Nov 132015


Here is the seventy-seventh article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Judge Scott Johansen , a Juvenile Court judge from Utah’s Seventh District. He is so honored for the Republican Family Values he is using to destroy a family.

1113JohansenApril Hoagland and Beckie Peirce have been fostering a Utah infant for three months. With the approval of the infant’s biological mother and a recommendation of the foster care caseworker, they were seeking to permanently adopt the child. Instead, a Utah judge ordered the baby removed from their home and placed in a home with heterosexual parents:

The women, who are legally married and were approved as foster parents in Utah earlier this year after passing home inspections, background checks and interviews from DCFS, said the judge told them there was a lot of research that indicated children who are raised in same-sex parent homes do not do as well as children who are raised by heterosexual parents.

“It hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong,” said April.

Worse yet, when Judge Scott Johansen was asked in court to share the studies he was referencing, he refused:

Attorney Mandie Torgerson, who represents the baby’s biological mother, said Johansen did not cite the research he referenced in court saying only that there are “a myriad” of studies that support his order.

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

This interview with the mothers is not the same video clip as the one in the article, because it could not be embedded.


My heart goes out to April and Beckie. For that fascist judge to destroy a family in a manner both contrary to the law and  based solely on his hatred for LGBT people, demonstrates two things about him.  He is an evil man.  He is a Republican.

Oct 052015

Mother Jones has an excellent article about the coal industry and one of its big players, Don Blankenship.  As the former CEO of Massey Energy Co., Blankenship is charged with conspiracy to violate safety laws, defrauding the federal government, securities fraud and making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  If convicted in this corporate accountability case, he could face 31 years in prison.  Not enough in my opinion for the misery and death he created and left in his wake.  Perhaps his golden parachute, nay platinum parachute he received from Massey Energy Co in 2010 when he left, will be taken back and distributed to the families of miners killed at a Blankenship operation.  That would be an attempt at justice for those families.


…he was a harsh taskmaster whose cutthroat management style transformed what was once a modest family business into the region's largest coal producer.  

Blankenship cultivated an image as a Mingo County son made good—a good ol' boy who ran a multibillion-dollar company from a double-wide trailer. And he saw himself as a heroic figure who brought jobs to the depressed enclaves of his native West Virginia. But with his gaze fixed on the bottom line, Blankenship crushed the mine workers union that was baptized in his backyard. Voluminous court records and government investigations show that he presided over a company that padded its profits by running some of themost dangerous workplaces in the country. Massey polluted the waterwaysthat had sustained Blankenship's forebears, rained coal dust on the schoolyards where his miners' children played, and subjected the men he grew up with in southern West Virginia to unsafe working conditions.

A mascot of the coal industry's worst excesses, Blankenship pumped millions of dollars into West Virginia's political system to promote an anti-regulatory agenda and curry favor with state lawmakers and officials.

The irony is that, even at the nadir of Blankenship's power, his ideology is ascendant. He transformed West Virginia not just physically (entire towns have been wiped out by Massey's footprint), but politically. Now, by playing off fears of creeping government involvement, the coal industry has strengthened its grip on state politics. Lawmakers friendly to the industry, with financial support from Blankenship, have won sweeping victories at the ballot box and used their mandate to roll back health and safety regulations while trumpeting the survival-of-the-fittest capitalism that was Blankenship's gospel. The man on the mountaintop may have fallen, but the widespread impact of his legacy shows no signs of diminishing.  

Down the road from Upper Big Branch, a memorial funded in part by Alpha touted the job-creating legacy of the coal industry. By a back entrance to the now-shuttered mine was a more informal installation—29 hard hats and two mourning angels. Their wings were solar powered.  



These are pictures of mountain top removal . . . from lush forested mountain tops to wastelands that resemble tar sands mines like those in Alberta.

