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.

Why?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dec 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 30. My COPD is still acting up.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day and an O2 delivery day.  I may be scarce.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:18 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

One can only imagine Hooks Independent School District board member Chris Harris won’t be working for the district much longer after he posted the image above. The image has rightfully garnered a lot of attention, not the kind Mr. Harris was likely hoping for when he posted it.

He’s since apologized, but it may be too late:

Harris posted messages saying in part that he realizes what he posted was inappropriate and offended people. He went on to say he’s deeply sorry and not a racist.

According to Superintendent Thompson, Harris’ future with the school district  will be up to the school board members.

"They govern me. That is who I answer to," said Thompson. "They govern each other. It is in their hands."

That Republican is not a racist. The Pope is not Catholic. Bears never, ever shit in the woods.

From The New Yorker: On the heels of an initiative to provide police departments with body cameras, there is growing support for a plan to supply grand-jury members with eyes, advocates for the plan said on Wednesday.

“Body cameras are an important part of the solution,” said Harland Dorrinson, who is lobbying Washington to equip grand juries with the sense of sight. “But I strongly believe that if you take video evidence and add eyes, the combination would be unstoppable.”

Some critics of Dorrinson’s proposal say that it does not go far enough, and that in order to process information sent from their eyes grand juries would also need to be fitted with working brains.

For once I disagree with Andy. When Grand Jurors make garbage decisions, it’s because prosecutors feed them garbage.

From NY Times: A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down a 2011 Florida law requiring drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits even if they are not suspected of drug use, a measure pushed by Gov. Rick Scott in his first term in office.

The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that the law, one of the strictest in the country, was an unreasonable search because Florida officials had failed to show a “substantial need” to test all people who applied for welfare benefits. Applicants were required to submit to urine tests, a measure that Mr. Scott said would protect children of welfare applicants by ensuring that their parents were not buying and using drugs.

“The state has not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique or different drug problem among TANF applicants than in the general population,” the panel said in its unanimous decision, using an acronym for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Rick Scott is going to hate this because he founded the company getting rich off of doing the drug testing.  He claims he no longer owns it, which is true.  Now, his wife does.

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Nov 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 14.  I’m feeling quite tired, but today I got started early enough to persevere. Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

11Scores

Standings:

11Standings

Did I get my butt kicked, or what?

Short Takes (all Kos):

From Daily Kos: Gotta love her:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to oppose President Barack Obama’s nomination of Antonio Weiss, a Wall Street investment banker, to be Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, another sharp-elbowed move by the progressive movement’s most prominent leader.

Can't imagine what she would find objectionable to yet another Wall Streeter running the government ..

Gotta love her is right! The last thing we need as a regulator is the Bankster who put together the Burger King merger to evade US taxes.

From Daily Kos:

Poor Shell Oil can't get any relief in their quest to destroy the Arctic Ocean for shareholder profit.

EcoWatch has reported that Shell Oil's preemptive lawsuit against environmentalists to block any potential lawsuits against groups who oppose its drilling operations was thrown out of court.

Two years ago, Shell filed a preemptive lawsuit against 13 environmental, indigenous and community groups to prevent them from possibly suing Shell at some time in the future over its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The 9th Circuit Court panel yesterday called the legal maneuver “novel”and said that it was unconstitutional.

“Big News! David has taken down Goliath!” the Alaska Wilderness League posted on their Facebook page. “Shell tried to bully environmental groups like the Alaska Wilderness League by preemptively suing us to silence our voice. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, has officially told the oil giant: Shell NO! That behavior won’t fly!”

It's been a bad week for Big Oil. First Chevron lost its bid to take over a California town to duck lawsuit for injuries' Chevron caused, and now Shell lost their preemptive strike against heroes protecting the environment against them. I have two words for that. The first is "Wooo".

