Nov 272015

Picketers playing ball outside closed mill during steel srike.  (Photo by Francis Miller//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Politico — The reason critics like Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, Neil Barofsky, Simon Johnson, Paul Krugman and others (left, right and center) won the day—at least the intellectual debate and the war over public perceptions—was not that they were better communicators. It was that they had a more convincing message: There were alternative ways of rescuing the economy that were fairer and that would have resulted in a stronger economy. Instead, our politics and economics are now locked into a vicious circle: Economic inequality leads to political inequality, and this political inequality then leads to rewriting the rules to increase the level of economic inequality even further, and so on. The result? Ever greater disillusionment with our democracy.

Matters may well get worse. Recent research has uncovered a variety of other vicious cycles. Poverty traps mean those in the bottom remain there. The fortunes of a child of poor parents who does well in school are far bleaker than those of a child of rich parents who does much more poorly in school. About a quarter of U.S. college freshmen from the bottom income half finish college by age 24, compared with 90 percent of the upper quartile. And with wages of those who have only a high school diploma at 62 percent of the typical college grad’s earnings—compared with 81 percent in 1965—the prospects are they will be poorer than their parents.

Taken from Wikipedia, Joseph E Stiglitz is "…an American economist and a professor atColumbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers.  He is known for his critical view of the management of globalizationlaissez-faire economists (whom he calls "free market fundamentalists"), and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  

Based on academic citations, Stiglitz is the 4th most influential economist in the world today, and in 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, asset risk management, corporate governance, and international trade. He is the author of several books, the latest being The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them (2015)."

From Alternet, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Joseph Stiglitz.

AMY GOODMAN: Welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about these candidates [Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders] and what they’re saying and what they actually do, what they support.

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Well, I think we’re in a new moment in America, because I think we’ve had a third of a century of a—you might call, an experiment, a grand experiment, where, beginning with Reagan, we said, "Let’s lower the tax rates on the top. Let’s rip away the regulations. We’re going to free up the American economy. We’re going to incentivize it. The result will be the economy will grow so much—yes, the top will get a larger share, but everybody is going to get a bigger piece, and so everybody is going to be better off." Well, we’ve had a third of a century of this experiment, and it has failed. It has failed miserably. The fact is, the bottom 90 percent have seen their incomes stagnate. Median income today is as low as it was a quarter-century ago. Talking about the minimum wage, minimum wage is the level, adjusted for inflation, it was 45, 50 years ago. You know, if an economy can’t deliver for most of its citizens, it’s a failed economy. What’s so striking is, we’ve had technological change, we’ve had globalization—all the things that were supposed the economy perform better—and in fact it’s performed worse.

Click through to read the rest of these two articles.  In the second, Stiglitz says "…I think the point is the American people have figured out that this model hasn’t worked, you know, the model that began a third of a century ago. So, they’re angry, and they want a change."  If Stiglitz's point is true, then what are the American people going to do to effect the necessary change?  It is, to my mind, imperative that the American people lead with their vote, shake up the establishment.

I also posted The Pitchforks Are Coming … For Us Plutocrats on 31/10/2015 in which Nick Hanauer, billionaire, echoes Stiglitz.

What is the definition of insaniTEA?  Voting the same way time after time yet expecting a different and better economic outcome.



Nov 172015

Well Monday is done and Tuesday is upon us.  There was no ice in the morning but the rain was vicious all day.  In West Vancouver, there was some snow, and I am sure there was some snow in the mountains above me . . . I just couldn't see it because of the thick rain clouds.  It has been raining today but rain and wind should intensify later this afternoon. After I have my hair cut this afternoon, I just might stop for a nice cup of Earl Grey tea (my favourite) and relax with a book.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 2:47 (average 4:56). To do it, click here. How did you do? 

