Sep 242016
 

I’m still struggling to sleep.  At this point, I don’t know if it’s a side effect of Cymbalta or the result of this strange fall weather.  Even though the temperature last night was 50°, it doesn’t make my apartment bearable when there is no wind to move that cool air inside, and the humidity is 96%.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  I probably won’t publish until late in the day, because my Broncos meditate in Cincinnati in the early game, and it’s a Wendy day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:27 (average 6:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: During a “town hall style” appearance on Wednesday with Sean Hannity to address “African-American concerns,”—an event that seemed to lack actual African-Americans—Donald Trump told an audience member what he would do to curb violent crime. He would implement a nationwide "stop and frisk" program, based on the controversial, racially-biased and unconstitutional program run in New York City for more than a decade. 

This morning he appeared on Fox and Friends and offered more details on how that might work. You will not believe his jaw-dropping remarks. From his appearance on Fox and Friends:

FOX AND FRIENDS: will you explain what that is to my folks down in South Carolina that don’t really deal with stop and frisk? What exactly is it and what are the pros and cons?

TRUMP: Well, there are different levels. and you have somebody coming up who is the expert on it but basically they will—if they see, you know, they are proactive and if they see a person possibly with a gun or they think may have a gun, they will see the person and they will look and they will take the gun away. They will stop, they will frisk, and they will take the gun away and they won’t have anything to shoot with. I mean, how it’s not being used in Chicago is—to be honest with you, it’s a quite unbelievable, and you know the police, the local police, they know who has a gun, who shouldn’t be having a gun. They understand that.

From a Republican Ammosexual perspective, the right to bear arms is absolute…, but for Caucasians only.

From Media Matters: When we heard that rancid white nationalists were holding a press conference near us, there was only one thing to do: send a gay Latino to cover it.

Barf Bucket Alert!!

 

A barf bag was much too small for that one!!

From The New Yorker: At a campaign rally on Friday, Donald Trump warned that Hillary Clinton is scheming to “rig the debate by using facts” in their first televised face-off, on Monday.

“You just watch, folks,” Trump told supporters in Toledo, Ohio. “Crooked Hillary is going to slip in little facts all night long, and that’s how she’s going to try to rig the thing.”

“It’s a disgrace,” he added.

The billionaire drew a sharp contrast between himself and the former Secretary of State by claiming that his debate prep “involved no facts whatsoever.”

Sorry Andy. I’m afraid we already knew that Hillary is sneaky enough to use facts and Rump Dump isn’t.

Cartoon:

0924Cartoon

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Aug 262016
 

Last night, I stayed up late to optimize our site.  First, I analyzed the load times for plugins and found that we had a huge resource hog.  Our Top Commentators plugin used more than three times the resources of all our other plugins combined and was adding 33% to the time it took to load every page.  I really liked it, but dang!!  I took it out.  Next, I optimized the database.  Most important, I have begun optimizing images.  We have over 25,000.  One I have the old ones done, I’ve set up a service to automatically optimize new ones for about $10 per month.  Now I get to venture into the heat for abuse.  I’ll finish when I return.

PT went very well.  Courtney was merciless, but I managed all her tasks.  I stopped at the bank on the way home, but when I got here the elevator was out of service AGAIN.  I had to wait in the heat for an hour, before the repair tech could run the assembled cripples upstairs.  In the interim, I’ve wilted.  This is my only article today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:15).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Warren Hinckle, the flamboyant editor who made Ramparts magazine a powerful national voice for the radical left in the 1960s and later by championing the work of Hunter S. Thompson and helping introduce the no-holds-barred reporting style known as gonzo journalism, died on Thursday. He was 77.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, his daughter Pia Hinckle said.

Ramparts was a small-circulation quarterly for liberal Roman Catholics when Mr. Hinckle began writing for and promoting it in the early 1960s. A born provocateur with a keen sense of public relations, he took over as the executive editor in 1964 and immediately set about transforming Ramparts from a sleepy intellectual journal to a slickly produced, crusading political magazine that galvanized the American left.

0826Ramparts

RIP Warren. Back in the day, I used to read every issue of Ramparts.

