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.

0608big-oil-5

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.

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Jun 042015
 

After 6 hours of heavy cleaning and everything else, I’m completely pooped, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Some are calling Robert Minjarez Jr. the Latino Eric Garner. Sadly, the comparison is uncanny—including the failure of the system to indict the officers who killed Minjarez.

For about five minutes, the report said, Minjarez is heard on dashcam audio screaming, "Help! Help! Help me! Get off! You’re going to kill me!" The report also quotes him as saying "You’re going to suffocate…" and "I can’t breathe" three times. He cried and screamed, his voice becoming "increasingly muffled, hoarse and strained" while repeating "I can’t breathe," the report added.

About five minutes after he was restrained, the report said, Minjarez groaned and gurgled, and an officer said, "You got 265 pounds on your back, you’re not going anywhere." The suspect groaned "and no more sounds are heard from him," the report said.

The report from the Lafayette, Louisiana, coroner lists the cause of death as "compressional asphyxia due to face-down physical restraint by law enforcement officers."

As was the case with the officers who killed Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, the grand jury proceedings in this case are sealed and prosecutors are not obligated to say a single word.

Republican Florida cops are making sure that Latinos get their fair share of police murder. They are equal-opportunity racist Republican criminals.

From Upworthy: FIFA World Cup gets red-carded by John Oliver for the death, slavery, and bribery things.

 

The US guy did have one thing going for him. He put his cat up in Trump Towers. Convict the guy, but reserve funds to keep the cat where he is.

From The New Yorker: Just hours after the United States Senate voted to reverse key provisions of the Patriot Act, former President George W. Bush said that he regretted that the law had been partially repealed before he ever got a chance to read it.

“At the time when it was being passed and whatnot, people around the White House were saying it was a really good law,” Bush said at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. “I remember saying to myself, ‘I really need to read that.’ ”

Bush said that right after he signed the Patriot Act into law, “I wrote on a little Post-It note, ‘READ PATRIOT ACT.’ So it was definitely something I was meaning to do. But I guess it was one of those things I never did get around to.”

Now that the law has been partially reversed, Bush said, “I suppose it’s a little late in the game to start reading it,” but he indicated that he still “might check it out just to see what all the fuss was about.”

I trust Andy realizes that no Senator or Representatives has ever read it either.

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Apr 052015
 

I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but I am taking it easy.  My Easter message from last year has lost none of it’s relevance, so I’m just reposting it.  I think it’s worth a second go round.  Hugs to all from the Easter Cat!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:01 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From Daily Kos: Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… end of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

  1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
  2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
  3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual unseemliness – Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
  1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
  1. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
  1. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
  1. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
  1. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
  2. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
  3. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

A classic!

From NY Times: As the proposed agreement over Iran’s nuclear program is debated in coming weeks, President Obama will make his case to a Congress controlled by Republicans who are more fervently pro-Israel than ever, partly a result of ideology, but also a product of a surge in donations and campaign spending on their behalf by a small group of wealthy donors.

One of the surprisingly high-profile critics is Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who burst to prominence with a letter signed by 46 Republican colleagues to leaders of Iran warning against a deal. Mr. Cotton, echoing criticism by Israeli leaders, swiftly denounced the framework reached on Thursday as “a list of dangerous U.S. concessions that will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons” — words, his colleagues say, that expressed his deep concern about Iran’s threat to Israel’s security.

But it is also true that Mr. Cotton and other Republicans benefited from millions in campaign spending in 2014 by several pro-Israel Republican billionaires and other influential American donors who helped them topple Democratic opponents.

When hatred and billionaire bucks come together, it’s a Republican wet dream.

From Alternet: Mike Huckabee could give Cruz a run for his money in anti-LGBT hysteria.

All-but-declared presidential contender Mike Huckabee is right up there with Ted Cruz in his anti-gay hysteria. In an interview with CNN this week, the Huckster warned of the “militant gay community” that has mobilized behind “more pressure to put sanctions on Indiana than Iran.”

Ah, but the down-home, grits ‘n’ gun-loving former pastor, does have a way with words.

He especially did not appreciate the fact that big corporations like Apple and Walmart—which he loves, don’t get him wrong—joined in the condemnation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, enabling people and businesses to discriminate against gays.

“The reason that those corporations put the pressure on Indiana and Arkansas was because the militant gay community put the pressure on them,” Huckabee insisted. The dreaded “militant gay community” does not represent average Americans according to the Huckster. He does.

