TomCat

Jul 062015
 

The only way the Republican Reich has managed to stay competitive is by convincing uninformed, gullible fools that their bogus attempt to redefine reality is valid.  They get lots of help with this from the media.  The most powerful weapon to use against this Republican web of lies is a fact.  I found and article with thirteen that Republicans hate:

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1. Conservatives opposed the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution and a lot of other righteous stuff as well.

By definition a conservative is one who wishes to preserve and/or restore traditional values and institutions, i.e. to “conserve” the established order. No surprise then that 18th century American conservatives wanted no part of breaking away from the British Empire and the comforting bonds of monarchical government. Those anti-revolutionary conservatives were called Tories, the name still used for the conservative party in England. The Founding Fathers? As radically left-wing as they came in the 1770s. The Boston Tea Party? The "Occupy Wall Street" of its day.

Some of the other "traditional" values supported by conservatives over the course of American history have included slavery (remember that the Republican Party was on the liberal fringe in 1860), religious persecution, the subjugation of women and minorities, obstacles to immigration, voter suppression, prohibition and segregation.  Conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that’s where they’ve been ever since.

2. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbing fundamentalist trend today would have it be… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

I shared the first two. Click through for the other eleven.

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Jul 062015
 

I actually made it out for a few minutes this morning to visit the corner store and pick up some staples, and I actually managed some kitty solar basking.  I left at 8:00 AM, and by 8:30 the heat had driven me back inside.  Even in the coolest part of the day, the hallway temperature outside my door stays over 90°.  This heat wave is getting really frustrating!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:45 (average 6:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. Welcome!! How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Amanda Monroe testified at a hearing about raising the minimum wage to show why $15 per hour would make all the difference in the lives of her and her son.

 

Very well said!

From Alternet: Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been described as radical or fringe by some but many of Sanders’ views and policy proposals are supported by Americans, according to public opinion surveys.

1. Health Care For All

Sanders is critic of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it doesn’t go far enough and calling for a “Medicare-for-all” single-payer healthcare plan, similar to programs in most developed democratic nations.

“We are the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people as a right and yet we end up spending much more than they do. So I do believe that we have to move toward a Medicare for all, single-payer system,” Sanders told ABC News.

The idea is extremely popular among Democrats, with nearly 80 percent in support according to a January 2015 poll by the Progressive Change Institute. The poll found that a majority of Americans overall supported a Medicare-for-all insurance option.

And seven in 10 Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents agreed with the statement, “it is the responsibility of the government in Washington to see to it that people have help in paying for doctors and hospital bills.” Three-quarters of Republicans and Republican-leaning respondents disagreed according to the most recent Gallup survey.

I shared one of five listed. Click through for the other four.

From Crooks and Liars:

As an untrained observer watching events unfold in Greece from afar, it certainly appeared to me that the IMF was doing its very best to nullify Greece's government with its demands for austerity measures in a country already dealing with a deep economic crisis.

Evidently it appeared that way to Greeks, too, who soundly rejected the IMF austerity plan in favor of something else. What that something else is, exactly, is yet to be determined.

Paul Krugman:

Tsipras and Syriza have won big in the referendum, strengthening their hand for whatever comes next. But they’re not the only winners: I would argue that Europe, and the European idea, just won big — at least in the sense of dodging a bullet.

I know that’s not how most people see it. But think of it this way: we have just witnessed Greece stand up to a truly vile campaign of bullying and intimidation, an attempt to scare the Greek public, not just into accepting creditor demands, but into getting rid of their government. It was a shameful moment in modern European history, and would have set a truly ugly precedent if it had succeeded.

But it didn’t. You don’t have to love Syriza, or believe that they know what they’re doing — it’s not clear that they do, although the troika has been even worse — to believe that European institutions have just been saved from their own worst instincts. If Greece had been forced into line by financial fear mongering, Europe would have sinned in a way that would sully its reputation for generations. Instead, it’s something we can, perhaps, eventually regard as an aberration.

And if Greece ends up exiting the euro? There’s actually a pretty good case for Grexit now — and in any case, democracy matters more than any currency arrangement.

Click through for more detail. It is sad that some (very few) Europeans have made a point of badmouthing the US. While most of the criticism leveled against this country is deserved, perhaps these folks should focus some of their attentions inward. I am NOT referring to the excellent constructive criticism from folks like Lona and Pat.

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Jul 052015
 

Few things will inspire the false gospel of hate from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the exact opposites of authentic Christians faster that the presence of a gay person, and they routinely use the Bible as the authority your that hatred.  I’m not suggesting that you should adopt Biblical standards.  But if Republican hate can be demonstrated as false by their own standard, it shows them up as the purveyors of hate that they are.

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Imagine growing up in an evangelical Christian household, and imagine how it might feel to realize you’re gay. For many teenagers, that realization is terrifying. They fear they will be rejected by their families and communities. The sad truth is that many homosexuals are rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation.

Matthew Vines was 19 when he realized he was gay. He was a sophomore attending Harvard and decided to take a break from school so that he could find a way to reconcile his sexual orientation with what the Bible says about homosexuality.

