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.

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

Cartoon:

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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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Dec 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 29.  Because of a foul up with Fred Meyers, Store to Door cannot deliver my groceries until Friday, which sent me out into the weather to pick up food to last me until then.  Of course, that means another bad air day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes’ 21st Century Fox owns and operates 28 stations in major media markets around the country. These stations might seem independent, but Fox uses them to push misinformation to viewers like you.

Watch this short video to see how Fox News impacts local stations:

By operating local stations, Fox News executives can transmit key right-wing talking points to large numbers of people who don’t watch cable news. And with Fox-owned stations now reaching 37% of U.S. television audiences, that’s a huge opportunity for the conservative media.

 

Click through for a list of cities where they’re seeking volunteers to keep an eye on them. If you don’t live there you can still help. Spread the story round.

From Daily Kos: And now, in accordance with the usual holiday traditions, it’s time for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to let the world’s slowest deliberative body know that if they can’t get the most basic parts of their jobs squared away, they may have to (shudder) cancel their pre-holiday plans

…The threat of enshrunkened Senate vacation time has been a leadership staple during the last half-decade, as the thought of personally losing vacation time seems to have become only reliable way to convince otherwise recalcitrant Republicans to keep the government funded. It’s also a great way to hear some of the most entitled people in America grouse at the inherent unfairness of having to work the week before the week before Christmas, so that ought to be good for a few quotes.

Let’s just hope that it’s also not an incentive for the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, to give away the farm.

From The New Yorker: In what some are calling his boldest executive order to date, President Obama signed an order on Tuesday that would convert a little-used government building in the nation’s capital into housing for amnestied immigrants.

Signing the order in an Oval Office ceremony, the President said that American taxpayers would finally receive some value for a building that remains empty and unused for much of the year.

42-53678665

Isn’t this one of the best ideas Andy has ever had? :-)

Cartoon:

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A day of mourning fror Republicans.

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Nov 252014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 25.  It’s a good thing I did my research early, because, except for a three hour cat nap, I haven’t stopped since 1 AM.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day, and Thanksgiving cooking starts Wednesday.  Color me scarce. 

Late (early) Update:

Just woke up.  Ugh!  It looks like Darren Wilson may get away with murder.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Koch industries and its subsidiaries are expansive—their holdings include everything from gas stations to pipelines, paper products for everyday use, greeting cards, chemicals used to make materials, and the fabric that makes your clothing.

With an interest in almost everything and status as the number two privately held company in the country–behind Cargill—Koch industries is a behemoth that is hard to avoid.

But knowledge is power and your dollar is your vote. We can become informed purchasers and refuse to support their political agenda by refusing to purchase their wares.

Don’t suck nevermind! Click through to sign the pledge and for a complete list of Koch Brothers Products to boycott.

From VOX: A new poll from finds that 89 percent of Latino voters support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

80 percent of Latino voters say they’ll oppose any attempt by Republicans to block Obama’s executive actions

Worryingly for the GOP, that includes 60 percent of Latino Republicans.

I have the same question for Latino Republicans that I have for fay Republicans. Are you a billionaire or a masochist?

From Alternet: Making the Highest Profit Margin in the Corporate World — And Demanding a Tax Cut 

The trading volume on the  Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reached $1 quadrillion in  notionalvalue [sic] last year. That’s a thousand trillion dollars, about ten times greater than the  world economy.

With the  collection of transfer fees, contract fees, brokerage fees, Globex fees, clearing fees, and surcharges, the company achieved a  profit margin (54%) higher than any of the top 100 companies in the nation from 2008 to 2010, and in the past three years it’s risen to  nearly 60%.

Despite being the most profitable big firm, CME complained that its taxes were too high, and they demanded and received an  $85 million tax break from the State of Illinois. 

This is just one of the seven biggest corporate rip offs of this year. Click through for the other six.

Cartoon:

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What I need!

