There is the Russian hacking of American institutions. Their support of President Assad in Syria. The continued turmoil in the Ukraine. And now this: Russian Planes Buzz Alaska Four Nights in a Row

American and Canadian fighter planes scrambled to intercept two Russian TU-95 “Bear” bombers Thursday night, marking the fourth consecutive night of Russian probes near the Alaskan coast, U.S. defense officials said Friday.

At no point did the Russian aircraft cross into American or Canadian airspace, but the incursions into the Air Identification Zones — which extend beyond the territorial waters of the U.S. and Canada — represent a sharp increase in activity in the area, which has seen no Russian activity at all since 2015.

Interesting turn of events…from our third nearest neighbor. So are we entering Cold War 2.0?

Why was the right so adamant that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States? They don’t realize that Hawaii has been a state for like 58 years or so.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is confused about it too. Apparently he couldn’t understand how a judge on an island in the Pacific Ocean could hold up President Trump’s immigration ban. Totally ignoring the fact that it is a judge in a federal court (that should provide a clue that Hawaii is a state, aina?). Totally ignoring the fact that he voted for the judge while he was still in the US Senate. Totally ignoring the balance of power between Congress, the White House and the Judiciary.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson last month blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily halting the U.S. refugee program. The Trump Administration appealed the ruling.

Sessions told the “Mark Levin Show” he’s confident the president will prevail with his administration’s appeal of Watson’s travel ban ruling.

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” Sessions said.

When electeds from Hawaii exhibited some push back, here’s the response from the Justice Department…going even further far afield:

U.S. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in an email that Sessions was questioning one judge’s ability to block the president’s executive order for the travel ban.

“Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific — a beautiful one where the Attorney General’s granddaughter was born,” Prior said. “The point, however, is that there is a problem when a flawed opinion by a single judge can block the President’s lawful exercise of authority to keep the entire country safe.

Ignorance may be bliss…but it’s scary when ignorance thinks it owns a throne:

Douglas Chin, Hawaii’s attorney general, said in a statement it was disappointing Sessions doesn’t acknowledge that the federal courts are “co-equal partners with Congress and the president.”

This one earns a Blogging Blue sigh issued between gritted teeth.

Last night I questioned the official stance of the US government on protecting American assets from foreign hacking: Why Are We Acting Like the Russian Hacking is Over?

Well I had overlooked the president’s ardent promise to take it on! Except he forgot about it too!

After a receiving a U.S. intelligence assessment on Russian’s interference in last year’s elections, President Donald Trump vowed that he would have a team present him with a review of America’s cybersecurity efforts within 90 days of taking office.

But Thursday was the 90-day mark and no plan has been presented. The missed target date, one of several blown deadlines in the administration’s first months, has resulted in uncertainty as to who is running the cyber review and when it might be completed. The White House insisted Thursday that a plan was in the works but did not offer any timetable.

“The president has appointed a diverse set of executives with both government and private sector expertise who are currently working to deliver an initial cybersecurity plan through a joint effort between the National Security Council and the Office of American Innovation,” said spokeswoman Lindsey Walters.

She did not address why the deadline was missed.

All I can add is an official Blogging Blue…shrug!

Massive dairy farms and locals debate: Can manure from so many cattle be safely spread on the land? : Lee Kinnard’s new barn stretches the length of six football fields. It’s so big he once flew a drone inside to get a bird’s eye view of all the cows. The family farm milks 6,500 cows in Kewaunee County, where the cattle population has grown faster than anywhere in the state. Since 1983, cattle numbers in the county have jumped by 62% to 97,000 at a time when the statewide cattle population has tumbled by 20%, according to the state agriculture department.

Dairy setting up to be contentious issue in future trade talks : It was a response to a joint letter to President Donald Trump from the governors, who said protectionist trade policies by Canada were to blame for a market disruption that will soon leave dozens of Wisconsin dairy farmers without a buyer for their milk. On Tuesday, Trump vowed to resolve the trade dispute with Canada. “Dairy farmers globally, not just in the U.S., are facing many challenges,” [David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States] wrote in the letter Tuesday. “In particular, both Canadian and American farmers have been dealing with international pressures of low world prices and a surplus of skim milk solids.”

I am surprised at how many of our readers have responded to our posts on Wisconsin family dairy farms. And a number of you shared articles that you found about farming so I am going to share them here today. Thank you to our loyal readers and subscribers for your support and keeping the dialogues going!

This Wisconsin dairy farmer knows what wages sent to Mexico can do : In the late 1990s, John Rosenow was expanding his dairy in Cochrane, Wisconsin. He struggled to find workers to fill positions on the farm as he went from milking 50 cows to more than 500. Other farmers had turned to immigrant labor from Mexico. Rosenow wasn’t interested. “Diversity for us was whether you were Polish or Norwegian or you were Catholic or Protestant,” he said. “And so to bring somebody in from a different country, who spoke a different language — boy that’s something we just didn’t want to do.” But eventually he ran out of options. Rosenow called a farm labor staffing service in Texas, which sent him a worker from Mexico.

