Oct 302014
 

There are very few organizations that I try to give a little support each year.  One is HRC.  I figure I owe the LGBT community a debt for the hateful way I treated some of them, before a gay man decided that he was going to be my friend, no matter how I acted, put a face on gay, and kick-started my evolution from homophobia to support for full LGBT equality.  Now HRC is paying me back.

1030hrc-logo

HRC President Chad Griffin meets with LGBT champion Senator Jeff Merkley and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek.

Greetings from Portland, Oregon. Team HRC is here in the Beaver State rallying volunteers on behalf of the re-election of one of the greatest champions for LGBT equality in Congress, Senator Jeff Merkley. We were exceptionally proud to have been joined by other champions of equality, including Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Along with dozens of volunteers, we made calls to HRC members across Oregon encouraging them to return their ballots before next Tuesday. I have to say, the energy in the room and on the phones was overwhelming. In this 100% vote-by-mail state, we spoke to so many voters who had already returned their ballots for pro-equality candidates.  Many others hadn’t yet mailed their ballot or dropped it in a ballot drop box

Inserted from <HRC>

 

I could not be more delighted with my Senator.  Oregon kudos to HRC!

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Oct 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 192.  Yesterday's CoDA meeting in prison went very well.  The guys dug pretty deeply into personal issues.  I mostly listened, and I can’t get into the things they said without violating their confidentiality..  Groceries are delivered and put away.  My attention is divided, because it’s the bottom of the 5th, with 2 outs.  Tomorrow I have to be ready to leave bright and early for my pulmonologist’s appointment (routine), and will probably not be back until mid afternoon, so my most likely posting for Friday will be a Personal Update and a holiday greeting.  Here’s hoping.

Late Update: Condolences to Nameless.  It was a good close game.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s tool me 3:24 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip  JL A, Pat B, and James Maynard, all from Care2): Living with a cat for the first time, you quickly pick up on its behavioral quirks, many of which are common among other cats. What you soon find out is that cats aren't Republican. Here are 12 reasons why not:

1. Cats are curious about what you do in your bedroom, but they don't try to legislate away your freedom to do it.

2. Cats may take away your cushion, but they'll give it back to you with a gentle push.

3. Cats give you attention and sympathy when you're sick.

4. Females are treated with importance in the cat world.

Click through for the other eight. I'll add number thirteen. Even a neutered cat has more integrity in his kitty dingles than there is in all Republican officeholders combined.

From The New Yorker: \With just one week to go until the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that billionaires are likely to retain control of the United States government.

The poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, shows that the proxy candidates of billionaires are likely to win ninety-eight per cent of next Tuesday’s races, with the remaining two per cent leaning billionaire.

Although the poll indicates that some races are still “too close to call,” the fact that billionaires funded candidates on both sides puts the races safely in their column.

Andy isn't that far from the truth. Fortunately, most of the billionaires backing Democrats are not plutocrats.

From Upworthy: Fact: The political system in America is completely broken. And a huge reason it's gotten so bad is the influence of the almighty dollar. Understanding how we got to this point is both fascinating and utterly maddening.

 

This is an excellent video except it paints the problem as much more bipartisan that it is, in fact. The vast majority of corporate money, especially secret corporate money, is spent on behalf of Republicans. Even McConJob joined his fellow Republicans and voted to block the DISCLOSE Act, supported by Democrats.

Cartoon:

1030Cartoon

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Oct 292014
 

I’m in a rush today, but I found an excellent article for you that describes why the Republican Party should not exist.  I could not agree with this author more.  The Republican Party needs to follow the way opf the Whig Party and be dumped on history’s garbage heap.

GOPVoting

…The point is this:  Regardless of the individual candidates, their contributors, bone-head debate statements, ads with backlash, etc., we really need to understand that the Republican party – by virtue of their behavior over the past 6 years alone – should be disqualified from holding any office, anywhere.

Honestly, this is not a political party – not any more.  They are a zombie cult army, and they see us as an enemy, not political opposition.  Listen to the language, and look at what they are willing to do.  They have their own consultants, their own pollsters, their own schools and even their own media.  They talk to themselves in the same language over and over and never, ever leave the reservation.  That’s not government.  And that’s disqualifying.

Not enough for some of you?  You want more?

This political "party" thinks that it is OK to use the law to deny people the right to vote so they have a better shot at winning.  That’s clearly unconstitutional (whether Scalia agrees or not).  Never mind the fact that it’s immoral.  And when the courts say "no" to the new Jim Crow, they send intimidation squads into polling places to try to cut off votes that way.  People fought and died for that right, so how about we don’t sit this one out because President Obama’s new war on ISIS annoys you?

