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Saviolo

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 2,112

Journal Archives

All of West Virginia's Supreme Court justices impeached over spending

Source: NBC News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia lawmakers completed the extraordinary move of impeaching all four state Supreme Court justices Monday night for spending issues, including a suspended justice facing a 23-count federal indictment.

Beth Walker became the final justice to be impeached when an article was approved stating all four justices abused their authority. It said they failed to control office expenses, including more than $1 million in renovations to their individual offices, and not maintaining policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.

Minority Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that approved the articles last week had tried to speed up the impeachment process in the hopes of beating an Aug. 14 deadline for arranging a special election in November if any justice is removed from office or leaves office. Instead, the committee took its time, even conducting a tour of the state Supreme Court offices earlier this month.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice will be allowed to appoint new justices to replace any who are impeached — with no requirement that they be from the same party as the incumbent. Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to wrest the court away from voters, who elected the current justices in nonpartisan elections.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/all-west-virginia-s-supreme-court-justices-impeached-over-spending-n900461

Pence outlines plan for new Space Force by 2020

Source: APNews

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as sixth military service by 2020

Pence says it’s needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russia. He says that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.

President Donald Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganize the military’s space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive separate new service.

Read more: https://apnews.com/4df1085b19d54e9b864e857012fecbb6/Pence-outlines-plan-for-new-Space-Force-by-2020



And this response by the president:

https://twitter.com/RealPressSecBot/status/1027586862326542336

Sesame Soy Shrimp Omelette Recipe

So, something a little different from us this week. This is an Asian-inspired recipe based partially on a dish we had at a local restaurant, and partially on a recipe that came to us from a Taiwanese friend. It's a very simple and delicious recipe, and you can adjust the flavours as you see fit by adjusting the herbs and spices you add to the egg mixture, and you can also make some flavour adjustments to the marinade (we used a very simple basic one, here).

This recipe goes extremely well with the spicy fermented slaw we made a little while back, and is a very nice light dinner. You do want to make sure that you let the shrimp marinate for at least half an hour, and for up to 2 hours so they get lots of good flavour penetration but don't start to cure in the soy sauce.

3 members of Trump's Mar-A-Lago Club have been secretly running the Veterans Affairs Dept.

ProPublica has an article here: https://www.propublica.org/article/ike-perlmutter-bruce-moskowitz-marc-sherman-shadow-rulers-of-the-va


The Shadow Rulers of the VA

How Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago cronies are secretly shaping the Trump administration’s veterans policies.

Last February, shortly after Peter O’Rourke became chief of staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs, he received an email from Bruce Moskowitz with his input on a new mental health initiative for the VA. “Received,” O’Rourke replied. “I will begin a project plan and develop a timeline for action.”

O’Rourke treated the email as an order, but Moskowitz is not his boss. In fact, he is not even a government official. Moskowitz is a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain high-service “concierge” medical care.

More to the point, he is one-third of an informal council that is exerting sweeping influence on the VA from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The troika is led by Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is a longtime acquaintance of President Trump’s. The third member is a lawyer named Marc Sherman. None of them has ever served in the U.S. military or government.

Yet from a thousand miles away, they have leaned on VA officials and steered policies affecting millions of Americans. They have remained hidden except to a few VA insiders, who have come to call them “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”

VA spokesman Curt Cashour did not answer specific questions but said a “broad range of input from individuals both inside and outside VA has helped us immensely over the last year and a half.” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters also did not answer specific questions and said Perlmutter, Sherman and Moskowitz “have no direct influence over the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

But hundreds of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former administration officials tell a different story — of a previously unknown triumvirate that hovered over public servants without any transparency, accountability or oversight. The Mar-a-Lago Crowd spoke with VA officials daily, the documents show, reviewing all manner of policy and personnel decisions. They prodded the VA to start new programs, and officials travelled to Mar-a-Lago at taxpayer expense to hear their views. “Everyone has to go down and kiss the ring,” a former administration official said.


Lots and lots more at the link in the article. Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone, really. Grifters gonna grift.

More and more we're seeing how the hyper wealthy and super-connected live a life completely divorced from the vast majority of human beings living in the USA or the world.

No matter how much you hate Paul Manafort, it's not enough, here's why:

Robert Evans does a podcast called Behind the Bastards, which tells the sometimes humorous and always interesting back stories behind some of history's greatest monsters. He's done folks like Stalin, Osama bin Laden, Harvey Weinstein, King Leopold II of Belgium (wiped out millions in the Congo), and Idi Amin.

This week he did a two-parter on Paul Manafort.

Part 1.

Part 2.

From the description:
Paul Manafort invented some of the very worst parts of our modern world. In a real way, he is one of the architects of our current national nightmare. In Episode 15, Robert is joined by comedian, Dave Ross (Suicide Buddies Podcast) to discuss Paul Manafort aka The Man Who Donkey-Punched Democracy. Paul Manafort’s work with the Trump Campaign is actually just about the LEAST objectionable thing this man has done in his entire life. Manafort is a MAJOR bad guy!


