Dec 022016
 

Once again it’s TGIF day, and I’m ready for a restful weekend.  My shoulder is improving slightly, but I did have to cancel my appointment yesterday with Courtney, my physical terrorist.  There is no way I could have stood up to her loving abuse.  I hope you enjoy one of your last weekends living in a democratic republic.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Exposed by CMD: Theocracy: She Has Pushed for Vouchers and More to Get Tax Money to Support Christian Schools

DeVos has approached the issue of education as a religious issue for her personally and as an area which she wants to change the law to reflect her personal views. A long-time partisan activist, she got involved in education “reform” in the early 1990s, around the time that her husband ran for a seat on the Michigan state Board of Education.

After he stepped down from that post, in 1993 she and her husband took on the “Education Freedom Fund,” which, she has said, “I would define as ultimately Christian in its nature because in excess of 90% of the parents who receive these scholarships choose Christian schools to go to.” EFF provides private funding for private school tuition, and is supported with significant donations from the DeVos family.

Why did she and here husband choose to get involved in the political battles over public education even though they did not send their kids to public schools and they financially support private Christian schools?

In a joint interview for “The Gathering,” a group focused on advancing Christian ideology through philanthropy, she and her husband said they decided to focus on reforming public education and funding for private education because the “Lord led us there” and “God led us.”

At that meeting, they were asked if it would not have been simpler to fund Christian schools directly rather than fund political efforts like vouchers to get more tax dollars to fund Christian schools, and she replied: “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education versus what is spent every year on education in this country… So, our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom,” adding that they want “to impact our culture [in ways] that may have great Kingdom gain in the long-run by changing the way we approach things.”

Her husband added: “We are working …. to allow for our Christian worldview, which for us comes from a Calvinist tradition, and to provide for a more expanded opportunity someday for all parents to be able to educate their children in a school that reflects their world view and not each day sending their child to a school that may be reflecting a world view that may be quite antithetical to the worldview they hold in their families.”

When asked if they are “against public education,” they have denied that charge while trying to reframe the conversation.

Betsy DeVos responded: “No, we are for good education and for having every child have an opportunity for a good education. And having grown up in families that are in the business world, we both believe that competition and choices make everyone better, and that ultimately if the system that prevails in the United States today had more competition, if there were other choices for people to make freely that all of the schools would become better as a result and that excellence would be sought in every setting. So we are very strong proponents of fundamentally changing the way we approach education … because there are hundreds of thousands and millions of children that are forced to go every day to a school that is not meeting their needs and it’s not right.”

Her husband added that they are for “public education” but that’s not the same as “public schools.” He said public funding for education of all kinds is a “laudable concept” that should not be forced to operate through “government-run schools.”

He also stated: “In my opinion, the Church has sadly retrenched from its central role in our community, to where now as we look at many communities in our country the church which ought to be in our view far more central to the life in our community has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity the center for what goes on the community….”

He added, “it is certainly our hope that churches would continue no matter what the environment whether there is government funding someday through vouchers or tax credits or some other mechanism…that more and more churches will get more and more active and engaged in education. We just can think of no better way to rebuild our families and our communities than to have that circle of church, school, and family much more tightly focused and being built on a consistent world view.”

Betsy DeVos did not disagree with this statement of their shared goals and responded: “If I can just add to that very quickly, I think for many years the church in general has felt that it is important for the children of the congregation to be in the schools to make a difference but in fact I think what has happened in many cases for the last couple of decades is that the schools have impacted the kids more than the kids have impacted the schools. The young children need to have a pretty solid foundation to be able to combat the kind of influences that they are presented with on a daily basis.”

(All quotes above are transcribed from their hour-long interview for “The Gathering,” available here.)

This is just one of five things listed that you need to know about Barf Bag Betsy DeVos, the fascist sycophant Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten has tasked with destroying Public Education in America. Click through for the other four.

From ABC: President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday night that he will "appoint" retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to be his secretary of defense. The two met in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November for an hour, after which Trump called Mattis the “real deal.”

Under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, certain federal positions appointed by the president — including secretary of defense -– require confirmation of the U.S. Senate.

Mattis most recently served as the head of U.S. Central Command. A lifelong bachelor, he is known as the “warrior monk” for his knowledge of ancient and military history.

The four-star general is revered by many for his leadership and also known for his blunt words…

"Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.”

That quote tells us why the Fuhrer, aka the Rectum of Rage, likes Mad Dog. However, he is forbidden by law to serve as Defense Secretary, until he has been separated from military service for seven years.

From TPM: Some Senate Democrats were harshly critical of Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, the latest in a line of financial elites tapped for his cabinet who they say betrays the President-elect’s promise to “drain the swamp” of insiders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Steve Mnuchin “the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis” in a statement Tuesday, referencing Munchin’s two-decade-long tenure at Goldman Sachs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“His selection as Treasury secretary should send shivers down the spine of every American who got hit hard by the financial crisis, and is the latest sign that Donald Trump has no intention of draining the swamp and every intention of running Washington to benefit himself and his rich buddies," she said, as quoted by the newspaper.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) also took aim at Mnuchin’s time leading the bank OneWest, known for its aggressive foreclosure practices.

“Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities," he said in a statement.

Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten is just a Republican that reflects all the hate of the Theocons, Alt-Right Nazis and KKK and all the greed of the Billionaires, Banksters, Corporate Criminals and Vulture Capitalists.

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May it survive to see its 50th anniversary.

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Nov 272016
 

Wendy is about to leave.  She rubbed and scrubbed a very stinky TomCat, did some light housework, and cooked me a rotini casserole.  We had eggs over easy and O’Brien potatoes for brunch.  She rubbed my shoulder with Icy Hot.  I’m listening to the Chargers v. Texans meditation, and my Broncos meditate with the Chiefs this evening.  May the holy Ellipsoid Orb shine its blessed light on your team, unless they live under an arch.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: President-elect Donald “I’m supported by fear and hatred and ignorance” Trump has a fantastic new tax plan. Well, it’s not “new.” It’s basically the same shitty Republican tax plan that destroys the poor and working classes every time it gets enacted. Trump says the largest tax reductions are for the middle class. He also has a bridge in New York to sell you if you believe that. If you are wealthy, guess what? You will get to pretend that you are going to “create jobs” with your new found wealth—on top of the wealth you already have. If you are in the middle class? Sorry, Charlie!

Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they’d be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America’s richest 1 percent.

How about single-parent households that make decent money?

“If you’re a low- or moderate-income single parent, you’re going to get hurt,” said Bob Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

[…]

But Lily Batchelder, a visiting fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former deputy director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, estimates that roughly 7.9 million families with children would pay higher taxes under his proposals. About 5.8 million are led by single parents. An additional 2.1 million are married couples.

This has always been Republican tax policy. It’s raise YOUR taxes to give massive tax cuts to billionaires, aka No Billionaire Left Behind.

From NY Times: Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said on Saturday that it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin incited by a third-party candidate and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

It’s about time!!

From YouTube (TYT Channel): It’s Time to Stand with Standing Rock

 

Amen!!

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Sep 262016
 

I finally had a decent night’s sleep, last night, but feel no better, because it will take several more before I’m back to speed.  I’ll be stocking up on Barf Bags for tonight’s media circus.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0925Broncos29-Bengals17

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The pitched battle over President Obama’s signature climate change policy, which is moving to the courts this week, carries considerable political, economic and historical stakes. Yet its legal fate, widely expected to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, could rest on a clerical error in an obscure provision of a 26-year-old law.

That error, which left conflicting amendments on power plant regulation in the Clean Air Act, will be a major focus of oral arguments by opponents of Mr. Obama’s initiative when the case is heard on Tuesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The initiative, known as the Clean Power Plan, which Mr. Obama sees as at the heart of his climate change legacy, gave the United States critical leverage to broker the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord. If the plan is struck down, the United States, the world’s largest carbon polluter over the centuries, will lose its main tool to cut greenhouse gas emissions. If it is upheld, it will transform the nation’s electricity system, closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and setting in motion a wholesale shift to wind, solar and nuclear power, as well as to improved electric transmission systems.

As things stand now, the Supreme Court will probably vote 4-4, meaning that whatever decision the last Appeals Court will have made will stand. This should demonstrate just how critical it is for Democrats to hold the Presidency and take the Senate.

From Think Progress:

Hours after the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times published separate stories outlining the lies Donald Trump has told during his presidential campaign, Trump’s campaign spokesperson told ABC’s “This Week” that it isn’t the media’s job to factcheck the presidential debate.

“I really don’t appreciate the campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers,” Kellyanne Conway said, in an apparent attempted jab at the Clinton campaign. She also opposed debate moderators questioning the candidates’ truthfulness in any way…
…Conway went on to praise Matt Lauer’s performance during a candidate forum earlier this month, during which he pressed Clinton on several issues, but accepted Trump’s (false) claim that he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning.

“We thought he did a great job,” Conway said.

No surprises there.

From Robert Reich: Last week, Congress engaged in a bipartisan barrage of CEO bashing…

…Such shaming before congressional committees tends to reassure the public Congress is taking action. But – especially with Republicans in charge – Congress is doing nothing to prevent the wrongdoing from recurring.

Can we be clear? CEOs have only one goal in mind – making money. If they can make more money by misleading or price gouging, they’ll continue to do so until it’s no longer as profitable…

…So instead of setting up further rounds of CEO perp walks for the TV cameras, Congress should give the Justice Department and regulatory agencies enough funding to do their jobs.

While they’re at it, break up the biggest banks. And regulate drug prices directly, as does every other country.

It’s easy to holler at CEOs. It’s time for to stop hollering and take action.

