May 272015
 

By the time most of you read this I will have left on my prison volunteer trip and will return Friday afternoon  I do have one short take today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:09 (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Take:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: End Corporate Welfare

Your tax dollars are going into corporate coffers, not funding investments that help all of us.

 

Our Reich on the left is right. Their Reich on the right is wrong. This is the sixth video in the series. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

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May 242015
 

I suppose the most positive thing I can say this morning, is that I have had no more surprises.  Nevertheless, my tasks seem endless, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The soon to be officially announced presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and former MN Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, from Uranus, were guests on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. The show aired just before President Obama addressed the nation with his 2014 State Of The Union Speech. Sanders discussed issues that included income equality, minimum wage, education, social security, jobs creation, corporate wealth and tax evasion. Bachmann, a known liar (documented by Politifact), read from the repetitive Right-Wing, Koch-Sucking Declaration of Co-Dependance, while interjecting something about ‘Australia.’ She stuck to the GOP script and was completely unyielding to a mature, courteous, and educated debate.

Batshit Bag Alert!!

One key lie Batshit B attempted is that the lack of jobs is due to years of Obama’s "failed policies". What has stalled the recovery is years of Republican obstruction, sabotage and sedition. Bernie 1 – Tag Team Blitzer & Batshit B 0.

Another from Daily Kos: Yesterday we covered Pastor Matt Makela, the anti-gay Michigan pastor who was outed on Grindr.

Today a young man and his mother have stepped forward with their own story about Pastor Matt Makela. Tyler Kish was a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and sought counsel from Pastor Makela. His advice nearly caused Tyler to commit suicide:

"If he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide," Jennifer Kish said, regarding what Makela told her son.

He didn’t stop there:

Jennifer Kish said the pastor also became vocal on social media about how he felt her son being gay was wrong and that as a parent she shouldn’t support him.

I have zero problem with Pastor Mark Makela being gay. However, I support outing him and causing him to lose his job to stop his hate-filled behavior, as a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrite, from harming more parishioners.

From NY Times: After vigorous debate and intense last-minute pressure by Republican leaders, the Senate on Saturday rejected legislation that would curb the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records…

…The Senate will reconvene on May 31 to try again. But any extension is far from certain to get approval from the House, which is in recess until June 1, with at least one member threatening to block it.

Help keep the good news good. Harass your Senators.

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May 192015
 

How can I describe an MRI.  Though painless, few painless experiences are more unpleasant.  It’s like being shut in a coffin that is being assaulted with 1,000 jackhammers.  For 30 minutes I had to be absolutely still, while every fiber of my being told me to squirm.  It felt like hours.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to call for my grocery order.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  Thursday is an all day excursion to get the MRI results.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:41 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Tame Wall Street

The best way to stop Wall Street malfeasance from costing you your job or life savings is to finally break up the too-big-to-fail banks.

 

How many times have you seen me say, over the years, "Too big to fail = Too big to exist”?  This is the fourth video in this Robert Reich series. Please click through to MoveOn, and forward it from there.

From Daily Kos: As the Amtrak derailment showed (again), the refusal to spend on infrastructure literally kills. Also, infrastructure spending: (i) is necessary and unavoidable (failure to timely spend on infrastructure increases the deficit in real terms), (ii) improves the gross domestic product and competitiveness, and (iii) is an obvious source for increased employment, particularly in currently hard hit segments.  Moreover, infrastructure spending remains unambiguously popular.  Indeed, infrastructure spending historically has had bipartisan support.

So, why are modern Republicans ideologically opposed to infrastructure spending today?

John Oliver’s 21 minute video clip is hilarious, but he doesn’t really answer the question. Click through for answers. I have an answer of my own. Every penny Democrats sent making repairs needed to save people’s lives is a penny Republicans cannot give to a billionaire.

From NY Times: Surprise! It turns out that there’s something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House. Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.

But many influential people — not just Mr. Bush — would prefer that we not have that discussion. There’s a palpable sense right now of the political and media elite trying to draw a line under the subject. Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it’s about time that everyone admits it. Now let’s move on.

Well, let’s not — because that’s a false narrative, and everyone who was involved in the debate over the war knows that it’s false. The Iraq war wasn’t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.

