Jan 282016
 

This morning, when I awakened, I found that the elevator is now working, so the dreaded task is now done, and I’m pooped.  Unfortunately, now I’m too sore and tired to make half a dozen meals, which was today’s chore.  My helper friend has disappeared again as she sometimes does.  She was supposed to be here Tuesday and did not show up, and I have been unable to reach her since.  That’s frustrating!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:19 (average 7:00).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans are expressing their resentment and outrage at being put in the appalling position of siding with the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, a state of affairs that many are calling “intolerable.”

“Never in a million years did I envision a situation where I would be on the same side as Megyn Kelly,” Tracy Klugian, of Butte, Montana, said. “Now that I find myself in just such a situation, let me say this: it’s horrible. Truly horrible.”

“Putting people through the ordeal of siding with Megyn Kelly could be the worst thing Donald Trump has done in this campaign,” Jervis Kentwell, of Norwalk, Connecticut, said. “I know he thinks he’s invulnerable or whatever, but it’s hard to see him recovering from this.”

Andy is so right! I may sue Hateful Hairball over the pain and suffering it has caused me.

From Daily Kos: The latest massive offense the Obama administration has done to Wall Street is to come up with a rule telling financial services companies that their first duty is to their clients. That’s such an offensive requirement, Republicans in Congress have even been trying to derail it. Because nothing should stand in the way of profits for Wall Street, including the nest eggs of senior citizens. To prove how awful the whole idea is, American International Group Inc. (AIG)  decided they had to sell off, admitting that if they can’t screw old people out of money, then why bother?

"It’s a business we are not the best owner of, particularly in the light of potential Department of Labor rules," [CEO Peter] Hancock said Tuesday in a conference call updating investors on AIG’s strategy. "With the new DOL rules, that was a big factor in thinking whether this was better owned by somebody independent of us." […]

Hancock said the broker-dealer network earned about $40 million in 2014, yet consumed a "disproportionate amount" of AIG’s compliance cost.

Considering that the taxpayers of America loaned AIG over $67 billion in TARP funds to keep them out of bankruptcy, their attitude that they don’t want to play, unless they are allowed to rip-off seniors can best be described as Republican.

From Alternet: A series of exposés released this week shed further light on an often-overlooked form of war profiteering: charity organizations that raise millions of dollars under the auspices of serving wounded military veterans, only to inappropriately spend those funds.

Specifically, the Wounded Warrior Project is under the microscope, with a New York Times investigation finding that the well-heeled organization has spent “millions a year on travel, dinners, hotels and conferences that often seemed more lavish than appropriate.”

Such spending is no small matter, notes journalist David Philipps, as the charity “has evolved into a fund-raising giant, taking in more than $372 million in 2015 alone—largely through small donations from people over 65.” In fact, according to Philipps, the group is the largest and most rapidly-expanding organization in the country.

I’ve been emotionally tempted to give to them on a couple of occasions. I’m glad that I didn’t. Isn’t it a shame that Republicans have infested secular charities and are just as corrupt as they have been for ages in pseudo-Christian charities?

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Jan 122016
 

Yesterday I went top see my new Primary Care Physician.  I was impressed that the scale had bars with which to pull myself up. .I weigh,262.  Her staff was very helpful.  Megan is young, personable and humorous.  She took the time to listen to issues and explain her reasons for her recommendations.  Today PT is coming and my bath aide should be too.  I’ll be ordering groceries and collecting medical information.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2 57 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Screw paid parental leave. Republican presidential candidate (yes, still) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich thinks new mothers and fathers should rely on their employers to “try to be creative” instead of being required to offer paid leave. And if the extent of their employers’ creativity is “come to work or you’re fired,” as it is for so many Americans, oh well.

“The one thing we need to do for working women is to give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online,” Kasich told the man who asked the question. “The reason why that’s important is, when women take maternity leave or time to be with the children, then what happens is they fall behind on the experience level, which means that the pay becomes a differential.

When folks say KKK Kasich is a moderate, call them on it!

