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.

Cartoon:

0519Cartoon

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

Share
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!

Cartoon:

0511Cartoon

Share
Jan 272015
 

It’s day 83.  The second day of the new schedule did not do so well.  I was awakened at 2:30 AM by the person in the apartment above me.  He got off the elevator on the wrong floor and kept trying to open my door with his key. I did not get back to sleep until after 6:00 AM and slept later than intended.  I could still write, but the news is all snow, so this is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:19 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history.

The spending goal, revealed Monday at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif., would allow their political organization to operate at the same financial scale as the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Is it any wonder that so many Republicans are whoring themselves to suck nevermind?

From Daily Kos: Interesting article in Politico today on how Elizabeth Warren ended Obama’s nomination of rich Wall Street banker Antonio Weiss to be Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.  Warren led the effort to totally shut the deal down – she wouldn’t even meet with Weiss. Some choice bits:

The game in Washington had changed.

Elizabeth Warren, sometimes disregarded by the White House as a largely irrelevant nuisance, could no longer be ignored. Bolstered by grass roots groups eager for any anti-Wall Street crusade and a vibrant progressive media that hung on her every word, Warren succeeded in knocking out Weiss’ nomination

    …

It was not a total victory. Weiss will still join Treasury as an unconfirmed counselor to Secretary Jack Lew. But in terms of symbolism, the Washington power game and the ideological direction of the Democratic Party, Warren won big. And the moderate, Wall Street- and business-friendly wing of the party — in past years happily occupied by Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton — got punched in the mouth.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a Democrat with the will and the ability to hold Hillary’s feet to the fire. Go Liz!!

From Alternet: Severe winter storm events often prompt naysayers to mock, “Where’s that global warming?” But while the concept may seem to conflict with rising global temperatures, these storms are actually obvious evidence of man-made climate change.

Climate change, say scientists, fuels the increasing intensities of winter storms. Warmer temperatures allow the atmosphere to hold more moisture and create heavier than normal precipitation. Climatologists agree that global warming will continue to make these storms worse over time.

Weather is different from climate, scientists point out. Weather is what we experience on a day-to-day basis; climate — especially in regards to climate change — is more about long-term trends.

What’s more important is that this storm is deadlier than RepubliCare in a retirement community, even if it isn’t as severe as forecast. Please stay in a safe place.

Cartoon:

0127Cartoon

Share
Jan 132015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 69.  Tonight Oregon Plays Ohio State in the inaugural BCS championship game.  Then tomorrow is a prison volunteer day, so please expect me to be scarce for the next two to three days.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:07 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Fox News just reported that Obama is going to ban doughnuts!

And not just doughnuts.  Watch the report.  Obama's jack-booted FDA is coming after (and they list these) popcorn, Christmas cookies (ohhh he hates Christmas!), crackers, frozen pizza, and canned frosting.  Fox News host Clayton Morris actually said they would be prohibited!

 

Cenk is quite hilarious with this Republican lie. I wonder if Republican cops turned their back on de Blasio, because he's a Democrat, and they think he will help Obama take away their donuts. 😉

From YouTube: Elizabeth Warren: Break Up the Banks to Restore Economy for All

She is a glimmer of light in the dark ages.

From UPI: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has been made the chair for the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, which oversees NASA.

OMG! Bend over! Republicans want to explore Uranus!! 😈

Cartoon:

0113Cartoon

Share
Dec 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 40.  I’m still down.  It’s halftime.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:52 (average 5:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1214-Broncos22-Chargers10

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The banking giant Citigroup announced on Friday that it would move its headquarters from New York to the U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., in early 2015.

Tracy Klugian, a spokesperson for Citi, said that the company had leased thirty thousand square feet of prime real estate on the floor of the House of Representatives and would be interviewing “world-class architects” to redesign the space to suit its needs.

According to sources, Citi successfully outbid other firms, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, for the right to move its headquarters to the House floor.

The Citi spokesperson acknowledged that the extensive makeover of the House is expected to cost “in the millions,” but added, “It’s always expensive to open a new branch.”

Explaining the rationale behind the move, Klugian told reporters, “Instead of constantly flying out from New York to give members of Congress their marching orders, Citigroup executives can be right on the floor with them, handing them legislation and telling them how to vote. This is going to result in tremendous cost savings going forward.”

I bet Andy thinks they’ll wallpaper with $100s.

