Jul 292015
 

If you are prone to anger, you might want to skip ahead, because I find if difficult to contain the outrage I feel over the vile acts of some Georgia Republicans.  They dressed in full Republican regalia, put the Republican flag, the stars and bars, on display and attacked a child’s birthday party.

0729GOPParty

I kid you not, it feels like we are going back in time in America.

In an Atlanta suburb this past weekend, Melissa Alford (a black woman) and her family were hosting an outdoor birthday party in Douglasville, Georgia, when a convoy of seven large pickup trucks donning Confederate flags interrupted the party and pulled into the grass. The occupants then called them niggers and threatened them with violence, according to multiple eyewitnesses, who also stated that the men actually flashed guns at them:

One of at least two cellphone videos from the incident shows Douglasville police officers holding back a group of black men and women as at least seven pickup trucks drive off. The trucks’ white passengers wave as the Confederate, American and military flags mounted on the vehicles flap in the air. .

“This is a child’s birthday party,” one woman in the crowd can be heard saying.

A second video shows the trucks gathered on a grassy area, and the N-word can be heard. A woman who shared the video said the trucks were on her property and their passengers were armed and threatened to “kill y’all [N-words].”

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I just can’t get my head around such vile, unbridled, Republican hate.

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Jul 292015
 

Last week I had a small but thoroughly enjoyable meeting with five of my guys.  The prison fouled-up the turnout, so ten were not released for it.  We discussed the importance of maintaining an ongoing personal inventory, and using it as a tool to recognize when we are wrong, admit it, make amends, and learn from it.  As always, I could not be more proud of them.  It was very hot, as the Activities section is over the kitchen.  I feel tired and sore, but I did get some good sleep last might.  Today is a grocery delivery day, so I have some cleaning to do in preparation.  The forecast high is 95° and will not dip below 90° until 8/3 at the earliest, so the next heat wave is officially here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5/26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Changing austerity measures starts with changing how we value our own work.

Like the frog in the pot that didn’t know it was boiling until it was too late, some of us have gotten used to these things. But some of us haven’t and aren’t willing to. Like Agnes Török, who filmed this moving poem that puts into words the frustrations so many of us have felt.

Her words are inspiration for those of us who’ve internalized economic disparities as our own character failures.

 

This hero truly understands Republican tinkle down policies. Kudos.

From The New Yorker: In what critics are calling a desperate attempt to draw the media’s attention away from Donald Trump, the other fifteen candidates for the Republican nomination have released a joint sex tape.

The tape, including such luminaries as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Texas senator Ted Cruz, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, appeared briefly on major news Web sites before an avalanche of viewer revulsion demanded it be taken down.

According to Carol Foyler, a viewer who happened to catch the tape during its brief appearance on the CNN Web site, the video contained images “I may never be able to get out of my mind.”

“I couldn’t believe that these people would participate in such a thing,” she said. “Except maybe Santorum.”

Dang Andy! Lindsey Poo was a bottom.  I have no doubt that Frothy was the man on dog, but do we need to change a name from "Upchuck Huck" to "Buttf*** Huck"? Smile with tongue out

From Washington Post: Openly gay Americans can now legally marry, serve in the military (as long as you’re not transgender) and, as of Monday, lead a Boy Scout troop.

So what can’t they do? In fact, there are still several things gay Americans can’t do that straight Americans might take for granted.

We did some research and talked to the Human Rights Campaign’s legal director, Sarah Warbelow, to find out what openly gay Americans are still fighting for.

1. Give blood

This prohibition is specifically for gay and bisexual men, whom the federal government prohibited from donating blood in 1983, during the AIDS epidemic.

The Obama administration recently lifted the ban, but with one very important caveat: A man can only donate blood if he hasn’t had sexual relations with another man in the past year. The ruling was disappointing to LGBT rights groups.

"That’s really unrealistic to ask people," Warebelow said — "especially those who are in long-term relationships."

2. Be protected from housing discrimination in 28 states

In 28 states that don’t include sexual orientation in their housing discrimination laws, gay and lesbian Americans can be denied an apartment to rent, a home to buy or obtain a mortgage on the basis of their sexual orientation.

