Oct 192014
 

In spite of all the anti-Czar propaganda from the from the Republican Party in 2009, accusing Obama of using Czars to implement totalitarian rule, the Ebola problem, has caused a sudden shift on their part from having always been against Czars to having always been for Czars, accompanied by demands that Obama appoint an Ebola Czar.  Now that he has done so, they are beginning to shift back to having always been against Czars, and accusations that Obama has picked the wrong Czar.  Lets begin with the appointment.

1019KlainPresident Obama has asked Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to both Vice President Biden and former vice president Al Gore, as his Ebola response coordinator, according to a White House official.

"He will report directly to the president’s homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, and the president’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don’t distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa," a White House official wrote in an e-mail.

Klain, 53, is a longtime Democratic operative who served as Biden’s chief of staff from 2009 to 2011 and as Gore’s from 1995 to 1999. He helped oversee the Democratic side in the 2000 presidential election recount as its lead lawyer, a role that Kevin Spacey portrayed in the HBO film "Recount."

CNN first reported the news Friday morning.

Obama has been under pressure from Republicans for weeks to appoint an "Ebola czar" to oversee the federal government’s overall effort to contain the disease. Thursday night, the president told reporters: "It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process, just to make sure that we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s going forward."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Personally, I consider this a good decision.  If Republicans and a few Democrats, who fear the NRA, had not kept is without a Surgeon General, the natural point person in such a situation, there would be no need.  Furthermore, the people who have been handling it are certainly qualified, but they have other things to do.  For instance, Obama is busy helping with the midterms, and a Republican takeover of the Senate would cause far more American deaths than Ebola will in the next two years  The Ebola threat requires a person, whose sole job is coordinating our national response. Klain had the organizational experience to coordinate professionals and the political acumen to produce results.

Rachel Maddow covered the Republican record on Czars, the history of Czars in America, what a Czar does, and what qualifies someone to be Czar.

If you cannot watch it here, try the MSNBC direct video link.  If you can’t watch it there, it may still be on YouTube.

One of the premier Republican objections is that Obama’s choice is not a doctor, which Rachel just disproved. 

Republicans, however, actually do have a “doctor”, who is also a Republican "expert" on Ebola. Rachel provided his credentials, after talking about other Republican Ebola scams.

If you also cannot watch this one here, try its MSNBC direct video link.  If you can’t watch it there, it may still be on YouTube.

To Czar or not to Czar?  Who, if anyone, would you prefer taking charge of the threat, Ron Klain, or Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named After Idiot?

Also, should we ban travel to and from Texas?

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Oct 192014
 

57-Patty

Patty is a regular, and you’ll find her excellent comments on virtually every article, almost every day.  She comes to us from Care2, but not recently, because a bug at that site nixed her ID again.    This is her eighth Big Mouth Award, having also posted the 28,000th comment in January, the 31,000th comment in May, the 33,000th comment in July, the 35,000th in September 2012.  She posted the 41,000th in March and   the 49,000th in November 2013. She also posted the 51,000th  in March, 2014.  Patty’s is still a MAJOR Jig Zone predator, and is now known as the Patty Monster.  She attacks those puzzles with all the zeal of a Republican politician protecting racist police.    Though seldom Cat Boxed, she does get Big footed and on occasion.  She almost got me in fantasy football! She remains a completely welcome regular here.  Please be generous with your praise, which she certainly deserves.

Pardon the delay. With my recent schedule, it just got by me.

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Oct 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 181.  I’m sorry about yesterday.  I just ran out of gas and had to recharge.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Ord.  My Broncos’ have the featured Sunday night service with the the Fortyniners.  I’m glad it’s at home.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Right now, income inequality is the highest it’s been in our society since 1928. A lucky few in America make billions, while millions of others struggle just to get by. Nowhere is this gap more apparent than in the 4,100 plus Walmart stores across the country. Rob Walton and his family have amassed an empire of riches, and they built it on the backs of the working poor. The consequences of such skewed earning potential – where the family on top is worth $150 billion while their employees earn less than $25,000 per year – are significant and unsustainable.

As the nation’s largest employer, with $15 billion in profits annually, Walmart can afford to pay their employees a livable wage. Instead, they choose to manipulate schedules and hours to pay the majority of their workers abysmal wages. Sandra Sok, who works in Phoenix Walmart Store #5331 is a perfect example. After eight years of service to the company, she still struggles for enough work and income to make ends meet. She pleads with management every week for additional shifts because the 30 hours she is usually scheduled for simply aren’t enough. Sandra’s done her part to help Walmart succeed – she deserves more than poverty pay in return.

