Dec 172014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 42.    I’m still mostly down and feeling pretty lethargic, so this my only article.  Tomorrow was supposed to be a prison volunteer day, but because it’s social meeting rather than work, and since I need my groceries delivered tomorrow, I had to opt out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:28 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the playoff picture from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.


It’s not at all unusual for leading teams to lose in the first round, but for those nwho did, there are still consolation games to play.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: 32 members of the Democratic caucus and 24 Republicans supported it. 22 members of the Democratic caucus and 18 Republicans opposed it.

So who were the naughty 32?

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-ME)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
John Walsh (D-MT)
Mark Warner (D-VA)

he rationale of some was, once it passed the House with Obama’s support, Senate Democrats would take the blame for a subsequent shutdown. That is true.  You asked for the list.

From NY Times: The Senate on Monday confirmed President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, ending a long fight over gun control and politics that had left the country without a permanent top doctor for a year and a half.

In an early-evening vote, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internal medicine physician, was approved, 51- to 43.

The confirmation was one of the last acts of business for the Democratic-controlled Senate. Had it not moved, the nomination would have died, making it unlikely the president would have been able to get anyone approved to the post for the remainder of his time in the White House.

We Actually have Ted "Go Back Home" Cruz to thank for this. His idiotic move to hold up the horrible budget deal, while he preened for the cameras, is what kept the Senate open over the weekend, providing time for this and other confirmations.

From Common Dreams: Promising to put forth and lobby on behalf of two bold progressive policy ideas in the months ahead, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has announced his intention to push for new pieces of legislation in the next session, one of which would break up the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and another that would expand the Social Security program for all Americans.

I fully support both of Bernie’s ideas, but the chances of it passing the Senate, let alone even getting a vote in the House, bring snowballs and perdition to mind.



Dec 162014

Here are the results of our “Meaning of Christmas” poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our are usually factually accurate, and more often than not, reflect will of the national majority.


And here are your comments:

Showing comments 1-10 of 10.

Posted by Patty  December 13, 2014 at 3:51 am.  


Christmas to me is about Giving. 365 days a year are about Giving too.


Posted by Rixar13  December 11, 2014 at 7:05 am.


Posted by Rixar13  December 11, 2014 at 7:04 am.


Bill Maher is right on with this segment.



Posted by mamabear  December 3, 2014 at 5:40 am.  


I voted Santa,Family and Giving. When your children are little it’s the wonder and innocents you see in their eyes. Family it’s so exciting to get up 5am and see all the fun the day brings. But giving is by far the most fun because it brings such happiness to others.


Posted by Nancy W  December 1, 2014 at 5:22 am.  


Personally for me it’s about Jesus although I don’t belong to a church, family of course and giving. Despite the fact we donate food most of the year to food banks we also buy some toys.

I think it’s more fun if you have young children who believe in Santa. But it really has become to focused on how many presents people get and what those presents are. And way too many parties if you ask me.


Posted by Joanne D  December 1, 2014 at 4:55 am.  


I don’t really know how to answer this, as it is about all of the above, and more. Light. That just when the days are shortest and it is darkest, there is a turnaround, and the light will return. Rebirth. New beginnings. Equality (both rich are poor were called, the rich by a star, the poor by an angel, to come and see, and both responded – to an event that is for everyone.


In a way I don’t participate, because I don’t go to church, I don’t go to parties, I don’t decorate, I don’t bake. All of those are because of allergies (well, I could bake wheat-free, but with limited mobility it’s not a pleasure, and the result isn’t really worth it to me). I could be resentful that I have had my Christmas stolen by allergies, but I’m not, because what Christmas is REALLY about is in the spirit. And I have all of that. And, as Lona says, the music.


Posted by SoINeedAName  December 1, 2014 at 3:47 am.  


For several decades now we dropped the gifts, and instead we each pick a charity to donate to. Before, all we were doing was exchanging shopping lists for each other. And none of us really needed anything to start with.


