Wednesday, February 22, 2017

American Beauty - To Kenny, Yours, Jayne Mansfield

WEST SACRAMENTO CA (IFS) -- Growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, as a young man, my idols from the movies and into my real life were the lovely ladies by the names of Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe.  They were everywhere.  Not to exclude Jane Russell and many many other great American Beauties of that era.  

What America saw in beauty was only blondes, platinum blondes and curvy ladies with small waists. They were the idea of the motion picture industry that saw nothing else.  In rebroadcasting "The Wayward Bus" with Mansfield, Joan Collins and the bevy of stars on the screen, it left nothing to the imagination to any one, including, a cheating husband with a daughter and false teeth to  swoon over the straight piecing breasts that stuck out like torpedoes to puncture the eyes and minds of the average Joe.

I was one of those "Average Joes."  I was still a "kid" back then.  But I was being broom to carry on a great American male tradition.  And I was part of that hypnotic effect put on men from real women who wanted to get ahead in a man's world.  

Jayne Mansfield by far was one of the smartest "Self-promoted artist of all time" in her era.  She understood big breast and blonde hair, and teased the movie men -- to no end.  Today, she would be on the same playing field as with "Keeping Up With The Kardashians",  and the rest of following heard.

The movies have changed very little.  Even guys of color with lots of money who produce motion pictures, still manage to instill the ladies of that era into our current lives and project them upon the silver screen in our minds.  The Mansfields, Monroes, Lombards, Russells of those bygone years still effect each and everyone of us personally to this day.  

These ladies live on -- in the likes of Hallie Berry and eye candy for the "Average Joe" to lose his mind on.   I personally thank the gods of beauty and my humble chance to envision one hour of my life with anyone of these great ladies of American Beauty in all their colors, sizes, shades and splendid glory.  I love you all.  Now let me replace my dental plates back into my mouth, as I was breathing to deep and hard. -KHS 

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Dual US and Somalia citizen elected president of Somalia

Grand Island man elected president of Somalia

Mohamed A. Mohamed, a Grand Island resident and former prime minister of Somalia, has been elected president of the African country. (Buffalo News file photo)

By Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich
Published Wed, Feb 8, 2017

A Grand Island man was elected president of Somalia today in that war-torn African country's first presidential election in decades.

Mohamed A. Mohamed, 54, a former prime minister of Somalia who worked at the state Department of Transportation office in Buffalo, was picked to be the country's president by its Parliament, the Associated Press reported.

Mohamed beat nearly two dozen candidates, including the incumbent president to win the job.

A former prime minister who holds dual Somali-U.S. citizenship has been declared Somalia's new president. 

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Voting started Wednesday in Somalia's groundbreaking presidential election amid a security lockdown that has closed the capital's international airport.

"This is an historic opportunity for the people of Somalia who finally have a leader who will put their needs and priorities first," said Joel Giambra, the former Erie County executive and close friend of Mohamed.

"His objective will be to establish peace and prosperity inside his homeland by aggressively going after terrorists. This is an opportunity for our new president to collaborate with a new world leader who happens to be from Grand Island."

Mohamed has been campaigning in Somalia for nearly a year, said Intisar Mohamed, his daughter who lives on Grand Island.

Mohamed, the former prime minister of Somalia and founder of the Tayo political party, was one of two finalists considered by the Parliament,  The other finalist was Somalia's incumbent president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Somalia, a country wracked by terrorism for years, is one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries from which President Trump barred all travel in an executive order issued Jan. 27.

"This could have a big impact on the fight against terrorism," Giambra said of the Somali election. "You could have a new president in Somalia and a new president in Washington and they happen to be from the same state."

Mohamed met Giambra while working on the former county executive's campaign in 1999. In 2000, when Giambra took office Mohamed took a job with the county working on affirmative action compliance.

"It's all pretty cool," said Giambra. "Here's a guy with a family on Grand Island. He has dual citizenship. When he was prime minister, he brought stability. He started paying policemen."