On an appearance on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” this week, Huckabee continued his crusade, saying the LGBT rights movement is akin to something out of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984: “It is a classic example of — really a page out of 1984, when what things mean are the opposite of what they really are,” he said.

Hmmm. Really interesting point, Mike, because if ever there was an excellent example of 1984-like Newspeak, it has to be calling the license to discriminate “religious freedom.” Huckabee is a consummate speaker of this language: “That’s what I’m seeing here is that in the name of tolerance, there’s intolerance. In the name of diversity, there’s uniformity. In the name of acceptance, there’s true discrimination.”

Wow! He’s good.

This blast of garbage from Upchuck Huck is just one of the five most deranged Republican moments from last week alone. Click through for the other four.

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Apr 022015
 

Yesterday’s attempt to return to blogging did not go well.  The site where I share articles for wider distribution can be buggy at times.  Yesterday it fought me for an hour t0 upload the articles.  Then it failed to deliver the notifications I sent to over 200 people.  Later, the electrical outlet for my refrigerator failed.  Getting at it took over two hours of hard work, and it turned out to be the only outlet in my unit that does not have an internal circuit breaker.  Fortunately my groceries did not spoil.  So I’m beginning the day behind the curve.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:34 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: RWW News: Bryan Fischer Says Indiana’s Law Prevents Discrimination Against Christians

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

This is an example of the lies that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are being taught about this Republican hate-law.

From Nextgen Climate: Watch and share this video if you think climate change denial is ridiculous!

 

Were this to be played on the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, the sheeple would accept it as factual.

From NY Times: Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on bribery charges on Wednesday in what prosecutors said was a scheme to trade political favors for luxury vacations, golf outings, campaign donations and expensive flights.

The indictment, the first federal bribery charges against a sitting senator in a generation, puts Mr. Menendez’s political future in jeopardy. He faces a possible sentence of 15 years in prison for each of the eight bribery counts.

Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, angrily denied wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charges. “This is not how my career is going to end,” he said at a news conference in Newark, where supporters cheered him. “Today contradicts my public service career and my entire life.”

The federal investigation into Mr. Menendez, 61, was well known, and charges had been expected. But the accusations in the 68-page indictment are much broader and more severe than had been publicly known. The senator was also charged with conspiracy and making false statements.

For the good of the party and the nation, Menendez should step down immediately. That said, I have long thought he should be challenged in the primary, because he acts more like a Republican in other ways too.

Cartoon:

0402Cartoon

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Dec 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 54.  I’m surprised I was able to find content today, and am hurrying to finish, before the broncos dine on pirate parts, even though CBS has a different game on late here.  I can still follow the play by play.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:06 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1228-Broncos47-Raiders14

They were televised locally after all.  Wooo Hooo!!

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The governors of New York and New Jersey, defying the unanimous votes of both their Legislatures, on Saturday rejected a bill aimed at curbing political interference and patronage at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, more than a year after lane closings at the George Washington Bridge set off a scandal that looms over the agency to this day.

Rare as it is to find a meeting of the minds between Cuomo and PIGnocchio, I’m not surprised that the governors of the nation’s most corrupt Republican state and most corrupt Democratic state would agree to block curbing the corruption. Corruption is the primary activity at the Port Authority for both states.

From The Hill: Hillary Clinton holds a massive lead over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a new poll released by CNN.

The CNN/ORC poll released Sunday finds that Clinton leads by 57 points, 66 percent to 9 percent, over Warren. That lead is essentially unchanged from a CNN poll in November, when Clinton was up 65 percent to 10 percent.

There could not be a more potent demonstration of American voters’ political ignorance.

From Crooks and Liars: An anti-gun ad shows a teenager bringing his parent’s gun to school to keep his house free of dangerous weapons. The Fox News brigade goes bananas.

Naturally, the 2nd Amendment patriots at Fox News misunderstand the aims of a public service announcement. When a teenager finds a gun (it didn’t specify if it was loaded or not), he brings it to school and hands it to an adult teacher.

Barf Bag Alert!

 

Let’s follow the illogic of their rant through. If anyone should commit a hate crime after the encouragement so commonly broadcast on the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, the on-air propagandists should face charges too.

I substituted the same video from YouTube, because I refuse to post video that links back to Faux Noise.

