No No to Robo

Last night LastWeekTonight righteously ranted on robocalls. In addition to his usual colorful language and visuals which those of tender years and ears should ignore, John Oliver suggests some solutions to this viscious, vile villainy.

Robocalls are a growing problem. If only we could make the FCC care a little bit more about fixing it.


25 thoughts on “No No to Robo”

  1. Loved the robocall segment last night. LMOA.

    XR, it’s true that there are 17 Arabs and Druze of the 160 members of the Knesset, all of whom ran and were elected to office And it’s also true that occupied Gaza/West Bank is not universally considered sovereign Israeli territory. So no, there is not exactly the same level of exclusion of native Arabic speaking people within Israel that I think of when I think of apartheid. The West Bank/Gaza is a different issue. I’m of the mind that after 52 years of occupation Israel treats it as part of Israel and the exclusionary policies and abhorrent treatment of that population does seem a lot like the treatment blacks experienced in South Africa. Are there distinctions to be drawn between the African and Israeli systems?  Of course. But I’d say the similarities outweigh the differences. I find both despicable.

  2. pay for play in more than one way


    mother jones:

    A Florida Massage Parlor Owner Has Been Selling Chinese Execs Access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago

    The strange, swampy saga of Trump donor Li Yang.


    Yang, who goes by Cindy, and her husband, Zubin Gong, started GY US Investments LLC in 2017. The company describes itself on its website, which is mostly in Chinese, as an “international business consulting firm that provides public relations services to assist businesses in America to establish and expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace.” But the firm notes that its services also address clients looking to make high-level connections in the United States. On a page displaying a photo of Mar-a-Lago, Yang’s company says its “activities for clients” have included providing them “the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures.” The company boasts it has “arranged taking photos with the President” and suggests it can set up a “White House and Capitol Hill Dinner.” (The same day the Herald story about Yang broke, the website stopped functioning.) 

    The short bio of Yang on the website, identifying her as the founder and CEO of GY US Investments, shows her in a photo with Trump bearing his signature. It says she has been “settled in the United States for more than 20 years” and is a member of the “Presidential Fundraising Committee.” According to the Herald, Yang is a registered Republican, and since 2017 she and her relatives have donated more than $42,000 to a Trump political action committee and more than $16,000 to Trump’s campaign. Her Facebook page, which was taken offline on Friday, was loaded with photos of her posing with GOP notables: Donald Trump Jr., Rep. Matt Gaetz or Florida, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, among others.

    The GY US Investments website lists upcoming events at Mar-a-Lago at which Yang’s clients presumably can mingle with Trump or members of his family. This includes something called the International Leaders Elite Forum, where Trump’s sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau, will supposedly be the featured speaker. ….


    The GY US Investments website also posted photos of Yang at a White House celebration of the “Asian New Year” in 2018 and at a Chinese New Year dinner celebration that purportedly included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Transportation Secretary Chao. The firm says it invited 10 guests to the Chinese New Year event and the website shows several of them posing with Chao.


    According to the website, the company has offices in Miami; Washington, DC; and Wuhan, China, and is preparing to open an office in Beijing. But the address of its office in the Washington area matches the location of a UPS store.


    The overall message conveyed by the GY US Investments website seems clear: hire Yang’s company and she can get you close to Trump and his government—at Mar-a-Lago and in Washington. If the posted photos are authentic, she has been able to get Chinese clients at least into the Trump circle for a quick pic. They are a sign that this Chinese immigrant and Trump donor has used her contacts to go from massaging clients to massaging influence.


    Update: Yang has been active in Asian American Republican groups. Since 2017, she has participated in the Broward County, Florida Chapter of the Asian GOP, a national Republican group. The chapter’s web page touts the Mar-a-Lago “Safari Night” promoted by Yang’s company – with Trump Grau listed as the host. Yang also visited the White House last year as part of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative, an advisory group Trump formed by executive order.

  3. A flier posted on GY US Investments’ website publicizing an upcoming event at Mar-A-Lago featuring the president’s sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau.