From Alternet

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had this to say about Blankenship in a report on EcoWatch last fall:

Don Blankenship once boasted to me that it was impossible to conduct mountaintop removal mining without violating the law. He prided himself on his cold-blooded capacity for turning America’s purple mountains majesty into coal company cash. His criminal mind allowed him to view the human beings of Appalachia as disposable production units. He is a sociopath and gangster whose gift was felonious greed and a stone-cold heart that allowed him to put his yearning for money and power ahead of human lives. Those qualities had great value to his friends and investors: the Wall Street robber barons. But they were poison and destruction to the noble communities of coal country.  We can’t bring back the towns he destroyed, the lives he took, the mountains he flattened, the rivers he poisoned, but there is some consolation in knowing that he’s getting what he deserves: three hots and a cot and long days in the company of fellow criminals of lesser appetites and lesser distinction.

Blankenship's trial has begun with the jury selection expected to be completed by today.  I understand that he has top notch counsel and is pleading innocent to all charges.  I wonder how far his cultivated political connections will get him?  Any doubt that he is a Republican!


Please sign the Protect Communities from Hazardous Coal Mining Waste prepared by the Sierra Club.


Sep 272015

The first part of the day was steady with trying to finish some research and work on a more involved article.  Then it was off to see my mother who lives in a care centre.  She needs 24/7 care as she is in the late stages of dementia.  I fed her dinner which smelled really good.  There was an extra dinner at the table which staff said I should eat, so I did and it tasted even better than it smelled.  As a member of the Family Council advocating for family members, I will be able to report back on the quality of food.  Again this evening, I was breaking up fisticuffs between several women — I wonder if the full moon has anything to do with it.  In addition to sitting with my mother and rubbing her back and shoulders which she really likes, I am an extra pair of eyes and hands to help staff.  When I arrived home, I was exhausted but also anxious.  It is hard to watch a parent die a little bit every day.  So now I am calm again and I am off to bed.  My three cats will be soothing to me, their gentle breathing and purring.  Good night all.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:13 (average 4:34). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Short Takes

CBC — A U.S. drug company is taking the Canadian government to court for its attempt to lower the price of what has been called the world's most expensive drug.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals has filed a motion in Federal Court, arguing that Canada's drug price watchdog has no authority to force the company to lower its price for Soliris.

A University of Ottawa professor who specializes in health law said he was shocked that Alexion would challenge Canada's authority to regulate drug prices. If Alexion's case is successful, it could end Ottawa's ability to control the cost of patented drugs, Amir Attaran told CBC News.

"This is the single greatest threat to pricing of drugs in Canada ever," he said Thursday.

The provincial governments in Canada negotiate drug prices directly. Medical associations are currently pushing the federal government to do this nationally.  In the past, some Americans have also arranged to get their medications from Canadian pharmacies to take advantage of our lower prices.  So, if Alexion Pharmaceuticals wins this case, the whole idea of affordable medicines goes out the door.  For Alexion, this is all about their profits.  For Canada, this is all about healthcare for 33 million Canadians.  Watch also the rise in such things should the TPP come to fruition.

Daily Kos — Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. Often, America's cover is quite, well – different. This week offers a stark example.

time magazine

How much does this contribute to the "dumbing down" of the US population (and Canada's since we get the same US cover)?  In general, the US population is wildly ignorant on international events, and often ignorant on domestic issues.  Have a look at the current political rhetoric, particularly from the Republican side.  It's a lot of marketing by fear . . . fear of diversity, fear of Iran, fear of Islam, and the list goes on.  Faux Noise aka Fox (I refuse to call Fox news because it is at best, opinion) is a prime example, but not the only one by far.  The author asks "do these moments of marketing (through a choice in covers) reveal more about Americans, or about the state of American journalism?"  I think both because the magazine in this case is pandering to make more money and increase its market share.  But it also serves to increase American xenophodia.

The Nation — Not content with alienating single women, Latinos and the LGBT community, the two front-runners for the Republican nomination indulged in some naked Islamophobia this past week.

Then Ben Carson appeared on Meet The Press, where he told Chuck Todd that Islam was inconsistent with the Constitution and said that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” 

…and there’s no evidence that they embrace extremism at a higher rate than Christians or Jews. 

It’s time for this to stop. After 400 years in the Americas, and having helped build and defend this country, we need to accept that American Muslims are just as American—and just as loyal—as anyone else. 

An excellent piece from The Natiion which I hope you'll read in its entirety. No one people or religion has a lock on extremism.  Timothy McVeigh, a white Anglo Saxon Roman Catholic, blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK where 168 were killed and over 680 were wounded.  

