Sep 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 147.  It’s been a long, busy day.  The friend that I pay to help me with the heavy cleaning  contacted me last night and asked if she could come a day early.  She actually showed up on time, something she has never done before, and that caught me by surprise.  I missed my morning sleep.  I had a brief cat nap after watching the Broncos, but I’m still very tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:30 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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What a magnificent Orb it is!

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: President Obama has had two sleepless nights since learning that Rush Limbaugh praised his speech about Iraq and Syria this week, a White House source confirmed on Saturday.

According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the President has been unable to sleep since Limbaugh complimented him on the air and has been seen pacing back and forth in the Oval Office in a way that aides described as “worrisome.”

“When he heard that [House Speaker John] Boehner and [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell liked his speech, he seemed to take that in stride,” the source said. “But this Limbaugh thing has pushed him over the edge.”

Dang Andy!! We better keep an eye on him. Approval from Limbarf is ample justification for suicide!

From Daily Kos: This week House Republicans are messing around with yet another bill that would do something to damage Obamacare. This time, they want to allow insurers to keep selling shitty policies that don’t cover all of the stuff that the law requires until 2019. Because what’s another five years of people being underinsured and going into bankruptcy because of it? While they’re dithering around with it, their most serious thinker on healthcare policy has been working on an actual plan that would replace Obamacare, in the event that Republicans could actually get their act together and achieve consensus on a plan.

But what Avik Roy, a writer at Forbes and the conservative Manhattan Institute and Mitt Romney’s healthcare advisor, has come up with looks an awful lot like Obamacare. Except for the part where it forces people off of Medicare and Medicaid and into the private market. And the part where it would no longer be the Affordable Care Act. So says the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik.

Click through for a more complete description. RepubliCare is a plan to die for.

From NY Times: Democrats have reversed the partisan imbalance on the federal appeals courts that long favored conservatives, a little-noticed shift with far-reaching consequences for the law and President Obama’s legacy.

For the first time in more than a decade, judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents. The Democrats’ advantage has only grown since late last year when they stripped Republicans of their ability to filibuster the president’s nominees.

Democratic appointees who hear cases full time now hold a majority of seats on nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals. When Mr. Obama took office, only one of those courts had more full-time judges nominated by a Democrat.

That’s great news. Now if only the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS, Republican Constitutional VD, would take a junket tour of Liberia!

Cartoon:

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Sep 102014
 

The Affordable care Act, aka ObamaCare, has done some really wonderful things for many Americans  I ran across a story, that needs retelling, about how such care is literally saving a woman’s life.  Sadly that story also has a flip side.  It’s about how Republicans are trying to kill her, by taking away her care.

0910JennWhen I speak to Jennifer Causor for the first time, she rings with enthusiasm as she describes her new exercise program. It’s a “boot camp” themed program, “which is something I never thought I’d be able to do,” Jenn tells me over the phone. “It is so hard, but it is so awesome!” she proclaims, before describing a time when she was so tired from a kettlebell workout that she actually started crying.

Jenn’s ability to lift kettlebells, or, for that matter, to drive a car or to walk to her own mailbox, is nothing short of miraculous compared to the life she faced just a little more than a year ago. For her entire life, Jenn has lived with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that caused her lungs to fill with fluid and that still interferes with her digestive system. She takes medicine every time she eats to help her process food.

When Jenn first started exhibiting symptoms, they meant nothing more than “having a cough” and having “to take pills when I eat.” When she was in her 20s, however, the symptoms grew quite severe. She was constantly filling her body with expensive intravenous drugs. “I had to breathe lots of medicine through a nebulizer,” a process that “took hours a day.” Living with cystic fibrosis, Jenn says, was like having two jobs. “It was like, I worked full time. I worked 40 hours . . . but then, again, having CF was like a full-time job within itself.” In 2012, her health took an even worse turn when one of her lungs collapsed and she was hospitalized for a week. Not long after she was released, both of her lungs collapsed and her doctors struggled for two months to keep them inflated. She lived in the hospital that entire time.

In a five month span, however, two things changed that offered Jenn a new chance at life. The first was a double lung transplant. On August 29, 2013, Jenn received two new lungs that were free of cystic fibrosis. Not long thereafter, she drew her first breath as an adult from lungs that were not constantly filling up with choking mucus. Although Jenn will be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life, she can now speak on the phone again. Her husband Eder can touch her face again or kiss her cheek again without triggering a fit of coughing. Jenn is not confined to a hospital anymore. She lifts kettlebells instead.

Five men in Washington could sentence Jenn to the same uncertainty she endured before the Affordable Care Act. They could potentially sentence her to die

The second change came on the first day of 2014 when the most important provisions of the Affordable Care Act took full effect. That meant that, for the first time in her life, Jenn knew that, no matter what happened, she would have health insurance. For Jenn, Obamacare means that insurers must cover her, despite her expensive preexisting condition. And it means that she is not facing a death sentence if she is unable to obtain health insurance through her own job or her husband’s.

