TomCat

May 302016
 

Memorial Day

You may ask why I, as one who opposes war almost by definition, would want to celebrate the day in which we honor those military service people, who have given their lives in service to America.  From my earliest days as an antiwar activist opposing the war in Vietnam, I have believed that it is as important to honor the warriors, as it is to oppose the wars.

They took an oath to obey and honored it.  They had nothing to do with the decisions.  I have no doubt that, if those who died in our Revolutionary War, for example, can look at today’s wars, they are shedding tears over the senseless waste of life, but honoring their comrades as they fall.

Now, unlike Veterans day, Memorial Day is not intended as celebration of those who served and survived.  Nevertheless, to all veterans who read this, thank you for your service.  I thank God that you are not among those whom we honor today.

Share
May 302016
 

Because it’s a holiday, and I really need one, the blog, feeding me, and spending a few hours on George are my only plans for the day.

Special Announcement:

I am very sorry to inform you that JLA has resigned her post as an Author here at Politics Plus.  She said this is no longer the best place for her efforts, because she feels unable to support Hillary Clinton, if she is the nominee, and all the other Administrators and Authors promote supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever that is.  JLA is still welcome here and I thank her for her excellent work on our behalf. We hope she will not be a stranger.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today.s took me 3:40 (average 5:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy:

Myth 1: Higher incarceration rates cause corresponding decreases in crime.

Truth: Imprisoning people isn’t always a good way to fight crime.

A study by The Sentencing Project found that simply putting more people in prison isn’t an effective strategy for fighting crime.

In fact, states that imprisoned fewer people actually saw significant improvements in crime reduction compared with states who were more aggressive about incarceration.

In the words of the study’s authors, "Increasing incarceration while ignoring more effective approaches will impose a heavy burden upon courts, corrections and communities, while providing a marginal impact on crime."

This is the first of five myths about prisons. I agree with the author, based on my many years as a prison volunteer. My only issue is that rather than myths, some are lies to justify continuing the status quo. Click through fir the other four.

From Think Progress: There is no drought in California

Donald Trump told an audience in Fresno that “there is no drought” in California. According to Trump, the state has plenty of water but it’s being held hostage by environmentalists in government. The idea that the government is engineering the drought was popularized by professional conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones.

California, in fact, is facing a severe drought of historic proportions that covers nearly 95% of the state.

The state is drier than it has been in at least 500 years.

0530Cali

This is one of twelve InsaniTEA based conspiracy theories propagated by Rump Dump Trump. Click through for the other eleven.

From TPM: The Libertarian Party has nominated former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as its presidential candidate just as it did in 2012.

Delegates to the party’s convention in Orlando on Sunday picked Johnson on the second ballot over Austin Petersen, the founder of The Libertarian Republic magazine, and anti-computer virus company founder John McAfee.

Johnson got about 1 percent of the popular vote in 2012.

Voting for this and other third party candidates is a great solution for disgruntled neocons, theocons, corporacons, plutocons, and TEAbaggers. Lefties, on the other hand, have only one viable solution:

Vote Blue No Matter Who!

Cartoon:

0530Cartoon

Share
May 292016
 

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

0529kim

Is this the stupidest Fox Newsian of all?

There is huge, huuuuuuge, competition in the race for stupidest Fox Newsian of all. But now that Andrea “America is awesome” Tantaros has been sidelined, another contender appears to be leading the idiot pack: Kimberly Guilfoyle.

While Guilfoyle regularly spews a variety of nonsensical drivel, she managed to up her own considerable ante this week when she argued, wait for it, that when Donald Trump dubs Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” in their ongoing Twitter feud, it actually can be seen as a compliment. “I said I wanted to be Pocahontas one time,” Guilfoyle reasoned this week in a telecast, bizarrely bringing up her own, one hopes, childhood to make her case. “I get the way he’s saying it,” she bravely persevered, “but I think ‘Pocahontas’ is quite complimentary when you think about it.”

Well, no, Kimberly, when you think about it, even for a millisecond, it is entirely offensive and not at all a compliment, and saying so is simultaneously nuts and offensive, for starters because it conflates all Native Americans into one stereotypical persona (based on an actual historical figure) popularized by a Disney movie.