My Universe — The Box!

Sep 022015

Another day has brought another rush trying to get things done.  Today is a grocery delivery day, so I’ve been cleaning.  No heat waves are forecast through Labor Day, but it has been very humid.  I have a couple relatively light days tomorrow and Friday, so hopefully I can rest up then.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.

“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pronouncement, in which he seemed to support a border wall with Canada.

You’d better wish them luck, Andy. The Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan will be harder to sell than the Brooklyn Bridge!

From Daily Kos: John Oliver is making his presence felt.  After only about a year on the air, he’s influenced the FCC on NetNeutrality (causing their comments to overload), formed his own Church to make a point about "Prosperity Gospel" scams and engaged in an internet war with the President of Ecuador.

Now, he’s been cited by a Judge on one of the Courts just below the Supreme Court — the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  On his show on March 8, he mocked the lack of representation in US Territories because of a hundred year old group of Supreme Court cases — The Insular Cases.


I have no doubt that fascist five Injustices of SCROTUS will want to uphold the racism in The Insular Cases. These Americans should get to decide their own status.

From NY Times:

Defying the Supreme Court and saying she was acting “under God’s authority,” a county clerk in Kentucky denied marriage licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, less than a day after the court rejected her request for a delay.

Alex Wagner has the story on The Last Word.

…and more.


Her own marital history is the epitome of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrisy.



Aug 112015

I’m in a huge rush to get my articles written and posted in time to take a nap before going to prison to do volunteer work.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:24 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Josten Bundy found himself before Judge Randall Rogers in an east Texas courtroom to face a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight he got into with the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes. With Elizabeth by his side, the judge asked Bundy if "she was worth it" and then put him on probation with bizarre stipulations:

“I said, well to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters and if any man was talking to a woman like that,” recalled Bundy,  “I’d probably do the same thing.”

Judge Rogers asked Bundy if he was married to Jaynes and then said, “You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”

That’s right. Judge Rogers forced the young couple to get married, which they did. Bundy was fearful the jail sentence would cost him his job and the couple had previously talked about getting married… the future. Judge Randall also forced Bundy to get counseling and write Bible verses.

Rogers should be defrocked and disbarred for 1st Amendment violations against Bundy and 8th Amendment violations against Janes.

From Alternet: Informed readers are well aware that US police have the dubious reputation of killing lots of civilians, compared to other countries. The War on Drugs provides much of the basis for this abomination…

…The Free Thought Project constantly reports on senseless, unjustified murders carried out by police, in the attempt to bring accountability to law enforcement run amok. Here are 10 of the most outrageous excuses police have used for killing unarmed people during the last year.

“He was walking with a purpose.” Officer Vanessa Miller killed Ryan Bollinger, 28, after witnessing him “dancing in the street” during a traffic stop. After a low-speed chase, Bollinger exited the vehicle and was “walking with a purpose” toward Miller, who then shot him from inside the car through the rolled-up window.

I’ve shared just one and ten examples of excuses made by police after they murdered innocent victims. Click through for the other nine.

From Democrats Unite: If I wrote that “Bernie Sanders admits to being a socialist,” nobody reading it would need an explanation of the word “admits.” “Socialist” is as dirty a word in US politics as “racist” or “bigot.” And for lots of voters, it’s probably even more of a deal-breaker. When a Republican really wants to insult President Obama, for example, he or she calls him a socialist.

The thing is — as the video below makes clear — America is already a socialist country, but just quietly, and only for the rich and for corporations. So the insult “socialist” only seems to really apply to things we ask the government to do for the rest of us.


In a word, Amen.



This is humor.  It is NOT s suggestion to do violence against Republicans.

Jul 152015

I have a busy day today.  I’m trying to keep pace with the news, watching Obama, and it’s a grocery delivery day, so I have all that work to do..  It’s also quite muggy.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would bring much-needed dignity to the 2016 Republican field, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, Palin’s ability to articulate her positions on issues with precision and restraint is sorely lacking among other entrants in the G.O.P. race.

