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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Apr 092015
 

Tomorrow, I have the routine quarterly surgery to remove the growth from my foot.  It will be the forst time I have left the building in over a month and should serve as a means to measure the extent of my recovery.  However, expect only a Personal Update, and that, later than unusl.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:37 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Chuck Schumer, the expected replacement as top Senate Democrat when Harry Reid retires at the end of his term, has made a big splash in the past few days by saying he supports a bill designed to give Congress the clout to wreck a deal with Iran. He is not, of course, the only Democrat backing the Corker-Menendez bill, S. 615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Since March 26, when Schumer quietly signed on as the latest of eight Democratic co-sponsors of the bill, it’s had 21 co-sponsors, including one independent, Sen. Angus King of Maine.

But given his clout, Schumer could be key to making it okay for other Democrats to support the bill, giving it the 67 votes it would need to override the veto that President Obama has vowed to impose.

First, please sign their petition. Second, when we win the senate in 2016, under no circumstances may this man be allowed to become Majority Leader. To go from the Nevada Leg Hound to the New York Sellout is NOT progress.

From Upworthy: Here’s two students’ response to an anonymous comment submitted to their university.

They waste no breath. And every single word pulls its own weight.

 

Their anger is quite discomforting, but spot-on.

From NY Times: A 17-year-old transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn, stunned her friends and a vast Internet audience in December when she threw herself in front of a tractor-trailer after writing in an online suicide note that religious therapists had tried to convert her back to being a boy.

In response, President Obama is calling for an end to such therapies aimed at “repairing” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. His decision on the issue is the latest example of his continuing embrace of gay rights.

In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.

The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.

It’s good to see a positive response to the petition system, and fully agree that conversion therapies violate their rights.

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Republicans seem to have forgotten this event took place.

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Apr 012015
 

For those of you who have not been following my daily Personal Updates, I’m on what I hope is the trailing edge of the nastiest flu I’ve had, since I was hospitalized in 2013.  Now I’m going tin try to ease myself back into a normal writing schedule.  I don’t know how long that will take, and I’m still well short of 100%, so please bear with me.  There will be no Monthly Report this month.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:41 (average 5:16).  To di it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In a history-making decision, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has signed into law a bill that officially recognizes stupidity as a religion.

Pence said that he hoped the law would protect millions of state residents “who, like me, have been practicing this religion passionately for years.”

The bill would grant politicians like Pence the right to observe their faith freely, even if their practice of stupidity costs the state billions of dollars.

Andy, ‘stupidity’ is also known as Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity.

From Upworthy: Here’s your Hot Planet 101, courtesy of NASA. Take a minute to watch it, then we’ll see how it’s affecting life on earth right now.

 

Very well said. No wonder Republicans want to slash NASA’s funding.

From Daily Kos: I was inspired by Molly Weasley’s diary of the other day, A few products to boycott from Indiana. After combing through the items on the pages she linked I came up with 5 common items from Indiana that are probably used by Kossaks which we should be boycotting in the wake of SB 101.

Clabber Girl Baking Powder
Nestle: Nesquik, CoffeeMate, Boost
Red Gold canned tomato products
Bar Keepers Friend
Vera Bradley
Eli Lilly (hard to boycott if you need their meds. Go generic?)

The way to the simulation of a corporate heart is through their revenues.

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Feb 202015
 

Yesterday I took my friend with cancer to dinner.  All things considered, she has a positive attitude.  The food was excellent, and I am still a danger zone.  If only there was a Republican available. 😈

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 6:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: President Obama says he’ll veto the latest attempt by Congress to push through the Keystone XL pipeline, but he hasn’t yet committed to rejecting this dangerous proposal outright.

 

As always, the Reich on left, Robert Reich, is right, while the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is wrong. They are bought and paid for by corporate criminals, who don’t care how much they harm YOU! Click through for the MoveOn petition.

From Media Matters: The American Thinker – "one of my most favorite and thoughtful blogs," according to Rush Limbaugh – reports that President Obama flashed a "Muslim gang sign" at an event last year by pointing his index finger upwards.

F.W. Burleigh, "author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet," wrote [bigot delinked] for the conservative website that an "astonishing photo" of Obama during a summit with African leaders shows him "flashing the one-finger affirmation of Islamic faith to dozens of African delegates." According to Burleigh, "the one-finger display is the distinctive Muslim gang sign" and "With his forefinger in the air, Obama affirmed his membership in this tribe." He also postulates that Muslim African leaders present at the event were "all smiles" because "They knew what Obama’s upright forefinger meant."

