May 022015
 

It’s afternoon and writing today’s Monthly Report has occupied most of the day.  So please color me in rush mode..

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:16 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Sen. Merkley: We Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Two Budgets for the Best Off

 

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley still leads the way.

From Upworthy: On the latest episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver takes a look at the fashion industry’s repeated promises to stop using child labor.

 

In my opinion, all clothing made using child labor should be seized at the border and burned. All Republicans who help the corporate criminals gut the regulations should be seized at the ballot box and unemployed.

From NY Times: No matter how Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey spins the George Washington Bridge scandal as he eyes a run for president, one thing should be clear: These are his people, charged with a conspiracy to exact revenge against a local mayor by closing lanes to one of the world’s busiest bridges.

David Wildstein, a Christie associate who once held a top job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to the incident. Two others indicted on Friday for allegedly participating in the scheme were also members of Mr. Christie’s inner circle.

Their behavior shows Mr. Christie’s inability to choose employees, to manage them and, most important, to keep them from abusing their power. His failure to do so created a culture that allowed his underlings to bully the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, by creating a monster traffic jam in 2013 and then lying about it.

I still hope that, after formal indictments are handed down, and the real plea bargaining starts, PIGnocchio will be spitted and served with an apple in his mouth.

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May 012015
 

I’m in the middle of the busiest day I’ve had in a long time.  In addition to my normal paperwork for home and volunteer work for the beginning of a new month, it’s time to change polls.  It’s also an international holiday.  I started collecting the data and preparing the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report at 4:00 AM.  I didn’t even get started on the rest until after 8:00.  ARGH!  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on pace to adopt rival Bernie Sanders’s positions on all major issues by noon on Thursday, Clinton campaign officials have confirmed.

Within minutes of Sanders’s entry into the Democratic race, Clinton released position papers on trade, income inequality, national defense, and the environment that meticulously aped the Vermont senator’s views on those matters.

Awaking at 8 A.M., Sanders, who had planned to run to the left of Clinton in 2016, discovered that, while he was sleeping, she had already begun running slightly to the left of him.

Oh Andy!! FOMCROTFPIMPLMAO!!

From Daily Kos: Aaron Slator is now the former president of AT&T’s content and advertising sales for the U-verse TV services wing of AT&T. What cost him his job managing billions of dollars? Probably the recently $100 million discrimination lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. It must be pretty bad to get a top executive fired.

The images in question were found on Slator’s phone by an assistant who was asked to transfer data to a new phone, according to the lawsuit filed by Knoyme King, a 50-year-old black woman who worked for Slator.

The lawsuit said one of the images, apparently of an African child dancing with the caption "It’s Friday …" followed by a term offensive to African Americans, had been sent in a text describing it as an "oldie but a goodie".

Slator’s termination is not stopping King’s lawsuit from going forward.

Racism among top executives ahold not be a surprise. 1% Republicans are the people, who fund racism.

From NY Times: It is hard to overstate the extent to which work no longer results in a decent paycheck and a rising standard of living in this country. The portion of the economic pie that goes to working people is currently near the smallest on record, in data going back to 1947. Similarly, the gap between worker pay and labor productivity has widened since the 1970s. In a healthy economy, wages and productivity would rise in tandem, but in recent decades, productivity gains have flowed increasingly to executive compensation and shareholder returns, rather than wages.

These dynamics are not inevitable. Low-wage employers, in particular, pay low wages because they can and the main reason they can is that Congress has failed, over decades, to adequately update the minimum wage and other labor standards, including rules for overtime pay, employee benefits and union organizing.

That failure has had deep and perverse repercussions, extending beyond harming low-wage workers. As a recent report in The Times by Patricia Cohen explained, when work does not pay workers enough to get by, they are forced to rely on public assistance programs, mainly Medicaid, food stamps and low-earner tax credits.

Nearly three-fourths of the people helped by public aid for the poor are members of families headed by someone who works, according to a new study by the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California. It estimates that state and federal governments spend more than $150 billion a year on such aid.

It’s about time we started getting some mainstream coverage that allowing employers to abuse workers is just another form of Republican welfare for the rich.

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Apr 302015
 

I’m still dealing with considerable pain, but not enough to shut me down completely.  In addition, I’m rewarding myself for writing with  a kitty sun nap, as our high will be over 70°.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:05). To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: There’s something timeless about this American classic that America can’t seem to outgrow.

 

I first read To Kill a Mocking Bird in 1962. I was 12. I identified with it, because my father’s extreme racism was so offensive to me. It certainly has a message for today. Click through for five lessons that still apply.

From Daily Kos: Some nasty, malevolent wingnut took it on himself to spoil a kindergarten concert in Iowa by yelling "USA! English Only!" over and over when the concert was introduced first in English, and then by a Spanish translator to accommodate Spanish speaking toddlers and their parents.

This occurred last week at the local Performing Arts Center in Perry, Iowa, about 40 miles Northwest of Des Moines, during a concert by Perry Elementary School students.  The incident was caught on a 12-second video and provided to the Perry News.

 

They may mot know who this shameful racist is, but we’ve seen this TEAbuggery so much, that what he is, is clear. He is a Republican.

From Crooks and Liars: Let’s hope Jon Stewart was right when he said this about the oral arguments we heard this week on gay marriage in front of the Supreme Court.

STEWART: Bottom line is this. If oral arguments have any impact on the final result, June’s going to be a nice time for a gay wedding.

Amen to that. Stewart started off his show this Wednesday by going after the wingnuts [sic] on the Supreme Court and former solicitor general of Michigan John Bursch, and the extremely lame arguments we heard from them against the issue of same-sex marriage.