Trump loves to ridicule the fact that Warren’s great-great-great grandmother was Native American, and that Warren is 1/32 Cherokee. He will also likely never ever tire of making this hilarious joke. He likes to call her “Goofy Elizabeth,” which Guilfoyle has yet to defend as “quite complimentary when you think about it,” but stay tuned. It’s quite possible that maybe Guilfoyle longed to be Disney character Goofy when she was young.

From <Alternet>

Kimberly, a former Victoria’s Secret model, was hired as a Faux Noise bimbette to exercise her non-journalistic talent to keep Bubba Bagger drooling in a hypnotic trance long enough for the brighter pundits to fill his small brain with Republican propaganda.  This is only the fourth of five insane Republican moments listed for last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

Share
May 292016
 

Except for writing, I think I’m going to take a lazy day.  I earned it!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New YorkerThe I.G.’s eighty-three page report, “Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements,” is one of the more comprehensive examinations the government has ever issued on proper document-retention habits in the federal bureaucracy. Skip to page forty-two if you want the scintillating conclusion:

Longstanding, systemic weaknesses related to electronic records and communications have existed within the Office of the Secretary that go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State. OIG recognizes that technology and Department policy have evolved considerably since Secretary Albright’s tenure began in 1997. Nevertheless, the Department generally and the Office of the Secretary in particular have been slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership. OIG expects that its recommendations will move the Department steps closer to meaningfully addressing these risks.

That’s it. Clinton, like some of her predecessors, especially Colin Powell, flouted departmental regulations on the use of private e-mail, and she was careless about cybersecurity. In the pantheon of Clinton scandals, the I.G. report, in terms of actual malfeasance, ranks somewhere below running the health-care task force of the mid-nineties in secret and above making a lopsided profit on the cattle-future markets while she was First Lady of Arkansas. [emphasis added]

As I, and most other progressives, that are far more acclaimed than I, including Bernie Sanders and most of his supporters, except for a small desperate fringe, have repeatedly stated, this is nothing but tempest in a tea pot.

From NY Times: As they sliced and diced state programs this month to close a budget deficit, Republicans controlling the Oklahoma Legislature cruelly targeted some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens — the working poor — by cutting an average $147 a year from the income of 200,000 households.

This may seem negligible to the state’s wealthy and middle class, but not to a poor family with a breadwinner struggling at the margins. The method chosen is deplorable — cutting the state share of the earned-income tax credit for low-income workers, a federal program widely praised as an effective lift from poverty. “It’s one of the most valuable antipoverty programs on the books today,” Carl Davis, research director for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, told The Tulsa World.

After years of enacting generous tax cuts for the wealthy and for the powerful oil industry, however, the Oklahoma Legislature was facing falling revenues and resorted to an assortment of questionable cuts to close a $1.3 billion deficit. None is more regressive than penalizing the working poor. It will net an estimated $29 million for the state coffers while cutting $312 for a family with three or more children and a parent earning $13,850 a year. The federal earned-income credit program, based on income and family size, is not affected; only the state share is being cut.

Failin’ Fallin Farted.

From The Topeka Capital Journal: SCOTUS appointments should come before free college, everybody getting free healthcare, and equal rights for women and gays.

How could a progressive say such a thing?

It’s a good question because all those things are seriously important to me and I hope to you, too.

What I’ve heard from various sources is that the next president may appoint anywhere from 2 to 4 new SCOTUS members.

….small pause for that to sink in…

…Bernie voters, a message for you… you may truly dislike Hillary Clinton… but you know as well as I do she won’t push the SCOTUS further right.

And if we ever get free college, free healthcare, full democratic rights for gays and women…. a far right SCOTUS can make or break it, just like they did ACA. Don’t think a conservative SCOTUS won’t do it. Trump will assure with his SCOTUS nomination that any progress Democrats try to make in the future would be shot down.  A member of the SCOTUS serves until death if he or she wants to stay there.  This decision can have harsh consequences far into our future.

Even in the oppressed state of Kansas, progressives know that this election will decide whether the Supreme Court becomes SCOTUS or remains SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) for decades to come.  There could there be no better reason to…

Vote Blue No Matter Who

Cartoon:

0529Cartoon

Depose the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan!

