Jan 282016
 

Nobody has given more and better coverage of the Republican water crimes of Sturmbannführer Snyder and his token lackey, Darnell Earley, City Manager of Flint, than Rachel Maddow.  I am not going to embed her Flint Town Hall videos here, but I will provide a link to them.  I want to make sure that you do not miss the the return of a native son to his home town.  Normally I never copy an entire article, but I’ll make exceptions with Open Letters, as that format means that the author cares most about spreading the information in it.  So without further ado, here is an open letter from Michael Moore.

0128michael

Many of you have contacted me wanting to know how you can help the people of Flint with the two-year long tragedy of drinking water contaminated by the radical decisions made by the Governor of Michigan. The offer is much appreciated by those who are suffering through this and who have not drank a glass of unpoisoned water since April of 2014.

Unfortunately, the honest answer to your offer of help is, sadly, you can’t.

You can’t help.

The reason you can’t help is that you cannot reverse the irreversible brain damage that has been inflicted upon every single child in Flint. The damage is permanent. There is no medicine you can send, no doctor or scientist who has any way to undo the harm done to thousands of babies, toddlers and children (not to mention their parents). They are ruined for life, and someone needs to tell you the truth about that. They will, forever, suffer from various neurological impediments, their IQs will be lowered by at least 20 points, they will not do as well in school and, by the time they reach adolescence, they will exhibit various behavioral problems that will land a number of them in trouble, and some of them in jail.

That is what we know about the history of lead poisoning when you inflict it upon a child. It is a life sentence. In Flint, they’ve already ingested it for these two years, and the toll has already been taken on their developing brains. No check you write, no truckloads of Fiji Water or Poland Spring, will bring their innocence or their health back to normal. It’s done. And it was done knowingly, enacted by a political decision from a Governor and a political party charged by the majority of Michigan’s citizens who elected them to cut taxes for the rich, take over majority-black cities by replacing the elected mayors and city councils, cut costs, cut services, cut more taxes for the rich, increase taxes on retired teachers and public employees and, ultimately, try to decimate their one line of defense against all this, this thing we used to call a union.

The amount of generosity since the national media finally started to cover this story has been tremendous. Pearl Jam sent 100,000 bottles of water. The next day the Detroit Lions showed up with a truck and 100,000 bottles of water. Yesterday, Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg donated 1,000,000 bottles of water! Unbelievably amazing. They acknowledged it’s a very short-term fix, and that it is. Flint has 102,000 residents, each in need of an average of 50 gallons of water a day for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, doing the dishes, and drinking (I’m not counting toilet flushes, watering plants or washing the car). But 100,000 bottles of water is enough for just one bottle per person – in other words, just enough to cover brushing one’s teeth for one day. You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (we are Americans in Flint) needs each day. That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water – which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further). Anybody want to pony up for that? Because THAT is the reality.

This is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. There is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years – and get away with it. That took a Governor who subscribes to an American political ideology hell-bent on widening the income inequality gap and conducting various versions of voter and electoral suppression against people of color and the poor. It was those actions that led Michigan’s Republican Governor to try out his economic and racial experiment in Flint (and please don’t tell me this has nothing to do with race or class; he has removed the mayors of a number of black cities. This, and the water crisis in Flint, never would have been visited upon the residents of Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe — and everyone here knows that). We have now seen the ultimate disastrous consequences of late-20th century, neo-conservative, trickle down public policy. That word “trickle,” a water-based metaphor, was used to justify this economic theory — well, it’s no longer a metaphor, is it? Because now we’re talking about how actual water has been used to institute these twisted economic beliefs in destroying the lives of the black and the poor in Flint, Michigan.

So, do you still want to help? Really help? Because what we need in Flint – and across the country – right now, tonight, is a nonviolent army of people who are willing to stand up for this nation, and go to bat for the forgotten of Flint.

Here’s what you and I need to do:

  1. Demand the removal and arrest of Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan. When the police have an "active shooter" situation in a building, they must first stop the shooter before they can bring aid to the victims. The perp who allowed the poisoning to continue once he knew something was wrong — and his minions who cooked the evidence so the public and the feds wouldn’t find out – must be removed from office ASAP. Whether it’s via resignation, recall or prosecution, this must happen now because he is still refusing to take the aggressive and immediate action needed. His office, as recently as this past Thursday, was claiming the EPA had no legal authority to tell him what to do. You know the EPA — that federal agency every Republican politician wants eliminated? Governor Snyder is not going to obey the law. He has covered up the crime, and I submit he has committed an act of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Last month I posted a meme of me holding a pair of handcuffs with the hashtag #ArrestGovSnyder:
    It went viral, so I posted a petition (
    link) to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to arrest the Governor – and asking President Obama to send help to Flint immediately. As each day brought a new revelation of the Governor’s corruption or incompetence, and with Rachel Maddow on a nightly tear, the momentum built. MoveOn.org and Democracy For America joined me in circulating our petition. We are now on our way to having a half-million signatures! Then Bernie Sanders became the first candidate to call for the Governor’s removal. That same day, President Obama issued his first emergency order for Flint. The next night, Hillary Clinton fiercely called out the racist actions of the Governor.
    You want to help?
    Sign the petition
    – and get everyone you know to sign it. Now. Another half-million signatures could become the tipping point we need. All eyes are on Flint.
  2. Make the State of Michigan pay for the disaster that the State of Michigan created. The Governor wants the President to declare Flint a federal disaster zone and have him send federal money to fix the problem. Not so fast. All relief aid for Flint currently coming from the federal government to Michigan is going through the Governor’s office to disburse. That is literally paying the fox to fix the chicken coop he destroyed. As a Michigan resident and voter, I think that the people who elected Governor Snyder must show some of that personal responsibility they’re always lecturing about to the poor. The majority of my fellow Michiganders wanted this kind of government (they elected him twice), so now they should have to pay for it. This year the state treasury posted nearly a $600 million surplus. There is also another $600 million in the state’s “rainy day fund”. That’s $1.2 billion – just about what Flint’s congressman, Dan Kildee, estimates it will cost to replace the water infrastructure and care for the thousands of poisoned children throughout their growing years.
    And before there is any talk of federal tax dollars being used (and, yes, they will be needed), the state legislature must remove the billion-dollars’ worth of tax cuts the Snyder administration gave the wealthy when he took office. That will go a long way to helping not just Flint but Michigan’s other destitute cities and school districts.
  3. The Federal Government must then be placed in charge. The State government cannot be trusted to get this right. So, instead of declaring a federal disaster zone, President Obama must declare the same version of martial law that Governor Snyder declared over the cities of Flint and Detroit. He must step in and appoint a federal emergency manager in the state capitol to direct the resources of both the state and federal government in saving Flint. This means immediately sending in FEMA in full force. It means sending in the CDC to determine the true extent of not just the lead poisoning in the water, but also the latest outbreak that has been discovered in Flint – a tenfold increase in the number of Flint people who’ve contracted Legionnaires Disease. There have now been 87 cases since the switch to the Flint River water, and ten people have died. The local hospital has also noted sharp increases in a half-dozen other toxins found in people’s bodies. We need the CDC. The EPA must take over the testing of the water, and the Army Corps of Engineers must be sent in to begin replacing the underground pipes. Like the levees in New Orleans, this will be a massive undertaking. If it is turned over to for-profit businesses, it will take a decade and cost billions. This needs to happen right now and Obama must be in charge.
  4. Evacuate any and all Flint residents who want to leave now. They’ve suffered long enough and, until the water is truly safe, no one should have to stay there who doesn’t want to. The state and FEMA should move people into nearby white townships that are still hooked up to Lake Huron water.
  5. For those who choose to stay in Flint, FEMA must create a temporary water system in each home. One idea that has been suggested is to deliver two 55-gallon drums to every home in Flint. Each day water trucks will arrive to fill them with fresh clean glacial water from Lake Huron. The drums will have taps attached to them. People can’t be expected to carry jugs of water from buildings that are miles away.

In the end, we will need to create a new economy and bring new employment to this town that created the middle class, that elected the first black mayor, and that believed in and created the American Dream. They deserved more than to be poisoned by their own Governor — a Governor who thought that, because the people in the town were politically weak, he could get away with this unnoticed and without a fight. He figured wrong.

A crime against humanity has been committed against the people of Flint, making them refugees in their own homes. Tell me honestly: if you were living in Flint right now, and you learned that your children had been drinking lead-filled water for two years, and then you discovered that the Governor knew this and the state lied about it – tell me, just how fast would your head be spinning? With your children now poisoned, and with the poisoning continuing… is the word “nonviolence” dominating your thoughts right now? Are you absolutely, stunningly amazed how peaceful the people in Flint have remained? Are you curious how much longer that can last? I hope it does. If you want to help Flint, sign the petition, demand that the federal government take action, and then get involved yourself, wherever you live, so that this doesn’t happen to you – and so that the people we elect know they can no longer break the law as they rule by fiat or indifference. We deserve much better than this.

For a better world,

Michael Moore [emphasis original]

Inserted from <MichaelMoore,com>

Here’s the link to Rachel Maddow’s Flint Town Hall.

Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Michael Moore in two segments.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Frankly, I agree with everything Michael had to say.

