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Friday, January 19, 2018

Why Trump Keeps Telling the World 'I’m Smart'

The president's bravado masks a myriad of other problems.

Image may contain: 2 people, textLong before he started running for president, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that he’s both brainy and well-educated. It is one of his most persistent lies.

He did it again on January 6. In a series of tweets, Trump told the world not only how smart but also how mentally fit he is.

“Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump wrote:
Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star ... to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!
Later in the day he told reporters that “I went to the best colleges, or college,” that he was a “very excellent student” and became “one of the top business people.”

Trump has frequently insisted that he’s smart. But now he’s also defending his mental stability, in response to growing public concerns that his mood swings and impulsiveness reflect psychological impairment. 

Since Trump has become increasingly panicked and unhinged over his fears that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his ties with Russia and his business dealings could end in humiliating impeachment and/or indictment, it may be that Trump’s only way to avoid prison will be to plead mental incompetence.

Trump's media awards

For more cartoons by Ruben Bolling, CLICK HERE.

Then and now

Pic of the Moment

Go fish

DEM Stocking Trout For Winter Fishing Season

Image result for trout fishing GIFThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking ponds across Rhode Island this month with some 4,200 brook and rainbow trout for the winter trout fishing season.

"Fishing is a popular winter activity for people of all ages, providing an opportunity to connect with nature, unwind, and recharge," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "We hope Rhode Islanders will take time to venture outdoors and experience the thrill of reeling in a brook or rainbow trout at one of these prime fishing locations. What fun!"

The one to one and a half-pound, hatchery-raised trout will be stocked in the following waterways from Tuesday, January 23 through Thursday, January 25:

Get your damned flu shot!

As flu season peaks, vaccine is best way to defend against influenza
Seven Rhode Islanders have died from flu already, all aged 50+
Thanks in part to an early-winter cold snap that saw temperatures plummeting into the single digits and people huddling close indoors for warmth, the flu season is seeing an early peak that is likely to extend into April. 

And while there’s no cause to panic over headlines warning of a “widespread,” potentially deadly outbreak, there is a need to take precautions to stay healthy.

“There’s so much attention on it, but it’s not a new problem,” Virginia Lemay, clinical associate professor in the URI College of Pharmacy, said of recent news reports. “There are deaths every year, but once the flu season is in its peak, that’s when people pay more attention to it.”

That peak came early this year as cold weather sent more people indoors, in closer quarters with others, allowing the communicable disease to thrive. 

State departments of health, including Rhode Island’s, have issued public warnings over the “significant increase” in the virus in early January, about a month sooner than average. The early peak — while likely extending the worst of the flu season — has the advantage of focusing people on preventative measures.

Out of work, out of luck

Trump’s Gift for the Unemployed: Kicking Them Off Health Care

Image result for unemployed vintage
Yeah, let's make America great again
On January 11, the Trump administration issued a cruel announcement: If you can’t find a job, don’t count on being able to get health care.

Under an unprecedented new policy, the administration will let states kick people off Medicaid for the crime of being unemployed. Instead of providing good jobs to struggling people, the administration is offering threats and tougher times.

Those hurt could include the Carrier plant workers from Indiana, whose jobs Trump promised to save when he was campaigning for the presidency. Last year, the company announced 600 layoffs.

Now the last of these employees are being pushed out the door. One worker says she’s “a lost paycheck away from homeless.”

Imagine telling her Medicaid won’t be there for her on top of everything else she’ll lose. The heartlessness is incomprehensible.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Stop lying about Trump’s lies

donald trump GIF by Juppi JuppsenNow that Trump has been president for almost a year, it’s time the media called his behavior for what it is rather than try to normalize it. Here are the six most misleading media euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a president:  

1. Calling Trump’s tweets “presidential “statements” or “press releases.” 

“The President is the President of the United States, so they’re considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, said last June when asked during his daily briefing how his tweets should be characterized.

Wrong. Trump’s tweets are mostly rants off the top of his head – many of them wild, inconsistent, rude, crude, and bizarre.

Adventures of a very stable genius

For more cartoons by Matt Bors, CLICK HERE.

The need to impeach

Donald Trump has obstructed justice, threatened our free press
And brought us to the brink of nuclear war. Our progressive legislators must take bold action.
to resist. Raise your voices and demand they support impeachment. Call your representative now!

Free training program for citizen activists

By John Marion in Rhode Island’s Future

Common Cause Rhode Island is again hosting our Demystifying Democracy series, which we launched in 2017.  

This series will focus on empowering citizens to participate in our state and local democracy by providing a behind-the-scenes look at the legislative process.  

