May 242015
 

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 despicable InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Glenn Beck: President Obama’s not demilitarizing the police; he’s plotting to burn our cities down with the help of  liberal groups.

BeckHatWell, loony-old Glenn Beck got it half right. President Obama’s executive order this week depriving local police forces of tanks, grenade launchers, bayonets and 50 caliber weapons did not go nearly far enough.

“We’re worried about the M-16s, and the flash grenades that you can just throw in, the Humvees,” Beck said. “They’ll still get all the stuff that they have. Just no tanks.”

“Could we also throw in there that they shouldn’t have nuclear weapons,” he quipped.

Good one, Glenn.

But the real worry is that Commandante Obama is also setting up more federal oversight of local police forces. And that is very ominous indeed when you are Glenn Beck and you believe in things like the Jade Helm Conspiracy, for starters.

“This is a show by the president,” Beck frothed. “He’s taking more control. Expect to see more protests continue. Expect to see more of the usual suspects. Expect sometime between now and I don’t when, these groups (New Black Panthers, MoveOn.org, Code Pink, Colour of Change) will be setting our cities on fire. Getting us to tear each other apart. Getting us to cry out, Somebody’s gonna have to do it. The president will be happy to do it with centralized control of police and a national police force.”

There it is, ladies and gentleman. It’s not just Texas that the federal government is planning to invade and take over. It’s the whole dang country…

Inserted from <Alternet>

Why isn’t he Governor od Texas?  This only the third of five despicable Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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May 242015
 

64-JoanneD

This is Joanne’s third award.  She earned her first last September, and her second in March. I still have no doubt that there will be many more to come.

A denizen of Care2, she came to us from there, and is now a regular.  She’s super-smart, witty a political junky and an activist for all kinds of human rights.  As I said before, I have had occasion to correspond with her, and she faces some major issues in her life with exceptional dignity and grace. She leaves excellent links in comments.  Her puzzle solving skill is on the rise, so I won’t be safe from her for now.  I wonder if she’d like to join our fantasy football league? 

Please join in assaulting her with the praise and kudos she deserves.  Her daily participation makes this a far more interesting place to be.

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May 242015
 

I suppose the most positive thing I can say this morning, is that I have had no more surprises.  Nevertheless, my tasks seem endless, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The soon to be officially announced presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and former MN Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, from Uranus, were guests on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. The show aired just before President Obama addressed the nation with his 2014 State Of The Union Speech. Sanders discussed issues that included income equality, minimum wage, education, social security, jobs creation, corporate wealth and tax evasion. Bachmann, a known liar (documented by Politifact), read from the repetitive Right-Wing, Koch-Sucking Declaration of Co-Dependance, while interjecting something about ‘Australia.’ She stuck to the GOP script and was completely unyielding to a mature, courteous, and educated debate.

Batshit Bag Alert!!

One key lie Batshit B attempted is that the lack of jobs is due to years of Obama’s "failed policies". What has stalled the recovery is years of Republican obstruction, sabotage and sedition. Bernie 1 – Tag Team Blitzer & Batshit B 0.

Another from Daily Kos: Yesterday we covered Pastor Matt Makela, the anti-gay Michigan pastor who was outed on Grindr.

Today a young man and his mother have stepped forward with their own story about Pastor Matt Makela. Tyler Kish was a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and sought counsel from Pastor Makela. His advice nearly caused Tyler to commit suicide:

"If he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide," Jennifer Kish said, regarding what Makela told her son.

He didn’t stop there:

Jennifer Kish said the pastor also became vocal on social media about how he felt her son being gay was wrong and that as a parent she shouldn’t support him.

I have zero problem with Pastor Mark Makela being gay. However, I support outing him and causing him to lose his job to stop his hate-filled behavior, as a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrite, from harming more parishioners.

From NY Times: After vigorous debate and intense last-minute pressure by Republican leaders, the Senate on Saturday rejected legislation that would curb the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records…

…The Senate will reconvene on May 31 to try again. But any extension is far from certain to get approval from the House, which is in recess until June 1, with at least one member threatening to block it.