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Dang!! You can fertilize your veggies with that load!

From Daily Kos: Why Minnesota is Doing Better than Wisconsin

We in Minnesota have a Democratic Governor. Our Mark Dayton is a rich Democrat — the heir of the family who started the Dayton’s Department Stores and B. Dalton Bookstores and Target — and he was educated at Yale, so he’s actually pretty smart for a guy who inherited money. Citizens of Wisconsin have a Republican Governor (Scott Walker, who brags about dropping out of college). In Minnesota we have a balanced budget, partly because we raised taxes on the top earners. In Wisconsin, they cut taxes on rich people and are now scrambling to cut spending (including major cuts for the once proud University of Wisconsin (which breaks my heart)).

The difference should surprise nobody.

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Republicans don’t want to know this.

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Feb 122015
 

Day 98.  I’m running late, because I had to walk to the Post Office to get a money order to donate to my guys in prison.  Their annual banquet comes up in March and April, and I like to help them defer that expense.  I hope to catch a few extra ZZZZs today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:40 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In case you were unaware, the giant companies that make most major medications are diabolically, ridiculously sneaky.

 

My doctor has told me that she does not accept money from Big Pharma. Searching the website confirms it.

From Daily Kos: Many of us want to do something that makes a difference, but funds are tight. One thing that is free and easy to do, is avoid buying from companies that support the hate monger, Rush Limbaugh. The vile Conservative radio talk show host who calls women ‘femi-nazis’ and ‘semen receptacles,’ is mostly known for spreading hate and outright lies, while promoting/inciting racism, lgbt hatred, bigotry, and misogyny. And for 25 years he has gotten away with it. But for the last two years, the general public has become more and more proactive against his type of commentary. Concerned consumers have contacted and petitioned Rush Limbaugh sponsors, and asked them to pull their advertising from his show. For those companies who opt to ignore consumers, they are not only boycotted by hundreds of thousands, they are permanently associating their company’s name/brand, in the minds of many, with a hate monger. Seems a pretty foolish business move, when you think about it.

Here is a list of 10 very loyal Rush Limbaugh sponsors. To support the boycott, one only needs to avoid buying from these companies, and spread the sponsor information. Even if you haven’t heard of these sponsors and/or don’t do business with them, by circulating their names to friends, family, and on social media, you will have an impact. Together, the public is sending a message to businesses and the media, that we do not support companies that support hate speech. Rush Limbaugh has lost thousands of sponsors due to this national boycott, which means he has lost millions in ad revenue.

I fully support boycotting Limbarf. Click through for the list.

From NY Times: The House on Wednesday passed a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a confrontation with President Obama, who has vowed to veto the measure.

The bill, which passed the Senate last month, headed to Mr. Obama’s desk Wednesday night.

The Republican Party is content with considering non productive legislation.  Their only purpose is to create a confrontation.

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Jan 172015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 73.  I have a friend coming over to help me with laundry and heavy cleaning today.  (Later: she called and rescheduled for Saturday, screwing up both days).

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Joanne’s Humor:

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Short Takes:

From The Nation (Hat-Tip Joanne Dixon): …The true measure of Democrats’ sincerity will determine how hard they push for these policies in the near term, and also to what extent these ideas will become part of the Democratic agenda in 2016. Should the party retain the White House and maybe even win back Congress in two years, this might decide whether Washington can actually act to slow down dangerous Wall Street trading and exorbitant CEO pay while funneling the benefits back to the middle class.

Really, it goes beyond those particular policies—are Democrats ready to take on the wealthy and corporate classes at full steam, Citizen’s United be damned?

It’s a question where progressives should resist easy answers. Loyal partisans will dutifully tell you Democrats mean business. Cynical progressives trained to thoroughly distrust the motives of any elected Democrat will tell you otherwise…

This is a tiny snippet from an extensive article.  Click through.  I can only hope that democrats are learning from and not just trolling the left, because the only other alternative, for now, is the Republicans.