In the 30 states that don’t ban housing discrimination based on gender identity, transgender Americans face the same possibility.

3. Be protected from business discrimination in 28 states

In 28 states, gay and lesbian Americans can get kicked out of a restaurant, be refused services by a hairdresser or asked to leave a shopping mall. That number’s even higher for transgender people, who don’t have similar protections in 32 states.

The federal government also has no law prohibiting LGBT discrimination in public spaces and services.

In the states and cities that do have anti-discrimination laws — including about a dozen cities in Indiana — some conservatives have successfully pushed for a religious freedom bill to give extra legal protections to service providers who refuse LGBT Americans.

Click through for the other four. The battle against the Republican Reich for LGBT equality has just begun.

Cartoon:

0729Cartoon

Where InsaniTEA rules supreme.

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Jul 282015
 

Every time cops commit another horrific act, the “thin blue line crowd” crawls out of the woodwork claiming that we need to have unquestioning support for cops: all cops, all the time, no matter the circumstances.  I thoroughly disagree, as does the following author.

0728cops‘Don’t want to get hurt by police? Don’t break the law.’ Tis a common phrase among those who unquestioningly support law enforcement regardless of their proven track record of corruption and misconduct.

Sadly the apologists are nearly as dangerous as the corrupt and abusive officers as they advocate for blind support of the badge. Many times, apologists will support censorship, become brutal, and even hold fundraisers for cops who shoot unarmed people in the back!

The badge and uniform are infallible in the blind eyes of those who are too afraid to question authority. Police kill, we are told, because they have to make it home to their families at night. Police only harm those guilty of a crime….if you don’t want to get shot by police, don’t break the law they say.

Such asininity is unparalleled. However, it still doesn’t stop the apologists from pasting some derivative of the Gene Wilder meme all over the internet every time a cop is caught smashing in some innocent person’s face.

In an attempt to break through to the apologist crowd, we have gathered 30 stories from our archives of examples in which police hurt innocent people, who never broke the law. Tragically, some of those hurt or killed were children; some were even disabled and mentally ill.

Jonathan Sanders had broken no law before he was chased down by a Mississippi cop who threw him to the ground and strangled him to death in front of family members.

Esmeralda Rossi was getting into the shower when two Arizona cops illegally entered her home, pulled her towel off, assaulted and arrested her as she screamed in horror — completely naked. Rossi had broken no law.

Eric Wilson was on his way home from his job at Lighthouse for the Blind when he was stopped by two Little Rock Police officers alleging he “fit the description” of a suspect. The fact that Wilson is legally blind did not stop these officers from assaulting a man who could not even see them…

Inserted from <Alternet>

I have shared only three of the stories.  Click through for the other twenty seven.

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Jul 282015
 

I’m hurrying to get today’s articles up as early as I can, as later I’m going to prison to do volunteer work.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  Portland us under a heat advisory.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:20 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From PRWatch: At the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2015 annual meeting in San Diego, California, dirty energy companies and their supporters–including ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Duke Energy–continue to dominate the funding of activities, according to a list of conference sponsors obtained jointly by the Center for Media and Democracy and Greenpeace. At the top of the agenda, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker spoke to ALEC delegates over breakfast on Thursday. Walker is now campaigning on a promise to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if elected President in 2016, a plan which was earlier debated by ALEC at its December 2014 conference and is in line with ALEC’s long-term legislative agenda. At ALEC conferences and meetings, rhetoric against the EPA–and in particular the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution–is frequently extreme.

Click through for more, including a list of sponsors to boycott.

From Daily Kos: Spot the difference

Last year, a Nevada rancher who boasts that he doesn’t “recognize the United States government as even existing” become a hero of Fox News pundits and other conservative commentators for refusing to pay grazing fees he owes the government.

But when a black woman named Sandra Bland was forced out of her car and to the ground by a Texas police officer after she reportedly failed to signal during a lane switch and declined to put out a cigarette, Fox News thinks this is a time to lecture viewers on how to be respectful to law enforcement. Bland later died in police custody in what investigators ruled was a suicide. –

White men defending a criminal, facing down gubbmint agencies with many, many guns, good.

