Dec 222014
 

Ever since the November debacle, Democrats have been suffering a gloomy season, knowing that Republican Supply-side Santa will do everything possible to fill our Christmas stockings with turds, while he heaps more wealth onto the super-rich.  Try not to despair.  There’s an excellent possibility that we can turn the tables in 2016.

1222GOPFlushSenate majority in hand, ascendant Republicans are set to challenge President Barack Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill come January. But a much tougher election map two years from now could force the GOP right back into the minority.

In November 2016, Republicans will defend 24 seats, Democrats 10. Seven of the GOP seats are in states that President Barack Obama won with 50 percent or more of the vote in 2012.

It's a stark reversal from this past November, when Democrats were the ones contending with a brutal map, including candidates running in seven states Obama had lost. Democrats were crushed on Election Day, losing nine seats and their Senate majority.

It will be a tough climb for Democrats to make up those losses, and there's no guarantee they will. But coming off November's trouncing, Democrats sound eager about their chances in states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Illinois, while Republicans are preparing more to defend past victories than try to score new ones…

Inserted from <TPM>

In addition, turnout is much better in a Presidential election year, especially for voters that tend to vote for Democrats.  In addition, with Republicans in control of the entire Congress, they won’t be able to blame Democrats for the gridlock that strife within their own party will create.  The best things we can do in the interim are to keep educating people and to support progressive candidates at every level of government.

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Dec 222014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 47.  I’m way short of 100%, but I do have another article for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:45 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Seizing upon an issue that could become the cornerstone of a possible 2016 Presidential campaign, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Thursday that he would do everything in his power to block the twenty-first century.

“A lot of folks in Washington believe that the twenty-first century is a forgone conclusion, and that there’s nothing we can do about it,” Rubio said. “I say, ‘Not on my watch.’ ”

Explaining his strategy, Rubio said that he and fellow Republicans were exploring ways to stop funding any items in the federal budget that pertain to the current century. “We cannot stop time, perhaps, but we can defund it,” he said.

Andy must not realize we’re trying to get Rubio and the rest of the Republican Reich out of the 19th century, let alone into the 21st.

From Daily Kos: Sandy McElroy should be immediately charged with perjury. She was clearly told by the FBI and the prosecutors that lying about being there was a crime and was given chance after chance to back down. Instead she doubled down and added very specific and destructive details about what she saw Mike Brown do that day.

Furthermore, Sandy McElroy is not at all like an eyewitness who was actually there and sincerely believed she saw the events unfold in a way that may be different than the facts of the case. In her back and forth with the FBI, they even went so far as to clarify that it was not a crime to recall something you actually saw and state it in a way that is slightly off from what truly happened.

This is just one of the four things that should happen, now that we know that McElroy, a Republican white supremacist, made up her grand jury testimony. Click through for the other three.

From ABC: The gunman who ambushed and killed two police officers had made online posts that were "very anti-police."

Police Commissioner William Bratton choked up at a news conference Saturday afternoon as he talked about the fatal shootings of two officers in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

Bratton says gunman Ismaaiyl (IHSH’-mayl) Brinsley shot and wounded his former girlfriend in Baltimore earlier Saturday and made posts from her Instagram account.

Authorities didn’t get into the specifics of the contents of the posts, but two officials told The Associated Press that he posted about shooting two "pigs" in retaliation for the death of Eric Garner. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

What a shame. Condolences to all who loved them. Of course, Republican attempts to blame this on DeBlasio and Holder are patently absurd, and the police who turned their backs shamed themselves. The shooter was reacting criminally against innocent officers to criminal actions by police.

Cartoon:

1222Cartoon

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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:

1219Cartoon

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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