Apr 232014
 

Americans seem to fixate on the notion that our society is the best there is, despite having slipped from that perch in longevity, health, education, happiness, and many other categories.  How ever, starting before I was born, The US has always had the most well-to-do middle class in the world, until now.

0423greedy-americans1The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

Middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Photo Credit: Big Fish Ink

Congrats to Canada, but their success may be short lived. because Harper’s Harlots are doing everything they can to mimic the US Republicans responsible for this.

In real terms, middle class income in the US has failed to keep pace with other nations, because virtually all the income goes to the 1%.

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Apr 232014
 

Writing for tomorrow, it’s a better day than yesterday.  Of course, that isn’t saying much.  I’m resting all I can, because I will be busy tomorrow preparing for a volunteer day in prison on Thursday.  Day 1.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there are 939 hate groups operating in the U.S. — a nearly 60% increase since 2000. This reminded me of my favorite quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

These words are helpful to ponder in any situation, but especially when there are still so many people in need of love — both those who identify with a hate group and those who are on the receiving end of the hate.

0423ORHate

Recent events demonstrate the danger from Republican hate groups. This is a map of Oregon’s Republican hate groups. Here is the link to the SPLC Interactive Map.

From Daily Kos: This story is about one of those very rare moments in history that’s significantly affecting the way in which the public (and, as Paul Krugman acknowledges it, even many in the status quo) views the dismal science known as "economics." If you’re at all interested in the subject, or income inequality in general, last night’s Moyers’ show, with special guest Paul Krugman, is not to be missed.

Since so many of you can’t see the Vimeo included in the article, I found the same clip on YouTube.

 

The inequality in the US today is the greatest it has ever been in at any other time or in any other country in world history. Moyers and Krugman together is a true meeting of giants.

From NY Times: Every day, our computer churns through the latest polls and reams of historical data to calculate both parties’ chances of winning control of the Senate. Although the Democrats currently have a 51 percent chance, that doesn’t mean we’re predicting the Democrats to win the Senate — the probability is essentially the same as a coin flip.

After months of being told Republicans will win the Senate, this is certainly refreshing. Lets go change those numbers even more!

Cartoon:

0423Cartoon

Republicans must hate that site!!

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Apr 222014
 

I hate few things more than wasting a day, but that is what I’ve done today.  I waited the whole half hour for my lift bus to arrive and take me to my medical appointment.  They didn’t show up so I called.  They apologized and said they were running late.  I waited another twenty minutes and called again.  They said they came to my address and were told I did not live there.  They had sent my ride to my old address, although I have told them I have moved no fewer than five separate times.  They told me there was nothing they could do, because the bus had moved on and was no longer in the neighborhood.  I called the doctor’s office several times but could get only a recording.  He must have given his scheduling staff the day after Easter off.  I left a message, but have no idea if it got through, so I may be charged for a missed appointment, which my insurance will not cover.  To make matters worse, I had awakened at 3:00 AM to deal with an equestrian necessity, and knowing my penchant for sleeping through alarm clocks, I opted to stay up and clean house.  So I was pooped.  However, I was too tired and too irritated to sleep.  I lay in bed and tossed and turned, finally falling asleep late in the day.  I feel frustrated over a wasted day.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:50 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

I bet it’s a Republican. :-(

0422MIA

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Apr 212014
 

The Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS, Republican Constitutional VD, have been on a tear of late, shredding the Constitution at every opportunity.  However, one of them just hit a new low.  Antonin Scalia, a Ronald Reagan appointee, has publicly called for the overthrow of the government of the US, if Republicans don’t get their way.

0421ScaliaHatDuring an event at the University of Tennessee’s law school on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia suggested to the capacity crowd that perhaps they should revolt against the U.S government if their taxes ever get too high.

During a question and answer part of the event, a student asked Scalia about the constitutionality of a federal income tax. Scalia assured the questioner that the tax was in fact permissible by the constitution, but added that if it ever became too high, “perhaps you should revolt.”

The remark, first reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel, has become a common rhetorical flourish for conservatives nationwide during the Obama presidency.

A state Tea Party chairman in Mississippi called for armed rebellion ahead of Obama’s reelection in 2012, and a Texas Judge told a local news station that he was prepared to join a “civil war” if Obama agreed to sign away U.S sovereignty to the United Nations. Michele Bachmann found herself in hot water in 2009, shortly after Obama took office, for calling upon a violent uprising against Obama, and faced accusations of using treasonous language… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

This sedition certainly qualifies as a “high crime” that meets the requirements needed to impeach him.  Unfortunately, that will not happen, because Republicans control the House.

