Lees and Orts


Jacinda Ardern Considers Offer from Maori Leaders to Bury Placenta at Historic British Treaty Site

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy. It is, after all New Zealand; the indigenous Maori rightly hold a place in the forefront of that society. And, you know…tradition.

However I can’t but wonder if the prime minister is forgoing an invaluable future biological tool chest in favor of a political nod to the past.  1

Lees and Orts

The president*, being the shithouse rat he is, continues to fill the swamp…

For a year now, lobbyists have swarmed the White House under President Donald Trump, attaining positions within various federal agencies just days after leaving government affairs jobs at lobbying firms, trade groups and corporations.

Back in 2009, then-President Barack Obama issued an executive order on ethics that barred lobbyists from joining agencies they had lobbied in the previous two years. But Trump weakenedthat order shortly after becoming president, allowing lobbyists to join agencies they recently lobbied so long as they recused themselves from working on specific issues on which they had lobbied within the previous two years. The Trump administration has been sidestepping even that stipulation — in some cases by ignoring it, and in others, by granting ethics waivers.

In late August of 2017, White House counsel Donald McGahn issued a waiver for a new member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), previously a lobbyist for the corn syrup industry, to advise the department on dietary guidelines:

“I hereby waive the requirements of paragraph 7 of the Ethics Pledge to Ms. Kailee Tkacz to allow her to advise the Secretary of Agriculture and other senior Department officials with respect to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans process. I have determined that it is in the public interest to grant this limited waiver because of Ms. Tkacz’s expertise in the process by which the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are issued every five years.”

Tkacz was director of food policy for the Corn Refiners Association, a trade group for corn syrup manufacturers, for two years before immediately leaving for the Trump administration in July 2017, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before that, she lobbied for the Snack Food Association and the National Grocers Association. Prior to her lobbying days, she spent a year as a research analyst on tax policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of corporations and conservative lawmakers that work together to craft business-friendly model legislation, and a year at the Charles Koch Institute, named after its billionaire founder and the CEO and part-owner of the global fossil fuel and materials conglomerate Koch Industries.

Same as it ever was…
Lees and Orts

London’s Lever Gallery is exhibiting a selection of rare, original cover illustrations from the 1960s and early 70s.

And it’s all pulp. Luv it, baby!

Lees and Orts

You know you’ve become the sort of third world shithole (your own president* bemoans) when civilized nations won’t allow their citizens to be extradited to your nation.

A British Appeals Court on Monday rejected demands from the U.S. Government for the extradition of an accused British hacker, Lauri Love, citing the inability of U.S. prisons to humanely and adequately treat his medical and mental health ailments. Extradition to the U.S., the court ruled, would be “oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition.”

Rejecting the prosecutor’s pleas that “the British courts should trust the United States to provide what it said it would provide” in order to secure Love’s health and safety, the court instead invoked extensive medical and psychological testimony that conditions inside American prisons are woefully inadequate to treat Love’s ailments. As a result, extradition and incarceration inside the U.S. prison system would exacerbate those health issues and produce a high risk of suicide…

…Love strenuously objected to the extradition request, insisting that he could be easily tried in the U.K.. His family and his physicians detailed the debilitating physical and mental health problems he suffers – including severe depression, Asperger Syndrome, asthma and eczema – that has incapacitated him for years, caused him to drop out of various colleges despite a very high intellectual capability, and forced him to live at home with his parents. Love, his parents and his doctors all emphatically stated that he would likely commit suicide if he were extradited to the U.S., a country he has never visited and where he has no family, for trial and ultimate imprisonment.

Can’t blame the guy for fighting extradition; the DOJ has often, and just recently, acknowledged that the U.S. prison system is a shithole.

Lees and Orts

Show 1 footnote

  1. Had the technology been viable when the Astas were birthed, I know Nora and I would have opted for storage.

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