African American Woman armed with a cigarette, bad. The policeman was being exposed to second hand smoke for crissakes!

The contrast is absurd, intolerable, and Republican.

From NY Times: His family called him unstable and violent, so John R. Houser was ordered by a judge to be taken against his will to a mental hospital in 2008. Despite that sign that Mr. Houser was mentally troubled, he passed a background check and was able to legally purchase the gun he used last week to kill two people in a Louisiana movie theater, because that hospital stay was not defined by officials as an involuntary commitment.

Dylann Roof, who is charged with shooting nine people to death in a Charleston, S.C., church last month, was also able to buy the gun he used in the massacre. He should have failed a background check, federal officials said, because he had previously admitted to illegal drug possession. Yet because of a clerical error in South Carolina and the confusion that caused the federal authorities who examined his record, he was not stopped from his making his purchase.

As these two cases show, the one system that gun rights and gun control advocates both agree on, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is supposed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, is riddled with problems. While the system, in operation since 1998, has prevented more than 2.4 million sales, it still has major gaps, with spotty cooperation from the states and a narrow definition of who is considered too mentally ill to own a gun.

Republicans work overtime to keep the system ridden with loopholes, because enabling criminal gun purchases maximizes gun industry profits.

Cartoon:

0728Cartoon

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Jul 272015
 

The more I have thought about it, the more I have come to the conclusion that, although I expect Republicans to pass a bill to block the international effort to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands, they will not be able to overcome the presidential veto that will follow.  Then why is Benjamin Netanyahu (R-IS), aka Butcher Bibi, investing so much of himself in the Republican effort?  I’ve gotten pretty close, but the following author understands.

0727ButcherBibi…On the battle to come the headline over a story in The Times of Israel put it this way. AIPAC girds for rare high-noon showdown with White House.

The first question arising is this. Does Netanyahu really believe that with AIPAC’s assistance he can mobilize Zionism’s election campaign funders and those in Congress who do their bidding to kill the deal?

Unless he is completely out of touch with the way things are moving in Washington D.C, Netanyahu must know there is no chance of Congress coming up with the two-thirds majority necessary to over-ride an Obama veto of legislation to kill the deal.

So what, really, is Netanyahu’s game plan for America?

The only answer I can think of is that he is reconciled to the fact that a growing number of Democrats in Congress are no longer prepared to do the Zionist state’s bidding when doing it is clearly not in America’s own best interests. Even Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 race to the White House, felt that gave her the freedom to endorse the deal with Iran. She said, "With vigorous enforcement, unyielding verification and swift consequences for any violations, this agreement can make the United States, Israel and our Arab partners safer."

In that light it seems to me Netanyahu’s game plan is to say and do whatever he thinks will assist the Republicans to rubbish President Obama and win the White House in 2016, in the hope that a Republican president will kill the deal.

If that is the hope in Netanyahu’s deluded mind it is no doubt being encouraged by the statements of all the Republicans who are offering themselves as presidential candidates… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Op-Ed News>

Effectively what we had here is the Republican Party conspiring with a foreign power to undermine America’s foreign policy and influence an American election.  This is nothing short of criminal sedition.

American Jews have been more likely to vote for Democrats, because so many are social liberals.  But that has been with both Republicans and Democrats supporting Israel, even against our own self interest.  Therefore Butcher Bibi’s partisan stance will shift some Jewish voters to the Republicans in 2016.

However, I think we need to stress that killing the deal would lead to a nuclear armed Iran with nothing to lose.  That is the most dangerous scenario for the people of Israel, so American Jews can support Israel best by opposing Butcher Bibi (R-IS), and abandoning AIPAC, which is now dominated by Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the opposite of real authentic Christians).

