Feb 242017
 

I’m struggling through another very busy day.  It’s not so much that I have more to do than I did a year ago, as it is that my vision makes everything I do take much longer.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Donald Trump Must Go | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

I’ve never seen anyone present evidence so much like a machine gun.  I’ll summarize in two words. Amen!! RESIST!!

From Politico: House Republicans next week plan to derail a Democratic resolution that would have forced disclosure of President Donald Trump’s potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest, according to multiple House sources.

Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called “resolution of inquiry” — a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right — Republicans will send proposal by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution.

Without committee action, obscure parliamentary procedures would allow Democrats to call the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full House. But rejection by the Judiciary panel all but assures the measure will never see a floor vote.

Here is a list of House Judiciary Committee members. If one is from your state, please demand approval. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party’s depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint has already been chosen for them — by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump.

Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how to handle Mr. Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise.

Now, spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents — and outraged themselves by Mr. Trump’s swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda — Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the Republican approach of the last eight years — the “party of no” — and wagering that brash obstruction will pay similar dividends.

To do otherwise would be suicidal. RESIST!!

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Feb 192017
 

Wendy just left having destinked the foul TomCat, helped with the dreaded task and some light housework, and received a back rub with Icy-Hot, because she tweaked it in the bar last night.  That was the high point of my day.  She also had fried eggs and potatoes for brunch.  Now I have some catching up to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:36 (average 6:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Ex-convict and white supremacist Benjamin McDowell, 28, was arrested after buying a handgun and ammunition from an FBI agent for $109.

McDowell had complained on facebook that fellow white supremacists were all talk and no action: "All they wanne (sic) do is stay loaded on drugs the Jews put here to destroy white man and they feast on the drugs. they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline" he wrote, also citing Dylan Roof, the white mass murderer sentenced to death for the murder of a group of black churchgoers.

Authorities began investigating McDowell in December after he posted threats to a synagogue on Facebook.

Since President Trump was sworn in, vowing to keep America safe from terrorism, and issuing a travel ban against Muslim countries that was later blocked by the courts, this is the third white American to be investigated for a terrorist plot.

Click through for more terrorism by Trump Republicans.  It’s a good thing the FBI got this one before the Nectarine Nazi gave him Flynn’s job. RESIST!!

From Think Progress: Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort — which he refers to as “the Winter White House” — will bring in millions of dollars in membership fees each year while allowing members to have the ear of the president.

According to a New York Times piece published on Saturday, Trump’s son Eric told the newspaper that Mar-a-Lago admits about 20 to 40 new members each year. Considering that Mar-a-Lago raised its initiation fees to $200,0000 after Trump’s presidential inauguration, that’s up to $8 million dollars coming in from new members per year. And that doesn’t include taxes or the $14,000 charge for each member’s annual dues.

While clearly criminal, the likelihood that Beauregard will investigate, let alone indict him is nil. RESIST!!

From Raw Story: Almost all congressional Republicans are scared of facing voters in town hall meetings over the long President’s Day weekend. Only 19 representatives and senators—a tiny number—will hold town meetings during the first recess of the current session of Congress, according to the Town Hall Project. But the group’s listing of these democratic mainstays barely tells the story.

According to an eye-opening Washington Post account, Republican officeholders have been cancelling planned town halls because they don’t want to face critics upset that they may soon lose their health insurance or see an increase in costs as the GOP plans to undermine Obamacare. Even worse, they don’t want organized progressive groups to show up with posters and video camera and determination to challenge them in public and post the confrontations on YouTube.

“According to the Town Hall Project, which collates information about public town halls, there are no availabilities in Utah—where every federal officeholder is a Republican—over the coming week,” WaPo wrote. “That’s not a fluke. Just 19 Republican members of Congress have scheduled traditional town halls over the weeklong recess. Several more, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have listed ticketed events or “office hours;” a few more have announced tele-town halls, which allow constituents to lob questions without risking a “YouTube moment.”

This cowardly response is nothing new from immoderate Republicans; it’s in line with their partisan ethic that “anything goes” to win, except playing fair. They cannot win in many states without gerrymandering federal and state districts, which allowed them to seize power after the 2010 Census. They cannot win widely in high turnout elections, hence their efforts to limit participation by creating barriers like new voter ID laws or restricting voting options favored by critics, like early voting on weekends.

The bottom line here is this. Republicans don’t want to know what YOU think, because, unless you are a Nazi, a Misogynist, a pseudo-Christian, a Russian, or a billionaire, Republicans do not represent YOU! RESIST!!