Many workers like Sandra are forced to rely on food stamps, health care assistance and other taxpayer-funded programs to get by. So while the Walton family alone has as much wealth as 43% of American families combined, the American people still have to pick up the tab for the Walton’s appalling business practices. And it’s not cheap: Walmart is estimated to cost the taxpayers $6.2 billion annually through public assistance costs, with expenses ranging between $3,015 and $5,815 per worker. All the while, Walmart and the Waltons are taking $8 billion a year in tax breaks that subsidize their low-wage business – and add to their profits. It is estimated that the family has avoided paying $3 billion in taxes by using special trusts to dodge estate taxes.

It’s time to end this charade and shut down the Walmart scam.

Click through for more. If you must enter Wal-fart, go to leave methane, not money.

From Upworthy: I come from a Caribbean immigrant household. Even with all the advances gay rights have made in America in the last few years, my family is still pretty much stuck in 1950. There are, of course, a few exceptions — shoutout to my sister Loree!

After watching this clip and hearing the crazy things this family says, this scenario playing out in the lives of every gay person with a less-than-accepting family would be a beautiful, absurd, and hilarious step forward.

That’s hilarious, but I can see it happening.

From TPM: The Supreme Court has rejected an emergency appeal from the Justice Department and civil rights groups who were trying to prevent the Texas voter ID law from being enforced in the November election. As you’ll recall, a district judge found the law to be unconstitutional last week because it intentionally discriminated against minority voters. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and now the Supreme Court have blocked that ruling from going into effect while appeals are pending. That clears the way for Texas to enforce the law in the upcoming election.

You’ve got it fight. A District Judge has ruled that this law is racist. It INTENTIONALLY discriminates against minority voters. But the Fascist Five Injustices from SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) say, go ahead and discriminate, as long as it’s on appeal.

Cartoon:

1019Cartoon

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Oct 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 180, and this is my only article.  Street noise last night was far worse than normal, as street sweepers took advantage of the rain and the neighborhood became an ambulance zone.  I finally slept for around four hours, cutting into my research and writing time, and I need to sleep more.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From The New Yorker: There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

Andy has explained why Republicans want to substitute a travel ban dealing with the problem.

From Daily Kos: The Arkansas Supreme Court confirmed the decision of an appeals court Wednesday and overturned the state’s strict voter ID law on a 7-0 vote. Since the grounds for reversal related solely to a violation of the Arkansas Constitution, chances are the decision will not be subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

That’s one more state that will be harder for Republicans to steal.

From Upworthy: \They Were Shooting A Beautiful Video From Space. Then They Sped It Up. Just WOW.

 

I’ll second that. WOW!

Cartoon:

1018Cartoon

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Oct 172014
 

Conventional wisdom, or phrased another way, media infoganda, would have us believe that Republicans will have a smooth sail to take over the Senate in less than three weeks   Even though the following article does not quite challenge that notion, and it does point out some likely areas of contention, it’s really much closer than that.

1017RunoffThe race for Senate control is very close and there’s a significant chance that Americans won’t know on election night which party controls the Senate.

It may even remain an open question until after the next Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2015.

That uncertainty could spark chaos in the lame-duck session and hit pause on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) plans to redecorate the majority leader’s ornate suite.

Forecasters roundly give Republicans an edge to win the net six seats they need to claim the Senate majority. The New York Times sees a one-third chance that the race will end in a 50-50 tie or be decided by a one-seat margin.

Here are four plausible scenarios that could push the Senate fight into overtime.

1. Likely runoff in Louisiana

Bill Cassidy (R) holds a steady lead over Sen. Mary Laudrieu (D), but neither candidate is expected to cross the 50 percent threshold required by Louisiana’s "jungle primary" rules to claim victory on election night. Tea party candidate Rob Maness and two other candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot are collectively pulling 18 percent, according to the TPM PollTracker average.

If neither candidate wins an outright majority on the main ballot, a runoff election between the top two will take place on Dec. 6…

Inserted from <TPM>

This is just one race where a runoff is likely.  Click through for three more and for a list of close races.

Rachel Maddow, on the other hand, thinks it’s a dead heat.

If you can’t see here, here’s the direct link to it at MSNBC.  It that does not work, it’s also on YouTube,  but it may not be for long.

Rachel made two, key points.  The first is that Republicans are bending over backward to try to steal this election.  The second…

GET OUT THE VOTE!!

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Oct 172014
 

Here are the results of our Fix the SCROTUS Damage 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 often both accurate and indicative of the nation’s view.

1017Poll

And here are your comments:

Showing comments 1-11 of 11.

Posted by Arielle   October 8, 2014 at 6:35 am.  

 

Long, long time… the SCOTUS have children who have been brainwashed into thinking as they think – The Koch brothers probably have coffins in their basements and will just keep living as all vampires do. Etc. etc.

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Posted by Edie  October 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm.  

 

I said 24 because several of them are young enough to last that long.

