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.

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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!!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

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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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