Apr 192016
 

I’m getting a late start today, because I needed a cat nap, and I had a lot of scheduling to get done.  I’m pleased to announce that the Squatch, Nameless and I have agreed to promote another person to our staff in the position of Author.  I won’t actually come out and say who it is, but our new Author must get confused about whether to plant a bulb or kiss a roo.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Better than a transcript, here is an actual video of Hillary Clinton giving a speech at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women: Proving the Case for Women Entrepreneurs dinner. The video was posted October 22, 2014. I’m not sure if this is what Bernie Sanders is demanding (snark), but it does fit the three criteria, yes? Hillary Clinton, Goldman Sachs, and Speeches. This particular Hillary Clinton “unpaid” speech is about the empowerment of women — an issue the former U.S. Secretary of State has made a priority throughout her political career.

To be fair there were two ways this speech did not meet Bernie’s criteria. He wanted the speech to be paid. This was free. He wanted the speech to have been presented behind closed doors. This was not.

From TPM: Rep. Pete King (R-NY) went on a tear against the Republican presidential frontrunners in a blistering Tuesday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” joking that he would commit suicide if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) earns the nomination.

“I’m not endorsing Ted Cruz, in case anyone is confused,” King said. “I think I’ll take cyanide if he got the nomination.

Cyanide? He will?!!? Dang!! Maybe there actually is a valid reason to support the TRUSed Uranus!!

From Common Dreams: The U.S. Supreme Court reportedly appeared divided on a challenge to President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions, as a 90-minute oral argument session wrapped up on Monday afternoon.

The case, brought by 26 Republican-led states and spearheaded by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, concerns two deportation protections that would shield roughly 5 million undocumented parents of American citizens and legal residents, as well as about 100,000 people brought to the U.S. as children.

Now, with only eight members sitting on the panel following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the court could end in a 4-4 deadlock—which would leave in place a previous ruling by a lower court that blocked the plan, without setting a Supreme Court precedent.

This is a case where 4 – 4 equals SCROTUS, (Republican Constitutional VD).

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Apr 142016
 

Yesterday Lu came for the last time.  She was about four hours late, but getting the day right was an improvement.  So I’m a perfumed puddy tat.  My groceries came.  I put them away.  I also did the dreaded task! Eye rolling smile  Tomorrow I have an appointment with a Retinal Ophthalmologist to check out my choroidal nevi.  The appointment will take three hours, and I’ll be unable to use a computer afterwards until late tomorrow night.  So expect only a Personal Update, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily KosWhen Scott Walker came into office, he claimed that he had no interest in trying to get “Right to Work” laws passed. Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, Scott Walker is a liar and a terrible person. In fact, he and his fellow Republican legislators introduced an ALEC inspired written bill making Wisconsin a Right to Work state. Since the bill was signed into law, Wisconsin’s workforce has diminished by at least 10,000. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs because Right to Work laws don’t have anything to do with generating living wage jobs, or much in the way of real work, at all. Three unions filed lawsuits against the bill, arguing that the law posed an unconstitutional seizure of union property, and on Friday they received some good news:

Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust agreed. He said the law amounts to the government taking union funds without compensation since under the law they must represent people who don’t pay dues. That presents an existential threat to unions, Foust wrote.

"While (union) losses today could be characterized by some as minor, they are not isolated and the impact of (the law) over time is threatening to the unions’ very economic viability," he wrote.

This judgement, [sic] calling the law unconstitutional on the grounds that it is an “existential threat,” could have some far-reaching ramifications in the many Republican-backed legislatures that really want to put the screws to the working folk of this country. The importance of this ruling also means that there will be further appeals.

This issue is far from settled, but any day the Koch-sucking Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan takes a loss at any level is a better day for America.

From Real Clear Politics:

Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

MoE

Cooper (D)

McCrory (R)

Spread

RCP Average

1/18 – 4/11

44.0

41.0

Cooper +3.0

WRAL-TV/SurveyUSA

4/8 – 4/11

701 LV

3.8

47

43

Cooper +4

Elon University

2/15 – 2/17

1530 LV

2.5

42

40

Cooper +2

PPP (D)

1/18 – 1/19

948 RV

3.2

43

40

Cooper +3

It looks like the Religious Reichsfuhrer of the Theocratic Republican Dictatorship of McCrorystan is also experiencing backlash from his hatred and bigoted policies.

