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:

0808Cartoon

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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.

Cartoon:

0724Cartoon

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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:

0630Cartoon

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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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May 152014
 

I am pleased to report that a Federal Appeals Court has stopped the state of Texas from killing Robert James Campbell.  While the court did duck the issue that using unknown drugs from a secret source runs the rick of depth by slow torture, they did discover that Texas had hidden evidence that he is not mentally competent to face execution.

0515death-chamber

A little more than two hours before he was scheduled to be put to death here, a convicted murderer was granted a stay of execution by a federal appeals court on Tuesday so the courts could review his claim that he is mentally disabled — a disability, his lawyers argued, that state agencies had long known and concealed.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans granted the request from lawyers for Robert James Campbell, 41, who had been set to be the first inmate put to death in America since a botched execution in Oklahoma last month drew attention to the methods, drugs and secrecy surrounding lethal injections.

The court had refused to intervene in the execution based on Mr. Campbell’s lawyers’ contention that the state was withholding crucial evidence on the drug to be used. But it issued the stay on a second argument made by Mr. Campbell’s lawyers on what the law refers to as mental retardation… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Rachel Maddow covered this Republican blood lust.

Texas already had three other tests that showed the same results, but had denied that they existed. that’s how desperate these so-called Pro-Life Republicans are to kill. The same Republican executioners lied to a pharmaceutical manufacturer, claiming to be a hospital to get drugs fore execution. That’s how desperate these so-called “Pro-Life” Republicans are to kill. They are a moral stain on the face of this nation.

Republicans define life as something that begins at conception and ends at birth.

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May 152014
 

On Thursday, the FCC is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would allow  ISPs to charge some corporate providers for a guarantee that their content will be delivered in a so-called fast lane.  While I agree fully with the aims of the protestors, I consider it important that we base protest on the facts.  Sadly, since this issue has been used for fundraising, disinformation abounds.  Let’s begin with what I call above average mainstream coverage.

0515FCC

By 9:30 Tuesday morning, Washington was already well on its way to a hot and sticky afternoon. For the handful of protesters camped out in front of the Federal Communications Commission, the heat was all worth it.

The demonstrators are calling on the FCC’s chairman, Tom Wheeler, to abandon a proposal that allows Internet providers to charge content companies like Dropbox and Google extra for speedy and reliable service.  They set up shop on a small strip of concrete and grass outside the FCC building on Maine Avenue in Southwest. When I visited, drivers whizzed past on a highway onramp just a few feet from the curb. While the traffic didn’t feel unsafe, it kept the protesters mostly hemmed in. Orange and white tents from REI dotted the perimeter. It was hard to see whether anyone was inside them taking refuge from the heat.

Drawing inspiration from the Occupy Wall Street protests of a few years ago, the demonstrators are asking the agency to reclassify broadband providers as utility companies, which would allow the government to issue a ban on speeding up or slowing down types of Internet traffic. The FCC is considering rules that would prohibit companies from blocking traffic but could give them the freedom to offer faster service to Internet companies like Netflix and Google that chose to pay a fee.

Wheeler has defended the proposal, saying that he won’t hesitate to regulate broadband companies more strictly if the situation demands and that he is following the roadmap laid out by a federal court that struck down the FCC’s old net neutrality rules in January.

"The FCC must reclassify the Internet as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act," said Kevin Huang, the campaign manager for the consumer group Fight for the Future. Huang had been camped at the FCC for the past two days. "Anything less is just ‘net neutrality’ in air quotes."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

In lots of the advertising I’ve seen, blame is being pinned on the Obama administration, The Democratic Party, and the FCC.  All three have consistently favored Net Neutrality.  We would not have this situation had a Republican dominated appeals court not struck down current FCC rules and ordered the FCC to propose rules that allow for a “fast lane”.  The people behind this mess are the Republican Party and the greedy content providers that want to charge extra for preferred treatment, like Comcast.

Some of the advertising I’ve seen makes it appear that, if we don’t donate by Thursday, we’re about to lose Net Neutrality, and our Internet access is about to slow down. That is simply not true.  The most that will happen Thursday is that the FCC will vote to PROPOSE the new rule.  That does not end Net Neutrality.  It is likely what will happen, because immediately reclassifying the Internet as a Title II common carrier will not satisfy the Republican court order.  The danger of the win it all NOW tactic is that people will likely think we lost, if the FCC does propose the rule, and the less informed may give up.  If the new rule is proposed it will BEGIN a lengthy period of public comment.  That is the time when the real fight over reclassification is most likely to take place, and it is a fight we all need to join.  This matter is far from being settled.

Finally, I fully support the protestors who are demonstrating for Net Neutrality.

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May 102014
 

RepublicansOnParade

Here is the forty-seventh article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is federal Judge Rudolph Randa. He is so honored for his blatant attempt to help the Republican Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, Scott Walker, get away with his electioneering crimes.

0510randarudolphIn one of the first cases to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision, a federal judge just tried to open the door to new levels of corruption in Wisconsin elections — but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals could still stop him.

On May 6, federal Judge Rudolph Randa ordered a halt to Wisconsin’s long-running "John Doe" criminal probe into allegedly illegal coordination between political campaigns (including Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign) and non-profit groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth that spent millions during the state’s recall elections. Randa, who was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush and is a board member of the Milwaukee Federalist Society, compared limits on money-in-politics to "the guillotine and the gulag."

…Judge Randa’s May 6 decision halting the investigation is extraordinary. It involves a federal court injecting its own interpretation of state law into a high-profile criminal probe of political operatives of the party that appointed him to the bench, while state court proceedings are ongoing. It deploys a strained reading of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the facts of the case, portraying the investigation — led by a bipartisan group of District Attorneys and a Special Prosecutor who voted for Walker, and approved unanimously by the bipartisan group of retired judges on Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board — as politically-motivated retaliation against Republicans. It green-lights electoral coordination between candidates and third-party groups, making it easy for politicians to bypass contribution and disclosure limits and solicit unlimited, secret donations for so-called "issue ads" timed to influence elections.

Randa even celebrated the intentional evasion of campaign finance rules by the players under investigation in the John Doe. He described their tactics as a means of promoting "speech."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <PR Watch>

Because of the volunteer work I do, I am aware that if something is illegal at the time a crime is committed, and subsequent changes in the law make the same activity legal, it has no effect.  I know men who are in prison for doing things that are currently legal, but were crimes at the time they did them.  No Judge could fail to realize that.

Furthermore, much of the investigation this Republican tried to kill involves Walker using the public employees he supervised to assist in his campaign, which is still a criminal activity.

But if you still don’t believe that Republican Judge Randa rendered an intentionally corrupt decision to help Walker evade the law, consider this.  Randa should have recused himself at the outset, because his assistant is married to one of Walker’s campaign lawyers.

Corruption doesn’t get get much more Republican than that!

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