Jan 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and feeling quite exhausted after being up all night recovering my computer.  The file that trashed it got through my firewall, while I was on Care2.  The management of Care2 is in no way at fault.  Nobody can maintain a site of that size and complexity without an occasional security glitch, and for the volume of traffic they have, they do an excellent job.  So fell victim to either a random hacker or a Republican hacker.  Given the pain I cause them, I suspect latter, but have no evidence to prove it.  Tomorrow is a High Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and my Broncos will worship with the Patriots for the AFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.  You can guess what I shall be doing.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 5:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From TPM: On MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki” this morning, Hoboken, N.J. mayor Dawn Zimmer offered an extraordinary account of her dealings with the administration of Governor Chris Christie concerning federal Hurricane Sandy relief aid. She described an effort by top state officials – the lieutenant governor and a cabinet member – to coerce Hoboken’s city government into fast-tracking approval of a proposed redevelopment project by withholding Sandy aid from the government and residents of her city. That project, she says she was told, was “very important to the governor.” And if she worked to get it approved, “the money would start flowing to you.”

It just so happens that the proposed project in question is situated on three blocks of land owned by the Rockefeller Group, a client of the law firm of Wolff & Samson. That firm was founded by Christie confidante David Samson, a former state attorney general who Christie tapped to head his transition team in 2009. In 2011 the governor appointed Samson to become the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he remains today.

Here are two of the videos from Steve’s show

There can be no excuse here. PIGnocchio is using Sandy relief funds to blackmail Mayors to favor billionaires. This is a crime.

From Raw Story: A federal judicial panel revealed on Friday that a former federal judge’s email suggesting President Barack Obama’s mother had sex with a dog was one of hundreds showing “disdain for African Americans and Hispanics,” the Billings Gazette reported.

The March 2013 report from the Judicial Council of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals traced Richard Cebull’s proclivity for sending racist and sexist material back to 2008. Cebull, a former U.S. District Court Judge, was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

The probe discovered that Cebull violated the second and fifth canons of the judicial code of conduct barring judges from political activity, as he sent several emails “related to pending legislation or an issue that could come before the courts, such as immigration, gun control, civil rights, health care or environmental matters.” Other messages contained “inappropriate jokes relating to sexual orientation,” particular “disdain” for undocumented Latino immigrants, “certain faiths,” and “liberal political leaders.” Other emails focused on “sexual topics and were disparaging of women.”

This is what we get when we do not exercise our right to vote or waste our votes on third party Presidential candidates.

From Alternet: Food stamp recipients will have their grocery store humiliation compounded by having to  show a photo ID in order to buy food if Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) gets his way.

Under a bill Vitter introduced Wednesday , beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would be denied their food if they are unable to show a photographic identification card at the register. For millions of low-income Americans who don’t have an official photo ID and can’t necessarily afford to buy one, Vitter’s bill would mean being cut off from their primary food source.

Diaper Dave strikes again.

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Dec 272013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and recovering from an excellent Christmas day, in which I worked my butt off cooking.  This was my first time roasting in my convection microwave oven, and it works like a charm.  We also took a plate to the person working the security desk at my building, so he would not have to go without Christmas dinner, and he was very appreciative.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:47 (average 6:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The contraception mandate in the new health care reform law accommodates religious beliefs. It exempts houses of worship from having to provide contraceptive coverage without a co-pay. Church-affiliated organizations like schools and hospitals need only send a short form to their insurance administrator, which takes care of the coverage.

There is no breach of religious freedom, nor any undue burden involved. But that was not enough for a judge of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Brian Cogan, who decided that even filing a form is too much to ask. He ruled in favor of two high schools and two health care systems affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…

…This case is among dozens challenging the birth control mandate. The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases involving secular for-profit companies. What Judge Cogan missed, and the justices need to recognize, is the threat to religious liberty comes from employers trying to impose their religious views on workers.

I’m not surprised that a Republican GW Bush appointee would rule that violating the religious freedom of women is the right of a high school that provides education in secular, as well as religious subjects.

