Dec 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 46.  I survived my meeting, but there was no way to stay dry  (see below).  At least it was not a cold day.  I took a steamy shower as soon as I returned.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but my Broncos have the Monday night service with the Bengals, so I can see it and the damn Seachickens cannot interfere.  I’ll have at least an Open Thread for Monday, maybe more.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:28: (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

1221CartoonTCWet

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Dec 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 45.  Last night there was another fire in the building.  The alarm awakened me from a sound sleep at 3:45 AM, and I had to dress for weather and prepare to be evacuated if need be.  I never smelled smoke and the alarm quit about twenty minutes later, but I was far too wound up to get back to sleep.  To make matters worse, tomorrow I have a semi-annual meeting that I must attend and cannot reschedule.  I get to go out into the worst part of the coming storm.  Half an inch of rain and high winds are forecast.  So today, I’m getting all the rest I can.  Do not be surprised, if I have nothing for Sunday, either.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

1220Cartoon

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Dec 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 44.  This is my only article.  I’m still mostly down, and having to fight the Care2 Glitch Monster last night cut into my sleep.  What’s going to be your Christmas storm back east is coming in and it’s going to be a nasty one.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:31 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Following months of secret negotiations with the Cuban government, President Obama on Wednesday announced sweeping changes to normalize relations with Cuba, a bold move that ends one of the most misguided chapters in American foreign policy.

The administration’s decision to restore full diplomatic relations, take steps to remove Cuba from the State Department list of countries that sponsor terrorism and roll back restrictions on travel and trade is a change in direction that has been strongly supported by this page. The Obama administration is ushering in a transformational era for millions of Cubans who have suffered as a result of more than 50 years of hostility between the two nations.

Mr. Obama could have taken modest, gradual steps toward a thaw. Instead, he has courageously gone as far as he can, within the constraints of an outmoded 1996 law that imposes stiff sanctions on Cuba in the pursuit of regime change.

“These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time for a new approach.”

I fully support Obama’s decision to do this. Needless to say, Republicans are using this as an occasion to promote hate.  See below.

From Media Matters: Right-Wing Media React Angrily To Agreement With Cuba

Triple Barf Bag Alert!!!

Revoltin’ Bolton

 

Limbarf

 

Bush’s Brain (Jeb’s too!)

 

Dang!!  I hope three barf bags were enough!

From Think Progress: The wealth disparity between upper and middle income Americans has hit a record high, according to a new Pew Research Center Report. On average, today’s upper-income families are almost seven times wealthier middle-income ones, compared to 3.4 times wealthier in 1984. When compared to lower income family wealth, upper income family wealth is 70 times larger.

It has come to the point where only the top 10 percent of Americans are seeing their wealth grow while the bottom 90 get less and less of the pie each year. The driving force of this wealth chasm are the top 0.1 percent, who have seen their share of the nation’s wealth grow the most over the past decades, from 7 percent in 1979 to 22 percent today. In fact, the top 0.1 percent are now worth more than the entire bottom 90 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which adjusts for the shrinking size of the American family so as to enable comparisons across time periods.

Republicans are succeeding at one of their two main goals.

Cartoon:

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When GW was pResident, we hired a gal to give him a BJ for impeachment purposes.  She couldn’t find it.

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Dec 182014
 

The US Senate is done for the year, but before they went home they confirmed a bunch of Barack Obama’s appointments.  That’s the last thing Republicans wanted, but Democrats got the extra floor time, Because Ted “The Immigrant” Cruz made a fool of himself.  That’s an easy undertaking for him.

1218SenateThe Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed the last batch of President Obama’s judicial appointees and sent the White House legislation extending tax breaks for working-class millions and special interests alike late Tuesday as Congress ended a tumultuous two-year run.

The Senate adjourned at 11:24 p.m., officially ending the 113th Congress.

An 11th-hour attempt to renew a program obliging the government to cover part of the cost of terrorism-caused losses was sidetracked by retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who said it was a giveaway to private industry.

But dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to agency positions won approval on the final night of the Congress. Among them were Sarah Saldana to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Nicholas Rasmussen as director of the National Counterterrorism Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Rasmussen is currently the deputy director, a post he has held since 2012. He served on the National Security Council from 2007 to 2012, where he was a special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism.

In addition, the Senate voted 55-38 to approve the president’s nominee to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite criticism from Sen. John McCain and other Republicans. Tony Blinken, who is replacing the retiring William Burns, joined the White House in 2009 as a top aide to Vice President Joe Biden. He later became Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser and a key player on foreign policy issues, including the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria…

Inserted from <CBS>

This could never have happened had not Democrats changed Senate rules to eliminate filibusters on nominees.

Lawrence O’Donnell discussed the rule change and it’s effects with Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  Unfortunately, I can only bring you MSNBC clips, if I can find them on YouTube.

No I imagine you think that I’m pro-filibuster, now that Republicans control the Senate.  That is not so.  I think the only kind if filibuster that should be allowed is a talking filibuster by one Senator taking no breaks.  We might get some Republican votes of we give David Vitter (R-LA) the diaper concession. The party in charge must be allowed to govern.  Had we gone to a talking filibuster only in 2009, we would not have a Republican Congress now.

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Dec 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 43.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  I’m still feeling pretty crappy, but I do have a second article for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:58 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: What some insiders are calling a “rash display of backbone” last week could endanger Senator Elizabeth Warren’s career as a Democrat, leading party operatives say.

Harland Dorrinson, a strategist who has guided the campaigns of dozens of Democratic candidates, said that the Massachusetts legislator’s “recklessly truthful” tirade about banks left him “smacking my head.”

“She stood up for what she believed in and didn’t try to water it down,” he said. “That is a serious violation of the Democratic playbook.”

Andy is on. Unlike the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, Liz does not hump a few Republican legs, while begging, whine, roll over, and play dead.

From Daily Kos: Yesterday, the former vice president of the United States and one of the architects of the American torture program explained why he was unconcerned about the torture of innocent prisoners.

CHUCK TODD: Let me go to Gul Rahman. He was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, froze to death in C.I.A. custody. And it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity.

DICK CHENEY: –right. But the problem I had is with the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield. […] I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.

CHUCK TODD: 25% of the detainees though, 25% turned out to be innocent. They were released.

DICK CHENEY: Where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are– […]

CHUCK TODD: Is that too high? You’re okay with that margin for error?

DICK CHENEY: I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.

I’d be happy to chip in for his ticket to The Hague.

From Upworthy: Housing is a human right. And an economy based on financial markets doesn’t care about human rights. Maybe it’s time for a new economy?

 

Click through for more info. This is what Republican rule is doing to Detroit and to America.

Cartoon:

1218Cartoon

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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.

15Playoffs

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.

Cartoon:

1217Cartoon

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