Oct 232016

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


5 Right-Wing Outrages This Week: Trump’s Insane First 100 Days

By the end of the week, the fresh shocks of the most disturbing moments of the third and thankfully final presidential debate were beginning to subside. A madman who is perfectly comfortable taking down our democracy because his ego is bruised is uncomfortably close to being president. To recoin Michelle Obama’s well-worn phrase, when Trump goes…

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Oct 232016

I’m already tired.  I was up at 5:00, eating and starting my research.  Wendy arrived at 7:00.  After she scrubbed and buffed the TomCat, we cleaned the counters and floors,  collected and filled out 20+ pages of information to apply for my insulin manufacturers senior assistance program, made a casserole for the week, and made potato’s and eggs for brunch.  As I write, I’m listening to the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb in the background.  My pillow is calling.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 5:40).  To do it, chick here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (TYT Channel): Donald Trump’s Epic Fail With Salma Hayek!!


Considering what Rump Dump considers important and the size of her implants, her height was never even slightly important to him.

From YouTube (SNL Channel): Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Third Debate Cold Open – SNL


That was all too close to the real one!

From NY Times: Just months ago, Senator Marco Rubio was seen by the Republican establishment as one of its best hopes for taking back the White House. Now, Representative Patrick Murphy, a second-term congressman, is within striking distance of defeating Mr. Rubio in the senator’s race to keep his seat.

I am proud to endorse Patrick Murphy against Marco "Border Booter" Rubio (R-FL), infamous for goose-stepping with the Republican Party in support of their hatred of and bigotry against Latinos.



Oct 222016

I have previously reviewed and supported Oregon Ballot Measure 97.  It is necessary, because giant corporations  have been paying Oregon Income tax at the same or a lower  rate than poor people like me.  Recently, the Koch Brothers and their giant Republican Corporate Cronies have been flooding the airwaves with pure unadulterated lies about the measure.


$18.3 million in mostly out-of-state corporate money buys a lot of ads and spreads a lot of disinformation, doubt and fear about Measure 97. Don’t be fooled. Below are some of the top arguments you’ll hear against Measure 97.

It’s a sales tax!  (Actually, it’s not.)

Oregonians do leave the state sometimes, so they know what a sales tax is: If you were to buy a smartphone, say, in Clark County, Washington, you’d pay 7.7 percent sales tax. It’s on the receipt. Oregon is one of just five states without a general sales tax, and Measure 97 won’t change that, because it isn’t a sales tax. Consumers wouldn’t pay it. Small businesses wouldn’t pay it. It’s a corporate minimum income tax that only the very biggest companies would pay. And that’s long overdue. Up to now, giant companies have employed legal and accounting maneuvers to claim that they make no profit — despite hundreds of millions in sales — and thus they pay almost nothing in state corporate income tax. For example, companies that donated to the anti-Measure 97 campaign had $600 billion altogether parked in offshore tax havens. That’s money they claim was earned in places like the Cayman Islands — so they can get out of paying state and federal income tax. If Measure 97 passes, they won’t get away with playing “poor” any more.

It’ll lead to higher prices on almost everything! (Actually, it won’t.)

Ask yourself this question: Are Cheerios more expensive in Vancouver than Portland? After all, tax systems vary quite a bit around the country. Do big companies like Target, Lowe’s, Toys R Us and Walmart charge more in states where they pay higher taxes? The folks behind Measure 97 wanted to find out, and teamed up with the non-profit Oregon Consumer League to do a study. They found that those companies charge exactly the same prices for their products in every state. Maybe it’s not surprising that companies that do business nationally set their prices nationally. But it definitely means there’s no reason to think they’ll raise prices just in Oregon if Measure 97 passes. [Skeptical of their findings? Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can do your own cross-state price comparisons here.] Oh, and one more thing: If the biggest corporations could just pass this tax onto the consumer via higher prices, why would they contribute $18.3 million to talk you out of voting for it?…

From <Northwest Labor Press>

Photo  Credit: Willamette Week

Please click through for more.

Reject RepubliCorp Lies! 

