careful about playing that card, because it could seriously backfire on them if they overplay it (just think the Clinton impeachment case and the way it burned the GOP).

Whatever happens, I think the key to Trump's future is in his own party people. If they consider him too toxic and too big a liability, they'd get rid of him themselves, and place the much more conventional (and controllable) Pence.
[identity profile]

Rather than improve a broken heathcare system, correct a dysfunctional immigration policy, and counter terrorism, the left and, maybe, some Republicans spend their time in trying to destroy Pres. Trump. They claimed Pres. Trump abused his power with the immigration ban. Yet, they are using to the political process to destroy a man without accusing him of a crime or proof he committed anything illegal. Those claims are distractions from their misconduct.
[identity profile]
Has the Shambling Mound finally stopped? No, of course not. It's just for the second time in a row other events have had priority and let's face it, the stumbling of Lord Dampnut, mayor of the global village, after a while, do give a sense of more of the same. It's almost that sheer incompetence, random lurching, and a complete disdain for facts has all become the new normal. It was appropriate then, that the weekend started with Earth Day and a March for Science in 600 cities around the world. Because in 2017, this is apparently necessary.

The first item of the week was revelations that the Senate Intelligence Committee into Russian influence in the 2016 election had failed to make much progress, with much blame being laid on chairperson, Richard Barr, who apparently was refusing to sign any letters for even a single subpoena. Meanwhile it was revealed that former National Security adviser Michael Flynn had received payments from Russia Today and over a half a million dollars on payments from Turkey for lobbying purposes - quite clearly I'm in the wrong business - and all without authorisation or proper disclosure.

Moving to economic matters House Republicans tried to avoid a government shutdown by removing $1 billion USD proposed to build Wall of Evil. Lord Dampnut quickly assured on Twitter (where else?) that the Wall would be built, and followed up with a tariff on Canada (Congress Republicans are desperately trying to get Lord Dampnut not to abandon NAFTA). The following day was a frankly insane tax policy which included reducing the number of tax brackets, reducing the corporate tax rate by more than half, and getting read of inheritance tax (gee, who will that benefit?). Economists were less than impressed, but what would they know? They know what the weakest growth in three years means.

The weekend of the fifteenth week started with Lord Dampnut skipping the White House correspondents dinner (the first time in 36 years), and going to a rally in Pennsylvania to celebrate 100 days as Lord Mayor of the global village - and claimed a record attendance; apparently facts don't matter. And they didn't matter the following day with the gaffe that Andrew Jackson was really angry about the US civil war. I'd be angry too if I had been declared dead and buried for sixteen years before the war even started.

Another attempt to end the Affordable Health Care Act was a feature of Week 15, but whilst actual humans had another story to tell, it managed to get through the House with a wafer-thin majority (217-213), replaced with the American Health Care Act. Comparisons between the two systems are inevitable; you can decide for yourself. The medical professions were not impressed. The Senate plans it's own health care bill. But at least the soul will receive healthcare; an executive order is signed allowing for religion to be more involved in politics.
[identity profile]
So, after essentially handling a lost election to Trump on a silver plate, FBI director Comey suddenly becomes too much of an inconvenience for the guy he single-handedly made president, as he reveals he's looking into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign - and gets duly fired for it. How beautiful! Long live democracy, and the separation of powers!

Oh, and Trump surrogates like Kellyanne Conway get grilled by the media about this, and most of them fail to make a sound case on Dear Leader's behalf - but so what? The deed is done already. And no one seems to be able to do anything about it. The president has removed an FBI director for investigating him. Cool.

Not that it took a lot of effort, what with Republicans in charge, but the Russians have succeeded with Phase 2 of their effort to invade the US... they have succeeded at totally disrupting the operations of their primary enemy's government (Phase 1 having been to install a buffoonish puppet into the executive office).