From Daily Kos: What was Black Friday shopping and is now Thanksgiving shopping gives us an amazing view on the race to the bottom when it comes to jobs and the notion that workers maybe deserve to have lives. Once it was a question of how early stores opened on Black Friday. Then some started opening on Thanksgiving. Now it's a question of how early they'll open on the holiday. You know, Thanksgiving, one of the big two holidays of the year in this country? Only now, it's a major workday for many retail workers who aren't paid enough to live on and don't get paid time off.

Click through for a list of stores. On a day we should be remembering what we did to the people that gave us the first Thanksgiving, the last thing we need is an extra day of hypocritical corporate Christmas greed.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Nov 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 197, and more important, election day.  At this point, I think I can honestly say that I’ve done everything I possibly could to help influence the outcome, and now it’s time for me to do the one thing I hate doing most in politics: become a spectator.  Lets just hope that the Republican Party suffers from electile dysfunction, and that when it comes to turn out, they can’t get it up.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:31` (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip Pat A from Care2): …The header on this [Republican] mailing says "Your Voting Record is Public Information!"

Then, this ominous note: "The News and Observer reported last week that Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s operation plans to publish and share your voting records with your neighbors after this election."

That’s big news right there.  Raleigh has a newspaper?  But I digress.

The mailing continues…

"The Republican Party wanted to make you aware of this, so Reid and Obama don’t have the chance to embarrass you for staying home on election day."

And then… at the very bottom… is the (unintentional?) punchline…

…there’s a list with my wife’s name at the top and a note that she didn’t vote in 2010, but did in 2012.

Then, it lists the names of 4 of my neighbors, with notes showing whether they voted in 2010 and 2012.

Let me say that again.  They have the very voting record they say the scary and threatening president is going to send to my neighbors, and they’re sending it to my neighbors…

Click through for the whole story.  Have you ever seen a more classic example of criminal projection?

From NY Times: A stealthy coterie of difficult-to-trace outside groups is slipping tens of millions of dollars of attacks ads and negative automated telephone calls into the final days of the midterm campaign, helping fuel an unprecedented surge of last-minute spending on Senate races.

Much of the advertising is being timed to ensure that no voter will know who is paying for it until after the election on Tuesday. Some of the groups are “super PACs” that did not exist before Labor Day but have since spent heavily on political advertising, adding to the volatility of close Senate and House races.

Others formed earlier in the year but remained dormant until recently, reporting few or no contributions in recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, only to unleash six- and seven-figure advertising campaigns as Election Day draws near. Yet more spending is coming from nonprofit organizations with bland names that have popped up in recent weeks but appear to have no life beyond being a conduit for the ads.

Groups like B-PAC, supporting Joni Ernst, center, in Iowa, have poured millions into Senate races. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

The groups’ last-minute fusillade of attacks helped push outside spending in races around the country to an average of at least $20 million a day last week. Total spending on Senate races reached $200 million in October alone, significantly more than in the same period before the 2010 midterms.

As much as the Times tries to paint the problem as bipartisan, click through and note that virtually all the examples are Republican.

From Think Progress: An federal district court in Oregon has declared Secular Humanism a religion, paving the way for the non-theistic community to obtain the same legal rights as groups such as Christianity.

On Thursday, October 30, Senior District Judge Ancer Haggerty issued a ruling on American Humanist Association v. United States, a case that was brought by the American Humanist Association (AHA) and Jason Holden, a federal prisoner. Holden pushed for the lawsuit because he wanted Humanism — which the AHA defines as “an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces” — recognized as a religion so that his prison would allow for the creation of a Humanist study group. Haggerty sided with the plaintiffs in his decision, citing existing legal precedent and arguing that denying Humanists the same rights as groups such as Christianity would be a violation of the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which declares that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

“The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

The decision highlights the unusual position of the Humanist community, which has tried for years to obtain the same legal rights as more traditional religious groups while simultaneously rebuking the existence of a god or gods. But while some Humanists may chafe at being called a “religion,” others feel that the larger pursuit of equal rights trumps legal classifications.

The Court correctly ruled what I’ve been saying all along. Atheism is a religion. In my opinion, it is the religion that requires the most faith of all.

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