Additionally, voters said that the former governor’s breadth of knowledge in the fields of economics, foreign affairs, and American history would place her head and shoulders above the current crop of Republican hopefuls.

In the words of one voter who was surveyed, “When I hear some of these candidates talk, I sure do miss Sarah Palin.”

Dang Andy! As much as I hate to admit it, you’re right. Bloody Bullseye Barbie is rather tame, compared to the Clown Car.

From Daily Kos: I wonder if Rep. Steve "Melon Calves" King is going to commandeer Republican anti-LGBT policy like he commandeered the party’s anti-immigration policy.

It would have no force of law, but U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on Friday announced he has introduced a House resolution for representatives to formally disapprove of the June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized gay marriage nationally. […]

King said the "resolution expresses the sense" by the House that the court ruling "unconstitutionally and indefensibly perverts the definition of marriage," that states are not required to license gay marriage and that "individuals, businesses, churches, religious groups and other faith-based organizations are encouraged, empowered, and protected to exercise their faith without fear of legal or government interference."

Since a Sense of the House resolution does nothing, this serves only as one more opportunity for Republican to voice their hatred and display their sedition.

From NY Times: A federal appeals court Tuesday handed the Obama administration another victory in its effort to guarantee coverage of contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act, rejecting a challenge by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, found that the nuns could opt out of a requirement to provide contraceptive coverage under an “accommodation” devised by the administration. The rule does not impose a “substantial burden” on the nuns’ free exercise of religion, the court said.

Four other federal appeals courts — in the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, Chicago and New Orleans — have issued similar decisions upholding the accommodation, which is intended to address the concerns of nonprofit religious organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage for women enrolled in their health plans.

Another win for women.



Jun 122015

When I learned that community activists had filed a motion before an Ohio court to indict the police officers, who murdered Tamir Rice, I expected to wait weeks, if not months, for a decision.  To my great surprise, it came in just a couple days.  It was not everything I had hoped, but almost.

0612TamirProtestA judge in Cleveland ruled Thursday that probable cause existed to charge two Cleveland police officers in the death of a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, but the judge also said he did not have the power to order arrests without a complaint being filed by a prosecutor.

In his ruling, Judge Ronald B. Adrine, presiding judge of the Municipal Court, found probable cause to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shot, with murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and dereliction of duty. He also found probable cause to charge Officer Loehmann’s partner, Officer Frank Garmback, with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.

“This court determines that complaints should be filed by the prosecutor of the City of Cleveland and/or the Cuyahoga County prosecutor,” Judge Adrine wrote…

Inserted from <NY Times>

The problem is that the judge did not order the prosecutor to indict, and the decision will be left to a Grand Jury.

Chris Hayes provided excellent coverage, with three different guests.

Now what?  Will the Grand Jury even be allowed to know about Judge Adrine’s decision?  When officers Loehmann and Garmback testiLIE, recounting a deceitful account of the shooting, will the prosecutor challenge their perjury, or let it stand as fact?

Despite a major victory for the truth, justice remains far from assured.

Jun 042015

Republicans know that, if the coming election is a fair one, they will lose.  That’s why they are doing everything they can to strip likely Democratic voters of their right to vote.  I’m pleased to see that Democrats are filing suits to prevent Republican attempts at election theft.

GOPvotingDemocrats allied with Hillary Rodham Clinton are mounting a nationwide legal battle 17 months before the 2016 presidential election, seeking to roll back Republican-enacted restrictions on voter access that Democrats say could, if unchallenged, prove decisive in a close campaign.

The court fights began last month with lawsuits filed in Ohio and Wisconsin, presidential battleground states whose governors are likely to run for the Republican nomination. Now, Democrats are attacking a host of measures, including voter identification requirements that they consider onerous, time restrictions imposed on early voting that they say could make it difficult to cast ballots the weekend before Election Day, and rules that could nullify ballots cast in the wrong precinct.The effort, which is being led by a lawyer whose clients include Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, reflects an urgent practical need, Democrats say: to get litigation underway early enough so federal judges can be persuaded to intervene in states where Republicans control legislatures and governor’s offices. But Republicans dismiss it as little more than a publicity gambit to energize minority voters in support of Democratic candidates.

