May 262015
 

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be leaving for a prison volunteer trip to Salem, and I will not return until Friday afternoon.  Therefore, for the next three days, expect an Open Thread at most, and more likely, just a personal update.  Let me wish you an excellent week, in advance.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:01 (average 5:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In the aftermath of Irish voters legalizing gay marriage, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has used his emergency powers to ban all Irish products from the state.

The sweeping trade sanctions will prevent popular Irish products, such as Jameson whiskey and Guinness Extra Stout, from being sold in Louisiana.

Jindal explained that breaking off trade with Ireland was necessary to protect the sanctity of marriage in Louisiana.

Andy has exposed a Republican disaster. Without Jameson, Agent Orange will be incapable of visiting Louisiana.

From NY Times: They are only four words in a 900-page law: “established by the state.”

But it is in the ambiguity of those four words in the Affordable Care Act that opponents found a path to challenge the law, all the way to the Supreme Court.

How those words became the most contentious part of President Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment has been a mystery. Who wrote them, and why? Were they really intended, as the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell claim, to make the tax subsidies in the law available only in states that established their own health insurance marketplaces, and not in the three dozen states with federal exchanges?

The answer, from interviews with more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law, is that the words were a product of shifting politics and a sloppy merging of different versions. Some described the words as “inadvertent,” “inartful” or “a drafting error.” But none supported the contention of the plaintiffs, who are from Virginia.

By now most Republican politicians realize that, if the fascist five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) invalidate Obamacare, it will be a disaster for the Republican Party. However, they were so effective at brainwashing rabid sheeple to hate it, that they now have to live in fear of their own base.

From Washington Post: You may not have realized it, but a large cohort of Americans did something brave this month. For years — in some cases, decades — these lonely, marginalized souls had repressed their shameful feelings, hiding them from the world.

Then May came along, and they finally decided to come out of the closet.

As liberals.

That’s right: A large chunk of Americans recently decided to come out as “liberal” — socially liberal, to be specific. As a result, for the first time on record, self-proclaimed social liberals are no longer outnumbered by their conservative counterparts.

That’s according to a new Gallup poll that finds the shares of American adults considering themselves “socially liberal” and “socially conservative” each total 31 percent. (The remaining respondents either called their views “moderate” or had no opinion.) Gallup has been tracking these categories since 1999, and the latest numbers simultaneously signify the highest share ever recorded for liberals and the lowest recorded for conservatives.

I’m one, and I was admitting it when it was still a very dirty word. What shocks me is the 31% that are still goose stepping to the drum beat of Republican hate.

Cartoon:

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How Republicans celebrated Memorial Day.

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May 252015
 

I’m completely worn out.  Yesterday I finally got around to completing the corporate tax returns and annual reporting paperwork for my prison volunteer organization.  It took the rest of the day.  I’m trying to rest as much as possible today, because tomorrow will be busy packing and doing last minute preparations for my three day prison volunteer trip.  Therefore my Memorial Day article will be a repost of last year’s.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Remember Douglas Adams’s 1979 novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? It began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-formsas a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” But that was then, in the early stages of the information technology revolution.

Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch. But this one tells you to stand up if you’ve been sitting too long!O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.

Click through for this thought provoking editorial by Paul Krugman.

From Upworthy: Watch David Blight elaborate on the story of what happened those days in Charleston, S.C. in this PBS clip.

 

I consider this a most fitting commemoration.

From Crooks and Liars: Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on this Sunday’s Reliable Sources and spoke to host Brian Stelter about his recent criticism of the media and their demands for a food fight between Sanders and his opponent in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton.

 

As is his norm, Bernie is spot on.

Cartoon:

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Yes, I do know that a chimp is an ape, not a monkey.

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May 242015
 

I suppose the most positive thing I can say this morning, is that I have had no more surprises.  Nevertheless, my tasks seem endless, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The soon to be officially announced presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and former MN Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, from Uranus, were guests on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. The show aired just before President Obama addressed the nation with his 2014 State Of The Union Speech. Sanders discussed issues that included income equality, minimum wage, education, social security, jobs creation, corporate wealth and tax evasion. Bachmann, a known liar (documented by Politifact), read from the repetitive Right-Wing, Koch-Sucking Declaration of Co-Dependance, while interjecting something about ‘Australia.’ She stuck to the GOP script and was completely unyielding to a mature, courteous, and educated debate.