Vote YES on Oregon Ballot Measure 97

Oct 222016

It’s another busy day.  After doing my morning research, I took a brief nap, refilled my pill caddy for the week, and got a haircut.  I needed it, as I plan a prison volunteer day on Thursday.  With Wendy coming tomorrow, I’ll be itching for less than 24 hours.  After my blogging, I have to plan my menu for the week and start to compose next week’s shopping list.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, so may the holy Orb shine its blessed light on your team.  My Broncos don’t play until Monday.  Pat, I luv ya anyway.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:30 (average 6:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I know it was unprofessional of me. But I wept when I read Stephanie Woodard’s investigative piece on the killings of American Indians by cops published Monday in the democratic socialist magazine In These Times. It’s no stretch to say it broke my heart.

The reasons for those tears, which continue to spring forth days after my first reading, are many.

Even though none were of my tribe, they were still my people, like me, descendants of the first humans to set foot on this continent 400 generations ago. Like the slayings of so many African Americans killed by police, the deaths of many of them could have easily been avoided by smarter, more compassionate and less trigger-happy cops. And, as is so often the case in matters relating to living indigenous Americans, these dead men and women were invisible. Most didn’t show up in the media or the statistics. Woodard’s story should have been on the front page of The New York Times, the centerpiece of a report on NBC, the subject of speeches on the Senate floor.

Red lives matter.

From NY Times: Major websites were inaccessible to people across wide swaths of the United States on Friday after a company that manages crucial parts of the internet’s infrastructure said it was under attack.

Users reported sporadic problems reaching several websites, including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times.

The company, Dyn, whose servers monitor and reroute internet traffic, said it began experiencing what security experts called a distributed denial-of-service attack just after 7 a.m. Reports that many sites were inaccessible started on the East Coast, but spread westward in three waves as the day wore on and into the evening.

And in a troubling development, the attack appears to have relied on hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices like cameras, baby monitors and home routers that have been infected — without their owners’ knowledge — with software that allows hackers to command them to flood a target with overwhelming traffic.

A spokeswoman said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security were looking into the incident and all potential causes, including criminal activity and a nation-state attack.

Yesterday Lona commented that the attack was perpetrated by Russia and intended to knock Politics Plus offline to keep me from criticizing Rump Dump Trump. If that is the case, I certainly apologize to Twitter, Netflix, the NY Times, and other comparatively minor sites for the inconvenience that the Republican response to my activism has caused. Smile with tongue out

From YouTube (PBS Channel): What the latest polls mean for the presidency — and Congress


This shows how important it is for YOU to vote, along with everyone you know. Failure to vote is the most unpatriotic thing an American can do!




Everyday Erinyes #48

 Posted by at 12:08 pm  Politics
Oct 222016

It's another week when I have so many items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them that I won't be able to share them all. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I am pushing all the other stories to the back to start with this one:  The Pentagon is demanding the return, by California National Guard veterans who servied in combet ten to fifteen years ago, of enlistment bonuses that they were paid.  As a veteran, this just frosts me.bonuses

Most of my ten years in service were spent in the Disbursing field (as the Navy and Marines call it; the Army and Air Force call it Finance.  Prmarily it means payroll.)  We used to have an in-joke about the complainer:

Hey!  you shorted my paycheck this month!

Well, yes.  That's because we overpaid you last month.  You didn't say anything then.

Well, one mistake I can forgive, but not two in a row!

In other words, yes, we did make mistakes, and had to correct them, and it wasn't always pleasant.  But our mistakes were things people might be expected to have been aware of.  This is an entirely different situation.  These are people who were paid large sums of money essentially to go into indentured servitude for years of their life.  Many received life changing injuries during this period of servitude.  There is no way they could have known or predicted that any money they were receiving was paid incorrectly.  And it darned well is possible to write them off.  Some of them have been.  But not everyone has the resources to fight.

One retired major, an Iraq veteran, is being required to repay a $20,000 bonus because no one can find a copy of the contract he signed.  Ironically, his current job is as a financial crimes investigator.  He's close to exhausting his appeals.

A sergeant first class from Oroville filed a class action lawsuit in February on behalf of all soldiers who got bonuses, on the ground that the California Guard "conned" them into enlisting or reenlisting.  In August he got a letter from the Pentagon waiving repayment of his bonus.  (He still owes for some student loans, but loans are loans, I can grasp that.)  Then, the US Attorney petitioned the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it was now moot since the SFC's debt had been waived.  My, my.  That's a cheap way to get out of a lawsuit.  The motion is expected to be ruled on by January.