From Alternet: Bernie Sanders’s plan to break up the biggest banks and reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act (separating investment from commercial banking) is necessary – and why Hillary Clinton’s more modest plan is inadequate.

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right. Bernie’s plan is better than Hillary’s. Click through.

From Crooks and Liars: MoveOn.org’s members voted to endorse Bernie Sanders after members voted overwhelmingly for him in an online poll last week.

According to MoveOn’s executive director Ilya Sheyman, 79 percent of MoveOn’s members said they wanted to endorse Bernie. The vote shatters all previous records for member votes.

Sheyman listed the top reasons members gave for their choice, including Sanders’ commitment to tackling economic inequality, standing for communities facing injustice, saying no to permanent war, and the belief that Sanders is the more electable candidate.

This is a huge endorsement for Bernie, and will give him access to organizing resources and mobilize grassroots support for him.

Kudos to Bernie and to all the MoveOn members who voted for him, including me.

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Republicans would do it again!.

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Jan 072016
 

I have another busy day today.  PT and OT are both coming this morning.  Then I’m going to cook dinners for several days and put them in compartmentalized trays for freezing.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with my Prosthetist, because George probably needs some adjustments.  So expect no more than a Personal Update or Open Thread tomorrow.

Later: B9ith have come and gone.  Arvilla (PT) worked me hard.  Then Tracy (OT) agreed that supervising my cooking would be a good project for today, so I have four meals od Salisbury steak with gravy, cheese whipped potatoes. and mixed veggies.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:35),  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From The New Yorker: \Republican Presidential candidates ripped President Obama on Tuesday for what they called his stubborn insistence on linking gun violence with guns.

In campaign stops across Iowa and New Hampshire, the G.O.P. hopefuls pounded the President for irrationally concluding that guns have played a role in the nation’s epidemic of mass shootings.

“How any reasonable person could look at gun violence and say that guns are involved is beyond me,” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “And yet, somehow, President Obama always finds a way.”

“I would very much like to have a conversation about gun violence, as President Obama has said he wants to have,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “But as long as he keeps falling back on this tired, unproven connection between gun violence and guns, there’s just no point.”

The former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina said that Obama’s persistent linking of gun violence with guns was “sad but not surprising, from a man who believes that people’s health can be improved by access to health care.”

“He isn’t thinking straight,” she said.

But Andy, there is no link between gun violence and guns… in a pig’s eye!!!

From Daily Kos: It appears that Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien, the NH GOP lawmaker [Republican delinked] screaming and flailing her arms in the video, has been stalking Hillary for several years now.

She tried the same stunt in 2007, during a Clinton campaign appearance.

She tried it again today and Hillary shut her down to the roar of the crowd.

Reading through many of the comments on her Facebook [Republican delinked] , her appearance failed spectacularly.

 

Sorry about the self promotion by the person that prepared the video. The one in the article had no embed code. The lying Republican legislator was accusing Bill of having multiple rape victims, and Hillary, of covering it up.

From NY Times: In the days after the Paris terrorist attacks last November, world leaders denounced the shooting massacres. On Wall Street, the money manager Louis Navellier saw a buying opportunity.

Shares of the two leading gun manufacturers, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Company, popped onto Mr. Navellier’s computer screen. Their stock prices were rising as a result of strong sales. He began accumulating positions in both companies.

Two months later, those bets have paid off. The stocks of Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger spiked again after the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings last month. They also moved sharply in advance of President Obama’s announcement on Tuesday of measures to curb gun violence.

How about that. Banksters are not content to let gum manufacturers profit from the panic they help cause by arming criminals. The Bankster want to cash in on it too!

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Jan 062016
 

Since the repeal of Glass-Steagall, Banksters have been an ongoing drain on the US economy, siphoning off what little equity Americans have left, and redistributing it to the 0.1%.  Republicans have been their active allies and supporters.  A few Democrats have also been purchased.  The remaining Democrats have tried, but have not been effective.  There is, however, a champion against the Bankster blight.