US taxpayers should not be bailing out Flint, while Snyder has $1.2 billion earmarked to provide welfare for billionaires.  If we do the billionaires will get the $1.2 billion and Republicans in DC will demand the federal spending be offset through cuts in earned entitlements and spending on the poor and middle classes.  Make Snyder cough up that money first and then examine the need for federal aid.

In another thread we have been discussing the need for Ammon Bundy and his followers to have the long-term use of an 8’ by 10’ patch federal real estate, with bars on the front side.  There crimes, serious as they are,  don’t even hold a candle to what Snyder has done.  Lock him up! He has given the weapons of class warfare a whole new level of brutality.

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Jan 212016
 

Forty three years ago tomorrow, SCOTUS decided Roe v. Wade, affirming a woman’s right to control her own reproductive choices.  Since then Republicans have been negating that right, as much as they can.  SCOTUS devolved into SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD).  The Fascist Five Injustices seem determined to eliminate it, piece by piece.  I’s time to fight back against this Republican War on Women.

AbortionGOP

Friday marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. At this point, many Americans may assume that it’s easier than ever to access abortion services — but nothing could be further from the truth.

barefootLegal abortion, proven to be both life-saving and essential to the economic security of women and their families, was a critical step in this nation’s journey toward gender equity. Roe was profound not only because it affirmed women’s basic right to health care and well-being through abortion care, but also because it ushered in medical standards and regulations that ensured women were safe during the procedure.

Expanding access to abortion care also bolstered the success of the then-newly established Title X program, which provides family planning services to low-income and uninsured families. Women gained unprecedented access to more doctors, enjoyed insurance coverage for the full range of comprehensive reproductive health services, and saw the ability to manage their fertility for the first time. This had a ripple effect on their ability to pursue educational and economic opportunities. In short, Roe gave many women control of their destinies.

However, history shows us that women have been denied the full benefits of Roe for decades.

Republicans-in-your-vaginaJust seven years after the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to abortion, the justices upheld the Hyde Amendment, a budget rider approved annually to this day that prevents women covered by Medicaid from using their insurance to pay for abortion services. Then, in 1992, the Supreme Court held in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey that a state could restrict an abortion procedure as long as it did not pose an undue burden on women seeking the service. Ever since, states have increasingly sought ways to encroach upon a woman’s ability to access abortion care. More than 200 state-level abortion restrictions have been enacted since 2010 — almost the same number as the total number enacted in the 15 previous years.

And this year, the Supreme Court will hear Whole Women’s Health v. Cole, the most significant women’s health case since Casey. Whole Women’s Health, a Texas-based reproductive health clinic, is challenging a Texas state law passed in 2013 that requires abortion providers to meet expensive and unnecessary regulations — including complying with the standards of ambulatory surgical centers and obtaining admitting privileges from local hospitals.

Whole Women’s Health amplifies how far we have strayed as nation from the promise of Roe, and how much remains at stake. The Supreme Court could affirm Roe in a manner that enables the right to abortion and ensures access for the most vulnerable women in Texas. Or the Court could deliver another ruling that further strips away this precious liberty for far too many women

Inserted from <Think Progress>

To be clear, I consider abortion  as the very last resort, but I recognize that I have no right to impose my own beliefs on others.  Therefore I fully support women’s right to make their own medical choices.

Contact your Senators and Congress critter.  Sign petitions.  Supporting Planned Parenthood is a good way to prevent abortions by providing education and contraception to women.  Oppose abstinence only education in your schools.    Most of all we needs to keep the white House free from infestation by Republicans until SCROTUS becomes SCOTUS again.  Next we need to put Republicans in every level of government from Senator to dawg catcher into the unemployment line.

Every Republican in office is one Republican too many!

VOTE!

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Dec 302015
 

Barely a week has gone by over the past year that I have not heard another horror story about the effects of fracking accompanied by ridiculous claims from the fossil fuel industry’s Republican allies that what the victims of fracking saw, hears, felt, smelled, and tasted was not real.

1230frackOnce again, in 2015 the oil and gas industry showed us the ludicrous lengths they will go to in order to frack more communities. In the process, they created ample fodder for Comedy Central, and the likes of John Oliver, John Stewart, Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore. Here are a few of the worst head-shaking stunts that made the news in 2015:

5. If the ice is melting, can we drill there?

Really, Exxon? Are you serious? Separate investigations by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times revealed this year that ExxonMobil’s own researchers were aware of the devastating climate impact of extracting and burning fossil fuel as far back as 1981. In fact, over twenty years ago, in 1992, Exxon scientists were convinced that “potential global warming can only help lower exploration and development costs” for oil in the Arctic.

At least this story is so absurd that there is growing momentum toward opening a full Department of Justice investigation into what Exxon knew and when. There’s no doubt that ExxonMobil spending $31 million since 1998 to fund climate-denier think tanks and politicians would be central to the case. We still have a lot to find out — who knows what they’re hiding about fracking? Take action, and we may just find out

Inserted from <Alternet>

This is horror story number five of five.  Click through for the other four.

