Jul 062015
 

I actually made it out for a few minutes this morning to visit the corner store and pick up some staples, and I actually managed some kitty solar basking.  I left at 8:00 AM, and by 8:30 the heat had driven me back inside.  Even in the coolest part of the day, the hallway temperature outside my door stays over 90°.  This heat wave is getting really frustrating!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:45 (average 6:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. Welcome!! How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Amanda Monroe testified at a hearing about raising the minimum wage to show why $15 per hour would make all the difference in the lives of her and her son.

 

Very well said!

From Alternet: Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been described as radical or fringe by some but many of Sanders’ views and policy proposals are supported by Americans, according to public opinion surveys.

1. Health Care For All

Sanders is critic of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it doesn’t go far enough and calling for a “Medicare-for-all” single-payer healthcare plan, similar to programs in most developed democratic nations.

“We are the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people as a right and yet we end up spending much more than they do. So I do believe that we have to move toward a Medicare for all, single-payer system,” Sanders told ABC News.

The idea is extremely popular among Democrats, with nearly 80 percent in support according to a January 2015 poll by the Progressive Change Institute. The poll found that a majority of Americans overall supported a Medicare-for-all insurance option.

And seven in 10 Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents agreed with the statement, “it is the responsibility of the government in Washington to see to it that people have help in paying for doctors and hospital bills.” Three-quarters of Republicans and Republican-leaning respondents disagreed according to the most recent Gallup survey.

I shared one of five listed. Click through for the other four.

From Crooks and Liars:

As an untrained observer watching events unfold in Greece from afar, it certainly appeared to me that the IMF was doing its very best to nullify Greece's government with its demands for austerity measures in a country already dealing with a deep economic crisis.

Evidently it appeared that way to Greeks, too, who soundly rejected the IMF austerity plan in favor of something else. What that something else is, exactly, is yet to be determined.

Paul Krugman:

Tsipras and Syriza have won big in the referendum, strengthening their hand for whatever comes next. But they’re not the only winners: I would argue that Europe, and the European idea, just won big — at least in the sense of dodging a bullet.

I know that’s not how most people see it. But think of it this way: we have just witnessed Greece stand up to a truly vile campaign of bullying and intimidation, an attempt to scare the Greek public, not just into accepting creditor demands, but into getting rid of their government. It was a shameful moment in modern European history, and would have set a truly ugly precedent if it had succeeded.

But it didn’t. You don’t have to love Syriza, or believe that they know what they’re doing — it’s not clear that they do, although the troika has been even worse — to believe that European institutions have just been saved from their own worst instincts. If Greece had been forced into line by financial fear mongering, Europe would have sinned in a way that would sully its reputation for generations. Instead, it’s something we can, perhaps, eventually regard as an aberration.

And if Greece ends up exiting the euro? There’s actually a pretty good case for Grexit now — and in any case, democracy matters more than any currency arrangement.

Click through for more detail. It is sad that some (very few) Europeans have made a point of badmouthing the US. While most of the criticism leveled against this country is deserved, perhaps these folks should focus some of their attentions inward. I am NOT referring to the excellent constructive criticism from folks like Lona and Pat.

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Jul 052015
 

It’s another sweltering day.  Even in my apartment, the only way to stay cool is to sit directly in front of the A/C.  Only minor relief is in sight, and that, not until next weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:10 (average 6:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Mrs. Clinton has made support for gay people one of the cornerstones of her presidential campaign. Two days before the Supreme Court ruled last month that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, her campaign released a video that featured a montage of same-sex weddings.

 

A lot of us, myself included, may not be altogether happy with Hillary, but just try to imagine this video coming from any of the hateful bigots in the Republican Clown Car.

From Liberals Unite: Actor and social justice activiest George Takei slammed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during an interview with Fox 10 this week in Phoenix.

 

What else is there to say? Teabag Thomas should take Scalia with him!

From Robert Reich: President Obama is said to be considering an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending. He should sign it immediately.

But he should go further and ban all political spending by federal contractors that receive more than half their revenues from government.

Ever since the Supreme Court’s shameful Citizens United decision, big corporations have been funneling large amounts of cash into American politics, often secretly.

Bad enough. But when big government contractors do the funneling, American taxpayers foot the bill twice over: We pay their lobbying and campaign expenses. And when those efforts nab another contract, we pay for stuff we often don’t need.

This is especially true for defense contractors – the biggest federal contractors of all.

Click through for more from the Reich on the left, as he demonstrates why the Republican Reich, the Reich on the right, is wrong.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Happiness of Pursuit.

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Jul 042015
 

It’s Independence Day, and here in Portland the killer heat wave goes on.  I’d like to wander downstairs tonight  to see if I can watch the fireworks at Waterfront Park (11,800 shots) from the corner, by looking down Oak St., but that will have to wait until next year.  It will still well over 80°.  ARGH!  You all have a safe, happy day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took 3:16 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Thursday night, Jon Stewart recapped Donald Trump’s latest PR embarrassment. After calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" last week and suffering the entirely predictable and righteous backlash, Trump went on a media tour to explain his strange, racist diatribe.

