Feb 222018
 

Almost the entire nation wants common sense gun control to make America safer from mass shootings.  Most Republican voters want it.  Independent voters and politicians want it.  Democratic voters and politicians want it.  The only ones who don’t want it are the Republican base, that is, the extremist minority of Republican voters, virtually all Republican politicians, and gun manufacturers. 

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An anguished father mourning his 18-year-old daughter vented his anger and pleaded for safer schools.

A fear-stricken student who watched classmates die last week wept openly as he called for banning assault weapons.

A mother who lost her 6-year-old son in a school shooting just over fiveyears ago warned that more parents would lose their children if President Trump did not act, adding, “Don’t let that happen on your watch.”

One by one at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, survivors of school shootings and family members of victims shared their stories and their calls to action. The extraordinary public exchange with the president gave voice to an intensely emotional debate over how to respond to the latest gun massacre in an American school.

A week after a gunman opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people and prompting a rash of student-driven lobbying for new gun restrictions, Mr. Trump met for more than an hour with grieving people in search of solutions. News cameras captured the unusual listening session, revealing an emotional give-and-take between a president and private citizens that is typically shielded from public view.

Mr. Trump used the event to pitch his own ideas about how to prevent such debacles in the future, polling the group about whether they supported allowing teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons, an idea he said could have halted the carnage in Parkland…

Inserted from <NY Times>

That was yesterday.  This morning, Trump was tweeting the NRA’s praises.

Rachel Maddow reported on this story and discussed it with Nicole Hockley of Sandy Hook Promise.

I disagree with Nicole, because she said that nobody favors gun violence and school violence.  That appears to be a platitude.  I think both the NRA and the Republican Reich do favor both gun violence and school violence.  Both organizations depend on fear as a means to further their respective  agendas.  What engenders fear better than a school shooting?  Ammosexuals and frightened parents are flocking to gun stores to buy more guns they don’t need for self-defense.  That’s more profit for gun manufacturers.  Before the blood dried in the school hallways, Republican fundraisers were flooding conservatives’ email, explaining how those libruls are after their guns. Republicans are raking in more money.  In Republican politics, more money equals more power.  That’s why I think the NRA and Republican Reich love to see gun violence and school violence.

I would love to be wrong.  Can you fault my logic?

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Feb 222018
 

WWWendy brought my groceries last night.  She knew I was going to put a few extra dollars in her pay, but that’s now what she’s about.  The store was out of one of my items, boneless fried chicken wings.  A normal person would have called and asked, if I wanted to skip it, or have her get bone-in wings instead, but not Wendy.  During a Winter Storm Alert that has schools and many businesses shut down, Wendy drove several miles to a different store, just to get my wings.  All I can say is that God has made her wings invisible, because I can’t see them, but I know they’re there.  I finally had to turn on the heat.  I awoke to a record low.  Tonight, we should set a new record low, by a full 7° F.  I watched the women’s hockey gold medal game last night.  Woooo Hoooo!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:05 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  Hoe did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Parody Project Channel): THE COUNTRY’S HEART (The Parkland Eulogy) – Based on "Illegal" by Shakira

 

"It should be illegal to deceive a country’s heart." Amen! Silence the Republican bubble machine by sending the Republican Party the way of the Whigs. RESIST!!

From YouTube (Daily Kos Channel): Why is ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ less important than the Second Amendment?

 

The NRA and the Republican Reich want to keep us so paralyzed with fear that we want "good guys with guns" to protect us. That fear drives up both profit for gun manufacturers and power for the Republican Reich. RESIST!!

From NY Magazine: If there remains any doubt that Donald J. Trump is the undisputed master not only of the Republican Party but of the conservative movement that is supposed to be the GOP’s conscience, this week’s annual CPAC conference — the preeminent right-wing political gathering of this and every year —should remove it. As Dave Weigel reports, the event is shaping up as a long celebration of the 45th president and of MAGA in all its dimensions.

Both President Trump and Vice President Pence will deliver speeches at the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference, on Friday morning and Thursday morning respectively. A half-dozen members of the administration will give remarks or sit for interviews.

Trump critics will be nowhere in sight. And he and his entourage will not have to share the limelight with mere congressional leaders, either; Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan won’t be there. Indeed, aside from conservative warhorse Senator Ted Cruz (who has conspicuously reconciled with Trump since the unpleasantness in 2016), perhaps the most prominent speaker from the Hill is Representative Devin Nunes, that great Trumpian warrior against Robert Mueller and the FBI, who will give the conference’s closing address.