Mohamed has unfinished business in his struggling homeland where the election has been postponed four times since November, said his daughter.

"He loves his country," said Intisar Mohamed, who is 24. "At the end of the day that's where he was born."

Born in Mogadishu, Mohamed worked for Somalia's ministry of foreign affairs in the mid '80s. In 1985 he was transferred to Washington and worked in the Somalian embassy for four years.

After applying for asylum, his daughter said he moved to Buffalo because it has a large Somali refugee community.

Mohamed was working for the state DOT in Buffalo when he met briefly with Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed in New York in 2010, according to a report in The Buffalo News. Later that year he was tapped by Ahmed to be prime minister of Somalia. He served for eight months.

"After so many years of turmoil, he served at a time when the people of Somalia lost hope," said his daughter. "The people were hanging by a thread. He made sure the foundation was proper."

Today, Mohamed's campaign slogan -- Dalka Danta Dadka (the land, the needs, the people) -- has resonated with many Somalis, said Intisar Mohamed, who monitors social media to track her father's campaign.

Today's vote in Somalia was not a popular vote, she noted. Parliament members select the president based on the sentiment of their constituents.

After the first Parliament vote tally, incumbent president Mohamud held a slim lead over Mohamed, 88-72. Two runners-up -- a former president and current prime minister -- finished with 49 and 37 respectively.

In a runoff, the Parliament chose Mohamed as president.

With Somalia eight hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, Mohamed's family and friends remained fixed on the web.

"The challenged he faces are mammoth," said Giambra, but he's well-equipped to deal with them with the U.S. as an ally."

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

SmithBits Radio for February 7- 2017

Listen to "SmithBits Rant and Rave Radio for February 7 - 2017" on Spreaker.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Torture Memos author John Yoo says Trump has gone too far

John Yoo, a former Justice Department attorney known for writing legal memorandums on enhanced interrogation tactics known as the Torture Memos, says President Trump has gone too far in his use of executive power.
In a New York Times op-ed on Monday, Yoo argues that Trump's use of executive power is worrisome.
“He should understand the Constitution’s grant of executive power,” Yoo wrote, referencing Alexander Hamilton, who co-wrote the Federalist Papers, a series of essays on the Constitution.
“He should share Hamilton’s vision of an energetic president leading the executive branch in a unified direction, rather than viewing the government as the enemy. He should realize that the Constitution channels the president toward protecting the nation from foreign threats, while cooperating with Congress on matters at home.”

Yoo said Trump, as commander in chief, does not have the constitutional authority to order the construction of a border wall, nor does he have the power to terminate trade deals negotiated by Congress, like the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Yoo said that Trump’s executive order imposing a temporary ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States “falls within the law,” but noted reports that Trump had originally sought a “Muslim ban.” Yoo said such an order would “violate the Constitution’s protection for freedom of religion or its prohibition on the state establishment of religion.”
“Had Mr. Trump taken advantage of the resources of the executive branch as a whole, not just a few White House advisers, he would not have rushed out an ill-conceived policy made vulnerable to judicial challenge,” he wrote.

Senator Chuck Schumer: Betsy DeVos is "Least Qualified" of Trump Appointees

Senator Chuck Schumer: Betsy DeVos is "Least Qualified" of Trump Appointees Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calls on his Republican colleagues to oppose Betsy DeVos' nomination to be Education secretary, saying, "Now is the time to put country before party." He accuses DeVos of conflicts of interest, criticizes her views on public schools, and questions her expertise about education policy. 

John Henry Cosaini

Listen to "SmithBits Rant and Rave Radio for February 6 - 2017" on Spreaker.

