Jan 262015
 

It’s day 82.  Here goes the new schedule.  I tried to watch the Pro Bowl last night.  I forgot how badly they have screwed it up and turned it off before the first quarter was over.  I feels very strange to have slept part of last night.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:51 (average 5:32).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Republican Presidential candidates descended on Iowa over the weekend, giving Iowans a rare opportunity to evaluate all thirty thousand hopefuls in one place.

The candidates were a big hit with their G.O.P. audience, who attempted to determine which of the thirty thousand would do the best job of eviscerating Obamacare and deporting college students.

Andy always has been a master of understatement.

From NY Times: Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, is about to become prime minister of Greece. He will be the first European leader elected on an explicit promise to challenge the austerity policies that have prevailed since 2010. And there will, of course, be many people warning him to abandon that promise, to behave “responsibly.”

So how has that responsibility thing worked out so far?

To understand the political earthquake in Greece, it helps to look at Greece’s May 2010 “standby arrangement” with the International Monetary Fund, under which the so-called troika — the I.M.F., the European Central Bank and the European Commission — extended loans to the country in return for a combination of austerity and reform. It’s a remarkable document, in the worst way. The troika, while pretending to be hardheaded and realistic, was peddling an economic fantasy. And the Greek people have been paying the price for those elite delusions.

Click through for the remainder of this Paul Krugman Editorial. Austerity work for the super rich only. That’s why Republicans love it so.

From USA Today: Thousands of flights were canceled, schools were closing early and snow trucks were rolling Monday in anticipation of a monster storm expected to roar across a wide swath of the Northeast with up to 3 feet of snow and near-hurricane force winds.

A blizzard warning was issued for the New York and Boston areas and more than 5,200 flights had been canceled before the storm cranked up. The storm will impact more than 40 million people, according to the National Weather Service.

The treacherous, 24-hour-plus snow odyssey was expected to be most severe late Monday and deep into Tuesday. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines said Philadelphia, New York City and much of New England could see 1-2 feet of snow. Parts of central Massachusetts and central Connecticut could be in the 2-3 foot range, he said.

feel so sorry for you guys! Please take extra precautions to keep yourselves warm and safe. Here, when the sun burns through the fog, and it warms up, I’ll go bask my kitty butt in 58°.

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Jan 252015
 

5It’s still day 81.  I’m changing my schedule.  I plan to upload articles whenever I finish writing them for the day.  It will keep me more current, and I won’t have to wait until midnight to upload.  I’ll be a little less regular, but I think I’ll get more rest this way.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s is on the first Open Thread.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: That he can say such vile things with a smile on his face speaks volumes of his character. (Warning:NSFW or around children, or decent folk)

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Behold the love of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians! These are NOT authentic Christians. Authentic Christians honor the beliefs of others. Republicans prove the existence of DEVOLUTION.

From Washington Post: The Obama administration will propose setting aside the 1.4 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness, the White House announced Sunday, a move that will spark a fierce battle with the new Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, Lisa Murkowski, and other Alaska Republicans.

I fully support this move and wish he would do more.

From Desmoines Register: Donald Trump is aggressively pushing himself back onto the Iowa stage as presidential material.

In a sit-down interview with The Des Moines Register, he said the two presumed GOP frontrunners, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, are doomed to lose — and he expressed regret that he hadn’t run himself in 2012.

Trump said he should be in the White House right now.

When Trump joins the clown car, every day is a bad hair day.

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Jan 252015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 81.  Yesterday I spent almost the entire day in bed.  I’m still quite worn, but not so much that I can’t write.  I am running somewhat late, because we had a beautiful sunny day today with a 60° high, and as we cats often do, I could not resist basking in the sun for a bit.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:26 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This MLK greatest hits album doesn’t actually exist *yet*, but it’s a pretty damned good idea.

 

Amen to this. "Beyond Vietnam" is a speech everyone should have heard more than once.

From NY Times: Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, was in his suburban Miami broadcast studio when he all but pounced on the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, who was appearing from Washington. The Republicans’ immigration policy is “deportations, deportations, deportations,” Mr. Ramos said. “Why?”

Mr. Priebus, who stared out from multiple screens in a control room here looking as if he would rather have been doing anything but talking to Mr. Ramos, insisted it was not so. But Mr. Ramos would not have it.

“The message,” he retorted, “is anti-immigrant.”