CPAC has even found space on its agenda for representatives of what its organizers seem to consider international Trumpism:

[There’s] a prominent Thursday morning speaking slot — less than an hour after Pence — for Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the youngest member of France’s far-right political dynasty.

Former leader of UKIP and Trump adviser Nigel Farage will also be in the house.

I would have never believed that CPUKE could be any more vile than it has been, but I sure it will be. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0222Cartoon

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Feb 212018
 

It’s a rough day here in the CatBox.  I was up early this morning with Republicosis.  On the second trip, I asked myself just how much crap could fit into one Puddy Tat.  A couple hours later, I broke the record I had just set.  I hope the Imodium AD kicks in soon.  At 8:00, I received a Robocall from Store to Door that, due to weather conditions, they have to cancel my grocery delivery this week.  Wendy has chains on her pickup, so she will do my shopping on the way here for my shower this evening.  Of course, I will pay her for the time she spends doing it.   This, for obvious reasons, is my only article today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:27 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Inequality Media Channel): Who Should Get Into the USA?

 

Democrats prefer admitting the needy. Republicans prefer admitting the greedy. The only restriction I would place is a criminal background check. RESIST!!

From Reuters UK: U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions across the world from his native North Carolina to communist North Korea during his 70 years on the pulpit, died on Wednesday at the age of 99, a spokesman said.

He was an evangelical televangelism pioneer, who became a pioneer of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity. RESIST!!

From CNN: Linda Belcher, a Democrat, won the special election for Kentucky’s House District 49 on Tuesday with 3,386 votes. Rebecca Johnson, a Republican, received 1,561 votes, according to official results from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Johnson is the widow of Republican state Rep. Dan Johnson, who narrowly defeated Belcher, then an incumbent, in 2016 and committed suicide late last year. The lawmaker had been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2013 in a report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. He committed suicide a day after he denied the allegations.

Trump won the district with 72% of the vote in 2016.

That is a satisfying result. A Democrat has the seat, and the Republican that used to have it is talking politics with Scalia. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Vice President Mike Pence had planned to secretly meet with a high-level delegation of North Korean leaders while he was at the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month, but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, according to the State Department.

If you believe that, how about buying some Eau de Puddy Tat for $250,000/kitty fart.  It has magical healing properties.  RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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Big Win in PA

 Posted by at 1:44 pm  Politics
Feb 202018
 

Republicans are notorious for incompetence in all things, when it comes to governing.  However, there is one thing at which they are extremely skillful.  They have polished election theft to such a fine art that they are experts at wielding power that they did not earn.  They disenfranchise minority voters.  They understaff precincts in Democratic areas.  They limit poll hours. They enact dirty tricks on election day.  They enlist foreign assistance.  And they Gerrymander with vicious precision.  But we just had a big win in PA!

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On Monday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court released new congressional districts created by Stanford Prof. Nathaniel Persily to replace the state’s old, Republican-drawn boundaries, which were struck down as an illegal partisan gerrymander in violation of the state constitution’s guarantee of “free and equal” elections. These new lines will not only allow for much fairer elections, but they’ll also improve Democrats’ chances of taking back the House this November.

In ordering a new map, the court laid down particular nonpartisan criteria it wanted the legislature to follow: Any new districts should be both compact and limit the number of cities and counties split between districts. Republican legislative leaders refused to pass a new map, though, so the court turned to Persily for guidance.

Persily’s map, which is shown at the top of this post (click here for a larger version), complies with both of the court’s criteria. But most interestingly, the court appears to have deliberately adopted a map that should give both parties a shot at winning an equitable number of seats, as befits Pennsylvania’s swing-state status. In other words, this map isn’t just nonpartisan, it’s fair.

According to calculations from political scientist Brian Amos, these redrawn lines contain 10 districts won by Donald Trump in 2016 versus eight carried by Hillary Clinton. Given that Trump carried Pennsylvania by just a 48.2 to 47.5 margin, that’s a much more equitable distribution than the invalidated map’s 12-to-six split. This new map could consequently give Democrats a much better chance of winning six districts that Republicans currently hold, something we previously predicted

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Here’s video:

I think that, if it does make it to the Supreme Court, there is an excellent chance that even SCROTUS (Republican unconstitutional VD) will side with the PA Supreme Court.  As much as they favor Republican election theft over the Constitution, they tend to be jealous of judicial power and allowing a legislature to overrule a court could set a dangerous precedent for their own power.  Time will tell.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Feb 202018
 