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Dec 062015
 

I’m already in rush mode, so I’ll be brief.  Today is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos meditate with the Chargers, but I can’t watch it.  Crying face The network is showing the Chiefs and Raiders instead.

Short Takes:

From Bernie Sanders: Say You Support Commonsense Solutions to Make Our Country Safer From Gun Violence

1. We can expand background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. This is an idea that over 80% of Americans agree with, even a majority of gun owners.

2. & 3. We can renew the assault weapons ban and end the sale of high capacity magazines — military-style tools created for the purpose of killing people as efficiently as possible.

4. Since 2004, over 2,000 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list have legally purchased guns in the United States. Let’s close the “terror gap” and make sure known foreign and domestic terrorists are included on prohibited purchaser lists.

5. We can close loopholes in our laws that allow perpetrators of stalking and dating violence to buy guns. In the United States, the intended targets of a majority of our mass shootings are intimate partners or family members, and over 60% of victims are women and children. Indeed, a woman is five times more likely to die in a domestic violence incident when a gun is present.

6. We should close the loophole that allows prohibited purchasers to buy a gun without a completed background check after a three-day waiting period expires. Earlier this year, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine of our fellow Americans while they prayed in a historic church, simply because of the color of their skin. This act of terror was possible because of loopholes in our background check laws. Congress should act to ensure the standard for ALL gun purchases is a completed background check. No check — no sale.

7. It’s time to pass federal gun trafficking laws. I support Kirsten Gillibrand’s Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking & Crime Prevention Act of 2015, which would “make gun trafficking a federal crime and provide tools to law enforcement to get illegal guns off the streets and away from criminal networks and street gangs.”

8. It’s time to strengthen penalties for straw purchasers who buy guns from licensed dealers on behalf of a prohibited purchaser.

9. We must authorize resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study and research the causes and effects of gun violence in the United States of America.

10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 21,000 firearm suicides every year in the United States. It’s time we expand and improve our mental health capabilities in this country so that people who need care can get care when they need it, regardless of their level of income.

 

Please join me, and click through to sign! Bernie is spot on!!

From TPM: The head of Oklahoma’s prison system, who presided over two botched lethal injections and a third that was called off because the wrong drug was delivered, announced his resignation Friday amid an investigation into what went wrong with the executions.

Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton said in a news release that he will resign effective Jan. 31, but will begin taking accrued leave on Dec. 25. He said he has accepted a position in Arizona to be closer to family.

While this murdering Republican may be incompetent, his resignation does not solve the problem. End state sponsored murder.

From Think Progress: Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. urged more students to carry guns on Friday, arguing that if the victims of Wednesday’s attack in San Bernardino, California were armed, they would have been able to protect themselves from the attackers.

“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them,” he said during the school’s convocation, before teasing the students about his own gun.

That’s the Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian solution: Assume that Muslims are terrorists and murder them.  Kill a Muslim for Republican Supply-side Jesus (the opposite of the real Jesus).

Cartoon:

1206Cartoon

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Dec 032015
 

Yesterday I had a difficult day.  PT was working me on fall recovery techniques.  I was able to get back up to stationary objects, but when I tried a one person assist from ground to wheelchair, I found that I lack the physical strength to lift myself without being able to support more weight with my arms.  I tried so hard that I strained the knee on my good leg in the process, but it’s almost better today.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: According to his 2nd ex-wife Robert Luis Dear, the accused Colorado Planned Parenthood murderer, was a violently abusive extreme right-wing neo-Christian anti-abortion zealot end-timer who after committing an act of rape believed every thing vile he did would ultimately be “forgiven” by God.

Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian politicians and pundits, the blood is on your hands!

From NY Times: …Democrats, including President Obama, emphasize the need to address America’s problems with guns. Republicans talk about the need to address mental health. Both are right.

First, guns, the central issue: We need a new public health approach based not on eliminating guns (that simply won’t happen in a land awash with 300 million guns) but on reducing the carnage they cause.

We routinely construct policies that reduce the toll of deadly products around us. That’s what we do with cars (driver’s licenses, seatbelts, guardrails). It’s what we do with swimming pools (fences, childproof gates, pool covers). It’s what we do with toy guns (orange tips).

It’s what we should do with real guns.

I reference this Republican hack only to demonstrate how biased he is..  Kristof is twisting some crucial facts in his article. First, while Republicans SAY we need to address mental health needs, they keep slashing the spending on mental health. Only Democrats are actually trying to address those needs. Second Republicans are blocking all attempts by Democrats to treat guns as a public health problem.