It's almost scary how easily these things happen.
[identity profile]
Originally posted by [ profile] debunkgpolitics at Former NSA Advisor and U.N. Ambassador Rice on Charges of Spying on the Trump Campaign
The April 4, 2017 interview with Ms. Rice additional questions that would prove or disprove claims that she assisted in spying on the Trump Campaign.
In the beginning, she gave a fictional example of when unmaking a name would be necessary. Plus, Ms. Rice said that sometimes unmasking a name is sometimes okay (~5:35). Both points are sensible, as identifying the American can help officials better assess whether there is a serious threat. She later said that the White House would/could not have directed intelligence agencies to spy on political opponents (~11:14).
Another revealing point Ms. Rice made is that she, along with any other NSA Advisor, receives information based on what the intelligence community (IC) considers important (~11:58). Thus, the NSA Advisor is subject to the discretion of other intelligence officials, who have their own standard process of whether to specifically identify an American (~6:23).
Ms. Rice also said that possible Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election was revealed about six months ago.
Ms. Rice is correct in that interference in any U.S. Presidential election is a grave concern for the IC. Thus, the IC had every reason to unmask the name of an American conversing with Russian to properly investigate the matter. Clearly, the IC found identifying Gen. Mike Flynn necessary.
The pertinent questions are:
1. Did she request reports concerning possible Russian interference in the election?
2. Why would anyone reveal Gen. Flynn to the public rather than keep is identity internal?
3. How long did the IC monitor Gen. Flynn? Interfering with an election and investigating a threat to national security takes a while.
4. How much of the monitoring did Ms. Rice follow? Surely, she would have been regularly provided reports of an attempt to interfere with a national election.
[identity profile]

There comes a time, in the power game of politics, that the leader must throw his most loyal allies and advisers under a bus, and this especially applies to the rotting lump of semi-sapient vegetable matter known as The Shambling Mound. It is also opportune as such palace intrigues are occurring to engage in a foreign distraction so massive that any domestic issues are forgotten by most. In terms of pure range of the typical chaotic activities the eleventh week of shambling was actually quite narrow - but what big stories they were.

It was almost prescient of this 'blog to even be so bold with the suggest last week that Devin Nunes, hair of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was flailing about in a rather poor fashion. However, then becomes a subject of an ethics investigation himself, and finds that he has to 'temporarily' step down. Given the seriousness of the allegations it is right and proper that he step down - indeed one can be fairly certain that he will be answering some uncomfortable questions in the near future. But for pure positional politics, a running feud between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon reach an explosive point when Lord Dampnut sided with nepotism (of course), removing Bannon from the National Security Council.

Then Syria happened. For those who have been living under a rock for the past six years, this is a dirty multi-faceted civil war, where the civilian population have suffered proportionally more than any other people this century. On April 4 the town of Khan Shaykhun in the rebel-held Idlib Province was attacked with Sarin poison gas which correlated with regime airstrikes. Three days later - just after it became clear the Security Council could not agree on a resolution - U.S. ships launched a missile on the Syrian government′s Shayrat Air Base in Homs, the first US direct attack on the regime (thousands of other attacks have been carried out against mainly Daesh positions).

Whilst the Russians were informed in advance of the attack, which did modest damage, it was conducted without authorisation from the US Congress or the United Nations Security Council, making it legally dubious (at best) under U.S. or international law. Many have pointed out that Lord Dampnut's actions are extremely different to what he was claiming a few years ago. Whilst the strikes do have the support of the majority which will probably translate to an improvement in poll numbers, we cannot avoid an uncomfortable conclusion; this is the only popular decision he's made. What a thing to be remembered for.
[identity profile]
Bill Cosby, Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly walk into a bar. Trump says, "Let's start grabbing them by the p***y and see where that takes us." Cosby replies, "Do they need to be awake for that?" O'Reilly responds, "Of course they need to be awake. How else will they tell me how incredible I am?"

Advertisers Are Ditching Bill O’Reilly Over Harassment Allegations
More than two dozen companies are pulling ads from the most-watched cable-news show amid yet another scandal at Fox News.

Let me see if I have this straight: the FOX News network, the home of the short-skirted, plunging-necklined, leggy and bubble-headed Barbie doll anchors, has a raging undercurrent of sexual harassment that apparently fermented a culture of crude and lascivious behavior amongst its upper echelon of male personalities? Go figure. It's like The Playboy Channel trying to do the daily news sometimes, heh?

On the other hand, Limbaugh survived a similar (temporary) advertiser exodus. And as a matter of fact, no one who watches Fox News, which is arguably half the nation, even cares about this issue. Bill is as popular as ever, and this scandals and the ones that are sure to follow, will probably make him even more so as viewers flock to his program, in a show of solidarity against their liberal enemies.

