May 032015
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how incredibly demented InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

No one is more eager to believe the cops’ crazy leaked story about Freddie Gray than Sean Hannity, because now he can blame Obama.

Hannity-tinThe Baltimore police’s outrageous leak to the Washington Post of an absurd explanation for how Freddie Gray sustained his life-ending injury was insane on its face. But not to Sean Hannity. Envisioning the already suffering Freddie Gray purposely flinging himself around in the back of the police van to break his own spine had the ring of truth to the Fox newsian. It has to be true! It was in a good newspaper, after all!

Hannity went nuts, pouncing on the report to attack, who else, Obama for his “rush to judgement” in the Gray case. Enter voice of reason Geraldo Rivera (yes, Sean Hannity has the ability to make Geraldo Rivera appear as the voice of reason. Quite a remarkable feat, actually.)

Rivera, who is primarily known for suggesting that black people’s attire is what gets them killed, did think something about the report was fishy. Namely, that it was crazy. He told Hannity that he doubted very much that the Baltimore protesters would buy it, either, saying, "They will not be convinced by the Washington Post report that this fellow died as a result of self-inflicted wounds."

This outraged Hannity. "So the facts be damned!" he bellowed.

That’s right. He said facts. Facts are those things that police say in Hannity’s world. No matter how nonsensical. Why was Rivera not on board with this?

Mainly Hannity just wanted to attack Obama, though. If the Washington Post report is true, Hannity said, which no one in their right mind thought for a moment, “That means the President of the United States has injected himself wrongly four times in four high-profile race issues. That makes him a four-time loser.”

Oh God. Shut up, Hannity, you million-time loser. We hear there’s an opening on Clive Bundy’s ranch for you…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

I don’t know.  Clive Bundy just might consider Sean Hannity too extreme to allow on the property.

This is just one of six incredibly demented Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other five.

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May 032015
 

As always, I have a very busy day on tap.  I spent a couple hours doing overdue computer maintenance, and I planned my itinerary, bought my tickets and paid for my room for my trip to Salem during the last week of the month for prison volunteer work.  I’m still in pain, but not so bad as to stop me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (average 4:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

Republican lawmakers know very well that they’re in an awful bind completely of their own making. They insisted on pursuing every possible avenue for destroying Obamacare, and now one might work out for them. The Supreme Court could very well decide in June to strike down subsidies to the around 8 million people who have purchased insurance on the federal exchange, making keeping that insurance impossible for many, and making those 8 million people very, very angry. Most Republicans have now come around to the idea that maybe that’s not going to be such a great thing for them, particularly those who have to be re-elected next year. One of them, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has introduced legislation that would extend the subsidies into 2017. But Johnson isn’t the only one who has some kind of fix, and most of those "fixes" create real problems going forward.

The Johnson plan would prohibit new customers in both the state and federally operated exchanges from receiving subsidies and repeal the individual and employer mandates. In addition, it would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s minimum essential benefit requirements, allow states to set those benefit rules, and grandfather in existing health plans that are not compliant with the ACA.

Another proposal, by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), would continue premium subsidies for 18 months but phase them out over that period. For six months after the court rules, financial assistance for all subsidy-eligible exchange customers would be set at a flat 65% of premium costs. That would decrease by 5 percentage points each month until the subsidies were completely eliminated. During the transition period, insurers would be prohibited from raising premiums. In addition, the Sasse bill would prohibit HHS from providing federal exchange technology to states interested in establishing their own exchanges. […]

On the House side, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and two other committee chairmen have proposed to offer a flat tax credit to people now receiving subsidies through the federal exchange. In addition, they would let states opt into an alternative Republican reform model without insurance mandates and including traditional GOP policy nostrums such as allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines.

In Short, the Republican fixes would all pretend to save ObamaCare, but would really convert it to standard RepubliCare, complete with the free RepubliCare Death Benefit. If you can’t afford to pay, you get to die.

