Jan 112018
 

It’s another sticky, muggy day here:  54° and 92%.  Yuck!  Tonight’s low is 8° warmer than the average high for this date.  I hope it doesn’t keep me awake.  Aside from the weather, I continue to improve and am more mended than not.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?  If I win, who wants a bird Bankster?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Nuclear War is not Inevitable

North Korea is "the most dangerous crisis since the Cuban missile crisis." But it hasn’t always been that way. Physicist and nuclear policy expert Zia Mian explains:

 

The problem here is that, even worse than the Republican Bush Reich that caused the problem, the Republican Fuhrer today makes Kim Jong Un appear relatively sane. RESIST!!

From Politico: Democratic leaders are facing a potential revolt within their ranks as they edge toward a deal with Republicans that would protect Dreamers from deportation but also include concessions to conservatives that many Democratic lawmakers say are unacceptable.

Senate negotiators say they’re inching toward a bipartisan deal that broadly mirrors the parameters laid out during a meeting this week between lawmakers and President Donald Trump at the White House. They include ensuring legal status for Dreamers, strengthening border security and making changes to both family-based migration and the diversity lottery.

But many Democrats, particularly in the House, are horrified that their leaders would even agree to discuss issues beyond legal status for Dreamers and limited measures to curb illegal immigration. The concerns span multiple factions of the Democratic conference, and, combined with opposition from Republican immigration hard-liners, they could put passage of a DACA deal at risk.

I’ll reserve judgment, until I can count the beans in the can, but I’m inclined to say that it’s no time to cave-in to negotiation in bad-faith, when we have the Republicans by the short hairs. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Representative Darrell Issa, whose hard-edge partisan attacks on President Barack Obama began softening as his district trended toward the Democrats, said on Wednesday that he would not seek re-election — the latest and one of the most prominent Republican retirements in the face of a potential Democratic wave.

Mr. Issa, 64, who has represented an idyllic stretch of Southern California coast since 2001, won re-election in 2016 by just 1,600 votes out or more than 300,000 cast, while Hillary Clinton carried it by more than seven percentage points.

Good riddance to Darrell, who Issa asshole, because he Issa Republican. Woooo Hoooo!! RESIST!!

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Jan 022018
 

I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, so please forgive my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took m 4:52 (average 5:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Salon.com: President Donald Trump is staring down the barrel of a very, very unfavorable political climate in 2018.

The foremost problem is the prospect of a Democratic sweep in the upcoming midterm elections, according to Axios. One source told the site that when it comes to the possibility that Democratic victories in November could both thwart the GOP’s legislative agenda and make Trump vulnerable to impeachment, the president "gets it."

Meanwhile Reince Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and Trump’s former chief of staff, has been telling Republican Party leaders that they need to have access to the entire data and ground operation for every single congressional district. He also encouraged them to not be thrifty, arguing that they must "spend whatever needs to be spent as if 2020 relies on it."

They will have lots to spend, as Banksters and Billionaires fear losing their Tax Scam welfare, and will contribute heavily. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Retail cannabis shops in California opened their doors on Monday for the first time, inaugurating what proponents say will become the world’s largest market for legalized recreational marijuana.

A transaction that remains illegal in many parts of the country seemed almost banal on Monday for the customers at a dispensary in Oakland who picked out their marijuana, showed their driver’s licenses and walked into the brisk morning air with their drugs in a paper bag.

“This is a whole new world opening up,” said Diana Gladden, 48, who bought marijuana for herself and her aging parents. “My mother, a very strict Southern Baptist, now thinks it’s O.K. because it’s legal.”

One customer left with more than $1,000 worth of cannabis in a large grocery bag.

Dang!! The Oregon Weather Bureau predicts that the cloud from the south will arrive this evening. Don’t RESIST!!

From TPM: Fired former FBI Director James Comey made another dig at President Donald Trump on Twitter over the weekend, writing on New Year’s Eve that he hopes 2018 brings “more ethical leadership focused on truth and lasting values.”

Amen James! RESIST!!

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Dec 252017
 

Who would have imagined it.  Here in Portland, Oregon, infamous for liquid sunshine, we have a white Christmas.  I bet every Republican in town expects minorities to disappear.  My feast with Wendy was delicious, and we prepared a plate for the desk clerk who was stuck here for Christmas Eve.  She gave me a new bathrobe.  I gave her a necklace and jewelry for her piercings, some of which I’ll never get to see worn. Crying face  When we saw the snow was sticking, I sent her home early to keep her safe.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 8:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Agony:

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We’ll get the best draft order we’ve had in years.

Short Takes:

From Politico: House Republicans are in trouble heading into 2018.

President Donald Trump’s unpopularity, voter distaste of Washington and a highly energized Democratic base have combined into a toxic brew for the GOP and its 24-seat House majority. A record number of Democratic candidates are piling into swing districts from Southern California to northern Maine and from the Florida Keys to suburban Seattle, and Republicans trail by double-digits in many national House polls.