Fantasy Football

Rank Team W-L-T Pct Stk Waiver For Against

Monster MashersMonster Mashers

7-3-0 .700 L1 10 1,002.34 748.84

BALCO BombersBALCO Bombers

7-3-0 .700 W4 9 950.96 793.22

Progressive UnderdogsProgressive Underdogs

6-4-0 .600 W2 8 1,016.66 906.92

Lefty HillbilliesLefty Hillbillies

6-4-0 .600 W1 7 948.50 844.04


6-4-0 .600 W1 6 926.22 796.88

Purple DemonPurple Demon

5-5-0 .500 W3 5 948.16 970.96

Size 9 StompersSize 9 Stompers

5-5-0 .500 L1 4 851.08 851.16

Playing without a helmetPlaying without a helmet

4-6-0 .400 L3 3 824.80 953.40

TomCat Teabag TrashersTomCat Teabag Trashers

3-7-0 .300 L3 2 884.98 1,059.66


1-9-0 .100 L9 1 633.20 1,061.82

* Rank change shown is from week 9 – 10

Short Takes

Daily Beast — A series of interviews with Ben Carson prove once again that foreign policy isn’t brain surgery. No, seriously.

In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack in Paris on Friday, Ben Carson has done a great job showing the world just how little he knows about foreign policy over and over again.

Click through for the rest of this short piece, which is apparently much longer than Carson's foreign policy knowledge.  And this is the pseudo politician that many Republican voters want in the White House?  I wonder how long it will take Carson to call this question a "gotcha question" and start railing against the "liberal press" [snark]?

Huffington Post — A video of a father explaining the Paris attacks to his son has captured our hearts.

In Friday’s aftermath, French news broadcast Le Petit Journal interviewed the unnamed child to ask if he understood what happened in his city and why the shootings happened. “Yes, because they’re really, really mean,” the boy said. “Bad guys are not very nice.”

As the boy began to worry that his family would have to move, the father stepped in. “No, don’t worry. We don’t need to move out,” the dad said. “France is our home.”

Click through for the rest of the article and a video of the boy and his father.  It is a hanky moment to be sure.  the innocence of a child juxtaposed against the carnage of bombs.

And here is something I received from Wendy Kelly @ Care2 that is very moving.

The husband of a young woman who died in the horrific Terrorist Attacks in Paris has written a heartbreaking letter to her killers.

Antoine Leiris, a journalist at France Bleu, declared that he and their baby son would not live in fear of terrorists.

In the tragic note, titled 'You will not have my hatred' he wrote: "On Friday evening you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred.

"I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are dead souls. If this God for whom you kill blindly made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife is a wound in his heart.

"So no, I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you. You want it, but to respond to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.

"You would like me to be scared, for me to look at my fellow citizens with a suspicious eye, for me to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You have lost. The player still plays.

"I saw her this morning. At last, after nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when she left on Friday evening, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years ago.

"Of course I am devastated with grief, I grant you this small victory, but it will be short-lived.

"I know she will be with us every day and we will find each other in heaven with free souls which you will never have.

"Us two, my son and I, we will be stronger than every army in the world. I cannot waste any more time on you as I must go back to [my son] who has just woken from his sleep.

"He is only just 17 months old, he is going to eat his snack just like every other day, then we are going to play like every other day and all his life this little boy will be happy and free.

"Because you will never have his hatred either."

These two fathers also remind me of Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian medical doctor, now resident in Canada, who wrote the book I Shall Not Hate following the killing of three of his daughters by Israeli forces in Gaza some years ago.

The Atlantic — In the face of overwhelming scientific consensus, today’s Republican leaders either deny climate science outright or insist that any solution, as Marco Rubio recently claimed, “would have a devastating impact on our economy.” This has relegated the GOP to playing defense at the moment that President Obama is turning climate mitigation into a central pillar of his legacy and heading to Paris to broker a global climate agreement. Republicans have backed themselves into a losing climate position that not only reflects poor science, poor economics, and poor strategy, but also betrays enduring conservative principles.

Click through for the rest of the article.  I think the following statement from the article sums things up.  

"But what makes for good policy does not necessarily make for good politics."

Republicans are much more interested in ideology than in governing for the public good.  The Conservative government in Australia has approved the Carmichael coal mine backed by India's Adani Enterprises in central Queensland.  The COemissions alone outstripe many of the world's major cities.  And what it means to the Great Barrier Reef is past appalling.

aitgraphWhat it means to a world already facing increasing temperatures is more trouble.  2015 is set to be the hotest year on record and 2016 will likely follow.