From Alternet:

Here are 12 examples [of Rump Dump Racism] cited by Clinton.

1. Deeply Insulting African Americans: Trump’s remarks show he has no appreciation for black culture or achievement, Clinton said, but instead utters one ugly cliche after another. “In just the past week, under the guise of ‘outreach’ to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in such insulting and ignorant terms. ‘Poverty. Rejection.  Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen.’ ‘Right now,’ he said, ‘you walk down the street and get shot.’ Those are his words.”

2. Racist then, racist now: Trump has a decades-old history of mistreating and stereotyping blacks, Clinton said, starting with his refusal to rent New York City apartments to them. “When he was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants,” she said. “Their applications would be marked with a C—C for ‘colored’—and then rejected. Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed… And the pattern continued through the decades. State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turnover rate for his minority employees was way above average.”

3. His racist lies don’t stop: Before the 2016 presidential election, Trump was at the forefront of the right-wing effort to discredit President Obama’s legitimacy by questioning his national origin. “Let’s not forget that Trump first gained political prominence leading the charge for the so-called birthers,” she said. “He promoted the racist lie that President Obama is not really an American citizen; part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black president. In 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for president with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. And he accused the Mexican government of actively sending them across the border. None of that is true.”

I shared three. Click through for the other nine.

From Crooks and Liars: This is unreal. Kellyanne Conway graced the set of The Rachel Maddow Show last night. Among other things, Rachel asked about the "pivot" away from a total ban on Muslims to an "extreme vetting" of those entering the United States.

As usual, Rachel had clearly done her homework. The "extreme vetting" that the Trump campaign correctly identifies as originating during the Cold War, was vetoed by Harry Truman, passed as an override by Congress anyway, and then found unconstitutional. By all modern legal measures, the similar Trump proposal would also be found unconstitutional.

 

No matter how many times Rachel said it’s unconstitutional, Conway ignored her and circled back to her talking points. Like other Republicans, Trump’s Rectumites don’t care about the Constitution.

Cartoon:

0826Cartoon

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Aug 232016
 

I’ll be as brief as I can, as I have a meeting this evening and need to rest today.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:59 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, and legislature have happily joined in on the War on Women and the war on Planned Parenthood, attempting to state funding to reproductive health clinics and diverting resources away from clinics that provide abortion. What does that mean when it comes to fighting a disease that kills and deforms unborn babies? A looming disaster.

"We haven’t heard about any kits," says Laura Goodhue, a vice president at Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida. Planned Parenthood hasn’t received any Zika kits from the Florida Department of Health, nor has it received any guidance from the department about how to serve pregnant women during a possible outbreak. […]

A big part of the defense against infection for women in Florida appears to be the Zika prevention kits and OB-GYN outreach, but the Scott administration’s strategy is unclear. The Planned Parenthood affiliate operates three clinics in Miami-Dade County, which has the fourth-highest uninsured rate in the country, and another just over the border in Broward County. The women’s health care organization serves tens of thousands of people per year, many of whom are low-income and without insurance—and more likely to get pregnant by accident. As Laura Goodhue notes, they have not received a single kit.

This Republican is intentionally withholding life-saving services to the women who need them most. When his victims start dying, he will undoubtedly blame Planned Parenthood for the blood on his own hands.

From NY Times: Taking advantage of almost a decade of political victories in state legislatures across the country, conservative advocacy groups are quietly marshaling support for an event unprecedented in the nation’s history: a convention of the 50 states, summoned to consider amending the Constitution.

The groups are an amalgam of free-market, low-tax and small-government proponents,

I urge you to click through to read this entire article to better understand how critically important it is to win down-ballot races. Then vote blue.

From Alternet: Donald Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton badly in Colorado, which despite being a "swing state" went for President Obama twice. And despite boasting that he’ll change the electoral map, Trump is running a ground game in the Centennial State that can only be described as embarrassing, even for him.

According to St. Louis-based news station KMOV 4, Weston Imer runs the GOP nominee’s campaign office in Jefferson County, Colorado, which is "part of the Denver metro area" and "one of the most populous counties in Colorado," KMOV notes. But Weston is just 12 years old.

