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 Safeway.com.  They are coming tomorrow, moving prep for that to today.  The kitty basking weather is winding down.  Only 58° forecast today.

Per Nameless’ Request:

0309FeetUp

i-feet.

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.

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Dec 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 55.  We have more bad weather coming in, the kind that sets off my COPD.  In addition to a high wind warning, it may be a couple days before we see the warm side of 32°.  That may not seem bad, but here, temperatures below 32° are unusual.  Not getting above it is extreme.  It’s also such a dead news day that MSNBC has “Lockup” on in prime time.  This is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:09 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here is the final report of the season for our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

17Playoffs

What can I say? CAT is where it’s AT!! :-)  We had a fun season and will be back next year.  We’ll have room for a couple more players, so, if you’d like to play next season, please let me know.  Congrats to all who played!

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Suppose that for some reason you decided to start hitting yourself in the head, repeatedly, with a baseball bat. You’d feel pretty bad. Correspondingly, you’d probably feel a lot better if and when you finally stopped. What would that improvement in your condition tell you?

It certainly wouldn’t imply that hitting yourself in the head was a good idea. It would, however, be an indication that the pain you were experiencing wasn’t a reflection of anything fundamentally wrong with your health. Your head wasn’t hurting because you were sick; it was hurting because you kept hitting it with that baseball bat.

And now you understand the basics of what has been happening to several major economies, including the United States, over the past few years. In fact, you understand these basics better than many politicians and commentators.

This another excellent Paul Krugman editorial. Click through fpr an explanation of his economic optimism.

From Daily Kos: The U.S. Senate has courageously just stood up to the Christian-supremacist bullies in the House of Representatives. Oh yes, the Senate has just completely ripped away from their religiously bigoted, House counterparts a would-be treasured bible-thumping bonanza of immeasurable, unconstitutional proselytization.  This erstwhile prize of legislative plunder had been specifically designed by these Congressmen and Congresswomen from the House, in nefarious collaboration with their legions of fundamentalist Christian parachurch allies, to be embedded deep within the confines of the 2015 Pentagon authorization/funding act.

Fortunately, the plan by these Christian crusader Members of the House failed. Please let me briefly explain, my friends.

Click through to learn how the Senate stripped provisions from the NDAA that would guarantee forced attempts to convert our troops to Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity.  In the past, Republican strength has come from the different wings of the Reich being ready to goose-step behind each others’ insane positions.  You can be sure that the Theocons will have their revenge against the Corporacons, Neocons, Plutocons, and the InsaniTEA wing.

From Huffington Post: Bracing to do business with a Congress run solely by Republicans, President Barack Obama is serving notice he has no qualms about vetoing legislation he dislikes.

This would be a significant change in style for Obama, come January when the new Congress will be seated with the GOP not only in command in the House but also the Senate as well.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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Dec 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 32.  It’s official.  My annual winter flu has hit.  My COPD is severe, and I’m running a fever.  The cartoon describes how I feel, so this is the only article.  Yesterday Providence Home Services stood me up.  Apparently they forgot to put my order on the delivery truck  They finally delivered it this afternoon, after three fights with their Customer Disservice department.  When they told me they didn’t know why it hadn’t occurred to them to call me, when they discovered my order, I suggested that they have all the competence of the US Congress.  This is the only article.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are worshiping with the Bills, but it won’t be televised locally.  Our local CBS affiliate thinks we’d rather have paid programming, because the damn Seachickens are on the other network at the same time.  ARGH! :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:57 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Subsequent to a previous report from Lawrence O’Donnell, the Missouri Attorney General has confirmed with "Last Word" that instructions given the Michael Brown grand jury describing the police "use of force" laws was incorrect and misleading.

Video from Program

 

If you believe it was not intentional, contact me about buying my alpine ski resort in Florida.

From YouTube: Weekly Address: Ensuring Americans Feel the Gains of a Growing Economy

 

Where was this speech BEFORE the election?

From Think Progress: As voters across Louisiana head to the polls today to cast their runoff ballots for senator and a handful of local races, voting rights organizers across the state and country are drawing attention to policies and practices that make it more difficult for Louisianians to vote.

Volunteers from the Election Protection Network, who will be on the ground Saturday to monitor voting issues during the runoff, report concerns stemming from the state’s long history of voter suppression and problems that have surfaced in recent years.