Except for the fact that a group of lawyers are trying to take this certainty away from her. Last July, two Republican judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted to defund much of the Affordable Care Act, including provisions which ensure that Jenn’s insurance is affordable. Moreover, although the full DC Circuit recently withdrew this decision and announced that it would rehear the case before a much larger panel of 13 judges, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit have not exactly hidden their desire to get this case before the conservative Roberts Court where four justices already voted once to repeal Obamacare. If the justices ultimately take this case, which is known as Halbig v. Burwell, and if one more of them agrees that Obamacare should be defunded, that could trigger a death spiral that could collapse the law’s health insurance marketplace in much of the country.

Five men in Washington could sentence Jenn to the same uncertainty she endured before the Affordable Care Act. They could potentially sentence her to die…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Click through for the rest of this extensive, in depth article. Republicans have a plan for Jenn. It’s the RepubliCare Death Benefit!

Save Lives! Get Out The Vote!!

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Aug 272014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 128.  I’ve been behind the curve all day, and news subjects that I have covered fairly thoroughly continue to dominate the news.  Safeway delivered groceries, and I unpacked and stowed them all.  It’s now evening and this is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:14).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: POLICE BODY-CAMS Reduce Force Complaints Enormously – Chris Hayes

 

In my opinion, all police should be required to wear body cams and use pistols that can not be fired by anyone other than the owner. If we have the money to provide police with military hardware, we have the money for this instead.

From Think Progress: Last January, a Washington attorney named David Rivkin co-authored an article in Politico Magazine that laid out a legal theory that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) now plans to use to sue President Obama because the president is not implementing Obamacare fast enough. Yet, as ThinkProgress laid out shortly after Boehner announced that he would file the lawsuit, Rivkin’s legal theory rests upon “a glaring misrepresentation of a recent Supreme Court decision that undermines much of the basis for this lawsuit.

Nevertheless, Boehner decided to hire Rivkin to represent the GOP-led House in its suit against the president. Rivkin’s price? $500 an hour, all charged to the American taxpayer.

If taxpayers have to fund this travesty, we should have the privilege of countersuing Agent Orange personally for reimbursement of those costs and the costs of defending against his frivolous suit.

From YouTube: Rachel Maddow – Immigration fears prominent in GOP primary

 

If I were to put a title on this Republican primary, I’d call it Sphincterama in Brewerstan.

Cartoon:

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Will Drill Baby Dingbat, aka Bloody Bullseye Barbie, crawl out of the woodwork?

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Aug 082014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 109.  Oversleeping last night has thrown off my sleep schedule.  I feel like I need to sleep, but have been unable to do so, so I’m not as fresh as I’d like to be.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:15 (average 5:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0808-Broncos21-Seahawks16

At the ends of the first quarter, the other gods hurled down thunder and lightning from Olympus in homage to the Holy Ellipsoid Orb.  Worshipers had to flee.  The service was what last year’s Super Bowl should have been.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: …Colt Thriemer and Thomas J Brown got into a fist fight at a Walmart Parking Lot.  There were several witnesses who say that the victim, Thomas Brown, was walking away afterwards to his car when Colt Thriemer shot Thomas Brown after retrieving a handgun.  Mr. Brown was shot 10 times at fairly close range both in the back while he was walking away and then when he turned towards Mr. Thriemer after being shot, apparently pleading him to stop.  Mr. Thriemer then fled the scene.

When he was apprehended, he did what all murderers do now in Florida: claim he was in "fear for his life".  The prosecutor agreed.

The prosecutor’s statement summed up all that is fucking wrong with Stand Your Ground:

"The Stand Your Ground Statue makes no exception to the immunity because Brown may have been walking away from Thriemer when deadly force was used."

That’s because the f_ing law was made by f_ing  imbeciles.  [emphasis original]

Of course the law was made by imbeciles. Republicans are.

From AlterNet: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday slapped a one-year ban and restrictions on food and agricultural product imports from nations that have imposed sanctions on Russia over its defiant stance on Ukraine.

The decision marks yet another escalation in a furious diplomatic standoff that has seen Russia slip into growing international isolation and the onset of what some US media are calling a "new Cold War".

It also threatens to send the price of Russian food soaring and feed public discontent with an economic slowdown that analysts indirectly attribute to Putin’s perceived backing of pro-Kremlin insurgents fighting government forces in eastern Ukraine.

If any nation sanctioning Vladimir Putin (R-RU), aka GOP Pootie, has a shortage of foods, the US can help meet the need, especially if we stop paying farmers not to grow it.

From Crook and Liars: The hosts of Fox & Friends on Wednesday politicized the death of an Army general as a "touchdown for the Taliban" so they could score some points against President Barack Obama.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Yesterday I said they were doing this. This is how they are doing it. How disgusting they are!