From Upworthy: Ironically, the rate of Arctic melting has essentially snowballed — the factors add up exponentially, and the effects get bigger and bigger and bigger (even as the snow itself disappears). So while yes, there are still winters and it still gets cold, the ecosystem is disastrously out of balance, and it’s only getting worse.

But fear not! There’s still hope!

Or maybe do fear a little bit, if that’s the kind of motivation that you need to make sustainable environmental changes in your life or to urge President Obama to take action before it gets too late. Because we seriously need to do something — and fast.

Here’s a little more information, courtesy of National Geographic.

The need us deadly serious. Please join me in signing the NDRC petition, supporting green initiatives, and reducing your own carbon footprint as much as possible.

Cartoon:

1203Cartoon

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Nov 292015
 

Yesterday really was a lazy day, because neither PT nor OT came to work me.  While I welcome every chance I have to work, I suppose one day off won’t hurt me.  Today is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos, minus Peyton, are  meditating with the Patriots in the Sunday night game, so I will get to see it.  May the blessed Orb shine its holy light on your team, unless that team is notorious for wayward snow plows and depressurizing orbs.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Classic 4/2014): We like to assert that Daily Kos is a reality-based community. At the very least we surely do not deny science. A new study appearing at Princeton’s website may test these assumptions for some of us here. For others, it will be grim vindication of what we already know: the United States of America is no longer a democracy, but rather an oligarchy.

The anecdotes are plentiful, from modest gun control proposals that saw 90% public support, to unemployment compensation, to infrastructure spending, to women’s rights; where a plurality exists even across party lines, the median public interest seems to hold no sway in policy making. Now science has proven this to be correct:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

I’d say that in the last year and a half, we’ve regressed to fascist plutocracy.

From Roots Action: Rahm Emanuel Should Resign Now

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel oversaw the withholding from public view — for more than a year — of a video of a police murder of a teenager.

The police officer who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, continuing to shoot his motionless body on the ground, has now been indicted for first-degree murder.

The video was kept secret for 13 months, during which time Emanuel never corrected the blatant lies by the Chicago Police Department that maintained the victim had lunged at the police with a knife just before he was shot. The video shows this to have been a complete fabrication.

A mayor willing to cover for the murder of his constituent is no mayor at all. Add your name:

Chicago residents and people across the country demand Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s immediate resignation.

 

Rahmbo must go! He is a disgrace to the Democratic Party. Click through to sign the petition, please.

From NY Times: With Colorado Springs residents telling chilling tales of hours spent hiding in stores near the shootout on Friday, the authorities shed no light publicly on whether they believed Mr. Dear, 57, had deliberately targeted Planned Parenthood. But one senior law enforcement official, who would speak only anonymously about an ongoing investigation, said that after Mr. Dear was arrested, he had said “no more baby parts” in a rambling interview with the authorities.

It appears that this Republican terrorism is a direct response to the fraudulent Republican videos attacking Planned Parenthood.

Cartoon:

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Has that map changed, or what?

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Aug 252015
 

After the stresses of the last few days, I am feeling quite tired.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and I have some extra cleaning to do for that.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:21 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: They don’t pay taxes. They circumvent our laws. They get free stuff from the government. They are America’s billionaires, and many would like to see them gone.

According to a new survey by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, the American people hold the nation’s billionaires in lower esteem than ever before, and a majority would like to see new laws enacted to deport them.

“They come here, take thousands of our jobs, and export them overseas,” one respondent said, in an opinion echoed by many others in the survey.

“They are part of a shadow economy that sucks billions of dollars out of the United States every year and puts it in Switzerland and the Caymans,” another said.

Images of hedge-fund managers arriving via helicopter in the Hamptons this summer have only reinforced the impression that authorities have turned a blind eye to their movements.

“Many of these people should be in prison, and the government is looking the other way,” one respondent said.

Stirring even more controversy is the billionaires’ practice of having babies in the United States and using the nation’s porous estate-tax laws to pass down untold wealth to the next generation.

“They should leave and take their children with them,” one respondent said.

At times, Andy makes a brilliant suggestion. This is one of those times. Lets start with the nevermind brothers.

From Daily Kos: "Ted Cruz Criticizes Carter Day After Wrenching Talk on Cancer," says the Bloomberg headline, and so we are obliged to take another rubbernecking glance at the most repellent man in politics.

A day after Jimmy Carter appeared on national television to talk about the cancer that's ravaging his body, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz criticized the former president's administration in a speech in Iowa.

"I think where we are today is very, very much like the late 1970s," the senator from Texas said on the Des Moines Register's political soapbox stage at the Iowa State Fair.

"I think the parallels between this administration and the Carter administration are uncanny: same failed domestic policies, same misery, stagnation and malaise, same feckless and naïve foreign policy," Cruz said. "In fact, the exact same countries—Russia and Iran—openly laughing and mocking at the president of the United States."