My Universe — 

Nov 122015

I’m running quite late today, because I was dealing with extreme Republicitis.  In spite of laxatives every day, I had not Republicated in over a week.  They gave me a suppository, and I had to use the bedpan twice this morning.  Fortunately the Republicans I produced were flushed quickly, because they were nasty enough to join the Clown Car.  They will be putting me in the wheelchair in about thirty minutes, and I’ll eat lunch there.  After that I’ll take a spin around the unit.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: On Tuesday night, Fox Business will host the next debate between the 2016 GOP presidential contenders. All involved are hoping to avoid a repeat of the last such event, the CNBC fiasco which left the moderators embarrassed and the campaigns whining. But while the Republicans have been fretting about the debate format, questions, opening and closing statements, bathroom breaks and even the room temperature, the GOP White House wannabees have a much bigger problem. As a spate of recent analyses once again confirmed, the U.S. economy almost always does better under Democratic presidents.

Going back to Herbert Hoover, the economy grew faster, job creation accelerated, incomes expanded and stock prices jumped higher when a Democrat sat in the Oval Office. And as the New Democrat Network documented last month, the last four presidencies are no exception…


The only people who do well under a Republican Reich are Banksters and the 1%.

From The New Yorker: In a potential stumbling block for his Presidential ambitions, a new study indicates that the average American can stand only four seconds of exposure to Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican.

The study, conducted by University of Minnesota researchers during Tuesday night’s Republican debate, required subjects to be connected to electrodes to measure their tolerance for the senator.

Within four seconds of watching Cruz, the majority of participants begged to be released from the experiment, researchers reported.

I think Andy is exaggerating. Four seconds is way too long to tolerate Uranus Inspector.

From Alternet: Fox Business hosted the fourth Republican presidential debate on Tuesday. Unlike its sister network Fox News, many are unfamiliar with the low-rated Fox Business. But Media Matters has been watching since the network’s debut in 2007.

Here are 35 of the worst things to appear on the “business” network.

1. Fox Business Promoted Obama Birth Certificate Conspiracy Theory: “Photoshopped”

Barf Bag Alert!!

  Click through, and take a truckload of barf bags with you. There are thirty four more like this.



Waterboarding was one of his crimes punishable by the death penalty.

Oct 312015

Happy Halloween! There are monsters in Republican sheets and hoods chasing you.  Be VERY afraid.  I’m in a bad typing position.

Short Takes:

From Crooks and LiarsThis mashup from Media Matters is so great, because it highlights all the crap they spew year round. Yes, today is Halloween, but for them, every day is Halloween.


Be VERY afraid!

From the New Yorker: Corrected by Squatch

In the biggest free-agency acquisition of the 2016 Presidential contest, the billionaire investor Paul Singer has acquired Florida senator Marco Rubio for a rumored eight-figure sum, pending a physical.

Just hours after the deal was inked, Rubio was flown by private jet to Singer’s training facility in East Hampton, where the senator will submit to a series of gruelling drills before the deal is finalized.

“We are making a four-year deal with Marco, with an option for another four,” an associate of Singer’s said. “We like what we’ve seen of him on tape, but we want to be sure that he has what it takes to go the distance.”

Andy forgot to tell us on what, besides deportation and welfare for billionaires, Border Buster will be tested.

From Daily Kos (classic 1/2015): Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to talk about the deficits. Yes, plural. The ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee says the next budget should address a series of deficits in investment in the American economy. Income inequality, lack of jobs and especially good jobs, poor infrastructure, bad trade deals, retirement insecurity, and a failure to invest in education—these are deficits that affect the entire American economy, dragging it down and slowing growth. That's what Sanders wants to address:

Spot-on Bernie! Click through for more.



Sep 122015

It has been a long week for everybody, and the weekend is here. We can't do much more to check on the Puddy Tat until Monday, so I thought a "similar to TC's Open Thread" would keep us busy. I'd also like to thank all of you for your patience, but I would especially like to thank Nameless, JL and JD for all the behind the scenes work They have done and are doing. And lastly, but never lastly, please continue to hold Tom in your thoughts and/or prayers.