 

Jon is spot on. He has Hairball pegged to the roots.

From Crooks and Liars: While discussing an admittedly flawed online poll asking whether or not the Americans responding would consider leaving the United States to go live in another country (with 55 percent of millennials responding in the affirmative due to the economy) the yappers on Fox’s The Five did their best to try to pretend that the economy hasn’t been improving during the Obama administration, and to push the latest right wing talking points about the declining labor participation rates.

Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle also used the opportunity to attack millennials as a bunch of lazy moochers who just want free stuff. How dare they want to live in a country where they have a chance to get a good education, have adequate health care coverage and a job that pays a living wage?

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Here we have a perfect example of why people who get their information from Faux Noise are more poorly informed that people who have no access at all to news.

From Daily Kos: Looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t bowing to the wishes of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush on ending the Senate’s filibuster rule in order to ease the path to repealing Obamacare. Alexander Bolton has the details:

Sources close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) say there’s virtually no chance he will go along with abolishing the filibuster, something he has strongly criticized in the past. […] 

Bush and Walker recently told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt they would support lowering the threshold for major legislation from 60 votes to a simple majority. Curbing the power of the Senate minority would make it easier to repeal and replace ObamaCare in 2017.

I have to confess that I was wrong about this. I have said many times thaat Bought Bitch Mitch would use the nuclear option, if Republicans took control of the Senate. What I failed to take into account is that the odds that Democrats will retake the Senate in November 2016 are so high that Bought Bitch Mitch fears losing the ability to be a filibastard then.  When I’m wrong, I say so.

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Jul 032015
 

It’s another day, and the unrelenting heat continues.  The webs between by toes, developed from living in cool, rainy Oregon for thirty-six years are cracked and brittle.  The long range forecast sets the next day, below 90° as 7/11.  This weather would be exceptional in the heat season, August and early September, not June and July.  ARGH!!  Although today is the official holiday, I’ll save Independence Day greetings for tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:15 (average 5:08 (COPD coughing attack in mid-solve)).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: The Associated Press’ (AP) report on a meeting between lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) completely ignored the nationwide controversy Bundy sparked in 2014 when he made a series of racist comments about "the Negro." Paul himself repudiated Bundy at the time for his "offensive" commentary, a fact that was also missing from the AP article.

According to the AP, Bundy and Paul met during a June 29 campaign event in Mesquite, Nevada. Bundy said of Paul to the AP, "In general, I think we’re in tune with each other." Politico additionally reported that the two men spoke for 45 minutes.

In its report, AP described the April 2014 armed standoff between Bundy supporters and federal law enforcement agents as "one of the more dramatic conflicts over land rights in recent years," but made no mention of Bundy’s infamous racist commentary…

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

It is media bias at it’s worst to ignore support from Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot for this racist Republican terrorist.

From Daily Kos:

Jeb! has called Obamacare "flawed to its core" on several occasions, but apparently it wasn’t too flawed for him to make a handsome profit from. Josh Barro reports.

According to tax returns released by Mr. Bush’s campaign on Tuesday, he sold $1,103,424 worth of stock in Tenet Healthcare in September and October of 2013, yielding a capital gain of $556,283. It hadn’t taken Mr. Bush long to double his money — he was selling shares he had acquired in 2010 and 2011.[…]

…Mr. Bush’s tax returns reflect a gain of 105 percent on Tenet stock he acquired in May 2011 and sold in October 2013. Tenet shares actually gained 68 percent over that period; Mr. Bush’s higher gain may be related to his receipt of restricted stock grants. Still, Tenet’s 68 percent gain was much stronger than the 26 percent overall gain for the S.&P. 500 index over the same period.

And why did Tenet’s stocks outperform other stocks? Because investors anticipated that Obamacare would make hospitals more profitable, with increased usage and fewer payment defaults by uninsured patients.

There’s nothing unusual for a Republican or a Bush here.

From NY Times: Jim Webb, a former Virginia senator and Reagan-era secretary of the Navy, announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, bringing his antiwar credentials to the field in what many consider a long-shot campaign for the presidency.

Mr. Webb’s announcement caught some political observers by surprise. He was the first from either party to form a presidential exploratory committee but has been barely visible since.

I was for him when he ran for Senator against George Allen, Macaca Man, but except for his opposition to the Iraq War, he’s been mostly a Republican posing as a Democrat, and should be treated as such.

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These are O-rings.

