TomCat

Oct 242014
 

Given my schedule this week, there is no way that I could gain the depth of understanding I would need to provide good analysis for you, but the terrorist attack on our Canadian friends is far too import a happening to let it pass without more than mere acknowledgement.  I’ll start with that.

1024MichaelZehaf-BibeauThe heart of the Canadian capital was thrown into panic and placed in lockdown on Wednesday after a gunman armed with a rifle or shotgun fatally wounded a corporal guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier at the National War Memorial, entered the nearby Parliament building and fired multiple times before he was shot and killed.

It was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s armed forces in three days. The Ottawa attack heightened fears that Canada, a strong ally of the United States in its campaign against the Islamic State militant group convulsing the Middle East, had been targeted in a reprisal, either as part of an organized plot or a lone-wolf assault by a radicalized Canadian.

Law enforcement authorities in Washington said their Canadian counterparts had identified the assailant as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who had changed his name from Michael Joseph Hall, and said he had been a convert to Islam. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said he had a criminal history of offenses that included robbery and drug possession…

Inserted from <NY Times>

First, allow me to express my condolences for the victims of both attacks, their families, and all who loved them.

Second, I have already seen a tendency on our side of the border from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians to paint Zehaf-Bibeau as a lefty and to call fore vengeance against Muslims.  Reactionary religious fanatics. who would impose their religious dogma on others by force are not lefties.  They are extreme right wingers, just like Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.  Vengeance is never the answer, especially when directed at innocent Muslims who have nothing to do with ISIL.  Authentic Muslims and Christians must coexist in peace.

Share
Oct 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 186.  I’m rushing to get this finished before I leave for my volunteer work in prison.

The Victims Impact meeting went very well, and my presentation was well received.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1023-Broncos35-Chargers21

As penance for missing it, I must say 513 Hail Peytons. :-)

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Republican Gov. John Kasich got a lot of attention on Monday for acknowledging reality when he said that Obamacare repeal is "not gonna happen." Then he went even deeper, saying that the "political or ideological" opposition to Obamacare—and, in particular, Medicaid expansion—doesn’t "hold water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives." Two thoughts spring to mind reading that. Either John Kasich has given up any presidential aspirations or Kasich is seeing a shift in his party away from Obamacare insanity.

As it turns out, it’s neither of those things, because Kasich immediately "clarified" his position.

"I don’t back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed," he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. "If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced."

So much for "real improvements in people’s lives." But that’s not the best part. He goes full McConnell in his backtracking talk with Politico.

Even when one acknowledges the need to feign sanity, the need to suck … nevermind … for money requires that they goosestep first.

From NY Times: Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed Wednesday for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

The justice here, although commendable, is incomplete, as long as the company exists in any form. Because it became known as the Republican Gestapo, it changed it’s name to Xe and then to Academi. as it remains as part of Constellis Holdings.

From Upworthy:

She’s already America’s sweetheart, and now she’s won an award for her anti-bullying work. As someone who was bullied herself, Julia Roberts can really relate to the teens she works with.

 

Kudos to Julia. And she’s right. It’s wrong to stand by and do nothing. But even worse, the Republican Party demands that bullying LGBT people is part of their right to religious expression.  How hateful!

Cartoon:

1024Cartoon

Share
Oct 232014
 

Republicans refuse to accept the inevitable when they have lost on an issue.  This is especially true of bigoted hate mongers.  Now the issue of whether a state may nullify a federal law was decided in the civil war.  Now North Carolina wants to extend the power to nullify to individual government employees.

1023gay-hate-signSince marriage equality’s arrival in North Carolina this month, at least two magistrates have resigned from their roles in the state judicial system to avoid having to officiate marriages for same-sex couples. This week, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R) said he will introduce legislation that allows officiants [sic] to refuse to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs.

According to Berger, who is continuing to fight the marriage equality ruling with House Speaker and Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R), “The court’s expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others.” He doesn’t believe complying with marriage equality should “require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods.”