From Think Progress: BP has sought to cut down on payments for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster by asking that local businesses prove the link between their economic losses and the oil spill. A federal judge halted BP’s effort to skip payments on Tuesday, ruling that BP cannot reverse its interpretation of the settlement simply because the cost is higher than what the oil giant once estimated.

BP wanted the rules of a class action settlement to be rewritten to require “proof of causation” or to throw out the entire multi-billion dollar agreement. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier disagreed, writing that BP’s argument is “not only clearly inconsistent with its previous position, it directly contradicts what it has told this court.” In an earlier decision, Barbier also blasted the company for “attempting to rewrite or disregard the unambiguous terms of the settlement agreement.” BP had once called the class action settlement “more than fair.” BP plans to appeal.

Unlike the judge in the last item, Barbier is a Clinton appointee. This case underscores the need to keep Republicans out of the Presidency, where they would appoint corrupt judges, as a GOBP judge would not have ruled fairly.

From Raw Story: The GOP’s corporate allies have set a New Year’s resolution they hope will lead to electoral victory in the 2014 midterms: “No fools on our ticket.”

Republican House leaders are planning to impose discipline on unruly members to help avert the party squabbles that badly damaged the GOP brand, and major donors and advocacy groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads intend to develop and fund more centrist candidates.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said Scott Reed, the top political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Wall Street Journal [Murdoch delinked]. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

In other words, the Republicans are intent on fielding candidates adept at hiding their true policies from American voters, like they did in 2010, when all those "jobs, jobs, jobs" gave way to TEAbuggery as soon as they assumed office. We must remain ever vigilant to expose them for what they are.

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Dec 142013
 

RepublicansOnParade

Here is the thirty-fifth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Jean Boyd, a Texas State District Judge.  She is so honored for making justice truly Republican, something that can be bought by the 1%.

1214Jeanboyd16-year old Ethan Couch was driving drunk at THREE times the legal limit and had Valium in his system.  He plowed into four people going 70 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone, killing them.  Other victims are severely injured; one has severe brain damage.  Even after he killed and maimed those people, he was uncooperative and combative with the emergency services and walked away from the police saying "I’m outta here".

He pleaded guilty, of course.  But Ethan’s parents are very wealthy. (We are talking the 1%.)  They hired an attorney that brought on a psychologist to say Couch was "a product of wealth" and was used to getting "whatever he wanted".  Because he was so affluent and accustomed to never having consequences, the attorney argued that he should get therapy as opposed to jail…

…Prosecutors tried to get 20 years.   The Defense argued for therapy and probation.

Texas State District Judge Jean Boyd bought the inane "I’m too rich for consequences" defense and actually sided with the Defense and gave him probation… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Here’s video coverage:

 

In my volunteer work, I know a man with a very similar crime, with a few key differences.  In his drunken stupor, he killed one, not four.  He was contrite from day one.  His family was not rick enough to sway a Republican judge, so he served thirty full years in prison.  He is now a Drug and Alcohol Counselor.

Now some might ask why I’m assuming that the judge who handed down this horrid verdict is a Republican.  First, favoring a non-repentant scion of the super-rich over the deaths of four children is a thoroughly Republican thing to do.  But, just to be sure, I looked it up.  Jean Boyd is a perfect example of Republican injustice.

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Dec 132013
 

Yesterday I planned to rest all day, but following the best laid plans of mice and men, my Christmas present to me came early, and I could not resist opening it.  Because I am not an Olympic weightlifter, because I do not have engineering degrees, and because I obviously do not speak the language of whoever wrote the documentation, there is nothing easy about unpacking, setting up and installing a color laser all-in-one.  Six hours later, my first color document in hand, I crawled into bed for a few hours.  I’ll be moving back to full-time blogging over the next couple weeks.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 5:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Agony:

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Had I been able to watch and meditate properly, this would never have happened.  It’s Comcast’s fault!! :evil:

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: LA-Sen: Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is running a new ad that’s all about her efforts to fix Obamacare—specifically, the legislation she introduced that would require insurers to keep offering individual plans that they’ve been cancelling as the insurance exchanges have opened up. While the bill is a political winner for her, I’m not so sold on how her spot presents things, since the first 10 seconds contain news clips that only remind viewers of the debacle in the first place, before even getting to Landrieu’s attempt to ameliorate the problem.