0106BernieBernie Sanders has declared war on the biggest players in Wall Street’s financial sector, saying they are overrun with “greed, fraud, dishonesty and arrogance,” and criticizing his top rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, as being naïve about what needs to happen to create a financial system that “works for all Americans.”

“To those on Wall Street who may be listening today, let me be very clear,” Sanders said in a midtown Manhattan speech on Tuesday. “Greed is not good. In fact, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the fabric of our nation. And here is a New Year’s resolution that I will keep if elected president: If you do not end your greed, we will end it for you.”

Sanders laid out a 10-point program to deeply change the nature of the financial sector, while occasionally digressing to emphasize how much more sweeping his proposals are compared to Clinton’s. As always, he started by recounting how the “20 richest people own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans”—and said the finance industry has spent “billions” to get Congress and federal agencies to deregulate almost all areas of the financial industry while weakening consumer protection laws.

“They spent this money in order to get the government off their backs and to show the American people what they could do with that new-won freedom,” he said. “They sure showed the American people. In 2008, the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street nearly destroyed the U.S. and global economy. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, their homes and their life savings.” Sanders continued, “While Wall Street received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world with no strings attached, the American middle class continues to disappear, poverty is increasing and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider.”

Here are the 10 major components to Sanders’ Wall Street reforms.

1. End too-big-to-fail.

The underlying logic of this federal policy is that the biggest banks cannot fail and shut down, even if they make terrible investments or wreak great harm to the economy, because the U.S. economy and millions of ordinary people would become financially destitute. Sanders said this “scheme…is nothing more than a free insurance policy for Wall Street.” Compared to before the crash of 2008, the biggest banks in the country are larger than ever, he said, adding, “if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”

“In 2008, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because we were told they were ‘too big to fail,’” Sanders said. “Yet, today, three out of the four largest financial institutions [JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo] are nearly 80 percent bigger than before we bailed them out. Incredibly, the six largest banks in this country issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards and more than 35 percent of all mortgages. They control more than 95 percent of all financial derivatives and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits. Their assets are equivalent to nearly 60 percent of our GDP. Enough is enough!”

Sanders concluded, “A handful of huge financial institutions simply have too much economic and political power over this country. If Teddy Roosevelt, the Republican trust-buster, were alive today, he would say, break ‘em up. And he would be right.”…

Inserted from <Alternet>

I have shared only the introduction and the first of ten steps in Bernie’s plan.  Click through for the other mine’  His plan is worthy of your support.

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Dec 302015
 

I was sitting here at my desk when my desk began to shake very noticeably.  Thank goodness for the internet as I googled 'seismic activity bc' and learned that there was a 4.8 earthquake just north of Victoria at about 23:40, the time my desk began shaking.  My little girl was asleep under my desk and momentarily opened her eyes.  She is asleep again, but I can still feel my heart going thumpty-thumpt!  OK, I'll be awake for yet a while tonight.

Mother Jones — "Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is so far outside the historic American model of constitutionally limited government and the rule of law that it is the perfect case study of the pathologies that infect our bureaucracies at the federal level," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich solemnly intoned in his opening statement as an expert witness at a congressional hearing on December 16. "It is dictatorial. It is unaccountable. It is practically unrestrained in expanding on its already expansive mandate from Congress. And it is contemptuous of the rights, values, and preferences of ordinary Americans."

Newty is at it again . . . lie after lie!  I am not saying the CFPB is perfect, but it is needed to keep the financial vultures off the backs of ordinary people.  Having been in the financial services industry for over 40 years, and being one that supports the rights of consumers, Newty is all wet! What is truly disturbing is the apparent lack of awareness of this agency and its role by the public.

Truthdig — 

The difference with the “bail-in” is that the order of creditor seniority is changed. In the end, it amounts to the cronies (other banks and government) and non-cronies. The cronies get 100% or more; the non-cronies, including non-interest-bearing depositors who should be super-senior, get a kick in the guts instead. . . .

