Mar 052015

This is today’s only article, because I’m about to leave to exchange my cell phone.  The store isn’t far, but it tales a bus, a train and a half mile on foot to get there.  I’m ready for some rest.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:15 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Last week at CPAC potential Republican candidates were invoking President Ronald Reagan ad-nauseam. Ed Schultz asked Bruce Bartlett, former adviser to Reagan, how would Reagan have been treated at CPAC.


Republican Saint Ronnie Ray Gun is as much like the real Reagan as Republican Supply-side Jesus is like the real Jesus: not at all.

From Upworthy: He was upset when the police stopped him the first time. But by the 30th time, there was an ironic reason why he was downright embarrassed.


Somehow I suspect that the problem there is nowhere near as bad as it is on this side of the pond.

From The New Yorker: House Speaker John Boehner has scheduled a joint session of Congress in April to hear an address by Kevin Laggett, a man who is on record as having hated President Obama in high school.

Boehner, who personally extended the invitation to Laggett, said that he did not consult with the President before contacting his high-school nemesis.

“This has nothing to do with the President,” Boehner said. “Many of us in Congress are very interested in what Mr. Laggett has to say.”

According to a source who attended high school with both men, Laggett’s antipathy for the President began when Obama was chosen over him for the post of sports editor on the school newspaper. “Kevin has totally despised him ever since,” the source said.

While I would not be surprised, if Andy’s satire were true, Agent Orange had far more devious reasons for inviting Butcher Bibi.



Mar 042015

I call it a show, because that’s what it was.  On the plus side, I have to admit that Butcher Bibi pulled off a very talented act, but that’s all it was.  There was no substance there.  In fact, it really had little to do with Iran.  Both Butcher Bibi and Agent Orange had their own separate agendas, neither of which involves Iran, per se.

0304evilduoPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel could not have hoped for a more rapturous welcome in Congress. With Republicans and most Democrats as his props, he entered the House of Representatives to thunderous applause on Tuesday, waving his hand like a conquering hero and being mobbed by fawning lawmakers as he made his way to the lectern.

Even Washington doesn’t often see this level of exploitative political theater; it was made worse because it was so obviously intended to challenge President Obama’s foreign policy.

Mr. Netanyahu’s speech offered nothing of substance that was new, making it clear that this performance was all about proving his toughness on security issues ahead of the parliamentary election he faces on March 17. He offered no new insight on Iran and no new reasons to reject the agreement being negotiated with Iran by the United States and five other major powers to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.

His demand that Mr. Obama push for a better deal is hollow. He clearly doesn’t want negotiations and failed to suggest any reasonable alternative approach that could halt Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Moreover, he appeared to impose new conditions, insisting that international sanctions not be lifted as long as Iran continues its aggressive behavior, including hostility toward Israel and support for Hezbollah, which has called for Israel’s destruction… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

As long as the US remains in a state of war against nations or groups that claim to follow Islam, Israel remains an important regional ally.  That limits US pressure for Israel to honor  treaty obligations and and helps maintain the regional view that the US is anti-Muslim.

Chris Hayes provided excellent coverage.

In addition to the reasons I referenced, Butcher Bibi was making a campaign speech casting himself as the sophisticated international player condescendingly schooling the ignorant, naive black man.  How insulting!

In addition to his normal sedition against Obama, Agent Orange is just as devious.  A small minority of American Jews are political activists.  The conservatives gravitate towards AIPAC, and the liberals, toward J Street.  The vast majority, on the other hand, are nominally liberal, and tend to vote Democratic, but support for Israel is important to them.  Boehner is trying to make Democrats appear to be anti-Israel, and if he can drive that wedge deep enough, he might be able to remove that block of voters from the Democratic into the Republican camp.  He’d happy to send thousands of young Americans off to die in a needless war for political gain.

Like me, most Democrats are not anti-Israel.  We’re pro-Israel.  But many of us are anti-Netanyahu, because his war crimes and his pursuit of a one-state solution, contrary to treaty obligations.  We're for permanent peace in the region for both Israel and a Palestinian State.  That’s why American Jews, and Israelis for that matter. should oppose both Butcher Bibi and the Republican Party.

Mar 042015

It’s another busy day.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries (They came late.).  I may have no articles tomorrow, because I have to go out o renew my cell phone contract and get a new phone.  The old one will hold hold a charge.  I’ve been wanting to replace it over a year, but have put it off to escape either a long walk or an involved transit.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 5:26),  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A new poll indicates that the American people are deeply disappointed in Hillary Clinton’s State Department e-mail flap because it does not live up to the high standards of sordidness set by Clinton scandals of the past.

Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll for the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, said that those surveyed were “receptive and even intrigued” by the idea of a new Clinton scandal, but then were deflated when they learned what the scandal actually involved.