Now that Republicans have had their oral arguments, it’s time for them to get their anal arguments. Hold the KY. 😉

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Apr 292015
 

I’m still feeling considerable pain and can barely walk, but I have to be up waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries, so here are a couple quick articles.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (average 4:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: But there’s a four-letter acronym that allows food companies to pretty much add what they want to foods without FDA interference. It’s known as "GRAS" and refers to food additives "generally regarded as safe."

Horrifyingly, this practice has allegedly led to at least one death — that of 11-year-old Miles Bengco, whose story is featured after the video below. He thought he was eating just a burger, but his family didn’t know it had an additive related to fungi in it, something they otherwise would have avoided given his preexisting respiratory problems.

 

This loophole clearly needs to be closed, but Republicans stand in the way. Click through for detail on how this corporate criminals murdered Miles Bengco.

From Daily Kos: Sweet Cakes By Melissa is the Oregon bakery whose owners refused to bake a same-sex couple’s wedding cake. The couple took the owners to court and won the case. Oregon is one of the states that provides civil rights protections for gay folks. The judge in the case has proposed a settlement of $135K. So, a GoFundMe account was set up to help raise the funds. However, now GoFundMe has cancelled the account.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

Friday, after nearly two years in court, an Oregon judge recommended Aaron and Melissa Klein be fined $135,000 for discriminating against a same-sex couple. The Kleins, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had refused to bake a wedding cake for the couple.

On their Facebook page yesterday, the Kleins posted a link to a GoFundMe fundraising campaign set up for them. In just four hours it had reached over $20,000. It quickly increased to a reported $109,000 before GoFundMe canceled it.

Why?

GoFundMe says it does not allow money to be raised on their site for people who have been found to be in violation of the law.

And you say I don’t bring you GOOD news. :-)

From The New Yorker: As Justice Antonin Scalia weighed in on same-sex marriage at the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg interrupted the proceedings by announcing, “Someone wake me up when he stops talking.”

There was stunned silence in the courtroom after the pronouncement by Justice Ginsburg, who had been visibly nodding off during Scalia’s remarks, her head jerking upward violently at various junctures.

“Look, it’s not like he’s going to say anything on this subject that I haven’t heard him say nine zillion times before,” she said. “I’m gonna get me some shut-eye.”

Andy should also note that is she had chosen to sleep until Injustice "Teabag" Thomas actually says something, she would sleep through her own funeral.

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Apr 282015
 

I’m afraid I need to take another day off.  I have a scheduling mess trying to get an MRI scheduled for my bad shoulder.  The provider to which my doctor’s back office sent me is not in network for my coverage.  In addition, tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and I can barely walk.  I’m also in a lot of pain.  Hopefully I can do better tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:29 (average 4:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

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Apr 272015
 

I’ve had a rough day.  The sun was in my eyes,  My walker wheel stuck in a rut.  The walker went over.  I fell and sprained my leg.  Fortunately the doctor said no permanent damage.  When I returned home the elevator was broken down,  Building staff carried my walker for me, but I had to climb two flights of stairs with a sprained leg.  I’m exhausted.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:43 (average 5:49).  To do it click here.  How did you do? (I did it this morning before I left.)

Cartoon:

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Apr 262015
 

Tomorrow I have my semi-annual appointment with my primary care doctor.  She is the one that moved to the far side of town.  I have to take the lift bus, so my half hour appointment will probably take me 5 – 7 hours.  Today I need to prepare for that, and do tomorrow’s chores in addition to today’s.  Expect only a Personal Update tomorrow, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:04).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: No, I don’t want to take my clothes off to board the plane, and no, I really don’t want to surrender my civil liberties in the name of what they call security.

I’d heard about the TSA’s S.P.O.T. (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program before and was aware that they were using it, but I had no idea how much it costs (over $1 billion) or that, scientifically, it’s bunk.

Next time you go to the airport, stand in line and just TRY to not be nervous as you see TSA agents look at you to decide if you’re sweating too much, or if you’re just a wee bit too jumpy. Or have the wrong skin color.

 

I can spot a terrorist. Here’s one.

BonerOrange

From Daily Kos: So mere hours after the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Texas wasted no more time and re-instituted the same redistricting plan the courts had already ruled as unconstitutional.  The same with their new voter suppression bill.

Attorney General Holder was having none of it, however.  Texas was the first lawsuit to be filed by the Justice Department under Section 2 of the Voting Right Act. 

And now Texas is presenting its defense. It is using two main arguments.

And boy, are they doozies….

…1st, says Attorney General Greg Abbott, the redistricting is not about race.  Oh no.  It’s about not allowing DEMOCRATS to vote.  White Democrats too.

From their brief:

DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats….The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated by partisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.

Translation:

"So, basically, we just want to fuck over all Democrats, and if the Black and Brown people are also hurt, well, they shouldn’t vote for Democrats, should they?  It’s only collateral damage"

This is a classic from 8/13/2013. Nothing had changed.

From NY Times: Nine declared or likely Republican candidates descended on a large church in Iowa on Saturday to court evangelical Christians, the voters who played the starring role in the state’s two most recent caucuses.

They included the winners of those two contests (Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee), newcomers whose biographies lend themselves to evangelical support (Ted Cruz and Scott Walker), and candidates who would like to win some support from the Christian right but are eyeing broad coalitions (Rand Paul and Marco Rubio).

The nine-candidate lineup in the worship hall of Point of Grace Church [pseudo-Christians delinked] in Waukee, a Des Moines suburb, was proof of evangelical power in Iowa, but also a warning that the script may be rewritten in 2016, with so many candidates competing for social conservatives that their votes splinter.

We need to take note of the promises Republicans make to throe pseudo-Christian base, pandering to their greed, bigotry and intolerance. Then we get to impale them on the quotes they make in Iowa all the nay to election day.

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