Pence once called Trump’s Muslim ban ‘unconstitutional"

Pence once called Trump’s Muslim ban ‘unconstitutional.’ He now applauds the ban on refugees.
Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis stood directly behind their boss Friday, one man on each side, as President Trump announced an order that will ban half the world's Shiite Muslims from entering the country for months.
“I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States,” Trump said from his podium at the Pentagon. “We don't want 'em here.”
Pence nodded along to the words. It was just over a year earlier when he had called Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States “offensive and unconstitutional.” That was before Trump picked him as his running mate and won the election.
Trump sat down after his speech, signed the executive order and handed it to Mattis — a retired general who six months earlier had said the mere suggestion of a ban on Muslims caused “great damage” to world order.
Now, Mattis was defense secretary. He took the order and grinned while Pence started clapping.
Like other Republicans, the two men's condemnations of Trump's words had evaporated as he drew closer to power — and as his original call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”morphed into a nearly 3,000-word order that does not mention Islam but temporarily bar visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.
One of those countries, Syria, had attracted Pence's scrutiny even before a young Trump campaign waded into the issue in late 2015.
He was one of more than two dozen governors who called for a suspension of Syrian refugees that year — as a civil war there fueled fears that terrorists would slip into the United States amid the wave of evacuees.
But when Trump upped the ante in December — calling for a border ban on all Muslims “until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on” — Pence joined the immediate Republican backlash.
Trump's words may have been "offensive" to Pence, but they were popular with others. After winning contest after contest in the spring primaries and turning his sights on the general election, Trump blasted Democrat Hillary Clinton for border policies that would “let the Muslims flow in.”

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Trump rips U.S. defense of Japan as one-sided, too expensive

Trump rips U.S. defense of Japan as one-sided, too expensive


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump again ripped into ally Japan on Friday, saying that if the U.S. is attacked, Washington must defend the country but the Japanese “can sit home and watch Sony television.”
Speaking at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump blasted as unfair U.S. defense tie-ups with NATO, South Korea and Japan, a reprise of comments that have earned him scorn among many in the national security community.
“You know we have a treaty with Japan where if Japan is attacked, we have to use the full force and might of the United States,” Trump said. “If we’re attacked, Japan doesn’t have to do anything. They can sit home and watch Sony television, OK?”
Trump said he had been told Japan pays “50 percent of the cost” of basing U.S. troops in Japan. “Why don’t they pay 100 percent?” he asked.
The GOP nominee went on to criticize his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, for her “dumb talk” on the U.S. commitment to its allies.
Clinton touted her experience as secretary of state in a June address, saying that as president she would maintain and foster U.S. alliances, including with Japan.
Trump slammed Clinton’s position Friday, saying the U.S. must be “prepared to walk” in negotiations to get countries to pay more for U.S. defense.
“It could be that Japan will have to defend itself against North Korea,” Trump said. “You always have to be prepared to walk. I don’t think we’ll walk. I don’t think it’s going to be necessary. It could be, though.”
Japan earmarked ¥189.9 billion ($1.7 billion) to host U.S. military bases in fiscal 2015 through March 31 as part of the costs of stationing nearly 50,000 U.S. personnel here.
Trump said in March that the U.S. would not maintain military bases abroad unless allies like Japan and South Korea coughed up more money to retain them.
The Republican nominee also suggested that Japan might be “better off” with its own atomic weapons, and that he would consider, as president, ending the U.S. defense commitment to Japan and encouraging them to “go nuclear.”

Sen. Al Franken full statement on Attorney General Nominee Sen. Jeff Ses...

Sen. Mitch McConnell Defends Hypocrisy and Lies

WASHINGTON ― Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) complained Sunday that Democrats were needlessly slowing down confirmations of Donald Trump’s administration officials.
Several of Trump’s picks have come under fire for not paying taxes or simply not knowing enough about the department they would run. In the case of Betsy DeVos, the nominee for education secretary, ethical concerns have stalled her confirmation at least temporarily. 
While being questioned by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, McConnell argued that Senate Democrats were treating Trump unfairly. “They don’t want this administration to be treated like other administrations,” he said.
But the exchange got awkward when Wallace suggested McConnell had raised similar concerns over then-President Barack Obama’s nominees at the beginning of his first term. “But senator, weren’t you guilty of some selective outrage back in 2009?” Wallace asked. 
Wallace pointed out that McConnell and his peers had helped to derail former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s nomination to run the Department of Health and Human Services after it was discovered that he failed to pay back taxes for a car and driver
Wallace showed a clip of McConnell from “Face the Nation” in 2009 in which the senator argued that Obama needed to do a better job picking his nominees: “It does raise some questions about the vetting process ... I think the administration ought to take a look at its vetting process.”
McConnell had a hard time explaining the difference between his stance in 2009 and the Democrats’ stance in 2017. “Look, you can complain about whatever you choose to,” he said. “Ultimately, though, the administration decides who to submit and members decide whether these kinds of mistakes that people make from time to time are decisive in determining how they’re going to vote.”
McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, is expected to be easily confirmed to run the Department of Transportation. 