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Nov 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 11.  It was the coldest day so far.  Tomorrow will be colder.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are worshiping with the Cardinals, but it will not be televised locally.  I will nit get to watch for the third week in a row, because the game is on at the same time as the damn Seachickens!  ARGH!!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:59 (average 5:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Congressional Republicans on Friday expressed outrage at the new leadership style that President Obama has demonstrated in the aftermath of the midterm elections, and demanded a return of the “passive and unassertive Obama to which we have grown accustomed.”

In a joint statement, House Speaker John Boehner and his counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, accused Obama of “engaging in a flagrant display of leadership that we find deeply offensive.”

“For the past six years, we have enjoyed a President who has been conciliatory and acquiescent to the point of emasculation,” Boehner said. “We want that President back.”

McConnell threatened that if Obama does not return to his weak and ineffectual ways at once, “he will face the prospect of being a two-term President.”

LOL Andy! If only he had started this in 2009.

From NY Times: The House voted 252 to 161 on Friday to approve a bill that would direct the federal government to move forward on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ahead of a vote scheduled for Tuesday in the Senate that could send the measure to President Obama’s desk.

There is little chance that the votes will clear the way to construction of the long-fought, long-delayed pipeline, which would carry petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. In the Senate, where Democrats have a majority until the Republicans take over in January, it is unlikely, though not impossible, that the bill would attract 60 votes, enough to avoid a filibuster. But even if the bill does clear the Senate, Mr. Obama has signaled that he would probably veto it.

The vote count link above identifies the 31 Democrats who voted for the Landrieu Golden Parachute Act. If one of them is your Rep, please give them a call and tell them to take a long flying ____ off a short pier!

From AlterNet:

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Congress’s longest-serving independent, is reportedly seriously considering running for the White House. This is significant because Sanders openly declares himself to be a democratic socialist – a label which has been a taboo in U.S. political culture for decades.

But while Sanders will likely be attacked for identifying with socialism, it has a long history of being used by the reactionary right as a smear. In fact, that history pre-dates the Civil War. History blogger Matt Karp searched the Congressional record and found the very first instance that the word “socialism” was uttered in Congress. He found that the first time anyone used the phrase was when a North Carolinian congressman used it to attack opponents of slavery:

As far as I can make out, the first reference to “socialism” on the floor of Congress came  from North Carolina representative Abraham Venable in July 1848. During a debate over the Wilmot Proviso, Venable indulged himself in a familiar litany of destructive Northern manias, which ranged from “the wicked schemes of Garrison” to “the wild excesses of  Millerism, and of Latter-Day Saints, the abominations of Socialism, and of Fourieriesm …  and all the numerous fanaticisms which spring up and flourish in their  free soil…” […] This kind of pro-slavery, anti-Northern rant was the context for most mentions of “socialism” in Congress during the next several years.

Click through for more excellent information about how Republicans, and Dixiecrats (before the became Republicans) have been using socialism as a term to smear progressive gains. When 2016 comes, if Bernie is contesting for the Democratic nomination, I would support him over Hillary in a heartbeat.

Cartoon:

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The following day, the Republican Party hired her as a strategy expert.

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Oct 292014
 

I’m in a rush today, but I found an excellent article for you that describes why the Republican Party should not exist.  I could not agree with this author more.  The Republican Party needs to follow the way opf the Whig Party and be dumped on history’s garbage heap.

GOPVoting

…The point is this:  Regardless of the individual candidates, their contributors, bone-head debate statements, ads with backlash, etc., we really need to understand that the Republican party – by virtue of their behavior over the past 6 years alone – should be disqualified from holding any office, anywhere.

Honestly, this is not a political party – not any more.  They are a zombie cult army, and they see us as an enemy, not political opposition.  Listen to the language, and look at what they are willing to do.  They have their own consultants, their own pollsters, their own schools and even their own media.  They talk to themselves in the same language over and over and never, ever leave the reservation.  That’s not government.  And that’s disqualifying.

Not enough for some of you?  You want more?