Uranus Inspector could not be further from the truth. The real similarities are that Carter and Obama both are decent men, doing their best, and were sabotaged by Republicans. Republicans even made a secret deal with Iran, giving them better terms on the hostage release, in return for KEEPING OUR HOSTAGE CITIZENS CAPTIVE, so they could win the election. I think that covering up proof of which individuals committed this treason is one of the reasons that Republicans oppose the Iran deal now.

From MoveOn: If you have friends who’ve been tricked, duped, or bamboozled by the war lobby into opposing the Iran nuclear deal, share this new ad with them from our friends at Americans United for Change:

 

Please click through to share this wherever you can.

Cartoon:

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…then buy my bridge from me!

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Aug 192015
 

It’s another very hot very humid day.  After today, we should get two temperate days, before the 90°+ weather returns on Saturday.  Yesterday afternoon, I learned that my friend with cancer was in recovery, after a successful mastectomy.  I feel quite relieved about that.  Store to Door delivered groceries early.  I have them put away.  Now, if I can just stay conscious until after my articles are up and out, it’s A/C hunker time again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:21 (average 4:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker:

On the evening of August 6th, when the news broke that Senator Charles Schumer would vote against the Iran accord, the Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, was as stunned as the rest of his caucus. The two men are close friends. When Reid became the leader, in 2005, Schumer was a backbencher, who mused about running for governor of New York. Reid took an interest in him, came to rely on both his fund-raising prowess with Wall Street and his counsel on a range of matters, and always advised his ambitious protégé, “Be patient, be patient.” Last March, when Reid announced that he would retire at the end of 2016, he endorsed Schumer to succeed him and announced that another contender, Richard Durbin, the Democratic whip (and Schumer’s former roommate), would stand down. For those progressives who questioned whether Schumer should be leader, Reid said that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would keep the caucus honest. Now, because of Schumer’s position as presumptive leader, Reid felt that Schumer should have informed him of his decision on the Iran deal, given its importance, according to a Senate aide. Still, when a White House official called Reid that night to ask if he would announce his support of the deal to counter Schumer’s opposition, Reid refused, saying he wasn’t ready, a close associate said. (A spokesman for Senator Reid later issued a statement denying that Reid was surprised by Schumer’s announcement. “Their relationship is as close as ever. On Iran, Senator Reid respects the decision of conscience Senator Schumer made and he did not raise concerns with the announcement or the timing.”)*

More than a week has passed, and Reid still wonders why Schumer decided to announce his opposition when he did. Schumer was the first Democratic senator to oppose the deal. And it was his timing, perhaps even more than the substance of his decision, that has upset his pro-deal colleagues and, most unmistakably, the White House. Josh Earnest, the President’s press secretary, said he wouldn’t be surprised if some members of the Senate Democratic caucus “consider the voting record of those who say they would like to lead the caucus,” and he went on to liken Schumer’s decision to oppose the Iran deal to his support for the Iraq War, in 2003. It always seemed implausible that Schumer—an AIPAC stalwart who boasted that he is Benjamin Netanyahu’s best friend on Capitol Hill—would oppose AIPAC and Netanyahu on a deal they both claim is an existential threat to Israel. (I have written about AIPAC’s influence on politicians for the magazine.) “Chuck was always among the least likely Democrats to support the deal,” a longtime close friend of Schumer’s told me. And, after Schumer’s announcement, Durbin said, “I always expected him to be against the agreement.”…

Click through for the rest of this highly informative piece. If your Senator(s) are Democrats, call them regularly to tell them to strip this Bankster-bought traitor of any and all party leadership positions.

From NY Times: Russians are experiencing the first sustained decline in living standards in the 15 years since President Vladimir V. Putin [R-RU] came to power. The ruble has fallen by half against the dollar, driven by the plunging price of oil, the lifeblood of Russia’s economy. As a result, prices of imported goods have shot up, making tea, instant coffee, children’s clothes and back-to-school backpacks suddenly, jarringly expensive.

The Russian people are learning first hand the steep price they have to pay for putting a Republican in charge of their nation.

From Alternet: Ann Coulter knows who she wants to be the Democratic nominee for president, and who that person is, well, it may surprise you.

She wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, and thinks that if Bernie gets the nod, he’ll beat whoever the Republicans come up with to run against him.

You won’t hear me say this often, but Ann Coulter is right.

If Bernie Sanders ends up being the Democratic nominee for president, and it looks more and more every day like he will be, his Republican opponent is going to have a very hard time beating him.

And that’s because of all the Democratic candidates running, Bernie Sanders has the best chance of capturing Republican votes.

I’ve seen how Bernie does this, up close and personal.