Click through for the rest of this fine Paul Krugman editorial. As obvious as the facts seem to us, Republicans will rewrite this history, until their lies become accepted as common knowledge, unless we keep reviewing and broadcasting the truth.

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Any more their salaries are tiny, compared to their corruption benefits.

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May 132015
 

On a scale of one to ten, I’m swamped!!!!  The O2 people just left and I’m waiting for Store to Door to arrive with my groceries.  Then I have to put them away, of course.  Yesterday’s community meeting was interesting.  Our building energy efficiency program is doing well.  Although marijuana will be legal here on 7/1, it may not be brought into the building, because it receives federal funding,  For me, that doesn’t matter, and the smell has been in the hallway since the day I moved in, almost seventeen months ago, anyway.  My friend with cancer is dealing with it very well and has a positive prognosis.  My MRI is now scheduled for Monday. 

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:23 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Help Working Families

No one should have to choose between providing for their family and being a good parent.

 

This is the second in the series. Click through to MoveOn to share it from there.

From The New Yorker: Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said….

Andy is close. There are actually two strains. For Republicitis, take Dulcolax. For Republicosis, take Immodium.

From NY Times: Jeb Bush on Tuesday sought to arrest a chorus of criticism from Democrats and some conservatives after he told an interviewer that, knowing what history has since shown about intelligence failures, he still would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Calling in to Sean Hannity’s syndicated radio show, Mr. Bush said he had misunderstood a question that one of Mr. Hannity’s Fox News colleagues, Megyn Kelly, had asked him in an interview shown on Sunday and Monday nights.

If Strike Three is so stupid that he can’t understand THAT question, it proves two things. First, he really is Crawford Caligula’s brother. Second, he’s too stupid to be President!

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May 112015
 

Monday has arrived and with it, a busy week. Today I have a ton of volunteer writing to do.  Tomorrow I have to be here to order groceries in the morning.  I have a community meeting after lunch, and after that, I’m meeting my friend with cancer for coffee.  Wednesday is grocery delivery day, and I also have an O2 delivery coming.  Depending on my X-Ray, I hope to reschedule my MRI for Friday.  I’ll know tomorrow.  For now, lets not even talk about a few back burner items.  Our Poll host has fixed the broken comment section on our poll.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: And here are the 18 CEOs Sanders labeled job destroyers in his report. The list below only touches on each company. The Top Corporate Dodgers report, Sanders penned, goes into further detail.

1. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan
Amount of federal income taxes paid in 2010? Zero. $1.9 billion tax refund.

2. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein
Amount of federal income taxes paid in 2008? Zero. $278 million tax refund.

3. JP Morgan Chase CEO James Dimon
Taxpayer Bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department? $416 billion.

I included three, Click through for the other 0.1% beneficiaries of welfare payments from you and me,

From NY Times: President Obama’s most aggressive and sustained legislative push since the Affordable Care Act faces a crucial first test this week when a divided Senate considers a bill that would grant him accelerated power to complete a massive trade accord with 11 nations across the Pacific Rim.

But after lobbying members of Congress in a campaign that has included rides on Air Force One, meetings in the West Wing, private vows of political support and public attacks on critics in his own party, Mr. Obama’s top legislative priority remains at risk.

A vote scheduled for Tuesday on legislation that would grant him trade promotion authority, also known as “fast track,” has become mired in a procedural thicket, with Democrats — many of them loyal to labor unions bent on killing the bill — vowing to oppose it.

Once Congress grants a president trade promotion authority, lawmakers have the ability to vote up or down on a final trade agreement, but they forfeit the right to amend the deal or filibuster it. The bill before the Senate adds a new twist: If lawmakers decide a final trade accord falls short of their standards, Congress can vote to revoke the president’s authority and then try to amend the deal.

Call your Senators. Tell them to oppose this measure.

From NY Times: Last year the vampires of finance bought themselves a Congress. I know it’s not nice to call them that, but I have my reasons, which I’ll explain in a bit. For now, however, let’s just note that these days Wall Street, which used to split its support between the parties, overwhelmingly favors the G.O.P. And the Republicans who came to power this year are returning the favor by trying to kill Dodd-Frank, the financial reform enacted in 2010.

