Dec 182014
 

The US Senate is done for the year, but before they went home they confirmed a bunch of Barack Obama’s appointments.  That’s the last thing Republicans wanted, but Democrats got the extra floor time, Because Ted “The Immigrant” Cruz made a fool of himself.  That’s an easy undertaking for him.

1218SenateThe Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed the last batch of President Obama’s judicial appointees and sent the White House legislation extending tax breaks for working-class millions and special interests alike late Tuesday as Congress ended a tumultuous two-year run.

The Senate adjourned at 11:24 p.m., officially ending the 113th Congress.

An 11th-hour attempt to renew a program obliging the government to cover part of the cost of terrorism-caused losses was sidetracked by retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who said it was a giveaway to private industry.

But dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to agency positions won approval on the final night of the Congress. Among them were Sarah Saldana to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Nicholas Rasmussen as director of the National Counterterrorism Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Rasmussen is currently the deputy director, a post he has held since 2012. He served on the National Security Council from 2007 to 2012, where he was a special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism.

In addition, the Senate voted 55-38 to approve the president’s nominee to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite criticism from Sen. John McCain and other Republicans. Tony Blinken, who is replacing the retiring William Burns, joined the White House in 2009 as a top aide to Vice President Joe Biden. He later became Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser and a key player on foreign policy issues, including the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria…

Inserted from <CBS>

This could never have happened had not Democrats changed Senate rules to eliminate filibusters on nominees.

Lawrence O’Donnell discussed the rule change and it’s effects with Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  Unfortunately, I can only bring you MSNBC clips, if I can find them on YouTube.

No I imagine you think that I’m pro-filibuster, now that Republicans control the Senate.  That is not so.  I think the only kind if filibuster that should be allowed is a talking filibuster by one Senator taking no breaks.  We might get some Republican votes of we give David Vitter (R-LA) the diaper concession. The party in charge must be allowed to govern.  Had we gone to a talking filibuster only in 2009, we would not have a Republican Congress now.

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Dec 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 29.  Because of a foul up with Fred Meyers, Store to Door cannot deliver my groceries until Friday, which sent me out into the weather to pick up food to last me until then.  Of course, that means another bad air day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes’ 21st Century Fox owns and operates 28 stations in major media markets around the country. These stations might seem independent, but Fox uses them to push misinformation to viewers like you.

Watch this short video to see how Fox News impacts local stations:

By operating local stations, Fox News executives can transmit key right-wing talking points to large numbers of people who don’t watch cable news. And with Fox-owned stations now reaching 37% of U.S. television audiences, that’s a huge opportunity for the conservative media.

 

Click through for a list of cities where they’re seeking volunteers to keep an eye on them. If you don’t live there you can still help. Spread the story round.

From Daily Kos: And now, in accordance with the usual holiday traditions, it’s time for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to let the world’s slowest deliberative body know that if they can’t get the most basic parts of their jobs squared away, they may have to (shudder) cancel their pre-holiday plans

…The threat of enshrunkened Senate vacation time has been a leadership staple during the last half-decade, as the thought of personally losing vacation time seems to have become only reliable way to convince otherwise recalcitrant Republicans to keep the government funded. It’s also a great way to hear some of the most entitled people in America grouse at the inherent unfairness of having to work the week before the week before Christmas, so that ought to be good for a few quotes.

Let’s just hope that it’s also not an incentive for the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, to give away the farm.

From The New Yorker: In what some are calling his boldest executive order to date, President Obama signed an order on Tuesday that would convert a little-used government building in the nation’s capital into housing for amnestied immigrants.

Signing the order in an Oval Office ceremony, the President said that American taxpayers would finally receive some value for a building that remains empty and unused for much of the year.

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Isn’t this one of the best ideas Andy has ever had? :-)

Cartoon:

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A day of mourning fror Republicans.

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Nov 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 15.  Tomorrow is almost here, and I just woke up.  Fortunately I had my research done this morning, but due to unpacking groceries, putting them away, and several other tasks, I just couldn’t get back to it before now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

The Jig Zone website is currently down.  Assuming that this is a temporary situation, I’ll include today’s puzzle with tomorrow’s.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Here in the U.S., lots of politicians have pointed to China as the reason the U.S. should not sign climate treaties. What will opponents of climate change action use as an excuse now? Check out this spot-on video from Climate Desk of what the excuses sound like:

 

This is the 3rd of 8 reasons President Obama and the Democratic Party have made the world a better place by negotiating a greenhouse gasses agreement with China. Click through for the other seven. A must-read article.

