Aug 042015

To many, it appeared that Planned Parenthood was in danger of losing their federal funding, due to a Bill sponsored by Joni “Pig Nuts” Ernst (R-IA) and Rand “Idiot, Son of idiot, Named after Idiot” Paul (R-KY).  It seemed that hundreds of organizations churned out emails that Planned Parenthood was doomed, unless we made a contribution to the sender.  In actuality Planned Parenthood was not in any danger at all.


A Republican effort to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding came up short in the Senate Monday, with a Democratic filibuster leaving the bill from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) seven votes shy of the 60 needed for passage. But the failure of the measure, which aimed to take away more than $500 million in federal funding from the organization, is likely just a prelude to a fiercer debate to come.

Republican presidential candidates such as Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are threatening another government shutdown if federal money for the reproductive health and abortion service provider is not eliminated. Cruz told Politico that Ernst’s bill was nothing more than a "show vote," and that when it comes to the real fight, he is willing to do whatever it takes to defund Planned Parenthood.

The recent conservative attacks on Planned Parenthood follow the July 14 release of two heavily edited video clips in which Planned Parenthood officials appear to be negotiating the sale of aborted fetuses. The videos, part of a conservative campaign against Planned Parenthood, were produced by a little-known anti-abortion activist named David Daleiden, whose group, the Center for Medical Progress, is associated with the anti-abortion organization Live Action. The video was circulated by Groundswell, a conservative strategy group, which Mother Jones’ David Corn reported on back in 2013. Groundswell includes such players as Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and conservative journalists and commentators from outlets like Breitbart News, which broke the news of the first sting video…

Inserted from <Mother Jones>

If Republicans had been serious about passing this bill they would have tucked it into a must pass budget item originating in the House, forcing Democrats to obtain 60 votes to remove it.  Instead, they brought it to the floor knowing that Democrats would block cloture.  Only Donnelly (DINO-IN) and Manchin (DINO-WV) goose stepped with the Republican Reich,  May both suffer saguaro suppositories!  The final vote was 53 – 46.

The only Reason the Republicans did this is to have a dog and pony show that they could take home to display to their rabid base voters.  We can be sure they will try to keep this issue alive because they can use it as a distraction from the many subjects they wish to avoid on the campaign trail.  Nevertheless we need to know how to counter their lies.  The videos, on which they are basing this attack have been thoroughly debunked already.  Furthermore, several of the Republicans, who are screaming their outrage now, voted to fund research using fetal tissue in the past.

Finally, never forget that Republicans have their own comprehensive plan covering women’s rights:


Jul 202015

Fortunately, today should be the last day in the heat wave.  85° is the forecast high, but the last two days have both been more than 5° hotter than forecast.  It will then take a couple days for the building to bleed off the heat.  I’m so ready.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 4:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From TPM: Israel’s ambassador to the United States raced in and out of offices on Capitol Hill, trying to persuade lawmakers that the nuclear deal with Iran is a historic mistake.

On the other side, liberal groups ramped up the pressure, warning of political consequences for Democrats who undermine the agreement and casting opposition as a vote for war.

The lobbying fight is on over the pact that the U.S. and other world powers just signed with Iran. The State Department said Sunday it had submitted the agreement to Congress, kicking off a 60-day review period on Monday.

A foreign government has no business lobbying the US Congress! Keep contacting your Congress Critter and Senators.

From Think Progress: The state of the world’s climate is complex enough that it takes 413 scientists from 58 countries half a year to completely summarize a year’s worth of data.

And 2014 was a doozy…

…For those without the time to peruse nearly 300 pages of scientific summaries, here are seven records that fell in 2014.


There’s one. Click through for the other six.

From Raw Story: John Oliver bashes ‘a**hole’ Donald Trump while tackling America’s astounding food waste


He does cover the subject, doesn’t he? However, I do have to disagree with his statement that dog balls are delicious. CAT is where it’s AT!! Seriously, do you waste a lot of food? I throw little away, but I do convert quite a bit to methane.



Jul 102015

I have to admit that I have seen some decent behavior from some SC Republicans, because they were so shamed at having been caught turning a blind eye to the hatred of their rabid base, to do otherwise would be screaming their own guilt from the rooftops.  But as they righted a long overdue wrong, Congressional Republicans demonstrated that they still just love to hate.

