Apr 122016
 

Yesterday, Sarah, my Prosthetist, checked out George.  She ordered a new part to stabilize his ankle, and I’ll have to go back when it comes in.  I had to go to the bank, because I discovered over $100.00 was missing from my desk drawer.  I know it was there on Saturday, and only one other person had been in the apartment since.  So I need to get another shower aide.   I’m disappointed, but not angry.  Desperate people do desperate things, and the money I had lent her was used up.  I’ll tell her tomorrow that it is her last day.  I really needed to make the change anyway, because I have not had both weekly showers on time since January, when she moved out of the building, where I used to live.  I need to deal with people who add stability to my life, not destabilize it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 6:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The war of words between the two Democratic camps heated up over the weekend, as the Clinton campaign accused Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders of “blatantly attempting to win the Democratic nomination for President.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Clinton campaign spokesman Harland Dorrinson said that Sanders’s actions in the past few weeks “left little doubt as to what his true intentions are—namely, to be the Party’s nominee.”

“He’s been raising money, he’s been running in primaries, and, yes, he’s been winning caucuses,” the Clinton aide said. “It’s time for Bernie Sanders to come clean with the American people and admit what he’s really up to.”

“It’s deeply troubling that what appeared at first to be a purely symbolic candidacy has turned into something else entirely,” he said.

In an interview on CNN, Secretary Clinton said that she would not “take the bait” when she was asked whether she thought Sanders was trying to win the nomination, but she stopped short of disavowing the accusation.

Dang, Andy!! Does Bernie have chutzpah or what?!!? The Nerve!! How dare he try to win Hillary’s nomination!! Winking smile

From Daily Kos: Vox is calling for a boycott of using any paid TurboTax product. So am I. If you’ve already filed, don’t use them again. If you haven’t yet filed, I urge you to use a different service, like Jackon Hewitt or TaxSlayer. Or go to an independent accountant.  

The reason, to put it bluntly, is that Intuit, the company that owns TurboTax, has teamed up with Grover Norquist to ensure that paying your taxes is as painful an ordeal as possible.

Intuit has spent over 13 million dollars to lobby AGAINST efforts to make taxes less complicated. After all, if taxes were made simple, then why would you need to shell out big bucks to use their convoluted system? (along with their ever-increasing fees.)

One such effort they oppose is so common-sense that even conservatives are having a hard time making the case against it. (But it’s not stopping them.) It’s called a "Simple Return." Essentially, the onus would be on the IRS, not you, for filling out the tax forms.

You see, the IRS gets all of the same forms in the mail that you do. They already know what you owe, so they would be required to send you a pre-filled out tax return telling you how much you owe (or, if you overpaid, how much you will get back). With one check of the box, you could either accept it, or simply say "No Thanks" and do the taxes yourself. It’s just an option.

I support Vox in this. I use TaxAct.

From Alternet: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared April "Confederate Heritage Month," which has rightfully angered many residents in the state, “especially since the governor refuses to mention what the Civil War was really about—slavery,” The Young Turks co-host Ana Kasparian pointed out on Tuesday.

 

I guess that means Mississippi is now celebrating Republican Racism Month.

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Mar 262016
 

Yesterday I went to PT with Courtney.  She checked out Stumpy and taught me how to desensitize him by rubbing him with fabrics with different textures.  She increased the distance from my door I can walk using a walker without my chair from 15 ft. to 30 ft.  After I returned home I had to make a bank run.  I’m waiting fir Lu to show up for my shower.  She’s due in about twenty minutes.  It’s also going to be our annual Spring cleaning day, so I shall be quite swamped.  Later:  Lu called.  She’s running late.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:45 (average 4:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In a historic ceremony at the state capitol, on Friday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory swore in a thousand officers charged with enforcing the state’s new public-bathroom regulations.

Speaking to the newly graduated bathroom-enforcement cadets, McCrory impressed upon them the gravity of their responsibility. “You are the thin blue line charged with protecting the gender sanctity of North Carolina’s bathrooms,” he said. “Be careful out there.”