From Daily Kos: When Congress voted to approve the Keystone Pipeline they committed an act of war against the Great Sioux Nation. Apparently they completely forgot to check with the Sioux who live on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, who in February adopted tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project. Or maybe Congress didn’t forget but rather chose to ignore them.

Of course the U.S. government has hardly ever taken Native American concerns seriously, so it would be a surprise if that happened now, but Rosebud Sioux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) Tribal President Scott said his nation has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through tribal land. Concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed, he said in a statement.

Kudos and thanks to the Rosebud Sioux. No doubt this will pass the Senate when it reconvenes with a Republican majority. Hopefully, Obama will veto it, but if not, I hope the Sioux sue.

From PRWatch: Leaked documents expose a plan by Edelman for TransCanada to launch an "aggressive" American-style policy/politics PR campaign to persuade Canadians to support a Canada-based alternative to the stalled Keystone XL pipeline to get controversial tar sands oil to refineries in eastern Canada for export.

But, according to the documents, this Canada-centric campaign would actually be run out of an office in Washington, DC. And the digital campaign is being led by a rightwing American political operative employed by the world’s largest public relations firm.

The documents were obtained by Greenpeace.

Ian Austen of The New York Times published some excerpts from the planning documents on November 17 that show how a new PR operation is in the works to persuade skeptical Canadians the "Energy East Pipeline" from Alberta to Quebec and to New Brunswick is a good idea.

Watch out Canada. They should be calling that Pollution East. It will be3 as bad for you as keystone XL would be for us.

Cartoon:

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We still need one of these for Bush, Cheney, et al.

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Nov 072014
 

I could not help noticing in the statements from the Republican leadership that they hoped to be able to find areas of agreement with President Obama, and that they would work together to compromise.  Is that a realistic expectation?  I think not.  For the last six years, the Republican Party has been cultivating the support from people like the caller in the following article.  Such racists have become their base and most dependable followers.

1107ObamahateA man who called into C-SPAN’s "Washington Journal" Thursday morning referred to President Barack Obama as "that n***er" before getting booted off the air.

The caller, who gave his name as Anthony from San Diego, California, identified himself as a Republican and started out talking about the direction he thinks the new GOP majority in Congress should take.

"I would just like to say, that the Republicans — and I’m a Republican — please do not overreach," the caller began. "I know they’re going to overreach but I’m telling you, if you advocate for the repeal of Obamacare and you get too extreme, then Hillary Clinton will be elected President in 2016."

"This is about race," he added. "The Republicans hate that nigger Obama."…

Inserted from <TPM>

Hard to believe?  Here’s the video.

This is the tail that wags the Republican dog.

Rachel Maddow dedicated two segments to the possibility if cooperation.  In the first, she examines that the Republican bubble machine is saying and what the actual politicians are doing.

If you can’t see it here try this link on MSNBC.

It appears to me that Republicans are feigning congeniality and promising compromise to keep Obama from acting while Democrats still have a Senate majority.  Obama believed them, in 2009 when they were promising compromise on Obamacare.  To believe them now, especially given that sign, would be foolish indeed.

In the second segment, Rachel shows how they have inflamed the public against Obama and how Obama is calling them out to actually govern.

 

If you can’t see it here try this link on MSNBC.

I could not fine either clip on YouTube.

I won’t be holding my breath.

Finally, consider Eric Cantor.  All it took was a hint that he would be willing to compromise to cost him his seat.  Even if some in the Republican majority want to compromise, the threat of being primaried from the right and TEAbuggered out of office will Keep them goose-stepping with the most rabid segments of the base.

Now, both Agent Orange and Bought Bitch Mitch are promising to be nice, but saying that unilateral action from Obama would be like waving a red flag at a bull.  That’s too much bull to resist waving the flag.

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Sep 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 162It’s a busy week.  Today my helper friend is coming to help finish the major cleaning.  Tomorrow, I order groceries.  Wednesday is grocery delivery day, and Thursday, I have a doctor’s appointment with a complete blood workup.  That means fasting and all day waiting for Lift vans.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 4:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: One nominee proposed reclassifying single parenthood as child abuse. Another suggested that four “blood moons” would herald “world-changing, shaking-type events” and said Islam was not a religion but a “complete geopolitical structure” unworthy of tax exemption. Still another labeled Hillary Rodham Clinton “the Antichrist.”