So now our Christmas is just like our Thanksgiving … only with better decorations!


(OK – when there were little kids, we would get THEM gifts. But there are no little kids now.



Posted by Lona  December 1, 2014 at 1:25 am.  


The Dutch weren’t very big on Christmas 50 years ago, they celebrated St. Nicolaas on the 5th of December. But my mother had taken the grand German Christmas tradition with her when she came to Holland and we celebrated it with a tree, presents, cookies and fruit and a lavish meal with the whole family when nobody else did. But it has become popular, i.e. very commercialized here too and we stopped celebrating it after my parents died.

These past few years I’ve been Down Under at Christmas and I don’t get into the Christmas feeling at all in the subtropics when it near 40 degrees Celsius out, even with Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium or Händel’s Messiah playing, so we now skip it all together and just donate money to charity – Doctors without borders fighting Ebola this year.


Posted by Edie  November 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm.  


For me, it is the pleasure of family being together and giving, both to family and those less fortunate.


Posted by Lynn Squance  November 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm.  


For me, as a Christian, Christmas is about Jesus, family and giving. But non Christians, and that includes right wing pseudo Christians as well as peoples of other faiths, can celebrate the spirit of Christmas too by giving of themselves to others that truly need to know they matter, that they are loved. Oh, and BTW, Christmas can be celebrated 365 days per year! Giving knows no limit or time frame.

I chose Jesus, family and giving.  The first is by definition.  The third is what he did.  While I am alone, my guys in prison and you all are my family.

The new poll is up and voting in a timely manner is critically important. ;-)

Dec 162014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 42.  I’m still mostly down, but I have three articles, because it‘s time to change the poll.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 4:35).  To do it, click here.  How did you do.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on Sunday, former Vice-President Dick Cheney told host Chuck Todd that he was “sick and tired of Americans being ashamed of our beautiful legacy of torture” and that he was organizing the first “National Torture-Pride March” to take place in Washington in January.

“This is a chance for all of us torturers to say, ‘Look at us, this is who we are,’” Cheney, who will be the Grand Marshall of the parade, said.

I’d love to attend Andy’s march … with a cattle prod.

From Bernie Sanders: Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses the omnibus appropriations bill on the Senate floor.


As usual, Bernie is spot-on.

From Kansas City Star: As he drops new hints about his 2016 intentions, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is appearing in South Carolina just weeks before a self-imposed deadline to decide whether he will run for president.

Bush is scheduled to give Monday’s commencement address at the University of South Carolina. It marks the Republican leader’s second visit in three months to the state that will host the 2016 presidential primary season’s first contest in the South.

In a television interview aired on the eve of the South Carolina appearance, Bush expressed confidence that he “would be a good president,” adding that he was in the process of writing an e-book about his time as governor that would come out in the spring.

When Jeb claims that he would be a good President, he was merely proving that he is a Republican. He is lying. Jeb "Strike Three" Bush would be as bad as “Strike One” and “Strike Two”. He has the same owners.



Dec 152014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 40.  I’m still down.  It’s halftime.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:52 (average 5:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:


Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The banking giant Citigroup announced on Friday that it would move its headquarters from New York to the U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., in early 2015.

Tracy Klugian, a spokesperson for Citi, said that the company had leased thirty thousand square feet of prime real estate on the floor of the House of Representatives and would be interviewing “world-class architects” to redesign the space to suit its needs.

According to sources, Citi successfully outbid other firms, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, for the right to move its headquarters to the House floor.

The Citi spokesperson acknowledged that the extensive makeover of the House is expected to cost “in the millions,” but added, “It’s always expensive to open a new branch.”

Explaining the rationale behind the move, Klugian told reporters, “Instead of constantly flying out from New York to give members of Congress their marching orders, Citigroup executives can be right on the floor with them, handing them legislation and telling them how to vote. This is going to result in tremendous cost savings going forward.”