From NY Times: A bill that would end prescribed wages on public construction projects in Indiana awaits the signature of Gov. Mike Pence. And Henry Burks, a union electrician who lives near Indianapolis, is bracing.

Mr. Burks, 57, is putting off plans to build a patio at his house. He is delaying painting and landscaping, too. And he said he is worried about how to continue helping his grown children with college costs if his income drops, as he firmly expects.

“This is going to inhibit me from taking care of my family,” Mr. Burks, who makes about $60,000 a year, said the other day as he took a break from installing conduit inside a corn processing plant in Lafayette. “Our wages will go down. The contractors we work for won’t get as many jobs. Maybe I’ll have to find work outside of Indiana.”

Sadly, it’s not just Indiana. The Republican War on Workers is a nationwide campaign.

From Crooks and Liars: Never mind decades of failed trickle-down economic policies on a national level, the talking heads at Fox want to pretend what happens in our cities takes place in a vacuum.

From this Saturday’s Cashin’ In on Faux "news," the usual suspects were on there bashing liberals, our social safety nets, and pretending that liberals running our big cities in America are solely responsible for all of the economic woes in communities across the United States, and with impoverished areas that haven’t seen the same sort of recovery as a lot of the country following the financial crisis that took place just as President Obama was being sworn into office.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

When it comes to inner city streets being a prison pipeline, I have to say that Democrats share the blame for that aspect of the unrest. Republicans had targeted Democrats as "soft on crime" so many times, that Bill Clinton and the Democrats in Congress went overboard in the opposite direction. However, Republicans are far more to blame overall. Starving inner cities for finding, exporting urban jobs to the third world, the decimation of labor, the war on the poor, and the rabid racism that the Republican Party employ are just some of the reasons why.

Cartoon:

0503Cartoon

Godwin’s Law – a common meme used by fascists, pseudo-intellectuals, and people with their heads in the sand (or in smellier places), whenever anyone points out the verifiable commonalities between today’s Republican Party and Germany’s National Socialist Party.

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May 022015
 

In April, Politics Plus was little changed from February and March, for which I was too ill to provide a Monthly Report.

Here is our latest summary:

Stats4-2015

Data from April 2015:

Reported period

Month Apr 2015

 

 

 

 

First visit

01 Apr 2015 – 00:00

 

 

 

 

Last visit

30 Apr 2015 – 05:59

 

 

 

 

 

Unique visitors

Number of visits

Pages

Hits

Bandwidth

Viewed traffic *

9,665

 

26,000

(2.69 visits/visitor)

78,830

(3.03 Pages/Visit)

228,103

(8.77 Hits/Visit)

3.28 GB

(132.28 KB/Visit)

Not viewed traffic *

 

 

 

315,547

358,509

5.06 GB

Data from April 2014:

Reported period

Month Apr 2014

 

 

 

 

First visit

01 Apr 2014 – 00:00

 

 

 

 

Last visit

30 Apr 2014 – 23:58

 

 

 

 

 

Unique visitors

Number of visits

Pages

Hits

Bandwidth

Viewed traffic *

11,185

 

34,084

(3.04 visits/visitor)

81,302

(2.38 Pages/Visit)

257,508

(7.55 Hits/Visit)

3.87 GB

(119.05 KB/Visit)

Not viewed traffic *

 

 

 

299,711

345,457

4.48 GB

This April was a significant decline from last.

Here is our latest demographic data from Quantcast:

QUS4-2-15

They miss a ton of raw data, but among those they can identify they are a valuable source of information.  We are still mostly older, well educated, poor, and politically active. 

Here is our latest ClustrMap:

CMap4-2015

ClustrMap misses a lot of, because many visits can’t be easily traced to a location.  It shows only the visits from March 3 to April 26, when it was last updated.  Having been reset to zero, since the last one you saw, this is much sparser.

Here are our top five articles:

Happy Easter! 4/10/2012 2,647
Jane Smiley: Capitalist Pigs 11/17/2010 1,046
Open Thread–4/6/2015 250
Matthews Hits Home on Iran 4/7/2015 175
Liz on Hillary 4/9/2015 171

The count represents only the people who followed an external link to that specific article.  I’m pleased to see three  from April.