Cartoon:

1229Cartoon

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Aug 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 131.  Because I overslept I was up most of the night last night, so I slept late this morning and have behind all day.  Research was tough, as we enter Labor Day weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:20 (average 4:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football:

As the Broncos dined on Cowboy meat, preseason came to an end.  Regular season starts next week as the Packers and Seachickens square on Thursday night.  Players, if you have players from either of those teams, make sure your lineup is set by Thursday morning: if not, by Saturday night.  Folks who wish to follow our league, Lefty Blog Friends, are welcome to do so.  Click through.  The TomCat Teabag Trashers are ready to rock!

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Across the United States on Wednesday, a heated national debate began on the extremely complex issue of children firing military weapons.

“Every now and then, the nation debates an issue that is so complicated and tricky it defies easy answers,” says pollster Davis Logsdon. “Letting small children fire automatic weapons is such an issue.”

Logsdon says that the thorny controversy is reminiscent of another ongoing national debate, about whether it is a good idea to load a car with dynamite and drive it into a tree.

“Many Americans think it’s a terrible idea, but others believe that with the correct supervision, it’s perfectly fine,” he says. “Who’s to say who’s right?”

Similar, he says, is the national debate about using a flamethrower indoors. “There has been a long and contentious national conversation about this,” he says. “It’s another tough one.”

I’m afraid Andy hit the bullseye with this one.

From Daily Kos: “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.” – Mitch McConnell

This is just one of seven disturbing Republican comment from Summit of Republicans who suck … never mind. Click through for the other six. As for Bought Bitch Mitch, may that soon become the second worst day of his life.

From Upworthy: By now, some of you are thinking, "Man, I’m so tired of hearing about Ferguson." I see it in my comments all the time. But rather than explain to you why I think that’s not the best thing to say, I’m gonna let Jon Stewart do it. He’s way more eloquent than me. And he smashes pretty much every argument you might have about why we need to keep talking in an eloquent manner.

 

What could I possibly add to that? Bingo!

Cartoon:

0830Cartoon

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Aug 292014
 

I certainly stand my opinion that Ron Paul should have had himself neutered before polluting America with Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot.  My opinion that Ron Paul is a racist and misogynist, who disguises John Birch Society dementia for libertarianism remains unchanged.  But those of you, who have known me over several years, will remember the one thing I have said about him most: “Ron Paul has never mattered, and never will.”  In that, I may have been wrong.  Ron Paul actually may matter, because his criminal behavior during the last Iowa caucus may have an effect in who controls the Senate in 2014.

0829SorensonA former Iowa state senator concealed payments he received in exchange for defecting from one presidential campaign to another ahead of Iowa’s 2012 caucuses and then obstructed an investigation into the incident.

Kent Sorenson of Milo now faces up to 25 years in prison, after pleading guilty on Wednesday to two counts in federal court in Des Moines.

The case revolves around Sorenson’s dramatic jump from the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s rival campaign in late December 2011, just days before the Iowa caucuses.

According to a statement of facts [broken link removed] accompanying Sorenson’s plea agreement, he secretly negotiated with the Paul campaign over a period of months to join the campaign and received $73,000.

The payments included several monthly payments, ranging in size from $8,000 to $33,000, routed through a film production company and a second company before being received by Sorenson. Those circuitous routes circumvented reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission, ensuring the payments were kept hidden from the public…

Inserted from <Des Moines Register>

Now on the surface, it appears that this is nothing more that a squabble between two extremist fools that were going nowhere, except for one thing.  Bribery needs a person taking the bribe and a person doing the bribing.  Who was that? In addition to Ron Paul himself, the decision maker in  Paul’s campaign was his Campaign Manager, Jesse Benton.  A key candidate for the US Senate was so impressed with the criminal way in which Benton managed Ron Paul’s campaign that he made Benton his own Campaign Manager.  Guess who!

0829jessrebenton

It was Rachel Maddow that made this connection.

If you cannot watch MSNBC video where you live, you can see the clip on YouTube.

Benton is likely to be indicted as well, but his criminal behavior certainly reflects on the character of Bought Bitch Mitch and we need to keep reminding Kentucky voters about yet another reason to Ditch Bought Bitch: Ditch Mitch!!

As for Ron Paul, were he not such a  dishonest walking, talking sphincter, we would not have this criminal record, so in this one small way. Ron Paul may have mattered.

Late Update: I just learned that the bag man who delivered the check to Sorenson for Paul And Benton also went to work for Bought Bitch Mitch!

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