From TPM: Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, will not be prosecuted in Florida for battery after he allegedly manhandled a reporter, Politico reported on Wednesday night, citing unnamed sources.

CNN also reported that Lewandowski will not be prosecuted early Thursday morning, citing unnamed sources.

What a travesty!  Don’t get me wrong!  I have no bias favoring his victim.  The reporter he assaulted worked for Breitfart, a source for which I have so little regard, that I refuse to embed links to it.

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Apr 122016
 

This week is very busy again.  I have at least one event every day, but usually more.  I am trying to ready myself for the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and raising money for research and programmes.  As in the US, it is tax preparation time so that is on my list to do.  And of course there is spring cleaning . . . always spring cleaning no matter what season it is!

Short Takes 

Politico — Dispirited over a Republican Party primary that has devolved into an ugly, damaging fight, some of the GOP’s biggest financiers are reevaluating whether to invest in the 2016 presidential contest at all.

Among those on the sidelines: Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who hosted the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting at his Venetian hotel this weekend. His apparent ambivalence about 2016 was shared by many RJC members here. With grave doubts about the viability of the few remaining Republican contenders, many of these Republican donors have decided to sit out the rest of the primary entirely. And while some are reluctantly getting behind a remaining candidate, others are shifting their attention to congressional contests.  …

The jewish community and @RJC honoring the great prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper – great friend of Israel

Photo from Huffington Post

While the RJC spring meeting is traditionally a celebration of Adelson, with politicians of all stripes venturing to the Venetian to pay homage, this year’s was different.

On Thursday evening, Adelson hosted some of the organization’s top officials at his palatial mansion. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed how fractured parties can unite, Adelson listened but said little, according to three people who were present. And on Friday, rather than preside over the deliberations, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, departed for a wedding.

The lack of interest is partly rooted in exhaustion. After watching many of the party’s establishment prospects — from Scott Walker to Marco Rubio — go up in flames, many top donors say they’ve simply grown tired of opening their wallets. Some here have given to multiple candidates, only to watch them suffer defeat.

And you thought Canada was nasty refusing to take Cruz back!  Now Adelson is importing Canada's Republican demagogue, Stephen Harper.

Think Progress — Nearly a week after pipeline operator TransCanada shut down a section of its Keystone line over an oil leak, the company reported Thursday thousands of gallons of oil were spilled, not less than 200 as it first said.  …

After the spill was reported earlier this week, environmental groups said Keystone’s spill proves the threat that the Keystone XL expansion would have posed. They also noted that the Keystone pipeline, approved by President George W. Bush in 2008, leaked oil 12 times in its first year of operation. “TransCanada’s Keystone I disaster is a stark reminder that it’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when. This is one of the reasons President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and it’s why he should reject all dangerous fossil fuel pipeline proposals,” Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Oil transportation largely relies on trains and pipelines. Out of those two, pipelines spill more often than trains, yet train accidents can be deadlier as trains are more likely to explode. U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over the period of 2004 to 2012, …

And Trans Canada thinks it is their right to pollute with impunity?  I hope its lawsuit in federal court and their NAFTA challenge fail miserably.

Raw Story — Bill O’Reilly questioned Donald Trump’s ability to provide jobs in African-American communities during an interview on Monday by painting black Americans as being ill-equipped for the labor force.

“How are you going to get jobs for them?” O’Reilly asked. “Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”

Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     

Openly racist comments . . . but that is to be expected from a pair of Republicans!

My Universe — Chilling with some friends!

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Apr 102016
 

Lu never showed up yesterday.  Yesterday I finished my corporate taxes (annual registration and reporting) for our prison volunteer group.  There were no taxes to pay, of course, but serving others cost’s us $60.00 in fees.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with Sarah, my Prosthetist, because Courtney (PT) thinks George has too much side to side wobble in the ankle.  That may limit me to a Personal Update tomorrow.  Lu has come now, and I’m a pampered puddy tat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:25 (average 5:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics: The latest delegate count.