It appears that making the official Latino Republican Response to the SOTU the opposite of the of the official Pig Nuts Republican Response didn’t work.

From The New Yorker: President Obama’s proposal to give workers six weeks of paid leave is meeting strong opposition from a group of people who annually receive thirty-three weeks of paid leave…

…The opponents of paid leave, who show up for work a hundred and thirty-seven days per year and receive paid leave for the other two hundred and twenty-eight, were baffled by other moments in the President’s speech.

For example, they were confused by Obama’s challenge to try to survive on a full-time job that pays fifteen thousand dollars, since they all currently hold a part-time job that pays a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars.

Dang it Andy!! I do news commentary. You do comedy. You’re in MY turf AGAIN!! ;-)

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Jan 242015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 80.  Yesterday my meeting with my guys in prison went very well.  About 75 had a general meeting, while 25 had a discussion on ethics with students from an University of Oregon Ethics class.  I could not have been more proud of all of them.  The students left with a changed perspective about prisoners.  On the down side, I turned off my O2, when I got to the Activities section and would be sedentary, but I turned the bevel to continuous flow instead of off by mistake, le3aving mw with an empty O2 tank.  That made the trip home extremely difficult.  It wiped me out in the procss, so I need to spend the day in hiding.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:51 (average 6:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

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Jan 232015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 79.  I’m hurrying, because I have to leave soon for volunteer work in prison.  I’ll be meeting with around 100 guys.  This is the only article.  I’ll probably be scarce for a couple days.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:29 (average 4:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: (All Andy)

From The New Yorker: A new Oxfam report indicating that the wealthiest one per cent possesses about half of the world’s wealth has left the richest people in the world “reeling with disappointment,” a leading billionaire said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum, the hedge-fund owner Harland Dorrinson said, “I think I speak for a lot of my fellow billionaires when I say I thought we were doing a good deal better than that.”

Calling the Oxfam findings “sobering,” he said that he hoped they would serve “as a wake-up call to billionaires everywhere that it’s time to up our game.”

“Quite frankly, a lot of us thought that by buying politicians, rewriting tax laws, and hiding money overseas, we were getting it done,” said Dorrinson, who owns the hedge fund Garrote Capital. “If, at the end of the day, all we control is a measly half of the world’s wealth, clearly we need to do more—much more.”

Andy has them pegged, and they have the Republican Party working hard to increase their share to 100%.

From The New Yorker: In a poll taken on Tuesday night, a wide majority of Americans said that they now believe that they could be elected to the United States Senate.

The results reflected a renewed sense of the inclusiveness of the American political system, as those surveyed said that they believed that anyone could serve in the Senate regardless of intelligence, the ability to speak, or any other qualifications whatsoever.

While those responses indicated that, as of Tuesday night, at least, Americans were energized about the possibility of their future careers in Washington, other results were not so encouraging.

Andy knows that a pig’s nuts would be a better Senator than Pig Nuts.

From The New Yorker: Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) shared more folksy stories of her childhood on Wednesday, telling reporters that she used to wear a bucket on her head for no apparent reason.

“I’d be walking outside our house and see a bucket lying there, and I’d say to myself, ‘That’s a perfectly good bucket, I think I’ll put it on my head,’ ” she said. “It wasn’t because I needed a hat or anything. I must have had, oh gosh, a half-dozen hats or so. I just wanted to wear a bucket.”

Ernst said that during her youth, she was known for poking a hole in a large piece of corrugated cardboard and wearing it as a poncho.

“I can’t for the life of me tell you why I did that,” she said. “I just liked the look of it, I guess. Nobody paid much attention to it. People sure don’t notice your cardboard poncho when you’re wearing a bucket on your head.”

Andy, I think people liked it, because the bucket muffled what she was saying.

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Jan 222015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 78.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver my groceries and listening to Republicans bluster and whine about yesterday’s SOTU address.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  I will write before I leave to upload after I return, if there is time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: President Obama is courting controversy with his decision to address a group that has become dominated in recent years by extremists.

Some have questioned the appropriateness of the President speaking to such an extremist group, especially because in the past it has issued threats against the United States government.

As recently as 2013, for example, the extremists threatened to shut down the entire federal government if their demands were not met.

Andy does raise a valid point. Should Obama be criticized for negotiating with these terrorists?