In principle, depositors are the most senior creditors in a bank. However, that was changed in the 2005 bankruptcy law, which made derivatives liabilities most senior. Considering the extreme levels of derivatives liabilities that many large banks have, and the opportunity to stuff any bank with derivatives liabilities in the last moment, other creditors could easily find there is nothing left for them at all.

19bankster

Credit to Politics Plus Were They Really TBTF?

As of September 2014, US derivatives had a notional value of nearly $280 trillion. A study involving the cost to taxpayers of the Dodd-Frank rollback slipped by Citibank into the “cromnibus” spending bill last December found that the rule reversal allowed banks to keep $10 trillion in swaps trades on their books. This is money that taxpayers could be on the hook for in another bailout; and since Dodd-Frank replaces bailouts with bail-ins, it is money that creditors and depositors could now be on the hook for.

There is a great need for the return of Glass-Steagall to separate the risky investment business, currently pegged at some $280 trillion in 2014, from daily deposit banking.  Without it, everyday depoitors like you and I could lose all our savings.  To effect that change will require an absence of Republicans in Congress, but also an absence of banksters writing the rules, no matter what party governs.

Policy.mic — In 2001, the Portuguese government did something that the United States would find entirely alien. After many years of waging a fierce war on drugs, it decided to flip its strategy entirely: It decriminalized them all.

If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply of anything from marijuana to heroin, he or she is sent to a three-person Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, typically made up of a lawyer, a doctor and a social worker. The commission recommends treatment or a minor fine; otherwise, the person is sent off without any penalty. A vast majority of the time, there is no penalty.

Fourteen years after decriminalization, Portugal has not been run into the ground by a nation of drug addicts. In fact, by many measures, it's doing far better than it was before.

What Portugal has done is change its paradigms around addiction from a punative to a health care focus.  We treat smoking and drinking, both addictions for some people, as health care issues.  Why would we not treat drug addiction in a similar way?

My Universe — I could not decide which to use so you get all three!

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Dec 232015
 

Yesterday was a very hectic day, and tomorrow promises to be similar.Later this afternoon, I plan to try to give myself a whore’s bath in the sink.  I’ll probably get a shower aide next week.  I have a grocery delivery today.  Tomorrow I will be gone almost all day to an appointment with my doctor way across town, so expect only a personal update, and that may be late.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: New video details a tragic incident in which Paradise, California, police officer Patrick Feaster shot and killed an unarmed DUI suspect after a chase and fatal car crash. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Recordings show that police in Northern California initially dismissed a man’s claim he had been shot by an officer after a high-speed pursuit and rollover accident that killed another person.

Paradise, Calif., police Officer Patrick Feaster didn’t tell his commanding officer for 11 minutes at the accident scene that he had fired his gun, according to recordings obtained by the Paradise Post.

Trapped in the overturned vehicle, the man told officers twice that he had been shot, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

The shooting, which was captured by a dashboard camera, had prompted protests in Paradise, 90 miles north of Sacramento. The officer has said he accidentally shot the driver, who was paralyzed by a wound to the neck. Prosecutors concluded that there was no basis for filing criminal charges against Feaster, who remains on paid administrative leave.

 

Another Republican Ammosexual cop is getting away with attempted murder.

From Alternet: …Number of the richest people in the U.S. whose combined wealth, defined as total assets minus liabilities, exceeds that of the bottom half of the entire U.S. population: 20

Number of the richest U.S. households whose wealth exceeds that of the country’s entire 42 million African Americans: 100

Number of the richest U.S. households whose wealth exceeds that of the country’s more than 55 million Latinos: 186

The total wealth of those on the Forbes 400 list of richest people in the U.S.: $2.34 trillion

Number of those on the Forbes 400 list who are Latino: 5

Who are African-American: 2

Number of households in America’s richest 0.1 percent, whose net worth starts at $20 million:115,000

Percent of total U.S. household wealth this economic elite owned in the 1970s: 7

Percent it owns today: 20

Of the 10 states with the biggest gaps between rich and poor, number that are in the South: 6

Click through for more about how our economy has been Replicated. Take toilet paper. You’ll need it!!