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

1756

1068

Delegates Won

4051

1287

1037

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

469

31

 

 

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

28

38

Caucus

Closed

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

9

16

Caucus

Closed

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

76

73

Primary

Open

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

34

34

Primary

Open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

9

25

Caucus

Open

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

 

Bernie won the Wyoming caucuses but did not cut into Hillary's lead. For the nomination, Bernie needs 1,314 more delegates. Hillary needs 626. For the majority of pledged delegates, Bernie needs 989 more pledged delegates. Hillary needs 739.

From Daily Kos (Classic: 10/2015): 

Overnight, Petra László became one of the most despised people in the world after she was caught on video tripping a Syrian refugee carrying his son. She lost her job after the video went viral and rather than reflect on her poor life choices and try to move on, she's decided to sue. And you won't believe who she blames for her downfall:

The Hungarian camerawoman who tripped two refugees fleeing from police has claimed she plans to sue Facebook, as well as the man she caused to stumble and fall as he carried his child.

You read that right. She's planning on suing Syrian refugee Osama Abdel-Muhsen Alghadab, the man she ruthlessly tripped as he was running with his son in his arms. She's upset she is still despised in her home country:

 

Poor Hungary! Isn't it sad that they have Republican bigots too?

From Raw Story: President Barack Obama on Sunday linked Fox News, which he suggested was a “Republican news channel,” to the success of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.

 

Obama is wrong when it comes to Democrats having our own TV station too. While it's true that MSNBC has Hayes, Maddow and O'Donnell, they give Morning Joe one more hour of air-time than the other three combined.

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Shhh!! Don’t tell them about my chili!!

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Apr 042016
 

Is there a full moon today?  Sure seems possible!  I went to see my mother and enjoyed time with her.  As we were sitting around the nursing station, a resident, Margaret, came out in her underwear.  Because staff were very busy getting some ready for bed and giving medications to others, after getting a hospital gown on her, I walked Margaret back to her room.  That's when I found Shirley in Margaret's bed.  Seems Shirley had an accident in her room so Margaret's bed was fair game.  I got the two ladies into their respective rooms and then went for help.  I heard awhile later that Shirley took a swing at the care aid.  And strange things continued to happen.  On the other hand, I took Bunny Rabbit and Lambypie, 2 small stuffed animals, up for my mother.  When I said goodnight to mother, she had Bunny Rabbit clutched tightly in her hand as she dozed off to sleep.  It was quite an evening!  I suspect my week will be somewhat like that.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz has announced he's suspending his election campaign to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Cruz, the main challenger to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, said he never thought he would move back to Canada — he was born in Alberta in 1970 — much less get involved in its politics. But he said recent events have made him feel “obligated” to do so.

ted cruz

“Look, I understand this might come as a shock to many Americans and Canadians,” Cruz told reporters Friday. “But the truth is, though I have always wanted to help make Canada great again, I have recently started feeling morally obligated, as a Canadian, to run for the Conservative party back home.

“I must save it from Kevin O’Leary.”

OMG!!!  Say it ain't true!  This is absolutely unacceptable!

Alternet — The 2016 legislative session has been a competition between red states to see who can pass the most hateful anti-LGBT bills under the guise of “religious freedom,” but Mississippi state Republicans look like they’re going to emerge the winner. Friday, the state house passed the final version of a bill meant to protect and encourage business owners in the state to discriminate against LGBT people, while simultaneously enshrining, in violation of the Constitution, the idea that conservative Christianity is the only legitimate religion.  …

This law not only protects discrimination against LGBT people, but against any person who has sex outside of marriage. It also makes it easier for employers and schools to strictly police the way you dress to make sure it’s masculine or feminine enough. If your boss thinks proper ladies wear makeup, he can cite “religious freedom” as a reason to force you to do so, and the law will protect him for it.

I am totally flummoxed that a state can get away with such blatant unconstitutional behaviour.  Mississippi has surpassed the insanity of North Carolina.  It seems that states are getting bolder with their unconstitutional laws now that SCOTUS is generally impotent in its diminished numbers.  What can people do if their state goes too far other than waiting for the next election?

Truth-out — Montana communities won a victory against one of the world's biggest coal companies earlier in March, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine — the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.

