Jun 152017

Senator Chris Murphy had this to say today about the shooting yesterday at the Congressional Baseball practice:

I am going to play baseball tonight. And I want to be honest with you – I don’t know what to think about that.

On one hand, I’m glad the congressional baseball game is going forward in the wake of yesterday’s tragic, soul-crushing shooting. I’ve played catcher for the Democratic team for the better part of the last ten years, and the game, to me, is one of the few things that is truly good about Washington D.C. It’s a chance for Republicans and Democrats to put politics aside and create lasting friendships. And the game raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for local kids’ charities. Moving forward with the game, even after the shooting, sends an important signal that the tradition of bipartisanship represented by the century-old congressional baseball game cannot be ruined by one unhinged individual.

So I get the importance of displaying our resilience. But what does it say about us as a country that we can so easily move on from such a seemingly cataclysmic event? Are we so jaundiced to gun violence and mass shootings that it only takes us twenty four hours now to revert back to business as usual. I mean, a Congressman is in critical condition after a ten minute long shoot out, and it feels like this story has another day or two of attention before the news media, and the public, moves onto the next set of headlines.

This was the 154st mass shooting of 2017. You heard that right – number 154. Mass shootings, defined as incidents where four or more people are killed or injured by gunshots, are happening a higher rate in 2017 than previous years. And it feels like no one has noticed.

Maybe that’s because regular slaughter has become the norm in America. We are becoming massively desensitized to the carnage. That’s what I feared exactly one year ago today, when I went to the Senate floor in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting and held a 15 hour filibuster. I worried then that our reactions to mass shootings had become predictable and rote. And I still worry today.

So I’m going to suit up tonight. I might even consider tipping a few pitches to my friend Senator Jeff Flake, who tended to Steve Scalise’s wounds as he lay on the practice field yesterday morning, when he comes to bat.

But we can never ever let this feel normal. We can never forget that this pace of carnage happens nowhere else but America. No other nation has to live through mass shooting after mass shooting like the United States. And in the end, the data tells us there is only one explanation. We don’t spend less on law enforcement. We don’t have more mental illness. We just have more guns. There are more guns in America than people, and many of them are dangerous, military-style weapons and many others are in the hands of very dangerous people.

I am keeping Steve Scalise, the Capitol Police, and everyone who was at yesterday’s shooting in my thoughts. But after tonight’s game, I’ll get back to work. Because until the laws of this country change, the slaughter – and the risk of normalizing it all – won’t stop.

Thank you for reading.

Every best wish,

Chris Murphy
U.S. Senator, Connecticut

Normally the pithy Progressives I write about are seeking office, where Senator Murphy is already in office.  But I don't have a new Pithy Progressive this week, so perhaps this thoughtful and heartfelt essay (from a Senator whi represents the state Sandy Hook is in) will stand in.

Cross-posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4058092


GOP Rep Issa Coward

 Posted by at 1:43 pm  Politics
May 312017

Normally, when I have used the tag ‘GOP Fear’, it has referred to the manner in which Republicans instill fear in their sheeple to get them to goose-step without thought in blind obedience.  However, since passing the latest Republican plan to kill Granny, aka TrumpCare or RepubliCare, Republican reps have cowered in fear of their constituents.  Darrell may be the biggest coward of all.


A GOP congressman became an instant meme after taking to the roof of his district office to photograph protesters on the street below.

Social media users drew instant comparisons between Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Michael Scott, the bungling boss from “The Office,” following Tuesday’s bizarre incident at his office in Vista.

There were conflicting reports as to why Issa decided to go up on the roof in the first place. The lawmaker himself said he’d “spent the morning talking with constituents [liar delinked] gathered outside the office” before going up “to take a quick pic.”

His opponents, however, alleged that he scurried up onto the roof because he was “too afraid” to speak with the protesters below…

From <Huffington Post>

Chris Hayes covered the story on All In.

Issa’s account has Republicitis and needs Dulcolax.

I have no doubt that Darrell Issa coward.  Furthermore, Darrell Issa asshole.