Here in tropical Portland, it’s snowing.  Store to Door has not called to take my grocery order yet, so I called them.  They still plan to call, but it’s possible they may be unable to deliver  my groceries tomorrow due to weather.  ARGH!  I still have not had to turn heat on, but I did have to put on a long sleeve shirt.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me  3:39 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Huffington Post (Hat-Tip JL A): New York Magazine is laying out a case for the possible impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The cover story, penned by former executive editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson, described Thomas’ rise to power and his apparent immunity to scrutiny during the height of the #MeToo movement. Citing conversations with three women who worked with Thomas, Abramson also detailed a history of lies told by the judge, beginning during his confirmation hearing.

His dishonesty, not the allegations of impropriety, “raise the possibility of impeachment.”

“Lying is, for lawyers, a cardinal sin. State disciplinary committees regularly institute proceedings against lawyers for knowingly lying in court, with punishments that can include disbarment. Since 1989, three federal judges have been impeached and forced from office for charges that include lying. The idea of someone so flagrantly telling untruths to ascend to the highest legal position in the U.S. remains shocking, in addition to its being illegal,” Abramson wrote.

Impeaching TEAbag Thomas is a wonderful idea, but we need to wait for the votes to convict the pervert in the Senate to remove him. RESIST!!

From YouTube (Inequality Media Channel): Your 3 Choices When It Comes to Trump

 

I opt for number three, the choice to RESIST!!

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): Guess Who Comes In Last In New Ranking Of Presidents?

 

Forget Buchannan. Most Americans used to agree that Crawford Caligula was the worst ever, and he is dancing for joy, because he no longer is. RESIST!!

From NY Times: …So what happened to the character of the G.O.P.? I’m pretty sure that in this case the personal is, ultimately, political. The modern G.O.P. is, to an extent never before seen in American history, a party built around bad faith, around pretending that its concerns and goals are very different from what they really are. Flag-waving claims of patriotism, pious invocations of morality, stern warnings about fiscal probity are all cover stories for an underlying agenda mainly concerned with making plutocrats even richer.

And the character flaws of the party end up being echoed by the character flaws of its most prominent members. Are they bad people who chose their political affiliation because it fits their proclivities, or potentially good people corrupted by the company they keep? Probably some of both.

In any case, let’s be clear: America in 2018 is not a place where we can disagree without being disagreeable, where there are good people and good ideas on both sides, or whatever other bipartisan homily you want to recite. We are, instead, living in a kakistocracy, a nation ruled by the worst, and we need to face up to that unpleasant reality. [emphasis added]

This is Paul Krugman’s conclusion, and I could not agree more. Click through for the rest. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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Feb 192018
 

The Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a Republican Ammosexual domestic terrorist, who has been photographed in his MAGA hat, massacred seventeen of their classmates, are planning a major protest.  I fully support their efforts.  They are trying to be bipartisan.  That is, they don’t want to side with one party or the other.  That’s somewhat naive, but they will discover for themselves how partisan the issue is.

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Among growing calls for gun control legislation, students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continue to deliver some of the most powerful statements in the wake of the tragedy, and on Sunday a group of them declared that “now is the time for us to stand up” and announced plans for a march in Washington, D.C.

The students, Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind, made the statements to NBC’s “Meet the Press”  and CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Gonzalez, who on Saturday gave a moving speech that went viral, told NBC, “This is our opportunity to talk to President Trump, Gov. Rick Scott, and state [sic] Senator Marco Rubio to make sure that they know we are talking directly to them and all other members of the United States government that are being funded by the NRA to tell them now is the time to get on the right side of this.”

According to Kasky, “the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas was not because of Stoneman Douglas. It was because people like Nik–Nikolas Cruz were able to buy these weapons.” Speaking to “Meet the Press,” he vowed, “we’re not going to let the 17 bullets we just took take us down. If anything, we’re going to keep running, and we’re going to lead the rest of the nation behind us.”…

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

Here’s the video with students Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin:

When Democrats controlled the White House and both Houses of Congress, Democrats did pass gun control legislation in the House. Republicans were unanimous in opposition. In the Senate, Republicans defeated the measure with a filibuster.

Those kids may be willing to work with anyone on common sense Gun Control, but so are Democrats.  The best either will get from Republicans is platitudes, but when anyone gets serious, Republican rhetoric will turn to Second Amendment Solutions, as always.

The students will learn that it’s only the Democrats that will work with them.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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