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Dec 292016
 

News is still in short supply, unless one wishes to repeat the same stories, day after day, where only the individual identities of the targets of hatred from the Fuhrer and Republican Rectum Reich are new.  Nevertheless, I’m back in the saddle.  Yesterday’s bank run proved most interesting.  In the shower, Stumpy had bee3n hanging down without a shrinker, causing him to expand, and the hot water made it worse, so as I dressed to go out, Stumpy would not fit into George.  Thankfully, Wendy accompanied me to the bank, and in return, I treated her to burritos from a neighborhood food cart.  Fortunately George popped on without difficulty today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: As the Republican Congress prepares to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, gutting Social Security benefits for seniors and the disabled, and other measures to please their billionaire donor base, they are apparently deathly afraid of the American public seeing them do it, and even more afraid of allowing the public to see the Democrats’ response:

House members could be fined and referred to the Ethics Committee if they break rules governing electronic video and pictures in the House chamber under a new rule proposed by House Republicans more than six months after the Democrats’ guerrilla sit-in over gun control.

"Any subsequent offense will be assessed at the higher amount, regardless of whether it is connected to any other offense by time or proximity," part of the proposal reads.

The “fine" would be $500 for the "first offense" of photographing or videotaping, with $2500 for every "subsequent offense," according to the proposed Rule.

In addition, the new Republican rule would ban anyone from seeing organized protests by the opposition, because sit-ins in the House well will be banned as well.

The First Amendment is suspended for the Republican Rectum Reich.  RESIST!!

From Robert Reich: [Resident]-elect Donald Trump is accusing President Obama of putting up “roadblocks” to a smooth transition.

In reality, I think President Obama has been too cooperative with Trump.

In the waning days of his administration, I’d recommend Obama take the following last stands:

1. Name Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill any vacancy during the recess of the Senate. The Supreme Court is no exception: Justice William Brennan began his Court tenure with a recess appointment in 1956. Any appointments made this way expire at the end of the next Senate session. So if Obama appointed Garland on January 3, the appointment would last until December 2017, the end of the first session of the 115th Congress.

The Reich on the left is right. I shared one. Click through for the other six. I particularly like number three.  RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show:

Taking credit where credit is NOT dueVice President Biden’s Former Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein talks to Ari Melber about how Trump is trying to take credit for job growth when his policies could very well undermine his constituents.

 

You can be sure that, as soon as the Pumpkin Plutocrat is responsible for any economic developments, he will give "credit" for them to Democrats.  RESIST!!

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Dec 132016
 

I’m waiting for Store to Door to call to take my grocery order.  I put George on for the first time this week to force Stumpy back into shape in time for Physical Terrorism with Courtney on Thursday.  The sun came out and has been hitting the brick facade for about an hour, so the room is getting hot, even though the temperature outside is 36° and the window is cracked about three inches.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:34 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own Fantasy Football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

14Scores

Prepare for the demise of the universe.  I won twice in a row.

Standings:

14Standings

Congrats to Rob for winning the Regular Season Championship.  At least I wasn’t dead last.  If Vivian had beaten Dusty, I would have moved up to 8th place and made the playoffs.  This the first time in many many years that I have ever failed to do so, but my season is now over.  Rest assured, I will continue to maintain the league and report the results of the next three weeks of playoffs for the rest of you.  I have already notified the site that we will continue next year, if Trump doesn’t destroy us first.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Is There a Russian Coup Underway in America? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

I agree with everything he said. It’s exactly what I have been saying. RESIST!

From The New Yorker: Donald Trump stirred controversy on Monday by revealing that he intends to spend only half his time as President at the Kremlin—and the remainder at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

His decision to limit his time at the Kremlin reportedly stemmed from his wife Melania’s desire not to uproot the Trump family by relocating full-time to Moscow.

“It was part of the deal when he ran for President that he would go to the Kremlin and she would stay behind in New York,” a source close to the Trumps said.

Appearing on Russian television, Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway said that Trump’s decision to split his time between Moscow and New York would have “no impact whatsoever” on his ability to function as an integral part of the Kremlin team.

Dang Andy!! I think the Fuhrer thinks the Russian Protest group, Pussy Riot, is something Putin put there for the Fuhrer to grab.

From Daily Kos: This is what doing the right thing looks like:

Saying that cyberattacks by foreign governments pose "grave threats" to U.S. national security, the senators’ statement said: "This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country."

