Apr 202014
 

Easter

Whether or not you are a Christian, I respectfully invite you to join me in the celebration of the my faith’s most central holiday, even though many of its traditions are borrowed.

Jesus was a fascinating man.  He associated most closely with the social rejects of his day.  He respected people with faiths different from his.  He did not burn their religious writings or try to prevent them from their own forms of worship.  Sometimes he used them as an example of what is right, like the Good Samaritan.  He had a heart for meeting the needs of the poor, and admonished us to care for them.  His concern  for the rich was that their own greed would blind them.   He had no trouble getting along with sinners.  He met people at the point of their need, and accepted all, except for the religious hypocrites who used their position to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and to force their own piety codes, which they often ignored themselves, onto others.  Those were only people Jesus condemned.  Sadly, they are still among us.

If we are followers of Jesus, our faith will help us to follow the example of what he did.  Of course, none of us is perfect in that way.  God knows that I fall short every day.  It is important to know that those who preach the things Jesus was against, but condemn those who contend for the things Jesus supported, are not followers of Jesus.  They are pseudo-Christians. Authentic Christians try to follow Jesus’ example.

And now, for your listening pleasure:

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Apr 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and my COPD is flaring up, but the time being what it is, you get your annual visit from the Easter Cat. ;-)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Before you go all, "But it’s their money!" I have one thing to say: This country’s entire infrastructure is what enabled these people to make the money they are now hiding away in other countries to avoid paying taxes on it.

0420offshore

How about a 120% penalty for offshoring?

From Daily Kos:

Let’s superimpose that Karl Rove polling from earlier today with the amount of money the Kochs have spent in those states. The number in parenthesis is the trendline from earlier this year.

Arkansas
Pryor 39 (36)
Cotton 39 (42)

Mark Pryor’s numbers went up, Cotton’s went down, and this is now the sixth poll in a row that doesn’t show Republicans winning a seat they’ve already pencilled in as their own.

That rise in Pryor’s numbers, in Rove’s own polling, comes despite $2 million (and counting) spent by the Kochs.

Colorado
Udall 45 (45)
Gardner 43 (44)

Mark Udall has kept steady despite at least $2 million in Koch attack ads (first buy, second buy).

They can’t claim Democratic bias in polls from Rove Rat. Click through for more examples.

From Right Wing Watch: Channeling Mike Huckabee, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah [World Nut Daily delinked] writes today that liberalism inevitably leads to “the end of freedom” and “death on a massive scale.”

Farah writes that he once “swam in the cesspool” of the progressive movement, and knows how it “works and why it is such an effective weapon of intimidation and coercion.”

He goes on to warn that universities have “indoctrinated” students into a “venomous, anti-American and anti-liberty ideology,” arguing that academia is “redefining right and wrong” in order to “achieve a totalitarian state” akin to Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and North Korea.

If there was ever a case of projection, this is it!

Cartoon:

0420Cartoon

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Apr 192014
 

Few campers are more unhappy these days than Mitch McConnell (R-KY), because he’s trailing in the polls to both his Bagger primary challenger and the next Senator from Kentucky, Alison Grimes (D).  In an attempt to save his job, he now claims he stood up for women in the investigation of Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR), when Packwood became Senator Pokewood.  The problem is that McConnell is engaging in Republicans’ 2nd favorite pastime, behind stealing elections.  Bought Bitch Mitch is lying.

0419BBMFacing his toughest reelection battle in years against a well-known and well-financed female opponent, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently boasted that he led the Senate in ousting a GOP colleague accused of sexual harassment in 1995. But news reports from that time show that late in the investigation, McConnell tried to stall the probe against his fellow Republican, Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.). He derided efforts by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to hold public hearings on Packwood as "frolic and detour"—after the Senate ethics committee had substantiated nearly two-dozen claims of sexual harassment leveled against Packwood by female lobbyists and former staffers.