From Daily Kos: A member of the Open Carry Texas rallies that have seen members marching through restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses with assault rifles has been arrested after two people were found dead in their home.

Veronica Dunnachie, 35, was arrested without incident 11 miles away at Millwood Hospital on North Cooper Street, a mental health facility. She is facing a capital murder charge. […]

Family members who arrived at the scene identified the victims as Russ Dunnachie, Veronica’s husband, and an adult daughter of his.

Dunnachie has been active in the Open Carry movement.

The problem with Republican Ammosexuals carrying guns is their tendency to use them.

From NY Times: After moments of high drama, dry process and acrimony, the Senate passed a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending package Saturday night, abruptly ending several days of chaotic legislative maneuvers and clearing the bill for President Obama to sign.

The legislation, which will fund most of the government through the fiscal year that ends in September, passed in a bipartisan vote, 56 to 40, after a turbulent process — a fitting coda for a governing body that has often failed to govern.

Here are the Democrats with the courage and integrity to vote no. Thank them.

Member

Party

State

Richard Blumenthal

D

CT

Cory Booker

D

NJ

Barbara Boxer

D

CA

Sherrod Brown

D

OH

Maria Cantwell

D

WA

Al Franken

D

MN

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

D

NY

Tom Harkin

D

IA

Mazie K. Hirono

D

HI

Amy Klobuchar

D

MN

Carl Levin

D

MI

Joe Manchin III

D

WV

Edward J. Markey

D

MA

Claire McCaskill

D

MO

Robert Menendez

D

NJ

Jeff Merkley

D

OR

Jack Reed

D

RI

Jon Tester

D

MT

Elizabeth Warren

D

MA

Sheldon Whitehouse

D

RI

Ron Wyden

D

OR

Now, excuse me, please, while I go puke, because it passed.

Cartoon:

1215Cartoon

Share
Dec 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 39, and I’m still down.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but I won’t get to see my Broncos’ service with the Chargers.  The local CBS affiliate prefers to offer other programming, because the damn Seachickens are on the other network at the same time.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Remarks by Senator Warren on Citigroup and its bailout provision

 

I say again that the worst thing Obama did in office was to appoint Hillary’s economic advisors instead of his own. For Liz? One word: Amen!  The Senate has passed a short term bill to keep the government open until Wednesday.

Also from YouTube: Chris Hayes: President Elizabeth WARREN? It’s Getting REAL!

 

Will she or won’t she??  If she does, she gets the cat!

From The Hill: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee next year, Democrats announced Friday.

The self-proclaimed socialist replaces Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who is moving over to become ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

The promotion for Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, gives him a prominent perch to push his priorities as he moves toward a long-shot run for the White House in 2016. He is a vocal advocate for increased spending on social programs and says the budget of the Pentagon should be slashed dramatically.

As ranking member on the budget panel, Sanders could be tasked with creating an alternative fiscal blueprint to the budget that will be put forward by the new Republican Congress.

A perfect choice.

Cartoon:

1214Cartoon

Share
Dec 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 37.  I’m still feeling quite ill.  Watching Congress has not helped.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Todays took me 5:48 (average 7:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher and a practicing Christian himself, has made note of his common ground with the Jewish faith …

In an undated letter unearthed by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now … Walker told Gimbel his office would be happy to display a menorah celebrating "The Eight Days of Chanukah" at the Milwaukee County Courthouse …

The letter is signed, "Thank you again and Molotov."

Oy! The Fartfuhrer of the Fascist Republican Plutocracy of Fitzwalkerstan is a schmuck!

From NY Times: Most of the possible presidential candidates have not plunged into Washington’s debate over the Senate Intelligence Committee’s withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s brutal interrogation tactics — and some are ducking questions entirely, illustrating the delicate politics of national security.

These are Republicans doing the ducking. Even Hillary the Hawk opposes torture on our side.

From USA Today: In a dramatic vote late Thursday evening, the U.S. House narrowly approved a $1 trillion government spending package despite a rare uprising from House Democrats. The bill passed on a 219-206 vote.

Initially all but two Democrats voted against it. Later approximately seventy caved-in, under pressure from Barack Obama. I understand his reasons, but shame on him. The cost is too high. Tomorrow in the Senate Elizabeth Warren will be debating the tag team of Bought Bitch Mitch and the Nevada Leg Hound.

Cartoon:

1212Cartoon

Share