And why must Dodd-Frank die? Because it’s working.

This statement may surprise progressives who believe that nothing significant has been done to rein in runaway bankers. And it’s true both that reform fell well short of what we really should have done and that it hasn’t yielded obvious, measurable triumphs like the gains in insurance thanks to Obamacare.

But Wall Street hates reform for a reason, and a closer look shows why.

For one thing, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren — is, by all accounts, having a major chilling effect on abusive lending practices. And early indications are that enhanced regulation of financial derivatives — which played a major role in the 2008 crisis — is having similar effects, increasing transparency and reducing the profits of middlemen.

Click through so Paul Krugman can explain how Republicans want to vamp you!

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May 082015
 

Here’s the rest of what happened yesterday.  Fortunately the LIFT bus dropped me off over an hour early, because I discovered that my doctor’s office sent me to the hospital Imaging Department, when I was supposed to go to the Professional Plaza Imaging Department down the street.  I called TriMet LIFT and they agreed to change my pickup location.  A walk up a steep hill later, I got to the Professional Plaza who discovered that my doctor’s office screwed up the paperwork for the X-Ray.  They called and found that her back office staff had just left for lunch.  I had to sit al hour waiting for them to return to fax them the right paperwork.  Apparently the order was unsigned.  After they got the paperwork I went into the queue.  The X-Ray only took 10 minutes, which was good, because I made it to the LIFT bus area with only a few minutes to spare.  I got to take the grand tour dropping off other riders, but there was no congestion from Obama’s visit.  I’ll be brief, because I’m worn out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Fight For $15

No one who works full-time should live in poverty. A decent nation ensures that all workers can pay their rent and feed their family.

 

Please click through to MoveOn to share this from there.

From The New Yorker: In a deepening humanitarian crisis, residents of the city of Austin report that they are completely surrounded by Texas, a situation that locals are calling “dire.”

Austin has traditionally enjoyed freedoms as a semi-autonomous region, hosting film festivals and literary events without the interference of its hostile neighbors, but there are growing fears that those days may be coming to an end.

Alarmingly, citizens of Austin report, extremists within the city limits have taken over the Capitol Building and installed a militant government with dominion over its residents.

In recent days, Austin has made desperate requests for assistance to the U.S. military, which will be conducting exercises in Texas in July.

From Andy we have the clarion call. Save Austin!!

From Reuters: Prime Minister David Cameron won a stunning election victory in Britain, confounding poll predictions that the vote would be the closest in decades to sweep into office for another five years with a clear majority and his Labour opponents in tatters.

My condolences to the people of the UK for demonstrating that the US does not have an exclusive on voter idiocy. Perhaps Pat can fill us in on why this happened.

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Apr 252015
 

I have a very busy day with volunteer projects to get done, and a three day volunteer trip to Salem to plan for next month.  I hope you are all enjoying tour Spring weekend.  It’s still rainy here.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From AP: John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

"We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country," Legend said in an interview. "It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration."

Legend, 36, will also visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., later this month. The campaign will include help from other artists — to be announced — and organizations committed to ending mass incarceration.

Kudos! This is so necessary!

From Blue Oregon: Stand up to the gun lobby and pass SB 941

Gun violence claims too many lives. In the past two years, reasonable gun safety proposals haven’t even gotten a vote in the Oregon Legislature.

But it’s a new day. The Oregon Firearm Safety Act would expand the background checks system to individual sales (in addition to gun shops and gun shows). It will close a loophole that is used by those who want to circumvent background checks.

It’s reasonable. It’s modest. And it doesn’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.

Sign the petition and let’s make Oregon safer.

This for mainly Oregonians, and I support it fully! Click through to sign.

From Daily Kos:On November 26, 2013, 38-year-old Ervin Edwards, partially deaf and mentally ill, was arrested by police for sagging his pants and taken to the West Baton Rouge Parish jail in Louisiana. He only lived for a few more minutes inside of the cell.

For 18 months, police have lied over and over again about what happened the night Ervin Edwards died in their custody. Now that a video of their despicable actions has been released, it’s clear they murdered this man and left him to die all alone in his jail cell. The Advocate has provided an annotated video.

 

Click through for the lies. This is how Republican police handle the crime of saggy pants.

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