  4. Politico :

    ALEX THOMPSON and DANIEL STRAUSS: “Former Gillibrand aide resigned in protest over handling of sex harassment claims”

    schadenfreude aus Minnesota

  5. February jobs report was awful – looks like a burst bubble to me.  This report is fulled with so many inconsistencies it looks like it was generated by SFB political appointees rather than career economists at DoL.  Make sense of this if you can:

    The jobless rate fell in part because of the vagaries the Labor Department uses to calculate the headline rate — there was an increase of 198,000 in those considered not in the labor force, while those classified as unemployed fell by 300,000 and the ranks of the employed decreased by 45,000, according to the household survey.

    A more encompassing unemployment rate that counts discouraged workers as well as those holding jobs part time for economic reasons, often called the “real” unemployment rate, plunged to 7.3 percent in February from 8.1 percent in January. Those employed part time for economic reasons tumbled by 837,000 to 4.3 million while those completing temporary jobs fell by 225,000, which a Labor Department official said was a consequence of the government shutdown that ended in late January.

  6. Critics of the claim argue that Israel cannot be called an apartheid state because unlike South Africa, which enshrined its racial segregation policies in law, Israeli law is the same for Jewish citizens and other Israeli citizens, with no explicit distinction between race, creed or sex.[23]
    However, others believe that certain laws do explicitly or implicitly discriminate on the basis or creed or race, in effect privileging Jewish citizens and disadvantaging non-Jewish, and particularly Arab, citizens of the state. These include the Law of Return, the Ban on Family Unification, and many laws regarding security, land and planning, citizenship, political representation in the Knesset, education and culture. The Nation-State Bill, which has been met with worldwide condemnation, has also been compared by members of PLO, opposition MPs, and other Arab and Jewish Israelis, to an “apartheid law
    Maybe we need a different term.  Whatever you call it — it’s not good

    Separate and not equal

  7. 1. Israeli Jews descended from Arabs and Iranians are not allowed to ‘return’ to Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, so the there is a certain symmetry.

    2. As long as there is no peace signed with the Palestinians, a right of return for them is impossible.

    3. There is another cure for the difficulty besides Israeli surrender to Arab demands to return. That is for non-Jewish Arabs to convert (back, according to Palestinian scholars) to Judaism, and use the Jewish Law of Return.

    So, in a sense, Arabs have choices in the matter that So African Blacks did not. Peace or conversion will bring about their alleged desired summum bonum.


  8. AS I said at the beginning — I blame the British — the original work is the what has caused all the subsequent problems.  I completely agree that the neighboring countries have used the problem to also do things that are inhumane and they should all be condemned.   But the current government in Israel has done nothing to move forward.  There have been bright spots in the past that were snuffed out because of the lunatic rightwing.

  9. NYTimes: 

    In an unusual reproach, Fox News criticized one of its star personalities, Jeanine Pirro, after the host questioned if a Muslim lawmaker’s religious beliefs undermined her loyalty to the United States.

    Ms. Pirro, the prosecutor-turned-politician-turned-TV host who is close to President Trump, had attacked Representative Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat, in the opening remarks of her weekend show, “Justice With Judge Jeanine.”

    “Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Ms. Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Shariah law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

    Her comments were widely condemned as prejudiced, including by a Fox News producer, Hufsa Kamal, who wrote to Ms. Pirro on Twitter, “can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself.”


    Fox News responded on Sunday, about 24 hours after Ms. Pirro’s show was aired. “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly,” the network said in a statement.

    Ms. Pirro, whose fiery monologues have helped her show’s ratings, sounded less contrite. “I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American,” she wrote in a separate statement. “My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.”


  10. OMG… all this round and round about Israel… what a fucking mess!

    Robo calls…  I’d pay to see the guy who invented them get the electric chair.

    Pogo…  I can’t make sense of that either.  It reads like something invented at Fox news.

  11. more critiquing of religious beliefs and behavior by politicians

    the guardian:

    Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday night he and Vice-President Mike Pence have different views of their Christian faith and he does not understand Pence’s loyalty to Donald Trump.

    The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said his feeling “is that the scripture is about protecting the stranger, the prisoner, the poor person, and that idea of welcome. That’s what I get in the Gospel when I’m in church.”


    He said Pence’s view “has a lot more to do with sexuality, a certain view of rectitude”.


    Buttigieg said he was puzzled by such strong support for the president from Pence, a former governor of his state.


    “How could Pence allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency?” and added, “Is it that he stopped believing in scripture, when he started believing in Donald Trump? I don’t know. I don’t know.”