But ultimately, the battle for the House is a district-by-district affair. And a handful of seats scattered across the country reveal the trends that will dominate those battleground races for the next year, including huge Democratic primaries, Republicans’ growing suburban problem, and the outbreak of sexual misconduct allegations roiling more and more campaigns every week.

Here are POLITICO’s 10 most important House races of 2018 — and why they matter in the battle for the House:

Illinois’ 6th District: Revenge of the suburbs

GOP Rep. Peter Roskam won reelection handily in 2016, but his Chicagoland district saw a big shift, with President Donald Trump losing it by 7 points after Mitt Romney carried the seat by 8 points in 2012. And since Trump took office, elections in Virginia, New Jersey and a handful of congressional special elections around the country have seen local candidates fall to or even below Trump’s levels in the suburbs.

That’s a big warning sign for Roskam and other Republicans in suburbs of New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Kansas City and more heading into 2018. Democrats have to wade through a crowded primary before they face Roskam. Kelly Mazeski, who picked up an EMILY’s List endorsement and raised the most money last quarter, is leading the pack, though anything can happen in a field of seven candidates. But even a bruised Democratic opponent may not stem the tide against Roskam and other suburban congressmen.

“Increasingly socially progressive, suburban voters have been drifting away from the GOP for years,” said Ian Russell, former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee deputy executive director. “Trump dramatically accelerated this movement, and the tax bill will only further alienate them.”

I shared one. Click through for the other nine. RESIST!!

From BuzzFeed: Turns out, a guy named Robert Strong sent the Mnuchins a large wrapped box filled with horse poo in the name of the American people. Good, ole, organic horse shit that he "borrowed" from some friends to make a political statement…

…Strong also attached a hand-written card that read: "Dear Misters Trump and Mnuchin, we are returning your Christmas gift of the Republican tax plan because it’s complete horse shit. Sincerely, the American people."

1225Strong

Now you know who the hero is and what he looks like.  RESIST!!

From Common Dreams: In an interview on CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed President Donald Trump for "bragging" about a provision in the GOP tax bill that could leave 13 million more Americans without health insurance and argued that the U.S. should instead be working toward guaranteeing healthcare to all Americans as a right.

"Instead of bragging about more Americans without health insurance, we should join every other major country on Earth, guarantee healthcare for all people, and end the absurdity of paying twice as much per capita for healthcare as every other major nation," the Vermont senator said.

Amen Bernie! Thank you! RESIST!!

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The Way Forward on Tax Scam

 Posted by at 12:39 pm  Politics
Dec 202017
 

It’s a done deal.  Less than five minutes ago, the House passed the Republican Tax Scam, and it’s on the way to their Fuhrer’s desk.  For the way forward, we have a good head start, because the Republican Tax Scam is more unpopular than any tax increase has been.  Moving along, we need to hang this albatross on the neck of every Republican lawmaker at every level of government, as well as every Republican donor and corporate criminal, whose greedy threats drove passage of this disaster.

GOPVoting

Foremost on many activists’ minds is how to make politicians rue the day they voted for this scam. The folks who organized the big Tax March last April are about to launchrepealthetrumptax.org [sic] to coordinate 100 days of “accountability” events around the country, beginning in early January. Their aim: Make a “yea” vote on this stinker a mark of shame for candidates trying to get reelected in 2018 and 2020.

We should also be working to hold corporations that supported the tax bill accountable. Lobby groups representing nearly every large firm in the country, from the Chamber of Commerce to the Business Roundtable, fought full-throttle for this monstrosity, spewing one absurd claim after another.

Meanwhile, according to Marketwatch, corporations have been preparing to spend their tax savings not on job-creating investments or wage hikes but on stock buybacks, which will inflate the value of their CEOs’ stock-based pay…

Inserted from <The Nation>

Rachel Maddow gives us some excellent background on this mess.

Rachel explained that only 7% of Americans think the Republican Tax Scam is a middle class tax cut.  That’s a great start, and in the end, 60 percent of Americans get a tax INCREASE!  Are you ready?  Campaign 2018 just started in earnest.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Dec 182017
 

It’s another busy day here at the CatBox.  Our fantasy football league has almost completed the first playoff week.  Patty Monster has squeaked by Wendy.  The Squatch and I are neck and neck.  If Julio Jones scores four fantasy points in tonight’s game, I advance.  If not… Oh the shame!! Embarrassed smile 

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:19 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NBC News: The latest NBC/WSJ poll not only shows Democrats holding their biggest lead in congressional preference since 2008, it also finds them enjoying a double-digit advantage when it comes to voter intensity ahead of next year’s midterms.

According to the poll, 59 percent of Democratic voters say they have a high level of interest in next year’s elections (registering either a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale), versus 49 percent of Republican voters saying the same thing. Additionally, 62 percent of voters who said they voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 have a high level of interest in next year’s midterms, compared with 50 percent of Trump voters.

"A double-digit margin here is an important indicator of Democratic intensity," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollsters from Hart Research Associates.