Share
May 282016
 

Republicans have been after the Clintons with one conspiracy theory after another.  Now that Hillary is close to clinching the Democratic nomination, they’ve been coming on strong.  I almost expect to hear a Republican revelation that Monica gave Hillary a BJ when Slick Willy wasn’t looking.  One thing should be clear to all.  Violating State Department work guidelines for email could not even justify misdemeanor charges, let alone a felony indictment.

0528clintem

Practically every week, we are inundated with futile attempts to reinvigorate Hillary Clinton’s ’email scandal’ by rival Democrats, the Mainstream Media and Republican opponents. This week’s revelation was just another nothing-burger deluxe with a side of lies. Late Show host, Seth Meyers does a phenomenal job explaining this ‘scandal’, or as he says, ‘the story that just won’t die.’

Let’s face it, they’ve got nothing new. That’s because this is a problem about work rules regarding email, rather than a VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW! ,,, [emphasis original]

From <Crooks and Liars>

Here’s the video.

I have to add that it saddens me to have seen some fellow Bernie Sanders supporters hoping that a felony indictment over the email scandal will drive Hillary from the race, clearing the way for Bernie.  Fortunately, that won’t happen.  There could not be a worse situation for Bernie and the Democratic Party.  I can see the attack ads claiming that Bernie is second best even in even a criminally flawed party, and therefore, does not deserve to be President.  Other attack ads would tie Democrats way downballot to the indictment. Those attack ads would work, probably well enough to install Trump in the White House.

I want Bernie to win, but I want him t win fair and square.  I’ve voted for him, campaigned for him on the phone, given him money, and written several positive articles about him.  But the one thing I will not do is stoop to promoting Republican conspiracy theories.  I could not stand the shame.

Share
May 282016
 

Yesterday I was so tired that I took a nap in the morning, took A nap in the afternoon. and took a nap in the evening.  I’m getting a late start today, because Julie was here.  After I was shined and refined to puddy perfection, I helped her with a few things on the computer and took her out for lunch from a neighborhood food cart.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From American Bridge PAC: From birtherism to 9/11-trutherism, and a long-held conviction that global warming is “a hoax,” Donald Trump has for years dabbled in widely-debunked and discredited conspiracy theories.

 

Except for the 9/11 Truther BS, his nut-job theories are standard Republican Party line.

From Daily Kos: From The Daily Mail:

Bookings at Trump Hotels have plummeted by more than half since The Donald launched his controversial presidential campaign.

While Trump’s own popularity among his voters did not waver as he strode towards the Republican nomination, the hotel arm of his empire has taken a hit, according to data from travel firm Hipmunk.

Reservations at his hotel collection have fallen by 59 per cent year-on-year as their market share has crumbled.

I could not be more pleased that people are protesting against Rump Dump with their wallets.

From Media Matters: In a New York magazine article, Gabriel Sherman reported that Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox News’ parent company, “has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton” in “a sharp reversal from the hostile view he held over much of the past year.”

I told you that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda would goose-step behind whomever the Reich picked as Fuhrer.

Cartoon:

0528Cartoon

Share
May 272016
 

Yesterday I attended my guy’s second banquet at OSP.  It was smaller than the first, but I still enjoyed chatting with a few of my guys and their families about the commitment my guys have made to rebuild themselves and the importance of encouragement and support from their families.  One man’s wife talked about how much progress he has made in the CoDA group we sponsor, and mentioned that relationships are failing on both sides of their family.  I suggested she find a CoDA group for herself and hope she does.  I arrived home after 10 PM, and it took me until after 2:00 AM to unwind, so I took a nap this morning and plan to take another this afternoon.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:46 (average 4:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

0527Cartoon

Share
May 262016
 

If you want to goose step in lock step behind a fascist Reich that is always wrong, sell out to the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich.  On the other hand, if you want to walk in harmony next to a Reich that is virtually always right, choose the Reich on the left, Robert Right.

0526robert_reich

Robert Reich posted a message about the ‘Bernie or Bust’ concept on his Facebook page on May 19, 2016. He received mixed reviews. To read his original post, click here. One week later, Reich posted another status facing his critics. Here are his thoughts:

Robert Reich, May 25, 2016

Last week I suggested Bernie supporters do three things: (1) fight like hell for Bernie until he either gets or loses the nomination, (2) if Hillary gets the nomination, fight like hell for her, and (3) regardless of who wins the nomination or the election, continue to build a powerful progressive movement.