To many observers, the Otter Creek project once seemed unstoppable. It certainly appeared that way in 2011, the year I moved to Missoula, Montana for graduate school. Then-Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer enthusiastically supported the mine, and coal more generally. Forrest Mars, Jr., the billionaire heir to the Mars candy fortune, had just joined Arch and BNSF Railways in backing a proposed railroad spur meant to service Otter Creek. Arch and politicians like Schweitzer predicted a boom in coal demand from economies in Asia.

Protesters block a coal train from entering downtown Missoula in 2015.

But what they weren't counting on was a vocal and active region-wide opposition. The coming together of ordinary people — first in southeast Montana, then an ever-growing number of communities throughout the Northwest — to oppose the Otter Creek mine says much about how land defenders and climate activists are learning to fight back against the planet's biggest energy companies. The roots of this recent victory go back more than 30 years.

Good on them!  There are others who are trying to change things too.  In another article, Amid Price Plunge, North American Oil and Gas Workers Seek Transition to Renewable Sector​, some oil sands workers are changing things.

"…one top climate scientist has called "the biggest carbon bomb on the planet," Hildebrand came to realize that he was not the only oil worker in Alberta who felt "guilty about developing the infrastructure that is creating climate change."

… Hildebrand banded together with like-minded coworkers and began building an oil and gas worker-led nonprofit called "Iron & Earth," which officially launched this month during a press conference in Edmonton. Through the nonprofit, the oil sands workers hope to help others who have been laid off diversify their skill sets and facilitate the necessary training to transition them to the renewable energy sector. They also want to help incorporate renewable energy projects into oil sands workers' current scope of work."

My Universe — 

AmazingCats01 4This is the look I get from my Annie everyday and she is 7.5 years old, no kitten!

Melts my heart!

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Apr 032016
 

Last night I slept poorly and felt so tired this morning, that I was dozing off, while doing my research, so after I finished, I uncorked a much needed Lona nap.  That’s why I’m running late today.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with my kitty cousin Scanner.  Sadly he’s quite aloof, and every time I go in for my annual Cat Scan, he refuses to come out and play.  In any case, I may have no more that a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 9/2011): Why would anyone vote Republican? Well, here are 10 reasons.

1. You are a bigot

It’s true that not all Republicans are bigots. But if you ARE a bigot, the Republican party will be much more your group than the Democratic party. Remember that there are lots of ways to be a bigot: You could be a racist, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, or lots of other things.

2. You like eating, drinking and breathing poison.

Many Republicans are calling for or voting for shrinking or eliminating agencies that protect us against poison. They seem to think that the corporations will do the right thing, without any pressure from the government. Uh huh. Read The Jungle.  Look at the way Monsanto is hiding facts about Round Up. Look at food safety and outbreaks of E. Coli. 

Corporations exist to make money. They will do so any way they can. The government needs to stop them from doing so in ways that hurt people.

3. You think the rich don’t have enough money

The idea that giving more money to rich people (via tax breaks) will help poor people is nonsensical and has been shown wrong time and again in history. Huge tax breaks for the rich (a la George Bush) don’t work.

4. You don’t support our veterans

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran’s Association (IAVA) rates every member of congress on how well they support our veterans.  In the Senate, 9 people got A or A+: All were Democrats. 30 got D or F: 29 Republicans and one Democrat.  More on this

How little they have changed!! I shared the first four. Click through for the other six.

From NY Times: The wall of Republican opposition to the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court has been shored up by two Republican senators revoking their support for holding confirmation hearings.

Their moves highlight the immense pressure that Republican leaders are placing on senators as they try to build unified opposition to President Obama’s choice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

As the White House heralds the growing number of Republicans agreeing to meet with Judge Garland, Senators Jerry Moran of Kansas and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have reversed themselves and say they now back the decision made by Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, not to hold hearings.

The Republicans who agreed to meet with him were trying to appear responsible, but were really, as I predicted, just stalling for time.

From Raw Story: SNL took on one of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters who frequently pops up on cable broadcasts to defend the actions and words of the consistently offensive candidate.

 

I hope you enjoyed the laugh. Sadly the blonde on the right caricatured a voter even smarter than Fecal Dump Trump’s actual supporters.