From Crooks and Liars: A Wisconsin Republican state senator has been accused of inciting a "vigilante uprising" after he called on law-abiding gun owners to "clean our society of scum bags"

Rep. Bob Gannon (R) responded to a recent shooting at East Towne Mall in Madison by saying that the incident could have been stopped if more people were carrying guns. During the incident over the weekend, a teen was shot in the leg and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

 

More armed Republican Ammosexuals = more dead innocents than perpetrators.

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Nov 272015
 

Picketers playing ball outside closed mill during steel srike.  (Photo by Francis Miller//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Politico — The reason critics like Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, Neil Barofsky, Simon Johnson, Paul Krugman and others (left, right and center) won the day—at least the intellectual debate and the war over public perceptions—was not that they were better communicators. It was that they had a more convincing message: There were alternative ways of rescuing the economy that were fairer and that would have resulted in a stronger economy. Instead, our politics and economics are now locked into a vicious circle: Economic inequality leads to political inequality, and this political inequality then leads to rewriting the rules to increase the level of economic inequality even further, and so on. The result? Ever greater disillusionment with our democracy.

Matters may well get worse. Recent research has uncovered a variety of other vicious cycles. Poverty traps mean those in the bottom remain there. The fortunes of a child of poor parents who does well in school are far bleaker than those of a child of rich parents who does much more poorly in school. About a quarter of U.S. college freshmen from the bottom income half finish college by age 24, compared with 90 percent of the upper quartile. And with wages of those who have only a high school diploma at 62 percent of the typical college grad’s earnings—compared with 81 percent in 1965—the prospects are they will be poorer than their parents.

Taken from Wikipedia, Joseph E Stiglitz is "…an American economist and a professor atColumbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers.  He is known for his critical view of the management of globalizationlaissez-faire economists (whom he calls "free market fundamentalists"), and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  

Based on academic citations, Stiglitz is the 4th most influential economist in the world today, and in 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, asset risk management, corporate governance, and international trade. He is the author of several books, the latest being The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them (2015)."

From Alternet, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Joseph Stiglitz.

AMY GOODMAN: Welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about these candidates [Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders] and what they’re saying and what they actually do, what they support.

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Well, I think we’re in a new moment in America, because I think we’ve had a third of a century of a—you might call, an experiment, a grand experiment, where, beginning with Reagan, we said, "Let’s lower the tax rates on the top. Let’s rip away the regulations. We’re going to free up the American economy. We’re going to incentivize it. The result will be the economy will grow so much—yes, the top will get a larger share, but everybody is going to get a bigger piece, and so everybody is going to be better off." Well, we’ve had a third of a century of this experiment, and it has failed. It has failed miserably. The fact is, the bottom 90 percent have seen their incomes stagnate. Median income today is as low as it was a quarter-century ago. Talking about the minimum wage, minimum wage is the level, adjusted for inflation, it was 45, 50 years ago. You know, if an economy can’t deliver for most of its citizens, it’s a failed economy. What’s so striking is, we’ve had technological change, we’ve had globalization—all the things that were supposed the economy perform better—and in fact it’s performed worse.

Click through to read the rest of these two articles.  In the second, Stiglitz says "…I think the point is the American people have figured out that this model hasn’t worked, you know, the model that began a third of a century ago. So, they’re angry, and they want a change."  If Stiglitz's point is true, then what are the American people going to do to effect the necessary change?  It is, to my mind, imperative that the American people lead with their vote, shake up the establishment.

I also posted The Pitchforks Are Coming … For Us Plutocrats on 31/10/2015 in which Nick Hanauer, billionaire, echoes Stiglitz.

What is the definition of insaniTEA?  Voting the same way time after time yet expecting a different and better economic outcome.

 

 

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Nov 202015
 

It looks like I’ll have another busy day, as both OT and PT are coming this afternoon.   I took it easy this morning and only made two laps.