There's too much to summarize here in any meaningful way, but if you want to get a good look at the type of people that Trump is willing to surround himself with, here's a great start.

Sesame-based Asian slaw recipe

It's still hot as balls, so we did another simple and cool summery dish. This Asian-style slaw is something my hubby came up with on his own after having something similar at a Japanese restaurant. The original iteration was just with cucumbers, which was also delicious, but he felt like he wanted to expand it a little and include some other veggies to make a sort of fusion recipe. It's dead simple, but you do need to let it sit for a little while in the fridge after you've dressed it and before you serve it. Also, the toasted sesame seeds at the end really elevate the dish.

This is a vegan recipe, as well. It stores well, and you can keep in in the fridge for a few days after you've made it. It may not look like a lot of dressing, but a little bit goes a long way. Sesame oil has a very intense flavour, and soy sauce is quite salty, so in the case of this recipe, less is definitely more.

Cool Kids vs. Organizers - Infographic

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and I think it's amazing. I'm way too much of a cool kid, but I want to try to be a better organizer:

Some More News: If You Don't Want To Be Called A Fascist, Stop Supporting A Fascist

Doug Ford to slash Toronto city council to 25 councillors from 47

From the Toronto Star (full article here):

Premier Doug Ford is slashing the size of Toronto city council almost in half before the October election, the Star has learned.

In a stunning development, Ford is also cancelling planned regional chair elections in Peel and York, thwarting the ambitions of his political foe Patrick Brown, the former Progressive Conservative leader, as well as those of former Liberal cabinet minister Steven Del Duca.

The surprise moves, which were never broached during last month’s provincial election campaign, come as the deadline for candidates entering the Oct. 22 municipal election looms at 2 p.m. on Friday.

“This is something the premier wanted to do even when he was on council,” said a senior government official, referring to the one term Ford spent at Toronto city hall between 2010 and 2014.

The overhaul of wards will wipe out a 2016 decision by Toronto council to redraw the city’s boundaries, which increased the number of wards to 47 from 44 for the 2018 election. That was the result of a four-year review that determined the increase was essential for effective representation.


My Twitter feed immediately lit up at this one.

https://twitter.com/c_9/status/1022672843295936518

Sure, seems totally reasonable and not at all spiteful. Also this change during an election period is illegal, and I'll donate to help people with court costs.
(Submissions welcome for updated graph tomorrow.)


And this great thread:

https://twitter.com/meslin/status/1022825787320352768
1. Eight years ago I produced a graph showing how Toronto's post-amalgamation population size, in comparison to the number of City Council wards, leaves us with a crisis of under-representation:


2. This is the commentary that accompanied the graph:


3. Now our Premier wants to cut that representation in half, turning a crisis into a nightmare.

4. This is what the chart will look like, if Doug Ford implements his proposal to bludgeon our Council:


5. Some are comparing our local council to provincial or federal govt, saying "If they can manage with 25 seats, why can't Council?". The answer is simple: Queen's Park and Ottawa are partisan legislatures, where elected members have almost zero influence. Every vote is whipped.

6. City Council is the opposite: Every vote is a free vote and Councillors are expected to represent their constituents each and every time. Municipal government is designed explicitly to be closer to the people, with two-way feedback happening in-between elections.

7. Doug Ford was rejected by 66% of Toronto's voters when he ran for mayor in 2014. Then, just a few weeks ago, his party was rejected by 60% of Ontario voters. Yet he's now is a position of power allowing him to dominate both the legislature and council, with an iron fist.

8. Our democracy is on life-support. A leader who claims to be "for the people", yet was actually rejected by a majority of those people, is moving ahead like a bulldozer to erode democratic representation even further. We need to fix our broken system. We deserve so much better.


There is a demonstration this evening at Queen's Park that I'll be attending. If anyone wants a link to the event, please DM me.

*** The rally has been moved to City Hall/Nathan Phillips Square.

Super simple sesame-crusted salmon

A quick and easy one this week. They had some lovely salmon (aside from the little mar in the skin you can see in the video) at the local fish store, so we thought we'd do this simple sesame crusted salmon for a video! People are frequently a little wary of dealing with fish, and it can be a tricky ingredient, but if you treat it simply and you're careful with your heat, it's actually very easy to deal with!

We made a couple of errors in this video, which you can see. 1) the knife hadn't been recently sharpened, so it wasn't QUITE sharp enough to effectively score the skin (which is why we ended up with that one very deep cut). 2) We overcooked it a little because our camera had a minor failure just as we were getting ready to take it out of the pan! Ah, the joys of trying to film time-sensitive food. Anyway, it was just a hair overdone, and came out delicious anyway. You can also do this with a salmon steak, and crust both sides. It also takes longer to cook (depending on the thickness) so you have a little more time leeway.

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