BTW, I can't seem to get the hot links to work so unfortunately, you'll have to copy/paste the links into your browser.

Fantasy Football — Don't forget to check your rosters. The games have started! . . . and you can bet that Tom's Teabag Trashers want to take the trophy home again this year.

Candy Fruits my time 3:47 average 5:17
Yacht Ropes my time 3:35 average 5:07
Key Blanks my time 3:51 average 6:31
How did you do?

Short Takes

Raw Story — An Oklahoma County judge on Friday gave the state a month to remove a 6-foot-tall (1.80-meter) granite monument containing the Ten Commandments from Capitol grounds after the state’s top court said it had been erected illegally.
District Judge Thomas Prince denied a motion from Attorney General Scott Pruitt to keep in place the monument that had been on Capitol grounds since 2012 and garnered strong support from Oklahoma’s Republican leadership.
In June, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the monument must be removed because the Oklahoma Constitution bans the use of state property for the benefit of a religion.
The decision prompted Republican lawmakers to say they will look at impeachment for the justices who made the decision and legal briefs from the attorney general’s office to keep the monument in the shadow of the Statehouse.

Republicans like to think it is their way or the highway!

The New Yorker — Republicans, who mercilessly mocked Barack Obama’s lack of government experience before he became President, now favor Presidential candidates with no experience whatsoever, the head of the Republican National Committee has confirmed.
The R.N.C. chief, Reince Priebus, said that he sees “no contradiction at all” between Republicans’ contempt for Obama’s pre-White House résumé, which included eleven years spent in public office, and their rabid enthusiasm for G.O.P. rising stars Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, whose combined years in public office total zero.

Is Andy reporting straight news again? The anachronistic Republican bubble machine is at it again!

NY Times — Visitors to Japan are often surprised by how prosperous it seems. It doesn’t look like a deeply depressed economy. And that’s because it isn’t.
Unemployment is low; overall economic growth has been slow for decades, but that’s largely because it’s an aging country with ever fewer people in their prime working years. Measured relative to the number of working-age adults, Japanese growth over the past quarter century has been almost as fast as America’s, and better than Western Europe’s.
Yet Japan is still caught in an economic trap. Persistent deflation has created a society in which people hoard cash, making it hard for policy to respond when bad things happen, which is why the businesspeople I’ve been talking to here are terrified about the possible spill over from China’s troubles.
Deflation has also created worrisome “debt dynamics”: Japan, unlike, say, the United States after World War II, can’t count on growing incomes to make past borrowing irrelevant.

Another fine article by Paul Krugman.

Now normally, TC would have a cartoon. All I can offer you is "Kim Davis' stunt demolished in one brilliant tweet".

Aug 242015

I spoke with the prison’s head of Volunteer Services this morning and learned that the demand to pull my volunteer card dis not come from them.  It came from Security.  The problem is this.  Because of my COPD, I am more likely to suffer a medical emergency while climbing the stairs to the Activities floor than other people.  Were that to happen, they would have to call an ambulance and lock down the entire prison for my extraction.  Lockdowns are costly.  So there’s no way I could have gotten her to budge, as she was being overruled.  However, I did get one concession from her.  I will be able to enter the prison as a guest, not a volunteer (who can go to any venue), when my group’s events are boing held in the Visiting Room instead of the Activities Floor, as it is on the main level.  It’s still a huge loss.  I’ll be going from 2 to 3 times a month to 3 to 4 times a year and will have little opportunity for working on issues with them in depth.  But at least I got the most I could have gotten.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker:

Short TakesA rally featuring a racist speaker Friday night in Mobile attracted a crowd of just twenty thousand people, widely considered a disappointing turnout for a racist event in Alabama.

According to racist event planners in the state, a crowd of twenty thousand would rank the event as one of the smaller racist rallies in Alabama this year.

Organizers of the rally were quick to defend the size of the turnout. “There is always a lot of competition for the racist audience in Alabama,” an aide to the speaker said. “There were other racists speaking at other venues in the state Friday night. Plus, a lot of racists now prefer to stay at home and stream racist content on the Internet. Given all the options available to racists, I think twenty thousand is a solid number.”