In his resignation letter, Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam, Jr. said that he believes marrying same-sex couples “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself.” Swain County Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove said that he resigned because performing a same-sex marriage “was just something I couldn’t do because of my religious beliefs.” According to his reading of the Bible, “marriage is between a man and a wife; any other type of sexual activity other than that is what is defined as fornication.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

When it comes to Judge Breedlove, I disagree completely with his beliefs, but I respect his right to have his beliefs.  However, his job is performing a service, and same sex couples are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to have that service performed.  If he cannot do that job without violating his beliefs, he was absolutely right to resign.  I respect that.

On the other hand, Berger is trying to say that the right to freedom of religion congers the right to demy the rights of others, and it just does not work that way.

Leviticus 25:44 gives me the right to possess slaves as long as they are purchased from a neighboring country.  Now if Berger is right, than I get to exercise my right to own a Canadian, but sadly,  Canadians have the right not to be held as slaves, so I must sadly accept that their right to freedom supersedes my religious right to own one.  Dang!!

A political party, whose politicians would confer the right to violate the rights of the others is not fit to govern.

Get Out the VOTE!!!

Share
Oct 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 185.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries, and then I need to prepare my materials for tomorrow’s prison volunteer day.  Tomorrow is also a high Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are at home in the nationally televised Thursday night worship with San Diego, and I’ll be in prison, far from a TV.  When I return home and find out what happened, I’ll have to do penance.  It would be nice to have to say 515 Hail Peytons.  I hope to get articles prepared before I leave, to crash when I get home, and to post them when I wake up.  We’ll see.  However, I will probably have only a Personal Update on Saturday.

Late (early) Update:  I crashed at the keyboard, before I ran out of work, and I just woke up. :-(

Condolences to Canada over your terrorist attacks by extreme conservative pseudo-Muslims.  Extreme conservative pseudo-Christians, like the the Theocon wing of the US Republican Party, would have us react out of hatred.  Do not follow their lead.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:02 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Could you imagine what it must feel like to be the one on whose shoulders the language of your people depends?

 

Major Kudos to Marie. We have already trashed so much native culture irretrievably, that whatever can yet be preserved needs to be.

From The New Yorker: A controversial new bill in the Texas House of Representatives would require those running for governor to show proof of the minimum I.Q. necessary to perform the duties of the office.

If the bill were to become law, every politician in Texas with gubernatorial ambitions would be issued an I.D. card featuring his or her photo, current address, and performance on a state-administered I.Q. test.

Andy has to be mistaken. Didn’t they outlaw IQ there? Don’t they already arrest anything brighter than a turnip? Won’t the RNC just issue fake ID’s to Republicans?

From Daily Kos: It was one of the great unanswered questions of the 2014 campaign: How in the world would the uninspiring Mitch McConnell build "enthusiastic" crowds to bring his campaign across the finish line?

Now we know the answer—with a checkbook.

McConnell will pay expenses in return for ‘enthusiasm’ at events

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events.

In exchange for transportation, meals, and lodging, the state GOP expects the lucky few chosen for the ride to "join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events."

I’d be overjoyed to attend a campaign event for Bought Bitch Mitch, and nobody would have to pay me to feign enthusiasm. Please pass the rotten eggs!!!

Cartoon:

1023Cartoon

Now they’re campaigning to make it three times.

Share
Oct 222014
 

Once upon a time, Democrats and Republicans presented their issues to the people, and let the majority decide whose policies would be implemented.  The problem is that now only Democrats are trying to win that way.  Since Republicans can no longer win an honest majority, they are trying to keep the people, whom they have offended through their wars on everyone but the 1%, hate mongers, wing nuts, and people too stupid to pay attention, from voting.  Nothing is too sleazy for them.

GOPvotingAre voting laws requiring photo IDs inherently racially discriminatory, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg maintained in her blistering dissent Saturday morning? 