“When people hear the words ‘Clinton scandal,’ they expect a certain amount of sex and sleaze,” Logsdon said. “But once they find out that this one is about State Department e-mail regulations which may or may not have been disobeyed, they feel very let down.”

“In a sense, the Clintons have created this problem for themselves,” Logsdon added. “They set an extremely high bar with some very memorable scandals in the past, and for a lot of people, this one just doesn’t live up to the hype.”

Andy has a perfectly valid point. Hillary should win the Presidency first, and then get a BJ from an Intern.

From MSNBC: What if Obamacare critics finally win?


Steele’s head is ensphincterated. He’s telling us that the same House that has voted a gazillion times to defund the ACA will now keep people covered. The only solutions House Republicans will offer is the RepubliCare death benefit: Can’t pay? Die free!

From TPM: If he manages to avoid prison, former CIA director David Petraeus’ guilty plea for providing reams of classified material to his mistress will result in far more lenient punishment than that often meted for leaking the nation’s secrets.

Petraeus, 62, has agreed to admit guilt on a single misdemeanor count of the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. The agreement was filed Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Paula Broadwell, the general’s biographer and former mistress, lives with her husband and children.

Prosecutors recommended two years of probation and a $40,000 fine. However, the judge who hears the plea is not bound by that and could still impose a sentence of up to one year in prison. No immediate date was set for a court hearing for Petraeus to enter the plea.

I’m doing volunteer work with a couple guys that are serving years for stealing food. If the judge approves the sentence, the Betrayus deal is an insult to justice.



Mar 032015

From the vile depths of the bogus Republican attempt to find a scandal in the way the Obama administration handled the Benghazi incident comes a completely unrelated scandal.  Now, what appeared to be more of a coronation that a campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination may be in doubt.  One can only ask, “What the hell was she thinking?!!?”


Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Lawrence O’Donnell covered this story in more depth.

Now, if the person, who did this, was a Republican, I’d be screaming foul, and Republicans would be claiming it isn’t important.  I can’t do that, because unlike Republicans, I’m not a hypocrite.  This is very important and very suspect.  I won’t pretend it isn’t.  I hope she can offer an explanation, but cannot begin to imagine what might be a valid one.

Update: The law requiring her to use government email did not go into effect until AFTER Clinton left office.

Mar 032015

It’s already turning into one of those weeks, where I get to put two pounds of you know what in a one pound bag.  I won’t be covering the Butcher Bibi Show until tomorrow, as I have had insufficient time to research it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 4:42),  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NBC: The execution of the only woman on Georgia’s death row was postponed late Monday because of a problem with the lethal-injection drugs. Kelly Gissendaner was waiting to hear if the U.S. Supreme Court would halt her execution when the Georgia Department of Corrections called it off about 11 p.m.

"Prior to the execution, the drugs were sent to an independent lab for testing of potency," the agency said. "The drugs fell within the acceptable testing limits."

But, officials said, in the hours leading up to the execution, the chemicals appeared cloudy.

This only a temporary reprieve from this barbaric state-sponsored murder.

From The New Yorker: On the eve of the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress, House Speaker John Boehner used a joint press conference to praise Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “our closest and most important ally in the fight against President Obama.”

“Even as the President threatens us with provocative acts, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s support for us has been unwavering,” Boehner said. “He understands what many of us have long known: that peace with this enemy can only be achieved through total victory.”

Netanyahu had equally high praise for Boehner, saying that “no one has been more steadfast and dedicated in the struggle against your President.”

“This foe is not to be trusted or appeased,” Netanyahu said. “Your resolute refusal to find any common ground with him whatsoever has earned my undying respect.”

As the press conference drew to a conclusion, Boehner appeared to fight back tears as he called Netanyahu “a brother in arms” in the ongoing hostilities with Obama.

Of course neither actually said that, but Andy seems to have X-Ray vision to see between their ears.

From Upworthy: When extreme belief systems are allowed to dictate our laws, it’s not difficult to end up in this kind of situation.


Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians azre fighting to make the US like the Philippines and El Salvador. Kudos to the Center for Reproductive Rights.



Mar 022015

In February, Politics Plus was little changed from January.  We decreased in every category, but only because the month is three days shorter.

Here is our latest summary:


Data from February 2015:

Reported period

Month Feb 2015





First visit

01 Feb 2015 – 00:00





Last visit

28 Feb 2015 – 23:59






Unique visitors

Number of visits




Viewed traffic *




(2.79 visits/visitor)


(2.72 Pages/Visit)


(7.93 Hits/Visit)

3.12 GB

(117.87 KB/Visit)

Not viewed traffic *






4.49 GB

Data from February 2014:

Reported period

Month Feb 2014





First visit

01 Feb 2014 – 00:01





Last visit

28 Feb 2014 – 23:56






Unique visitors

Number of visits




Viewed traffic *




(3.39 visits/visitor)


(2.35 Pages/Visit)


(7.78 Hits/Visit)

6.51 GB

(260.99 KB/Visit)

Not viewed traffic *






9.47 GB

This February was a significant improvement over last.