0710GOPDixie[R]epublicans in Congress stumbled into the Confederate flag debate Thursday after Southern lawmakers protested a proposal to put new restrictions on displaying the banner on federal parklands, launching the party into a conversation many leaders would have preferred to avoid.

The uproar in the House rippled across Washington after an amendment banning Confederate flags — sponsored by a California Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman — was attached [without Republican objection at the time] to an otherwise routine budget bill making its way through Congress.

Southern Republicans protested the Californian’s move and threatened to pull their support for the broader $30-billion bill, which funds the Interior Department and other related federal agencies, including the national parks.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) tried to salvage the situation by putting forward a compromise by another Californian, the Interior Committee’s chairman, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona).

But the compromise backfired and was seen as too weak by Democrats, who accused the GOP of protecting what many view as a racist Southern symbol of slavery…

Inserted from <LA Times>

Rachel Maddow covered the story very well.

Be advised that Agent Orange cannot have an idea get "firm in his head." He’s a limp Boehner. The racism that the Republican Party leadership routinely practices is not overt. It’s dog-whistle racism. Many Republican politicians, who are not overtly racist themselves, go along, because the Republican base is overtly racist, because the party adopted the Southern Strategy.  In, SC the grace displayed by the AME families shamed several Republican politicians into putting away their dog whistles, at least temporarily, because Republican hatred put them to shame.  But the party as a whole has not changed one iota.

Jun 082015

You don’t think that I am referring to the Republican Reich, do you?  Of course not!  They are the Reich on the right.  The Reich on the left is Robert Reich, author of the following excerpt.  Just as surely as the Reich on the Right is wrong, the Reich on the left is right.  In this case, Reich is right about Congress critters, such as Hastert the Bastert, becoming lobbyists.


Washington has been rocked by the scandal of J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House, indicted on charges of violating banking laws by paying $1.7 million (as part of a $3.5 million agreement) to conceal prior misconduct, which turns out to have been child molestation.

That scandal contains another one that’s received less attention: Hastert, who never made much money as a teacher or a congressman, could manage such payments because after retiring from Congress he became a high-paid lobbyist.

This second scandal is perfectly legal but it’s a growing menace.

In the 1970s, only 3 percent of retiring members of Congress went on to become Washington lobbyists. Now, half of all retiring senators and 42 percent of retiring representatives become lobbyists.

This isn’t because more recent retirees have had fewer qualms. It’s because the financial rewards from lobbying have mushroomed, as big corporations and giant Wall Street banks have sunk fortunes into rigging the game to their advantage.

In every election cycle since 2008, more money has gone into lobbying at the federal level than into political campaigns. And an increasing portion of that lobbying money has gone into the pockets of former members of Congress… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Robert Reich>

Robert goes on to describe the issue in more detail and propose some solutions.  Click through, please.  Personally, I don’t think he goes far enough.  First, every penny lobbyists spend on and every word they communicate to government officials, including transcripts of conversations by phone and in person, should posted at a central website for public inspection.  Second, 3 years is not long enough.  Make it ten.  For the record, most Democrats support laws restricting lobbyists.  Virtually all Republicans oppose them, except for lobbyists that represent unions.

May 242015

I suppose the most positive thing I can say this morning, is that I have had no more surprises.  Nevertheless, my tasks seem endless, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The soon to be officially announced presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and former MN Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, from Uranus, were guests on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. The show aired just before President Obama addressed the nation with his 2014 State Of The Union Speech. Sanders discussed issues that included income equality, minimum wage, education, social security, jobs creation, corporate wealth and tax evasion. Bachmann, a known liar (documented by Politifact), read from the repetitive Right-Wing, Koch-Sucking Declaration of Co-Dependance, while interjecting something about ‘Australia.’ She stuck to the GOP script and was completely unyielding to a mature, courteous, and educated debate.

Batshit Bag Alert!!

One key lie Batshit B attempted is that the lack of jobs is due to years of Obama’s "failed policies". What has stalled the recovery is years of Republican obstruction, sabotage and sedition. Bernie 1 – Tag Team Blitzer & Batshit B 0.

Another from Daily Kos: Yesterday we covered Pastor Matt Makela, the anti-gay Michigan pastor who was outed on Grindr.

Today a young man and his mother have stepped forward with their own story about Pastor Matt Makela. Tyler Kish was a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and sought counsel from Pastor Makela. His advice nearly caused Tyler to commit suicide:

"If he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide," Jennifer Kish said, regarding what Makela told her son.