And so it shall go on.
[identity profile]
There is something special about a shambling mound. Whilst composed of rotting vegetable matter they are semi-intelligent, and although perhaps quite at the level to satisfy constitutional requirements for Lord Mayor of the Global Village, the sometimes can move in an apparent willful direction. At others times however, their movements seem completely random, directed by their emotions alone. And so it was this week.

The bizarre wire-tapping claims went a step further following Sean Spicer's claim that Obama was in cahoots with the British to spy on Lord Dampnut. It didn't come at a great time, as the Senate Intelligence Committee determined there was no evidence to support Lord Dampnut's claim, leaving court jester Spicer looking even more silly, if such a thing was possible.

Continuing the "let's insult our European allies" tour, the embarrassing handshake snub the previous week had a new and additional twist. Lord Dampnut - now famed for his promises of additional military expenditure - suggested that Germany owes money to NATO and the US. As Twitter is apparently the place to do these things, a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO decided to teach him a lesson.

But maybe there is a reason for all this. Foreign affairs, perhaps of a more literal kind, followed in the new week as it was revealed from the Director of the FBI, James Comey, that Lord Dampnut and his colleagues were indeed under investigation by the FBI over their contracts with Russia. Just to add salt into the wounds the FBI also confirmed that Lord Dampnut's claims on wiretapping by the Obama were false.

The remainder of the week was spent on that signature campaign attempting to overthrow that horrific attack on the freedom to suffer illness, the Affordable Care Act. Of course, this requires negotiation and when you're used to giving orders to underlings, the results can be unexpected. Whilst nervous nellies of more conservative disposition didn't actually agree with too many people dying in the streets, the rugged individuals in the Freedom Caucus, who do believe in the right of every American to suffer in inverse proportion to their wealth, pulled the plug on supporting the repeal. Appropriate to his style, an ultimatum was issued.

Still, it's not all work without play. High on the list this week was the necessity to declare war against kittens, because apparently bullies don't appreciate ridicule. After putting those kitties in their place, what better way to celebrate than pretending to drive A BIG TRUCK.
[identity profile]

We have all heard of Kellyanne Conway's gaffe at *that meeting* in the Oval Office. It was condemned as a sign of disrespect for the presidential office, even a sign of white privilege in the face of so many respectable African American distinguished guests.

Conway memes )
[identity profile]
Trump Team’s Ties To Russia Face Sharper Scrutiny Amid New House Probe And Explosive Reports
Pressure grows for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigations into the scandal.

So let's see. The guy whose meetings with Russians the FBI is supposed to be investigating as part of their larger inquiry into the Trump campaign's ties to the Kremlin, is now being put in a position where he would be able to exert control over the FBI? How's that for a move, eh?

So when specifically asked about any possible contacts with Russian officials, Sessions says, "I did not have communications with the Russians” - and his spokeszombie says, "He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign - not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee". That's disingenuous and in no way exonerates Sessions at all.

Lying under oath. He should be prosecuted. Perjury, after all, is what did Bill Clinton in. It's about time this racist midget is held to account. He's terrorized elderly black voters, disrespected women, and pushes an agenda of mass incarceration - I say give him the opportunity to experience a little of his own tough love.

So what have we got so far )
[identity profile]
The lurching continues! The week began with the savvy explanation by Lord Dampnut that the media is the enemy of the people. Several individuals made the point that describing a press independent of the government in such a way is usually a rather totalitarian attitude. Still, having decided that media is the enemy he did hold his first post-election rally which some suggest looked suggestive of a 2020 election campaign. Personally I think it was narcassistic cry for affirmation.

The following day, the "enemy of the people" was presenting reports that Lord Dampnut's team had been working on a plan to use the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied the report as "100 per cent false" on Twitter (here it is, however it soon emerged that the memo had been circulating and had been under consideration for at least three weeks.

Clearly it is impossible to get through a week without an opportunity for comic ridicule, so the following day the baffling suggestion of terrorist attacks "last night" in Sweden led provided not only a request for clarification from the Swedish government but also the opportunity for Swedes themselves to offer suggestions.

Returning to bravado the week ended with Lord Dampnut's proposal to rebuild the United State's nuclear arsenal to be "top of the pack". So rather than encourage other countries to reduce their arsenals, the suggestion is to start a new nuclear arm's race. For those who live through the 1980s and witnessed to gradual removal of the threat of nuclear was in that period, the prospect is frankly terrifying. Still, Lord Dampnut did promise to have a plan to defeat ISIS in thirty days. Perhaps this is it, more nukes. What could possibly go wrong?
[identity profile]
One must admire, if only from an aesthetic level, the sheer chutzpah of Lord Dampnut who holds press conference to claim "I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." Ahhh, Lord Dampnut. The art of the double-down, where reality can be altered by sheer will power and bluster.