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Apr 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling a bit groggy after wrapping myself around a generous portion of chili beef, rice and veggies casserole, topped with melted cheese.  I got some bad news last night.  The group controlling the prison Activities area on Tuesday maxed out their guest list, so I was bumped from my CoDA.  Once I have my volunteer card, that will no longer happen.  Please don’t expect much tomorrow.  I have a Urologist appointment.  I’m not sick.  I have to go in to fill the cup and get an exam, because he changed my meds in February.  The process will kill half the day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In this delightful satirical look at a corporate PSA, some energy executives tell us what they are REALLY thinking. YAY!

Just FYI, this uses language that is not safe for work. Also, as I mentioned in the first sentence, this is actually satire, not a real company. Real companies would just keep pretending none of this is true.

So in case you didn’t see the other sentences, I’d like to make clear that this is satire. Also, satire warning.

 

Dang!! Australia has imported Republicans!! :-(

From Daily Kos: Dana Perino on Fox News’ The Five:

 

Without getting into the infinite list of times that Faux Noise, the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, has done exactly what they are accusing Obama of doing, calling him a jerk is just the only argument they can make, because he’s right. Perhaps they might like some cheese with their whine.

From NY Times: The health care law may be Republicans’ favorite weapon against Democrats this year, but there is another issue roiling their party and shaping the establishment-versus-grass-roots divide ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries: the Common Core.

A once little-known set of national educational standards introduced in 44 states and the District of Columbia with the overwhelming support of Republican governors, the Common Core has incited intense resistance on the right and prompted some in the party to reverse field and join colleagues who believe it will lead to a federal takeover of schools.

Conservatives denounce it as “Obamacore,” in what has become a surefire applause line for potential presidential hopefuls.

Without Common Core, children in Republican controlled states will get to learn Dinosaur Riding 101, Racism 102, Homophobia 103, Misogyny 104, TEAbuggery 105, and little more.

Cartoon:

0421Cartoon

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Apr 202014
 

Easter

Whether or not you are a Christian, I respectfully invite you to join me in the celebration of the my faith’s most central holiday, even though many of its traditions are borrowed.

Jesus was a fascinating man.  He associated most closely with the social rejects of his day.  He respected people with faiths different from his.  He did not burn their religious writings or try to prevent them from their own forms of worship.  Sometimes he used them as an example of what is right, like the Good Samaritan.  He had a heart for meeting the needs of the poor, and admonished us to care for them.  His concern  for the rich was that their own greed would blind them.   He had no trouble getting along with sinners.  He met people at the point of their need, and accepted all, except for the religious hypocrites who used their position to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and to force their own piety codes, which they often ignored themselves, onto others.  Those were only people Jesus condemned.  Sadly, they are still among us.

If we are followers of Jesus, our faith will help us to follow the example of what he did.  Of course, none of us is perfect in that way.  God knows that I fall short every day.  It is important to know that those who preach the things Jesus was against, but condemn those who contend for the things Jesus supported, are not followers of Jesus.  They are pseudo-Christians. Authentic Christians try to follow Jesus’ example.

And now, for your listening pleasure:

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Apr 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and my COPD is flaring up, but the time being what it is, you get your annual visit from the Easter Cat. ;-)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Before you go all, "But it’s their money!" I have one thing to say: This country’s entire infrastructure is what enabled these people to make the money they are now hiding away in other countries to avoid paying taxes on it.

0420offshore

How about a 120% penalty for offshoring?

From Daily Kos:

Let’s superimpose that Karl Rove polling from earlier today with the amount of money the Kochs have spent in those states. The number in parenthesis is the trendline from earlier this year.

Arkansas
Pryor 39 (36)
Cotton 39 (42)

Mark Pryor’s numbers went up, Cotton’s went down, and this is now the sixth poll in a row that doesn’t show Republicans winning a seat they’ve already pencilled in as their own.

That rise in Pryor’s numbers, in Rove’s own polling, comes despite $2 million (and counting) spent by the Kochs.

Colorado
Udall 45 (45)
Gardner 43 (44)

Mark Udall has kept steady despite at least $2 million in Koch attack ads (first buy, second buy).

They can’t claim Democratic bias in polls from Rove Rat. Click through for more examples.

From Right Wing Watch: Channeling Mike Huckabee, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah [World Nut Daily delinked] writes today that liberalism inevitably leads to “the end of freedom” and “death on a massive scale.”

Farah writes that he once “swam in the cesspool” of the progressive movement, and knows how it “works and why it is such an effective weapon of intimidation and coercion.”

He goes on to warn that universities have “indoctrinated” students into a “venomous, anti-American and anti-liberty ideology,” arguing that academia is “redefining right and wrong” in order to “achieve a totalitarian state” akin to Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and North Korea.

If there was ever a case of projection, this is it!

Cartoon:

0420Cartoon

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