He didn’t stop there:

Jennifer Kish said the pastor also became vocal on social media about how he felt her son being gay was wrong and that as a parent she shouldn’t support him.

I have zero problem with Pastor Mark Makela being gay. However, I support outing him and causing him to lose his job to stop his hate-filled behavior, as a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrite, from harming more parishioners.

From NY Times: After vigorous debate and intense last-minute pressure by Republican leaders, the Senate on Saturday rejected legislation that would curb the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records…

…The Senate will reconvene on May 31 to try again. But any extension is far from certain to get approval from the House, which is in recess until June 1, with at least one member threatening to block it.

Help keep the good news good. Harass your Senators.



May 222015

Last night I returned from the shower and reached into my drawer for clean underwear.  Imagine my horror when I discovered a handful of air!!!  So I rose early this morning and did the dreaded task, but am now even more tired and further behind than before.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:05 (average 7:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Her neighbors are paying $18 a month. Joyce Villegas has been paying almost $400 a month for over three years because of delays from Hawaiian Electric, the state’s utility company.


Here we have a case of a blue state trying to do the right thing, but failing to organize it properly. The result is that people still waiting are subsidizing the utility service of people who have installed panels. 1:1 buyback sounds nice, but it’s not realistic, because it ignores the need to maintain the power grid.

From The New Yorker: Suspects in the recent biker brawl in Waco, Texas, only slightly outnumber the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, leading some voters to have difficulty distinguishing between the two groups, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, voters who were presented the names of a biker-brawl suspect and a Republican Presidential candidate correctly identified both only thirty per cent of the time.

For example, fifty-seven per cent of voters erroneously identified the former Texas Governor Rick Perry as a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, while forty-one per cent believed he belonged to the Cossacks.

Adding to voters’ confusion, the biker brawlers and G.O.P. candidates have identical views on a host of issues, such as gun rights and whether they would feel comfortable attending a gay wedding.

Andy is off in a couple places here. First, isn’t "Wacko" a better way to spell the town’s name? Second, he missed an obvious solution. Just replace the current clown car with the biker brawl suspects, who are eminently more qualified to govern.

From Media Matters: Fox News’ misleading smear of food stamp recipients as surfing freeloaders found its way into a congressional hearing aimed at examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

On May 20, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the "Past, Present, and Future of SNAP." Throughout the hearing, Fox News’ misleading 2013 special, "The Great Food Stamp Binge" that attempted to make a surfing freeloader "the new face of food stamps" was referenced several times as evidence of abuse within the program.

Fox’s misrepresentation of food stamp recipients found its way into the hearing when two members on the committee used the special as anecdotal evidence of abuse within SNAP. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) used Fox’s example of a "surfer out in California living on food stamps and eating lobster" as evidence of abuse within the program, though he "forg[o]t which network" aired the special.

Later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) also referenced "the surfer that was on one of the news channels," claiming, "unfortunately, we see that in our districts, and I hear stories about that every day."

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has become the Republican Reichsministry of Policy.



May 142015

Yesterday I wrote about a Senate vote refusing to move forward on fast track authority for the TPP and future trade deals.  In that article, stated that I expected only temporary success and hoped for inclusions with safeguards for working Americans.  It appears that success will be far too temporary and that my hope was in vain.

0514SenDemsSenate Democrats on Wednesday relented in their opposition to the consideration of legislation expediting trade agreements, just 24 hours after their vote blocking the bill put a temporary halt on President Obama’s trade agenda.

In exchange for allowing Trade Promotion Authority to move forward, Democrats will get to vote Thursday on bills cracking down on Chinese currency manipulation and giving preferential treatment to imports from African countries.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the deal on the Senate floor on Wednesday. Trade Promotion Authority allows the president to negotiate agreements that Congress must vote on without amendment. To secure Democratic votes, McConnell will combine that bill with a separate measure providing aid to workers displaced by foreign trade. Senate Democrats on Tuesday had demanded that McConnell package all four bills together, but he refused on the grounds that the currency proposal would have sunk the underlying trade legislation in the House. Now House Republicans can choose to ignore the currency and Africa measures even if they clear the Senate… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Atlantic>

If I understand it correctly, all the accompanying bills will stand or fail on their own.  Even if the separate measures pass, the House will be able to pass Fast Track and send it on while rejecting everything else.  I could be mistaken, because I have read contradicting sources on the issue.  The down side is that Fast Track looks like it will pass, if it has not done so already.