Andy knows that Hairball picked AL for his rally because AL Republicans passed a Latino-hate law even worse than the infamous "papers please" law in AZ.

From Daily Kos (classic 2/2012): It is now the common wisdom of millions of interested parties that ALEC does not work for the vast majority of citizens, that it is a vicious corporate lobby and that it is thee main force behind the deterioration of personal liberties and workers’ rights in the United States.

Arguing against ALEC’s influence over state legislation has become more difficult thanks to efforts such as ALEC Exposed which display how similar bills advancing in GOP-controlled states are and from whence they originate.  Now, Florida Rep. Rachel Burgin (R-56), a 29 year old former legislative aide and graduate of Moody Bible Institute, has made the task of indicting ALEC for undue influence in state politics that much easier by forgetting to remove ALEC’s mission statement from a bill (PDF) she suddenly "decided” to propose.  This bill calls on the federal government to reduce taxes for corporations (HM 685).

Burgin discovered her error, but not before Common Blog spotted it:

Let us not forget where the bills Republicans introduce and pass, especially at the state level, are written.

From NY Times: …Whatever the precise mix of causes, what’s important now is that policy makers take seriously the possibility, I’d say probability, that excess savings and persistent global weakness is the new normal.

My sense is that there’s a deep-seated unwillingness, even among sophisticated officials, to accept this reality. Partly this is about special interests: Wall Street doesn’t want to hear that an unstable world requires strong financial regulation, and politicians who want to kill the welfare state don’t want to hear that government spending and debt aren’t problems in the current environment.

But there’s also, I believe, a sort of emotional prejudice against the very notion of global glut. Politicians and technocrats alike want to view themselves as serious people making hard choices — choices like cutting popular programs and raising interest rates. They don’t like being told that we’re in a world where seemingly tough-minded policies will actually make things worse. But we are, and they will.

This is the conclusion of an excellent Paul Krugman editorial. Click through to see how he got there.



Jun 082015

I’m rushing to kitty sun bask early, because we’re looking at another 95° day.  Tomorrow will be about 10° cooler, and even that is inordinately hot for Portland at this time of year.  Fortunately I have nothing major on tap.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:44 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:From Daily Kos (classic: 2/2015):

When Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton took office in 2011, Minnesota had more than a $6 billion dollar deficit and an unemployment rate of 7%. Today, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is now below 4% and they have a budget surplus of over $1.2 billion dollars. How did Mark Dayton do this? Did he heed his Republican opponent Tom Emmer’s advice?

Make no mistake, government cannot create the jobs we need to turn our economy around, but private business people can. State government can either help improve the necessary business climate – as I will do if elected governor – or it can hurt job development, as my opponents’ proposals to maintain the status quo would do.

No. No, he didn’t.

During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly — a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He’s also agreed to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women.

For a healthy economy, list Republican plans, and do the opposite.

From Upworthy: In 2016, "the longest floating structure in world history" will be placed in the ocean.

Don’t worry — it’s not another super yacht or party barge or some other contraption that will further pollute the ocean

It’s called The Ocean Cleanup, and it’s a 1.2-mile-long system designed to collect and remove plastic from the ocean.

For two years, it will hang out in the ocean hopefully to begin undoing what we’ve done for decades: polluted the heck out of the water with plastic trash.

It’s basically a stationary array of barriers that uses the ocean’s natural currents to collect the plastic at a central location.


What can I say? Kudos to Ocean cleanup. I’m sure Republicans will fight it.

From NY Times: They arrived wearing whiskers and ears. They purred over new litter fragrances, and pawed through the cat clothes. Hissing? Well, the line was long for that keynote speech: “Photographing Cats — It Looks Easy, but It’s Not.”

Debunking the cat lady myth, it turns out, is easier said than done.

This was the first CatCon, billed as a celebration of the stylish side of cat fancying. More than 10,000 people crowded into a downtown convention hall here over the weekend to shop for cat-centric merchandise (for people, mostly), have their pictures taken with celebrity Internet cats (such as Lil Bub, famous for her dwarfism), and attend cat-focused panels and speeches.

Nip Bag Alert!!


CAT is where it’s AT!!