A team of politician scientists from Appalachian State, Texas Tech and the University of Florida took on that question for an article just published in Political Research Quarterly (h/t: Justin Levitt). Their conclusion is that the claims of proponents that they’re just upholding the principle of ballot integrity can be discounted; the photo ID laws aim to disenfranchise Democratic voters; they cite findings that the raised cost of voting imposed by photo ID requires "falls overwhelmingly on minorities." In other words, the answer is yes

…What happened? The GOP, they say, recognized that its homogeneous white, male, older and Southern electoral base was competing against "a racially and ethnically diverse, younger, secular, liberal, and Northern-based Democratic Party." Moreover, the demographic changes bringing more Latinos, African Americans, and Asians into the voting population were working strongly against the GOP and strengthening the Democratic coalition.

The GOP could have evolved to meet these voters on their turf, but chose not to. "Rather than altering issue positions as a means to attract new supporters, the GOP has turned to restrictive voter ID laws to disproportionately deter the participation of current Democratic Party supporters," the researchers write.

In other words, appealing to a racial coalition was beyond the GOP’s capacity, so the party chose instead to disenfranchise the members of that coalition

Inserted from <LA Times>

Had SCROTUS not gutted the Voting Rights Act several of these new restrictions could never have become law, because the racial discrimination is so blatant, not to mention discrimination against workers and students.

Rachel Maddow discussed Ginsburg’s dissent and the effects of disenfranchisement on the election with Emily Schultheis.

If you can’t see it here, try the direct link to the video on MSNBC.  If that doesn’t work, it may still be available on YouTube.

For starters the Dems on Oliver’s Court should have been DemoCATS! I’m amazed Obama didn’t have a Republican poll watcher in his face challenging his right to vote.

The bottom line here is that Republicans are doing their best to sow confusion to further suppress voting. What does it say about a political party when they try to prevent legitimate voters from exercising their right to vote?  It says they are not fit to govern!

Get Out The VOTE!!!

Share
Oct 222014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 184.  It’s already evening, and I finally have time to write.  ARGH!  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday is a major prison volunteer day.  Color me rushed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 3:53).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

7Scores

Standings:

7Standings

I could shoot Foster!

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: \Why any ostensibly rational person living in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana who saw this map, and still would think their states’ Republican leaders’ policies were delivering the economic growth their region so sorely needs is beyond comprehension.

 

Bubba Bagger should be hanging his head in shame!

From NY Times: Giving this city a measure of calm for the first time in weeks, 43 people who had direct or indirect contact with the Liberian man who died here of Ebola were declared Ebola-free on Monday.

The 43 people who were released from monitoring had all had potential contact with the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, before he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28. Ultimately in the coming days, a total of 48 people are expected to be cleared of any risk of contracting Ebola and will start rebuilding their lives, after a 21-day isolation that amounted to a self-imposed quarantine for some of them and a more serious state-ordered quarantine for others.

Republicans had better hurry. This issue is running out of steam as a way for them to fear monger. On the other hand, Faux Noise viewers may lot learn of this.

From Upworthy: Space is vast and mysterious and kind of generally mind-freakingly amazing. And yet, we’re not really trying to get there anymore. Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t too pleased about that.

 

How true! It seems that Republicans would prefer to keep the known universe from expanding into the vast empty spaces between the ears of idiots who elect them, especially those idiots that choose not to vote!

Cartoon:

1022Cartoon

Share
Oct 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 183, and my Urologist appointment was fine, except that I the Lift bus got me there so early, that I was done before my appointment time.  I had a 2 1/2 hour wait to go home, and I was last off a full bus, so the trip home took another 1 1/2 hours.  The doc changing my med.  Since one med, worked less well after a few months, and then the other did the same, he’s putting me back on the first med to see what happens.  Now, if only I could how else to use the equipment. :-(  When I finally got home, I felt completely exhausted, and I went to bed.  I woke up just in time to prepare this article.  Tomorrow I order groceries, Wednesday is grocery delivery, and Thursday is a prison volunteer day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:03 (average 6:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon (The appointment did have some play time.):

1021CartoonTCPee

Share