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How Did I Miss That? Obama Fails to Nominate Xena to Supreme Court

The Guardian reported Xena: Warrior Princess is about to get a reboot, but this time the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle is out of the closet.

“Closet?” My cousin Ray Sixkiller was indignant. “You mean to tell me there’s somebody on the planet who didn’t know Xena liked girls?”

Speaking of lesbian TV stars, it’s no surprise that Rachel Maddow on MSNBC would blame the violence stalking the Donald Trump campaign on Trump, but her method of doing so was devastating. She strung together Trump’s words about what should happen to anti-Trump demonstrators in chronological order.

More surprising was Marco Rubio blaming the Trump violence on Barack Obama. OK, OK—I understand they can blame anything on Obama, but this seemed like a stretch.

The Washington Post reported Rubio’s idea of inciting violence. It was a 2011 speech where Obama said that the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) "is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America."

Since the Great Depression, the “basic social compact in America” has been the New Deal. The Republicans have made no secret about wanting to roll back the New Deal. Is it inciting violence to say the Ryan Budget followed that agenda?

Poor Little Marco. Lots of insult got added to the injury of being clobbered in his home state.

Ted Cruz cancelled his anti-Rubio ads and his campaign commented that Rubio “can lose Florida without our help.”

Rubio asked his supporters in Ohio to vote for John Kasich because that is the best way to stop Donald Trump. The Kasich campaign replied “we will win Ohio without his help just like he will lose Florida without ours.”

ABC reported that a video tweeted out by Donald Trump showing Thomas Dimassimo—the man arrested trying to rush the stage at a Trump rally in Ohio---waving an Uzi in front of an ISIS flag and disrespecting an American flag was altered from a video on Dimassimo’s Facebook page by adding a gun, a black flag, and some ominous music. At a rally in Missouri and on Twitter, Trump claimed the man had ties to ISIS.

Asked about the ISIS allegation and the fake video on Meet the Press, Trump replied, “All I know is what’s on the Internet.” Trump did delete the fake video.

Badgered by reporters, Ohio Gov. John Kasich refused a yes or no on whether Donald Trump is qualified to be POTUS. He did say that keeping his promise to support the Republican nominee might get “hard.”

There’s a prank meme circulating on Facebook that claims Charles Manson has endorsed Donald Trump as the best exemplar of Manson family values. Cousin Ray claimed he did not bite because he knew that Manson would be looking for a pardon for his endorsement and Trump is unlikely to pardon anybody who lacks a white collar.

Bernie Sanders was speaking at an Ohio town hall carried on CNN:

I hate to disparage public officials…but Donald Trump is a pathological liar.

When Cousin Ray quit chuckling, he forgave Bernie “because Trump is not a public official.”

The Washington Post reported on a weapons test recently held in the skies of Alaska. The weapon—or weapons—are called Perdix, swarms of drones about the size of two hands, created on 3D printers and launched through the flare dispenser in fighter jets normally used to confuse heat-seeking missiles. Perdix are launched in groups…but we don’t know what they are carrying. That’s still secret.

Perdix are the latest iteration of an idea called Avatar, which involved last generation’s fighters, F-16s or F-18s flying unmanned, under control of an F-22 or F-35. We do know what those are for. They blow things up.

Back on the ground, Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility is coming along, but not yet for humans. Defensetech reported that researchers at Cornell University have developed a “skin” for robots that can change color in response to the mood or tone of the room to “strengthen the emotional bonds that people have already shown for robots.” The skin can also camouflage the robot from people who have no emotional bond with it.

A study funded by the Department of Justice on how to avoid police officer shootings in the most dangerous calls—domestic violence and emotionally disturbed individuals—concluded that two things seemed to help. Officers should wear body armor and never respond to those kinds of calls alone. “Duh,” Cousin Ray commented, “how much money did they spend to find that out?”

National Review was the voice of U.S. conservatism until founder William F. Buckley walked on. Now it’s just another fish on the starboard side of the boat, but it’s been sharing the GOP establishment conniptions over the rise of Donald Trump. The Trump campaign shows respect for dissent by refusing press credentials to National Review. Meanwhile, the Review excoriates Republican congressman turned pundit Joe Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brezezinski as “embarrassing suck-ups” because they took Trump as a serious candidate before Trump kicked down the doors.

For the first six months of Trump’s circus, Huffington Post covered Trump in the entertainment section. Last December, Ariana Huffington personally wrote to say, “We Are No Longer Entertained.”

Mika Brezezinski makes stuff than ain’t funny at least entertaining.

When Justice Antonin Scalia walked on without first giving notice, the Republicans controlling the Senate said they were turning down President Obama’s appointment to replace Scalia, sight unseen. Actually, voice unheard, since they intend no hearing.

When Obama did his duty and made an appointment, the name was Judge Merrick Garland of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, a Clinton appointee who has 18 years of paper trail in the law books to show he’s a man of the center.

Within the hour, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was on the floor claiming that Obama’s appointment—greeted with dismay on the left---was for the purpose “of making a political issue for the election.” Mika Brezezinski’s comment was spot on and delivered without cracking a smile during an interview with the White House Chief of Staff: “Is the strategy to humiliate them by letting them be themselves?”

Breitbart.com, taken to represent the fringe right until recently going in the tank for Donald Trump, published five terrible things about Garland for those who want to lobby against him in the vote the Republicans say won’t happen:

1. He ruled against an NRA position twice. That is said to make him “anti-Second Amendment.”

2. He has upheld environmental regulations.

3. They don’t know where he stands on abortion, a fear they share with the left, because he’s never heard an abortion case.

4. He is from Harvard replacing a man from Harvard, of which there are too many, and he’s Jewish, for a court with no evangelical Protestants.

5. Republicans have supported him in the past, which shows Obama’s up to no good.

That remark about evangelical Protestants got me thinking. It’s probably not accidental that Catholics and Jews dominate the pinnacle of the law profession, two faiths that have in common you are expected to understand the beliefs you profess, including the arguments against them. Priests and rabbis can’t just claim to be “called.” They have to study for it.

Interesting stuff in newsletters aimed at stock pickers about oil prices. Some analysts claim to have identified the most efficient producer of bitumen in the Canadian tar sands. That producer’s breakeven point is $46 a barrel for WTI crude, which means that virtually all of the tar sands projects are losing money right now.

Of course, if the Mosul dam in in Iraq collapses from lack of maintenance during the time ISIS held it, that will put at least the northern Iraqi oil fields off line and spike the price of oil. Still, First Nations people will be glad to hear the tar sands are so close to the bone.

United Airlines is launching 150 flights a day out of LAX using a 30/70 biofuel mix that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 65 to 85 percent, depending on the feedstock. Last year, Disneyland’s bus fleet began to run on R50, renewable diesel from food waste. The U.S. Navy has launched what it calls the Great Green Fleet, a carrier strike group with both marine diesel and jet fuel spiked with biofuels.

This is all great news if you “believe in” climate change.

The biofuel is made in U.S.A. from patents that are owned in the U.S.A., but in this presidential election we are asked to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, relax fuel efficiency standards, and withdraw from treaty obligations to mitigate climate change.

My Republican Cousin Ray rolled his eyes. “I wish there was some truth to the rumor that my party is relocating its offices to a part of Florida that will soon be under imaginary water.” With a sly grin, he added, “I’m sure the Seminoles would evacuate them on airboats. For a reasonable fee.”

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