McCrory told reporters that the thousand officers are only “the first wave” of a bathroom-patrol force that will eventually swell to over fifty thousand. “This is job creation at its finest,” he said.

Andy is doing straight news about the Republican Fascist Theocracy of McCrorystan. For those who misunderstood before, this is their state flag.

McCrorystanFlag

From Daily Kos: A 32-year-old man lost his leg after a piece of shrapnel took it off in a gun accident yesterday. The Walton Country Georgia Sheriff’s office posted a notice to their Facebook page.

Yes, it is legal and no, we can’t make people stop doing it. But why, folks, just why?

The dangers of tannerite were more than words Saturday afternoon for a 32 year old resident of eastern Walton county. He was dangerously close to the object containing the tannerite when the final gun shot round caused it to explode sending a piece of shrapnel through his leg severing it below the knee. Yes, completely taking his leg.

If you search “tannerite” on YouTube, you will get a plethora of videos of (mostly) men blowing things up with the stuff—using their guns to make things go “boom.”

 

I think Tannerite should be the official substance of the Republican Party. Light bulbWinking smile

From Stand Against Bigotry (PFAW): In recent months, we’ve witnessed a dangerous uptick in ugly bigotry aimed at Muslim Americans, as well as Muslim refugees fleeing violence in Syria and other regions. No person should be singled out for discrimination or harassment because of their faith—or their lack thereof. This rhetoric isn’t just deeply un-American—it’s dangerous. We’ve seen that hateful rhetoric can lead to physical violence and intimidation.

We won’t tolerate those who inflame anti-Muslim bigotry and we won’t stay silent. You shouldn’t either. Whether it’s in a presidential campaign or a personal conversation, we’re asking all Americans to stand up and call out hateful and offensive anti-Muslim rhetoric. Make it clear that you believe all people, regardless of faith, have a place in our nation and that you’re willing to speak up for that principle.

 

Please click through to take the pledge. I did. I think we should expand this to all forms of Republican hate and discrimination. Whether against Muslims, Blacks, Latinos, LGBT, or Women, the Republican Party have made haters socially acceptable. We should shame them into hiding under their sheets and hoods again by chastising them whenever they spew their foul bigotry in public.

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Mar 192016
 

This morning I cleaned my apartment.  I dusted, swept, mopped, and disinfected.  I finished right before Lu came to de-stink me, so I’m a pleasant-smelling puddy tat, once again.  Then I did m,y daily research, took a brief (< 1 hr.) nap, and made a pastrami on rye with horseradish for lunch.  It’s now 62°, with 65° forecast, so I have the windows and door open to air out the place.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:26 (average 4:59).  (Somebody beat me please!  I don’t want to eat something smarter than a Republican!!)  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Contradicting their professed interest in creating jobs, Senate Republicans resolutely refused to put even one American to work this week.

The Republicans, in fact, went to extreme lengths to prevent a single job from being filled, thus risking being called job-killers during an election year.

“You have a job opening and a highly qualified applicant, but you’re blocking the applicant from taking the job?” Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said. “That doesn’t sound like you’re very interested in creating jobs.”

While voters across the country questioned why Republicans would refuse to let even one American find employment, Washington insiders speculated that G.O.P. senators did not want to do anything to contribute to the improving jobs picture while Barack Obama is still President.

Andy, perhaps the Republicans might agree to create that job, if Merrick Garland agrees to work for a migrant farm worker’s pay, less than minimum wage.

From Daily Kos: The Supreme Court may be about to strike down Republican-drawn maps that use a right-wing gerrymandering tactic known as "bleaching" where Republicans purposely pack minority voters into as few districts as possible in order to eliminate their voices in the rest of the state.

A ruling like that would strike a crushing blow against racially discriminatory gerrymandering across the country.

Join the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Daily Kos in demanding an end to right-wing racial gerrymandering.

Paid for by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC).

Click through to sign, please.  I did.