I consider it horrid that one so young is so corrupted. On the plus side, it appears that Rump Dump has all but given up in CO.

Cartoon: (Yesterday at the Podiatrist’s office, I heard a "trigger"word!)

0823CartoonTCPodiatrist

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Jul 112016
 

It’s taken a month for the Republican Party to come up with an official response to the Orlando Massacre.  They took an ever so brief timeout from hating, Blacks, Latinos,Women. the poor, etc., to focus their hatred on the LGBT community.

0711gophateguide

One month ago on Tuesday, a gunman shot and killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. House Republicans plan to mark this milestone with a hearing on a bill that would enable widespread discrimination against LGBT people. The legislation, ironically named the “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) rests on the idea that discrimination should be excused when it is justified by religion.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans to consider FADA. The anti-LGBT bill has 171 different co-sponsors, nearly all of them Republicans.

By its own explicit terms, FADA grants special rights to individuals with a “religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” In that sense, it closely resembles a Mississippi law that a federal judge halted earlier this month, in part because it extends special treatment to individuals with anti-LGBT religious beliefs.

Under, the core provision of FADA “the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with” a religious objection to marriage equality or a faith-based belief that sexual relations must be reserved to a marriage between people of the opposite sex. Subsequent provisions define the term “discriminatory action” to include a broad range of sanctions against religious objectors who themselves engage in discrimination. The government cannot deny tax subsidies to religious objectors who discriminate against LGBT people, or deny them a grant or benefit, or, under a catch-all provision, “otherwise discriminate against such person.”… [emphasis added]

From <Think Progress>

Photo Credit: The Great American Disconnect

Essentially this proposal would codify allowing the right to religious beliefs of one person to take precedence over the Constitutional rights of another person, but only if the beliefs, upon which hateful discrimination is based, are the beliefs of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, the polar opposite of authentic Christians.  As such, it seeks to establish pseudo-Christianity as a state religion, a clear violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.

Of the 171 co-sponsors of this hateful garbage, I could find only one Democrat.  He is Rep. Daniel Lepinski [DINO-IL]. If you’re an Illinoisan, especially from the 3rd Congressional District, would you please give this Trump Humping DINO a call and tear him a new one?

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Mar 222016
 

I felt tired and chilly, so I opened the Lona box and made a withdrawal.  I ordered groceries from Store to Door for delivery tomorrow.  I expect Lu to arrive in about an hour to help me with my shower.  Hugs to all!!  My thoughts and prayers go out to to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, that have killed at least 30 and wounded at least 230, and to all their loved ones.  I am not covering it as a news item today, except to make this statement and condemn all political violence, especially when it hijacks religion.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:43 (average 7:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I’m a Bernie supporter. I canvassed for him. I phone-banked for him. I have contributed $2,100 to his campaign so far, and plan to keep giving until either I hit the maximum or he is no longer in the race. Have I established my bonafides?

I am not, however, an absolutist. I recognize politics is a win or lose proposition and, in the end, we often have to support the better of the two options, even if they are not the options I would want. In other words, if Bernie loses, I will be canvassing for Hillary, phone banking for her, and shifting my contributions to her.

Here are a few numbers that explain why:

  • 17 million: The number of people who will lose their health insurance if Hillary or Bernie is not elected.
  • 2: The number of Supreme Court Justices who will likely be named in the next four years. That amount is high enough that it will lock SCOTUS in either a conservative or liberal position for decades.
  • 4.75: The minimum amount per hour that people working for minimum wage will not receive for at least through 2021.
  • 33: The percent of women who will seek an abortion sometime in their lives who will not be able to obtain one because Republicans will be in power in all three branches of government.
  • 1: The minimum number of international accords on controlling climate change that the United States will abrogate

I don’t have the author’s bonafides, because I lack his time, mobility, and resources, but I fully agree with him. Click through for the rest of the list.

From NY Times: The Justice Department said on Monday that it might no longer need Apple’s assistance in opening an iPhone used by a gunman in the San Bernardino, Calif., rampage last year.