Congressional Republicans successfully ended their primary season with minimal damage, but in at least a dozen safe or largely safe Republican House districts where more mild-mannered Republicans are exiting, their likely replacements will pull the party to the right, a move likely to increase division in an already polarized Congress.

I predict an increase in the level of Republican criminal sedition in 2015.

From Buzzfeed: 27 Snapchats From Your Cat

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Here’s one I like. Click through for the other 26.

From Daily Kos: A party in disarray: the California GOP can’t find its ass with both hands.

Click through for an interesting read, but I can help them find their ass. Here!

0930Darrell_Issa

Cartoon:

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Neither should we appease the Republican Party, which is just as dangerous.

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Aug 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 102.  It will be a difficult day, because I have physical therapy during a heat wave.  It is also the day I normally spend hours collecting the data for and compiling the Monthly Report for Politics Plus to post on the second.  Because of the timing, the Monthly Report will be a day or two late, and I may have nothing at all to post on Saturday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 4:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: As much as people love sex, you’d think we’d know better! If we just got rid of myths like these, we’d feel a lot better about our bodies, our relationships, and our sex lives.

 

If you show this to Republicans, that are likely to become apoplectic. So many uninterrupted facts, without intervening lies is more than they can handle.  Now, if only I could remember what sex is.

From Daily Kos: If you haven’t seen this before, this really sums up what Republicans think of the Americans who work for a living.

0801Repub_takers

No Congress in US history has ever done so little.’

From TPM: Conservative rocker Ted Nugent published a lengthy and rambling rant hitting back at his critics on Wednesday, writing that the reason he’s been described as a racist is because he’s "doing God’s work."

Nugent’s comments came in a column posted [World Nut Daily delinked] on the conspiracy theory website WND, in which he reacted to the news that one of his concerts in Idaho had been canceled because of his incendiary rhetoric.

"For the lying freaks over at the Huffington Post, Moveon.org and the scammers at the Southern Poverty Law Center to go to such extremes to constantly lie about me is proof positive that I am not only on the right track doing God’s work spotlighting the current infestation of cockroaches amongst us, but that they are clearly scared to death of me and virtually incapable of debating me one on one," Nugent wrote.

Nugent was reported to have used the term "unclean vermin" when discussing the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s decision to cancel a casino concert he was supposed to perform. The tribe canceled the concert after being contacted by the Southern Poverty Law Center and made aware of some of his past remarks, including some in which he called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and a "chimpanzee."

From his perspective, spewing racial hatred is doing God’s work, because his God is Republican Supply-side Jesus, the exact opposite of the real Jesus.

Cartoon:

0801Cartoon

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Jul 032014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 73, and it’s late in the day, because the last two days tired me out.  I’m pleased to report that, in spite of yesterday’s 97° high here, I had to turn the A/C down a bit, as I was getting chilly. Smile

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker:

By a 5–4 vote on Monday, the United States Supreme Court settled a dispute that Justice Samuel Alito said was “at its core about the rights of women versus the rights of people.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Alito wrote, “It is the duty of this Court, whenever it sees that the rights of people are being threatened, to do our best to safeguard those rights. In this case, it is clear that people’s rights were being threatened by women.”

Acknowledging that some women “might argue that they, too, have some claim to being people,” Justice Alito wrote, “That is an interesting question for another day.”

Brilliance in truth, Andy!

From Upworthy: It’s not exactly something you can learn in under five minutes, but this video will definitely give you a taste of what’s going on in Iraq right now.

 

This gives some excellent background information on what the Republican Party created in Bush Reich’s failed war for oil and conquest. The video should be more direct in giving them the credit they deserve.

From NY Times: …Failure to act in a few crucial cases could imperil the fragile economic recovery. If Congress cannot reach agreement on spending bills or stopgap funding by Oct. 1, another government shutdown could result. And if Congress and the White House do not quickly find money for the depleted Highway Trust Fund, states could be forced to suspend job-providing road and bridge projects at the height of the construction season in August.

The author goes on to say he thinks they will work it out. Given the current Republican fear of TEAbuggery in the wake of Cantor’s demise, I wouldn’t be too sure. When they wield absurd demands in return for keeping the government running, which they surely will, Obama and the Democrats must accept the damage they are willing to do to America, rather than cave-in.

Cartoon:

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