Jun 062015

Forty-nine years ago today, I graduated from High School.  There are bands and festive floats passing under my window, but I don’t think they are there to celebrate me.  It’s the Grand Floral Parade, the second and last of the Portland Rose Festival.  Unfortunately, it’s blocking my access to prime kitty basking in the sun.  By the time it’s over, it will be too hot.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:42 (average 10:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: Ten Ideas to Save the Economy: Raise the Estate Tax

Inequality slows economic growth. To prevent the rise of a new aristocracy, we need to raise the estate tax.


The Reich on the left is right. America does not want a privileged aristocracy, but those are the ONLY people Republicans, the Reich on the right that is wrong, actually represent. This is the eighth video in the series. Please click through to MoveOn, and share it from there.

From TPM: A panel of federal judges on Friday ruled that Virginia lawmakers must redraw the state’s congressional map because it places too many black voters in one particular district at the expense of their influence in other districts.

“Because plaintiffs have shown that race predominated in Virginia’s 2012 plan and because defendants have failed to establish that this race-based redistricting satisfies strict scrutiny, we find that the 2012 plan is unconstitutional and will require the commonwealth to draw a new congressional district plan,” the judges wrote in the 2-1 decision, as quoted by The Roanoke Times.

…The panel of judges ordered the Virginia House of Delegates to redraw the map by Sept. 1, which The Washington Post points out would force the state’s General Assembly to hold a special summer session. But the state’s Republican congressional delegation is likely to appeal the latest decision, according to the newspaper.

Republican attempts to steal elections never end!

From Think Progress: The Norwegian Parliament voted Friday to remove coal investments from the country’s $890 billion government pension fund, which is considered the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

Under the new policy, power and mining companies whose activities or revenue are at least 30 percent coal-related will be removed from the portfolio.

Kudos to Norway. May this mark the start of an international landslide.



May 312015

Yesterday was a bad day for resting.  When  I went down to bask in the sunshine, I realized that all my spots were occupied.  The city rents put the sidewalk in front of my building for about $30 a head to watch the Rose Festival Starlight Parade.  The noise below my window magnified as the day progressed, and it did not abate until after 1 AM, when the street sweepers went through.  I’ve taken some shortcuts today, because I’m so tired.  The following video is four years old, but it will give you an idea od what it’s like from a sidewalk renter’s perspective.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: (All Daily Kos Classics)

From Daily Kos: Pat Robertson advises 80 year old tither to get her butt to work

Barf Bag Alert!!


September, 2014. He personifies Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian greed.

From Daily Kos:

So there’s this thing that measures how happy people are:

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which interviewed more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year, measures the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country.

So take a gander at the states with the most miserable people:

10. Louisiana
9. Oklahoma
8. Missouri
7. Tennessee
6. Arkansas
5. Ohio
4. Alabama
3. Mississippi
2. Kentucky
1. West Virginia

February, 2014. I’m not surprised. Are you? I see a direct correlation between degree of Republican rule and misery.

From Daily Kos: Which party is best for the economy? It’s not even close

September 2012 Click through for a great collection of graphics. Here’s just one:




May 252015

I’m completely worn out.  Yesterday I finally got around to completing the corporate tax returns and annual reporting paperwork for my prison volunteer organization.  It took the rest of the day.  I’m trying to rest as much as possible today, because tomorrow will be busy packing and doing last minute preparations for my three day prison volunteer trip.  Therefore my Memorial Day article will be a repost of last year’s.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Remember Douglas Adams’s 1979 novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? It began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-formsas a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” But that was then, in the early stages of the information technology revolution.

Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch. But this one tells you to stand up if you’ve been sitting too long!O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.

Click through for this thought provoking editorial by Paul Krugman.

From Upworthy: Watch David Blight elaborate on the story of what happened those days in Charleston, S.C. in this PBS clip.


I consider this a most fitting commemoration.

From Crooks and Liars: Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on this Sunday’s Reliable Sources and spoke to host Brian Stelter about his recent criticism of the media and their demands for a food fight between Sanders and his opponent in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton.


As is his norm, Bernie is spot on.



Yes, I do know that a chimp is an ape, not a monkey.