    Buttigieg, who is gay, made the comments at a CNN town hall in Austin, Texas. The remark was greeted with applause.


    Buttigieg also said he had “disagreed with [Pence] ferociously … but I thought, well, at least he believes in our institutions and he’s not personally corrupt. But then … how could he get on board with this presidency?”

  12. It is my personal feeling that the US should have given the Israelis Utah

  13. “US should have given the Israelis Utah”

    kgc, in that case, Israel would have had to stand in line behind the Ute, Paiute, Goshute, Shoshone, and Navajo tribes.

    ‘course had the US done so, like Palestinians, those folks would have been shunted aside and kicked out of their homes.

  14. kgc, on second thought you may have hit on something there.  consider this passage from the mormonwiki site:

    The Book of Mormon is a history of some Israelites who escaped from Jerusalem in about 600 BC, just before the Babylonian Captivity. They were led by God to a promised land in the Americas. They established a civilization led by kings, judges, and prophets who taught them about Jesus Christ. They kept the Law of Moses looking forward to Christ, and Christ visited them after His resurrection, establishing His church among them. By about AD 400 the people had become so wicked that they destroyed themselves in a series of wars. Some of the American Indians are of their lineage.

  15. Todays peeves:

    1. No editors or editing on the Internet, just Word spell check.  There is a difference between memorizing and mesmerizing.

    2. Robo calls, except the ones I placed as a politician.  I still feel sorry for the woman who lived outside my city who received not only my monthly calls, but calls from at least ten organizations not associated with me but who were sending out robocalls all the time to her.

    3. Bad weather.

    4. Not being on the water fishing or crabbing.

    5. SFB and his spawn/cult/mob still being in power.

  16. Rep Steven King is a racist and has been for a long time and yet…..

    I guess in the Gooper culture of do as I say not as I do they still think loser old white men still have the last word

    I think Nancy P handled it very well.

  17. ‘course had the US done so, like Palestinians, those folks would have been shunted aside and kicked out of their homes. – Ms Pat

    Weren’t they anyway ?

  18. Ms Cracker, by Labor Day, 2020, Omar will have been replaced on the ticket by a nice black Missionary Baptist minister like Adam Clayton Powell, who will represent MN 5CD, rather than a foreign country. Then the issue will be those 23 repubs who refused to condemn bigotry, hate, anti-Semitism and disunity.

    And yeah, Ms Pelosi is tops.

  19. X-R

    Say it isn’t so.  I like her.  She errs on the side of inflammatory statements but I kind of like her style. Plus are the voters in her district familiar with her — she’s been a blunt speaker for quite some time.

    I think she and her sisters in the house are ok.

    What about when Joe Biden did his racist imitation of a Pakistani convenience store owner  no one suggested he do anything,..but the usual sort of weak apology

    Although it certainly didn’t help his failing presidential bid a word to the wise Biden supporters

  20. We can’t say who’ll top the ticket in 2020, so could we please not eat our own on an open forum – at least please don’t provide the links?  I prefer to let the repulsives do their own oppo research.   (I’ll probably be an offender by the way. )

  21. Ms Cracker,

    Ilhan Omar is not my Rep, so I have no say in the matter of her re-nomination. She can be very charming and cameras like to flirt with her. She demonstrates dash and verve. She is a terrific organizer, and the Somali community in Minneapolis is devoted to her father and grandfather. They’ll all turn out for her. But the Somalis are not a majority of the 5th CD. There are more African Americans there, and Palestine is not high on their list of to-dos. We’ll see what Omar can deliver for her district. If she can get what they want, she’ll have an easier time. But if she annoys people in the House, they’ll have little reason to help Omar’s projects along.

    So far, Omar ‘doesn’t play well with the other children’, and that’s a bad sign for her future. I  think she’s been wounded, there’s blood in the water, and someone she beat to the nomination in ’18 will get it in ’20. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Bobby Joe Champion, JD, running again, and in earnest this time around. The people of MN5CD are smart enough to know who and what they want. They don’t need my help. If they want Palestine more than school psychologists, lead paint abatement money, and community-based policing money, she’ll win in 2020.

  22. I’m definitely closing in on Booker and Klobuchar, but Buttigieg is a gas. I am bright greenly jealous of his phrase, porn star presidency. Damn, how I wish I’d said that.

Comments are closed.