Here are our top non-blog/news referrers:

Google 3,300
Care2 1,886
Stumbleupon 370

Two are down.  Google is up.

Here are our top  blog/news referrers:

http://infidel753.blogspot.com/
http://bildungblog.blogspot.com/
http://oakcreekforum.blogspot.com/
http://welcome-to-pottersville2.blogspot.com/

Normally I have included fifteen here, but these four are the only ones with two or more referrals.  This is the one stat that disappoints me most, because it means that we are no longer a go-to site for bloggers. Putting their links here increases the ratings of their sites, so this “linkey love” is our thank you for their support.

Here are our top commentators.  As the resident Big Mouth, I don’t count.  Those who leave their URLs in their comment headers, also get “linkey-love” here.

Lynn Squance (117)
Joanne D (100)
Edie (94)
Patty (93)
Pat A (80)
jla (59)
SoINeedAName (52)
Vivian B. (37)
Jerry Critter (25)
Jim Phillips (20)
mamabear (20)
Avril Lomas (5)
dave c (3)
Dotti Lydon (3)
Infidel753 (3)
Steve (3)

There are over 15, because of a tie.  People who submit articles to Care2 can use their submitted news link from there.  These are the people that kept PP alive during my illness.  I did credit Patty foe Pstty’s comments. :-)

We have 349,788 links on other websites.

As of Midnight on May 1, we have 5,495 articles and 63,207 comments.

Kudos to Vivian for posting the 63,000th comment.

I recommend using your own avatar. Go to Gravatar.  Sign up using the email address you use to post comments here and upload the image you want to use as your avatar.  Whenever you comment under that email address here or on any WordPress blog (several others too), that image will become your avatar.

To be clear, we’ve has two lousy months, and that is not your fault in any way.  The main cause was the severe bout of flu I had that kept me down for the bulk of both months.  The Republican budget makes it clear that their economic “solution” is to keep taking from the poor and middle classes to provide welfare for billionaires and corporate criminals.  Their political “solution” is still to lie, cheat and steal, whenever and wherever they can. We still have our work cut out for us.  Whether you support Bernie or Hillary, I ask that you refrain from attacking the other and base your arguments on the good things about your choice.  However, it’s open season on the Republican candidates.

Thank you for all that you do, here and elsewhere.  You are what makes this site happen!!

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May 022015
 

It’s afternoon and writing today’s Monthly Report has occupied most of the day.  So please color me in rush mode..

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:16 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Sen. Merkley: We Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Two Budgets for the Best Off

 

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley still leads the way.

From Upworthy: On the latest episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver takes a look at the fashion industry’s repeated promises to stop using child labor.

 

In my opinion, all clothing made using child labor should be seized at the border and burned. All Republicans who help the corporate criminals gut the regulations should be seized at the ballot box and unemployed.

From NY Times: No matter how Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey spins the George Washington Bridge scandal as he eyes a run for president, one thing should be clear: These are his people, charged with a conspiracy to exact revenge against a local mayor by closing lanes to one of the world’s busiest bridges.

David Wildstein, a Christie associate who once held a top job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to the incident. Two others indicted on Friday for allegedly participating in the scheme were also members of Mr. Christie’s inner circle.

Their behavior shows Mr. Christie’s inability to choose employees, to manage them and, most important, to keep them from abusing their power. His failure to do so created a culture that allowed his underlings to bully the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, by creating a monster traffic jam in 2013 and then lying about it.

I still hope that, after formal indictments are handed down, and the real plea bargaining starts, PIGnocchio will be spitted and served with an apple in his mouth.

Cartoon:

0502Cartoon

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May 012015
 

0501MayDay

Here in the US, May Day is so generic that it isn’t even an official holiday.  Nevertheless, many people do celebrate it for a variety of reasons.  Happy May Day to you!  Whatever your reason for celebrating the day, I wish you the best.