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right. The problem is that the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is still deplorable. They will block reform as long as they have the power to do so.

Cartoon:

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Sep 232016
 

I’m still trying to establish a sleeping schedule without success, so please forgive me for being brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Staff Notice:

Raw Story has also started using the Republish/Reprint © widget, so we can on longer use Creative Commons Attribution with their articles.

Short Takes:

From MSN (H/T Squatch): Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a prominent Ohio county has claimed there was “no racism” during the 1960s and said black people who have not succeeded over the past half-century only have themselves to blame.

Kathy Miller, chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, who is white, made the remarks during a taped interview with the Guardian’s Anywhere but Washington series of election videos.

“If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you,” she said.

I found video that can be embedded.  Barf Bag Alert!!

There was no racism, the Pope was never Catholic, and bears never, ever shit in the woods.

From Daily Kos: A couple of weeks ago, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million in penalties for perpetrating a massive fraud on customers. Wells Fargo executives boasted that they had fired 5,300 workers involved in improprieties, but not a single executive was punished. In fact, executives that literally oversaw the departments where the gargantuan fraud was committed were very well compensated, and lauded. Yesterday, Wells Fargo CEO—and blame-game champion—John Stumpf went in front of a Senate Banking Committee where he was rightfully castigated by Senator Elizabeth Warren for his “gutless leadership.” Part of Stumpf’s “apology” was to say that Wells Fargo didn’t do this as much as bad apples did it. It’s a similar defense used by people who murder citizens. Well, lookie here:

Now CNNMoney is hearing from former Wells Fargo (WFC) workers around the country who tried to put a stop to these illegal tactics. Almost half a dozen workers who spoke with us say they paid dearly for trying to do the right thing: they were fired.

"They ruined my life," Bill Bado, a former Wells Fargo banker in Pennsylvania, told CNNMoney.

Bado not only refused orders to open phony bank and credit accounts. The New Jersey man called an ethics hotline and sent an email to human resources in September 2013, flagging unethical sales activities he was being instructed to do.

According to Badu, he was fired for “tardiness” eight days after sending his email to the Wells Fargo “hotline.”

It’s good that Bado and others like him were fired for noncompliance with the Banksters’ crimes. Otherwise they would have fired anyway as scapegoats. At least they get to keep their integrity.

From NY Times: The white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black driver here last week as he stood outside his vehicle overreacted during a confrontation captured on video and was charged on Thursday with first-degree manslaughter, the authorities said.

According to court documents, the officer, Betty Jo Shelby, 42, was overcome with fear that the man, Terence Crutcher, 40, who was not responding to her commands and was walking away from her with his hands up, was going to kill her.

Charging her was necessary, because the case is so obvious. I expect we will see an intentionally botched prosecution and/or intentionally tainted evidence.

Cartoon:

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Sep 222016
 

Although I tired myself out yesterday, I still could not sleep last night or this morning, so I need to rest today.  This is today’s only article from me, and I won’t be sending link messages on Care2.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:21).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: That Darn Trump! Episode 2: What Do You Have To Lose?

Animated Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I’m not sure about its value as humor, but it sure is accurate.

From YouTube: Warren Presses FBI On Financial Crisis Case | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

 

Lizzie raises some great points. I also want to know why the Banksters that caused the crisis were not prosecuted.

From Daily Kos: …Bondi’s first political opponent in 2010, former state senator and federal prosecutor Dan Gelber, recently said she should at least have returned the check to Trump while the New York case was pending.

But Bondi on Tuesday said she didn’t return the check because it would have looked as if it were a bribe…

LOL!! If you believe that, then I blew the fart, because holding it in would have looked like I ate Chile.

Cartoon:

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Republican Supply-side Jesus and Jesus are exact opposites.

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Corporate Deserters

 Posted by at 2:34 pm  Politics
Sep 142016
 

If you’re a regular here, you know that the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is virtually always wrong, and the Reich on the Left, Robert Reich, is virtually always right.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Robert and Bernie usually agree, as they do about greedy corporate deserters and their Republican supporters.

0914Deserters

Apple is only the latest big global American corporation to use foreign tax shelters to avoiding paying its fair share of U.S. taxes. It’s just another form of corporate desertion.

Corporations are deserting America by hiding their profits abroad or even shifting their corporate headquarters to another nation because they want lower taxes abroad. And some politicians say the only way to stop these desertions is to reduce corporate tax rates in the U.S. so they won’t leave.

Wrong. If we start trying to match lower corporate tax rates around the world, there’s no end to it.

Instead, the President should use his executive power to end the financial incentives that encourage this type of corporate desertion. President Obama has already begun, but there is much left that could be done.

In addition, corporation [sic] that desert America by sheltering a large portion of their profits abroad or moving their headquarters to another country should no longer be entitled to the advantages of being American…

From <Robert Reich>

I could not agree more.  I deplore those greedy corporations.

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