A similar lawsuit was begun last year in North Carolina. Other potential fronts in the pre-emptive legal offensive, Democrats say, could soon be opened in Georgia, Nevada and the increasingly critical presidential proving ground of Virginia.

Almost all of those states have growing African-American or Hispanic populations, groups crucial to Mr. Obama in 2012 but whose voting rights Democrats say could be impinged next year, damaging the party’s prospects…

Inserted from <NY Times>

I fully support these efforts.  Republicans want elections to become meaningless exercoses held for show only, because they get to decide who is allowed to vote.

Apr 292015

I’m still feeling considerable pain and can barely walk, but I have to be up waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries, so here are a couple quick articles.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (average 4:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: But there’s a four-letter acronym that allows food companies to pretty much add what they want to foods without FDA interference. It’s known as "GRAS" and refers to food additives "generally regarded as safe."

Horrifyingly, this practice has allegedly led to at least one death — that of 11-year-old Miles Bengco, whose story is featured after the video below. He thought he was eating just a burger, but his family didn’t know it had an additive related to fungi in it, something they otherwise would have avoided given his preexisting respiratory problems.


This loophole clearly needs to be closed, but Republicans stand in the way. Click through for detail on how this corporate criminals murdered Miles Bengco.

From Daily Kos: Sweet Cakes By Melissa is the Oregon bakery whose owners refused to bake a same-sex couple’s wedding cake. The couple took the owners to court and won the case. Oregon is one of the states that provides civil rights protections for gay folks. The judge in the case has proposed a settlement of $135K. So, a GoFundMe account was set up to help raise the funds. However, now GoFundMe has cancelled the account.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

Friday, after nearly two years in court, an Oregon judge recommended Aaron and Melissa Klein be fined $135,000 for discriminating against a same-sex couple. The Kleins, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had refused to bake a wedding cake for the couple.

On their Facebook page yesterday, the Kleins posted a link to a GoFundMe fundraising campaign set up for them. In just four hours it had reached over $20,000. It quickly increased to a reported $109,000 before GoFundMe canceled it.


GoFundMe says it does not allow money to be raised on their site for people who have been found to be in violation of the law.

And you say I don’t bring you GOOD news. :-)

From The New Yorker: As Justice Antonin Scalia weighed in on same-sex marriage at the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg interrupted the proceedings by announcing, “Someone wake me up when he stops talking.”

There was stunned silence in the courtroom after the pronouncement by Justice Ginsburg, who had been visibly nodding off during Scalia’s remarks, her head jerking upward violently at various junctures.

“Look, it’s not like he’s going to say anything on this subject that I haven’t heard him say nine zillion times before,” she said. “I’m gonna get me some shut-eye.”

Andy should also note that is she had chosen to sleep until Injustice "Teabag" Thomas actually says something, she would sleep through her own funeral.



Feb 182015

I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  I feel tired, but I did get enough sleep that I feel feline again.  Yesterday, I felt like a dawg!  Tomorrow, I’m taking my friend with cancer out to dinner.  It’s a Mexican place known for Chile Verde, so I hope there are Republicans downwind.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:30 (average 5:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In a time where people genuinely want to believe that racism is dead, reality has a way of smacking us all right in the face to remind us that it’s actually alive and well. Mississippi Judge Bill Weisenberger was seen and heard by five different witnesses, both white and black, striking a severely autistic African-American man and then yelling, "Run, n*gger, run" at him in 2014.

Nine months later, a grand jury has indicted Judge Weisenberger, and charged him with "assault on a vulnerable adult." Hate crime charges, which carry stiff federal sentencing, have yet to be filed.

Several additional allegations have surfaced against Weisenberger in the last year. He is accused of imposing an illegal DUI sentence against an African American in his courtroom. The Attorney General’s office said it could not confirm or deny whether it was investigating that matter, though District Attorney Michael Guest said it had turned the matter over to the AG’s office.

Weisenberger also had a lawsuit filed against both him and the county in November. The attorney for Charles Plumpp said Weisenberger arrested and jailed her client, who is African American, on the nonexistence charge of "roaming livestock."