We will bring together a diverse group of experts from advocacy, journalism, government, and elsewhere to educate Rhode Islanders on how the General Assembly works and how to become an advocate.  

“I’m Just a Bill (held for further study)” will focus on understanding the legislative process in Rhode Island.  

Our second session, “Making Your Point in 3 Minutes or Less,” will teach you how to testify effectively at the General Assembly.  At “No Math Required,” learn more about the state’s budget process, especially as the 2018 legislative session comes to a close.

News from the RI Community Food Bank

Food pantry as pictured on Annual Report
Food Bank Releases 2017 Annual Report
We’re pleased to offer our 2017 Annual Report online for your review. Read how the Food Bank has worked to end hunger in Rhode Island over the past year and learn about some of the challenges we’ll be facing in the year ahead.
Learn More

Read More


Guests at Food Bank tasting event
Mark Your Calendar for our 2018 Events
Mark your calendars for a number of great events and activities in 2018 including Truck Stop: A Festival of Street Eats in April and Empty Bowls in October. You won’t want to miss these great opportunities to help Rhode Islanders affected by hunger.
Learn More

Read More


Pasta e Fagioli
Warm up with Pasta e Fagioli
Located in Riverside, member agency Good Neighbors Soup Kitchen provides daily meals to those in need. One of the meals often on the menu is a delicious pasta e fagioli recipe. Normally made in batches to feed up to 70 people, we’ve converted the recipe to family size so you can try it at home.
Enjoy This Recipe

© 2017 Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
Phone: (401) 942‑MEAL (6325)

What's Killing America's Middle Class?

What we have here is plutocracy in action. 
Related imageIt is said that the rich and poor will always be among us — but nowhere is it written that the middle class is a sure thing.

Even in this country of grand egalitarian aspirations — where the common yeoman (neither rich nor poor) has been hailed from 1776 forward as America's greatest strength — the U.S. actually had no broad middle class until one was created in the 1930s and '40s. Before then, most Americans either lived in poverty or right next door.

And, yes, "created" is the correct term for how our middle class came to be, with two historic forces of social transformation pushing it. 

First, the widespread economic devastation of the Great Depression created a grassroots rebellion of labor, farmers, poor people, the elderly and others against the careless moneyed class that caused the crash. 

These forces produced FDR and his New Deal of Social Security, worker rights and protections, consumer laws, anti-monopoly restraints and other policies that put government on the side of the people, empowering them to counter much of the corporate greed preventing their upward mobility.

Second, the government's national mobilization for World War II created an explosion of new jobs, growth and opportunities for millions who'd long been blocked from sharing in our nation's prosperity. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New front in the fight for the right to vote

By Bob Plain in Rhode Island’s Future

Related image
Charlestown's peripatetic state representative Blake "Flip" Filippi
President Donald Trump did something that pleased both Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and Common Cause of Rhode Island Executive Director John Marion. Namely, Trump shut down his controversial voter fraud commission.

“I was not surprised to learn that President Trump has dissolved his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” said Gorbea, in a statement to reporters.

“It was clear from the start that this commission was an attempt to distract voters from the real dangers in our election systems – lack of funding for modernization and security, including cyber threats from foreign actors,” she continued. “The commission was plagued with open meeting violations and transparency issues. From the beginning, it faced multiple legal challenges, including one from a member of the commission.

Gorbea noted she “refused to release voters’ private information and did not comply with the commission’s overly broad request for data.”

Marion offered a similar sentiment.

“It’s good the ‘Commission’ was shut down,” he told RI Future. “It was a misguided effort, based on the false premise that millions of illegal votes were cast in 2016. There are real improvements that need to be made to elections in the United States, but that Commission was doing little, if anything, to address them.”

VIDEO: If only Donald Trump played the accordion

To watch and listen to this delightful video on YouTube:

No cause for alarm, Part 2

cute cat photo

No cause for alarm

Pic of the Moment

What's happening at the Mystic Aquarium

Family Game Days

Saturdays in January
Explore all of your favorite exhibits while you compete against family and friends with supersized games and activities.

Trainer Days

Sundays in January
From food prep to hands-on enrichment opportunities and even routine medical exams, our trainers do it all!

Pancakes with Penguins

February 11  |  8:00 - 9:30am
Join us for a delicious breakfast buffet and meet an African penguin. Make your reservation today!

Seal Splash

February 17  |  11:00am - 12:30pm
Brave the cold water at Eastern Point Beach and help to raise funds for the Animal Rescue Program.

South African Wine Dinner

February 17  |  6:30 - 9:30pm
Wine and dine in the Aquarium's beautiful Main Gallery and meet a pair of African penguins! 21+ event.