LA is especially tough, since Republicans used Katrina to make the state, and especially New Orleans, more white, but we clearly need a progressive to challenge Landrieu for the Democratic nomination.  However, in the general election, voting for even this DINO garbage is better than voting for a third party and giving it to a Republican. Click through for more election news.

From NY Times: Representative Paul D. Ryan’s eight terms in Congress have produced much political celebrity and Republican respect but just two laws bearing the Ryan name — a renamed post office and a modified excise tax on arrows like the ones he uses for bow hunting.

Then on Tuesday he struck a budget deal with Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, that affixed a new label to the polished veneer of Mr. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican: deal maker and, to some, traitor.

To be honest, I’ve been too far out of the loop to render an opinion on this budget deal, but there must be at least something positive about it to bring on the ire against Fartfuhrer Walker’s pet Ayn Rand disciple.  So it’s 90% bad, at worst.

From Think Progress: With her confirmation to the second highest court in the nation very early Thursday morning, Judge Nina Pillard should immediately rocket to the top of the Democratic shortlist of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. Though there are a number of Democratic judges who possess the youth, brilliance and legal credentials required from a new Supreme Court justice, Pillard brings something to the bench that is quite rare among judges — she’s won two of the most important civil rights victories to reach the Supreme Court during her career.

She would never have been confirmed, had not Leg Hound Harry finally taken my advice, used his ObamaBalls, and nuked the Republican Filibastards.

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The implications boggle the mind.  Had we had a competent President, September 11, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the biggest tax giveaway to the super-rich in history, and the Republican financial collapse and recession would not have happened.

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Aug 162013
 

Writing for tomorrow, day 63, I did get some sleep on my day of rest, despite the temperature at my desk reaching 99°.  It is cooler outside today, but it’s still 88° inside.  Tomorrow will be hot again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:51 (average 6:03).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Despite polls that show broad public support for allowing same-sex couples to marry, New Jersey, to its great shame, has refused to follow the example set by other states in the Northeast — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — in granting marriage equality.

A civil rights suit to be heard on Thursday in a New Jersey state court could finally change that. Brought on behalf of six couples and Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest gay rights group, the case squarely addresses an urgent legal question for New Jersey that grows out of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June that ended the unjust denial of federal marriage benefits for married same-sex couples under the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

I used to believe that marriage was more of a religious thing, and that civil unions for gay couples was a workable compromise, but I was wrong. As far as I know, in no state, not even Oregon, do civil unions confer all the rights and privileges enjoyed by married couples. Therefore this is not something states have the right to decide. It’s a basic human right.

From MSNBC: Alarming failures plague the US Nuclear arsenal

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Since January 1997, except for one 19 months period, the Secretary of Defense has been a Republican. The Democrat, Leon Panera, did not dismantle the Pentagon bureaucracy set in place by Republican administrations, especially that of GW ChickenHawk. However, the only time Minot passed was under Panetta. Rachel’s point is well taken, but as long as we have even one nuke, it needs to be managed by a higher standard of supervision than that of the party that brought us 9/11.

From Alternet: Remember all those deficit hawks who screamed that the federal deficit is spiraling out of control and must be stopped with spending cuts that have a funny way of hurting the pocketbooks of the most vulnerable Americans? Their excuse for ripping us off has been literally disappearing, but a new Google survey shows that not only do the vast majority Americans not know it — half of the public actually believes that the deficit is growing.

Here are the facts: The U.S. budget deficit has been shrinking at a rapid rate over the last few months. The deficit peaked at 10.2 percent of GDP in 2009, but over the past four quarters, it has shrunk to a mere 4.2 percent of GDP. What’s more, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the deficit will fall to 2.1 percent of GDP in 2015.

Why such a disconnect? Unfortunately, disgraceful propaganda has left the public misinformed and confused.