From CREW: More than four years after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging former Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell had converted more than $20,000 of campaign funds to her personal use, the FEC finally sued O’Donnell and her campaign treasurer, Matt Moran, for exactly that. Most astonishingly, we’ve learned that in November, the current slate of commissioners voted 6-0 – a nearly unprecedented display of unanimity – to find probable cause to believe O’Donnell and Moran had violated the law. Then last week – again in a 6-0 vote – the Commission authorized the filing of a lawsuit to recover the money.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “Contrary to all of Christine O’Donnell’s whining, she is not and never was an innocent victim of partisan attacks. Rather, she was an otherwise jobless scam artist who fleeced donors to support herself.”

CREW’s September 2010 complaint, which formed the basis of the FEC’s lawsuit, alleged O’Donnell violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by illegally using campaign funds to pay rent and utility bills for a townhouse, where she lived and out of which her campaign operated.

In case you’ve forgotten Christine O’Dingbat… Barf Bag Alert!!

Kudos to CREW. Click through for details and documents. This goes to show that even the most insane Republicans consider themselves above the law. I liked Elvira’s version better.

From Daily Kos: One of the first things the new Republican-led Senate has done is moved a bill forward to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Ten Democratic senators and independent Angus King of Maine voted Yea, as seen above.

Five of the eleven are from states won by Mitt Romney in 2012. Angus King, Tom Udall, and Tom Carper, however, are from states President Obama won by more than 10 points.

0117DemsSenKeystone

If you own one, tear them a new asshole. Obama intends to veto the bill.

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Jan 092015
 

There are few people who benefits more and have done more to earn those benefits that people who receive SSDI.  These are people who have become disabled and who have paid premiums from every paycheck throughout their entire working lives.  Now Republicans are moving to gut the funding for the benefits they have earned.

0109ssdiFellow Democrats, after an extremely demoralizing off-year election cycle for our Party, in a time where there have been so many issues and arguments that have divided the Party into bickering factions and niches, a line has been drawn in the sand that should unite Democrats of all stripes to a common rallying cause. Protecting Social Security from those who would destroy it. Social Security is under deliberate and malignant assault. The deranged extremist fringe far-Rightwing ideological zealots of the House Republican caucus have decided to deliberately engineer a Social Security crisis. No matter what your issues with the Democratic Party, now is the time to set aside other matters and begin to come together for the greater public good.  

A huge number of Social Security beneficiaries are disabled Americans and other non-Retirees who would be in dire crisis without the aid of a vital part of the most important program within the American Social Safety Net. On Tuesday, the Republicans in the US House acted like the predatory cowards and gutless worms that they are and created a rule that would prevent clean reallocations to fund the nation’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This, like the deliberate sabotaging of the US Postal Service by creating forces that no other agency or arm of the US Government has to deal with, is the kind of cancer you get from Conservative Republican reigns of error and terror. This is a wake-up call to rally. All of us. United together.

Let us be clear. "Reformers" are never people acting in blatant bad faith and with malice of intent to their actions. Damn the Village, and Social Security Saboteurs, and walk a wall for the sick, the poor, the eldery, and the disabled. There is no "good" Social Security and "bad" Social Security, there is only Social Security. The Republicans are not interested in "reforming" Social Security, they want to destroy it and use the lazy "both siderisms" of the Village news media to obfuscate their actions and their agenda. This is a manufactured crisis. Pure and simple. It is also a challenge to Americans of good faith who support the Safety Net. Time to stand up.

Here we have an act of deliberate political terrorism and social sabotage that is being carried out to disrupt the lives of Americans in crisis and on the margins. We must all say "HELL NO!" … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

I could not agree with this author more.  This is not the first time that Republicans have attacked SSDI.  During the Bush Regime, his gutted the Social Security Department, so there were almost no employees to review SSDI claims.  He also made it standard practice to deny most valid claims until a lawyer appealed the claims all the way to the top, in the hopes that the claimant would die before resolution, rendering back benefits moot.  It transformed a process that took weeks into one that took years.

It took me over three years to get SSDI.  During those years I ate mostly rice and beans.  Veggies were a treat.  Meat was a rare luxury.   I went without several basic needs.  I often had to decide between food and medicine.  On three separate occasions, I had to pull one of my own teeth, because there was no money for a dentist.  When  my case finally got to the judge, he said it was so obvious that it should have been approved on day one.  He did not even require testimony.

Now I’m past SSDI and am now just a retiree, so I won’t be effected by this Republican atrocity.  However, I don’t want others to suffer, as I did.  Please contact your Congress Critter.

Every penny that is spent in earned benefits to the poor and middle classes is a penny Republicans can’t spend as welfare for billionaires.

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