I’m surprised that this Republican is being brought to justice. Kudos to those Mississippians responsible.

From NY Times: President Obama surely knew that his recent executive actions to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation would run into trouble as soon as a 26-state lawsuit opposing the actions landed on the desk of Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen, of Brownsville, Tex.

Judge Hanen — who last month invoked a biblical flood in describing illegal immigration into that community — has spoken out aggressively against Mr. Obama’s immigration policy in the past, saying it “endangers America” and is “an open invitation to the most dangerous criminals in society.” Indeed, his earlier opinions were the reason Republican governors and attorneys general pushed to get their suit into his district.

As expected, the judge on Monday night temporarily blocked the first of several programs Mr. Obama announced in November to offer work permits and a three-year reprieve from deportation to more than four million immigrants who are parents of American citizens and who have no criminal record.

That move — which Mr. Obama took only after years of failed efforts by Congress to pass any immigration reform — triggered the fury of congressional Republicans, who responded with threats of, among other things, impeachment proceedings…. [emphasis added]

Judge Hanen is another small part of the damage done to this nation by Crawford Caligula. I pray his partisan decision will be overturned.

From Washington Post: In the wake of Dave Fahrenthold’s great piece about Scott Walker’s college years, Democrats have begun to openly question the Wisconsin governor’s ability and readiness to be president, given that he doesn’t have a college degree.

I disagree with those Democrats who say Walker is unfit to be President, because he does not have a college degree. A college degree measures neither intellect nor ability. 25% of Politics Plus readers have postgraduate degrees, and another 48% graduated college. My lack of a college degree has not impacted my ability to reason and communicate with well educated people. The Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan has proven himself unfit to be a washroom attendant, let alone President, because he is a Koch whore. His degree is irrelevant.



Jan 212015

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 77.  Tonight is Obama’s SOTU address.  I’ll write an article on that tomorrow to publish shortly after midnight Thursday.  Tomorrow is also a grocery delivery day, and if I wasn’t already busy enough, Thursday is a Prison volunteer day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:32 (average 5:18).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The first thing to know about the lawsuit brought by two dozen states to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is that it is a meritless screed wrapped in flimsy legal cloth and deposited on the doorstep of a federal district judge in Brownsville, Tex.

The second thing to know is that the judge, Andrew Hanen, may well look kindly on the suit. He made news in 2013 with a politically charged ruling accusing the Obama administration of criminally conspiring with Mexican drug cartels to smuggle children over the border (he really [propaganda delinked] said that), which is surely why the plaintiffs like their chances.

The judge held the first hearing in the case on Thursday and could rule as early as next month. If he blocks Mr. Obama’s actions — which seek to protect millions of immigrants from deportation and to grant them permission to work — this would complicate things for the administration, which is planning to start signing people up for the programs in February.

ARGH! Scarier still, the Fascist Five may just back Hanen up!

From Daily Kos: In a laughable display of desperation, the American Family Association is demanding that Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse themselves from the four marriage equality cases it recently agreed to hear. Their unhinged press release [pseudo-Christians delinked] titled Kagan and Ginsburg: Recuse Yourselves! is a study in head-up-ones-ass reasoning.

Both of these justices’ personal and private actions that actively endorse gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Congress has directed that federal judicial officers must disqualify themselves from hearing cases in specified circumstances. Both Kagan and Ginsburg have not only been partial to same-sex marriage but they have also proven themselves to be activists in favor of it. In order to ensure the Court’s integrity and impartiality, both should recuse themselves from same-sex marriage cases. Congress has an obligation to Americans to see that members of the Supreme Court are held to the highest standards of integrity. The law demands it, and the people deserve it.

You can be sure that the hate twins’, Standartenfuhrer Scalia and TEAbag Thomas, personal and private actions even more clearly indicate how they would vote on same sex marriage cases, but you don’t hear these Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians whining about them. Click through to see how the author debunks their lies.

From Think Progress: Nebraska landowners have launched two separate lawsuits that, if successful, could serve to delay or even stop the construction of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The lawsuits, filed last week, represent Nebraska property owners’ second attempt to challenge the constitutionality of a law that gave the Keystone XL pipeline a legal route through the state and, by extension, their property. The landowners claim that TransCanada — the Canadian company that wants to build Keystone XL — made direct threats to use eminent domain and seize their land if they did not consent to having the pipeline run though it.