Help keep the good news good. Harass your Senators.

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0524Cartoon

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May 232015
 

The Patriot Act, which I have always called the Unpatriot Act, is so vast complex that writing it could not have been done in less than six months.  Yet the Republican Reich had it ready to shove down peoples throats less than a week after 9/11.  Neocons at AEI and PNAC must have prepared it months in advance in hopes that a “Pearl Harbor incident” would give them an opportunity to gut the Constitutional Rights of the American people.

0523patriot-actAfter a post-midnight vote Saturday, the U.S. Senate took no action to extend or revise the National Security Agency’s controversial phone data surveillance program, and the program along with other sections of the Patriot Act will expire as planned on June 1.

“Sunsetting the Patriot Act is the biggest win for ending mass surveillance programs, and one that conventional DC wisdom said was impossible. We are seeing history in the making and it was because the public stood up for our rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association — and there’s no turning back now,” Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, an anti-government surveillance group said in a news release.

A cohort of House members including government surveillance critic Rep. Rand Paul (R-KY) rejected Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) proposed amendments to the bill that would extend the program, the Washington Post reported. The Senate could not muster the 60 votes needed to move forward with the NSA reform bill, the USA Freedom Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

The failed 57-42 procedural vote early Saturday blocked the only bill that could prevent a complete shutdown of the NSA’s metadata program. The bill also would have been a compromise with the White House and civil liberties advocates to limit the government’s data collection abilities under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

With Congress now in recess until after the Memorial Day holiday, the NSA will dismantle its program so that no new data queries can be made after June 1…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

It always was unpatriotic.  At least for now, good riddance!!

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May 232015
 

The surprises keep coming.  Last night I fell into a deep sleep, between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.  Since preparations for my prison volunteer trip next week and my ongoing medical mayhem have kept me completely occupied, I had no idea that the opening ceremonies for the annual Portland Rose Festival wired also last night.  The launch site for the fireworks is six blocks away.  The blasts echoing between they downtown buildings amplifies the noise level.  I awakened thinking I had fallen asleep during an MRI.  I did get back to sleep eventually, but not soon enough.  My doctor’s staff continues to screw up.  The Orthopedist to whom they referred me was actually the nurses station of the Orthopedics floor of the hospital.  The nurse was quite amused when I tried to schedule an appointment with a doctor through her.  I think I found one on my own, but my doctor’s office tool a 5 day weekend. ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Reinvent Education

Wall-to-wall testing and skyrocketing tuition have destroyed American education. Here’s how we fix it. \

 

Amen to everything he said. This is the fifth video in the series and now the Reich on the left has been right five times. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

From Daily Kos: A judge has sentenced an Arizona woman to 3 ½ years in prison for running over her husband with an SUV because he didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Thirty-one-year-old Holly Nicole Solomon of Mesa pleaded guilty to assault charges stemming from injuries her husband suffered days after President Barack Obama was re-elected. She was sentenced on Thursday.

Authorities say Solomon was upset about Obama’s re-election…

Republicans seem to take voting more seriously that we do, even though their solutions for every obstacle are criminal and/or violent.

From NY Times: Ever since the Gold Rush, California farmers have staked their claim to water and ferociously protected their rights to use it to irrigate the crops that have made the state the greengrocer for the nation.

But on Friday, in a sign of how the record-setting drought is shaking up established ways here, state officials accepted an offer from farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to give up a quarter of their water this season, either by leaving part of their land unplanted or finding other ways to reduce their water use. In return, the state has assured them that it will not seek further reductions for the growing season.

It looks like people are going to go hungry, because oil and coal, the m,ain causes of the drought, are not edible.

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0523Cartoon

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May 222015
 

Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the exact opposite of authentic Christians) love to parrot how their faith motivates everything they do.  But the Bible could not be more clear that we have an obligation to meet the needs of the poor among us.  Here is how Republicans respond to this Biblical imperative.