Cartoon:

0403Cartoon

The previous summer, while planning events for Vietnam Summer, he said the government would not allow him to live much longer.  Watch this excerpt.

Less than 24 hours later, he was dead.  Isn’t it clear that he knew they were closing in?

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Apr 012016
 

I talked to Lu last night.  She says she will be here today by Noon.  Grrr!  I’m swamped.  I spent the morning collecting the data for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:30).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: They're in their own little world over in the House Freedom Caucus. They've pretty effectively killed any actual budget coming out of the Congress this year, and now are arguing to kill the lame duck session, even though they haven't worked out all the details of how. If they put their plan into effect, they might just get their government shutdown fight. Before the election.

When the House returns from a two-week recess on April 12, a small group of members are gearing up to stop GOP leadership in both chambers, if they have their way, from holding a legislative session after the November election.

It's not that the members are lazy, though doing away with the postelection session would mean the House would be in session just 17 days for the rest of the year after July 15—and zero past Sept. 30. […]

This surprises me. Given the current Republican meltdown, I think the Republican Party will be in a much stronger position in the lame duck session than they will, after the new Congress takes office. I would think they would want to do as much damage to America as possible during the lame duck session.

From NY Times: San Francisco police officers sent dozens of racist and homophobic text messages in the past several months, even as another group of officers was being investigated by prosecutors for having traded similar messages, the city’s district attorney said Thursday.

The disclosure of the new round of text messages, which includes derogatory references to blacks, Asians, lesbians, gays and transgender people, comes as the Police Department is under federal investigation after complaints that some officers routinely behave in a racially biased manner.

Along with dozens of other police departments around the nation, the San Francisco police — who work in one of the nation’s most culturally diverse cities — have come under scrutiny during the past year.

Officers have been accused of using unnecessary deadly force and brutality, and of focusing enforcement efforts on black neighborhoods while ignoring similar infractions elsewhere. Police critics, including many among the city’s dwindling black population, have held protests and called for the resignation of the police chief, Gregory P. Suhr.

On Thursday, George Gascón, the city’s district attorney, said that the text messages were a worrying sign that the department had a problem with racism and homophobia that was more ingrained than investigators had anticipated.

Every officer who sent of forwarded one or more of these text messages must be terminated in such as a way as to end their law enforcement careers. The only way to get rid of racism and bigotry in our nation’s police departments is to get rid of the racists and bigots.

From Media Matters: Now they tell us the Republican Party is to blame? That the Obama years haven't been gummed up by Both Sides Are To Blame obstruction?

The truth is, anyone with clear vision recognized a long time ago that the GOP has transformed itself since 2009 into an increasingly radical political party, one built on complete and total obstruction. It's a party designed to make governing difficult, if not impossible, and one that plotted seven years ago to shred decades of Beltway protocol and oppose every inch of Obama's two terms. ("If he was for it, we had to be against it," former Republican Ohio Sen. George Voinovich once explained.)

And for some of us, it didn't take Donald Trump's careening campaign to confirm the destructive state of the GOP. But if it's the Trump circus that finally opens some pundits' eyes, so be it.

Recently, Dan Balz, the senior political writer for the Washington Post, seemed to do just that while surveying the unfolding GOP wreckage as the party splinters over Trump's rise. Balz specifically noted that four years ago political scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein examined the breakdown in American politics and zeroed in their blame squarely on Republicans.

"They were ahead of others in describing the underlying causes of polarization as asymmetrical, with the Republican Party — in particular its most hard-line faction — as deserving of far more of the blame for the breakdown in governing," Balz acknowledged.

If I had a nickel for every time I've said that since 2008, I could retire to my own string of mansions. . I wish the Washington Post would get another reporter like that. They really need a pair of Balz.

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Mar 272016
 

Yesterday I really slept late, later than ever before — 4:50 pm!  To say the least, this cold has knocked me for a loop. Although it is getting better, it has altered my schedule.  I hope to go see my mother tomorrow providing my cold is even better than today.  This week coming up will be busy.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — What Green realized was Syrian refugees are more similar to us than they are different.

rob green

"They're just like everyone else in the community that would be helping out. And he's part of the community now."