From Daily Kos: Recently, I was sitting at my computer, typing away, when I heard the door opening and closing in the next room. It was around lunchtime, so I figured it was my brother (he came home for lunch, once in awhile). I turned toward the doorway, and was stunned to see a uniformed Pennsylvania state trooper striding into the room.

He began peppering me with questions, asking if I lived there, for example, and for me to identify myself. Of course I did (because I did not really want to die or anything like that, the guy was packing a gun, you know?) I was brought up to fear the police; I was taught at an early age that the state police force was originally formed to break the unions, by any means necessary. Also, I knew a lot of people who had been hassled by the cops. My parents had the talk with me (no, not that one, the one about how to survive an encounter with the police). Yeah, poor white boys get that talk too. Yes, I know that racism is a much bigger factor than classism, but that does not matter when a cop is in your house.

After I answered every question he had, I did venture a very polite question, basically, why are you here and why didn’t you knock? The police officer then informed me that he had probable cause to enter my house, because I had posted a "No Trespassing" sign.

In a Republican Reich, scenes like this become daily events.

From NY Times: …Perhaps no organization commands more deference in Republican politics nowadays than the sprawling operation established by the Koch brothers. And this week, the intense competition among Republicans for their embrace and attention will break out into the open. An invitation-only group of 2016 hopefuls will travel to a resort near Palm Springs, Calif., for the Koch brothers’ annual winter seminar, kicking off the so-called Koch primary.

Its that time again. Will Scalia and Thomas be in attendance again? And which Republican will prove best at sucking … nevermind.

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Jan 212015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 77.  Tonight is Obama’s SOTU address.  I’ll write an article on that tomorrow to publish shortly after midnight Thursday.  Tomorrow is also a grocery delivery day, and if I wasn’t already busy enough, Thursday is a Prison volunteer day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:32 (average 5:18).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The first thing to know about the lawsuit brought by two dozen states to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is that it is a meritless screed wrapped in flimsy legal cloth and deposited on the doorstep of a federal district judge in Brownsville, Tex.

The second thing to know is that the judge, Andrew Hanen, may well look kindly on the suit. He made news in 2013 with a politically charged ruling accusing the Obama administration of criminally conspiring with Mexican drug cartels to smuggle children over the border (he really [propaganda delinked] said that), which is surely why the plaintiffs like their chances.

The judge held the first hearing in the case on Thursday and could rule as early as next month. If he blocks Mr. Obama’s actions — which seek to protect millions of immigrants from deportation and to grant them permission to work — this would complicate things for the administration, which is planning to start signing people up for the programs in February.

ARGH! Scarier still, the Fascist Five may just back Hanen up!

From Daily Kos: In a laughable display of desperation, the American Family Association is demanding that Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse themselves from the four marriage equality cases it recently agreed to hear. Their unhinged press release [pseudo-Christians delinked] titled Kagan and Ginsburg: Recuse Yourselves! is a study in head-up-ones-ass reasoning.

Both of these justices’ personal and private actions that actively endorse gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Congress has directed that federal judicial officers must disqualify themselves from hearing cases in specified circumstances. Both Kagan and Ginsburg have not only been partial to same-sex marriage but they have also proven themselves to be activists in favor of it. In order to ensure the Court’s integrity and impartiality, both should recuse themselves from same-sex marriage cases. Congress has an obligation to Americans to see that members of the Supreme Court are held to the highest standards of integrity. The law demands it, and the people deserve it.

You can be sure that the hate twins’, Standartenfuhrer Scalia and TEAbag Thomas, personal and private actions even more clearly indicate how they would vote on same sex marriage cases, but you don’t hear these Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians whining about them. Click through to see how the author debunks their lies.

From Think Progress: Nebraska landowners have launched two separate lawsuits that, if successful, could serve to delay or even stop the construction of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The lawsuits, filed last week, represent Nebraska property owners’ second attempt to challenge the constitutionality of a law that gave the Keystone XL pipeline a legal route through the state and, by extension, their property. The landowners claim that TransCanada — the Canadian company that wants to build Keystone XL — made direct threats to use eminent domain and seize their land if they did not consent to having the pipeline run though it.

“We stand with landowners to protect property rights and a constitutional pipeline routing process,” said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, a group that has been at the center of the state’s Keystone XL opposition movement. “While we fight to ensure TransCanada and the state of Nebraska do not run roughshod over farmers and ranchers, we also call upon President Obama to reject Keystone XL now.”

I don’t care how Keystone XL is stopped, as long as it is stopped.

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