Jan 252015
 
President Barack Obama has worked long and hard at negotiating a settlement with Iran in conjunction with European Union.  If successful, it will go a long way to restore the relationship with Iran that deteriorated when Republicans overthrew a democratically elected government the to enable Britain’s control of Iran’s Oil.  It can prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.  To undermine that, Republicans want to impose sanctions on Iran now, virtually assuring war in the future.  To that end Speaker John “Agent Orange” Boehner (R-OH) has invited Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to address Congress and request sanctions.  A prominent liberal Jew, Philip Weiss has an excellent idea regarding that visit.

 

0125ButcherBen

A lot of the commentary on the shocking/outrageous/inappropriate/unprecedented/ dangerous invitation from the Republican leadership to Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress about our Iran policy, thereby undermining Obama’s negotiations, has said that Netanyahu shouldn’t have accepted the invitation or the Republicans shouldn’t have invited him. A couple of liberal Jewish organizations, for instance, are pleading with Congress to delay the speech.

But they did invite him. And he did accept the invitation, for March.

The Republicans and neocons and Netanyahu have all taken action. But our side is being passive.

Here is the real challenge to all those who don’t want another war in the Middle East: Tell your congressperson not to undermine our president’s efforts to strike a deal with Iran. Tell your congressperson not to attend the speech. That’s right. Tell your congressperson to give Benjamin Netanyahu the cold shoulder, lest he lead our country to war, or undermine the American president on his efforts to strike a deal with Iran.

Inserted from <mondoweiss.net>

Butcher Ben has been lobbying for a US attack on Iran, because Iran has threatened Israel.  Iran lacks the capability to make good those threats.  Butcher Ben also wants Israel to remain the only illegal nuclear power in the near east.  For a foreign leader to be invited lobby Congress to undermine  the President’s foreign policy is unprecedented and seditious.  I urge you to tell your Congress critter to boycott Netanyahu’s appearance.  I also would consider it appropriate for them to show Netanyahu their back, because of the total disrespect he is showing this nation by participating in this Republican scheme.

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Jan 192015
 

For many years the title of Craziest Federal Legislator was crystal clear.  It was Michele “Batshit” Bachmann.  It was not even close.  Now that she is no longer in the House, there are several contenders, such as “Pig Nuts” Ernst (R-IA), “Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot” Paul (R-KY), and “Uranus Inspector” Cruz (R-TX).  However, the leading contender may well be “Go-Go Goosestep” Gohmert (R-TX).

0119Gohmert

I see America’s Dumbest Congressman has returned to the House in fine form.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) called on American leaders to emulate Egypt’s military dictator, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi–a man who orchestrated a coup d’etat and has presided over the killing of more than a thousand dissidents.

Gohmert made the remarks on Wednesday in a speech from the House floor denouncing radical Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

“I hope one day that our top leaders in this country will have the courage of president el-Sisi in Egypt and they will reflect, as general el-Sisi has, the will of the people of their country,” Gohmert stated.

You don’t see congressmen praising dissident-killing military dictators quite as often as you used to, but for Louie that was just the side dish. The main course was supposing the current president was a Sekrit Muslim working with the Muslim Brotherhood to make America Muslimy, and you know it must be true because:

Gohmert once again suggested that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, citing an incident in the 2008 primary season when then-candidate Obama mistakenly said he had visited 57 states, which Gohmert contends was an accidental reference to the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

We’re through the looking glass, people. Oh, and also? Louie Gohmert says he is not a crackpot…

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Go-Go loves Egypt’s Fascist dictator, because he engineered a Second Amendment solution, the path to political power that Go-Go favors here.  There’s a reason that he claims he isn’t a crackpot.  He is afraid that the SPCC (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Crackpots) will sue him for defamation of character.

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Jan 162015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 72.  I’m getting a late start, because I slept late and I’ve been busy with other things, but I do have articles for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Mitch McConnell was full of promises last November about how things were going to be different in the Senate when he was in charge. Like how the Senate was going to start working on Fridays. That promise was broken last Thursday, the first week of the session. The other thing the Senate was going to do under his watch—open amendments. Republicans had grumbled incessantly over the last six years about how Harry Reid was a dictator who refused to allow them to offer up their amendments, almost all of which were poison pills that had little or nothing to do with the underlying legislation. Well, the worm has turned with Republicans now in power, and McConnell doesn’t like it one bit. In fact, he’s pretty whiny about it.