From Raw Story: The first month of taxable commercial sales of recreational marijuana in Oregon generated nearly $3.5 million in tax revenues, far exceeding projections, the state Department of Revenue has reported.

Oregon’s marijuana tax receipts from January also surpassed the first-month tallies from recreational cannabis sales in Colorado and Washington state, the first two states to legalize general commercial distribution of pot for adults.

Colorado collected $2.9 million in taxes when recreational sales launched there in January 2014, a sum that included revenue from both recreational and medical cannabis purchases.

Washington’s recreational industry, which started slow with just 18 stores licensed to sell pot, yielded $1 million in tax revenue when it debuted in August 2014.

By comparison, Oregon’s 300 licensed cannabis retailers sold $13.9 million worth of marijuana in January, generating $3.48 million in taxes, according to a revenue report issued on Thursday.

Personally, I gave it up 30 years ago, but when it comes to high society, Oregon leads the way. Smile with tongue out

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Mar 142016
 

I’m preparing to leave for a follow-up appointment with Megan, my Primary Care Physician.  We’ll be going over some test results, and I want to discuss pain management.  My hands are way overworked, because they have to bear most of my weight every time I transfer to the toilet, haul myself to a sitting position in bed, use the walker, etc.  It really plays hell with my arthritis.  This is today’s only article.  Have an R2 day!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:24 (average 6:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Notes:

The Denver Broncos have signed two QBs to fill the vacancies left by the Great Peyton and Brock Osweiller: Uncle Rico and Mark Sanchez.  Neither can replace Peyton, but both are an improvement over Osweiller.  Rico could actually start, because he has an arm like a cannon, but I don’t know if he can manage a complex pro offense.  When the holy light from the Ellipsoid Orb returns, may it shine upon my Broncos!

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: The news media coverage of Donald Trump has been abominable. Media outlets have treated him with kid gloves, obsessed over him, and given him free run of the airwaves for the entire news cycle.

It’s even worse than that: The news media has given Donald Trump a special phone privilege, allowing him to call in to shows instead of forcing him to appear via satellite or in studio. As a result of this privilege, Trump can appear on more shows, and he can avoid being confronted by images and demonstrations showing his lies for what they are.

It’s time for it to stop. CBS refused to let Donald Trump call into its morning show. This is a start, but other networks and other shows are still letting Trump call in. Sign our petition, and tell news networks that it’s time to take away Trump’s special privilege.

 

Please click through and sign the petition. I did.

From NY Times: Establishment Republicans who are horrified by the rise of Donald Trump might want to take a minute to remember the glitch heard round the world — the talking point Marco Rubio couldn’t stop repeating in a crucial debate, exposing him to devastating ridicule and sending his campaign into a death spiral.

It went like this: “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” The clear, if ungrammatical, implication was that all the bad things Republicans claim have happened under President Obama — in particular, America’s allegedly reduced stature in the world — are the result of a deliberate effort to weaken the nation.

In other words, the establishment favorite for the G.O.P. nomination, the man Time magazine once put on its cover with the headline “The Republican Savior,” was deliberately channeling the paranoid style in American politics. He was suggesting, albeit coyly, that a sitting president is a traitor.

And now the establishment is shocked to see a candidate who basically plays the same game, but without the coyness, the overwhelming front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. Why?

The truth is that the road to Trumpism began long ago, when movement conservatives — ideological warriors of the right — took over the G.O.P. And it really was a complete takeover. Nobody seeking a career within the party dares to question any aspect of the dominating ideology, for fear of facing not just primary challenges but excommunication.

Click through for the rest of this excellent Paul Krugman editorial, I can summarize my response in one word: BINGO!!

From Alternet: SNL’s resident Hillary Clinton impersonator, Kate McKinnon, was in the house on Saturday night. The comic genius nailed Hillary Clinton in a spoof campaign ad for the ages.

 

FOMCPIMPROTFLMAO!!

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πR round!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Has that map changed, or what?

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