Cartoon:

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Jul 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 93.  I have not left for prison yet.  The plan is to crawl into bed, when I return home, and do the puzzle and upload the articles when I wake up.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Late (early) Update:

The meeting was great and I now have my ID.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:18).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Guess who Sen. John McCain blames for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17? Yup, President Obama:

 

McConJob, in typical Republican fashion, has a special tool with which to hit every nail: a bomb.

From TPM: A federal appeals court dealt a huge blow to Obamacare on Tuesday, banning

the federal exchange from providing subsidies to residents of the 36 states it serves.

A divided three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the text of the Affordable Care Act restricts the provision of premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The two Republican appointees on the panel ruled against Obamacare while the one Democratic appointee ruled for the law.

"We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the court in Halbig v. Burwell.

His ruling was joined in a concurring opinion by George H. W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who said it would be a "distortion" to let the federal exchange provide subsidies. "Only further legislation could accomplish the expansion the government seeks," he wrote.

Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards voted to uphold the subsidies.

This may well be huge. Without doubt this decision will be appealed to the full DC Circuit court, and from there to the Supreme Court where the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) await. This may well mean that Republicans in red states mazy be able to prevent their citizens from receiving their federal subsidy. This should be overturned, but we need to watch this one closely.

From Think Progress: Conventional political wisdom holds that a carbon tax could never pass Congress, largely thanks to the “tax” part.

But over the last few years, a remarkable number of economists, politicians, and business leaders have stepped up to support a carbon tax as the most job-friendly way to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Now thanks to a new poll, we can confidently add “majorities of American voters” to that list of supporters as well. A July survey run out of the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College found that when certain uses are specified for the revenue — specifically investment in renewable energy or rebate checks back to taxpayers — 56 to 60 percent of voters support a carbon tax.

I’ve favored a carbon tax for years.  This would be great news if what the American peopled want had even the slightest effect on Republican legislators. It doesn't.

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Jun 302014
 

Day 70.  I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling a bit groggy, having just awakened from a much needed nap.  Where have the weekend and the month gone?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer is no dummy. He sees the writing on the wall.

I’d strongly suggest you read this entire piece titled "The pitchforks are coming . . . for us Plutocrats"

And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/…

It’s rare to see truth coming from a billionaire. Click through.

From NY Times: The Libyan militia leader charged in connection with the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed the United States ambassador and three others was brought to Washington early Saturday, where he entered a not guilty plea at the federal courthouse, formally opening one of the most complicated terrorism cases the Justice Department has mounted in recent years.

The suspect, Ahmed Abu Khattala, was flown to Washington by helicopter from a Navy warship that had steamed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea after he was captured by American commandos at a seaside villa near Benghazi two weeks ago.

Obama is getting away with doing exactly what he is supposed to do.  Republicans must be livid!

From Crooks and Liars: This is becoming a habit for Meet the Press host David Gregory. Does anyone think he really does not know that the Republicans and their continued obstruction, blocking rebuilding our infrastructure and President Obama’s jobs plan, shutting down the government and costing the economy billions of dollars and refusing to cooperate on anything if heaven forbid it might make the president look good has harmed our economy?

Whether he does or not, it didn’t stop him from playing concern troll for John Boehner and the Republicans during his interview with former President Bill Clinton this week, from the way he framed this question to begin with, to the follow up question where he pretended to be clueless on the way they’ve governed.

 

David "Raps with Rove" Gregory could not have been more biased, calling the Republican Recession the “Obama economy”. On the other hand, Slick Willie did a horrible job at debunking Gregory’s BS.

Cartoon:

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May 162014
 

As a rule, Oregon tends to lead the way for progressive values.  However, one area in which my state has lagged behind many others is in the right of people to marry based on love, not gender.  In 2004, Republicans got an Oregon Constitutional Amendment outlawing gay marriage on the ballot, and it passed.  It appears we are about to rectify that injustice.

0516gay-marriageU.S. District Judge Michael McShane on Wednesday rejected an attempt by an anti-gay marriage group to intervene in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage.

McShane's ruling raised expectations by gay marriage supporters that his next step will be to overturn the 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

The judge's decision to reject an attempt by the National Organization for Marriage [pseudo-Christians delinked] to intervene leaves all of the official parties in the case — including Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum — arguing that Oregon's prohibition violates the federal equal protection of rights of gay and lesbian couples seeking to marry.

"We feel very confident this is headed in the right direction," said David Fidanque, executive director of the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing some of the plaintiffs in the case. He noted that 13 federal judges in a row — including one in Idaho on Tuesday — have now issued rulings granting additional legal status for gay marriages… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Oregonian>

Oregon’ initiative process can be a great thing.  Oregon voters can change the law or amend the Oregon Constitution by ballot initiative.  However, it has problems that need to be addressed, such as the huge amounts of money Republicans spend on them.  Also, Republicans love to get ballot measures in off year and special elections that most voters ignore, so they can win with fewer votes.  In my opinion, ballot measures should only be included on ballots for major elections.

I look forward to seeing this injustice overturned.

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