“We stand with landowners to protect property rights and a constitutional pipeline routing process,” said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, a group that has been at the center of the state’s Keystone XL opposition movement. “While we fight to ensure TransCanada and the state of Nebraska do not run roughshod over farmers and ranchers, we also call upon President Obama to reject Keystone XL now.”

I don’t care how Keystone XL is stopped, as long as it is stopped.



Jan 152015

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 71.  Yesterday’s group in prison went very well.  Our CoDA group doubled in size, so I have some new guys that I had never met before.  We discussed making lists of people we have harmed and the importance of authenticity in our willingness to make amends.  Many fear this process, because people have a tendency to guilt trip ourselves.  However, done truly, it works to free us from self-crippling guilt.  It’s now late evening.  I’ve had some sleep but need more, as I had to be up for Store to Door to deliver groceries and put them away, so I’m more than ready for more sleep.  This is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:24 (average 5:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Albuquerque PD has shot another victim and this time its one of their department’s own officers working undercover. The circumstances surrounding this latest shooting have yet to be released.

$60 meth bust led to shooting of officer

By Ryan Boetel

It was an undercover operation to bust two men for selling $60 worth of methamphetamine, but things didn’t go as planned.

An Albuquerque police lieutenant shot a fellow officer who was working undercover in a McDonald’s parking lot near Central and Tramway just before noon Friday.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said Saturday the male officer remained in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital. He is in the intensive care unit and has undergone multiple surgeries.

Vester went into a room at the motel and came back to the vehicle with the meth, according to the complaint.

Garcia then drove to the McDonald’s nearby and gave the bust signal. It was then that the shooting took place. Witnesses said they heard around five shots. Police said the officer was shot multiple times, but the exact number wasn’t known.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the car doors where Bailey and Vester were sitting were open, but police haven’t released details about any perceived threat or why the lieutenant opened fire. The complaint makes no mention of the suspects having a gun at the scene.

Albuquerque PD were notorious for police who abuse their power, even back in the 1970s, when I used to go there on business. If you believe that it is really not known how many times police shot their fellow officer, talk to me about buying my glacier in Miami. I’m selling it for just a few $million.  They can’t use all their standard lies in this case, unless they knew he was undercover and thought he’d been talking to IA or DOJ.

From NY Times: To choose a jury in the trial of the man charged with killing 12 people in a packed Colorado movie theater, court officials mailed notices to 9,000 people in suburban Arapahoe County, casting such a wide net that residents ran about a one-in-50 chance of being tapped as potential jurors. An uncle, a father, husbands and friends of people who work in the prosecutor’s office received jury summonses. So did 12 people who are slated to be prosecution witnesses.

The numbers speak to the huge scale of a murder trial set to begin next week, more than two and a half years after a gunman sprayed bullets into a crowd of people at a midnight screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

The defendant, James E. Holmes, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. After multiple delays, Colorado is bracing for the start of his trial, one of the most complicated and emotionally wrenching judicial proceedings the state has faced.

Isn’t a shame that the NRA and the Republican party are not codefendants in this case?

From Upworthy: The president’s a busy guy, so he only had three and a half minutes to explain what’s up. Here’s what you need to know:

Growing up, we all hear rumors about magical places.

Fantastic places. Places where the Internet actually works well. Where you can download a movie in under a minute. Where your Wi-Fi doesn’t stop working for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Maybe you read about them in storybooks. Maybe your friends whispered about them to you on the playground. Maybe your grandma told you old tales about them as she tucked you in at night. But as you grew older, more and more people told you that it was all made up, a myth for children. Those places didn’t really exist. Can you believe we all thought they did? And you nodded and laughed about how silly it all sounded in retrospect. But secretly, deep down, you always believed.

Well, those places are real. There are places that have reliable, fantastic, extremely zippy Internet!


To all the Internet junkies, who have Republican government, and who did not get off your butt to vote, or cast a protest vote for an independent with no chance, when a Democrat could have won: You probably won’t get this. You did this to yourselves.