 

Posted by Rixar13  October 4, 2014 at 6:09 am.  

 

16 years is a wild guess but with a Republican Congress – Longer

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Posted by Phil  October 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm.  

 

Longer = forever. Republicans must never again wield power and influence over U.S. American politics; they’re a danger to the nation and to the world.

 

Posted by Patty  October 2, 2014 at 6:09 am.  

 

I was going to say 16 and then thought these Koch suckers can afford excellent medical care and will be kept alive no matter what happens to them just like Chicken Hawk Cheney. I went with 24 because it might be enough to get rid of at east 2 of the older ones.

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Posted by Joanne D  October 2, 2014 at 4:08 am.  

 

I was optimistic and sent with 16 years. But you guys may be right. Unfortunately, however long it is, I doubt I will be around to see even the tipping appointment, let alone the cleanup. Don’t get discouraged – keep fighting – you younger ones.

 

Posted by Yvonne White  October 1, 2014 at 10:29 am.  

 

I went with 24 years (at Least), because RepubliCONs never retire or die as soon as you Need them to! :(

 

Posted by mamabear  October 1, 2014 at 9:47 am.  

 

24 or more. With the clowns on the other side I can see it happening. fingers crossed

 

Posted by dave c  October 1, 2014 at 7:15 am.  

 

unfortunately I say at least 48, some of GW’s appts are still so young…..of course, the real answer maybe no matter of time will ever undue the atrocities the GOP has done to the citizens of the US and the world.

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Posted by gene  October 1, 2014 at 2:49 am.  

 

24 at least, maybe more. That should get rid of Scalia and Thomas and it is important to control the Senate so progressive nominee’s can be confirmed.

 

Posted by John Dasef  September 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm.  

 

Unfortunately, most of the fascist five are relatively young. Unless one or more of them are impeached, which is unlikely, we will spend a long time waiting for them to die.

I voted Longer.  I figured that it will be another 20 – 25 years before the last of the fascist five is ready to retire, or if they die in office, begin their downward journey.   However I did bot pick 24, because they will do a lot more damage during that time, ands once their gone, that damage will not be instant instantly repaired.  I figure that will take another 20 – 25 years.

The new poll is up, and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by making false claims about it.  It’s the only political push poll I have written.  My God grant that I never feel the need to write another.

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Oct 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 179.  I’m still feeling quite tired from Tuesday’s volunteer work.  Next week will be very hectic with a Urologist appointment on Monday (routine semi-annual) and a volunteer day in prison on Thursday.  I have to prepare a presentation to give to over 100 prisoners and a dozen crime victims, so I’ll have lots to do between now and then, so I may be intermittent.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From sojo.net (Hat-Tip Joanne Dixon): Thousands of people from around the country came to Ferguson, Mo., for a “weekend of resistance.” But for faith leaders it was a weekend of repentance. Twenty of us were arrested in Ferguson yesterday for an act of repentance.

I went to Ferguson as a faith leader but, in particular, as a white faith leader. Because the great disparity between how differently young black lives are treated in our criminal justice system than young white lives is a fundamental injustice that must not only be left to black faith leaders to raise up. Repentance must begin in the white Christian community for tolerating this offense to our black brothers and sisters and, ultimately, this offense to God. Let me be as honest as I can be. If white Christians in America were more Christian than white, black parents could feel safer about their children. It’s time for us white Christians to repent — turn around and go in a new direction.

Repentance is a powerful theme throughout the Bible. But its meaning is often not well understood. Repentance is not about being sorry or just feeling guilty. It is about turning in a new direction. The biblical word for repentance in the original Greek is metanoia, which means you are going in the wrong direction, and it’s time to turn right around.

Most frequently, the only thing we see from the white faith community is the false gospel of division, hate and greed from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the opposite of authentic Christians).  An expression of authentic repentance is a breath of fresh air.

From Daily Kos: Georgia Republican David Perdue’s pride in his outsourcing career was screaming out for a campaign ad, and Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn has obliged. The ad is composed almost entirely of news coverage laying out the situation—and it’s damning enough on its own.

 

So do we want Perdue to take his vulture capitalism to the US Senate? Do we want any of it at all? No! We want Nunn! Get out the VOTE!!!

From The New Yorker: The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, attempted on Wednesday to defuse the brewing controversy over his decision to change the network’s official slogan from “The Most Trusted Name in News” to “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die.”

“This exciting new slogan is just one piece of our over-all rebranding strategy,” Zucker said. “Going forward, we want CNN to be synonymous with the threat of imminent death.”

He added that the network expected to see strong ratings growth as a result of having the words “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die” on-screen twenty-four hours a day.

More straight News from Andy, as he exposes Faux Noise Lite.

Cartoon:

1017Cartoon

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