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Merkley decries Republican efforts to slip Wall St. favors into must-pass spending bills

 

Oregon leads the way! “Must-pass” spending bill s must not pass, until Republican attempts to enable Banksters to prey on YOU are removed.

From Daily Kos: Since the map went live, Oregon has gone green, so to speak, on this map. And so has Colorado. You red states? Keep on cringing and cowering.

1120DaeshStates

I had no doubt that Oregon would go green and refuse to surrender to the Daesh and their helpers to spread terror, the Republican Party.

From Media Matters: O’Reilly Once Said Terror Attack Would Get Bush Reelected, Now Says It Would Tarnish Obama As Worst U.S. President.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Is there any question as to why I call him O’Lielly? He’s a senior propagandist for the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise!

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Nov 122015
 

Well it poured rain last night, pinging off the rain spout at a ferocious rate.  I was very glad to be inside!  The rain continues this morning but not hard like last night.  Thanks to Lona who sent me a fresh supply of cat naps.  I availed myself of two yesterday which was good for the cold/cough.  Today is scheduled to be a low key day with laundry a prime concern.  Can't have a "furless" sasquatch!

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:51 (average 6:11). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Short Takes

The New Yorker — To winnow the field of candidates who would hold the main stage in the second G.O.P. debate, in September, CNN had intended to use the average of national polls conducted over the summer. But after Carly Fiorina’s campaign complained that the method was unfair CNN changed its formula. The decision had very little to do with American democracy or social science. It had to do with the practice of American journalism. It would make better television if Fiorina was on the same stage as Trump, since he’d made comments about her appearance. (“Look at that face!” he said.)

“No one tells me what to say,” Trump had said in August. By September, on the defensive about Fiorina, he insisted—he knew—that he had the will of the people behind him. “If you look at the polls,” he said, “a lot of people like the way I talk.”

Donald Trump is a creature of the polls. He is his numbers. But he is only a sign of the times. Turning the press into pollsters has made American political culture Trumpian: frantic, volatile, shortsighted, sales-driven, and anti-democratic.

He kept his lead nearly till the end of October. “Do we love these polls?” he called out to a crowd in Iowa. “Somebody said, ‘You love polls.’ I said that’s only because I’ve been winning every single one of them. Right? Right? Every single poll.” Two days later, when he lost his lead in Iowa to Ben Carson, he’d grown doubtful: “I honestly think those polls are wrong.” By the week of the third G.O.P. debate, he’d fallen behind in a national CBS/NYT poll. “The thing with these polls, they’re all so different,” Trump said, mournfully. “It’s not very scientific.” 

This is a long but interesting article about polling and the reliance on and influence of polls in the electoral process. The uneducated mind may rely on polls too much as politicians may rely on them to inform their policy positions rather than listening to their constituents.  Click through for the rest of this article.

Think Progress — In August, New York-based Amalgamated Bank announced it would immediately raise its minimum pay to at least $15 an hour.

At the time, the bank noted that it was the first to make such an announcement. But it’s also committed to making sure more follow its lead.

The bank, which is owned by the union OPEIU, came to the $15 wage floor in the midst of contract negotiations with the union. The contract also specifies automatic 3 percent increases each year, ensuring annual raises for its workforce. “It’s a bold move,” said CEO Keith Mestrich. “We need to be bold like that.”

This is great news!  When I started as a teller, I was paid about $1.55 per hour.  That was 45 years ago.  But even then, I could not afford to share an apartment with rent of $250 per month.  Click through for the rest of the story.

Huffington Post — Republican presidential candidates debated once again on economic issues and offered some misleading takes on jobs, tax plans, immigrants and state budgets.