Recently, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and other national voting rights groups took Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to court over a statewide practice that prevented many low-income, minority Louisianians from registering to vote. Just last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled partially in their favor, finding that Louisiana violated the National Voter Registration Act by failing to provide voter registration services at the state’s public service agencies — such as the departments where residents can sign up for Medicaid and food stamps. Attorney Natasha Korgaonkar with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who worked on the case, told ThinkProgress that the lawsuit targeted two state agencies and the Secretary of State who were all knowingly preventing public service recipients from easily registering to vote.

I’m sure we’ll learn of Republican criminal “irregularities”, but think Landrieu might have won, had she not shot herself in the foot, which was in her mouth, when her head was up her own butt.  Late update.  She got her ass kicked.

Cartoon:

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Oct 112014
 

Everywhere you turn you hear bad news about the economy.  According to conventional wisdom, we are spending like there is no tomorrow and running up record budget deficits.  In the process, we arwe destroying the economy.  Is this true?  What’s really going on?  Shhhh!  It’s a secret!

1011Deficit

What if they balanced the budget and nobody knew or cared?

O.K., the federal budget hasn’t actually been balanced. But the Congressional Budget Office has tallied up the totals for fiscal 2014, which ran through the end of September, and reports that the deficit plunge of the past several years continues. You still hear politicians ranting about “trillion dollar deficits,” but last year’s deficit was less than half-a-trillion dollars — or, a more meaningful number, just 2.8 percent of G.D.P. — and it’s still falling.

So where are the ticker-tape parades? For that matter, where are the front-page news reports? After all, talk about the evils of deficits and the grave fiscal danger facing America dominated Washington for years. Shouldn’t we be making a big deal of the fact that the alleged crisis is over?

Well, we aren’t, and once you understand why, you also understand what fiscal hysteria was really about.

First, ordinary Americans aren’t celebrating the deficit’s decline because they don’t know about it… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Click thr4ough to read how Paul Krugman continues to explain how the media focuses on bad news and ignores good news.  Of course that’s true. If it bleeds, it leads.  However, another dynamic is at work here., as Rachel Maddox explains.

Naturally!  The media is parroting Republican lies!  But part of the fault lies with Democrats.  Those of you who also worship the Holy Ellipsoid Orb are familiar with the Iggy Shuffle and other End Zone Celebrations.  Here’s what I mean.

Democrats need Bodacious Barack, Hot Stuff Harry, and Fancy Nancy to get together, spike the ball, and do a good old fashioned end zone dance.  Republicans have us outclassed at this.  They blow their own horn to claim that their most egregious failures are spectacular successes, while we actually have successes and keep quite.

It’s been a secret too long.

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Sep 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 142.  The plan is to write before I leave for prison, crash when I come back, and post these whenever I wake up.  I have not seen my guys in over a month.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:25 (average 5:12).  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:

1Scores

Standings:

1Standings

Watch out for the big footed one who took down the winner of last year’s playoffs!  Those who wish to follow our league, may do so here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Hardly a bastion of liberal thought, A Forbes magazine article says Obama not only outperformed conservative hero Reagan, but also has reduced the national debt.  Here’s the last paragraph of the article: 

Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories.  Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan.  Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a “smaller government.”  Additionally, the current administration has kept inflation low, even during extreme international upheaval, failure of foreign economies (Greece) and a dramatic slowdown in the European economy.

Forbes has obviously joined a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.

From The New Yorker: CNN kicked off its coverage of the latest royal pregnancy on Monday by simulating the journey of Prince William’s sperm to Kate Middleton’s egg.

Holding two plastic models of the Windsors’ reproductive cells, the CNN host Don Lemon offered viewers a dramatic re-creation of the path taken by the royal spermatozoon.

The CNN president Jeff Zucker praised the demonstration, calling it “the perfect way to kick off our twenty-four-hour coverage of this story for the next nine months.”

What Andy isn’t telling you is that, if this was a black couple, The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, would be covering it as porn, because Kate has worn shoes since conception.

From Crooks and Liars: As Karoli already discussed last week, Fox is now moving the goal posts on their BENGHAZI!!!! "scandal" and whether there was a "stand down order" given by Hillary Clinton — and as she already noted in her post, they couldn’t even manage to make it through Bret Baier’s show hyping their upcoming special over the weekend without one of the guests killing their conspiracy theory before it got off the ground.

That didn’t stop Fox’s Greta Van Susteren and her fellow host Sean Hannity from piling on with their latest bit of outrage on the subject. Apparently someone at the White House called Van Susteren and asked her if she could get her cohort Jennifer Griffin to please quit lying about the stand down order.

Now that Fox has moved the goal posts from their original story and the lie they kept repeating that Hillary Clinton gave a stand down order that delayed any rescue attempts at the consulate, they’re claiming that Griffin’s reporting was vindicated.