Despite its reputation as a place filled with liberal hippies, Vermont, like most of rural northern New England, is home to a lot of conservatives.

Anyone running for statewide office there needs to win these conservatives’ votes, and Bernie is great at doing that.

As much as I’d like to echo this author’s optimism, northern NH Republicans are more like the old time back woods Republicans that were somewhat progressive in their views and opposed to the old time Dixiecrats, that now hold the Republican Party in thrall. To get lots of Republican support, nationwide, Bernie would have to convince a lot of willfully ignorant voters, too lazy to want to learn, not to be afraid of media-hyped "Socialism". That’s a tall order, not because Bernie lacks skill, but because he would be trying to plow a swamp.

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Jul 202015
 

Fortunately, today should be the last day in the heat wave.  85° is the forecast high, but the last two days have both been more than 5° hotter than forecast.  It will then take a couple days for the building to bleed off the heat.  I’m so ready.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 4:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From TPM: Israel’s ambassador to the United States raced in and out of offices on Capitol Hill, trying to persuade lawmakers that the nuclear deal with Iran is a historic mistake.

On the other side, liberal groups ramped up the pressure, warning of political consequences for Democrats who undermine the agreement and casting opposition as a vote for war.

The lobbying fight is on over the pact that the U.S. and other world powers just signed with Iran. The State Department said Sunday it had submitted the agreement to Congress, kicking off a 60-day review period on Monday.

A foreign government has no business lobbying the US Congress! Keep contacting your Congress Critter and Senators.

From Think Progress: The state of the world’s climate is complex enough that it takes 413 scientists from 58 countries half a year to completely summarize a year’s worth of data.

And 2014 was a doozy…

…For those without the time to peruse nearly 300 pages of scientific summaries, here are seven records that fell in 2014.

0720temps

There’s one. Click through for the other six.

From Raw Story: John Oliver bashes ‘a**hole’ Donald Trump while tackling America’s astounding food waste

 

He does cover the subject, doesn’t he? However, I do have to disagree with his statement that dog balls are delicious. CAT is where it’s AT!! Seriously, do you waste a lot of food? I throw little away, but I do convert quite a bit to methane.

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Jul 012015
 

I’m still feeling quite ill, but it’s a new month and I’m swamped.  It’s a grocery delivery day, and I have a Monthly Report and a new poll to prepare.  I did get some sleep, but need more.  The record heat wave goes on and on and on.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:43 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A man with a headache walks into a hospital and is whisked into the rigmarole of American health care. He’s floored by what he learns at the end of his visit. Hint: It isn’t his diagnosis. It’s his hospital bill.

 

Now that the battle for the ACA is won, it’s time grow it into Medicare for all.

From National Popular Vote: TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

Oregon is ignored in presidential races by both parties because candidates have no reason to pay attention to the concerns of voters in states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Presidential campaigns are conducted in only about 9 closely divided "battleground" states — making Oregon and most other states into mere "spectators" to the presidential election.

Tell your State Legislators to support the National Popular Vote Bill. The bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This would make every vote equal throughout the United States. That, in turn, would ensure that every Oregon voter would matter in every presidential election.

Click Through to find the National Popular Vote project in your state. Oregonians, click through to contact your legislators.

From MSNBC: Chris Christie political bridge burning haunts him for 2016

Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about how New Jersey governor Chris Christie made enemies of his fellow Republicans during the Romney campaign and now works from a deficit for 2016.

 

Rachel leaves no stone unturned here. For the effect of PIGnocchio boarding the Clown Car, see below.

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Jun 222015
 

Outside there is a huge racket as the maintenance people are working on my side of the building this week.  I’m not complaining, but I do hate being blasted out of a cat nap, after sleeping poorly, and if I want to do any solar basking, I’m likely to get drenched while walking out of range.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Robert Reich: #11. WHY MEDICARE ISN’T THE PROBEM; IT’S THE SOLUTION

 

The Reich on the left pulled a fast one on me and came up with number 11, but true to form, our Reich is right, and the Reich in the right, the Republican Reich, is wrong. I could not find this on MoveOn, so please click through to Robert Reich, and share it from there.

From Daily Kos (classic: 1/2013): A reporter for NPR discovered a strange new light (see circled area above) where there used to be only North Dakota grassland.  The light is produced by a massive 15,000 square mile area of fracking natural gas flareoffs produced by over 150 companies who have determined that it’s cheaper to burn-off about 29% of the natural gas that is produced by their oil wells.  

The current levels of burning gas from the field inject two million tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year which is the equivalent amount of pollution caused by 2.5 million cars.  The flares produce carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulates.