Talking about the Packwood scandal this past week, McConnell noted that he was chair of the Senate ethics committee when Packwood resigned. In a Tuesday interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, McConnell said he had taken "the toughest possible position." The newspaper reported that McConnell had "offered himself as an example of how elected officials should handle situations when a member of their own party is accused of sexual harassment."

But the bulk of the ethics probe against Packwood took place when the committee was chaired by a Democrat. When Republicans regained a majority in the Senate after the 1994 elections and McConnell became chair of the committee, he transformed the Packwood investigation into a partisan mess… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Mother Jones>

Click through for more.

As an interesting side note, Packwood was actually quite progressive in his day, aside from the scandal that he brought on himself.  He was the very last Republican for whom I actually voted.

In any case, Bought Bitch Mitch may well lose his job.  For some strange reason, nobody seems to be crying.

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Apr 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite tired.  It’s been a busy day, and I’m up well past my bedtime, waiting for a delivery that cannot be made unless I am up to receive it.  They came two days in a row and could not get in, because the front desk was unattended.  Now they have instructions to call me to let them in.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 4:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: With an eye toward a Presidential run in 2016, Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is hoping that a two-pronged strategy of wearing glasses and not speaking will make him appear smarter to voters, aides to the Governor confirmed today.

“After the 2012 Republican primary, we knew that we needed to solve what we called the Governor’s smartness problem,” said Harland Dorrinson, an aide to Perry. “The fix that we came up with was glasses, but, as it turned out, that was only half the solution.”

After outfitting Perry with designer eyewear, aides sent him on the road to reintroduce himself to voters, but the response, Mr. Dorrinson said, was underwhelming: “The problem was, he was still talking.”

A round of focus groups convinced aides that only through a combination of wearing glasses and not emitting any sounds could Perry overcome voters’ initial impressions of him.

He’ll never maintain the silence. Verbal TEAbuggery is an integral part of InsaniTEA.

From Daily Kos:

The Washington Post has published an opinion piece from Justice John Paul Stevens in which he analyzes the history of the second amendment, and recent Supreme Court decisions to support his contention that the interpretation of the Second Amendment advanced by the NRA (and recently accepted by the courts) is contrary to the intent of the framers.   According to Stevens:

For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”

When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment, and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.

Excellent piece. Click through for the the rest of what the NRA, The Republican Party, and the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS don’t want you to know.

From NY Times: President Obama announced Thursday that eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including what the White House said were a sufficient number of young, healthy adults, a critical milestone that might counter election-year attacks by Republicans on the law’s success and viability.

The total number of enrollees exceeds by a million the target set by the administration for people to buy insurance through government-run health care exchanges. In particular, the number of young people signing up appears to have surged during the final weeks of enrollment.

That does not even count the three million who are receiving healthcare through expanded Medicaid or the three million young people now covered on their parents’ policies. In short, Republicans are trying to take healthcare away from fourteen million people.

Cartoon:

0419Cartoon

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Apr 182014
 

One of the best words that could be used to describe the Oil Industry is greedy.  I think they see that the carbon paradigm must come to an end, but they are determined to squeeze every last bit of profit from earth, no matter now much damage they do in the process.  Now they want to drill the Arctic, an area particularly hazardous for drilling, and especially sensitive to environmental damage.

0418ArcticDrillingFour years ago this week, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drill platform exploded. Eleven workers died that day. Their bodies were never found. Over the next 87 days, 210 million gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. It fouled fishing grounds, ravaged the coastline, and shut down tourism. The world got an ugly look at some of the terrible hidden costs of fossil fuels. Spill-related health problems plague the people and the wildlife of the Gulf to this very day.

I personally hoped that we, as a nation, would quickly learn from this tragedy and move swiftly to prevent a repeat disaster in our most vulnerable coastal environments. So it boggles the mind that Shell Oil is still determined to drill in one of the most fragile and remote ecosystems on Earth: the Arctic Ocean — the last bastion of America’s polar bears, endangered bowhead whales and other rare wildlife. For Native Alaskans who live along the coast, this ocean has been the source of their food security and a way of life since time immemorial.