The Johnson Amendment

The Johnson Amendment refers to a change in the U.S. tax code made in 1954 which prohibited certain tax-exempt organizations from endorsing and opposing political candidates. It is named for Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who proposed the bill.

Proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, the amendment affects churches and other nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exemptions. In recent years the Alliance Defending Freedom has attempted to challenge the Johnson Amendment through the Pulpit Freedom Initiative, which urges church pastors to violate the statute in protest. The ADF contends that the amendment violates First Amendment rights. Groups engaged in promoting the election or defeat of political candidates may receive tax exempt status under other categories in the tax code. The benefit of 501(c)3 status is that in addition to the organization being tax exempt, donors may also take a tax deduction for their contributions to the organization.

Organizations recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code are subject to limits or absolute prohibitions on engaging in political activities and risk loss of tax exempt status if violated.  Specifically, they are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office.

IRS explanation of the statute

The Internal Revenue Service website elaborates upon this prohibition as follows: [4]
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.
On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.
The Internal Revenue Service provides resources to exempt organizations and the public to help them understand the prohibition. As part of its examination program, the IRS also monitors whether organizations are complying with the prohibition.

The Myth of the Stolen Supreme Court Seat

Democrats set the standard for the GOP on judicial confirmations.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - The confirmation battle over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is off and running, and opponents already know he’s superbly qualified with a fine judicial temperament. But Democrats are still itching for a fight, and their first line of offense is the myth of the “stolen” seat.
“This is a seat that was stolen from the former President, Obama, that’s never been done in U.S. history before,” declared Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in announcing that he will attempt to filibuster Judge Gorsuch. “To let this become normal just invites a complete partisan polarization of the Court from here to eternity.” The “stolen” line is echoing across Progressive Nation, but it’s a complete political invention.
The “theft” is supposedly the GOP Senate’s refusal last year to vote on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat. But the standard of not confirming a Supreme Court nominee in the final year of a Presidency was set by . . . Democrats. And by no less a Beltway monument than the current Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Schumer declared in a July 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society. Democrats then held the Senate and Mr. Schumer was putting down a marker if someone on the High Court retired. George W. Bush didn’t get another opening, but Mr. Schumer surely meant what he said.
The Democratic theft standard goes back further to Joe Biden’s days as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In June 1992 in President George H.W. Bush’s final year, Robber Joe opined that the President “should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”
Naming a new Justice, he said, would ensure that a confirmation “process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all.” If Mr. Bush made an election-year nomination, Mr. Biden said his committee should consider “not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”
Does anyone outside the MSNBC audience think that had the roles been reversed in 2016, and a Democratic Senate faced a Republican Court nominee, Harry Reid would have held a confirmation vote? As John McEnroe liked to shout, “You can’t be serious!”

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Trump Declaring War on Iran?

The US has put Iran "on notice" after it test-fired a new ballistic missile, President Trump's national security adviser has said.
Retired US Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn said the Trump administration was taking a stand over the test "that put American lives at risk".
Earlier, Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan confirmed reports that Tehran launched a medium-range ballistic missile on Sunday, but said the test did not violate a UN Security Council resolution that bans Iran from developing missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
However, Mr Flynn said Tehran had defied the resolution and hit out at Iran's "destabilizing behavior across the Middle East".

Randi Rhodes Show Live Stream