The burnoff is equivalent to 30% of the total U.S. natural gas production. Currently, there is no legislation that requires fracking companies to recapture the natural gas they produce through fracking, although it’s only slightly more expensive to recapture the natural gas.  Most of the companies have obtained government permission for the flare-offs with annual renewals.  The industry argues that until the wells are completed it’s too expensive to recapture the natural gas. 

NASA image acquired April 18 - October 23, 2012

This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.

“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with,” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. “I’m always amazed at what city light images show us about human activity.” His research group has been approached by scientists seeking to model the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the dictator’s hometown or province.

Named for satellite meteorology pioneer Verner Suomi, NPP flies over any given point on Earth's surface twice each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. The polar-orbiting satellite flies 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the surface, sending its data once per orbit to a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct broadcast users distributed around the world. Suomi NPP is managed by NASA with operational support from NOAA and its Joint Polar Satellite System, which manages the satellite's ground system.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center). Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Instrument: Suomi NPP - VIIRS 

Credit: <b><a href="http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/" rel="nofollow"> NASA Earth Observatory</a></b>

<b>Click here to view all of the <a href="http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/NightLights/" rel="nofollow"> Earth at Night 2012 images </a></b>

<b>Click here to <a href="http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=79800 " rel="nofollow"> read more </a> about this image </b> 

<b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html"rel="nofollow">NASA image use policy.</a></b>

<b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html" rel="nofollow">NASA Goddard Space Flight Center</a></b> enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

<b>Follow us on <a href="http://twitter.com/NASA_GoddardPix" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a></b>

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What a bunch of mother frackers!! Since this is visible from outer space, at least aliens touring the solar system will know that the earth is not a safe place to land, without having to risk being gunned down by a Republican Ammosexuals.

From NY Times: The leader of a white supremacist group that has been linked to Dylann Roof, the suspect in the murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church last week, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns, including those of 2016 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul, records show.

"Uranus Inspector" said he’ll return the money, and I suspect that "Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot" and "Frothmeister" will both do likewise, although none had any objection to taking money, in the first place, from an organization widely known as White Supremacist and listed as such by SPLC. They will get the money funneled back into their campaigns through white supremacist Republicans that haven’t been caught killing anyone recently.  Click through for more Republicans in thrall to murderous white supremacists.

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Jun 192015
 

I’m still very tired after yesterday’s visit to the Orthopedist, but not so much so that I come empty handed.  One thing really impressed me about them.  When I was done, I had to wait for the LIFT bus for an hour and a half in a small alcove on the ground floor.  Knowing I would be stuck there people from their office came down to check on me three separate times.  I consider that superior service.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:29 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: Ideas to Save the Economy: End Mass Incarceration

 

The Reich on the left is right again, as I know so well. I would add a #5. Switch from retributive justice to restorative justice. This is the tenth and final video of the series. Click through to MoveOn to share it from there. Bringing this series to you has been a privilege.

From Daily Kos:

In 2014, I published two stories about the surreptitious attempts by the Koch brothers to bribe their way into the academic freedom and integrity of FSU/Florida State University. The most recent story can be found in this link. For several years, FSU students, along with faculty, alumni, and concerned citizens have been adamantly dissenting the Koch influence on campus. One of the many dedicated and relentless activists in the movement is Ralph Benton Wilson. This week he contacted me with some promising news:

"FSU students have released a report (May 28th) revealing new evidence regarding the university’s agreement with the CFK/Charles Koch Foundation. Not only does the report find that the Koch agreement violates FSU’s donor policy but, contrary to university claims, the agreement was found to violate academic policy by a 2011 faculty senate investigation whose numerous findings appear to have been suppressed until being published in the student report. (Other suppressed findings include the manner in which the agreement was "forced" upon the department through threats and intimidation despite severe faculty dissent.)"

"The student report makes several recommendations which have been submitted as public comment in FSU’s current review of its donor policy. As of June 4, FSU has conceded to half of the recommendations in the student report, but we are continuing to pressure them to accept the remaining recommendations. A new public comment period is open until midnight, June 25. We are calling on the public to submit comment so that we may once and for all have a donor policy that protects FSU from the undue influence of any donor."

Wilson also sent several links, which I have included below.

If the Koch Brothers are trying to steal FSU and convert it to a propaganda mill, you can be sure they are doing so all over. Check locally to make sure you’re colleges and universities are not forced to teach only how to suck … nevermind.

From Media Matters: Fox’s Steve Doocy: It’s Extraordinary That Charleston Church Shooting Is Being Called A Hate Crime

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I don’t know where they got that "pastor", but because is title is "Bishop" I have a pretty good guess. The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, is acting as if SC did not already have a long history of racist violence against black churches, so they can misrepresent this incident as part of the left wing war, which does not exist, against Christianity. Not only that, the shooter is clearly a White Supremacist.

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