Never mind that it was the CIA officer in charge of the Benghazi mission security who gave the order because he was trying to get to get the local Libyans to back up their security team. Facts don’t matter much when you’ve got a narrative to sell.

Barf Baq Alert!!

 

There is a spectrum of truth ranging from absolute truth at one end to the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, at the other.

Cartoon:

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Aug 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 111.  It’s late, and I’ve had a hard time getting untracked today.  I don’t know why.  I just feel a bit lethargic.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football:

Players, the live draft of our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends, is Saturday at Noon Eastern, 11 AM Central, 10 AM Mountain, and 9 AM Pacific Daylight Savings Time.  You each get to keep up to two players from last year’s team.  If you do, they are your first and second round draft picks.  If you do not, you get the draft picks instead.  It’s a good idea to participate in a couple mock drafts now to get familiar with the procedure.  Pay attention to bye weeks so you don’t have multiple players at the same positions with a week off at the same time.  Enjoy!!

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Julion Evans passed away on July 26, 2014, after a battle with a rare disease called Amyloidosis. He had a large family and an even larger group of friends who wanted to come together to remember his life. His family booked a large church in Tampa, Florida. One day before the service, they were shocked to receive a call from the pastor, telling them the church was canceling after finding out Julion was gay and married to Kendall Caper, his partner of 17 years:

Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hatred of the LGBT community extends to the grave. Shame!

From PRWatch: The American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," met in Dallas on July 30 for its annual meeting. ALEC brings together state legislators and corporate lobbyists to vote on "model" legislation behind closed doors, before those bills are introduced in state houses across the country, stripped of their ALEC origins. As the Kansas City Star has noted, what happens at ALEC meetings "provides a preview for the next state sessions" in legislatures around the country.

What was on tap at ALEC this year? New bad bills, dirty energy, a new lobby shop, and the launch of a spin-off group targeting local governments. Here’s a roundup of last week’s ALEC coverage.

Click through to see what Republican legislators will be parroting nationwide. ALEC bills have one thing in common. When they pass, you get screwed.

From Huffington Post: Problem: Your right-wing brother-in-law is plugged into the FOX-Limbaugh lie machine, and keeps sending you emails about "Obama spending" and "Obama deficits" and how the "stimulus" just made things worse.

Solution: Here are three "reality-based" charts to send to him. These charts show what actually happened.

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Dang! These are good enough to get you unfriended by Republican relatives!

Cartoon:

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Jul 252014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 95, before leaving to do volunteer work in prison.  The plan is to go to bed, when I return tonight, and then do the puzzle and upload the articles whenever I wake up.  I’ll be meeting with around 100 prisoners.

Late (Early) Update:

Meeting was fantastic.  I’m frazzled.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:21 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Britain’s Prince George, who is celebrating his first birthday this week, is facing a rising chorus of criticism within the United Kingdom, with many calling the first year of his reign a major disappointment.

Alistair Strott, a journalist and one of George’s most outspoken critics, calls the Prince’s first year “long on hype and short on solid achievement.”

“Like a lot of us, I followed the royal birth last year with a great deal of excitement and anticipation,” says Strott. “But one year in, we all have to look at each other and say, ‘That’s it?’ ”

While defenders of Prince George cite a packed schedule of events during his first year, Strott is unimpressed. “Yes, he’s been on TV and magazine covers,” he says. “So have the Kardashians.”

I trust Andy realizes that, on this side of the pond, the media have had little trouble assigning blame: it’s Obama’s fault.

From Daily Kos: In a new ad similar in style to her previous ad on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare budget, Kentucky Secretary of State and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Alison Lundergan Grimes is taking aim at McConnell’s statement earlier this year that creating jobs isn’t one of his jobs.

 

Bough Bitch Mitch’s job is to squeeze quarters so tight between his butt cheeks, that it kills the eagles.

From NY Times: The rush to purchase Piketty’s book suggested that Americans must have wanted to understand inequality. The apparent rush to put it down suggests that, well, we’re human.

So let me satisfy this demand with my own “Idiot’s Guide to Inequality.” Here are five points:

First, economic inequality has worsened significantly in the United States and some other countries. The richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Oxfam estimates that the richest 85 people in the world own half of all wealth.

The situation might be tolerable if a rising tide were lifting all boats. But it’s lifting mostly the yachts. In 2010, 93 percent of the additional income created in America went to the top 1 percent.

This is worth the read. Click through for the other four points.

Cartoon:

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