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Jul 022015
 

The heat wave continues.  I took a thermometer down the hall to the shower room with me at 4:00 AM.  Because the building collects the heat the temperature was 102°.  I hate taking a shower and mopping up my own sweat, before I finish drying.  Portland remains under a severe weather alert for excessive heat through the weekend.  I did manage, however to get about 6 hours sleep in the last 24.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 5:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: There have been so many ridiculous responses to the Supreme Court ruling on the side of marriage equality, it would be quite the challenge to pinpoint the stupidest of them all. The Who’s Who of right-wing crackpots seem to all have a bet going to see which one of them can make the most outlandish, perverse statement against all this gay marriage having. I believe we may have a real contender for top prize in Arkansas pastor Tim Brooks.

David Barton, who delights in wildly distorting American history to suit his fundamentalist Christian beliefs, founded an organization called Wallbuilders [Republican hate group delinked]. Of course they have their own radio show called Wallbuilders Live. It was on their whackadoodle airwaves that Pastor Brooks gave us what very well may have been the most over-the-top overreaction of over-the-top overreactions.

His voice rising to fever pitch, Brooks asserted that America has gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah. He then leaps to the logical conclusion that gay people will be coming to your home, dragging you into the street, bending you over and having at you with lusty gusto.

If ever there was a case of projection, this is it. What this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian describes with his antichristian lies is exactly what the Republican Party is doing to the American people.

From Washington Post: …Today, as he works toward his run at the White House, Bush touts his business experience as a strength that gives him the skills and savvy to serve as the nation’s chief executive. He has said he “worked my tail off” to succeed. As an announced candidate, Bush soon will be making financial disclosures that will reveal recent business successes and show a substantial increase in his wealth since he left office as Florida governor in 2007, individuals close to the candidate told The Post.

But records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk…

Criminal business dealings runs in Strike Three’s family. GW ChickenHawk’s scams are legendary, and the clan’s patriarch, Prescott Bush, committed treason. He continued to profit by selling war materials to Hitler, even after the US and Germany were at war.

From Upworthy: As if Dolly Parton wasn’t cool enough, look what she’s been doing for kids — every single month.

 

Kudos to Dolly! While she won’t get involved in "politics", we know that she is not a Republican, because she supports gay marriage and women’s rights. Rumor has it that she tried to be a feminist once, but when she tried to burn her bra, they had to call the fire department to put it out. Winking smile

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Jul 012015
 

I’m still feeling quite ill, but it’s a new month and I’m swamped.  It’s a grocery delivery day, and I have a Monthly Report and a new poll to prepare.  I did get some sleep, but need more.  The record heat wave goes on and on and on.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:43 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A man with a headache walks into a hospital and is whisked into the rigmarole of American health care. He’s floored by what he learns at the end of his visit. Hint: It isn’t his diagnosis. It’s his hospital bill.

 

Now that the battle for the ACA is won, it’s time grow it into Medicare for all.

From National Popular Vote: TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

Oregon is ignored in presidential races by both parties because candidates have no reason to pay attention to the concerns of voters in states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Presidential campaigns are conducted in only about 9 closely divided "battleground" states — making Oregon and most other states into mere "spectators" to the presidential election.

Tell your State Legislators to support the National Popular Vote Bill. The bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This would make every vote equal throughout the United States. That, in turn, would ensure that every Oregon voter would matter in every presidential election.

Click Through to find the National Popular Vote project in your state. Oregonians, click through to contact your legislators.

From MSNBC: Chris Christie political bridge burning haunts him for 2016

Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about how New Jersey governor Chris Christie made enemies of his fellow Republicans during the Romney campaign and now works from a deficit for 2016.

 

Rachel leaves no stone unturned here. For the effect of PIGnocchio boarding the Clown Car, see below.

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Jun 302015
 

I feel exhausted.  My COPD is flaring up severely.  Every time I try to sleep, coughing prevents it.  Today I have an all MSNBC Short Takes section for you., and a second article.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From MSNBC: GOP candidates resist gay marriage

Republican presidential hopefuls vow to continue the fight against marriage equality despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. Ed Schultz, Rep. Mark Pocan, Mike Rogers and Tobias Wolff talk it out.

 

Hypocrites all! Mike Rogers had it right: "It looks like sheer InsaniTEA." Retention elections for SCROTUS, Republican Constitutional VD, is a terrible idea. I would support however term limits for both Democratic Justices and Republican Injustices.

From MSNBC: Who is burning black churches?

The FBI and ATF are now helping investigate a string of fires at black churches in the South since the massacre in Charleston, at least three of which are being investigated as arson, prompting #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches to trend nationally on Twitter.

 

Chris didn’t quite come out and say what he is thinking. I did. See my cartoon below.

From MSNBC: Top tier GOP candidate Trump dealt blow to business for Mexico remarks

Rachel Maddow reviews the latest developments in the crowded Republican 2016 primary field, including Donald Trump polling in second place nationally but suffering for his remarks about Mexican immigrants, with NBC now severing ties with him.

 

Kudos to NBC. Nobody has ever deserves to get fired more than Hairball does. But I want him on that debate stage to give the clown car a flat tire. I hope PIGnocchio is indicted before the debates begin, Morfan has him perfectly pegged.

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