Here is our latest demographic data from Quantcast:


They miss a ton of raw data, but among those they can identify they are a valuable source of information.  We are mostly older, well educated, poor, and politically active. 

Here is our latest ClustrMap:


ClustrMap misses a lot of, because many visits can’t be easily traced to a location.  It shows only the visits from March 2 to January 13, when it was last updated.  Therefore it is unchanged from last month.

Here are our top five articles:

Jane Smiley: Capitalist Pigs 1/17/2010 1,651
Warren on Vaccines 2/13/2015 484
Texas Is Premeditating Murder 11/25/2014 363
Good News from the FCC 2/5/2015 309
The Impasse Is No Mystery 2/11/2015 301

The count represents only the people who followed an external link to that specific article.  I’m pleased to see three  from February.

Here are our top non-blog/news referrers:

Care2 2,103
Google 1,695
Stumbleupon 1,138

Two are down.  Stumbleupon is up.

Here are our top  blog/news referrers:

Normally I have included fifteen here, but these seven are the only ones with two or more referrals.  That’s down three from last month.  Putting their links here increases the ratings of their sites, so this “linkey love” is our thank you for their support.

Here are our top commentators.  As the resident Big Mouth, I don’t count.  Those who leave their URLs in their comment headers, also get “linkey-love” here.

Lynn Squance (129)
Edie (85)
Joanne D (84)
Pat A (80)
Patty (79)
Jim Phillips (59)
SoINeedAName (53)
jla (48)
Rixar13 (45)
Vivian B. (39)
Jerry Critter (24)
mamabear (17)
Avril Lomas (9)
Steve (6)
Arielle (5)
Yvonne White (5)
Infidel753 (5)

There are over 15, because of a tie.  People who submit articles to Care2 can use their submitted news link from there.

We have 254,594 links on other websites.

As of Midnight on March 1, we have 5,400 articles and 61,387 comments.

Kudos to Lynn for posting the 61,000th comment.

I recommend using your own avatar. Go to Gravatar.  Sign up using the email address you use to post comments here and upload the image you want to use as your avatar.  Whenever you comment under that email address here or on any WordPress blog (several others too), that image will become your avatar.

As the New Year continues to unfold, it’s crystal clear that the Republican Party is too incompetent to govern, even on those rare occasions, when they appear to want to do so. In addition, they have no shortage of greed, lies, and hate.  They are getting away with it, because the habitat of most Americans is intersection of political ignorance and apathy, and most news media reinforce both.  We still have our work cut out for us.

Thank you for all that you do, here and elsewhere.  You are what makes this site happen!!

Mar 022015

It’s another super-busy day, because I have the Monthly Report to write, and I have an essay to write on why prisoners’ memories of crimes committed years before, don’t always line up with police reports and victim statements.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:59 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Lynn’s New Mouse:


Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Yesterday Georgia became the first southern state to ban the box.

This policy, signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal through an executive order, postpones questions about a job applicant’s criminal history until it is demonstrated that he or she is one of the most qualified candidates. The policy also requires that the applicant have the opportunity to explain his or her criminal history before denial, and that only a relevant conviction will be used as the basis for disqualification.    – See more at:…

Kudos to the people of Georgia. Frankly, I’m surprised that Raw Deal didn’t veto it. In Oregon, only Multnomah County (one if the three that make up the Portland Metro Area) and the City of Portland have banned the box.

From NY Times: The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said.

According to several officials who have been briefed on the report’s conclusions, the report criticizes the city for disproportionately ticketing and arresting African-Americans and relying on the fines to balance the city’s budget. The report, which is expected to be released as early as this week, will force Ferguson officials to either negotiate a settlement with the Justice Department or face being sued by it on civil rights charges.

Oh My! The Ferguson PD is racist?!!? Are you as surprised as I am?

From Washington Post: …ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.

If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat?

If the tilt toward giant corporations wasn’t clear enough, consider who would get to use this special court: only international investors, which are, by and large, big corporations. So if a Vietnamese company with U.S. operations wanted to challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage, it could use ISDS. But if an American labor union believed Vietnam was allowing Vietnamese companies to pay slave wages in violation of trade commitments, the union would have to make its case in the Vietnamese courts…

This just a snippet from an article by Elizabeth Warren, explaining a huge reason to oppose the TPP. I urge you to click through to read it all.