According to Info Please:

May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday.

Click through for more about how people celebrate the day.

Personally, I tend to focus on the political aspects of the day.  Amy Goodman of Democracy Now has offered a video presentation in three parts on the history behind the day.

This show aired in April 2006.  So bear in mind, it does not even take into account the Republican reaction to a black president or their extreme assault on labor.  That makes the history all the more relevant for today.

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May 012015
 

Here are the results of our “Better-off Party” 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 polls are usually factually accurate, and more often than not, they reflect thinking or will of the national majority.

Our Polling Host no longer allows us to copy and paste your comments made when taking the poll.  To read them, click here.

0501Poll

I voted Democratic.  While I normally think that a variety of ideas is preferable to one person’s agenda, the Republican Party has no real variety of ideas, just a variety of fools, all goose-stepping to the same set of failed policies, for $billions from the 0.1%, and for approval from the rabid base, immersed in hatred for all but white, pseudo-Christian males.

The new poll is up.  Please don’t forget to vote.

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May 012015
 

I’m in the middle of the busiest day I’ve had in a long time.  In addition to my normal paperwork for home and volunteer work for the beginning of a new month, it’s time to change polls.  It’s also an international holiday.  I started collecting the data and preparing the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report at 4:00 AM.  I didn’t even get started on the rest until after 8:00.  ARGH!  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:34 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on pace to adopt rival Bernie Sanders’s positions on all major issues by noon on Thursday, Clinton campaign officials have confirmed.

Within minutes of Sanders’s entry into the Democratic race, Clinton released position papers on trade, income inequality, national defense, and the environment that meticulously aped the Vermont senator’s views on those matters.

Awaking at 8 A.M., Sanders, who had planned to run to the left of Clinton in 2016, discovered that, while he was sleeping, she had already begun running slightly to the left of him.

Oh Andy!! FOMCROTFPIMPLMAO!!

From Daily Kos: Aaron Slator is now the former president of AT&T’s content and advertising sales for the U-verse TV services wing of AT&T. What cost him his job managing billions of dollars? Probably the recently $100 million discrimination lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. It must be pretty bad to get a top executive fired.

The images in question were found on Slator’s phone by an assistant who was asked to transfer data to a new phone, according to the lawsuit filed by Knoyme King, a 50-year-old black woman who worked for Slator.

The lawsuit said one of the images, apparently of an African child dancing with the caption "It’s Friday …" followed by a term offensive to African Americans, had been sent in a text describing it as an "oldie but a goodie".

Slator’s termination is not stopping King’s lawsuit from going forward.

Racism among top executives ahold not be a surprise. 1% Republicans are the people, who fund racism.

From NY Times: It is hard to overstate the extent to which work no longer results in a decent paycheck and a rising standard of living in this country. The portion of the economic pie that goes to working people is currently near the smallest on record, in data going back to 1947. Similarly, the gap between worker pay and labor productivity has widened since the 1970s. In a healthy economy, wages and productivity would rise in tandem, but in recent decades, productivity gains have flowed increasingly to executive compensation and shareholder returns, rather than wages.

These dynamics are not inevitable. Low-wage employers, in particular, pay low wages because they can and the main reason they can is that Congress has failed, over decades, to adequately update the minimum wage and other labor standards, including rules for overtime pay, employee benefits and union organizing.

That failure has had deep and perverse repercussions, extending beyond harming low-wage workers. As a recent report in The Times by Patricia Cohen explained, when work does not pay workers enough to get by, they are forced to rely on public assistance programs, mainly Medicaid, food stamps and low-earner tax credits.

Nearly three-fourths of the people helped by public aid for the poor are members of families headed by someone who works, according to a new study by the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California. It estimates that state and federal governments spend more than $150 billion a year on such aid.

It’s about time we started getting some mainstream coverage that allowing employers to abuse workers is just another form of Republican welfare for the rich.

Cartoon:

0501Cartoon

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