This is the GOP that decided the best opposition strategy was to never compromise with President Obama on anything, to demean him with a wink and a nod to the crazy (and racist) birther people.  Not clear enough?  How many news stories have we seen of GOP operatives sending around emails that show watermelons growing on the White House lawn, and the like?  The cultural racism of the party is bad enough, but – honestly – the opposition HAS to compromise.  The constitution says the government works that way.  Not filibuster till you drop.  So, how about we drop the idea that Charlie Baker, Alan Fung (or insert another Republican "moderate" here) wouldn’t be so bad and we stick with the plan and vote the party line.  After all, do you think they won’t drink the same Kool-Aid?

The last Republican to publically tell a racist to STFU was John McCain during one of his campaign rallies in 2008 – and that was before President Obama won the election.  Since then – birthers, Tea Party and Donald Trump speak?  From the GOP leadership we hear crickets, and watch them wink and nod at the lunatics they have no business cavorting with – because they know those are guaranteed GOP votes.

Is this disqualifying enough for you?  Motivating enough?…

…Today’s GOP sees our democratic system as a toy.  And that – more than anything else – makes the entire party disqualified for office.

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Click through to read the rest of this fine piece.  Then…

Get Out the VOTE!!!

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Oct 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 191.  I’m rushing to get these articles written in before I leave to go to prison for volunteer work.  Pardon my brevity.  Because tomorrow will be a recovery and grocery delivery day, I may have no articles for Thursday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league.

Scores:

8Scores

Standings:

8Standings

Perhaps I lacked wisdom when I invited a Sasquatch to play FOOTball. :-(

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Saying that he was “sick and tired of having my medical credentials questioned,” Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) had himself sworn in as a medical doctor on Sunday night.

Dr. Christie acknowledged that becoming a doctor generally requires pre-med classes, four years of medical school, plus additional years of residency, but he said that the Ebola epidemic compelled him to take “extraordinary measures, as we say in the medical profession.”

Dr. Christie said that, beginning on Monday, he would begin a series of random “house calls” to check New Jersey residents for Ebola and assign them for quarantine. “I can usually diagnose someone with Ebola in under a minute,” Dr. Christie said. “Even faster if I don’t actually see them.”

The doctor said that before moving forward with his plan to quarantine scores of New Jersey citizens he suspects of having Ebola, he consulted with other prominent epidemiologists, including Dr. Rick Perry, of Texas. “He concurs,” he said.

Bingo on PIGnocchio, Andy. Of course, Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot and his misanthropic father perfected the phony medical certification routine.

From Daily Kos: Can anyone here name a  "news" outlet that would blatantly lie and then continue to lie even after being called out on it?  There are none–because Fox has never been one.  Legitimate journalists try to get to the truth, Fox (and friends) tries to make up the truth to suit their rightwing objectives.

 

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has never been news. It has always been infoganda.

From Upworthy: Even though men can get it, I am not likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in my lifetime. Regardless, I am dubious of the sea of pink ribbons, products, and promotional tie-ins that inundate our society. That’s not to say anyone who wants to wear pink and try their hardest to raise awareness is doing anything wrong — to the contrary! But I do think there’s room for criticism.

In other words, check out this funny video about pinkwashing.

Lying Komen Pink Propaganda Barf Bag Alert!!!

Shame on Upworthy for spreading Komen’s lying propaganda!! They are a virtual front for the Republican Party. 21% of donations to services is very little. Comparing that to the NFL’s charity percentage is apples to oranges. The NFL exists to make money, not to provide charitable services. Boycott Komen and give to an organization that helps women, Planned Parenthood.

Cartoon:

1029Cartoon

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Oct 282014
 

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

1028JoniPigNutsErnstJoni Ernst wants to go to Washington and be a senator packing heat, in case she’s attacked by the government.

It’s one thing to run on a shrink-the-government platform. Wingnut Joni Ernst of Iowa is running for Senate on a “I’m scared of the government; that’s why I need to carry my gun with me everywhere to protect me from the government that I want to join,” platform.

OK, it’s a little long and unwieldy, but she’s working on it.

Video surfaced this week of this Koch-funded Iowa extremist speaking lovingly of her gun at an NRA event two years ago. Somehow, it seems relevant now. In it, Ernst says:

“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere…I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

This beacon of level-headed leadership won the GOP primary with the help of an ad showing her glee at castrating hogs.

“Washington’s full of big spenders,” she said to the camera before slicing into the poor animal’s testicles, “let’s make ‘em squeal.” Kind of like the guy in Deliverance."