It’s sheer madness to drill in the Arctic — in treacherous conditions of gale-force winds, 20-foot seas, sub-zero temperatures, shifting currents — and for eight months of the year — solid pack ice. If the oil industry was utterly unprepared for a blowout in the balmy Gulf of Mexico, how in the world can we trust them in a treacherous environment like the Arctic? Nobody knows how to clean up oil there, even during the open water season. And once the ice and long Arctic night close in, there’d be zero hope of plugging a blow-out or containing a spill

Those harsh conditions also guarantee human and mechanical error. During a disastrous 2012 attempt at Arctic drilling, Shell Oil experienced fires, leaks, slipped anchors, emergency gear that was "crushed like a beer car," and a 30-mile iceberg that sent its ships fleeing.

A just-released Coast Guard report says Shell’s reckless and failed attempt to tow its Arctic Ocean drill rig in 2012 was riddled with poor planning and judgment — and involved numerous potential violations of the law… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

Click through for more.

 

I can almost envision Sarah Palin, aka Drill Baby Dingbat, old and gray forty years from now, saying “I can still see the spills from my front porch.  Drill Baby Drill!”

Just say NO to Big Oil!

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Apr 182014
 

52-Yvonne

This is Yvonne’s first Big Mouth Award, although she had commented here intermittently here for over two years.   She hails from Illinois and is a denizen of Care2. She loves freedom, Obama, Women’s Rights, and Animals. She can’t stand InsaniTEA. Her comments contribute to the quality of this site, and we’re proud to have her. Please join me in giving her the kudos she deserves.

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Apr 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feel somewhat tired, as it’s late in the afternoon on a busy day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 6:05).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This video sure has a good point about humanity’s baser instincts. Why can’t we overcome them?

 

The reason for this search phenomena is the proliferation of websites in the Republican echo chamber. They mindlessly parrot the memes in the Republican War on Women.

From Daily Kos: Brian Beutler catches the latest Obamacare fauxrage from Fox News: millions of people won’t be able to sign up for health insurance until November. So all those young people who Republicans, and Fox News, told that they shouldn’t be signing up because [of?] freedom are now deprived of freedom by having to wait until the next open enrollment period. Here’s Fox News [Faux Noise delinked]:

There is yet another ObamaCare surprise waiting for consumers: from now until the next open enrollment at the end of this year, most people will simply not be able to buy any health insurance at all, even outside the exchanges.

That’s not really news. The practice of enrollment periods, embraced by the law, was designed specifically to address those "free-riders" Fox News would in any other circumstance hate—the people who would wait until they needed health insurance to get it. The difference now, though, is that if those people get sick while they’re uninsured, they don’t have to worry about that preventing them from getting insurance once open enrollment kicks in again.

What hypocrites! If sheeple need insurance and have to wait for it now, only because they did not buy it, because they obeyed Faux Noise, the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, they only have one complaint to make: BA-A-A-A-A-A!!

From Huffington Post: As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will spend billions of dollars to elect right-wing candidates to the Senate, the House, governors’ mansions and the presidency of the United States. These billionaires already own much of our economy. That, apparently, is not enough. Now, they want to own the United States government as well.

Four years ago, the Supreme Court handed down the 5-4 ruling in Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission. A few weeks ago, they announced another horrendous campaign finance decision in McCutcheon vs. FEC giving even more political power to the rich. Now, many Republicans want to push this Supreme Court to go even further. In the name of "free speech," they want the Court to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending – a position that Justice Thomas supported in McCutcheon – and a view supported by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Importantly, as a means of being able to exercise unprecedented power over the political process, this has been the position of the Koch brothers for at least the last 34 years.

The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry. According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion. In other words, under the "anti-business", "socialist" and "oppressive" Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year.

Click through for the rest of this excellent Bernie Sanders piece on the Kochs that Republicans so love to suck.

Cartoon:

0418Cartoon

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