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Jul 272015
 

I’m trying to take advantage of the last relatively temperate day, before the new heat wave begins in earnest.  I got up early and cooked a 3-day spaghetti with hot Italian sausage dinner.  Then I made a big breakfast of fried eggs and potatoes.  Because my friend with cancer is taking a rare trip to the prison tomorrow, I get to take a volunteer day with a small group of my guys for a CoDA meeting.  Then on Friday, I have to go out into the extreme heat for the routine quarterly surgery on my foot, so please expect me to be somewhat scarce for the rest of the week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Tips:

Our season opens on Thursday, September 10, but there’s a lot to do between now and then.  Get to know your players.  Check for Bye week conflicts.  Keep track of injuries.  Follow your players’ progress during preseasons. Use Add/Drop to make needed changes from unclaimed players or propose trades with competitors.  If you have any questions ask.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 6/2014): America’s gun death rates — both nationwide and in the states — dwarf those of most other Western industrialized nations. The gun death rate in the United Kingdom in 2011 was 0.23 per 100,000 while in Australia it was 0.86 per 100,000.

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates 

(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

1 Louisiana 45.6 percent 18.91

2 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.80

3 Alaska 60.6 percent 17.41

4 Wyoming 62.8 percent 16.92

5 Montana 61.4 percent 16.74

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates

(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

50 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 3.14

49 Hawaii 9.7 percent 3.56

48 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.84

47 New York 18.1 percent 5.11

46 New Jersey 11.3 percent 5.46

For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, Visit Here.

This is what I’d expect except for one thing. NJ hadn’t caught up to PIGnocchio’s policies yet.

From The New Yorker: The Republican National Committee has released the format for its first 2016 Presidential debate, to be broadcast by Fox News on August 6th:

1. Question from moderator to Donald Trump;

2. Ignoring of question by Donald Trump, followed by personal attack on Jeb Bush;

3. Feeble attempt at rebuttal by Jeb Bush;

4. Interruption by Donald Trump, followed by attack on other eight candidates on stage;

Andy has it pegged. Click through for the rest.

From NY Times: Rick Perry’s voice softens when he talks about the joy he gets from looking at his iPad and seeing “that 20-week picture of my first grandbaby.” Marco Rubio says ultrasounds of his sons and daughters reinforced how “they were children — and they were our children.” Rand Paul recalls watching fetuses suck their thumbs. And Chris Christie says the ultrasound of his first daughter changed his views on abortion.

If they seem to be reading from the same script, they are.

With help from a well-funded, well-researched and invigorated anti-abortion movement, Republican politicians have refined how they are talking about pregnancy and abortion rights, choosing their words in a way they hope puts Democrats on the defensive.

The goal, social conservatives say, is to shift the debate away from the “war on women” paradigm that has proved so harmful to their party’s image.

The Republican war on women has changed little, as barefoot and pregnant is still the objective. They are just using an even less honest tactic.

Cartoon:

0727Cartoon

Apologies to the snake.

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Jul 262015
 

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

Bobby Jindal does not think a mass shooting should be used as an excuse to talk about gun control.

GOPGuns (2)Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who thankfully has suspended his run for president, freeing up his seat in the Republican clown car for some perhaps bigger clown, does not want to talk about guns. Some innocent people watching a movie were just gunned down in his state by a right-wing extremist who expressed his hatred for feminists and liberals—but why should that occasion a discussion about how obscenely easy it is to get guns in this country? What do you want to do? Prevent more tragedies or something?

"We are less than 24 hours out, we’ve got two families that need to bury their loved ones. We’ve got families waiting for their loved ones to leave the hospital and are praying for their recovery," Jindal said at a press conference Friday. "There will be an absolute appropriate time for us to talk about policies and politics, and I’m sure that folks will want to score political points off this tragedy, as they’ve tried to do on previous tragedies."

Hmmm, political points. Is that what they’re calling keeping guns out of the hands of mass killers and toddlers these days?

Jindal told reporters he might be happy to discuss gun policy later. How about never? he asked. Is never good for you?

Inserted from <Alternet>

For Republicans, Ammosexuals nearly all, it is never appropriate to talk about gun control on days that begin with a T: Tuesday, Thursday, Taturday, Tunday, Today or Tomorrow. This is only the sixth of six Republican doozies form last week alone. Click through for the other five.

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