Ernst has also gone on the record for promising to jail federal bureaucrats who try to implement Obamacare in her state. She is really a Koch kind of gal.

Now that we know that this loon’s got a gun and she knows how to use it—and she’s ahead in the polls—we can all sleep better at night.

Except the pigs.

Inserted from <AlterNet>

Given the list, I had to choose Joni Pig Nuts. This a is just the fourth out of the five craziest Republican moments from last week alone. Click through for the other four.

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Oct 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 190.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  Usually I facilitate CoDA meetings without leading them.  As a rule I prefer for my guys to lead them.  However they asked me to lead this one, so there is extra prep time.  My plan is to write articles before I leave, if I have time.  We’ll see.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A new study, by the University of Minnesota, indicates that fear of contracting the Ebola virus is highest among Americans who did not pay attention during math and science classes.

According to the study, those whose minds were elsewhere while being taught certain concepts, like what a virus is and numbers, are at a significantly greater risk of being afraid of catching Ebola than people who were paying even scant attention.

Interviews conducted with people who spent math and science classes focussing on what they would be having for dinner or what the student in front of them was wearing revealed the difficulty they are currently having grasping basic facts about Ebola.

For example, when a participant of the study was told that he had a one-in-thirteen-million chance of contracting the virus, his response was, “Whoa. Thirteen million is a really big number. That is totally scary.”

As Andy continues, I hope he’s wrong about how many are stricken by what I call Faux Noise Syndrome, because he’s talking about people, who vote for Republicans.

From Daily Kos: Last night, Bill Maher delivered a blistering final New Rule about what the matter with Kansas is.

 

While Bill is almost always funny, this time he’s funny, but he’s more spot-on.

From NY Times: When Jeb Bush decides whether to run for president, there will be no family meeting à la Mitt Romney, no gathering at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport to go over the pros and cons. “I don’t think it’ll be like a big internal straw poll,” said his son, Jeb Bush Jr.

But if there were, the results of the poll are pretty much in. As Mr. Bush nears a decision to become the third member of his storied family to seek the presidency, the extended Bush clan and its attendant network, albeit with one prominent exception, are largely rallying behind the prospect and pulling the old machine out of the closet.

One Bush n the White House? Strike One! Shame on him! A second Bush in the White House?! Strike Two!! Shame on US!! A third Bush in the White House?!!?  Strike Three!!! The US is OUT!!!

Cartoon:

1028Cartoon

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Author: Emma Lazarus

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Oct 272014
 

Seldom in the history of US politics has there been a more dishonest politician that the US Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, aka Bought Bitch Mitch.  Imagine, if you will, my shock when I learned that, for reasons I’m completely unable to fathom, he actually told the truth about an important issue.

1027BBM

With less than two weeks to go in the Kentucky Senate race, minority leader Mitch McConnell made the unusual choice to bring up his past support for privatizing Social Security. In a speech before the Louisville Rotary Club, McConnell recalled how hard he worked to get then-President George W. Bush’s plan through Congress in 2005. Ace Kentucky reporter Joe Sonka flagged the remarks:

“After Bush was re-elected in 2004 he wanted us to try to fix Social Security,” said McConnell. “I spent a year trying to get any Democrat in the Senate—even those most reasonable Democrat of all, Joe Lieberman—to help us.”

The Bush plan, unveiled in his 2005 State of the Union speech, would have allowed workers under 55 to divert half of their payroll taxes away from Social Security and into a private retirement account. This would have created an even larger shortfall in the Social Security Trust Fund and further hobbled the insurance program—something many people suspected was a feature, not a bug, for Bush and the conservative think tanks pushing his plan.

There was immense backlash to Bush’s proposal, and Republicans never brought it up to a vote. It has since remained taboo even for many Republicans; Representative Paul Ryan dropped the idea from his budgets after the GOP took over the House…[emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Nation>

You may be sure that Republicans have not changed their goal to gut Social Security to transfer that wealth from the people to the 0.1%

Now Alison Grimes can nail him for telling this truth. She’s already doing a great job calling out his lies.

I must disagree with her ad though. Thirty years is not long enough to keep Bought Bitch Mitch. It’s way too long!!

Normally at this time, I’d be making final predictions.  In 2012, I was as accurate as Nate Silver.  I’ve been wracking my brain trying to make sense of this election cycle, but I’ve never seen anything like it before.  Not only that, If you had told me four years ago that Republicans would get away with so many blatant ways to steal this election, I would have called you crazy.  I’m not making predictions, because I have no idea what is going to happen.  I can only say that we have no chance unless we…

Get Out the VOTE!!!

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