"Some of our colleagues on the other side continue to filibuster the motion to proceed to this bill. All senators should know that we will get on this bill today and begin the amendment process—either this afternoon by consent, or shortly after midnight without consent,” he said. […]

McConnell vowed he would not let Democrats use their ability to offer amendments to stretch out floor debates for weeks simply to burn up the calendar.

"We will conduct a fair and open amendment process but not an open-ended one," he said.

And so much for open amendments. That fair and open process apparently won’t include one proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) intended to put Republicans on the record about the connection between humans’ greenhouse gas emissions and global warming in the Keystone XL debate.

Speaking of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the biggest sources of methane in Washington, DC is Bought Bitch Mitch.

From The New Yorker: Citing what he called “security concerns,” House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday that he would do all of his drinking at the office for the foreseeable future.

Boehner said that he may have to stay at work later in order to get his drinking done, but added, “I’m doing it for the American people. They need to know that their Speaker is safe.”

I wonder if Andy equates “safe” with preserved by pickling.

From Media Matters: Fox News hosts have repeatedly denied that moderate Muslims denounce violent extremists following terror attacks, ignoring that on their very network, Muslim guests have condemned terrorism and defended their faith. Watch five Muslim guests make their case on Fox:

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

When a Muslim makes a good point, when Faux is live, we see it once only, and they hate it when anything like that slips through, as their reactions divulge.

Cartoon:

0116Cartoon

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Jan 092015
 

There are few people who benefits more and have done more to earn those benefits that people who receive SSDI.  These are people who have become disabled and who have paid premiums from every paycheck throughout their entire working lives.  Now Republicans are moving to gut the funding for the benefits they have earned.

0109ssdiFellow Democrats, after an extremely demoralizing off-year election cycle for our Party, in a time where there have been so many issues and arguments that have divided the Party into bickering factions and niches, a line has been drawn in the sand that should unite Democrats of all stripes to a common rallying cause. Protecting Social Security from those who would destroy it. Social Security is under deliberate and malignant assault. The deranged extremist fringe far-Rightwing ideological zealots of the House Republican caucus have decided to deliberately engineer a Social Security crisis. No matter what your issues with the Democratic Party, now is the time to set aside other matters and begin to come together for the greater public good.  

A huge number of Social Security beneficiaries are disabled Americans and other non-Retirees who would be in dire crisis without the aid of a vital part of the most important program within the American Social Safety Net. On Tuesday, the Republicans in the US House acted like the predatory cowards and gutless worms that they are and created a rule that would prevent clean reallocations to fund the nation’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This, like the deliberate sabotaging of the US Postal Service by creating forces that no other agency or arm of the US Government has to deal with, is the kind of cancer you get from Conservative Republican reigns of error and terror. This is a wake-up call to rally. All of us. United together.

Let us be clear. "Reformers" are never people acting in blatant bad faith and with malice of intent to their actions. Damn the Village, and Social Security Saboteurs, and walk a wall for the sick, the poor, the eldery, and the disabled. There is no "good" Social Security and "bad" Social Security, there is only Social Security. The Republicans are not interested in "reforming" Social Security, they want to destroy it and use the lazy "both siderisms" of the Village news media to obfuscate their actions and their agenda. This is a manufactured crisis. Pure and simple. It is also a challenge to Americans of good faith who support the Safety Net. Time to stand up.

Here we have an act of deliberate political terrorism and social sabotage that is being carried out to disrupt the lives of Americans in crisis and on the margins. We must all say "HELL NO!" … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

I could not agree with this author more.  This is not the first time that Republicans have attacked SSDI.  During the Bush Regime, his gutted the Social Security Department, so there were almost no employees to review SSDI claims.  He also made it standard practice to deny most valid claims until a lawyer appealed the claims all the way to the top, in the hopes that the claimant would die before resolution, rendering back benefits moot.  It transformed a process that took weeks into one that took years.

It took me over three years to get SSDI.  During those years I ate mostly rice and beans.  Veggies were a treat.  Meat was a rare luxury.   I went without several basic needs.  I often had to decide between food and medicine.  On three separate occasions, I had to pull one of my own teeth, because there was no money for a dentist.  When  my case finally got to the judge, he said it was so obvious that it should have been approved on day one.  He did not even require testimony.