Open Thread – 5/18/2017

 Posted by at 12:16 pm  Personal, Politics
May 182017

The Comcast tech was on time, and I’m most pleased with the job he did here.  He worked for almost two hours setting up a network that is rated at 200 Mbps, but is actually performing at 298 Mbps, over three times the speed of the old modem.  He configured my computer, laptop, printer, phone, Kindle Fire, and Roku devices, and he tested them all.  He cancelled the $40.00 I had been charged for the setup because of my disabilities.  And for the time I had the old modem, he gave me 3 months of HBO.  I was surprised to receive such excellent service.  After I broke for lunch, Neighborhood House arrived.  I wish I had had the time to do research, considering all the scandalous news that Trump and the Republican Rectum Reich have caused lately.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:27 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: While Washington insiders and most of the American press are falling over themselves and each other trying to keep up with the latest Trump scandals (for the love of God, it’s only Tuesday), you might wonder how the nation’s worst major news network is handling the news that Donald Trump accidentally or on purpose leaked information to Russian diplomats that is considered so sensitive that no United States newspapers are willing to detail exactly what it is.

You needn’t wonder—because at newly Ailes-less, O’Reilly-free Fox News, it’s been business as usual.

While CNN and MSNBC provided wall to wall coverage of the breaking news, Fox News defended Trump before returning to coverage of such hard hitting stories as the “Romper for men,” Miss USA’s comments about healthcare, Michelle Obama’s comments about school lunches, “Media Hysteria,” and “leftists” on college campuses

What else would you expect from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise? RESIST!!

From Washington Post: A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy. [emphasis added]

Read the transcript here. Lyin’ Ryan and the Republican leadership knew about these crimes all along and instituted a cover-up! RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump’s four-month-old presidency.

The decision by the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, came after a cascade of damaging developments for Mr. Trump in recent days, including his abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the subsequent disclosure that Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to drop the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

Mr. Rosenstein had been under escalating pressure from Democrats, and even some Republicans, to appoint a special counsel after he wrote a memo that the White House initially cited as the rationale for Mr. Comey’s dismissal.

By appointing Mr. Mueller, a former federal prosecutor with an unblemished reputation, Mr. Rosenstein could alleviate uncertainty about the government’s ability to investigate the questions surrounding the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Frankly, I’m quite surprised that Rosenstein has done this. It was the only way to begin to repair his own credibility, after the ridiculous memo he signed on the reasons for firing Comey, since Trump threw him under the bus by bragging about the real reason. Remember, since a sitting President may not be charged with a crime, Muller’s only remedy is to refer his evidence to the House for possible impeachment. Will they impeach?  Also, the investigation will take months. If Republicans have decided not to save Trump, they will use the time strip the cupboard bare and create huge deficits providing welfare for billionaires.  RESIST!!



May 142017

I’m trying to finish as much as I can early, because Wendy is due soon to de-stink the sticky TomCat and help with household tasks.  I’ll probably publish this shortly after Noon, about four hours from now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:58 (average 5:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (SNL Channel): Lester Holt Cold Open – SNL


Dang! I never expected SNL to do straight news, but it’s all so accurate! RESIST!!

From Mediaite: Per their report, Chaffetz has actually been telling his Republican colleagues he’s heading for the Donald Trump-approved universe of Fox News.

Here’s what Elaina Plott wrote:

According to two GOP lawmakers who have spoken to Chaffetz directly and four senior House Republican aides, Chaffetz has been telling people he’ll take on what one source calls a “substantial role” in on-air talent at Fox News Channel, possibly as early as July, amplifying whispers that Chaffetz will not finish out his current term.

What landing strip could be more appropriate than the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise, for the Republican coward, who ran from the House pseudo-investigation of Trump treason. RESIST!!

From NY Times: What do Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders think a president may say or do and still deserve their enthusiastic support? We offer this handy reference list in hopes of protecting them from charges of hypocrisy in the future. They can consult it should they ever feel tempted to insist on different standards for another president. So, herewith, the Congressional Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behavior.