I bet Andy thinks they’ll wallpaper with $100s.

From Daily Kos: A member of the Open Carry Texas rallies that have seen members marching through restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses with assault rifles has been arrested after two people were found dead in their home.

Veronica Dunnachie, 35, was arrested without incident 11 miles away at Millwood Hospital on North Cooper Street, a mental health facility. She is facing a capital murder charge. […]

Family members who arrived at the scene identified the victims as Russ Dunnachie, Veronica’s husband, and an adult daughter of his.

Dunnachie has been active in the Open Carry movement.

The problem with Republican Ammosexuals carrying guns is their tendency to use them.

From NY Times: After moments of high drama, dry process and acrimony, the Senate passed a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending package Saturday night, abruptly ending several days of chaotic legislative maneuvers and clearing the bill for President Obama to sign.

The legislation, which will fund most of the government through the fiscal year that ends in September, passed in a bipartisan vote, 56 to 40, after a turbulent process — a fitting coda for a governing body that has often failed to govern.

Here are the Democrats with the courage and integrity to vote no. Thank them.




Richard Blumenthal



Cory Booker



Barbara Boxer



Sherrod Brown



Maria Cantwell



Al Franken



Kirsten E. Gillibrand



Tom Harkin



Mazie K. Hirono



Amy Klobuchar



Carl Levin



Joe Manchin III



Edward J. Markey



Claire McCaskill



Robert Menendez



Jeff Merkley



Jack Reed



Jon Tester



Elizabeth Warren



Sheldon Whitehouse



Ron Wyden



Now, excuse me, please, while I go puke, because it passed.



Dec 142014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 39, and I’m still down.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but I won’t get to see my Broncos’ service with the Chargers.  The local CBS affiliate prefers to offer other programming, because the damn Seachickens are on the other network at the same time.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Remarks by Senator Warren on Citigroup and its bailout provision


I say again that the worst thing Obama did in office was to appoint Hillary’s economic advisors instead of his own. For Liz? One word: Amen!  The Senate has passed a short term bill to keep the government open until Wednesday.

Also from YouTube: Chris Hayes: President Elizabeth WARREN? It’s Getting REAL!


Will she or won’t she??  If she does, she gets the cat!

From The Hill: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee next year, Democrats announced Friday.

The self-proclaimed socialist replaces Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who is moving over to become ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

The promotion for Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, gives him a prominent perch to push his priorities as he moves toward a long-shot run for the White House in 2016. He is a vocal advocate for increased spending on social programs and says the budget of the Pentagon should be slashed dramatically.

As ranking member on the budget panel, Sanders could be tasked with creating an alternative fiscal blueprint to the budget that will be put forward by the new Republican Congress.

A perfect choice.



Dec 132014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 38.  My paid helper-friend visited today and did some heavy cleaning and the dreaded task.  While I missed sleep, it’s better than having it pile up.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted his Democratic colleagues in the Senate on Thursday, telling reporters, “I’m sick and tired of people blaming George W. Bush for things he did.”

In the aftermath of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture, Cruz said, “Democrats have been busy with their favorite game again: bringing up catastrophic things that President Bush did and then blaming him for them.”

The Texas Senator raised the invasion of Iraq as an example of something that “Bush gets blamed for simply because he did it.”

Andy I’m still looking for the satire here. I wonder where we can buy Cruz control pesticides.

From Upworthy: It’s The 4th-Biggest Illegal Industry In The World, And In 11 Years, It Will Destroy Itself


The only elephant that should not be protected is part of the problem.


From Washington Post: The federal agency that will play a pivotal role in guiding the sentence of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell has recommended that the onetime Republican rising star spend at least 10 years and a month in prison and 12 years and 7 months at most, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The guidelines recommended by the U.S. probation office are preliminary ones, and even if finalized, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer is not required to follow them.

Unless Governor Ultrasound does time for his crimes, there is little chance that he will learn to rehabilitate himself.