  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said that “welders make more money than philosophers.” Actually, those with undergraduate degrees in philosophy earn a higher median income than welders.
  • Businessman Donald Trump said that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had forced out 1.5 million immigrants who were in the country illegally. The federal government claimed it was 1.3 million, but historians say that’s exaggerated.
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the Tax Foundation calculated that his tax plan “costs less than virtually every other plan people have put up here, and yet it produces more growth.” But the foundation said Bobby Jindal’s and Rubio’s plans both would lead to higher gross domestic product growth over a decade.
  • Cruz also repeated the years-long falsehood that there’s a “congressional exemption” from Obamacare. Members of Congress and their staffs face additional requirements than other Americans, not fewer.
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that his state has had “eight credit upgrades,” but two credit rating agencies moved the state to a “negative” outlook in February. And it faces a $117 million deficit in its most recent budget.
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he had cut his state budget by 11 percent during the 2001-2003 recession. Over his entire tenure, however, spending went up by 50 percent.
  • Jindal claimed that there were “more people working in Louisiana than ever before.” That’s wrong. There were fewer Louisianans working in September than there were in December 2014.
  • Huckabee said that Syrians make up only 20 percent of the refugees arriving in Europe. The figure is actually 52 percent for 2015.

Click through for the analysis of these claims.  I was very surprised when I didn't see statements from Fiorini reported. But then I saw the following article.

Think Progress — “We need to pass the REINS Act so Congress is in charge of regulation,” Fiorina told the debate audience, referring to an obscure bill intended to hobble federal agency action. Though it is unlikely that many people in the audience know what the REINS Act is, this bill has long been one of the top priorities of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the primary lobbying group representing big business as a whole. Moreover, the bill has a fairly high chance of becoming law if Republicans gain control over both houses of Congress and the presidency. The bill passed the GOP-controlled House on multiple occasions.

The Congress is already known as the "do nothing Congress" and this would only make it worse.  This is an asinine suggestion from a business person who was a complete failure!  Click through for the remainder of the article about a bill that few know about.

My Universe — 

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Nov 032015
 

The surgery went very well.  They removed dead tissue from my stump and covered it with a skin graft, cut from my thigh.  That donor site is very painful.  Keeping me doped up makes it barely tolerable.  It also makes it difficult to write, because I’m so drowsy.  I watched football.  Vivian…  GRRRRR!!

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I’m not going to link to the list, but a list of purported KKK members began circulating this morning, allegedly leaked by the activist group Anonymous, which they are now denying they had anything to do with it.

None of the names have been remotely close to verified as members of the racist group.

One of those named was Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, who regretfully took to her Facebook page to put an immediate and decisive stop to the rumor.

I recently posted that I was looking forward to seeing this list. My bad for being hoodwinked. The problem with Anonymous is their anonymity. Anyone can claim to be the group.

From The New Yorker: According to a format negotiated between the Republican National Committee and the television networks, future Presidential debates during the 2016 campaign will strictly forbid questions about things the candidates “said” or “did,” the R.N.C. confirmed on Monday.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the R.N.C., said that the deal addressed the candidates’ concerns about the previously broadcast debates, which he called “abusively fact-based.”

“In some cases, moderators were asking candidates questions about statements they made two or three weeks earlier,” Priebus said. “This new format will eliminate that kind of ancient history.”

Andy knows that GOP would love to do that. However, only the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda would goose step with the RNC on this scheme.

From Huffington Post: House Republicans are angling to slip two pieces of bank deregulation into a major highway funding bill that is expected to pass with broad bipartisan support.

According to a source familiar with discussions, Republicans are trying to remove tighter regulations that were imposed on banks with at least $50 billion in assets after the 2008 financial crisis. They also are aiming to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), which has worked to prevent big banks, payday lenders and other financial firms from ripping off households.

The GOP doesn’t need Democratic votes to pass the broader highway bill — it has a wide majority in the House. But while securing federal highway funding is a top Democratic priority, controversial riders like the bank deregulation items may prompt a veto from President Barack Obama that would be impossible to override without Democratic aid. The riders could also serve as a potential test of new House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his willingness to use major legislation to ram through conservative priorities.

Bankster deregulation is a poison pill far too bitter to swallow. We can’t stop it in the House, but be ready to call your Senators.

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Sep 202015
 

As Puddy Tat always says "Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how nutty InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception."