Batshit Bag Alert!!

One key lie Batshit B attempted is that the lack of jobs is due to years of Obama’s "failed policies". What has stalled the recovery is years of Republican obstruction, sabotage and sedition. Bernie 1 – Tag Team Blitzer & Batshit B 0.

Another from Daily Kos: Yesterday we covered Pastor Matt Makela, the anti-gay Michigan pastor who was outed on Grindr.

Today a young man and his mother have stepped forward with their own story about Pastor Matt Makela. Tyler Kish was a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and sought counsel from Pastor Makela. His advice nearly caused Tyler to commit suicide:

"If he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide," Jennifer Kish said, regarding what Makela told her son.

He didn’t stop there:

Jennifer Kish said the pastor also became vocal on social media about how he felt her son being gay was wrong and that as a parent she shouldn’t support him.

I have zero problem with Pastor Mark Makela being gay. However, I support outing him and causing him to lose his job to stop his hate-filled behavior, as a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrite, from harming more parishioners.

From NY Times: After vigorous debate and intense last-minute pressure by Republican leaders, the Senate on Saturday rejected legislation that would curb the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records…

…The Senate will reconvene on May 31 to try again. But any extension is far from certain to get approval from the House, which is in recess until June 1, with at least one member threatening to block it.

Help keep the good news good. Harass your Senators.

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May 232015
 

The surprises keep coming.  Last night I fell into a deep sleep, between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.  Since preparations for my prison volunteer trip next week and my ongoing medical mayhem have kept me completely occupied, I had no idea that the opening ceremonies for the annual Portland Rose Festival wired also last night.  The launch site for the fireworks is six blocks away.  The blasts echoing between they downtown buildings amplifies the noise level.  I awakened thinking I had fallen asleep during an MRI.  I did get back to sleep eventually, but not soon enough.  My doctor’s staff continues to screw up.  The Orthopedist to whom they referred me was actually the nurses station of the Orthopedics floor of the hospital.  The nurse was quite amused when I tried to schedule an appointment with a doctor through her.  I think I found one on my own, but my doctor’s office tool a 5 day weekend. ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Reinvent Education

Wall-to-wall testing and skyrocketing tuition have destroyed American education. Here’s how we fix it. \

 

Amen to everything he said. This is the fifth video in the series and now the Reich on the left has been right five times. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

From Daily Kos: A judge has sentenced an Arizona woman to 3 ½ years in prison for running over her husband with an SUV because he didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Thirty-one-year-old Holly Nicole Solomon of Mesa pleaded guilty to assault charges stemming from injuries her husband suffered days after President Barack Obama was re-elected. She was sentenced on Thursday.

Authorities say Solomon was upset about Obama’s re-election…

Republicans seem to take voting more seriously that we do, even though their solutions for every obstacle are criminal and/or violent.

From NY Times: Ever since the Gold Rush, California farmers have staked their claim to water and ferociously protected their rights to use it to irrigate the crops that have made the state the greengrocer for the nation.

But on Friday, in a sign of how the record-setting drought is shaking up established ways here, state officials accepted an offer from farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to give up a quarter of their water this season, either by leaving part of their land unplanted or finding other ways to reduce their water use. In return, the state has assured them that it will not seek further reductions for the growing season.

It looks like people are going to go hungry, because oil and coal, the m,ain causes of the drought, are not edible.

Cartoon:

0523Cartoon

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May 222015
 

Last night I returned from the shower and reached into my drawer for clean underwear.  Imagine my horror when I discovered a handful of air!!!  So I rose early this morning and did the dreaded task, but am now even more tired and further behind than before.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:05 (average 7:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Her neighbors are paying $18 a month. Joyce Villegas has been paying almost $400 a month for over three years because of delays from Hawaiian Electric, the state’s utility company.

 

Here we have a case of a blue state trying to do the right thing, but failing to organize it properly. The result is that people still waiting are subsidizing the utility service of people who have installed panels. 1:1 buyback sounds nice, but it’s not realistic, because it ignores the need to maintain the power grid.