How did this "fine-tuned machine" operate this week? Well, the National Security adviser Michael Flynn resigned after providing "incomplete information" to the administration about the degree that he discussed sanctions against Russia to their ambassador. The sanction had been put in place under the Obama administration after Russia's annexation of Crimea and involvement in the separatist conflict in Ukraine. Watch this space, as reports are coming in that Lord Dampnut's election team had contacts with Russian intelligence for a year prior to the election.

Further, Trumps new nominee for the position, Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward has turned down the offer - and to think that General David Petraeus has been considered, a person convicted of giving out classified information to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair.

Another resignation of sorts was Lord Dampnut's nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, dropping out of the nomination. Puzder apparently wasn't keen on having disinvest from some two hundred companies and funds that would have constituted a conflict of interest if he had taken up the role - among several other issues (including opposition to minimum wages). Apparently some smart Republican senators were having second thoughts about the nomination.

Well, if this fourth week is indication of a "fine-tuned machine", let's hope that nothing serious goes wrong, eh?
[identity profile]
Other than Trump looking for distractions and liking to "fire" subordinates more than anything else to judge from his tenure on The Apprentice, it made no sense to fire Yates over refusing to defend Trump's executive order temporarily barring refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries - an action that had been challenged in court. Why? Because, that's the job of the Solicitor General. Pending Sessions' approval as AG, Trump had it well within his power to appoint a temporary advocate dedicated to prosecuting his flawed constitutional interpretation of an EO overriding the establishment's clause. But, firing Yates after she had warned the administration about Flynn's possibly traitorous behavior exposing agents in place to certain death at the hands of Putin? That's a coverup on the way to high treason.

Another bad thing about this is that when all the dirt comes fully out, and if Trump is gotten rid of, one way or another, the US is still stuck with Republicans. Especially a Torquemada-like Vice President, an experienced politician who would smoothly push his poisonous agenda. If this were England, you guys could have new elections and finally get the first female president. Or something even better.

On the other hand, even a Torquemada for prez is still better than the Orange Fuhrer with his freakishly small fingers on the nuclear button...

The least among several evils, duh?
[identity profile]
Under the continuing rule of the orange-haired monster, Lord Dampnut, the most important local council in the global village, continues to lurch from one "yuge" problem to the next. Some commentators have finally noticed what is an intrinsic problem regardless of the political decisions themselves; that Lord Dampnut is not used to the idea of running a country which is built the checks and balances of a separation of powers and a rule of law. He is far more familiar with the sort of rule where he makes all the decisions and everyone follows those decisions.

As a result, Lord Dampnut is finding himself in the unenviable position of coming into increasing conflict with the internal legal system, whilst backing off on belligerence towards international powers. The big event of the week of course was the decision of the appeals court to uphold the suspension of the travel ban on selective group of Muslim-majority countries. True to his style, Lord Dampnut angrily treated "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!". The recursive irony of telling an appeals court that they will be taken to court has not been lost. Yo dawg, I hear you like courts, & etc.

Security, the main excuse for the travel ban, is of course an especially selective issue with Lord Dampnut, as reliable sources suggested that only Islamic fundamentalists will be an issue. Neo-nazi terrorists will not, apparently, be a problem. Well, why should they? After all, people with similar ideologies are now the people in charge of operations.

In further selective choices, Lord Dampnut's nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos was elected to the Senate. Requiring a historic tie-breaker vote, DeVos is a long-standing campaigner against public education (an area in which she has no experience). One fairly suspects that familial connections will encourage an "Amway" education system.

Attracting quite a bit of media attention in the week, was the events following department store Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump's line of clothing items. Lord Dampnut complained using the POTUS twitter account and the following day Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway continued the issue directly promoting Ivanka's items. The Federal ethics rules prohibit executive branch employees from using their positions to endorse products, and complaints have been lodged with the Office of Government Ethics.

We have a word for when business and government interests coincide, don't we?

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A place to discuss politics without egomaniacal mods


Divisive Rhetoric


"Favoring multiculturalism is something Westerners give a lot of lovely lip service to until they have to actually do it."

September 2017

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