1. Sarah Palin rants about how Ahmed Mohamed was up to no good when he brought that clock to school.

Mama Bear Palin actually managed to make her dim-witted daughter Bristol look almost reasonable this week. While Bristol went on record on her blog saying that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed should probably not have been arrested for bringing a clock to school, Sarah ranted thusly on Facebook:

“Yep, believing that’s a clock in a school pencil box is like believing Barack Obama is ruling over the most transparent administration in history. Right. That’s a clock, and I’m the queen of England.” 

Her deranged comments hardly ended there:

“Friends, consider the kids disciplined and/or kicked out of school for bringing squirt guns to school or taking bites out of a pop tart until it resembled (to some politically correct yahoo) a gun. Or the student out deer hunting with his dad early one morning who forgot he had a box of ammo in his truck when he parked in the school’s lot later that day. Kids humiliated and intimidated for innocent actions like those real examples are often marked the rest of their lives and made to feel really rotten. Whereas Ahmed Muhammad, [sic] an evidently obstinate-answering student bringing in a homemade 'clock' that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption (teachers who are told 'if you see something, say something!') gets invited to the White House.”

On this Mama and Baby Grizzly agreed. President Obama had no business inviting wrongly arrested Ahmed to the White House. Who does he think he is, the president of the United States? Maybe the queen of England? That would be just like him, you know.

“By the way, President Obama’s practice of jumping in cases prematurely to interject himself as the cool savior, wanting so badly to attach himself to the issue-of-the-day, got old years ago,” Palin wrote.

Yeah, Bristol blogged, this is “the kind of stuff Obama needs to STAY out of.”

Why does she think that? “This encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victimhood,” she wrote. 

It’s a familiar right-wing trope, racial strife is somehow created by those who point out racism, instead of those perpetuating racism.

Of course, that is a concept that goes whizzing by both Palin women's heads.

Read the rest at Alternet

What movie was it that coined the phrase "They're ba-ack!"?  I'm sure it was some horror movie.  Oh wait, "It's As The Stomach Turns" starring the Republican/Teabaggers.

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Jul 182015
 

I’ve has almost no sleep, because it has been hot and muggy, a combination that always exacerbates street noise.  Portland is under a severe weather warning for excessive heat until Monday evening.  Today’s forecast high is 98°.  Fortunately, I got up very early this morning to cook, as now it would not be feasible.  I hope you’re having a great weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:47 (average 4:37).  To do0 it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The mayor of Airway Heights, Washington—a suburb of Spokane—is refusing calls to resign despite immediate backlash regarding comments he made on Facebook:

The comment in full that was found on Patrick Rushing’s Facebook page read:  "Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that.  The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack.  Check out them ears. LOL."  

I showed Rushing the statement, and he confirmed he had posted it, so I asked him why he would write something like that. 

"It’s just playful back and forth banter that my friends and I do," said Rushing. 

The Airway Heights City Council was unanimous in their desire to see him resign, but he’s not budging.

By thinking such comments were just joking, this Republican proved that he really is a racist.

From NY Times: Days after a showdown over the Confederate battle flag, House Republicans are barreling toward a new confrontation on another contentious issue: How should Congress respond to the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage?

Legislation granting protections for tax-exempt organizations and individuals objecting to same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds is gathering momentum in the House. The bills, drafted by Representative Raúl R. Labrador, Republican of Idaho, and Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, already have 130 co-sponsors. On Thursday, the Republican Study Committee, the largest, most organized group of conservatives in the House, demanded a vote.

Once again, Republicans are trying to make Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians above the law.

From Alternet: Elizabeth Warren has drawn a line in 2016’s presidential election sands.

Speaking at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix on Friday, she challenged the presidential candidates to stand behind legislation introduced this week that would vastly slow down the revolving door between Wall Street’s financial firms and working for the government—where high-level private sector employees end up making government decisions that favor their past employers over the public.

 

This a 29 minute video. Every minute is worth watching!

Cartoon:

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