0522ThePoorAt the beginning of July, a new restriction will go into effect for recipients of welfare in Kansas that will only allow them to withdraw $25 in benefits a day. As Max Ehrenfreund pointed out, given that ATM withdrawals come with a fee and are usually limited to multiples of 20, families will end up losing much of the money they normally receive to paying those charges — money that will go to financial institutions instead. It also restricts where they can withdraw that money, barring transactions at places like pools, liquor stores, and cruises. The restrictions are so harsh that the state is at risk of losing its federal funding.

But it’s not the only state that has been looking for ways to make life harder on the poorest. Others have imposed drug tests and harsh limits without evidence that the policy changes would do much good.

Drug testing

Drug tests for people who apply for benefits in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, better known as welfare, have become increasingly popular. States screen applicants with a questionnaire on drug use and test those who answer in the positive; if they fail the test, they and their families can eventually lose the benefits. Maine and Michigan are some of the newest states to start drug testing regimes, joining seven states that were already doing it. But the lesson from those states is that the testing costs money — they’ve spent nearly $1 million collectively — but doesn’t uncover widespread drug abuse. In fact, while 9.4 percent of Americans use illegal drugs, all states but one had a positive drug test rate of less than 1 percent and none were as much as that national rate.

That evidence hasn’t stopped some from going even further. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has put forward a plan to drug test everyone who receives food stamps and unemployment insurance, which the state senate advanced this week. But while states have a lot of power to set the parameters of TANF, the same is not true for these two programs, and Walker would need approval from the Obama administration for the plan to become reality. It would also come with a price tag, costing at least $1 million a year to drug test unemployed people alone…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Click through for even more ways Republican hypocrites are expressing their pseudo-Christian hatred for the poor.

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May 222015
 

Last night I returned from the shower and reached into my drawer for clean underwear.  Imagine my horror when I discovered a handful of air!!!  So I rose early this morning and did the dreaded task, but am now even more tired and further behind than before.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:05 (average 7:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Her neighbors are paying $18 a month. Joyce Villegas has been paying almost $400 a month for over three years because of delays from Hawaiian Electric, the state’s utility company.

 

Here we have a case of a blue state trying to do the right thing, but failing to organize it properly. The result is that people still waiting are subsidizing the utility service of people who have installed panels. 1:1 buyback sounds nice, but it’s not realistic, because it ignores the need to maintain the power grid.

From The New Yorker: Suspects in the recent biker brawl in Waco, Texas, only slightly outnumber the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, leading some voters to have difficulty distinguishing between the two groups, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, voters who were presented the names of a biker-brawl suspect and a Republican Presidential candidate correctly identified both only thirty per cent of the time.

For example, fifty-seven per cent of voters erroneously identified the former Texas Governor Rick Perry as a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, while forty-one per cent believed he belonged to the Cossacks.

Adding to voters’ confusion, the biker brawlers and G.O.P. candidates have identical views on a host of issues, such as gun rights and whether they would feel comfortable attending a gay wedding.

Andy is off in a couple places here. First, isn’t "Wacko" a better way to spell the town’s name? Second, he missed an obvious solution. Just replace the current clown car with the biker brawl suspects, who are eminently more qualified to govern.

From Media Matters: Fox News’ misleading smear of food stamp recipients as surfing freeloaders found its way into a congressional hearing aimed at examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

On May 20, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the "Past, Present, and Future of SNAP." Throughout the hearing, Fox News’ misleading 2013 special, "The Great Food Stamp Binge" that attempted to make a surfing freeloader "the new face of food stamps" was referenced several times as evidence of abuse within the program.

Fox’s misrepresentation of food stamp recipients found its way into the hearing when two members on the committee used the special as anecdotal evidence of abuse within SNAP. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) used Fox’s example of a "surfer out in California living on food stamps and eating lobster" as evidence of abuse within the program, though he "forg[o]t which network" aired the special.

Later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) also referenced "the surfer that was on one of the news channels," claiming, "unfortunately, we see that in our districts, and I hear stories about that every day."

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has become the Republican Reichsministry of Policy.

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0522Cartoon

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