May 082015

Here’s the rest of what happened yesterday.  Fortunately the LIFT bus dropped me off over an hour early, because I discovered that my doctor’s office sent me to the hospital Imaging Department, when I was supposed to go to the Professional Plaza Imaging Department down the street.  I called TriMet LIFT and they agreed to change my pickup location.  A walk up a steep hill later, I got to the Professional Plaza who discovered that my doctor’s office screwed up the paperwork for the X-Ray.  They called and found that her back office staff had just left for lunch.  I had to sit al hour waiting for them to return to fax them the right paperwork.  Apparently the order was unsigned.  After they got the paperwork I went into the queue.  The X-Ray only took 10 minutes, which was good, because I made it to the LIFT bus area with only a few minutes to spare.  I got to take the grand tour dropping off other riders, but there was no congestion from Obama’s visit.  I’ll be brief, because I’m worn out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Fight For $15

No one who works full-time should live in poverty. A decent nation ensures that all workers can pay their rent and feed their family.


Please click through to MoveOn to share this from there.

From The New Yorker: In a deepening humanitarian crisis, residents of the city of Austin report that they are completely surrounded by Texas, a situation that locals are calling “dire.”

Austin has traditionally enjoyed freedoms as a semi-autonomous region, hosting film festivals and literary events without the interference of its hostile neighbors, but there are growing fears that those days may be coming to an end.

Alarmingly, citizens of Austin report, extremists within the city limits have taken over the Capitol Building and installed a militant government with dominion over its residents.

In recent days, Austin has made desperate requests for assistance to the U.S. military, which will be conducting exercises in Texas in July.

From Andy we have the clarion call. Save Austin!!

From Reuters: Prime Minister David Cameron won a stunning election victory in Britain, confounding poll predictions that the vote would be the closest in decades to sweep into office for another five years with a clear majority and his Labour opponents in tatters.

My condolences to the people of the UK for demonstrating that the US does not have an exclusive on voter idiocy. Perhaps Pat can fill us in on why this happened.



Mar 092015

This week is turning out to be quite busy already.  Wednesday, my normal grocery delivery day from Store to Door, I have an appointment I cannot change, so I have to get groceries from  They are coming tomorrow, moving prep for that to today.  The kitty basking weather is winding down.  Only 58° forecast today.

Per Nameless’ Request:



Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:86).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: For all his partisan animus toward President Obama, it is still shocking to see the Senate’s majority leader, Mitch McConnell, urge the nation’s governors to undermine the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who seems to hold Mr. Obama personally responsible for what has been the decades-long decline of coal jobs in his state, expressed his defiance in an op-ed article [Bought Bitch delinked] Wednesday in The Lexington Herald-Leader.

The administration has proposed regulations aimed at limiting emissions. Mr. McConnell urged the governors not to cooperate with a joint rule-making process aimed at developing final regulations under which Washington will set emissions targets while giving states flexibility to implement them. Sabotaging this process, he says, will give the courts time to find the plan illegal or give the Senate time to figure out a way to block it. “Without your support,” he said, the administration “won’t be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out such political extremism.”

Bought Bitch Mitch is pursuing a plan that won’t help coal jobs. Mechanization is replacing many.  There are few left, because coal can’t compete.  Fracking has provided a surplus of unnatural gas, and the Saudis are flooding the market with cheap oil to forestall a shift to green energy.  The liar is trying to protect profits, not jobs.

From Alternet: The U.S. economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren’t feeling it. By contrast, most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing relatively well.

What’s behind this? Two big facts.

First, American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their counterparts exert in their own countries…

…The second fact is most big American corporations have no particular allegiance to America. They don’t want Americans to have better wages. Their only allegiance and responsibility to their shareholders — which often requires lower wages  to fuel larger profits and higher share prices.

Of course the Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right about the Reich on the right, the Republican Reich, which is wrong by definition. Click through for more than this tiny taste about how RepubliCorp is screwing YOU.

From Crooks and Liars: Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver didn’t hold back when discussing the racist emails being sent by the Ferguson, MO police department and court officials which were discovered during the Department of Justice investigation of racial prejudice in the city’s police and judicial system.


It amazes me that Oliver can be so funny, while being spot on about racism at it’s worst.