This political "party" thinks that it is OK to use the law to deny people the right to vote so they have a better shot at winning.  That’s clearly unconstitutional (whether Scalia agrees or not).  Never mind the fact that it’s immoral.  And when the courts say "no" to the new Jim Crow, they send intimidation squads into polling places to try to cut off votes that way.  People fought and died for that right, so how about we don’t sit this one out because President Obama’s new war on ISIS annoys you?

This is the GOP that decided the best opposition strategy was to never compromise with President Obama on anything, to demean him with a wink and a nod to the crazy (and racist) birther people.  Not clear enough?  How many news stories have we seen of GOP operatives sending around emails that show watermelons growing on the White House lawn, and the like?  The cultural racism of the party is bad enough, but – honestly – the opposition HAS to compromise.  The constitution says the government works that way.  Not filibuster till you drop.  So, how about we drop the idea that Charlie Baker, Alan Fung (or insert another Republican "moderate" here) wouldn’t be so bad and we stick with the plan and vote the party line.  After all, do you think they won’t drink the same Kool-Aid?

The last Republican to publically tell a racist to STFU was John McCain during one of his campaign rallies in 2008 – and that was before President Obama won the election.  Since then – birthers, Tea Party and Donald Trump speak?  From the GOP leadership we hear crickets, and watch them wink and nod at the lunatics they have no business cavorting with – because they know those are guaranteed GOP votes.

Is this disqualifying enough for you?  Motivating enough?…

…Today’s GOP sees our democratic system as a toy.  And that – more than anything else – makes the entire party disqualified for office.

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Click through to read the rest of this fine piece.  Then…

Get Out the VOTE!!!

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Oct 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 191.  I’m rushing to get these articles written in before I leave to go to prison for volunteer work.  Pardon my brevity.  Because tomorrow will be a recovery and grocery delivery day, I may have no articles for Thursday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league.

Scores:

8Scores

Standings:

8Standings

Perhaps I lacked wisdom when I invited a Sasquatch to play FOOTball. :-(

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Saying that he was “sick and tired of having my medical credentials questioned,” Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) had himself sworn in as a medical doctor on Sunday night.

Dr. Christie acknowledged that becoming a doctor generally requires pre-med classes, four years of medical school, plus additional years of residency, but he said that the Ebola epidemic compelled him to take “extraordinary measures, as we say in the medical profession.”

Dr. Christie said that, beginning on Monday, he would begin a series of random “house calls” to check New Jersey residents for Ebola and assign them for quarantine. “I can usually diagnose someone with Ebola in under a minute,” Dr. Christie said. “Even faster if I don’t actually see them.”

The doctor said that before moving forward with his plan to quarantine scores of New Jersey citizens he suspects of having Ebola, he consulted with other prominent epidemiologists, including Dr. Rick Perry, of Texas. “He concurs,” he said.

Bingo on PIGnocchio, Andy. Of course, Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot and his misanthropic father perfected the phony medical certification routine.

From Daily Kos: Can anyone here name a  "news" outlet that would blatantly lie and then continue to lie even after being called out on it?  There are none–because Fox has never been one.  Legitimate journalists try to get to the truth, Fox (and friends) tries to make up the truth to suit their rightwing objectives.

 

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has never been news. It has always been infoganda.

From Upworthy: Even though men can get it, I am not likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in my lifetime. Regardless, I am dubious of the sea of pink ribbons, products, and promotional tie-ins that inundate our society. That’s not to say anyone who wants to wear pink and try their hardest to raise awareness is doing anything wrong — to the contrary! But I do think there’s room for criticism.

In other words, check out this funny video about pinkwashing.

Lying Komen Pink Propaganda Barf Bag Alert!!!

Shame on Upworthy for spreading Komen’s lying propaganda!! They are a virtual front for the Republican Party. 21% of donations to services is very little. Comparing that to the NFL’s charity percentage is apples to oranges. The NFL exists to make money, not to provide charitable services. Boycott Komen and give to an organization that helps women, Planned Parenthood.

Cartoon:

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