From The New Yorker: Suspects in the recent biker brawl in Waco, Texas, only slightly outnumber the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, leading some voters to have difficulty distinguishing between the two groups, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, voters who were presented the names of a biker-brawl suspect and a Republican Presidential candidate correctly identified both only thirty per cent of the time.

For example, fifty-seven per cent of voters erroneously identified the former Texas Governor Rick Perry as a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, while forty-one per cent believed he belonged to the Cossacks.

Adding to voters’ confusion, the biker brawlers and G.O.P. candidates have identical views on a host of issues, such as gun rights and whether they would feel comfortable attending a gay wedding.

Andy is off in a couple places here. First, isn’t "Wacko" a better way to spell the town’s name? Second, he missed an obvious solution. Just replace the current clown car with the biker brawl suspects, who are eminently more qualified to govern.

From Media Matters: Fox News’ misleading smear of food stamp recipients as surfing freeloaders found its way into a congressional hearing aimed at examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

On May 20, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the "Past, Present, and Future of SNAP." Throughout the hearing, Fox News’ misleading 2013 special, "The Great Food Stamp Binge" that attempted to make a surfing freeloader "the new face of food stamps" was referenced several times as evidence of abuse within the program.

Fox’s misrepresentation of food stamp recipients found its way into the hearing when two members on the committee used the special as anecdotal evidence of abuse within SNAP. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) used Fox’s example of a "surfer out in California living on food stamps and eating lobster" as evidence of abuse within the program, though he "forg[o]t which network" aired the special.

Later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) also referenced "the surfer that was on one of the news channels," claiming, "unfortunately, we see that in our districts, and I hear stories about that every day."

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has become the Republican Reichsministry of Policy.

Cartoon:

0522Cartoon

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May 212015
 

I’m about to leave to get the results of my MRI, so I’ll put in the Puzzle and the Cartoon now to save me time later and finish this when I return.

I’m back.  The MRI showed deterioration in my rotator cup, so my doctor is referring me to an osteopath to determine what treatment I need.  It was a very long day and I’m shot.  Hugs!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:33 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

0520Cartoon-TCWaitingroom

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May 202015
 

Of course I’m still buried with work to do.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my MRI results.  It’s with my doctor that moved across town, so I’ll be gone most of the day.  Expect a Personal Update at most.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: (all Kos to save me time)

From Daily Kos: Bill O’Reilly is a terrible, dumb, vicious, hypocrite. Now you might add wife-beater to that litany of the obscenities that come to mind when O’Reilly crosses your radar. Gawker is reporting that, according to documents from O’Reilly’s recently lost custody case against his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, O’Reilly is not just a vulgar verbally and mentally abusive, bullying type—he’s also a physically assaulting type of bully:

According to a source familiar with the facts of the case, a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that O’Reilly’s daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching.

O’Lielly must have a Republican reason for such a Republican crime. Could it be that she demanded to wear shoes?

From Daily Kos: Today the Arizona legislature did what no other state in the nation has been mean-spirited enough to do: they cut lifetime welfare benefits to one year for everyone — adults and children, the physically and mentally disabled. Most states have a five-year limit, while thirteen others impose a two-year cutoff. Texas (of course) has a flexible limit that can be as short as one year, but even children are exempt in the Lone Star State. Not so for Arizona! We’re Number 1!

As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program when the budget year begins in July.

It does not matter to Arizona Republicans that the federal government is paying for the aid. What does is that they get to starve hungry children.

From Daily Kos: Wired put together a very interesting piece on the renewable energy company Vortex. They are now field testing bladeless wind energy turbines.

Instead of capturing energy via the circular motion of a propeller, the Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices. Vorticity has long been considered the enemy of architects and engineers, who actively try to design their way around these whirlpools of wind. And for good reason: With enough wind, vorticity can lead to an oscillating motion in structures, which, in some cases, like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, can cause their eventual collapse.

Wooo Hooo!!! Some good news for a change!!

Cartoon:

0520Cartoon

The attackers were the people the Republican Party embraced and supported, as part of their Southern Strategy.

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