A short article with a universal truth that we all need to remember!

PoliticoCondemnation of the attacks in Brussels, as in Paris, Istanbul, Damascus, Baghdad, Bassam or Ouagadougou, has to be firm, absolute, and without exceptions, half-measures or attempts to distinguish between victims. Clarity is essential here, as it is in the terminology we use and the solutions we propose. But before we can formulate a response, we must face the problem head on and try to understand its origins (this in no way means justifying acts of terrorism, whatever George W. Bush may have said, and what Manuel Valls says today).

It is imperative that we untangle the reasons behind this hard swerve toward violent extremism — because it is not just “mad,” “irrational” and “inhuman.” These words only serve to confuse our vocabulary, and offer no political clarification on the elements of the equation. They add blindness to an emotional reaction already stoked by fear. What we need today is reason and measured conversation — we have to be tough, yes, but above all, reasonable.  

We cannot support dictatorships, be political and economic partners with states who export literalist Salafi doctrine, be silent when civilians are massacred south of our borders and hope that we will not receive a response to the injustice and humiliation we have provoked.

The author makes some very valid points.  As to this last point made above, how many people have said "Why is Saudi Arabia an ally of the US?" .  Saudi Arabia is engaged in war crimes in Yemen using weapons bought from the US and Great Britain.  That relationship is not lost on others.  We all need to look at our relationships and define them in terms of our values.

Huffington Post — This World Water Day, however, millions of people who share our planet are constantly thinking about water. How could they not be? Their children die from waterborne illnesses, because the local stream is contaminated. Others forfeit their schooling to trek long distances for water each day. Families lose their harvests — and their food supplies — because there's no irrigation for their parched crops.

2016-03-20-1458438813-5810040-Zambia2small.jpg

22 March was World Water Day.  This year, the focus is on water and jobs.  Here is a short UN promo.

When I saw some of the pictures in the article, I immediately thought of my friend Lucia who is from South Sudan. The picture above could easily have been her — walking 10 kilometres to the river for water, and then 10 km home twice a day.  She and her sister did not go to school at all but rather worked in the fields and hauled water for the family to use.  What a difference a clean water source would have made to her community.  But the lack of clean potable water is not only an issue in third world countries.  This Global News piece outlines some of the problems that First Nations communities in Canada encounter.  Flint is another example.  We must ensure that clean water is available to all peoples — water to drink, water for bathing, water for food preparation.  

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Hoppy Easter

 

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La Grande Dame

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Les Tous Petits

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La Chaton de Paques

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Harumpf!

 

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Mar 262016
 

Yesterday I went to PT with Courtney.  She checked out Stumpy and taught me how to desensitize him by rubbing him with fabrics with different textures.  She increased the distance from my door I can walk using a walker without my chair from 15 ft. to 30 ft.  After I returned home I had to make a bank run.  I’m waiting fir Lu to show up for my shower.  She’s due in about twenty minutes.  It’s also going to be our annual Spring cleaning day, so I shall be quite swamped.  Later:  Lu called.  She’s running late.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:45 (average 4:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In a historic ceremony at the state capitol, on Friday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory swore in a thousand officers charged with enforcing the state’s new public-bathroom regulations.

Speaking to the newly graduated bathroom-enforcement cadets, McCrory impressed upon them the gravity of their responsibility. “You are the thin blue line charged with protecting the gender sanctity of North Carolina’s bathrooms,” he said. “Be careful out there.”

McCrory told reporters that the thousand officers are only “the first wave” of a bathroom-patrol force that will eventually swell to over fifty thousand. “This is job creation at its finest,” he said.

Andy is doing straight news about the Republican Fascist Theocracy of McCrorystan. For those who misunderstood before, this is their state flag.

McCrorystanFlag

From Daily Kos: A 32-year-old man lost his leg after a piece of shrapnel took it off in a gun accident yesterday. The Walton Country Georgia Sheriff’s office posted a notice to their Facebook page.

Yes, it is legal and no, we can’t make people stop doing it. But why, folks, just why?

The dangers of tannerite were more than words Saturday afternoon for a 32 year old resident of eastern Walton county. He was dangerously close to the object containing the tannerite when the final gun shot round caused it to explode sending a piece of shrapnel through his leg severing it below the knee. Yes, completely taking his leg.