Now I’m past SSDI and am now just a retiree, so I won’t be effected by this Republican atrocity.  However, I don’t want others to suffer, as I did.  Please contact your Congress Critter.

Every penny that is spent in earned benefits to the poor and middle classes is a penny Republicans can’t spend as welfare for billionaires.

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Jan 062015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 62.  I’m quite busy year-change record keeping for both myself and my volunteer organization.  The Dulcolax finally worked, so I feel 20 lbs. lighter are far more like a Democrat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:15 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Sixty-four unskilled workers will report to new jobs in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday as part of a federal jobs program that provides employment for people unable to find productive work elsewhere.

The new hires, who have no talents or abilities that would make them employable in most workplaces, will be earning a first-year salary of $174,000.

For that sum, the new employees will be expected to work a hundred and thirty-seven days a year, leaving them with two hundred and twenty-eight days of vacation.

Some critics have blasted the federal jobs program as too expensive, noting that the workers were chosen last November in a bloated and wasteful selection process that cost the nation nearly four billion dollars.

But Davis Logsdon, a University of Minnesota economics professor who specializes in labor issues, said that the program is necessary to provide work “for people who honestly cannot find employment anywhere else.”

0106Unskilled

Andy has never been more accurate!!

From Yahoo News: Police officers turned their backs on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday during the funeral for Wenjian Liu, one of two NYPD officers killed in a Dec. 20 ambush, exposing the ongoing rift between the department and City Hall.

The officers were seen turning away from an outdoor screen showing de Blasio’s eulogy at the service in Brooklyn, defying a request by New York Police Commissioner William Bratton not to protest at the funeral.

“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton wrote in a memo to officers on Friday, less than a week after officers turned their backs on de Blasio at the funeral of Rafael Ramos, the other NYPD slain officer. “I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor, and decency that go with it.”

The memory of Wenjian Liu is certainly worthy of honor and respect. Officers who dishonor that memory, while in uniform, by mimicking Westboro Baptist Republicans have forgotten their calling to serve and protect. They should be fired.

From Reuters: U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert, a conservative Tea Party Republican from Texas, said on Sunday he would challenge John Boehner for speaker of the House of Representatives.

Gohmert’s announcement came a day after fellow Republican Representative Ted Yoho of Florida said he might be willing to put his name up against Boehner, the Ohio Republican who is widely expected to retain the top job in the chamber when the full House votes on Tuesday.

"Ted is a good man for whom I could vote, but I have heard from many supporters and also friends in Congress who have urged me to put forward my name for Speaker as well to increase our chances of change," Gohmert said in a statement. "That is why I am also offering my name as a candidate for Speaker."

While I doubt that Go Go Goosestep has even the slightest chance to become Speaker, his actions will sow dissention in the ranks of the Republican Reich and embarrass Agent Orange.

Cartoon:

0106Cartoon

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Jan 042015
 

I’m sorry to report that the new Republican controlled Congress begins this week.  Some of our old nemeses will be there.  In addition, we will be getting a crop of new  extremists that promise to move the Republican Reich even further right.  Here’s one of them:

Glenn Grothman

0104GrothmanHatIn Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District, Tom Petri, an establishment Republican who may or may not be seriously ethically challenged [propaganda delinked], opted not to seek a 19th term in the House this year. When voters in Petri’s district replaced him with state legislator Glenn Grothman, it marked a political shift from the right to the far right.

You can’t spell “Grothman” without some of the letters you need to spell “troglodyte,” and his views on issues like race, gender and LGBT rights make him one of the most incendiary incoming House Republicans. Grothman once said that Martin Luther King Jr. Day shouldn’t be a state holiday, and he has opposed equal pay legislation on the grounds that “money is more important for men. [propaganda delinked]” Meanwhile, Grothman charges that gay teachers have an agenda to turn their students gay, and he blasted Secretary of State John Kerry for opposing a Ugandan law that imposes 10 years in prison for homosexuality.

“We send scientists to Africa to say how wonderful the homosexual lifestyle is,” Grothman said in April. “It is just unbelievable what has become of our country.”…

Inserted from <Alternet>

This is only one of five new terrifying Republican extremists that will be polluting Congress this week.  Click through for the other four.  If you’re you’ll acquire an extra generous supply of barf bags.  You’re going to need them.

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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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