If you are the president, you may freely:

attack private citizens on Twitter
delegitimize federal judges who rule against you
refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry
fire the F.B.I. chief in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates
accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense
employ top aides with financial and other connections to a hostile foreign power

I shared just the first six abominations. Click through for the other eleven. RESIST!!




Everyday Erinyes #73

 Posted by at 11:23 am  Politics
May 062017

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

It has been a rough week, only slightly alleviated by the news that two law enforcement murderers (out of how many hundred?) will be facing, one a possible penalty (after a plea bargain), the other charges (and what else remains to be seen), for their crimes.  The passage of the AHCA (Abysmal Horrible Crap Act) has dominated the news, and, as fury-worthy as it is, there is really nothing to say about it that hasn't already been said, and that multiple times.

Although, perhaps I can come up with some words that have not been seen – at least not nationally – the lamebrain in question probably sent them to the local papers, but I don't know whether anyone bothered to publish them, as predictable and vapid as they are.  The Congressman for CO-05, Douglas Lamborn, my Congressman, sent out this statement in an email:

"I have kept my promise to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered plan that reduces government control, lowers costs, and increases the health care choices available to the American people. The AHCA has improved over the last month. The Freedom Caucus has worked with the moderate Tuesday Group to forge a compromise that will lower premiums and increase the flexibility of individual states to manage their health care decisions. Additionally, I personally negotiated with House Leadership to fix an error that locked veterans into the VA health system and prevented them from accessing the benefits of the AHCA. Securing this important victory for our veterans allowed me to support the bill.

With this vote, we have ended the individual mandate, blocked federal funding from going to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, phased out Medicaid expansion, reduced regulations and taxes, and gutted Obamacare. I hope that the Senate is able to build upon the good work done by the House and deliver a strong bill to the President. By standing with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Health and Human Services Secretary Price, I have voted to move us forward to a future of improved health care access and affordability for all Americans."

(It is also on his website, but we don't link to websites of this nature here.)  I am sure it is now obvious to everyone here, if it wasn't already, why I make a point of remaining on good terms with Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone.

Just for good measure, though, on the National Day of Prayer this week, Shouty McShoutface signed an executive order regarding "Religious Liberty."  Naturally it was one of those documents that promulgate and support making it legal for those calling themselves "Christians" to discriminate against anyone not calling him or herself Christian – or, calling him or herself Christian, but not looking exactly like the "Christian" doing the discriminating.  And, of course, Congressman CO-05 had on opinion on that too:

"I want to commend President Trump for signing today's Executive Order on Religious Liberty, defending the liberties enshrined in our founding documents, and making good on campaign promises to preserve and protect religious freedom. Along with other Members of Congress, I urged the President to act quickly on this order, to restore to people of faith the freedoms that have been being encroached upon in recent years. Under the Obama Administration, men and women faced crippling penalties for simply living out their faith in everyday lives.

The United States of America has a long and rich history of being a bastion of freedom for those persecuted for living out their religious beliefs. I am grateful for the efforts of this administration to return to those values by reining in the culture of government intimidation and unfair punishments of those seeking to faithfully live out their deeply held convictions. No one should ever be forced to decide between giving up their deeply held convictions or facing the threat of unfair government punishment through crippling fines. Religious liberty takes nothing away from American citizens, but merely underscores the value and right of religious expression for the many millions of Americans who hold to a particular faith."

(The picture shows him accepting the "True Blue" arard from the Family Research Council.  No comment.) Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, dealing, as you generally do, directly with prime movers of evil, you may think I want you to go after this guy, and, in a way, you would not be wrong.  However, this Congressional District is laid out in such a way that if you took him out, he would most likely be replaced by someone worse.  I can't even call that a gerrymander.  It became like this when far right Christianist and Dominionist groups all more or less simultaneously decided that Colorado Springs was a wonderful place to headquarter. 

So what I really would like to happen is a change to the hearts and minds of the voters of CO-05 so that we can elect an actual human being to Congress.  I know that's a tall order.  And timeconsuming.  It might not happen in my lifetime.  It may not happen before the earth burns to a crisp.  But I do think it is worth attempting.  Dear ladies, thanks.  And good luck.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4051167

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!!