He didn’t want to lose his family or his faith. So, for the next four years, Vines studied Scripture – specifically what the Bible says about same-sex sexuality and the result was a book titled, God and the Gay Christian.

Vine calls his book “an open letter to modern Christians” about why they should support same-sex relationships and what the Bible really says about homosexuality. He explains in the video (below) that after collecting the information, he was able to change his father’s mind about same-sex relationships. He calls his book a blueprint for helping other Christians help affirm gay marriage while also affirming their commitment to the full authority of the Bible…

Inserted from <Liberals Unite>

 

Click through for his verse by verse analysis.  While I cannot see myself support6ing evangelical Christianity in any form, I shared this it is the healthiest evangelical approach to gay rights that I have seen and far superior to Republicans calls for violence against gay people and attempts to have them killed in foreign countries, like Uganda.

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Jul 052015
 

It’s another sweltering day.  Even in my apartment, the only way to stay cool is to sit directly in front of the A/C.  Only minor relief is in sight, and that, not until next weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:10 (average 6:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Mrs. Clinton has made support for gay people one of the cornerstones of her presidential campaign. Two days before the Supreme Court ruled last month that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, her campaign released a video that featured a montage of same-sex weddings.

 

A lot of us, myself included, may not be altogether happy with Hillary, but just try to imagine this video coming from any of the hateful bigots in the Republican Clown Car.

From Liberals Unite: Actor and social justice activiest George Takei slammed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during an interview with Fox 10 this week in Phoenix.

 

What else is there to say? Teabag Thomas should take Scalia with him!

From Robert Reich: President Obama is said to be considering an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending. He should sign it immediately.

But he should go further and ban all political spending by federal contractors that receive more than half their revenues from government.

Ever since the Supreme Court’s shameful Citizens United decision, big corporations have been funneling large amounts of cash into American politics, often secretly.

Bad enough. But when big government contractors do the funneling, American taxpayers foot the bill twice over: We pay their lobbying and campaign expenses. And when those efforts nab another contract, we pay for stuff we often don’t need.

This is especially true for defense contractors – the biggest federal contractors of all.

Click through for more from the Reich on the left, as he demonstrates why the Republican Reich, the Reich on the right, is wrong.

Cartoon:

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Happiness of Pursuit.

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Jul 042015
 

4th of July 2013

Like many holidays, Independence Day has become highly commercialized, so often Independence Day Sale often comes to mind before the patriots who risked everything to stand for the ideals of representative government.  Let us take a moment to consider the document they signed on July 4, 1776.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The men who wrote and signed this document were authentic patriots.  As such they were the polar opposite of the Republicans who would have us believe that racist nationalism is the same as patriotism.  It is not.  They would also have you believe that the founding fathers fought against taxation.  They did not.  They opposed taxes levied on them when they had no representation to determine what and how much those taxes might be.  To propose violence against a government because they do not like the policies if their elected representatives is not patriotism.  It is InsaniTEA and it is criminal sedition.

Here’s a special message from the Reich on the left, who is right.

The graphic and the following video are the fireworks in my home town.

Please Take care to be safe,

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Jul 042015
 

It’s Independence Day, and here in Portland the killer heat wave goes on.  I’d like to wander downstairs tonight  to see if I can watch the fireworks at Waterfront Park (11,800 shots) from the corner, by looking down Oak St., but that will have to wait until next year.  It will still well over 80°.  ARGH!  You all have a safe, happy day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took 3:16 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Thursday night, Jon Stewart recapped Donald Trump’s latest PR embarrassment. After calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" last week and suffering the entirely predictable and righteous backlash, Trump went on a media tour to explain his strange, racist diatribe.

 

Jon is spot on. He has Hairball pegged to the roots.

From Crooks and Liars: While discussing an admittedly flawed online poll asking whether or not the Americans responding would consider leaving the United States to go live in another country (with 55 percent of millennials responding in the affirmative due to the economy) the yappers on Fox’s The Five did their best to try to pretend that the economy hasn’t been improving during the Obama administration, and to push the latest right wing talking points about the declining labor participation rates.

Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle also used the opportunity to attack millennials as a bunch of lazy moochers who just want free stuff. How dare they want to live in a country where they have a chance to get a good education, have adequate health care coverage and a job that pays a living wage?

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Here we have a perfect example of why people who get their information from Faux Noise are more poorly informed that people who have no access at all to news.

From Daily Kos: Looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t bowing to the wishes of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush on ending the Senate’s filibuster rule in order to ease the path to repealing Obamacare. Alexander Bolton has the details:

Sources close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) say there’s virtually no chance he will go along with abolishing the filibuster, something he has strongly criticized in the past. […] 

Bush and Walker recently told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt they would support lowering the threshold for major legislation from 60 votes to a simple majority. Curbing the power of the Senate minority would make it easier to repeal and replace ObamaCare in 2017.

I have to confess that I was wrong about this. I have said many times thaat Bought Bitch Mitch would use the nuclear option, if Republicans took control of the Senate. What I failed to take into account is that the odds that Democrats will retake the Senate in November 2016 are so high that Bought Bitch Mitch fears losing the ability to be a filibastard then.  When I’m wrong, I say so.

Cartoon:

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