Megaera, I think maybe the best person to target here is this judge who will be ruling on the motion to dismiss the class action suit.  Don't let that happen.  The suit will not put people's lives back together, and it certainly will not put people's bodies back together, but at least, if won, it will reach groups of people rather than individuals, and they won't have to be fighting alone.  Good luck.

Of course the veterans affected by these recoupment efforts were all honest soldiers.  Unfortunately, there are also a lot of crusaderswhat I might call dishonest soldiers – dishonorable soldiers – deplorable soldiers? – in our midst.  Three of them, calling themselves "Crusaders," were arrested a bit over a week ago, and, perhaps because they were arrested and were off the street facing charges, have not attracted a lot of attention.  Not that they deserve it, but the swamp from which they came does deserve at least some of our attention. 

These three individuals, Curtis Allen, Patrick Stein, and Gavin Wright, were arrested on October 14 on charges stemming from a plot to attack a housing complex which includes a mosque in Garden City, Kansas.  The complex is home to a number of Somali immigrants.  The "Crusaders" were going to put four explosive-laden vehicles, the explosives in question including ammonium nitrate, as used by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City in 1995, at the four corners of the complex.

They also had a long "to-do" list of other buildings to target, including but not limited to churches that have supported the relocation of refugees.  All the locations were referred to as "cockroaches."

They do seem to realize that they are not socially acceptable, seeing as they operate largely through closed Facebook groups.  One of these groups, "III% Security Force of Kansas," has members who include Patrick Stein – and 45 other people.  I did have to chuckle over the name of the group that they at least have the consistency to eschew Arabic numbers.  Most wingnuts aren't that consistent.

Dear Tisiphone, perhaps you could infiltrate one or more of these groups – and then give them a little explosion of their own, as only Erinyes can.  But don't neglect following the court case and ensuring conviction and effective sentencing.

Speaking of courts, some of us may remember the sad case of Kalief Browder.

Kalief Browder was arrested in 2010 at age 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, a charge he adamantly denied. Unable to afford the $3,000 bail, Kalief was sent to Rikers Island to await trail. He was incarcerated for three years—the majority of which was in solitary confinement—awaiting his day in court. That day never came. The charges were dropped, and he returned home in 2013.  (emphasis mine)

In 2015, at the age of 22, Kalief, who had shown obvious personality changes after his release, hanged himself.  His family filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of New York.  But closure, if it comes, will be too late for his mother.kalief-browder-mural-main

Venida Browder succumbed to heart complications on Friday, Ocrtober 14.  Her lawyer told the New York Daily News that she "literally died of a broken heart."

Earlier this year, she has spoken with the Marshall Project for the upcoming video series We Are Witnesses.  If you click through you can see that video.  If you can bear to.  One quote: “[Prison guards] told him, ‘We’re going to break you,’ ” Browder said. “That’s what they told my baby, that they’re going to break him, and in reality they did.”

Alecto, although it is too late for Venida, Kalief's brother Akeem is still fighting.  The lawsuit may help him get some closure.  Althoug I am pretty sure he would feel even more vindicated if you were able to shut down Riker's Island completely.  Good luck with that.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4017308

Oct 212016

Courtney, aka Lady Torquemada, put me through some hard paces this morning.  Fatigue was exacerbated by a malfunctioning thermostat that kept the temperature about 15° too high.  On the way home I went to the bank.  After lunch I discovered that Politics Plus has been offline most of the day due to a DDoS attack against DNS servers, and thousands of sites are still down all over the country, so I’m not sure when I can publish this.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:35 (average 3:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From You Tube (Media Matters Channel): How “False Equivalence” Ruins Trump-Clinton News Coverage


False-equivalence is especially popular with Russian propagandists and their 3rd party dupes.

From YouTube (GQ Channel): These Insane Excuses From Trump’s Surrogates Are Deplorable | The Closer with Keith Olbermann |


I am soooo glad Keith is back!!!

From YouTube (CSPAN Channel): Hillary Clinton FULL REMARKS at Al Smith Dinner (C-SPAN)

I’d call that a Rump Dump roast!  In the interest of fairness, here is the complete list of everything worth hearing Trump said during his segment:

…[end of list].