This one is a little dated but worth remembering:

Hidden camera captures animal abuse at another Wisconsin dairy farm : The video captured with a hidden camera shows how workers treat animals at the Andrus Dairy in Birnamwood, Wisconsin.
The employees can be seen kicking and punching cows, using high pressured water hoses to spray them in the face and dragging them by their necks with ropes attached to tractors.

That’s a Whole Lot of Manure : Owners of a proposed factory farm in Wood County who have contributed more than $75,000 to legislative and statewide candidates may challenge a recent state appeals court ruling that puts the future of the controversial mega-farm in question. The decision involves the Wysocki Family of Companies, which wants to build Golden Sands Dairy, a factory farm that would hold up to 5,300 cows and produce an estimated 55 million gallons of manure a year. The farm would require about 4,600 acres of red pine forest to be logged, and it would use 32 high-capacity wells for irrigation. The contentious wells, which have been blamed for shrinking lakes and streams around the state during summer, would supply the farm with up to 2 billion gallons of water to use each year. [Ed: emphasis mine]

From the emailbox:

Last month, DFA members across the country gathered in coffee shops, living rooms, and libraries to share news and plan strategies to resist Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s agenda of hate.

But even though the Trump administration has yet to successfully pass a single policy through Congress, our communities are still under attack on multiple fronts.

Just a few weeks ago, Trump decided (over a now-infamous slice of chocolate cake) to bomb Syria in response to a chemical attack that seems increasingly dubious. Since then, he has expanded his aggressive war-mongering, dropping a massive bomb on Afghanistan and threatening North Korea.

Meanwhile, proposed budget cuts threaten the programs that American children, senior citizens, veterans, and communities depend on for survival.

Every day, our resistance becomes more urgent. We need DFA members like you to step up and host a LinkUp for activists in your community to get together and organize to resist Trump and the GOP right in your neighborhood.

Can you host a DFA Resistance LinkUp in Milwaukee on Thursday, May 4?

At these meetings, you’ll connect with friends and neighbors, take actions to call and write your representatives, make plans to attend rallies, marches and protests together, get skills trainings to make your activism more effective, and invite more friends to join the resistance.

We need to keep putting our heads together, in all 50 states, to figure out how we can protect our communities and fight back against the GOP at this crucial moment. That’s why we’re so excited for the next DFA Resistance LinkUp. Can you step up to host one in Milwaukee?

Yes! I’ll host a DFA Resistance LinkUp.

Thanks for helping us build our community as we fight back against Donald Trump!

– Jessica

Jessica Carter, Organizing Manager
Democracy for America

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A lot of ink was sacrificed over the Russian hacking of the DNC and other political activists. But now it’s dropped off the map. Why? Just because the election is over doesn’t mean the Russians aren’t actively attempting to hack both parties, news media sites, law enforcement agencies, the power grid, and of course all areas within the federal government.

So even if the GOP doesn’t want to pursue those ‘past sins’, they should be pursuing anti-hacking technology and spending money on anti-hacking research to prevent contemporary and future incidents.

What are they waiting for?

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full disclosure: I played in a band with the drummer from Shivvers…see Brick Through The Window (page 49)! LOL!

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Alphabet will track health data of 10,000 volunteers to ‘create a map of human health’ : Verily, formerly Google’s life sciences arm, is launching today a four-year study called Project Baseline to find out why people transition from being generally healthy to getting sick. The Silicon Valley-based company is working with its partners, Duke University and Stanford Medicine, to enroll 10,000 participants from diverse backgrounds at half a dozen study sites in California and North Carolina.

Why America’s Federal Reserve might make money disappear : BEFORE the financial crisis, America’s Federal Reserve held assets worth around $850bn. Today, the central bank’s balance-sheet is more than five times as large, at $4.5trn. It grew during and after the financial crisis as the Fed purchased vast quantities of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities using newly created money, most of it under a policy known as quantitative easing (QE). Now the Fed is preparing to sell some assets, and retire the corresponding money. Why and how will it do this?

The Democrats fall just short in Georgia : “NO RUN-OFF”, exhorted a sign at Jon Ossoff’s campaign office in Sandy Springs. As it turned out, in the special election for Georgia’s 6th congressional district on April 18th—for a seat vacated by Tom Price, now Donald Trump’s health secretary—the Democrat fell just short of the 50% needed to avoid a second round. Mr Trump thus narrowly escaped an ominous rebuke in the sort of place Democrats hope to flip in elections next year.

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