The disclosure led a judge to postpone a court hearing over the issue and temporarily sidesteps what has become a bitter clash with the world’s most valuable company.

In a new court filing, the government said an outside party had demonstrated a way for the F.B.I. to possibly unlock the phone used by the gunman, Syed Rizwan Farook. The hearing in the contentious case — Apple has loudly opposed opening the iPhone, citing privacy concerns and igniting a heated debate — was originally set for Tuesday.

Donation requests have been going around, claiming to have forced the FBI back down. They forced nothing.  Such scam requests should not be rewarded.  Finding another way to hack the phone is not backing down. It isn’t even a win, unless their activity keeps our cell phone privacy secure.  It clearly has not done so.  Left wing organizations who use lies to solicit money are acting like Republicans. Boycott them.

From Crooks and Liars: Once again, we turn to the inimitable Samantha Bee to make sense out of the senseless Republicans’ need to obstruct President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.

 

I may start calling her Samantha Bingo.

Cartoon:

0322Cartoon

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Jan 112016
 

I was up to see my mother today, not arriving home until 22:15.  She is doing as well as can be expected, and ate all of her dinner with gusto which is nice to see.  It is good that she eats well when fed, but it is also a sign that her mental condition is deteriorating . . . she doesn't "fight" for her dignity anymore.  This week will be very busy with physio, teaching, getting my mother to a doctor's appointment, and meeting with the other members of the Family Council for mother's nursing home.  So I may be short, or I may have to skip a day.  We'll see.

Short Takes

Mother Jones — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has a plan to make America great again: Add nine new amendments to the Constitution. On Friday, fed up with Supreme Court rulings that have gone against conservatives as well as the regulatory actions of the Obama administration, the first-term Republican issued a 92-page report outlining his proposed tweaks to the founding document and calling for a national constitutional convention to make it happen.

Click through for Abbott's suggestions contained in the report, and the report itself.  These are nine more reasons why progressives must get out the vote for state and federal elections.  As I understand, any changes to the constitution require a 75% vote in favour — that's 38 states.  How many states are now controlled by Republicans?  I don't expect all Republican states to buy in, but . . . 

Think Progress — Mark Zuckerberg, new dad,  shared an image of his daughter with a note that it was time for the six-week-old baby girl to get vaccinated.

Mark Zuckerberg

Doctor's visit — time for vaccines!

3,103,434 Likes · 81,576 Comments · 29,938 Shares

Now normally, I'd be inclined to say "who cares what Zuckerberg writes" but this is different.  As a new parent, he has studied the literature and made an educated decision to vaccinate his daughter.  Thank you Mr Zuckerberg for making the decision to vaccinate your daughter very public.  My maternal grandfather was afflicted with polio at the age of three, about 1910, and never walked again.  His body was twisted so that his hips and legs faced sideways and his head and arms, forward.  There was no vaccine then.  He wished there had been.

Huffington Post — Canada plans to kick-start a long-stalled international effort aimed at ridding the world of the key ingredients needed for nuclear weapons, The Canadian Press has learned.

The renewed push this week by Canada's United Nations ambassador to Geneva to spearhead the creation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty or FMCT, comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to attend U.S. President Barack Obama's Nuclear Security Summit.

Trudeau's presence at the Obama summit, March 31 and April 1, would come just three weeks after his scheduled March 10 gala state dinner at the White House.

Canada's renewed focus on nuclear non-proliferation efforts has been in the works for months, but the effort has new urgency because of North Korea's recent claim to have conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb.

During the now infamous Harper years, Canada's role as a peaceful nation took a hit.  Harper scorned the United Nations at every turn.  He was trying to show that he was wearing his big boy pants and was able to go it alone. Unfortunately, he was the class clown.  Now Trudeau is trying to draw people together to discuss where this world wants to be . . . a place of peace and growth, or a nuclear cesspool of death and destruction.  I support Trudeau's efforts and all those countries which stand with us.  With the state of affairs today, I doubt he'll have the success necessary, but I choose to live with hope.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My Universe —  h/t Christeen A, Care2

Some will do anything for a meal!

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