Two Democratic senators — Chuck Schumer of New York and Jack Reed of Rhode Island joined two Republican senators — John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — in issuing the statement.

"We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security,” the statement said.

Is it real, or is it what Republicans normally mean by bipartisanship?

bipartisan_b2284

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Dec 112016
 

If you read the monthly reports, you will find that Politics Plus readers tend to be older, poor, and more female that male (although of course both are represented.)  Those of us living in the Unitd States who fit that description are probably living mostly or totally on the earned benefits of Social Security.  I know I am.

So I thought that the content of this article from Mother Jones should be posted to Politics Plus.

Now, it's nothing new that Republicans want to cut Social Security (or should I say gut Social Security?)  That has been true since it was created in 1935.  But usually, when government programs are cut that people depend on, current recipients at least are "grandfathered" in so that the cuts will apply to future beneficiaries.  Well, that's not exactly true of this bill.

The Mother Jones article includes the complete first draft of the bill, but also refers to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, from whom I'd like to quote:

[Y]ou're out of luck even if you're a current beneficiary….  [R]eviewing the summary of the GOP bill, keep the following in mind. If you've been working for any number of years, but especially if you've been working for two or three decades, you've been paying in not only money for current beneficiaries but additional money which was invested in US government bonds to make it possible for Social Security to pay benefits of Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers….  This plan appears to foresee the government never paying that back to Social Security. In other words, your payroll taxes have been socking away additional money to cover the growing senior population. But this bill says too bad. That money goes for high income tax cuts.

Nancy Pelosi had this to say:  "Apparently nothing upsets House Republicans like the idea of hard-working people getting to enjoy a secure and dignified retirement."  Yes, she went into more detail, but that sums it up.

Even Yahoo! Finance has a scary article: 

The bill introduced by Johnson, who was recently acting Chair of the Ways and Means committee, slashes benefits, adds means testing, and would raise the retirement age from 67 to 69.  For most workers, the bill would cut Social Security benefits substantially. As Michael Linden, associate director for tax and budget policy at Center for American Progress, pointed out on Twitter, a letter from Social Security’s Office of the Actuary calculated workers making around $50,000 would see checks shrink by between 11% and 35%.  Nearly every income bracket would see a reduction….

The Mother Jones article is the only one I found which has the actual complete text of the draft bill.  It is 54 pages long.  I haven't finished reading it myself yet – I am still dreading it.  But I wanted to get this up so we can all share.

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Nov 172016
 

The Senate Democrats announced their leadership team yesterday and I consider them a mixed bag that's moving in the right direction, but only in part.  I'm somewhat slow to condemn, because I realize that the Senate is one of the most tradition bound institutions in government, where seniority takes precedence.

1117berniesanderselizabethwarren

After Senator Charles Schumer of New York was elected as the new leader of the Senate Democrats earlier on Wednesday, he gave both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren leadership roles in the upcoming first Congress under President-elect Donald Trump.

Their roles are less meaningful than those of others on the leadership team, but their appointments are a sign that Democrats recognize and are responding to the progressive tilt in their party. Schumer had faced pressure to add the senators; earlier this week, dozens of protesters staged a sit-in outside of his office. Some liberals are skeptical of Schumer’s ties to Wall Street, while both Sanders and Warren are high-profile critics of big banks.

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, faced off against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. Even after it became clear she would win the nomination, he held on to his presidential bid and resisted endorsing Clinton. During that time he won major concessions while pushing the Democratic Party into approving the most progressive platform in its history, including seeking a $15 federal minimum wage and a carbon pricing regime to combat climate change.

Schumer had hoped to become Senate majority leader under a Clinton administration. But with Trump’s stunning victory last week, he will have to deal with a Republican in the White House and both houses of Congress under Republican control. Schumer will replace Harry Reid, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Senator Dick Durbin will continue in his role as party whip—the second-ranking Democrat—and Senator Patty Murray will assume the new title of assistant Democratic leader and be the third-ranking party member. Schumer’s team also includes Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first lesbian senator to hold a leadership role, and Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate…

From <Newsweek>

I'm not pleased with Schumer, but he was in line for the job.  While OK on most issues, he's too cozy with Wall Street Banksters and Vulture Capitalists.  According to GovTrack Durbin is better and ranks as 6th most progressive member of the Senate.  Patty Murray is 13th. Tammy Baldwin is 7th.  Joe Manchin, a horrid DINO, is 46th.  He should NOT have a leadership role.  Of course, my favorites are Bernie, who ranked 4th and Liz, who ranked 1st.

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