If you search “tannerite” on YouTube, you will get a plethora of videos of (mostly) men blowing things up with the stuff—using their guns to make things go “boom.”

 

I think Tannerite should be the official substance of the Republican Party. Light bulbWinking smile

From Stand Against Bigotry (PFAW): In recent months, we’ve witnessed a dangerous uptick in ugly bigotry aimed at Muslim Americans, as well as Muslim refugees fleeing violence in Syria and other regions. No person should be singled out for discrimination or harassment because of their faith—or their lack thereof. This rhetoric isn’t just deeply un-American—it’s dangerous. We’ve seen that hateful rhetoric can lead to physical violence and intimidation.

We won’t tolerate those who inflame anti-Muslim bigotry and we won’t stay silent. You shouldn’t either. Whether it’s in a presidential campaign or a personal conversation, we’re asking all Americans to stand up and call out hateful and offensive anti-Muslim rhetoric. Make it clear that you believe all people, regardless of faith, have a place in our nation and that you’re willing to speak up for that principle.

 

Please click through to take the pledge. I did. I think we should expand this to all forms of Republican hate and discrimination. Whether against Muslims, Blacks, Latinos, LGBT, or Women, the Republican Party have made haters socially acceptable. We should shame them into hiding under their sheets and hoods again by chastising them whenever they spew their foul bigotry in public.

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Mar 252016
 
furies

I'm sure there is more than one thing which has happened which really should call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with it, but I'll only share one this week. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

Certainly both Megaera and Tisiphone will be interested in this incident – but Alecto may as well go along, since having reinforcements never hurts.

On March 6, 2016, three human beings, Jesus Manso-Perez, Phia Vue, and Mai Vue, were shot and killed in their apartment building on the south side of Milwaukee.  A fourth, Jesus Manso-Carrasquillo, was shot at but managed to escape.

As difficult as it is to believe, it appears the victims may have been targeted for the heinous crime of not speaking English.

The story starts as Manso-Perez and his son, Manso-Carrasquillo, were walking to the apartment's laundry room.  The shooter, Dan J. Popp, also lives in the building; as the two were walking past his apartment, he asked them if they wanted a beer.  They declined, and he then asked where they were from.  They replied they were from Puerto Rico, and Popp said, "Oh, that's why you don't speak English."

After starting the laundry (in the basement), the two turned and climbed the stairs to return to their apartment.  However, Popp, now armed with a rifle, stood over them on a landing.  He said, "You guys got to go," and shot Manso-Perez in the head.  Manso-Carrasquillo was able to run for the front door and escape just in time to hear the second shot, which he is sure was meant for him.

Phia Vue and his wife Mai lived with their four children in another apartment in the complex.  Phia and Mai had been out of town over the weekend; the children were with a 25-year-old relative.  Shortly after the couple's return, Popp knocked on their door, but after asking whether someone was knocking and being told "No," he left.  A short time laters, the Vues heard gunshots in the hall, and all hid in a bedroom.  Mai handed the sitter a cellphone to call the police

Popp kicked in the front door and found the family in the bedroom.  Pointing the rifle at Phia, Popp ordered him to leave.  Phia was later found dead in the bathroom, shot in the head.

Returning to the bedroom, Popp started dragging Mai and two daughters out of the apartment; in the confusion, some were able to run outside.  But Mai was later found dead in Popp's apartment.

Police arrived just prior to the shot which apparently killed Mai.  After declining (from inside) a request by an officer to speak with him, a few minutes later Popp came out of the building, dropped the rifle off his shoulder, and was subdued and arrested.

I'm sure you ladies will have no trouble finding Dan Popp in custody.  If I may offer advice, I hope one task you will accept is ensuring he is not able to post his $150,000 bail – which seems a little low to me and to other writers for the death of three human beings.

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, friends and families of the deceased gathered together for a memorial service for their loved ones who were killed.  Prayers were offered in English, Hmong, and Spanish.

Update – There is now a petition circulating to District Attorney John Chisholm
requesting that this triple shooting be investigated as a hate crime.

The Furies and I will be back. 

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