Do I have to tell you the source of that disgraceful propaganda?

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Aug 032013
 

I’m writing for Saturday, day 50.  Yesterday (Thursday) I got better sleep, but collecting the data for and writing the Monthly Report took most of the day.  Today is the last cool day.  Tomorrow will be hot, but not unbearably so.  Then on Sunday, the heat wave returns full force and is forecast to last until at least a week from Monday.  ARGH!!!

Update:  Our HSP crashed so the blog was intermittent, mostly offline, most of the day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:09 (average 5:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From CREW: Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr. for lying to Congress.  Contrary to what Director Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the National Security Agency (NSA) does, in fact, collect data on Americans, as documents disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden demonstrate.

Read the letter to the Department of Justice and supporting exhibits

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “The Obama administration has been extremely aggressive in prosecuting leaks.  It is only reasonable to expect DOJ to be at least as diligent in investigating high government officials who deliberately lie to Congress.”

At a March 12, 2013 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked Director Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”  Director Clapper responded, “No, sir … Not wittingly.  There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps, collect, but not, not wittingly.”

I fully agree and support CREW’s efforts.

From MSNBC: Bought Bitch Mitch in trouble!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Nothing would please me more to see Lundergan Grimes beat either the Bagger that beat Bought Bitch Mitch, or Bought Bitch Mitch himself. He’s the nation’s most unpopular senator, because America is beginning to see him as the lying seditionist traitor he is.

From TPM: Senate Republicans are standing firm by their threat to block every one of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, insisting on eliminating all three vacant seats on the country’s second most powerful court.

If they follow through, it could spark yet another nuclear showdown over filibuster rules.

The first of Obama’s three picks, Patricia Millett, was narrowly approved Thursday by the Judiciary Committee on a party line vote of 10-8. Every Republican voted against her, although they didn’t criticize her or take issue with her qualifications. They merely argued that the court is under-worked and that nobody ought to fill those seats.

The DC Circuit is the Court of Appeals that has the most responsibility of them all, because they have jurisdiction over all federal regulations. They also have a temporary Republican majority, because of the three vacancies.  NUKE the FILIBASTARDS!!!!!

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Aug 022013
 

Writing for day 49, it’s cooler, and I should have a few days of comfort, before the heat returns this weekend.  I’m working harder than normal, because I have been collecting the data for our Monthly Report, and I’m also still running on a bad sleep deficit, mostly because of heat and noise.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:28 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: If you live in the south, you’re no doubt familiar with Bojangles.  The ubiquitous Charlotte, NC-based chicken and biscuit chain has 500 locations sprinkled across 11 states.

Until today, Bojangles had been a regular advertiser on the Rush Limbaugh Show, sponsoring traffic on WBT-Charlotte nearly every day during the controversial program.  And for months, the company had declined to respond to Flush Rush pressure that they remove the ads.

Kudos to Bojangles, although they should never have supported the philosophical head of the Republican Party at all.

From NY Times: …Nearly 6 in 10 Republicans believe that they need to reconsider some positions, while just over a third believe that the party mainly needs to make a stronger case for its current positions…

…But that’s where things get tricky. Fifty-four percent believe that party leaders need to move in a more conservative direction, while only 40 percent believe that they need to move in a more moderate direction.

MORE conservative?!!? One night as well tell Hitler to be more Nazi!

From SPLC:

James Timothy Turner, the president of the largest antigovernment “sovereign citizen” group in the country, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison on Wednesday for tax crimes. Turner was convicted in March of every count he faced, including conspiracy to defraud the United States; six counts related to fake financial instruments; obstructing the Internal Revenue Service; and failing to file a tax return in 2009.

In delivering the sentence, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said he considered two factors –– the vindictiveness Turner had shown in going after federal employees who had challenged his interpretation of the law and Turner’s age. At 57, Turner will be an elderly man when he is released from prison, even if he is released early for good behavior.

This is a sad day in the annals of TEAbuggery. However, I hope the man gets an opportunity in prison to learn about his dysfunctional thinking and that he takes that opportunity to become an authentic human being.

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