We need to channel that intensity into a 50 state strategy, at all levels of government, based on progressive values, without shooting ourselves in the foot along the way. RESIST!!

From Pacific Standard: For the last two weeks, Philip Alston, a professor at the New York University School of Law and a United Nations special rapporteur on poverty and human rights, has been on a fact-finding tour of the United States’ poorest communities. Alston visited neighborhoods in rural Alabama where raw sewage sits in open trenches and pits. He spent time at a free dental clinic in West Virginia, where he met a 32-year-old whose teeth have all but rotted away. He saw a homeless encampment in Los Angeles where the ratio of toilets to residents is lower than the U.N. mandate for Syrian refugee camps. Today, Alston released a sharply critical preliminary reportsummarizing [sic]his findings. American exceptionalism may be alive and well, Alston concludes, but "today’s United States has proved itself to be exceptional in far more problematic ways that are shockingly at odds with its immense wealth and its founding commitment to human rights."

When it comes to poverty rates and other measures of deprivation, the U.S. is a stark outlier among other developed countries. Despite its status as one of the world’s wealthiest countries, the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world, the worst health outcomes, the highest incarceration rate, the highest youth poverty rate, one of the highest rates of inequality, and one of the lowest rates of voter participation. Eighteen percent of American children in 2016 were living in poverty, with rates in some states as high as 30 percent.

Politicians opposed to expanding the social safety net have leaned heavily on a certain false narrative about poor Americans to justify cuts to welfare and other social programs, according to Alston. "Some politicians and political appointees with whom I spoke were completely sold on the narrative of such scammers sitting on comfortable sofas, watching color TVs, while surfing on their smartphones, all paid for by welfare," he writes. "I wonder how many of these politicians have ever visited poor areas, let alone spoken to those who dwell there. There are anecdotes aplenty, but evidence is nowhere to be seen."

Behold the culmination of eight years of the Bush Regime, eight years of Republicans sabotaging and obstructing everything Obama and Democrats tried to make it better, and one year of Trump. RESIST!!

From NY Times: …The task in front of Congress over the coming week boils down to a basic question: Does Washington work for all of us or just for those at the top? Congress has a chance, right now, to take steps that will make life a bit better for millions of working people immediately and in the years to come. We should seize it.

This is the last paragraph of an excellent editorial by both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Click through for a great read. RESIST!!

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Oct 302017
 

I’m in a big hurry to get my writing done before I leave.  May the Holy Ellipsoid Orb bless my Broncos tonight.  Back!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:52 (average 6:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Jeff Merkley Channel): Senator Merkley Slams GOP Efforts to Kneecap Consumer Rights

 

Note that both Jeff Flake and Bob Corker voted FOR the legislation that Jeff is speaking against. Oregon leads the way. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Senator Jeff Flake’s decision to abandon his 2018 re-election campaign in Arizona has thrown open the Senate race there, exposing deep fissures not only on the Republican side where a nationalist insurgency is gunning for the party establishment but also among Democrats contending with a rising left.

Establishment Democrats have high hopes for Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist who recently dined in the Blue Room of the White House with President Trump, teaches a bipartisan spin class in the House gym and has broken ranks with her own party on key votes. She was one of only seven House Democrats, for example, who voted to create a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

But those impulses toward bipartisanship have soured Arizona progressives against the candidacy of a woman who rose to prominence on a biography that included time as a homeless child and an identity that includes being the first open bisexual in Congress.

“There are issues, murmurs within grass-roots groups and the progressive community, the environmental community and others, including immigration advocates,” said Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona and a co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who is withholding his endorsement of her.

Establishment Republicans, meanwhile, are scrambling to find a candidate to replace Mr. Flake and wage a primary challenge against Kelli Ward, a former state senator who aligns herself with Mr. Trump. Ms. Ward, derided by critics as a fringe candidate and a conspiracy theorist, was beaten badly by the senior senator from Arizona, John McCain, in a 2016 primary, and party leaders fear she would lose to Ms. Sinema in the general election.

I certainly prefer a more progressive alternative to Sinema, but a DINO is better than a Republican, especially Kelli Ward. RESIST!!

From NBC News: Given all of the focus on President Trump’s political base — and how he’s still holding on to it – our new NBC/WSJ poll sheds light on a less-discussed development: Trump is losing ground with the middle of the country.

Just 34 percent of independents approve of Trump’s job performance, while 57 percent disapprove (-23). That’s a decline from September, when 41 percent of independents approved and 48 percent disapproved (-7). As for self-described moderates, only 27 percent approve of Trump’s job, versus 68 percent who disapprove (-41). The president’s overall job-approval rating stands at 38 percent — his lowest yet in the NBC/WSJ poll.

What’s more, independents prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress over a Republican-controlled one in next year’s midterm elections by 6 points, 39 percent to 33 percent, while moderates want a Dem-controlled Congress by 32 points, 60 percent to 28 percent.

That might be barely enough to flip the House. RESIST!!

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