Several of you disagree with (1), saying Bernie has no chance, and his continuing candidacy is just hurting Hillary, so he should bow out of the race. I’ll get back to this point in a subsequent post. 

Here I want to address those of you who disagree with (2). As I understand your arguments, they fall into four categories: 

1. Some of you say that by refusing to fight for Hillary (if she gets the nomination) you’ll show the political establishment you want the changes Bernie has been advocating. The problem with this logic is the “political establishment” is nothing but a bunch of people in comfortable and often privileged positions who will continue doing what they’re doing because they like the status quo, and won’t even be aware you’re not fighting for Hillary – unless, that is, Hillary loses to Trump. Which leads to the next argument.

2. Some of you say there’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The problem with this logic is it’s wrong. Regardless of what you may think of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is a true menace to this nation and to the world. He’s a narcissistic, xenophobic, hatemonger who, if elected, would legitimize bigotry, appoint Supreme Court justices with terrible values, and have his finger on the nuclear bomb. Need I say more? Which brings us to the third argument. 

3. Some of you say a Trump presidency would be so horrible it would galvanize a forceful progressive movement in response. The problem with this argument is twofold. First, Trump could do huge and unalterable damage to America and the world in the meantime. Second, rarely if ever in history has a sharp swing to the right moved the political pendulum further back in the opposite direction. Instead, it tends to move the “center” rightward, as did Ronald Reagan’s presidency. 

4. Finally, some of you say that even if Hillary is better than Trump, you’re tired of choosing the “lesser of two evils,” and you’re going to vote your conscience by either writing Bernie’s name in, or voting for the Green Party candidate, or not voting at all. I can’t criticize you for voting your conscience, of course. But your conscience should know that a decision not to vote for Hillary is a de facto decision to help Donald Trump

What do you think?… [emphasis added]

From <Daily Kos>

The Reich on the left is right!  Failure to vote blue, even if it’s "voting your conscience" is selling out to the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich.

Vote Blue No Matter Who!!

Share
May 262016
 

Please Pardon my brevity.  I want to finish in time for a nap before it’s time to go prison.  I won’t return until late tonight, so please  expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:01 (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Me: Our Next First Lady

0526Bill

Since yesterday, I showed you what kind of nekkid first lady Rump Dump would bring to the White House, it’s only fair that I do the same for Hillary.

From Daily Kos: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals began hearing ​a case Tuesday on the legality of the Texas voter ID law. It’s viewed as the most restrictive such law in the nation and the circuit court’s ruling could have impacts well beyond the Lone Star state…

…To prove how twisted it is: If all you have is a college student ID, that’s not acceptable for voting. But if you’re a college student with a gun permit, they will happily give the nod to that and let you cast your ballot.

So for voting in Texas, having a gun is more important than having a brain.

From NY Times: A bitter divide over the Middle East could threaten Democratic Party unity as representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.

Two of the senator’s appointees to the party’s platform drafting committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, on Wednesday denounced Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and said they believed that rank-and-file Democrats no longer hewed to the party’s staunch support of the Israeli government. They said they would try to get their views incorporated into the platform, the party’s statement of core beliefs, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

Bernie’s delegates could not be spot-on!

Cartoon:

0526Cartoon

Share
May 252016
 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been relatively quiet this campaign season.   I suspect she thought she could do more to promote progressive positions by remaining neutral  on the Democratic side.  That disappointed me, because Jeff Merkley (D-OR) could sure use some company!  But since Rump Dump Trump became the presumptive Republican Nominee, Liz has been all over him,.

0525elizabeth_warren_rantElizabeth Warren continues to carry her torch for the Democratic Party as both a Massachusetts senator and party super delegate. After engaging in a brutal Twitter war with the Republican “presumptive nominee” Warren is taking on the Republican billionaire every chance she gets.

“Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,” Warren said Tuesday night at a Washington, D.C., gala for the Center for Popular Democracy.

“What kind of a man does that?” Warren asked rhetorically. “Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van?”

Progressive Warren warned the crowd that Trump’s economic policies would not only make America less great—they would throw the country into a recession…

From <Alternet>

 

And I would add: What kind of man does that? A Republican!!

Every Republican in office

Is one Republican too many!

Share